What Do You Value in a Job?

by Miranda Marquit

With the economy as it is, many people are finding that they have to settle for a little less pay sometimes. But, if you have an otherwise good job, does a little less pay matter? Aren’t there other important things to consider about your job. Before you fixate on the salary, consider some of the other aspects of your job:


job values

What do you value in a job?

This is something that is quite important right now. Do you have job security? Fear that you will lose your job is a big deal right now, thanks to the economy. However, some people actually have pretty decent job security. Think about your current job. Is it with a company that is fairly stable? Are you in one of the few industries with solid growth potential? Sometimes a little job security through the tough times is worth a little less pay.


One of the biggest advantages of a good job is the benefits package. Consider your health plan or some of the other benefits that you might get. How many vacation days do you get? Sometimes we forget the value of benefits, paid time off, child care or gym memberships. I know people who keep with lower paying jobs because the benefits are fantastic. Part time jobs with benefits are also popular, even with people who don’t necessarily need the paycheck. If you can get a job that offers something beyond mere salary, that can be worth something.

Flexibility or Good Hours

Job flexibility can really add to the satisfaction you feel in your employment. Being able to adjust your schedule as needed can help you spend time with your family, or fulfill other responsibilities in your life. One of the things I love about my job as a freelance writer working from home is the flexibility. I can set my own hours, and move my work schedule around as needed. Even if you don’t have complete flexibility, a job with good hours can be a real boon. An employer that is willing to work with your needs can be worth any amount of extra pay, especially if that flexibility extends to some degree of telecommuting.

Likable Co-Workers

Sometimes that people you work with make the job fun — even if you aren’t getting big pay. A pleasant work environment populated with people you like and respect can provide you with a reason to stay in a job that offers lower pay. Consider that you may not have the same friendships at another job. Additionally, if you receive recognition for your work, and feel valued, that can be more motivating than a higher salary.

Putting it All Together

A good job is about more than salary. You overall work conditions should be examined. Think about the perks and benefits that may come with your job, as well as whether or not you receive respect at work. The flexibility you have to accomplish your work tasks should also be considered. Look at your lifestyle; if you are happy with it, and if your job fits in with it, there is no reason to chase higher pay. Perhaps, instead of thinking only in terms of your job as your main source of income, you can consider finding other ways to make money in your spare time. That way, you can keep a job you enjoy, but still see the benefits of a higher income.

photo credit: totalAldo.

Published or updated March 20, 2014.
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle - Online Stock Trader

As you can see from my signature – I’m a bit of a maverick and risk taker and my ”job’ reflects that. That’s why I prefer a ‘job’ like online stock trading where I can work from home, have the freedom to work when I want and the opportunity to make big bucks if I’m good at what I do. The bonus is that I find the work really interesting and challenging. I learn something new every day. Job security is an illusion for everyone, in my opinion but I do miss the benefits of working at a big company.



2 Philip

I think people naturally underrate benefits. The 401K match and health insurance premiums can make a huge difference. Not to mention things like stock options and such. Public companies usually have so much more to offer for that reason. When I’m looking for a job, if I’m being really picky, the #1 thing I look for is proximity to my house. That’s a huge factor for me. I can’t live a life where I have to commute in traffic. I’ll settle for a lower paying job close to home anyday.


3 Michelle Mendoza

Thanks for posting. Having good, talented co-workers to be around 40+ hours a week is essential for me. If you don’t enjoy these people then it will make your job a living hell.


4 Bernard

I totally understand why people strive for security. Especially in this economy, a sense “security” helps people go to sleep at night.

However, I personally feel that when you have a choice between freedom and security and you choose security, you actually lose both. And here’s why.

I think people long for security in their job because of a paycheck and benefits. But if you are able to do things outside your job that creates additional income and wealth, I think that builds security more than being at your employer.

You become more independent and learn to rely on yourself for financial decisions rather than your employer.

I think focusing on job security can drain you. You’ll always be worried about someone younger, smarter, and more efficient replacing you. If you can secure your finances beyond your job, I think that can create freedom…and in turn, security.


5 krantcents

As I get old(er), security and benefits seem to outweigh many of the other things. As a teacher, I normally do not interact with my coworkers as much as a regular company.


6 Hank

I think that Phil brings up a great point. A lot of people seem to forget about their job benefits. This happens especially when you compare one job to another. Many people fail to consider their benefits package as a component of their total compensation and only consider base salary when comparing jobs. I have seen plenty of people leave my employer for a higher paying job and only to find that their new job did not have as great a benefit package with healthcare, pension, etc.


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