The Top Five Reasons NOT to Take that High-Paying Job
Whether you’re just out of college or contemplating some sort of change in your career, looking for job opportunities is exhausting work, both physically and emotionally. You have to mentally prepare for hard questions and schlep from one interview to another before hopefully landing an offer and making a life-changing decision. It can all take a toll, with your overall fatigue with the process often clouding your judgement, especially when the money being proffered is good. Rather than cave under the pressure of your own weariness and/or fall prey to the lure of “the big bucks,” let us remind you of five very good reasons you shouldn’t take a high-paying job:
The Benefits are Bad
It may be hard for recent graduates (and even some seasoned professionals) to equate a benefits package with real-life value. However, with fluctuating economies dictating investment values and health and other personal care costs, a benefits package that offers insurance and retirement plans; vacation/sick/personal leave; and other incentives (such as childcare options and fitness programs) are often just as important as actual salaries and wage scales; a lot of the time, they are even more so. For instance, without insurance you would pay more money to receive care, and without PTO you would lose money for the time you didn’t spend at work. Thus, if you have to visit the doctor, a benefits plan not only helps subsidize the cost of treatment, it also pays you to go. In this way, many benefits allow you guaranteed financial compensation for needs that might otherwise be harder and more expensive to cover, negating any additional salary worth.
There’s No Opportunity for Advancement
A high-paying job is great, but if there’s no position in which to advance later on, you may be digging yourself into a hole, creating a situation where you either have to leave the company in an attempt to advance your career or stay for a really long time because you don’t have any other experience. Neither is ideal. A high salary might seem appealing at first, but it’s not nearly as attractive when you’re doing the same thing for the same amount of money a few years down the line. Having the option to learn new skills and be promoted is a big part of job satisfaction. If there’s no way to move forward in a position, it might not be worth the extra dough.
The Job Requirements are Unrealistic
Take a good look at the job description. Is it realistic? Can you accomplish its objectives? Will your potential manager provide the resources you need (such as time, access to intellectual capital and/or an adequate budget) to meet each goal? Too often, a hefty salary overshadows the fact that the job itself is impractical. Before blindly accepting a good offer, make sure you can actually do the job. This will require you to do some investigating. Just as a foreign national might contact an eb-1 lawyer for information on moving abroad or a patient might discuss a treatment with a doctor or dentist, you should research the viability of what you are being asked to do before you commit to doing it. Talk to a mentor or member of your professional network. Seek the advice of someone in a similar role. Ask for feedback on a reputable message board. The more opinions you can gather, the more able you will be to understand just how feasible (and reasonable) the job really is and whether or not you’re willing to accept it.
…or Don’t Match Your Lifestyle Goals
No amount of money is worth your sanity or your health. A high-paying position often demands a lot of time from an employee, forcing you to miss lazy weekends with friends and/or your children’s weekday sporting events. Maybe you’re up for that level of commitment. But if you can’t meet the job requirements without sacrificing your desired way of life, you shouldn’t even consider taking the job, no matter the amount being offered.
Your Gut Instinct
Finally, you should never take a job that compromises your ethics or your standards. If you leave an interview with an uneasy feeling, the chances are good that the job just isn’t the right one for you. Ask yourself the following: Does the company offer superior products and/or services? Is it perceived well in the community and does it treat employees fairly? Will your potential manager support your career goals and give you opportunities to grow? Can you see yourself excited to work toward the company’s overall mission? The answers to all of these questions point to whether or not you will feel truly comfortable working for the company. If you can’t answer “yes” to most (if not all) of them, you should probably keep looking. Money can’t compensate for conceding your principles.