Which Brings More Happiness: Job Satisfaction or Money?

Everyone has a different view on money versus job satisfaction. Some are okay working crummy jobs, that they are unhappy in due to great income. Others forgo the money and are happy to wake up every morning and go to a job that they truly enjoy doing. We can even take things one notch up and ask; What is the purpose of work? Is it to make money or to have fun at your job? If it’s having fun at your job, than why even bother to work your 8-10 hours per day. Might as well, go out and truly have fun. If your purpose to work is to make money, than you can suck it up and just do what you got to do, which in most cases means going into work and working a job you dislike. Unfortunately on this topic of money versus job satisfaction, one glove does not fit all. Some  will take on health issues throughout their lives due to stress and possibly physical factors in order to keep earning good money. The more wise ones opt for less money in exchange for more time with the family, shorter travel to work, less stress and overall happiness. I’ve always said this; Money does not bring happiness. We think it does, but it’s only for the moment and once the moment (honeymoon phase) passes, we are back to square one. Happiness comes from within. In order to feel happiness, there has to be satisfaction from many different points of your life. Relationships, job,  family and of course your own personal happiness.

I know far too many people who work jobs or have careers that they are unhappy in. Why are they there? Money. The incoming paychecks are too good to pass up. They have this envisioned life-style they strive to keep up. Sorta like “Keeping Up with the Jonses”. Then you hear their self pity through conversations, hoping that you will feel sorry for them. I don’t feel sorry for them and probably never will. We all make choices in life and if you made the choice to endure high stress in exchange for good money, well that’s your choice. They can take a slightly lower paying job and endure less stress. Go into work, do the 9-5 and go home happy to their family. But they can’t and wont. The money is too good to pass up.

I always believed that job satisfaction is more important than money. Money will come and go. It’s sorta like water in a river, it flows in and out. Sometimes in a slow stream and other times the stream is fast. One’s job choice or career choice is an essential part when starting out after school.  One still probably lives at home, cost of living is cheaper and it’s easier to move to another job, particularly if one does not  find it satisfying. One should make the right choice and not be afraid of change. A difference of $5,000 in salary is not a significant amount that will be lost per pay-check. I think $5,000 is worth the less stress one might deal with or taking on a job that they will wake up every morning to.

“Don’t spend a single minute working for a job you don’t like. Life is too short”

Donald Trump – Think Like a Billionaire

Money is a tool. A tool that we use to make our lives easier. It does not create happiness on it’s own. Happiness is a combination of many different faucets of life and money being one of them. Job satisfaction comes from within. Think about it; most everyone enjoys doing a job and performing different tasks within that job. Where the dislike comes in is through poor management, awful commute, poor work environment and dislike of co-workers. The job it’s self is fine for the most part, for most of us. Any job you work, you should be respected for the work you do. In return, you should respect your job by giving it your best at all times. If you are not giving it your best, for whatever reason, maybe it’s time for a change.

In conclusion, I will just add that I think money is easier to gain versus job satisfaction. You can always switch to another job in order to gain more money. Gaining job satisfaction takes time, patience and a lot of work. We all have our own niche of job satisfaction. This personal niche is what makes us happy inside and inspires us to get up every morning to go do our job. That’s true happiness. A happiness that money could never buy.


What’s the most important aspect you look for in a job? Is it Money? Job Satisfaction?



  1. Anonymous says:

    In the past, I made a lot more money than I do today (from work), however I have never been happier!  Teaching allows me to creative, run my own classroom and influence young people.  It is hardly perfect, but close.  The state budgets have been slashed in recent years affecting the school budgets.  I still enjoy teaching, but I slashed budgets affects class size, equipment replacement and other educational needs. 

    • I totally understand where you’re coming from. I don’t teach in a school, but do coach soccer (11yr olds) and it’s so rewarding. Love teaching, sharing and being an influence on the guys.

      Thanks for sharing. Glad you are not hung up on money and prefer happiness over money!

  2. I used to be motivated by job satisfaction and thought I’d always be a career person. As long as I was improving my skills and getting paid, I was happy. Now, frankly, I don’t think I can be satisfied in any job. I spend too much of my spare time now working on my own business ideas because I think that’s the only place way I can achieve the kind of success I’m looking for. In the grand scheme of things, being patted on the head and given a pay rise and bonus is nothing.

    • working on your own business or plan b is sorta a life long thing…what happens if you work on it and in 10yrs you are not making much from it and still employed with your employer? Does that mean your business is a failure? I am with you on working on your self/for your self, but pay raises and bonuses are wonderful too. It’s recognition and money you well deserve.

  3. Interesting question. For me, I’m definitely siding with job satisfaction. I love my work, and I’m glad to be able to do it, even though I work in an industry that is notoriously underpaid. That said, I am aware that my ability to choose passion over paycheque is a luxury. I’m young and single and aside from making sure my rent and cell phone bill gets paid, I don’t really have a lot of responsibilities. But if I had a partner, a bigger house (a mortgage?!), and a couple of kids, then my priorities would probably have to change. I agree that money most certainly doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy options. 

    • That’s well put Melissa!
      I couldn’t agree more. I am in the same situation as you, but even with the family, job satisfaction will come first, because I certainly don’t want to come home cranky and unhappy to the family.

  4. Harri Pierce says:

    Job satisfaction definitely beats all. Most of my friends are in much higher salaried jobs than me. And hating it. The bonuses and the pay cheques mean nothing when your morale is at an all time low. I’m proud that I can genuinely say that I love my job, despite having less money to my name.