Are you chasing a pot of gold?

March 17, 2014

Money –$$$$! We all need it, most of us love it, and most of us wish we had more of it. Why do we work? If your employer didn’t pay you, would you still show up? Let’s face it, money is one of the biggest reasons we work and have careers. However, my question to you is “When making career decisions is focusing on that pot of gold worth it?”

Too often, career professionals make decisions too heavily weighted on money. Of course, I am not suggesting to down play the importance of a competitive market wage and feeling fairly valued. However, when making career decisions there are a number of things that should be considered in conjunction with financial gain.

  1. Your Career is a Marathon, not a Sprint: Unfortunately, most of us will have to work for 40 plus years. The good news is there is time to make money. Make decisions that help to develop your market worth and give you satisfaction. If you work hard and do work you are passionate about, money will come.
     
  2. What is the upside? Taking, for example, $100,000 for a Controller role at Bob’s Bait Shop 10 years into your career, might not be the best life-long earning potential compared to taking a lead accounting role at a Fortune 500 established company for $85,000. Think beyond the immediate.
     
  3. With Pain, comes Money! Some organizations simply have to pay to attract talent. If turnover is high, hours are long, processes are broken, opportunity to advance is limited, money attracts. Understand what you want in your work environment and what you are willing to do for the money. If you are getting paid significantly above market for your skillset, what is the reason for that??
     
  4. Make a Pro’s/Con’s List: What is important to you in your career outside of money? Location, upside potential, ability for lateral moves, stability, flexibility, hours, culture? All of these factors should all be considered. I would even put weights to your personal list identifying what is most important to you personally.
     
  5. You are not me: Try not to compare your situation to that of your family, friends or co-workers. Obviously, make sure you are compensated consistent with your skillset for the market. However, not taking a job that aligns with your career goals because your friend received $10,000 more at a different company simply doesn’t make sense. Each situation is different. They may have gotten caught up in #3. Stick to what’s important to you!
     

Money is great! We all need it, but try not to chase it. As Oprah Winfrey puts it, “”Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”Oggi Asks Logo

Next to money, what is most important to you in your career? Tweet us at @OggiPro with the hashtag #OggiAsks.