Is High Salary More Important Than Job Satisfaction?

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

careertrend article image
punsayaporn/iStock/Getty Images

Although most people seek careers that offer meaningful work and enjoyable surroundings, the fact is that the main factor in many people's jobs is the money that they are paid to do them. After all, if work was so enjoyable that people would do it for free, it's unlikely that anyone would pay them to do it.


Most people require money to live, and most people get the money they need by working. What constitutes "high pay," however, is open to debate. While some people would prefer to work at an enjoyable job for less money, others will always take the position that offers more money. Which is more important depends entirely on the priorities of the individual.


A select percentage of people find true fulfillment in the jobs that they do for money, while the rest simply do them for the money and find their fulfillment in activities outside of work. As with money, how important fulfillment is in the context of a job depends largely on the priorities of the individual. While some people are able to simply shut down their own preferences and do what needs to be done to make money, others put great effort into developing careers that they see as significant, meaningful and fulfilling on a personal level.

Stepping Stones

Some jobs are seen as stepping stones to another career that will provide greater personal satisfaction. People who are working a job of this sort often are doing it solely for the money, and see the amount of money as more important than fulfillment within the context of this particular job because it is helping them to get where they want to be. Ironically, these temporary jobs that people work solely for the money are frequently quite low paying. Positions in retail and the food service industry are often seen by the people who do them as temporary positions that are being worked solely to save some money.


In many employment positions, the employee is essentially selling her time to the employer. How much this time is worth depends on a large number of variables, including the skills of the employee, the job market and whether the employment advantage is with the employer or the employee. Because a large percentage of many people's time is taken up in work, it is important over the long term that some degree of fulfillment is gained from the work itself. Some people find themselves stuck in a "temporary" position for years, and watch their lives disappearing into work without ever discovering the secret of fulfillment.