Money and Happiness: Where to go in a Career

The bright and shiny feeling of a new section on the blog. It’s a bit awe inspiring really, so how do I start?

Well, if I’m analyzing and trying to plan my career growth, I need to start by figuring out the connection between happiness and the money you earn. While I don’t want to quit my job, I want to plan where it will go, and one thing I want in the future is higher earnings.

The link between Money and Happiness

There’s been a number thrown about in the media recently as the magic earnings amount to maximize happiness. That’s an interesting statement, but not a 100% complete one. An article from Psychology Today explains things a bit more clearly. It basically says that as you make more money, you get happier and less stressed. However, when you hit a certain income level, specifically about $75,000, that increase in happiness and decrease in stress seems to disappear.

So, what am I looking for in a career?

Well, without going into any details, I make less than $75,000. While everyone says you should choose a career for love and not money, I’m an optimist and I think I can have both.

Now, I do recognize that there are ways other than a career to earn money, but for most people work is either the only source of income for them or at least a primary source of it. So, I’d definitely like to establish my career plan in a way that leads to higher income.

This study definitely connects money and happiness (as related to careers) in more than just the standard ways. However, even if we look beyond the money aspect, work is where you spend a big chunk of your life, so if you can make it a happy time then it’s all the better!

7 thoughts on “Money and Happiness: Where to go in a Career

  1. Ian

    I remember hearing about this and how your happiness plateaus in respect to salary at around $75k a year. It’s actually pretty interesting. I believe the premise was something about how after you make $75k a year you have way more than enough to meet decent quality of life standards.

    Hey, I think that maybe some researchers should pay us $75k a year and document our happiness levels. I think the results would be substantial. Ha!
    Ian recently posted..2013: Save More Money!My Profile

    1. Alex Post author

      I would be happy to take part in that experiment! *grin*

      If anyone wants to give me great gobs of money to see if it makes me happier, well, we all have to sacrifice for science, right?

  2. Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank

    I used to think that money would make me happy, now I am more interested in just making enough money on the side to not have to work.

    I make a fair bit more than 75K a year with my job and I can tell you that the minute you get up around the 100K-120K range, all the jobs involve huge amounts of stress and you are normally accountable for every single decision that is made (good or bad). They also want you to work all the time and be on call every single minute of everyday with emails going off on your phone constantly.

    It is nice to feel important for a while, but eventually you get sick of it just like any job and you start looking for the next step in your career and more money.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..MPB – Pool Room Posts #11My Profile

    1. Alex Post author

      Perhaps the study really just discovered that there’s a sweet spot in the salary chain where you earn enough to be happy, but you don’t yet have the stress of dealing with the stress and accountability of the higher paying decisions.

      I have to agree with you about side income, I think in an uncertain economy, the idea of multiple streams of income does reduce some of the stress that might come from job uncertainty.

      Thanks for stopping by Glen!

    1. Alex Post author

      I think it had to do with the amount of money you need to meet all expenses and save for the future without sacrificing any present consumption.

      Realistically though, as many finance bloggers prove, not all modern conveniences are necessary to achieve happiness.

  3. Pingback: Beginning of 2013 Favorite Blog Posts | Modest Money

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