Okay, let’s just admit straight up that no one loves a low salary. Working your buns off only to scrape by each month isn’t anyone’s idea of ‘love’. Still, it doesn’t mean you can’t be in love with your job. Just hear me out.
Money might make the world go round, but it’s not everything. A huge salary, big house and mean-looking car would be great to have, but those things won’t guarantee your happiness. The High Pay Centre has released a new report stating the average FTSE 100 CEO earns £5.5 million a year. That’s quite a wedge, especially when you consider what the average employee is probably earning underneath them. Sure, a bank full of big bucks might relieve financial stress, but even the richest people in the world aren’t immune to worldly woes.
If a dreary income has got you resenting your job, it’s time to find a new perspective. Your role might offer you a lot more than you think. If you can, try looking past your low salary for a minute and focus on the other elements that make up your current occupation.
Have a look at your day-to-day work – do you love what you do?
If the answer is yes, sometimes pursuing your passion as a career means sacrificing a big salary. If you really love what you do, is the money really worth worrying about? How lucky you are to enjoy your work – that’s more than what can be said for a lot of people. Those who earn huge wages are often being compensated for doing work that’s extremely stressful, time-consuming and laborious. A lot of people do really love their work and are paid well, and well, that’s the dream isn’t it?
On the other hand, if the answer is no, perhaps money isn’t the real issue here, it’s your job satisfaction. Maybe it’s time to change careers (and see whether more money might come with a change of scenery).
Hours and days
Have a look at the hours you work. Do you get your weekends off? Can you clock off at 5pm, physically and mentally? Do you have time for a morning walk and coffee before work? Do you get flexible hours? Some people have to remain ‘on call’ and make themselves available at only a moments’ notice. Others can never truly switch off from work, and worry about their work 24/7.
Is your job local? Does not working in the city mean you can be home in under 10 minutes? Can you always find a park, or get a seat on the bus in the morning?
Or perhaps your job is situated away from home, some or all of the time? Do you get to visit new places, or travel with work? For some people, the location of their job is problematic for them and is an extremely stressful part of their career. How does yours stack up?
Do you love the people you work with? Do you enjoy their company, do they make you laugh? How about your boss. Is she / he supportive and understanding? Do they offer you chances to develop professionally, and take on more responsibility when you are performing well? Some people loathe their coworkers, and report to the nastiest of managers.
How do your benefits look? Do you have a generous holiday allowance? Do you get gym membership, or perhaps free breakfast on Mondays? What other non-monetary extras do you receive as part of your job? Salary isn’t always the only way for you to get ahead financially.
Is your job using your university degree? Does it offer you the chance to develop your skills and gain valuable experience which will set you up for your next move? If you have progression prospects and direction in your role, you’re probably better off than a lot of people who don’t quite know where their job is leading them.
Do you feel you are helping people? Are you making a difference in people’s lives? Being fulfilled in your career is something that not everyone has the pleasure of feeling.
While more money would make life a lot easier, scoring a pay rise is not always straight forward. Where possible, try to focus your attention on the bits of your job you love.