Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

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TheBeanCounter
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Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

For all you experienced, wise BHs, when choosing a job/employer, what priority weighting would you give to maximizing income vs overall job satisfaction? Lets frame this for those early in career, between 20-30 years old. Obviously something that achieves both would be ideal, and this is personal. However, knowing what you know now, how much importance would you place, purely, on maximizing income in those early years?
Last edited by TheBeanCounter on Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tingting1013
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Tingting1013 »

Need more information to give advice.

But one thing I will say is that what appears income maximizing in the short term may not necessarily turn out to be income maximizing in the long term.
sailaway
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by sailaway »

There is job satisfaction, where you can't imagine doing anything else and your colleagues are the best and there is job misery, where your job induces depression and your colleagues are abusive.

Most find themselves somewhere in between, and the latter should definitely do what they can to get out.
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TheBeanCounter
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
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gr7070
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by gr7070 »

Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:20 pm Need more information to give advice.

But one thing I will say is that what appears income maximizing in the short term may not necessarily turn out to be income maximizing in the long term.
This.

And maximizing is likely not going to happen regardless. Someone will always pay more, but the responsibilities vary as well.
Normchad
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Normchad »

It’s all a grind. Get all the money you can.....
coachd50
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by coachd50 »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
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anon_investor
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by anon_investor »

coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

Normchad wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:38 pm It’s all a grind. Get all the money you can.....
I am predisposed to this viewpoint. The more I make and the earlier I make it, the sooner I have financial and ideological freedom. I can do and say what I want without fear of ramifications (career wise/financially). To me, this freedom seems worth "suffering" early and chasing the money, when possible.
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
Yeah, I fully recognize I am naïve in this case. But if you know you are only doing it for X amount of years, rather than stuck for a full career, should be easier to put up with.... in my mind, at least :confused
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
JD2775
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by JD2775 »

I face this dilemma sometimes. I like my job, I have it pretty good where I am at. WFH full time. Great boss who I have had for a long time. Workload doesn't kill me. I know I could possibly make 10-20% more if I switched jobs and went somewhere else (doing what I do now) but I highly doubt I would have the same scenario/work life balance I do now.
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by surfstar »

It is more dependent upon the employee than employer for most (but not all) cases, IMO. Very subjective.

I hate working. Never had a job a found enjoyable. Tolerable, maybe, but because I have to make money.
If you can "suffer" for substantially more money and FIRE, that could be a meaningful difference. But if that requires 60-80 hr weeks and no time off, versus a more normal schedule - you gotta draw the line at some point.

And for all the BHs who "love" their career and can't imagine retiring - put your money where your mouth is. Volunteer. Or send me your excess income. You "love" your job and "don't do it for the money, right?" I'll be waiting...
Starfish
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Starfish »

The quantities make a lot of difference.
What does maximizing income mean? 20k$ vs 200k$? Long term vs short term?
What is job satisfaction? Is the bad job going to ruin your health in 10 years? is the good job as interesting after 10 years?
In my opinion, in certain fields, if you like what you do, you are going to spend more time on it, investigate more, and become good at it and be payed more. On the other hand a lot of jobs if well done become interesting. So finally everything converges to a similar level of interest. The main difference is the schedule and stress.
Olemiss540
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Olemiss540 »

I'd say work a soup kitchen for a few weeks and you will have your answer.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

Olemiss540 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:02 pm I'd say work a soup kitchen for a few weeks and you will have your answer.
I'm not sure if a soup kitchen would achieve job satisfaction or income maximization
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

Starfish wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:01 pm The quantities make a lot of difference.
What does maximizing income mean? 20k$ vs 200k$? Long term vs short term?
What is job satisfaction? Is the bad job going to ruin your health in 10 years? is the good job as interesting after 10 years?
In my opinion, in certain fields, if you like what you do, you are going to spend more time on it, investigate more, and become good at it and be payed more. On the other hand a lot of jobs if well done become interesting. So finally everything converges to a similar level of interest. The main difference is the schedule and stress.
Well I work in finance, have a graduate level degree and think almost anything is obtainable if I really got after it, made the right decisions/ met the right people. Obviously that's hypothetical and requires some luck. Just saying that, in my case, prioritizing income maximization vs job satisfaction could lead to very large discrepancy in lifetime earnings/net worth.
averagedude
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by averagedude »

Like most things in life, balance is the key.
Afty
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Afty »

I wouldn’t worry too much about maximizing income early in your career. Instead, I would focus on working on something interesting at an interesting company where you can learn a lot and hopefully make a name for yourself. I’d also focus on building transferable skills, rather than learning too much about skills that are only helpful at your current employer. Bonus points if you can work on something with external visibility, where you can list it on your resume and everyone will know what it is.
smitcat
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by smitcat »

averagedude wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:12 pm Like most things in life, balance is the key.
Really good thoughts.
coachd50
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by coachd50 »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:47 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
Yeah, I fully recognize I am naïve in this case. But if you know you are only doing it for X amount of years, rather than stuck for a full career, should be easier to put up with.... in my mind, at least :confused
Maybe, but having just lost an immediate family member in the last few months, I can assure you that at no time through the tears and laughter, sorrow and memories shared during her last week as she slipped away did anyone (her or the family) ever say "man, If only she would have maximized her income"...

Yes, somewhat of a simplistic sentiment- but its foundational message holds true.
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by smitcat »

surfstar wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:52 pm It is more dependent upon the employee than employer for most (but not all) cases, IMO. Very subjective.

I hate working. Never had a job a found enjoyable. Tolerable, maybe, but because I have to make money.
If you can "suffer" for substantially more money and FIRE, that could be a meaningful difference. But if that requires 60-80 hr weeks and no time off, versus a more normal schedule - you gotta draw the line at some point.

And for all the BHs who "love" their career and can't imagine retiring - put your money where your mouth is. Volunteer. Or send me your excess income. You "love" your job and "don't do it for the money, right?" I'll be waiting...
"I hate working. Never had a job a found enjoyable. Tolerable, maybe, but because I have to make money."
You could work for yourself as one option.

"Or send me your excess income. You "love" your job and "don't do it for the money, right?" I'll be waiting..."
Your not the first inline, not even on the list.
sailaway
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by sailaway »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:04 pm
Olemiss540 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:02 pm I'd say work a soup kitchen for a few weeks and you will have your answer.
I'm not sure if a soup kitchen would achieve job satisfaction or income maximization
Me neither, and I *have* worked in soup kitchens...
smitcat
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by smitcat »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
"In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially."
That is exactly the time to be setting yourself up for whatever makes you happy and money at the same time. Do not wait untill the problems are at your door to plan your future, you already made the first step by asking the question(s). Good luck....
Bogle_Bro
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Bogle_Bro »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
You can burn out quickly at any age if you're working too many stressful hours
Last edited by Bogle_Bro on Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
shuchong
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by shuchong »

I chose maximizing income: I'm in my last 30s and have spent about eight years now at a large law firm. For most of my years at my firm, I enjoyed the work and the people, and put up with the hours. I'm now definitely burnt out, thinking of getting out, and trying to be patient (not sure how much of the burnout is from the low-level stress and remote work require by COVID).

I am honestly not sure I made the right choice, or even the choice that will maximize my overall lifetime earnings/net worth. I'd like my next job to be low stress and with reasonable hours, and will prioritize that over income. If I had started with lower income and a more reasonable work/life balance, it's possible that my income would have built over the years and I would not have found the need to "downshift" in my late 30s. On the other hand, I now have the ability to downshift -- I can take a job that makes under $60k, cover all my living expenses with that salary, and just let my investments grow until whenever I decide to retire.

And I would surely be a different person if I had not spent so much time at my job, but tough to say if I would be a better one.
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anon_investor
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by anon_investor »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
Ask anyone in biglaw...
jarjarM
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by jarjarM »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
Yes, absolutely. Ask anyone who work 100+ hr weeks with no end in sight and money just piled up in the bank account but no time to spend them. It happens, biglaw associate, consulting firm newbies, there's a few of those out there. However, since you're still quite young, push hard now and you'll have a better chance to reap the reward later on. This of course is assuming that your partner is okay with it.
Starfish
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Starfish »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:09 pm
Starfish wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:01 pm The quantities make a lot of difference.
What does maximizing income mean? 20k$ vs 200k$? Long term vs short term?
What is job satisfaction? Is the bad job going to ruin your health in 10 years? is the good job as interesting after 10 years?
In my opinion, in certain fields, if you like what you do, you are going to spend more time on it, investigate more, and become good at it and be payed more. On the other hand a lot of jobs if well done become interesting. So finally everything converges to a similar level of interest. The main difference is the schedule and stress.
Well I work in finance, have a graduate level degree and think almost anything is obtainable if I really got after it, made the right decisions/ met the right people. Obviously that's hypothetical and requires some luck. Just saying that, in my case, prioritizing income maximization vs job satisfaction could lead to very large discrepancy in lifetime earnings/net worth.
In finance the achievable gain can be pretty large at the price of 100h weeks. You could start like this and downgrade 5 years later.
Or not, time when you are young is too precious.
The problem is that any job would require some level of commitment and time spend. If you do it you might as well try to maximize the benefits.
rockstar
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by rockstar »

No matter what job you choose, you'll eventually end up bored. It's just a matter of how long that takes.
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Beensabu
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Beensabu »

There's a multifactor scale that includes:

- do you want to be rich?
- do you want to be happy?
- do you want to feel like a good person?

Answer how much of each. Calibrate to potential employment. You'll know after an interview where it falls on each scale. It's pretty obvious.

Then you pick.

You decide what's important to you.

And you live with it. Just like everybody else.

The plus is -- you can (mostly) always choose differently later. Not the rich part though. You have to choose that early if you think you're going to end up wanting that more than anything else, at least you do if you don't want to sacrifice too much equilibrium later on.

Most successful people tend to choose money first, happiness later, and good in the end. It seems to work out for them okay.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."
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greg24
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by greg24 »

Strive to maximize life satisfaction.
T4REngineer
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by T4REngineer »

There is a huge variation in the level of job satisfaction and while personally my career has been fairly easy I have seen first hand toxic work environments and what they do to good people - no amount of money is worth putting up with that.

You live once and for an unknown amount of time. I would never want to live a life where I suffered for 10 years..........chasing money :oops:
ActiveIndexer
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by ActiveIndexer »

32, sharing my experience and perspective. Entirely subjective, but I focus 100% on maximizing income so I have the financial freedom to put my wants over my needs in the next 10 years. If I’m going to serve time, I might as well earn the most I can so I shorten my term. Ultimately, it’s up to you. I personally don’t see how people find satisfaction in their career or worse, build their identity around it.

I’m open about this view at my office. People know I’m there for the $ but because I’m one of the best at what I do and they pay me accordingly. Don’t enjoy being away from home and my wife for 8+ hours per day, don’t want to be friends with my CEO or coworkers, I just want to contribute value and be paid.

IMO make money, accumulate assets, invest in the market, and do it as fast as you can.
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by luckyducky99 »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm +1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
Yes. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/18/goldman ... deals.html

That is obviously the extreme end of the spectrum, but the point is that there are lots of situations less than that extreme but more common and also still pretty terrible.
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially.
It may be true that you can put up with it, but the greater risk is that your family can't and you end up without a family anymore. I have seen it happen to a surprising number of people I know personally who I didn't even think were burning themselves out.

I guard my sanity carefully and worked two stints in burnout-prone roles for 5 years each with a couple years off in between. 8-10 years is a very long time if you're killing yourself.
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by hi_there »

Capacity to work is also related to your age. Working 80 hours a week in your 20s is a big sacrifice, but not as much as it would be in your 40s and 50s, when you have less energy and possibly other concerns, particularly family. Working harder earlier in life also gives you longer time to invest and could also set you up for more career flexibility later. So for these reasons, in terms of efficiency, I think it is a good idea to front load your work life. If you can build a decent nest egg by your early 30s through personal effort, then 10 years or so might not be an irrational cost, especially in years when your tolerance for work and stress is high, and therefore your perceivable suffering is lower.
fortunefavored
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by fortunefavored »

I vote "personality dependent" too. I'm another "I hated every job I had, from the first day I punched a time clock" - so I went for the money, and yeah, it was pretty miserable.. but as I'd tell my wife "I'd be miserable at 40 hours/week and 1/4 the money too." - but that's just me.

I pulled the plug January 1st at 47. My main regret? Not making more money earlier. 37 would have been a lot better than 47.

I also agree it is much harder to do the things you need to do once you get into your 40s - hours, travel, politics, schmoozing, etc. The final couple of years were rough.
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by billthecat »

Job satisfaction is heavily dependent on your direct manager, and that can change at any time. The right choice depends on how bad the job is and how good the money is. I reckon though that living life in parallel is better than living it serially. That is, I suspect it's better to have a decent enough job that pays decently and allows you to enjoy life by not introducing too much stress, not too demanding of your time, enabling healthy relationships and activities outside work, etc., than to be miserable but make a lot of money, then quit and only then start living life.
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.
PowderDay9
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by PowderDay9 »

It sounds like maximizing income is really important to you. I'd recommend taking jobs in your 20s that will set you up to make a lot of money in your 30s and beyond. Pick jobs for the experiences you get and to build your resume. Then at some point chase the money. Sometimes chasing the money too early isn't the best path for maximizing income over your career.

As you get to the higher incomes, each additional dollar has a declining marginal utility (especially with progressive taxes). Then other factors like job satisfaction, work life balance, flexibility, etc become as important or more important. Each person is different as to what income level this happens.
invest4
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by invest4 »

Only you know yourself (although probably not until 25) ;)

Generally, I believe generating income in your earlier working years tends to take priority (how to afford the things you need and also some of the things you want). A bit later, depending on your financial situation, your spouse / kids (if you have them) are grabbing more of the spotlight and other things become more important such as ability to work from home / other as the income may be "enough".
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Tamarind
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Tamarind »

I would say prioritize career at that age, which might be different from prioritizing income in the short term.

I would not advise someone decades from retirement to pursue a job that is either:
A) Dead-end ie zero chance for more interesting work in the future
B) Morally bankrupt ie I don't care how much you can make selling payday loans as it is predatory on your fellow humans

No amount of money can compensate for these. But if it's just a grind that helps you get established in a field that is worthwhile, then go for it.
am
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by am »

Normchad wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:38 pm It’s all a grind. Get all the money you can.....
That’s how I feel. It’s called work for a reason and they pay you because no one would do it for free. And if your going to spend most of your day there, then maximize income and get to financial independence faster. I don’t believe that one can do anything for >40-50 hours and love it.
mrmass
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by mrmass »

Money buys you choices. Choice of what to eat, where to live, what to wear/drive...

There are a few unicorns out there where you have great life balance and very good salary. Tough to find but they exist.
Nowizard
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Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Nowizard »

To some degree it may depend on the difference in compensation between the satisfying job and the higher paying one. There is also a substantial difference between a job and a career. Those who retrospectively speak of their employment are much more likely to use the word "career" when talking about employment that goes beyond monetary compensation. As is well known, it is not typically a huge amount of money that leads to higher levels of contentment with one's overall life. Commonly, people report that commitment to work is a key. There are a number of people who start out with lower paying careers than others who end up with substantial income due to the perception others have. It may delay gratification of ideal monetary circumstances, however. Another factor that is significant for many is the childhood history and whether the family was low, middle or high income. Those factors can directly affect achievement motivation in terms of money. Ultimately, you answered your own question by saying this is personal. Responses reveal different motivations, though most here do place income among the more important aspects of a full life. One approach is to prepare for a career that does have a substantial opportunity for advancement and then make decisions regarding having reached your own level of comfort in terms of the time/stress/money trade-offs.

Tim
AngelFIRE
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:05 am

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by AngelFIRE »

My 2 cents:
The younger you are the easier it is to change employers and in some industries its expected especially if the job changes are for promotional or career growth opportunities (or can be spun that way)
It is easier to put up with a job environment when you know you will be moving on in 2 to 3 years time.
And it helps that the job changes are for maximizing income. As you age it is harder to change jobs - ageism is real. Then job satisfaction becomes a primary motivation if you are lucky.
MAKsdad
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:43 am

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by MAKsdad »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
Based on your screenname and the question, I initially assumed you were a Big 4 accountant. Then you asked this question and I concluded there's no way you are :D

I generally agree with your point of view...my goal always was to maximize the amount of money I made in my 30s...the money I made in my 20s was totally insignificant, but you can really make hay in your 30s. After that, find a nice glide path to early retirement. I managed to luck out and accidentally follow this plan to perfection.
Sic Vis Pacem
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:25 pm

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by Sic Vis Pacem »

I haven't read all the replies here. But having recently been made a "BigLaw" partner, I can tell you that just "8-10" years of doing anything is easier said than done. The types of jobs that can set you up financially in a short time period demand real sacrifices, and they can take a toll on you. 80 hours weeks, regular travel, 24/7 availability, and random but frequent extremely stressful work stretches are hard to get used to year over year.

Most of the people I started with are no longer in the firm (many no longer practice law). I've got friends in accounting, banking, and business that took similar tracks and have the scars (health issues, addictions, or divorces) to prove it.

If our industry allowed for it, I would have happily taken a few more years to reach where I am professionally, if it meant more work-life balance. But that would have meant being viewed as off the "partner track," which can be a career killer. Would I do it again? Probably, but its not for everyone.

The marginal utility of money is real, and drops off more steeply than you might think.
bikechuck
Posts: 912
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:22 pm

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by bikechuck »

TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
From your screen name it sounds like you are an accountant. I earned my CPA shortly after graduation and began working for what was then a BIG 8 public accounting form in 1975. During my first year I knew that I hated public accounting. Was it burn out, probably not, was it a terrible match for me ... YES. Would I have burned out rapidly had I stayed with that profession ... YES.

I went back to school, earned a Masters degree and re-emerged as a financial analyst which I was much better suited for. When I married and we started a family my masters degree allowed me to teach undergrad accounting courses part time, evenings and weekends, which I loved to supplement our income.

I am so happy that I did not stay and grind it out in a profession that I disliked and was not suited for.
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:57 pm

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

MAKsdad wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:21 am
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:49 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:41 pm
coachd50 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:39 pm
TheBeanCounter wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:25 pm Maybe it is too hypothetical or opaque for many to give advice on. More so, just trying to take a poll of prevailing sentiment. In my mind, I think I could put up with pretty much anything for the first 8-10 years of my career if it will set up my family financially. Not sure if that is just because I haven't been in an unsavory work environment yet.
I think that last sentence is probably accurate. Plenty of people think they can ___________ (fill in the blank) until they actually do it.
"Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face"
+1. Burnout is real...
Do people burnout before 30?
Based on your screenname and the question, I initially assumed you were a Big 4 accountant. Then you asked this question and I concluded there's no way you are :D

I generally agree with your point of view...my goal always was to maximize the amount of money I made in my 30s...the money I made in my 20s was totally insignificant, but you can really make hay in your 30s. After that, find a nice glide path to early retirement. I managed to luck out and accidentally follow this plan to perfection.
Haha No I am not. I am willing to work hard and work extra, I just wasn't really interested in doing it at one of the Big 4.
Topic Author
TheBeanCounter
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:57 pm

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

Post by TheBeanCounter »

Sic Vis Pacem wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:54 am I haven't read all the replies here. But having recently been made a "BigLaw" partner, I can tell you that just "8-10" years of doing anything is easier said than done. The types of jobs that can set you up financially in a short time period demand real sacrifices, and they can take a toll on you. 80 hours weeks, regular travel, 24/7 availability, and random but frequent extremely stressful work stretches are hard to get used to year over year.

Most of the people I started with are no longer in the firm (many no longer practice law). I've got friends in accounting, banking, and business that took similar tracks and have the scars (health issues, addictions, or divorces) to prove it.

If our industry allowed for it, I would have happily taken a few more years to reach where I am professionally, if it meant more work-life balance. But that would have meant being viewed as off the "partner track," which can be a career killer. Would I do it again? Probably, but its not for everyone.

The marginal utility of money is real, and drops off more steeply than you might think.
Yeah, no amount of money is worth contributing to a divorce (to me), so obviously I am not willing to chase money at all costs. Currently working about 60-65 hours a week and my wife thinks that is a lot, so anything over that would probably not be ideal. Thank you for sharing your insight, and congrats on making partner!
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