The best paid job isn’t always the best option

You’ve hit the jackpot and been offered two jobs. They’re at similar companies doing similar things, but here’s the rub: one is offering a bigger pay packet but is considerably further away.  Which one do you choose?

For some, the prestige of knowing that there’s a bigger number at the bottom of your payslip may well be enough to sway the decision. For others, the extra time you’d save on travelling and the money you’d save on fuel or public transport will mean they’d happily take the lower salary for the advantages of being able to get extra time with their family and friends.

Of course, that might not factor into your decision at all – if the lower paid job offers better benefits in terms of developing your career or the people that you’ve met who work there have made a better impression, then the decision will already be made regardless of the remuneration.  You could also be receiving extra benefits provided by a position that need to be considered too, such as health insurance or flexible working hours that could compensate for a lower salary. Then there’s also the job itself – will you feel a greater sense of achievement and self-worth if you’re in a job or a workplace that does good?  Healthcare and the charitable sector attract so many people for just that reason.


Recent research by health and safety consultancy estimates an average British employee spends £5,000 a year on their job – that’s commuting, lunch, car parks, childcare, clothing, the office coffee machine, birthdays and secret Santa and any other expenses.  For those not already in work, this can be a difficult challenge to overcome – you may be unable to take a job because transport costs and other expenses keep you from getting there until you get your first payslip.

When you’re considering a new job with a better salary, give a thought to the extra expenditures that will go along with it.  In some instances, taking a pay cut will translate into more money in your pocket and a pay rise might get you no real gains either financially, or in terms of your quality of life.