Money vs. Job Satisfaction: How to Choose

By Paula Santonocito

smw - money vs. job satisfaction, how to chooseIn a perfect world, you’d have it all: a job that is professionally and personally rewarding, and one that pays off in terms of income. But what happens when you’re forced to choose between the two?

Definition of Work

The first step is to decide what your job means to you. If you’re like most single women, your job is both a financial necessity and a source of professional and personal satisfaction.

However, where priorities fall on the scale of importance depends on each single woman and her circumstances.

For example, if you’re a single mother with three children, a job that offers a steady paycheck and benefits may be a priority. On the other hand, if you’re a mid-career single woman, with no dependents and a solid savings account, you may be in a position to settle for less in terms of income, at least for the short term, in order to find greater professional and personal satisfaction.

However, evaluating your job also requires looking beyond finances, and at the role work plays in your life. Are you an all-work and little-play type of single woman, one for whom career comes above most else? Or is your career only one facet of your life, and one that isn’t essential to your happiness?

Perhaps you find a great deal of satisfaction in other activities.

SMW knows one single woman professional who is a career coach by day, but in the off hours she pursues photography and writing fiction—and she’s quite good at both. This isn’t to say she doesn’t enjoy her full-time, income-producing work, but her day job is only one source of satisfaction.

Evaluating Your Situation

When looking at how attached you are to your career and/or your current job, be honest.

Work is a big part of a lot of people’s life, and for single women it can be an even larger component, one that factors heavily into identity.

When you think about it, women with partners are part of a unit outside work, and in most situations they interact as part of that unit on a daily basis. For single women, especially those without children, the workplace may be the only place where they feel a sense of belonging to a group on a daily basis. And the better the workplace, the stronger the bond.

In other words, look at what you’re getting from work on all fronts.

Ask yourself: Is the pay good, even if it’s not great? Is the job itself rewarding? Are you using your skills and abilities? Do you have an opportunity to learn and grow? These are the basic components of work a career-minded individual should consider.

But also ask yourself how satisfied you are with your job on a personal level. Do you like the people with whom you work? Do you like the corporate culture? Does the job fit who you are? Is the company a match when it comes to your values? Do you connect with your coworkers? Are they your friends?

If the answer to all the personal questions is yes, and you’re not struggling—really struggling—financially, you might want to rethink the focus on money. As a single woman, what you have may be worth its weight in gold.

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