With the job market in constant fluctuation, there is not always the promise of having a steady job or income. What is even more rare, is having the luxury of being able to be choosy between various jobs. It is not a typical situation to have your pick – but when you do, what do you chose? The job that has the office environment that caters to your personality and needs, or the job that comes with the big bucks. This is often a tough decision for many, as we weigh the tradeoffs between having a “peace of mind” or, having money in the bank.
Sure – management positions may seem like a great end goal. But is that really the best fit for your personality? Some people are born organized and with a thick skin, able to take all the ups and downs that come with running a team and lots of responsibility. Yes these people often get paid more but, if its not the fit for you, you wont be happy. If you are laid back, don’t like drama and politics, stick with being a member of team, not leading it. So you may make less money, but you won’t go home stressed and upset every night. Figuring out what you do and don’t like doing is a huge step. Choosing a job that pays less but thrills you to do on a day-to-day basis is the one to chose. Not the one that pays an extra 20%.
Then you have to figure out what type of company you want to work for. Start-ups, small firms and corporations all have drastically different working environments, processes and employee rules. Start-ups tend to give a lot of flexibility and freedom but don’t always offer a ton of mobility and security and well, money. Bigger firms, while more structured, often offer a clear career path and security for their valued employees and of course, typically higher salaries. Everywhere is different. By testing the waters you will figure out what type of place fits you best – then you can target your search to those, regardless of pay grade.
So in the end its really about those two things – finding what you like to do (and are good at) and what types of employers and companies allow you do do just that. Yes, it is important to have a salary or wage that enables you to live in a fairly comfortable way, but life isn’t always about getting rich. Get to a place that makes you happy and the rewards for staying there will go far beyond the number of zeros in your bank account.