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You reach a point where a higher income does not give you more joy. Therefore, it is about balancing the benefits of a higher salary with the cost of earning it, IDA's career consultant says.
Would you turn down a pay raise because you were already satisfied with your salary? It’s never enough money for many people, because it seems obvious that it is better to earn more.
Nevertheless, an American research group believes that they have calculated a 'meeting point' that is the limit for when it does not give more satisfaction to increase its income. The researchers denote this as the "ideal income level", but the specific amount varies across national borders.
In Scandinavia, it is an annual income of NOK 650,000 or NOK 54,000 per month. By comparison, the South Americans get no more quality of life when their income has rounded 228,000 kroner, while the Australians are first "saturated" by 814,000 kroner.
In the study conducted in Nature Human Behavior, researchers have compared data on more than 1.7 million people's income with the same people's evaluation of their own life satisfaction. The answers come from the Gallup World Poll and cover more than 164 countries.
But does it mean you have to try to earn $650,000 a year? According to IDA's career counselor Morten Esmann, studies like this must be taken with a grain of salt, because there are large individual differences in what is a satisfactory salary.
If you have a circle where high wages are the norm, you can easily feel dissatisfied with your own income, even though it is well above the average, explains Morten Esmann.
"You compare with others when you consider your own salary. And if you are a highly trained engineer, you are on average higher paid than other Danes, and you work with others who have an equivalent high salary. That's why there's more to you before you're satisfied than if you're low-paid or unskilled, "explains Morten Esmann.
For pay is not only a means of paying rent, kids' soccer training and summer vacation south. It is also a concrete measure of how much your employer believes you are worth. Therefore, there is also a high degree of recognition in one's salary, explains IDA's career consultant.
Morten Esmann always encourages IDA members to get the highest possible salary because that reflects that they have taken a long education and that they are valuable labor.
Even though pay is not like happiness, it can be demotivating to feel underpaid, and in his work as a career consultant, he often speaks with members regretting that they have undercut themselves to get a job.
"They choose to lower their payroll requirements so that they are safe to get the job done. But once they get the job, they will not be long before they regret it because they find that their colleagues get better pay for a similar effort. So the salary they were happy last night is suddenly too low because they could have got more, "he explains.
Conversely, he also speaks with members who are so prey to not want to go down to pay that they end up in a job for which they are not happy.
"They are highly paid and could go down to pay without being called up by their bank advisor. They really could not feel it on their private economy, yet they are reluctant to change jobs, if that means a lower salary. It shows that they want a salary that corresponds to what they think is worth, "he says.
In the end, according to Morten Esmann, it is important to consider why it is important for one to reach a certain level of wages.
According to the American study, life satisfaction actually decreases for those who have an income over the point of metacity in their region. The researchers can not give a clear explanation of the cause, but it is not enough that the money itself is a problem, but rather that it requires a lot of victims to get a higher salary.
For some, the cost is worth it because it makes them safe or gives them the freedom to live the life they dream about. But for others, their saturation point will be significantly lower.
"One has to optimize his salary, but not at all costs. If it requires disproportionate hours of work or often away from the family and feeling stressed, one has to consider whether the price is worth paying for a high salary, "explains Morten Esmann.