According to a survey of 5,000 households done for the Conference Board, only 47% workers were satisfied at their jobs in 2006, down from 59% in 1995.

When deciding between money and job satisfaction, of course you can have the both together but as it is often seen the more money you make the less time you have outside of your work life – the struggle for a balance intensifies and there goes the overall satisfying feeling.

Many of us have this feeling that work and life are best kept separate and even if one is in a lousy job but making good money life can be great. But of course opinions differs either due to upbringing or circumstances and even location. But I feel that personal happiness goals and achievements are closely linked to our work – our passions.

Often we get caught in the belief that we need to make “X” amount of money to be happy, to meet the family demands, to pay that mortgage and still be able to add to the savings account, other liabilities and aspirations drive us to the higher paid jobs and higher education because we “need” that money. But how often do we really stop and think about on what is the minimum we can live on? Would you rather be happy and satisfied at what you do today and the rest of your life as compared to a job that offers more dough but an equal amount of frustration?

I asked this question (What would satisfy you more – more money at a job or more satisfaction at workplace?) on Yahoo answers and got some very interesting replies, sharing some here:

“Satisfaction – I would rather go to a lower pay job I love than a good paying job I hate. Being happy also lowers your sickness rate so it means less time at the doctors office and less time on medication.”
“I would say a balance of things. I wouldn’t emphasize one just one point only. A good balance between the two is good.
Ideally, (I would want both) good money and a great work environment. But in life, you don’t get what you want. So if I am given a choice, I would choose the balance between an acceptable salary and work atmosphere.
Too much money with in a miserable work environment makes a person unhappy, and a good environment with very little money is not going to let the person enjoy social life outside of work.”
“Sure a balance would be great but to answer the question… which would I rather have, I rather have a job I loved versus a job that I didn’t love and paid a lot. We all hope to find a job that we love that pays great.
I have had jobs that paid great but I didn’t enjoy them and in the long run I ended up hating the job and hated going to work, finding reasons to call out… can’t make great money if you aren’t at work.”
“I am for both of the above…. Money is a perk from achieving your personal goals. Although if found in a predicament in life, which can happen easily, money does do the talking- and your human spirit kicks in – hopefully people in this place will “bloom where they are planted”.”


It also depends on circumstances, for a single mother working two jobs none of these could be satisfying to her creativity or self, but money becomes a top priority when you have a family that depends on you. Many a times you don’t have the option of the freedom of choice, you are forced to flow with the circumstances of life. And, most of us are “common people”, right? See the saying below on what prompts me to write this:

The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing. – Michael E. Gerber

But yet again we fall in the circle of thought, what if we had a job we truly loved though not making as enough money as you would have in a crummy one? How do you weigh job satisfaction to more dough? It is a personal choice but I do feel that in the long run if you do what you love with practical planning and a roadmap for success, success and money will reach out to you. If you move diligently towards your goals your goals will move towards you at the similar speed.

As David M Rubenstein, a financier co-founder of Caryle Group, says, “I don’t feel like I’ve worked a day in my life. If you’re going to be a success in life, you have to love what you are doing.”
In my opinion, our most satisfying work comes from helping others.
There are so many entrepreneurs and people with enormous bank balances, oh well, come to think of it even the modern day princesses who have everything they can wish for but a satisfying life and career! Money does bring the means to happiness but the most satisfying jobs and careers are eventually those that lead to a making something better or touching lives and to a greater good of humanity or Earth or a greater cause which is above oneself.
Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group of industries, India’s largest private sector business group says:
“….in everybody’s life, there are certain moments of satisfaction; you feel that after that has been achieved, it is a nice time to step away—to change gears. In an ideal world, an occasion like this would be a good time to step away. I didn’t say that this was what I could do. You achieved something, it is successful, it’s a nice time to leave because you may not have the luxury of being able to do that (later). And you don’t want ever to have a situation when somebody sort of whispers, when is he going to leave? Recently, I have had occasion to meet Michael Schumacher several times. I asked him, are you sorry you retired? He said, ‘No. I am very pleased… I retired at the peak of my career. How much more could I have done? I may have gone down. I am now test driver for Ferrari. I am enjoying what I am doing, I am enjoying my new life, I am really enjoying myself.’ I think there is a lot to be said for that. You don’t want to fade away by hanging in there too long. You would love to go on the back of something that is exciting or a great achievement. It is so selfish also. (Smiles.)
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.

– Woodrow Wilson