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To think that you can be content working in a poorly paid job

(137 Posts)
GandolfBold Mon 19-Feb-18 20:57:24

Because BIL thinks you cant, and that I am kidding myself (work as a support worker on just above NMW which I love) if I think I am content.

He said that people may think they are happy, but they would be happier if they earned more money.

As a bit of a back story, all my family work minimum wage-ish jobs, and BIL is quite snobby about it.

I cant be the only one, can I?

NewYearNewMe18 Mon 19-Feb-18 21:03:45

How much top up do you get in tax credits? Which sort of alters the low income perspective

Toooldtobearsed Mon 19-Feb-18 21:04:20

No, you are quite right.

I retired as CEO of a registered charity just over a year ago. I earned big bucks and travelled extensively. I really, really enjoyed my job.
However, ten years before, following a 'sod the world' moment, i resigned from another high faluting, well paid job, and worked in a sandwich bar on minimum wage.

Was, without doubt, the best job I have ever had - true work life balance, as well as being a bloody brilliant job! I only left because we moved area.

So yes, provided you can afford it, go for it 😊

GandolfBold Mon 19-Feb-18 21:04:27

Er none.

WhoAmIReally99 Mon 19-Feb-18 21:04:49

I earn just above minimum wage... I really do enjoy my job.

my dh earns more and hates his job.

user1495997773 Mon 19-Feb-18 21:09:19

I agree with you OP, my job isn't the best paid in the world but I enjoy it, find it interesting, and have enough money to survive. I could earn more doing somwthing else, but I really don't think it would make me any happier!

FittonTower Mon 19-Feb-18 21:09:28

I work for a small charity, I get paid fuck all. I have a small mortgage and I'm careful with my money so I manage ok and I absolutely love my job. The people I work with are amazing, we laugh a lot. And I get job satisfaction by the bucket. It's brilliant and I'm happy. More money would be nice- I could get a new car, stop buying all my clothes on eBay and maybe have holiday or two but I would rather have a job tgat makes me happy then new cars and holiday.
If I couldn't make ends meet it would be different but I can.

Zbag Mon 19-Feb-18 21:09:53

It literally wouldnt matter how much i earnt or what job i had, I'd still hate working.

athingthateveryoneneeds Mon 19-Feb-18 21:10:20

I'm a support worker and love it. Some days are better than others, but overall the job satisfaction is far greater than other jobs I've had.

Having said that, I do think the care industry is woefully underpaid and underappreciated. We shoulder a huge responsibility that us largely unnoticed by society and yet is so important to the service users and their families.

RachelRosie Mon 19-Feb-18 21:11:23

Yep, my job isn't well paid but I enjoy it. It's in the area that I studied in and, whilst I do hope to move up the ladder at some point, I am perfectly content doing it for the moment whilst my DD is very young.

My (not-so D)B has similar opinions. Can not understand why I bothered studying to get such a lowly paid job. Completely dismisses the personal satisfaction and confidence in myself, beliefs and abilities that my degree gave me.

Hey hum, I'm happy.

Bluntness100 Mon 19-Feb-18 21:12:38

I think of course you can, if you're not very materialistic or ambitious then you can be perfectly happy. If you're ambitious you won't be happy as you'll want to climb the ladder, if you're materialistic you'll want more things, thr car, the clothes, the holiday, the nights out. If you don't want these things then really there is no reason you'd be unhappy.

Plenty of people are not materialistic or ambitious. The disconnect comes in if your either of these things and in a low paid job, then that way lies unhappiness.

kabanner Mon 19-Feb-18 21:14:53

Motivational theory is pay either makes you satisfied or dissatisfied in your work. Other factors make you happy at work.

Providing you can meet what you need to live in your job then no enhanced pay will make you happy, like a good team, manager, control over work, flexible working.

No excuse for companies not paying more than NLW it's all about the whole package.

Me I dropped a fair wack of a steady income to go into a different field that gave me a better work/life balance.

Pay can attract but if you are a shit employer people people will leave.

frieda909 Mon 19-Feb-18 21:26:40

I love my job. Absolutely bloody love it. I have the kind of job where people say ‘oh wow, that’s so cool!’ when I say what I do. It’s very competitive and I feel so lucky to have got it. But the pay is utter shite.

Would I be happier if my salary magically doubled tomorrow? Hell yes!

But would I be happier in a totally different and (to me) less fulfilling job that happens to pay twice as much? Definitely not.

And I know, because I used to have one of those and I was totally miserable.

Tapandgo Tue 20-Feb-18 00:53:02

Had a well paid (highly taxed) career that came with high stress and long hours. I used to dream of a job without all the stress and long hours. I always felt the pressure to secure the future and get financial security.
However ~ I’d tell my younger self to drop the career and smell the roses more. Stress kills pleasure at work.
I now only do voluntary work and it’s a lot more enjoyable.

chanie44 Tue 20-Feb-18 07:13:13

My organisation is relatively lowly paid but the people are friendly and the work is very interesting and diverse.

A colleague quit for a new role which is more highly paid but less interesting. They've said that they don't like their new role and the colleagues are quite unfriendly.

BarbaraofSevillle Tue 20-Feb-18 07:22:37

Of course you can be content. If your job is the sort of job where you can forget about it when you finish your shift, that can be invaluable.

A lot of it would depend on having enough money to live on, but earning a lot isn't the only way to achieve that. You don't say whether you have any other income (partner, savings, housing benefit, investments, inheritence etc) but it would be pretty hard to cover even the basics on a very low wage without an additional source of income, whatever that is.

But if you have the basics covered, contentment can be achieved by living a simple life, not constantly chasing stuff like cars, expensive holidays, eating out, clothes, gadgets etc. Being able to happily live simply is a great place to be. Perhaps he is jealous?

jimijack Tue 20-Feb-18 07:22:50

I've been nursing for over 20 years, crap pay, long hours horrendous conditions, stresses. I have witnessed utter utter desperation and tragedy, but I love it, bloody love it and couldn't do anything else.

Luckily I have now found ways to drastically increase my pay and reduce my hours of work to enjoy my home life with my family, it's taken 25 years though as my commitment to the NHS has really held me back. Not any more, it's just not worth my suffering any longer. sad

Oysterbabe Tue 20-Feb-18 07:25:19

Salary is not linked to enjoyment I don't think. The highest earner I know also hates her job the most.

somewhereovertherain Tue 20-Feb-18 07:28:47

Have to say work life balance for more important than pay. There is so much more to life than money.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 20-Feb-18 07:32:58

All of the research seems to suggest that you need a certain amount of money to make you happy, but beyond that level, more money doesn't actually make you happier.

If you have enough to meet your needs and you feel happy, that's fantastic. It's not for your BIL to decide whether you're happy or not - he can only speak for himself!

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 20-Feb-18 07:34:12

I've been in an average paid low grade job for years and it's given me a fabulous work/life balance. However senior people at work see it as a negative that I haven't wanted to progress. I know I'm seen as lacking in drive and ambition.

I don't really care though when I see them trying to juggle everything and notice emails being sent at midnight or at the weekend. Not for me.

BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Tue 20-Feb-18 07:36:04

Before I stopped working to have the children I was a high earner, challenging job etc etc. I’ve returned to work in a family friendly very low paid role. I don’t even earn enough to pay any tax let alone higher rate tax. BUT I enjoy my work, I work with great people and great kids.

Fortunately DH earns enough that my meagre earnings are not a problem.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Feb-18 07:37:48

I guess that's his perspective.

I know I wouldn't be happy in a low paying job, even if I fundamentally enjoyed the actual work...because I couldn't live the life I want and enjoy the things I do...or provide for my children.

I would take a pay cut to do something I enjoyed more...but not if the cut was too drastic.

Undercoverbanana Tue 20-Feb-18 07:38:34

We have all been tricked into believing that money and possessions will make us happy but just look at the mental health statistics. Your BIL is a perfect example. He looks down on NMW workers so clearly has a very disturbed mentality. Is he really happier than you if his character has become that of someone who looks down on others purely because of what they earn? He sounds very unhappy to me.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Feb-18 07:42:02

All of the research seems to suggest that you need a certain amount of money to make you happy, but beyond that level, more money doesn't actually make you happier.

Hmmm. I disagree with this research tbh.

I know I'd be a lot happier if I had more would most people I know.

Money or the lack of it is one of the two issues that cause me the most stress.... and I'm not a low earner.@£45k

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