How much of a pay cut would you be willing to accept to take a more satisfying job?
Via Kevin Drum, I see that UBC professors John Helliwell and Haifang Huang have tried to put a number on how much different kinds of job satisfaction are worth in cold, hard cash. The results (cribbed from this summary at MSNBC):
- Increased trust in your employer is worth a 36 percent pay raise.
- A greater variety of projects is worth a 21 percent pay hike.
- Having a position that requires skill worth 19 percent more pay.
- Having enough time to finish your work is worth 11 percent more pay.
Based on this, then, you’d be happier overall taking a 20 percent pay cut to work at a place where you trust your employers more; but you’re better off in sticking with a somewhat harried job than taking that same pay cut to work at a more measured pace. Of course, this somewhat contradicts this earlier post on a study that found, among other things, that working on a job where there’s pressure to work quickly is just about the least satisfying thing you can do with your time.
It’s also worth noting that increased pay doesn’t do all that much for your happiness: a pay raise of $100,000 only begins to approach the wellbeing people typically derive from a stable marriage. This suggests that a slightly slower pace of work probably only does a little bit for your wellbeing. Still, every little bit helps.