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How Highly Do You Value a Good Paycheck vs. Mental Well-Being?

Topics: Work Culture

This week on Reddit, Phoenixfighter09 talks to the /f/personalfinance community about his current job situation. Unhappy, stressed out, and exhausted from toxic co-workers, he’s debating quitting his job of six months and taking a massive pay cut in hopes of pursuing his real passion while also salvaging his mental health and personal relationships. Should he stick it out or should he quit? Let’s unpack the details in this all-too-common scenario.


(Photo Credit: topgold/Flickr)

OP’s Current Salary

Do You Know What You're Worth?

According to OP, he believes he is compensated well for someone who has no formal educational background except high school. He earns $42,000 per year in Canadian dollars, with a 1.3 percent commission. OP also has a second job at LEGO that he genuinely enjoys. He works one to two shifts per week and gets paid around $12.77/hour.

Background on OP’s Job

OP has been working at his job for six months and reports that his experience has been very stressful. He’s worked a lot of overtime just to keep up with the workload, for which he is not compensated, because he is salaried. OP also reports that he is surrounded with toxic co-workers who continue to pile excess work on his plate – some of which he’s had to reject due to his already massive workload. This has caused a lot of tension between departments at his employer, and he reports that his manager is not on his side, which is evident by the rude and degrading comments OP says he hears.

Good Paycheck vs. Mental Health

At the end of the day, OP wants to leave his stressful job and work at the Humane Society and help animals, which only pays about half of his current salary. Regardless of what OP actually decides to do, his situation brings to light a bigger problem that so many people suffer from, which is having to choose between your mental well-being and a good-paying job.

The demand for high-performing employees is only increasing, and that means that more and more people are becoming stressed out at their jobs. But how do you know if a high-paying job isn’t worth it? The golden rule is that if a job causes you physical stress, or ruins your personal relationships outside of work, it might be time to reconsider your employment.

Should OP Quit or Stick It Out?

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Jan Lawrence
Jan Lawrence In a recent newsletter we featured a question along the same lines as OP in our Ask the Expert section but, in this case, our reader was reassessing his demanding working life following the sudden tragic death of a friend. He felt that the accepted long hours culture in his workplace would not change and believed that leaving was his only option if he was serious about improving his well-being. He explained that his wife thought he was mad… Read more »

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