Anyone in a professional role has likely heard before, money isn’t the answer. We’ve been taught to understand there is more to life, a job, and career. But, when you’re young, career-driven, and hopeful, it can be easy to forget. In this post, I share my experience in learning this lesson, along with many others, the hard way.
By being vulnerable, I hope to remind anyone that goes through something similar, there is a silver lining in everything.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness
The first thing is first…if it seems too good to be true, it is. Every time. When I was offered the job in which this post is based, I was offered a higher salary and better benefits than ever before.
With this extra money, I was able to buy more clothes, go to a work out class for free, and buy my family and friends better gifts for Christmas. But at what expense? My well-being, actually, and I quickly learned it wasn’t worth it.
Although the perks of a fatter paycheck were nice, I began to lose myself. These weren’t the important things, and I was putting my mental and emotional health on the back burner.
Having gone through this, I’m in a better position now. Whether it’s professionally or otherwise, I will be able to recognize when I’m not focusing on the right things and getting distracted. It may have been painful to go through, but it has already paid off in other situations.
Money Can’t Buy a Good Manager
Throughout my career, I’ve learned that some people can be amazing at their job. Everything they do technically and creatively is spot on, and how they execute and follow up is flawless. These qualities can often get people promoted to a position where they can manage others, whether they’re qualified or not. As a result, reporting employees are put in a position where they can suffer the consequences.
I took this job in hopes of also getting a better manager than I currently had. To find out the management style wasn’t what I expected was challenging and frustrating. But, it taught me a lot about myself and people in general.
Now that this manager is in the past, I am hyper-aware of others’ manipulation tactics and I’m less easily taken advantage of. I have no doubt this lesson will help me navigate future relationships better.
I see that as a major win in business and life.
Money Doesn’t Promise a Better Team
Like I said, money wasn’t the only reason I accepted a job from this company. Another reason was because the job description, website, and employees touted empathy as its main priority. This was extremely attractive to me and I didn’t take it lightly.
Within the first week, I found most of the company practiced selective empathy if any at all. And, it only got worse. So, what was the point?
This isn’t the only form of dishonesty that showed itself. During the interview process and negotiation phase, I was promised specific training I never received. When knowledge gaps came up zero accountability was taken by my manager or the company. Instead, shame and blame was placed on me, and I was left without any resources (even when I nearly begged for it).
That sucked. I had never been in this position before. Somehow, I always figured it out.
Again, I was frustrated and eventually manipulated to think this was my fault and I wasn’t capable. Soon, I realized I wasn’t accepted for who I was and nothing I did would be good enough. No amount of money is worth feeling like that.
This all reinforced something I always knew. Actions speak louder than words, and it’s up to you to hold others accountable. And more importantly, be accountable to yourself.
Soon, it was time to find another job. The process was stressful, but in the back of my mind, I felt like I was in a good position with this new knowledge. I consciously reminded myself it wasn’t worth being tempted with a shiny offer and knew I was better off.
Because of that, I found myself in my favorite position yet. I’m not paid as well as I was before, but the quality of my life has improved 1,000 times over.
I know I can’t be the only one my age to go through something like this. So, I hope sharing these experiences resonated.
At the end of the day, stay true to who you are and take the time to weigh your options and think through potential consequences. You won’t regret it. And, no matter what challenges you need to recover from, allow yourself the time and grace to do so. You just might learn the most valuable lessons of your life.
If you’ve ever gone through a difficult professional journey and can relate, thank you for reading. And if not, if you find yourself in the position to make a similar decision, you’ll remember this.