Does a paycut lead to long term job happiness?

Job happiness

Does a paycut lead to long term job happiness?

Karen Lloyd job search, Career, remuneration...

Would you take a pay cut to be happier at work?  According to a recent survey, over 50% of employees in the UK choose a job that will make them happy over the size of their paycheck.  We already know that marketing professionals consider a good working environment more important than financial rewards, and the rest of the country is catching up.

It seems the key to professional happiness and satisfaction is “meaningful work” as employee’s desire for their efforts to have impact and resonance increases.  Following hard on the heels of “meaningful work” is the balance between work and home life.

It does however, lead to the question, How do you assess whether a job is likely to make you happy when you’re applying at the start?  The answer isn’t a straightforward one.  None of us have a crystal ball, so you are going to have to do some digging to work out if it is the right marketing job for you. 

  1. Do you know someone who already works at the company?  If you trust their discretion, then tap them up for information on what it is really like behind the scenes.  However, just keep in mind what works for them, might not work for you.
  2. Check out Glassdoor.  Happily transparency is increasing and this a good way of getting insight.  Just remember people are more likely to be negative than positive so look for averages and general trends rather digging into individual comments.
  3. Consider the scope of the company and its ethos – does it align with what you want?  Is this a highly innovative business or a large corporate that is weighed down by process?  Where would you prefer to be? Where do they place their ethics?  Can you see this filtering through the public activities?  If not, chances are they pay lip service at best and it might not be right for you.
  4. Talk to your Recruitment Partner – a good recruiter worth their salt will know the company.  They will have a good idea of the culture of the team, the wider business, what the management style is like, what the nature of the work is that you’ll be doing and the level of influence you will have.  They will also be able to advise of work life balance and other benefits that are of key importance to marketers in finding job satisfaction.
  5. Know your own strengths – working for brands that suit your personality rather than going for a glamorous name or product will provide much longer-term job satisfaction for marketers.  We looked at this just the other week, check it out here.

A note of caution though.  Many people who do take a paycut for a new job role often find themselves feeling undervalued later down the line.  If you undermine your view of your own worth it can breed resentment and does not lead to long term happiness. 

If you are considering this, then you must carefully think about just how much you are willing to sacrifice.  The actual value is relative, if you earn £100k then you may be willing to accept £80k, but if you earn £50k, you aren’t likely to drop to £30k.  Of course, the ideal is to get the best of both world; a job that makes you happy where you don’t have to sacrifice your paycheck.