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July 04, 2021

Money matters but job satisfaction trumps salary: survey

It’s an issue that tugs at many of us: the tradeoff between a satisfying job and a satisfying pay cheque.

Although most Canadians (82%) work to live, rather than live to work, two thirds of them don’t consider a good salary to be more important than enjoying their work, according to Randstad Canada’s latest Global Workmonitor, a survey of employees in 32 countries around the world.

Would you take a really boring job if it paid well? Or are you the type of person to stay in a job that stimulates you even if the money is bad? What’s the trade-off between a satisfying job and a satisfying pay cheque?

“For some people, it’s being able to earn a wage that keeps them going to work every day,” says Randstad Canada’s Stacy Parker. “While others take into consideration factors such as a good working environment, perks, flexible working hours, co-operative colleagues and job satisfaction.”

“Undoubtedly a high salary results in a better standard of living, but considering that workers spend most of their hours at work, often this isn’t enough to keep them happy,” she adds.

In many ways, achieving the right balance depends on one’s priorities, family obligations and spending habits. But where's the sweet spot?

According to another recent study, there is something of a magic number when it comes to income and happiness. Beyond household income of $75,000 a year (roughly the average in Canada), money “does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness or stress,” the study suggests.

This means the more people earn, the more their job satisfaction increases, until they hit that number at least. After that, it’s just more of the same and there's little gain in job satisfaction.

Which means most to you? Job satisfaction or a large pay packet? Where's the cutoff? Have you ever had both?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...