Job satisfaction vs hard cash

If Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is anything to go by, one’s survival needs and safety and security need to be met first. Most of us work to live and it is only human nature to be motivated by a higher salary. But are we not missing the forest for the trees if we are only focusing on the dosh and turn a Nelsonic eye to the bigger picture? Should we also consider the other positive aspects of a job when we are considering a new opportunity? Good job prospects, stimulating work and friendly colleagues – they may be elusive compared with a solid cash offer on the table, but do we need to at least get the balance right? For what it is worth, Maslow’s hierarchy ranks needs for belonging, esteem and growth much higher than the survival needs. Is it worth missing out on an otherwise fantastic job just because you want to get an extra grand a year?

2 comments to this post

  •  :  "Maslow’s hierarchy ranks needs for belonging, esteem and growth much higher than the survival needs" - as anyone who's taken the LIS Masters with me this year will know very well. But the hierarchy shows which needs are fundamental, as you said, so the higher needs build on the lower; if there are no feasible salaries there, it's unlikely we will be attracted even to a very interesting job.
  •  :  A good salary level for information professionals is definitely a necessary building block (and something that some parts of the industry may need to work on!). However it is still true that where a decent basic salary is on offer, and the role is interesting and an upward career step, it is sometimes puzzling to us as recruiters when candidates nevertheless turn down a good move for the sake of that extra one or two thousand a year. Sometimes there seems to be a shortsightedness to the decision making process - an expectation of getting the top of a salary band as a starting salary for example - instead of an understanding of the opportunity on offer and the scope for future development it would make available.

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