“Money Can’t Buy Happiness…”

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“…but it can quiet the nerves.” My oldest sister said that to me years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. She may even have it engraved on a pillow. No wait, that pillow says “Queen of Everything.” But money will always be one of the premier career motivators. It’s one of the top reasons people pursue IT certifications, to plump up your cache of marketable skills to impress on a current or potential employer that you are worth the big bucks, not to mention capable of handling the big, important projects.


I read an article recently at Forbes.com which rather baldly stated that while money can’t necessarily buy happiness, at any given time in society, rich people are indeed happier. It didn’t end there of course. Status was mentioned, expectations, control over one’s life, all of which are often by-products of possessing a lot of cash.


Yet increasingly, upwardly mobile professionals, particularly those in the younger generation, are claiming that things such as work/life balance are more important. I’ve read studies and interviewed human resources executives who say their employees often value time off, casual-clothing days or summer/winter hours, etc. more than money. I’d say these people probably aren’t saving for a house or an engagement ring, but they might be. Or they may have stumbled onto one of life’s little truths. These truths vary from person to person, but I think it’s safe to universally say that money should never be the only consideration when embroiled in a job search or evaluating your current position with regard to advancement opportunities, etc.


Other important factors to consider include: How do you like your work environment? Are your benefits good or at least adequate? What’s the relationship like between you and your boss or immediate supervisor? Do you like the location of the office? What about your particular little plot of land inside the office? Are your responsibilities challenging and/or managable? Do you like your coworkers? Does your company have a good reputation? Do you get any perks?


All of these things play a role in whether or not you are or will remain happy at work. So, while there are many important things to consider when evaluating your job and/or career development options, money certainly can’t buy happiness. But that doesn’t mean you should discount its importance in your career and in your life. After all, we gotta eat, right? I say if you’re gonna work, and most of us have to, eat steak—or for all you vegetarians and vegans out there, the best tofu that money can buy.

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