[Opinion] Job satisfaction is better than a good salary


Madison Lenard

People should care more about being satisfied with their jobs instead of the salary. Illustration by Madison Lenard

Phiona Smith, Writer

Choosing a career is an extremely important part of an individuals’ life due to the fact that a person’s career can dictate the direction of their future. Depending on their decision, an individual could either set themselves up to experience life long happiness and comfort, or extreme dissatisfaction accompanied by a good salary.

Choosing the right career is about so much more than just having a good source of income; it requires knowing your own values and interests, as well as what you perform best at. Searching for what interests you most and what will genuinely make you happy can help to broaden your choices and can be a good start to searching for certain career fields.

According to qualifax.com, very few people put enough time and effort into picking the right career occupations for themselves, oftentimes resulting in high levels of depression and unhappiness. The importance of finding a career that enables you to prioritize your personal happiness cannot be overstated.

A study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University found that individuals who were dissatisfied with their careers in their 20s and 30s were more prone to issues such as sleep disorders, anxiety and depression later on in life.

Job satisfaction has a great impact on mental health during the midlife. The same study revealed that those who are dissatisfied with their work found themselves with less time and energy to fulfill personal liabilities. They also reported finding their occupation to be a burden, rather than an opportunity for progress, resulting in less motivation for productivity and a decrease in overall performance.

Not only can job satisfaction affect mental health, but it can affect physical health as well. Another analysis by Brian Faragher, a Professor of medical statistics, Roger Cass, an internal medical specialist, and Cary Cooper, a Professor of Organizational Psychology, have found that workers suffering from job dissatisfaction were more prone to musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular disease, and a wide range of other physical illnesses.

The risk of poor physical health should not be compromised for the pleasures of a good salary. Money may be a prime requirement for a desired lifestyle, but it can only procure luxury. Without a healthy lifestyle, these luxuries cannot be enjoyed.

Though a good salary is important, it should not overshadow good health and well-being. Wealth should instead be obtained alongside the factors of happiness and comfort. With thorough research and education, your most desirable job can be found and fulfilled at no cost to your own comfort or satisfaction.

Obtaining your dream job may require a certain level of education, depending on your desired career. This path to a career that provides both a good income and personal satisfaction starts with comparing your interests to those explored in different college programs and majors. The process of choosing the best career path for yourself includes four main factors: knowing yourself, broadening the understanding of your own interests, coming to a conclusion about your choices and “taking the final leap.”

To start, you can ask yourself basic familiarity questions such as “What do I like?” or “What impact would I like to make?” This process will allow you to gain a clearer understanding of your overall career goals and preferences.

By then attempting to broaden your self-understanding, it will be easier to build a list of occupations that fit your standards. Any options that don’t suit you and your interests should then be eliminated as you come to a conclusion. You are then ready to plan out the steps that are needed to pursue the career of your choosing. The goal of this process is to consolidate everything you’ve learned about yourself into a step-by step playbook on approaching your future career.

Instead of choosing between happiness and wealth, both factors can be obtained through obtaining proper knowledge and achievements. Mental health carries more value than any amount of money earned from a given career. Wealth cannot buy health, and without health your physical and mental well-being are at jeopardy. Money may be powerful, but happiness and a healthy well-being will always outweigh it.