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How Large of a Role Does Money Play in Your Career?

As I look through the job postings and ponder my job options I can’t help but wonder how large a role salary and benefits will take in shaping my future employment. My husband and I currently work as software engineers and at this point in time we are both well paid. I keep a watchful eye on all of our expenses (after all I am One Frugal Girl), and I can honestly say that we currently live well below our means.

For the most part our discretionary expenses are very limited. I feel very blessed in everything we currently have and own and rarely find the need to buy something new. We cook at home almost every night of the week and save on travel by vacationing primarily at our beach home.

Of course, owning two homes in and of itself eats at the majority of our take home pay. We fork over a good deal of money each month in the form of mortgage payments, insurance and utilities. In fact, my husband and I cut back in other aspects of our lives, in part, so that we can enjoy our ‘home away from home.’ Based on the size of our mortgages I know that I cannot downshift at this point in my life to a job with a much lower salary, but I wonder how big of a role salary needs to play in my future job.

While I’ve been mulling over my own job prospects a good friend of mine has also been reconsidering her career options. Although my friend really enjoys her current job she has come to the realization that it simply doesn’t pay her enough money. In order to meet her three to five year goals she is considering taking a less enjoyable position that will provide a larger salary and better benefits.

I wonder how many people sacrifice jobs they enjoy for less enjoyable jobs that pay more money and how many people give up high paying jobs they dislike for a more enjoyable job that pays less money. Of course, in the perfect world we could have both money and happiness, but I wonder how many people have attained that goal, and if they have attained it did they have to sacrifice being unhappy for at least a little while to reach it?

Fit Wallet

Wednesday 4th of March 2009

I have a middle-class job (mid-$40s) and often wish that I made more money. But my job is a casual work environment, has great benefits, offers flex time (I get a 3-day weekend every week), my vacation/sick time is about to bump up to 6 weeks this fall, my coworkers are awesome, and it's a gay-friendly company. Meanwhile, I watch my sister-in-law work her @ss off, working through vacations and at all hours of the day, for a $100k+ job. Would I like to make $100k+? Sure. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather enjoy the time I have now than wait until retirement.