Don’t Sell Out For the Money

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Don't Sell Out For Money

By the looks of the headline, you probably think I’m here to tell you to drop what you’re doing and travel the world for a year. You know, “Eat,Pray, and Love”-style or some other hippie crap. No, that’s not why I’m typing this in between shoveling my face full of Hamburger Helper Stroganoff (highly underrated cheap meal IMO). I’m typing this with a belly full of grease and fat, coupled with a heart full of disgust for myself for a non-moronic reason.

When a lot of us go to evaluate our current job, the first thing we think about is salary. We disregard all other non-monetary values of our current position, look at the five-digit number and say, “This is bullshit. I’m out of here.” 

Pump the breaks on that one.

I used to have an awful job. I would wake up in the morning and absolutely dread going in to that hell hole of an establishment for 40-plus hours a week. This job was your typical old school, baby boomer-esque company. 

For obvious reasons, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the company; however, it had your typical issues old school companies have. They expected their younger employees to give everything they had for the company, and when it was reward time, it was key to be willing to accept the scraps leftover from the table like some flea infested mutt. I probably worked some of the longest days in my life, and made less than someone working full-time at Wal-Mart. 

If you’re in business and haven’t read David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Ad Man, I would highly recommend it. He has a great line in the book, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” A lot of employers could stand to read his thoughts on how to treat employees, and the dude worked in the ’60s when I’m pretty sure they didn’t even have child labor laws.

Those of us who have been working for a few years know your salary is more than just a number. It shows you how much your company values you and the position you’re in. That was my main issue. The higher-ups believed my position was easily replaceable with the next postgrad who was desperate for employment. I work extremely hard to be good at what I do because I want to be successful. As I imagine it is the case for most, the idea of my work being appreciated and valued at a company is a big deal to me.

Consistently throughout this job, I was told to be patient and things would get better. I would receive a substantial raise because I had excelled in my position more so than any of my coworkers — basically being given shit and told it’s chocolate.

Come performance review time, very little actually ended up changing, so I decided to go on the grind and find the job that I now have. 

The difference is night and day.

When you work somewhere, it is a great feeling you can tell your bosses value each and every member of the team. On my first day of work at my new job, I was granted more PTO than someone who had worked at my previous company for 10 years. 

I even get to work from home sometimes too. Last month, I took PTO on a Thursday and Friday to visit family in my hometown around six hours away. My boss was nice enough to let me work from home on Monday-Wednesday so I could drive down that earlier weekend and get extra time at home. I would have been laughed out of my boss’s office at my last job for asking that question.

While we probably don’t drink as much beer during the workday or try to hit as many golf balls into trash cans as the Grandex crew does, we have a really relaxed atmosphere considering it’s a corporate job.

I promise there’s a point here to all this humble bragging. 

Having been treated like I was insignificant at my last job, it would take a lot for me to leave my current company considering the atmosphere here. Like I said, most people evaluate their jobs on salary, and I’m here to tell you that really shouldn’t be the top priority in your job hunt.

Of course salary is important. It’s a sad reality of life that we all have bills to pay; however, in my opinion, your evaluation of the people you’re going to work for is the most critical. In job interviews, its important to remember that while you’re trying to impress everyone, you also need to be conducting your own analysis of the people you would be reporting to. Do they value and reward hard work? Are they genuine and honest? Will I be miserable everyday at work? Is this person interviewing me a mega-asshole? Things like that.

It becomes a common mistake to look at the increase in pay at this new job and jump at the opportunity for more money. Most people find themselves pretty miserable after that new paycheck and fancy title wears off. They end up wishing they could go back to the job where they were actually treated like a human being (spoiler alert: being treated like garbage isn’t fun). 

After being on both sides of the aisle, I can tell you that right now that I can’t put a price tag on the way I’m treated at my new job versus my old one. 

I have no grudges towards my old job. Everyone has to pay their dues, and paying mine educated me on what I value most in an employer.

Think long and hard before you sell out for that extra money.

Image via Shutterstock

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