There was this popular rap song back when I was in high school (or junior high?) with a chorus that went “Money can’t buy me happiness, but I’m happiest when I can buy what I want…”
I’m in the same situation as @vorpalette:
where I don’t hate what I do, but the pay can be much better, and it’s a way better situation than my last job so I’m dealing with it. I don’t want to be complacent though, and I was getting very close. SO’s been pushing me to move on though, because my skills are underutilized. :/ I need to remind myself to keep reaching for better.
Me, I’m still grappling with this one. I grew up in a more materialistic culture, where people are proud to have lots of superficial luxuries (like, more so than the average North American), and I find that as I grow older (and as I get closer to SO, who lives very simply), I’m becoming less shallow. At my last job, where I was miserable, I thought ‘As long as I don’t want to die when I go to work, that’ll be good enough. That’s all I ask.’ Now I’m there…and I’m not sure this is all I want. I think I can do better.
My interests don’t make money so I find it hard to believe I could find a job I love with all my heart that can support me. If I could find that job and it’s enough to live on…I may consider it. But I grew up with zero financial security so that’s really important to me, too. So in the end, with respect to jobs, I will tend to gravitate towards financial security over personal fulfillment – I fulfill myself in my personal life and through my hobbies.
When it comes to men though, it’s a much easier decision. I was dating a handsome specialist doctor when I met SO, who was perfect on paper. Once he finished his fellowship, he could earn $300K as soon as he got a permanent gig at a hospital in Canada, or more if he ever chose to go overseas…but he made me miserable because he had absolutely no time for me and our personalities just clashed like crazy.
Then I met SO, who’s an engineer, and promptly broke up with the doctor. As an electrical engineer, he can make up to $150K in Canada if he works up to managerial level (which unfortunately he doesn’t really want because they reduce benefits after a certain pay threshold, and he’d rather grow his business)…so that’s half the earning potential of the other guy (but realistically less, because SO doesn’t want to become a manager). But SO treats me much, much, MUCH better, so that was a no-brainer. 😛