One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to speak with Professionals about what they are chasing in their careers. I try to get candidates to take a step back from any particular position at hand, and just think what they’re really working for. Is it to move up in position or influence? Is it to have a title that equates to a certain status level? Is it commute? Is it to make more money? The more Senior the candidate I’m interviewing, the more common it is for money to be a secondary motivator. I think if more candidates learned this lesson early, that career fulfillment would be more common.
When you really think about this, it helps you see your career field in a map that’s easier to navigate. I’ve known several people to leave a job that they were satisfied with only because someone tempted them with a little more money. They were always taught that if you’re staying in place, you’re basically going backwards. I would argue that if you have the career satisfaction you need, make enough money to provide for your lifestyle, enjoy your work environment, and are respected by your leadership team, then you have something that everyone else is looking for – even if it’s not the highest paying position out there.
Keep in mind that I fully support changing jobs, I mean I am a recruiter after all! However, before you make a move, you need to know what you’re chasing. There’s always another job out there that will pay you more money – but that job should play into your long term goals and provide something that you’re currently missing.
If you find an opportunity that provides the influence you want, the title you’re chasing, or the work life balance that you need, don’t pass it up over a few thousand dollars. I’ve seen this play out multiple times, and I always hear the same word repeated in hindsight – Regret. Of course you have regret – you made a move that wasn’t congruent with your long term goals! I can promise you that if you don’t know what you’re chasing, then the dollar signs will become your deciding factor. Making a choice primarily motivated by money, is almost always a short term move. Learn from the wisdom of those who have fallen into this trap. People typically chase money one time, and then they realize what their true primary motivator is – It’s typically the part of the job that still wasn’t worth it even with the pay increase. Figure out what this is for you.
Don’t get stuck chasing regret!