Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction Factors:
  • Culture — work environment, office space, coworkers, company values
  • Salary — amount, paycheck every week/bi-weekly/monthly, direct deposit
  • Benefits — flex spending accounts, health, dental, vision, vacation days, reimbursements, perks
  • Location — commutes, cost-of-living, distance to/from home or friends
  • Position — title, daily work, career goals, status
The perfect job would have all five things tailored to your preferences, but in the real world, you usually have to sacrifice one for another. For example, an individual may have a large salary with excellent benefits, but stationed far away from family and friends. Or a large salary but little vacation days and an oppressive management. Or a small salary with little benefits in a fun, friendly environment doing rewarding work. Or decent salary and work environment in a field that may not give passion. The possibilities are endless.

I’m no psychologist or human resources professional, but it’s only logical that if a person looks for another job, one or more job factors in their current position aren’t met. I think there’s a natural evolution with this because the things you felt when you first started a job may no longer be the same after time and experience.

Anyway, all this to say, I’m really curious to hear what others think regarding this topic:
  • Has anyone ever taken a pay decrease through changing jobs?
    If yes, what did the lower-paying job have that the other one didn’t?
  • Of the five “job satisfaction factors” which are most important to your current position? If you were to switch jobs right now, what factor would you look for in a new job?
  • Is your salary worth the amount or is it higher/lower based on other job factors?
I sound like an interviewer or something. :) I’ll share a little more of my personal experience later, but would really appreciate any insight from others!!

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  • Yes I’ve taken a pay decrease twice, once out of necessity, I needed a job and the other was because it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and I’m so glad I did take the cut now.

    The five factors – right now the most important is the benefits, though the paycheck is a close second

    For the next job, it would be the location.

  • I have taken a pay decrease in order to get more experience in the field for which I am getting a degree for (art). I didn’t end up staying long due to a much better offer but it was worth it for the time being – until my “boss” completely cut my pay and expected me to work for free. Needless to say that lasted all but 2 days.

  • I left my job for a higher-paying job that gave me a lot of experience but was short-term. And now I am working in a much lower paying job than the original one I left, despite the fantastic experience I got in between. The current low-paying job does have the location I wanted though. Neither the original nor the high-paying great experience had the location I wanted.

    The most important is the location, if I were to switch now it would be for the salary. As long as I could stay in the same city.

    I am grossly underpaid for the work that I am currently doing. That being said, for my last job I was grossly overpaid.

  • I am taking an 8% decrease in salary for my new job. My target compensation (base + bonus), however, is 25% higher. If I hit my bonus, I’ll make significantly more than my previous job. All the more incentive, right?

  • I took an almost 10% pay cut to move to a different (more expensive) city, go from a full time salaried job to an internship in the field I wanted to be in. That was 4 years ago–since then I’ve been hired by the government and make almost 3x what I originally made. Its worth it if you can see the long term benefits, and just deal with a couple of years of really scrimping to get by.

  • I had been willing to take a pay decrease for my current job, but during negotiations, I managed to get the promotion and pay raise I would have gotten with another offer. Ultimately, I am more concerned about whether or not the environment is a good fit; I’d be awful in a high-stress, intense work situation.

  • I’m leaving my current job with a $50k salary to move across the country for my husband’s job (the military) with a much lower salary, but free housing, amazing health benefits, food allowance, and many other discounts that are given to military families.

    I’m positive I will take a paycut when I do resume working because the state we are moving to doesn’t have a high cost of living like the one we are currently in. However, I don’t mind taking the paycut for a job with a great work environment and less stress.

    Right now, my current job is a quarter of a mile from my house, I work with a lot of people I like, it has decent health benefits (used to be better until our company was bought out last year), I don’t really like my position (sales), I can’t stand my boss, and the salary is fine. I’d be happy to take a lower position and make less money (which is essentially what I’ll be doing after we move).

  • My current job provides amazing benefits, a great work environment, awesome location, and it’s in the field I want to work in. However, my salary is lacking so that’s the ONLY thing I don’t like – but I know that I’ll be moving up in the future, so I can deal with a lower salary for the time being. :)

    I actually got head-hunted a month ago from a company I had applied to when I graduated college two years ago… but it would have been a step backwards for me, and in a different city. Even though the salary would’ve been better, I’m very happy where I am and don’t want to start something else yet!

  • What’s most important? To an extent, the culture (people around me, although not so much management). The work itself. To switch, I’d be looking for more money and a new title.

    Is my salary worth it? It’s okay. However, considering I’m now doing duties beyond my official title, I feel I’m worth/entitled to more.

  • They are all so important! I think my top ones are position, culture, and location — in order. I have had jobs (or periods in new jobs) where the position was not challenging and it was the most depressing thing in the world for me.

    Culture is important — i don’t do well under too much (or too little) stress and I need to work with people I both respect and are generally nice.

    On pay decrease — strictly speaking no, but I took a lifestyle decrease to move to a high cost area from a low cost area without enough salary increase to make it strictly worth it — by the books. The main thing the new job had was location — near my T and in California. I liked my old job quite a lot too.

    I really do think i have the 5 factors covered for the most part, at least lately, more than they have ever been! For that i’m truly truly grateful.

    I do think that i deserve a raise (based on my MS and what they have been asking me to do, etc.), but I’m by no means dissatisfied with my salary.

  • I knw this is after a long time.But I am also thinking to change my career to low pay one because I do not enjoy the one I am currently in, the one I am looking to move is my passion, this is why I am here