The good news is that you got a new job. The even better news is that the new job pays more money. But, you haven’t accepted the offer yet because there’s bad news – it’s a job that you’re probably not going to hate. Your first impulse might be to take the job expecting the money to make up for the job dissatisfaction. But, considering that you spend most of your waking hours at work, you have to question whether it’s really worth it take a job you won’t like.
Why Do You Want to Make More Money?
Before you decide whether to take the job, take a step back and consider your true motives for wanting more money. The money itself won’t necessarily make you happier, especially not happy enough to deal with the downsides of the job. However, tying the income to a bigger financial goal, like paying debt or building your child’s college fund, can help keep your reason for taking the job in perspective. It gives you a reason to deal with a job you don’t like.
Another benefit of connecting your extra income to a goal is that you have an “out” from the job. Once your goal is met, you can give yourself permission to move on to a new job.
When Should You Turn the Job Down?
You can likely find as many pros as cons to accepting a bad job that pays more money. It can be helpful to list out your dealbreakers – reasons you absolutely cannot take the job. If any of these are true, taking the job may not be a good idea.
- The job takes you too far off course of your career path.
A bigger paycheck is nice, but not at the expense of your career. After the novelty of a bigger paycheck wears off, you’ll be stuck with a job you don’t like that’s not helping you get to where you ultimately want to be in your career.
- The work is too soul crushing.
If the job involves something that you find unethical or that doesn’t line up with your morals, don’t take it. Being unhappy at work is one thing, feeling guilty about the work you’re doing can affect you in an entirely different way.
- It takes you away from your family.
A job that requires additional travel will mean being away from your family for more time. No amount of money is worth damaging your relationships, so get input from your spouse or partner to help make the best decision for your family and your finances.
- You don’t want to become a slave to money.
Once you start sacrificing what you truly want for money, you could start down a path that’s hard to turn back from. That’s why it’s important to be sure that you tie the extra income to a financial goal and stick to that goal. Otherwise, if you start experiencing lifestyle inflation – where your cost of living increases with your income – you need to keep making more money to keep from feeling broke.
Making a Final Decision
You may be able to negotiate some aspects of the job that would make it easier to deal with. For example, you may be able to negotiate for more work from home time or work it out so that you travel only a few days of out of the money rather than every week.
Don’t feel bad if you ultimately decide to walk away from the job. Avoiding a job that will make you miserable is better for you than any salary.