Should I quit my dream job if it doesn’t pay me enough?
Read this if you feel like you’re underpaid.
Upon graduating, who wouldn’t want to find a job that you truly love and is exactly what you’ve been training for? That could be your “dream job”, like we always hear people say: “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”.
But then, in reality, there’s no such thing as a perfect job. You might like the company, but not your boss. Maybe your boss is nice, but you can’t stand your coworkers. You are fond of your coworkers, but the work is a hassle. You enjoy the work, but the commute is killing you… And when you finally think you have found the seemingly perfect job, the salary offered is not as expected.
Should you consider quitting?
Personally, I would continue, because it’s not easy to find a job that I really love and want to give it all I’ve got. What I’m doing now is basically the same: It is not always glamorous to work in the fashion industry (people thought I have a 9-figure income when I posted a Youtube video debunking all the assumptions around me! My actual income is not even close!) But I am persistent, since I like it, and I know I have a lot of space to make progress.
But what about the unsatisfactory pay?
First of all, make sure that the salary can support all your basic monthly expenses.
Everyone has some fixed monthly expenses: rent, bills, food, healthcare, transport… Whatever you do, your income each month should at least be able to cover all of these. Otherwise, the hard truth is that it is not enough for you to support yourself and you gotta find another job.
Secondly, keep hustling.
When the salary is still low, many would get discouraged or would only do what they are being paid for. However, in such a competitive workplace nowadays, just getting the job “done” is not a job well-done.
If you already have your mind set on the job, be hardworking, proactive and progressive. Always be the best version of yourself in front of your boss, be the trustworthy and helpful one for your coworkers. That is the only way to gain acknowledgement as well as opportunities to be promoted in the future. Or else, you would not progress, and that seemingly perfect job would eventually become a burden.
Thirdly, your salary is completely negotiable.
It is very difficult for the company or your boss to offer you a pay raise if you haven’t had the time to prove your worth. Because of this, if you are serious about what you’re doing, it’s possible to discuss your upcoming plans with your superiors to work out an achievable path.
There were times when I took in jobs that did not offer satisfactory pays, but I knew would bring me opportunities to grow in the future. But do keep in mind that these plans have to be specific, like knowing you’d be getting a salary or position appraisal in the next 6 months. It is quite worrisome to try to communicate with your boss but never get a straightforward answer.
Next, working on side projects are always an option.
If you stumble across an outside project that correlates to the field you like, it’s a chance for you to generate some extra income and level up some skill sets. The fashion industry, to be specific, offers part-time jobs in content, modelling, photographing… for various brands. This not only helps to expand one’s network, but also a source of income to ease the burden of low salary in the company you are working for.
Last but not least, be honest with yourself.
There will be stressful times when you think about the pay, even though the job is going well. Perhaps you will compare yourself with your peers and feel pressured. It’s absolutely normal, what you need is to figure out what you truly want. If income is your top priority, it is what you need to be confident and happy, then have courage and go look for another job. If you enjoy your current work because of the values it brings to yourself and those around you more than just payments, then go ahead and give it your best.
After all, there is no such thing as a permanent job. So, enjoy your life, and be brave to do whatever you set your heart on!
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