What will it cost?

When most of us look for a job, we’re pretty keen to see how much it pays.

But another, and I would argue equally important question is: what will it cost?

You need to know if the salary justifies the cost.

A job will cost you time, energy, mental space and, in some cases, physical labour. It will cost you in time away from your friends and family, it will cost you patience, and it might cost you in things like missing out on your kid’s first day at school, or not being available to stay home when they’re sick.

Commuting is a cost. Difficult colleagues and pointless meetings are a cost. Lack of acknowledgement and support is a cost.

Work is one of the great sources of happiness and fulfilment but it also has the potential to be an enormous source of stress, misery and ill health.

Sometimes the pay is modest but the opportunities for learning, personal growth, connection and relationships are priceless.

And sometimes the salary is huge but so are the expectations and hours.

So, please, weigh this up when you’re applying for jobs. It’s not just about the bottom line – it’s about how this job will deplete and reward you at this stage in your life. You need to meet your financial obligations but you also need to consider what you are willing to do for it.

While our society is very focused on making as much money possible, regardless of the impact on your life, I would argue that time, health, happiness, learning and social opportunities bring more value to your life once your financial needs have been met.

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