Don’t Take a Job Just for the Money

Don't Take a Job Just For the Money

Money definitely matters and it certainly can be a major motivation when it comes to finding work and establishing a career. It’s easy to say not to take a job just for the money. It is also understandable that when a person really needs an income for survival, they will take a position just for the pay. However, taking a job just because it pays well is not always the best choice.

If a potential job candidate overlooks other factors besides the potential paycheck in a job offer, that person could be missing out on additional benefits. These added benefits could be either monetary or ones that could provide a better balance between work and life.

When looking at an offer of employment it is important to look at all the factors and not just the money being offered.

Why shouldn’t you take a job just for the money?


Some people take a job with high levels of stress because it includes a large paycheck. There is the old saying that money can’t buy happiness. However, it certainly can create a more comfortable standard of living and some security. For some people, they are willing to trade stress to earn a lot of money. The problem with this is the danger of a high-stress environment in the long run on a person’s health and well-being.

A potential employer that is offering a lot of money with 80-hour work weeks might sound like a good idea and it might be in the short term. Yet, it is likely the environment will cause a problem over time with establishing a good work-life balance. Stress is proven to shorten life expectancy and higher earnings with a lot of stressful days will likely be a problem at some point.

Money Lies

It is not uncommon for some employers and industries to promise a large earning potential. This often comes with conditions like meeting certain sales goals or taking time to gain experience. Money is a big motivation for taking a job and employers with high turnover know this. They will many times sell a dream of making a good living in a job that provides security with great benefits.

If a company is known to have a revolving door of new employees and they pay well, you must wonder what is not quite right. Maybe they do provide a great salary, but it might be an unbearable place to work. A hiring manager’s job is to bring in someone with the most experience at the best price. Their job is to sell a good job candidate on why that person should come work for that company.

There are several misconceptions with hiring managers and HR departments. They are not a potential employee or current employee advocate. They represent their employer and their job is to hire the best to protect their company’s interests.

Dead End

If you are trying to grow in a job and career, taking a position that is a dead end just for the money might not be a good move. It can be a challenge to know if a job offer will result in a dead-end. However, it is likely a person will quickly recognize once they are in a new job role if there is no future. The problem once again is hiring managers will often sell a story of potential job growth at a company even when they know it isn’t the truth.

Taking a job just for the money could be a dead end.

Sometimes it can be easy to see if a potential employer will be a road to nowhere. Even if the money is good, taking a dead-end job with no growth can be a bad career move for someone that would like even a higher earning potential in the future. If you want to grow in a certain industry, taking a dead-end job just for the money might put future professional goals on hold. It could also potentially make them unattainable.


Having and maintaining a good reputation personally and professionally is important. Most people want to be around others that have good character traits. It helps with establishing trust. A person that has their professional reputation ruined or just even tarnished can be a recipe for career disaster.

Taking a job at a company with a terrible reputation just for the money can put potential career growth in jeopardy. I can personally think of some companies that have a terrible reputation. Not only do these businesses hold a terrible standing in the world, but the people that work for them also all seem to all be horrible.

It might seem like an okay idea to take a job at a company that does not have a good standing in the business world or even your local community when the paycheck is big. However, your career will likely suffer in some way. Don’t risk your reputation for the reward of making a lot of money. You will regret the decision in the future.

Earning a bad reputation professionally will hurt opportunities in the future and it’s just not worth taking a job just for the money.


Taking a job just for the money is not a chance to take. It is important to look at all the benefits. If there is a chance of being unhappy in exchange for a larger income, the misery will not be worth it. You will hate your job. Yes, the paycheck will be big but you will likely spend a lot of it trying to find happiness.

There is a reason that many people claim happiness in a job is finding something you will love to do. If you can do this, you won’t work a day in your life. People spend a large part of their life at work. If you work at a place that you hate, you will be miserable. The stress will be unbearable and this will eventually catch up to your personal life.

There are signs of toxic work environments. If you see even a glimpse of any of these problems with a company you might be thinking about working for, think carefully about your decision to become their next employee. There might be a big paycheck but it won’t be worth the toxicity that you will be swimming in each day.

Trust Your Gut Feeling

As I have gotten older and gained more experience in life, I have continually trusted my instincts. There are just certain times you need to trust that inner voice. If you are interviewing for a job with promises of high earning potential but something just doesn’t seem right, trust your gut feeling.

Trust Your Instinct - If something doesn't seem right with a job interview, it probably isn't.

A hiring manager that only has positive things to say about a work environment can be a clue to something not being right. There are very few jobs in life that do not have their pros and cons. If a potential employer only talks about the money you will make and doesn’t mention what it is you will be doing exactly, trust your instincts. Remember HR departments are looking out for the employer they work for. Their interests are not helping you.

Benefits Larger Than a Paycheck

A salary or hourly wage amount is always important in the decision-making process of accepting a job. Yet, more people should look at the potential of a benefits package that might be offered in combination with high earning potential. Some employer-provided benefits can have a better monetary value than the extra salary potential an employer might be offering. A good benefits package might also offer the chance for a great work-life balance that could be worth much more than a paycheck.

Many employers have an incentive to offer great benefits as opposed to just high pay. It could be possible that a company just can’t afford to pay its employees a lot of money, but they can offer benefits that exceed competing employer offers. Potential job candidates need to be cautious with benefit package offerings. They are all not what they might seem to be on the surface but some benefits can be more valuable than just money.

In today’s job market, a good benefits package is important for attracting and retaining top talent. It should not come as a surprise that 60% of people report that benefits are an extremely important part of any job offer. Don’t overlook employer-provided benefits.


One of the most important benefits an employer can offer is health insurance. A good package can be worth thousands of dollars each year. With a growing number of employers choosing to cut health insurance benefits in favor of higher deductibles and premiums, a good medical health insurance package should not be overlooked. This is particularly the case for a person that has underlying health issues.

A health issue has the potential to result in bankruptcy and financial ruin. An employer that offers a great health insurance package can be invaluable and provide a sense of security. This can result in less stress, which may not have a price for some people.

Having a good dental, vision and adequate life insurance plan can also be worth more than just money. A good insurance benefits package shows that a company cares about its employees.  

Vacation and Personal Time

Not only can benefits be worth some money but they also can provide some balance. Vacation time can be a big perk to a job and worth much more than just having a few weeks off while being paid. Today more companies are looking to get the most out of their employees. This often includes long working hours. A good amount of vacation and personal time can lower stress and increase the possibility of a good work-life balance.

Although having a lot of vacation time as a benefit with an employer can be a good thing, it is important to be careful with a company claiming large amounts of time off. Americans are throwing away billions of dollars each year in unused vacation time. It is not uncommon for a company to make claims of a generous amount of time off only to look unfavorably when employees do take a vacation.

When considering a job offer make sure to take the amount of time off into consideration. A sense of sanity and a healthy lifestyle can be more valuable than earning a lot of money.

Retirement Benefits

Saving for retirement is an important financial goal for just about everyone. Employer-provided retirement benefits, such as a 401k or pension, should not be overlooked in a job offer. This is particularly the case when a matching contribution is offered with a 401k or the employer even still can offer a true Defined Benefit Pension.

The truth today is more employers are continually looking for ways to cut costs and employer-provided retirement benefit plans are one area this is done. Company provided pensions are now becoming extinct in favor of lower expense 401k plans. Also, more companies are slashing their matching contributions to 401k’s or increasing their vesting schedules. This is leaving more people with less money at retirement or when they change jobs.

Retirement benefits at a job can be worth a lot of money. It can be easy to look at the appeal of a large salary today with little to no retirement benefits. Some people even think they will just take the high salary and plan for retirement on their own. The reality is most people do not have the discipline to save money for the future.

Good retirement benefits can provide a comfortable retirement in the future. A large paycheck might provide a comfortable lifestyle for many years but without proper retirement planning, there will be problems in the future. An employer that has a generous pension or matching contribution can show they care about ensuring a comfortable retirement for their workers. A generous retirement benefit might be challenging to find today with most employers. Yet, if you do get a good offer it could be worth much more than a very high salary.


Although a job perk could be any benefit other than an actual salary, I am referring to things that are not exactly included in a standard benefits package. For example, maybe you like to travel and a job that doesn’t offer a lot of money has the benefit of traveling around the world. This could be a perk that might be worth more than a large salary because it makes a person happy.

Perks can also come in a non-standard monetary value just like other benefits, not in an actual paycheck. Some people that do travel for work accumulate large amounts of reward points for flying and hotel stays. There are companies that allow their employees to use these for their own travel and vacations. Free airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel stays can add thousands of dollars to a person’s pay rate depending on the amount of travel.

Other perks that could be invaluable might include life experiences. Great seats to sporting events or concerts might be available working for a particular employer or discounts on products a company sells could be a perk.

Job perks come in a lot of different ways and not all of them are small rewards. Some can add up to thousands of dollars each year and they should all be considered in addition to a salary.

Final Word

There is a reason the saying goes that “Money can’t buy happiness.” Maybe for some people, it could be true. Who will ever really know? However, when it comes to taking a job it isn’t only the amount of money that should be a consideration. There are several benefits and perks that can have more value than just the amount of a paycheck. Some of these might be worth money while others might provide a lower level of stress and more happiness.

There are times in life where a person might have to take a job just for the money. This can certainly be understandable for some situations and especially when it is just for pure survival. But when it comes to looking for long-term happiness with a good balance between life and work earning a lot of money is not always the answer. Money is certainly a motivation for taking a job, yet it shouldn’t be the only one. It is important to find a job with a good combination of its earning potential and being happy. This mixture isn’t the same for everyone. Each person just needs to find the balance that is right for them.


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