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Money vs happiness: how to weigh the push and full factors when switching job

Question :

My situation is simple but coming to a decision is impossible. I’ve got an interesting job at a small company I respect, with colleagues I like and am generally happy. I’ve just been offered a similar job with more responsibilities at a large company with better pay and room for promotion. How do you make that decision between contentment and ambition?”

Posted by McDull on Saturday, 23 May 2015

Comments :

My situation is simple but coming to a decision is impossible. I’ve got an interesting job at a small company I respect, with colleagues I like and am generally happy. I’ve just been offered a similar job with more responsibilities at a large company with better pay and room for promotion. How do you make that decision between contentment and ambition?” McDull

To answer a question like this you must consider the criteria that you want in a job and which aspects are most important to you. Ultimately a job should offer you contentment, recognition and monetary rewards, in a field you like, in order to enjoy your life.

I think everyone should consider the following “push-pull factors” of switching jobs before leaving their role or company:

What is your career goal? Does your present job help you achieve your career goal? Does it allow you to learn new skills and expose you to new practices, knowledge or methods? Does the job help you grow with the market? What gives you happiness and contentment? Does your present job offer you happiness and contentment, either directly or indirectly? How good is your relationship with your boss? Are your efforts recognised and appreciated? How good is your relationship with your colleagues? Can you work with them and function properly? Does your present working environment meet your needs – including company culture and location? Does your present job pay you fairly and meet your financial needs?

Though salary and remuneration are among the primary reasons why employees switch jobs, the 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index found that 57 per cent of Hong Kong employees are willing to give up salary/remuneration and promotion opportunities for their desired work-life balance and 56 per cent for new skill/knowledge upgrades. Being well paid is great and is very important in any role, but different people have different needs and priorities in their different life stage. And you should be true to yours.

To come back to your question, you should consider your push-full factors based on your needs and priorities. If you can answer positively to the questions above, your push factors to switch job should be low. If the answers are largely negative, then perhaps you should consider other options. Once you see the purpose of your job through the clutter, you should feel more passionate about it. Passionate people who love their jobs tend to be more productive and happier in general. No matter which job you end up with, you should strive to create some plans to ascertain your medium to long term career goals, and review where you are every year. I wish you all the best!

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