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Would you work less/give up high paying job to be happier?

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I'm wondering how many people would do this / have done it.


It seems nowadays, that material possessions (as in lots of stuff, the most trendy stuff, etc.) and social standing (accoring to how well off one is financially) and individualism (which involves having a lot of stuff to feel more special/beautiful/important/fullfilled/whatever), are so important.


So many people will say they are broke, but it is because they are living above their means (credit card and other debts) and just want so much stuff. Or they are not broke but have a lot of luxury (of course relativelly speaking) and spend little time with their children and spouce ad family and friends and are stressed cause they work so much.


another example is bying the trendiest, newest condo instead of a more modest one. or an expensive new car. examples go on and on of course.


I'd like to know who has actually turned down or left a really high paying job because they were unhappy in it, or it was crazy hours/too much stress/no time for the simple things like resting, reading a good book, spending time with loved ones, etc.


Or who works part time, and/or makes a small salary (or retired early) by making some sacrifices such as living in a more modest condo instead of a luxurious condo/house, shopping at value village instead of stores, eating in instead of eating out, travelling less, taking the bus/subway/car instead of driving everywhere, etc....


life is so short and time so precious. I'd like to retire early and even work less until then, even on a super small salary. even if it means living in my very modest condo that I just purchased. I do suffer from a lot of FATIGUE and bouts of depression that no doctor can find a reason for. I'm tired and would like to rest and enjoy the few years my dog has left, with her. and see my family more (my siblings do not seem to agree. but I do have 2 aunts, a gramma and a mom I'd love to spend more time with, also they are aging...


I'm wondering what your thoughts are on all this.

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Define "happier". Is it simply feeling happier or is it giving up the job for something substantial (example= 'a partner that makes you happier'.)


I'd give and have given up things that would have made me more money for my partner. It's an easy decision to make.


However, I do wish to make quite a bit of money so that I can travel to exotic places and have the resources to give my children a lot of opportunities. So, money can bring a lot of happiness as well outside of material things.


I would not want to retire early because my profession will bring me much happiness. When it doesn't, I would switch to a new one and try to regain that feeling of happiness my job used to bring me.

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I worked at NASA for 11 years; it was my dream job. I left it because government contractors get paid VERY little, and we couldn't meet our bills and I had to find a higher-paying job. It's been 5 or 6 years now, and there's not a day go by that I don't think about how miserable I am and how I messed up (can't get the job back now). I would sell my house to have that job back, if I could.

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I gave up a higher paying job (by $5hour) because of the stress. I do miss that type of work but I dont miss the people that I had to work-deal with everyday.


I really miss the money, but now Im able to work a part time job and spend more time with my boys, and that makes me happy.


I would say be very careful there is not much out there to choose from, I think it should also depend on how long youve been there, your benefits, are you invested. I had none of that as I had only worked for this company for 5 years.

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I left a higher paying job for a lower paying one. I knew it was time to leave when I would sit in my car in the morning not wanting to get out and go into work. The job had terrible hours, lots of stress and little reward besides monetary. I remember driving home at 2:30 am on Christmas Eve because they just couldn't get the last minute job done without me.


But I've always lived below my means and I don't carry debt. So I don't have to rely on a big salary from a job.


And there was time when I quit a decent paying job to work temporary jobs to gain experience in a different field. People thought I was crazy, but I knew I needed a change. And it worked out to my advantage but I did have to make less money for a while. Actually, forever, as I chose a field that overall makes less money.

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I would def. leave a higher paying job just to be happier. I think it really depends on how we "define" happiness. Some people are happy by making money and climbing to the top. Some people are happy when they gain "material items" even at the expense of debt and what not. And others are happy as a result of "experiences", doing what we "love", being with "family" and just living a comfortable lifestyle.


I used to be that person that would have easily taken a higher-paying job at the expense of my happiness, because I was driven by material wealth, luxury, and attaining a lifestyle. That same lifestyle--I've watched my parents attain, lavish, and now ultimately has divided them, resulted in divorce, debt, and so on. And no one is happy.


I'm a believer that money is simply a tool in getting to what you "want" but by no means should be the ultimate indicator of success, personal accomplishment, or happiness.


I'd GLADLY take a job that didn't pay me that much, if I felt fulfilled, passionate, and most of all if I accomplished my personal goals. I'm very content living a comfortable lifestyle, where I may not have all the luxurious items, but am happy nonetheless.

The career that I'm interested in will pay enough so that I will be comfortable, but I will never be extremely wealthy, and that is something I accepted.


If we're talking about happiness in the general sense of, the common American problem of over-working, over-stressed then yes I would give up a job if I was unhappy and even if it meant less money.


I think part of the issue in today's society is that too many people are trying to attain a certain lifestyle, at all costs, and yet none of them are happy... If people stopped allowing these more "surface" aspects define them, and pursued their passion, then I think more people would be happy.

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I did this and think it was a mistake.


I was an engineer doing site work, nearly always away from home, earning double/triple my regular salary with significant OT and per diems...


Then I decided I needed a break and got an office job where I just make my regular salary and I'm so bored.


Nothing makes me happy but working more makes me money..

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I know somebody who took a 40k a year pay cut because he couldn't take the stress of the position he held in his company. Basically he said he wanted a better quality of life instead of a better paycheck.


I am in this situation right now. I just resigned(monday to be exact) from my cushy federal position working in finance, where I'm making GREAT money(that some don't see in a lifetime, not to mention at my age) and I was offered a job in human services/counseling which I have decided to take. I've been studying an advanced degree in this field for the last 3.5yrs and I've finally decided to make the career switch.


The pay cut is over 45k and of course I'm scared sh!tless, but this is my passion as opposed to being tied to a desk crunching numbers all day. Sometimes money isn't everything!

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I suppose I've done that and lived to regret it, but if I had it to do over again, I don't know that I would. I used to work in finance, hated it, now I'm in college pursuing a field that will give me what I was missing, servitude however by the time all is said and done I'm going to likely be making more than I would have at my other job, although I was top paid (via link removed) in my field.


If I were smarter I would have stuck it out and used their tuition reimbursement program is really my main regret with quitting. Although it did spiril into a whole mess of problems for me.

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Yes definitely. We spend most of our lives in work so it's important to make sure that aspect is as good as possible. I would give up a higher paid job and change to a lower paid one if it made a difference in that I was no longer unhappy all the time when working.

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I'm sorry to hear so many peolpe made choices they regreted....


I already have a not great paying job. after seeing freegans on Oprah and hearing about their motivations I thought it was amazing. though I'd not have it in me to look for food/stuff in dumpsters, I already do consume very little, buy second hand things, waste as little as possible, keep my stuff as long as I can, etc....


I care about the planet and... I do not see the point in wasting stuff that I've worked so hard to earn money for anyway...

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Not everyone who is broke is living above their means. But with that being said, as long as I could support myself (or my family if i had one) in a reasonable lifestyle, yes, I would be willing.


I'm not materialistic, but I wouldn't want to live in a bad neighborhood and have to eat ramen noodles every night.

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I hear you Misskitty



for sure one has to eat healthy foods. ... but that doesn't mean eating gourmet foods. know what I mean? anyway speaking for myself... I just got back form the market, I bought some local produce and lots of it... tomatoes, brocoli, cauliflower, and fruit... organic bread and peanut butter too...


but I don't need to buy gourmet prepared meals, or all organic, or lots of expensive meats, restaurants, etc...


for sure eating ramen noodles each night would be misery and not healthy...



as for the rest, what defines good from bad neighborhood? for some people my neighborhood would be really "bad"... yet for others it is acceptable if it means they can afford a condo there (this was my situation). sure it's not great (some drugs and prostitution), but there are alot of middle class and working class honnest people and it is not dangerous. there are some good points, the subway near by, the market, the parks....



what is a "comfortable" or "acceptable" lifestyle... again that varies form individual to individual....


for myself I am trying to go as green and as simple as possible, I really don't need a lot to be happy... I would like to retire early enough, not work until I'm 75 in order to pay for an expensive lifestyle and things I don't really need....


retiring will mean doing simple things, enjoying the simple moments with my pets (2 cats and a dog is the norm in my household and will probably stay that way), train my dog (I clicker train and do canine freestyle) and volunteer and sing in a choir, stuff like that.

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oh and Misskitty


I know not everyone who is broke is living above their means. I didn,t mean for it to come accross that way


I'm aware that some people just make really small salaries and many are underpaid


what I meant was more along the lines of the people who could avoid being broke but choose to live above their means. I don't wanna be one of those people... life is too short... and I have dreams of doing other things with my time than working ta my current job... I'd like to voulunteer in a particualr area for one. and I don't wanna spend my time being so stressed and my current job stresses me out quite a bit.

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I know its taboo to admit it, but I have no ambitions for great wealth or a stressful job. I haven't even had to work in such a situation to know this. My current job blows, though it gives me a lot of free time to focus on other things and I like that.


My main concerns when it comes to money are being able to afford to eat out regularly and living in a nice neighborhood. This means somewhere safe where I don't have to drive (cars are a big money pit) and somewhere close to everything. I don't care about expensive clothes or other little luxuries. They do nothing for me.


I can't see myself aiming for more money if it requires more stress. Not worth it, in my opinion. If I could somehow tap into something less stressful and more highly paying, that would be ideal, but I'm not going to bust my ass just so I can show off my wealth to others.

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Dragon Lady,


I liked what you said.


BTW another thing I find interesting is one's vision of nice neighborhood.


To some, that means suberbia with big houses, several cars in the driveway (and driving everywhere to shop for food, etc), fenced in big yard.


not denying a yard can be nice and a car handy, but do I really need those things? when I said I live in a neighborhood where there are some drugs and prostitution, don't get me wrong, there isn't a crack house every other address....


it's not the nicest part of the city (whatever, again, that means, cause it's a question of interpretation/perosnal taste), but it's overall safe and ok... (I live in a large city that is overall safe).


would have I chosen a different neighborhood, probably... but there are things here I wouldn't trade...


I agree being close to everything and the subway is GREAT. (great for the environement too)


and I'm happy you brought up the points you did. why should a perosn feel guilty for not striving for "success" (again, there are different difinitions) and wealth...


I'd love to give... something... I' d love to volunteer my time in a particular area... but I am SO pooped after work and so busy looking after my own life with the little energy and time I do have left...

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Personally, I have no interest in living in a big house in the suburbs with a driveway. To me that's dull. I like living walking distance to restaurants, cafes, museums and major attractions in my city. I also like having a short commute. Living in an apartment doesn't bother me. I prefer it. There are no lawns to mow, for one! Yes, there are panhandlers to deal with at my front door and you wouldn't have to look far to find drugs, but it's still a relatively safe part of town. The crime rate is actually lower here than in most of the suburbs in this city.


My guess is that people are made to feel guilty about not striving for wealth because it's seen as laziness. I couldn't care less about that though. I'd rather live my life the way I want to live it.

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Yes, i would give up a high paying job that offered me no fulfillment, for a lower paying job that made me happy. You'd be surprised at the changes you can make when your budget no longer requires certain things. The thing is, you'll find you'll pick up extra hours in that new job of yours that you love

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Personally, I have no interest in living in a big house in the suburbs with a driveway. To me that's dull. I like living walking distance to restaurants, cafes, museums and major attractions in my city. I also like having a short commute. Living in an apartment doesn't bother me. I prefer it. There are no lawns to mow, for one! Yes, there are panhandlers to deal with at my front door and you wouldn't have to look far to find drugs, but it's still a relatively safe part of town. The crime rate is actually lower here than in most of the suburbs in this city.


My guess is that people are made to feel guilty about not striving for wealth because it's seen as laziness. I couldn't care less about that though. I'd rather live my life the way I want to live it.



I agree with you.. I like the apartment life, to be honest. I do have pretty intense career goals, but even then my career goal will not really result in a ton of wealth, a large house or anything of that nature. And I'm fine with it.


Though I can see my mentality changing the moment I had a child... So for right now as a young 20 something I would say that I don't have much of a desire to be rich and have a huge house and whatnot, because I'm young, I'm having fun, and an apartment and decent paying job is all I need. But I suspect that once I'm older, married, and looking to have a baby, all of that will change.

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I'm planning to quit my current job. Don't get me wrong, for someone that wants some quick money and doesn't mind the incredible stress its great. But I'm not that someone. As some previous poster said, I knew I had to quit when I would take my time getting out of the car and loathing going back to work. I'm hoping my family will be supportive as I pursue my dream job, even though it may actually pay less.


You can't take your material possessions with you when you die. Do a job that matters to you and stick to it. I made the mistake of not doing that for years.

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Yes, I would absolutely give up a higher paying job to be happier. I have worked in jobs that I have disliked, and it really destroyed my quality of life. Sure, I only spent 40 hours a week there, but I was so stressed and angry about the things that would happen at work, that I would come home angry, depressed, upset, and exhausted regularly. It was truly the epitome of a "soul-sucking" job, and I didn't do much except lounge around when I came home because I simply didn't have the energy to do anything else.


I also really don't live a lifestyle that requires a lot of money, so my happiness is a greater priority than money right now. Furthermore, my husband loves his job, gets paid on the "low end of average" in his career, and he just seems so much happier and has much more energy than I ever did at the job that I didn't like.


I think that life is too short to spend 1/3 of it at a job that ruins your quality of life.

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im planning to quit my current job. pay is decent, nothing spectacular, but the work is very physically demanding at times. i've over exerted myself a few times since i've started working there and i'm starting to worry about my well being more then just a paycheck. on top of that its not really a job I enjoy slaving away to. so yea i'd quit a job just so i can be happier/healthier

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