Would You Stay In a Job You Hate If It Paid a Lot of Money?

job you hate

My husband recently reminded me that I haven’t worked in that many places. I was employed by my university while in graduate school then I worked for the park service for a year then taught college for two years, and now I’m running Budget Blonde and my freelance writing business. I was never in a job long enough to reap the benefits, climb up the promotional ladder, or even start to hate it.

I often wonder where my life will take me, but I’m pretty sure self-employment suits me. Still, if another job came knocking with a nice salary and benefits, it might be hard to turn it down especially if the schedule was flexible.

There are positives and negatives to working for a company and working for yourself, and we write about them here on Frugal Rules all the time. Here are some reasons I might stay in a job if it paid a nice salary:

1. Student Loans

It’s no secret that my husband is in med school, and now that he’s in his third year, his student loan debt will soon cross over the $300,000 mark. That’s not something I can ignore, even with a physician’s salary. I want that debt gone more than anything so we can enjoy our lives and his hard work without having to send massive chunks of our income to the man. If I had a high paying job, I’d probably stay in it just to help knock out those loans faster, even if I hated going to it.

2. My Kids’ Education

Since I’ve worked in academia, I know that if I want to go back to it, my kids could benefit from reduced tuition, tuition exchanges, and other perks. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, but there are some political aspects of academia that can be hard to navigate. Still, my love of teaching would likely outweigh those, and if I ever started to hate it, I’d probably stick with it for my kids and for the nice, steady income and good schedule.

Ultimately I think there are a lot of people who stay in jobs they hate because they don’t think they have any other options or don’t know of another way out. They think they’ll never find another job or that if they quit and change industries, they’ll be starting from scratch.

I think as long as you have enough motivation, you don’t have to work in a job you hate. There are lots of jobs and lots of careers that pay high salaries, and as long as you are a smart, hardworking person, you can find a way to better your situation.

The whole point of life is to do your best, work hard, and spend as much time as possible doing the things you enjoy. If 40 hours of your week is consumed by a job you absolutely hate, that’s going to affect you and everyone around you. However, I can’t argue with the fact that some people might need to stick with their high salary regardless of whether they love or hate it because they are trying to knock out debt, stay in a certain location, or have security for their families.


What about you? Would you stay in a job you hate if it paid a lot of money? What would be your motivation for staying? What would push you to leave?



Photo courtesy of: Paul Stevenson

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Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer and blogger. She received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog,

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