In our second addition to the ‘Prioritise Your Happiness’ series, we’re going to speak to you about money.
Can money make you happy? I suspect that a huge proportion of us will that think it does.
But why? Why is money seen as such a critical component for us when contemplating our working lives?
Now I realise that you may be sitting there, reading this, thinking: “What is this guy talking about? Of course money’s important.” And yes, I would agree that it’s important. We all want to be secure, to have a roof over our heads, to be able to feed and support our families etc. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – its assuring those “hygiene” factors necessary to life. But that’s not what I’m talking about – I’m talking about what’s driving us to further – to perhaps want to earn £80,000 p/annum rather than £40,000 p/annum.
Clearly, £80,000 p/annum is double the salary of someone on £40,000, but what practical difference would that extra income make to their life? It certainly enables a different kind of lifestyle. You can afford to do more things, perhaps a bigger house, a swankier car, but are you still commuting to work like everyone else? Yep. You likely still get the same amount of holiday too. It’s different, not necessarily better.
Ambition to earn more is also a measure of how you’re progressing in your career. Tangible evidence of your achievements. Money is not simply an end in itself.
Progress in your career is not without cost. Taking on bigger roles and earning more money comes with increasing responsibility and challenge, and you need to be both motivated and excited by that. Taking on a bigger role simply for money alone, without an appreciation of all that it entails can be a source of stress and unhappiness. In these circumstances, money will not make you happy!
So, the moral of the story is to think hard about what it is about the new role that excites you, and ensure that the job (as well as a salary increase) stimulates, stretches and motivates you – that’s what will make you happy at work!