6 Times a Higher Salary Isn't Worth It

Money isn't everything. Having the extra funds for foreign travel and designer shopping splurges can be nice — to say the least — but not when the tradeoffs include scientifically backed side effects such as insomnia, death, and divorce. (See also: 12 Times You're Better Off Without a Promotion)

So if you're facing a job offer that comes with an attractive salary bump, be sure the new gig won't catapult you into any of the following problems.

1. The Commute Would Kill You

Americans spend more time commuting (100+ hours per year) than they do vacationing (80 hours). According to reserach out of Sweden, long commutes also cause a wealth of horrible side effects, including neck pain, obesity, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia. So if the twice daily traffic jam you'd have to endure to get to your higher paying gig seems likely to drive you mad, then it's probably best to stick with the job you've already got. Sure, the extra money would be nice. But research shows you very well may end up spending a good portion of that salary increase on your newfound needs for physical therapy, sleep doctors, and a divorce attorney.

2. The Office Culture is Toxic

If you've ever said, "My job is killing me!" — you could be right. Research shows that people in hostile work environments are more likely to die sooner than those who work in atmospheres that are more favorable. Death aside, toxic work environments are also known to provoke aches, stress, and signs of depression. So before accepting a new job offer with a dazzling salary, do your homework.

3. Your Work-Life Balance Would Be Out of Whack

Work has a way of getting in the way of what matters most: family time. These numbers offer a glimpse at the epidemic: 55% of all employees say they don't have enough time for themselves, 67% of employed parents say they don't have enough time with their kids, and 63% of married employees say they don't have enough time with their spouse, according to Families and Work Institute's National Study of the Changing Workforce. If a higher paying gig would mean severely under-serving yourself or your loved ones, it may be best to stick with a lower paying job that offers more flexibility.

4. You Don't Believe in the Work

All the money in the world can't make you feel pride in the job you're doing unless you truly believe in the work. And if you're being offered a better-paying gig at a company whose ideals are in conflict with your beliefs, be they religious, social, or otherwise, your time would be well spent to figure out how to reconcile that — which could mean declining the job. You'll never reach your potential if you're doing something you don't stand behind 100%.

5. You Don't See Eye to Eye With Your Boss

If the person who's supposed to be raising you up seems set on bringing you down, it might be time to skedaddle. Studies show that unsupportive bosses affect how your whole family relates to one another, your physical health, and your morale while in the office. They also raise your risk for heart disease. No job is worth putting up with woes like that — no matter how many zeros are included in the salary.

6. The Company is on the Fritz

There's no need to go down with a sinking ship. If the company trying to pad your pockets is on its way out, it may be wise to stay in control and decline the job offer rather than suffer a layoff in the future.

Have you ever taken the higher salaried job only to regret it later? Tell us about it in comments!

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Guest's picture

And learn from my mistake. Be sure the money is actually going to be there. All the promises in the world won't make your paycheck any larger. :(