Your Salary Does Not Define You

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american dollars in the hands

This is going to be one of those blogs where you might think that I have my head in the clouds. Believe me, I have had enough tough times in life to understand the value of a roof over my head and food on the table, but as long as the basics (plus a little extra!) are covered, there is much more to life than a big fat bank balance.

Too many people measure their career success by their salaries, bonuses and share options. All too often a key consideration for moving roles is an increase in salary, but often “dream” moves are derailed by such trivial matters as inferior company cars or less generous bonus schemes. I understand that some egos are easily bruised about such matters, but will it really make a material difference to their performance and enjoyment of the job? Surely that is what will get people to jump out of bed in the morning, and not how much money is trickling into their contributory pension.

As the owner of a wonderful business, I understand that remunerating great performance is indeed important, but as long as it is fair and competitive with the market, I don’t see it as a key selling point when we are looking to attract new people. No, I honestly don’t.

There are many sales-led businesses (such as in recruitment) where fantastic basic salaries and generous commission schemes are touted from the rooftops. People get sucked in by the dreams of untold riches, only to realise that they will have to sit at their desks like a battery hen to achieve it, pushing out cold call after cold call. You might be given an extra 20% more than the market, but is this really worth the sacrifice?

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People turn up because of their salary, but they will perform for a load of other reasons:

Working with a team of awesome people makes you want to push yourself that little bit harder – you crash through mountains for each other. Making a difference for a cause that you believe in helps you to overcome the most daunting obstacles – a powerful goal ensures that you never give up. Feeling that you are developing as a person and as a professional is a greater reward than any bonus – there is no greater gift than when others invest in you. Having a boss who cares about you is like having an additional parent – whether they are cheering you on from the touchline or getting heavy with the discipline, they do it because they are on your side.

You care about your job for all these reasons and many more. None of these things have anything remotely to do with how much money gets transferred to your bank account at the end of the month. You don’t care about your job just because you are paid to turn up.

There is no direct correlation between remuneration and job satisfaction.

Money isn’t everything.

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