“If you had to decide between a job that was more in alignment with your interests but paid 25k less than another job that you are not as interested in, would you take it?”
This was a question asked by one Reddit user who wanted to know whether people would be interested in taking a job that paid lower because their interests are in sync. The OP said he was eyeing two jobs – one in banking and another in research. The banking one paid better, but he felt he may not last long because he does not like banking.
Other Reddit users chipped into this conversation with advice and opinions. Here are some of the best responses.
Fulfillment Through a Job Is Not the Goal
One user says that one can get fulfillment through other means, not necessarily through the job, “It depends on what worse means. I have a job that I don’t particularly find fulfilling, but I get good health insurance, decent pay, and wfh. Would I give it up for a job I love but pays less? Idk. To me, finding fulfillment thru a job is not the primary goal. I find fulfillment in my friends, family, hobbies, and spare time. So I guess my vote is to keep the boring job that pays more.”
It Is Less About the Job and More About the Work Culture
How people treat you at work is more important than how exciting a job is, notes another user, “The truth is that the working world is a crap shoot. It’s less about your job and more about how people treat you at work. And you don’t really know the culture of the company, or the character of your co-workers until you’ve accepted a position. I say go for the higher-paying job.”
It Is About How You Feel When You Wake Up in the Morning
If you are not excited when you wake up in the morning, you may not have achieved success in your field, “After a 40yr career, I tell my son all the time when he comes to me asking for career advice: “Success is measured every morning when you wake up by how excited you are about your day” I chased the money and got into software, then management because a wildlife science career (my first major) paid about half of what a CS degree did. I fast-tracked to a solid six-figure salary for over two decades and ended up hating what I did. I left corp tech 10 yrs ago and work for myself. Still not getting the self-satisfaction with my work, I am looking to reinvent myself yet again,” narrates another user.
You Might End up With a Worse Boss
Choosing a low-paying job does not guarantee you won’t be miserable; as this user notes, “I am always hesitant to go with a lower paying job because I know numerous people who did this and ended up with a worse boss or org. In theory, it makes sense, but I’d work on finding a good-paying job you enjoy.”
It Depends on Your Priorities
If your priority is aligned to one job, you could decide to go with it, “Depends on where my priorities are. At this point in my career, I could seek out a higher-paying job that likely accrues more stress, but I enjoy my current job too much and feel financially situated, so I’ll take the loss. My answer would be different if I couldn’t turn down less of a salary.”
Focus On Retiring From the Rat Race Sooner
Another user advises the OP to take the higher paying job to get out of the rat race faster, “Take the highest pay you can! The sooner you can retire and quit the rat race. Source myself: I retired this year at 53 years instead of the gov-planned 69 years.”
Take a Fulfilling One if Your Worth Is Substantial
One user says that as long as the OP’s net worth Is substantial, he can take the lower-paying but more fulfilling job, “It sort of depends on where you are in life. I would happily take a lower paying job but more fulfilling job if I already had a substantial net worth.”
Another user agrees with this, “It depends on your financial situation. I had a job I believed in paying less than 25k a year. I was stressed all the time. Not because of the job but because I was living paycheck to paycheck, and I was one crisis away from financial ruin. If I had a serious medical issue, a substantial car issue, or both, I would have been toast.”
Gain Experience First
Another urges the OP to gain experience first before looking for the satisfying one, “Yes, cause money is more important. Look around. After a few years, then with experience, maybe you can chase that satisfying job.”
Factor in Stress and Regret
You may find yourself miserable if you take a job that pushes you to work for long without proper fulfillment, “You have to factor in stress and regret. At 20 years or even 2, you might regret not having done the research. If you don’t like the bank, are you really profiting? You may find yourself miserable 40 hours per week until you move on.”
A Job Will Always Be a Job
Another user advises the OP not to put too much thought into the job as, eventually, a job will be a job, “My mentality is that a job will always be a job and never a source of enjoyment and/or happiness to me. Higher pay means more free income, so more money in my investment account for an earlier retirement. So, as long as the new job is not toxic or actually making my mental or physical health worse, I will always choose the higher-paid one.”
Have an Exit Strategy
Plan ahead and figure out how to exit when things are tough, “You may be able to convince the higher paying employer to improve conditions; convincing the lower-paying employer to simply pay more is probably more difficult,” urges one user.
It’s a Balancing Scale
Another user speaks from experience on how this can be a balancing scale, “I made more working on my own, but the paperwork and taxes and customers 1-1 and sales was killing me. I gained so much weight by stress eating. Now I have a stable 40+ hr/week job that I earn less but fantastic benefits, and I see my kids by 3:30 every day.”
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