There are plenty of good reasons to quit a job. Maybe you’re tired of dealing with a nasty boss, toxic coworkers, and an overly demanding schedule that leaves you with little semblance of a personal life. But if there’s one thing that tends to motivate employees to leave their jobs, it’s money. In fact, in a new OfficeTeam study, 44% of workers said they’d up and quit if doing so would result in a more generous paycheck.
Now, on the one hand, leaving a job in pursuit of a better salary certainly makes sense. Earning more money can not only ease some of the financial pressures we all face, but also help us feel validated and appreciated. On the other hand, money isn’t everything when it comes to a job, so before you jump ship for a better salary alone, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I enjoy what I do?
Given the amount of time most of us spend working each week, there’s something to be said for landing a job that allows you to do something fulfilling. If you genuinely enjoy what you do and find that you’re constantly learning on the job, you may want to think twice before leaving for the sole purpose of collecting a bigger paycheck. Granted, your next job might pay you more and offer the same degree of satisfaction you get at present, but if you’re convinced you’re in a truly unique position, you might pause before rushing to give it up.
2. Does my job allow for a solid work-life balance?
Most Americans struggle to achieve a good work-life balance, so if your current job allows you to tend to personal matters and enjoy a healthy amount of downtime without worry, that’s reason enough to consider staying put, even if your earnings aren’t as high as they could be elsewhere. Or, think of it this way: Maybe you’ll earn $2,000 more a year at a different company. But if doing so requires you to work an extra 10 hours a week, is it really worth it?
3. Is there ample opportunity to move up at my current company?
The last thing you want at any stage of your career is to land in a dead-end role. So if you’re in a position that offers lots of growth potential, it might pay to stick with it and see where it leads. Once you start climbing the ranks at your current company, you’ll likely see your salary go up as well, so if you’re otherwise content, give yourself a chance to do better where you are.
4. Are my benefits competitive?
Maybe your salary at your current job isn’t as high as it could be. But before you rush off in search of a more generous one, think about your benefits package and whether another company is likely to match it. Do you currently get a ton of vacation time? Summer Fridays? A fantastic health plan that costs you very little out of pocket? These are all valuable perks, so think before you willingly give them up.
5. Am I convinced I’ll really earn more elsewhere?
You might think that getting a new job will result in an automatic salary boost. But unless your employer is notably stingy or you manage to move up a level at another company, you may come to learn that boosting your salary isn’t so easy. It pays to do some research and see whether your salary is competitive given your job title and the nature of your work. If you find that you’re actually being paid pretty fairly and are otherwise satisfied with your job, you may be better off staying put than taking your chances with a new employer.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make as much money as possible, but don’t let those potential dollar signs cloud your judgment. If you’re already in a good work situation, you may want to keep at it, even if it means earning just a bit less for the foreseeable future — because while money is important, so is your overall happiness.