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What’s Your Emotional Salary?

By Joy Jameson

When considering a job offer, usually the mind quickly moves to the monetary salary, location, and responsibilities. What will I be doing and how much money will I be paid? However, it’s also important, and perhaps even more crucial, to consider the emotional salary you will earn with the position. It has been said that for maximum success, a job should be fun, challenging, and rewarding. These three factors create your emotional salary. Without even realizing it, emotional happiness plays a huge part in your success. A job site should be a positive environment in which staff members are respected, treated equally, and appreciated. There should be sharing, caring, and laughter. This will make workers eager to go to their workplace each day, thus drastically reducing absences. Productivity will also be much higher in a positive and user-friendly environment. Secondly, a job should be challenging to keep the workers’ minds active and creative. This will have high payback in the form of increased productivity, as well as worker happiness. In most cases, challenging tasks also require interactions with other staff members. This will be a plus for the work environment and strengthen organizational operations, thus increasing the emotional salary of the job. In addition, workers should know what the goals are for the projects/challenges they are facing and the plan for reaching these goals. Lastly, the work should be rewarding. Employees should feel and be treated like an important part of the organization—not just as faces in the crowd or names on an employee listing. For the greatest productivity and happiness, they need to feel that their work and ideas are perceived by their bosses to be a positive contribution to the overall goals of the organization. In addition, there should be a system through which work and/or ideas are publicly recognized, so that credit is given where credit is due. All of us have met people who could make much higher monetary salaries if they would move to a different city, school, or company. These workers recognize this fact, but say they want to stay where they are because they love their job. It’s the emotional salary that keeps them working year after year in their position. Therefore, the next time you think of changing to a new job, make sure you consider the emotional salary along with the other aspects of the job offer. It may turn out to be one of the smartest things you have ever done with regard to your career.

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