“Study hard, go to university, get a job, then retire.” Many of us have heard variations of the phrase since we were young, whether from our parents, teachers, or the media. However, when we start looking for jobs, there’s not a lot of advice about other aspects of our job—such as vacation time, work culture, and growth opportunities—which is also important since we’ll be working for over 40 years of our lives.
It’s so easy to chase money because money can buy us what we want. And former studies have shown that higher-income may lead to better life evaluations (the thoughts we have about our life). But recent studies that have been conducted with both Western and European sample sizes, and that have considered cultural nuances surrounding the definition of happiness, have found that money isn’t the only contributing factor to happiness. An increase in workplace stability and certainty, individual contributions, and passions are more likely to lead to higher happiness levels.
“The top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay: It is the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company,” explains Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.
If priorities shift and there are more bills to pay, then salaries may play a bigger role in job satisfaction. But until then, thinking only about the money and reputation linked to a job makes it easy to get burnt out.
Here at The Medium, many of us are putting in more work hours than are required. We have started creative projects and spend extra time editing articles. But it’s because we believe our contributions to this campus are meaningful, and we’re not just focused on the salary. The opportunity to grow as journalists, the flexible working hours, and culture of creativity, makes this job worth it. At the end of the day, don’t look solely at salaries and monetary benefits when looking for jobs after graduation.