If you’re like most working Americans today, you grew up in a culture that taught you that talking about money was one of the greatest taboos…
It's a debate about as old as the proliferation of "culture" in office life: is it worth taking a pay cut to work for a "cool" employer, or even just an employer that lets you be cool on your own time? This question is asked all over the internet, and is something Forbes' Liz Ryan addressed last week in one of her columns. Ryan writes, "You get to decide where to spend your time and energy." But where's the best place to do that – the company that pays more, or the company that seems fun and/or allows you to have a life outside of work?
With the recent explosion in tech-focused jobs, it's difficult – if not impossible – to imagine a world in which web developers and digital gurus provide no value to society. But in a post-apocalyptic world where walkers run amok, being a software engineer or digital marketing professional isn't going to keep you alive. So, in the event our generation does encounter something like The Walking Dead, which jobs and skills are actually going to be important for sustaining society – and ensuring that your life will be valued by your machete-wielding companions?
There's something quite amazing about Tinder. The app seems to have tapped humankind's most basic desires and instincts, and trapped them all underneath the glass of your smartphone: find attractive person, move hand (or just one finger) to confirm attraction. But as more experienced Tinderellas can confirm, there's more to the app than just a good picture. Since the "dating" app added the ability to list your job, the folks at Tinder have been able to find out which jobs get you the most right-swipes. It offers interesting insight into how much people value a high salary in a potential mate.
Discussing money might be the only real conversational taboo left in America. We've recognized, over time, that sharing our ideas and even our fears with trusted friends and family only builds our understanding and makes our lives better. These days, it's okay to talk about the troubles we're having with our children or even our marriages. We can talk about race, religion, identity, etc., outside of work. But, do we talk with each other about our salaries? Oh goodness, absolutely not. That's way too personal, and it's a conversation fraught with danger. But, what if this is a mistake? There may be some real upsides to loosening up our conversations about money.
Just like in real life, your video and computer game characters usually have to bring in some sort of income to survive. Whether you're looting gold coins or earning them through trade, you have to have enough gold to get you through the game. Today, I'm going to focus on one of my favorite games, World of Warcraft, and how much money characters from each profession would be earning in real life if they weren't hustling for in-game gold in Azeroth.
What do entry-level workers and executives have in common? To get the salary they deserve, they both need to negotiate. That's bad news if salary negotiation makes you uncomfortable, but the good news is this: by negotiating pay, you're almost certain to earn more over the course of your career. However, timing is everything, so let's talk a little bit about when to ask for the salary you deserve.
Once the definition of success, earning $100,000 or more per year doesn't automatically mean you've made it to easy street these days. As kids in the '80s (or earlier), we might have thought that amount was akin to a million dollars, but now, a six-figure income doesn't mean as much as it used to. What happened? Inflation, for one.
We all know that money, ultimately, can't buy happiness. True contentment and fulfillment comes from family, community, health, love, purpose ... but it's also true that being broke isn't much fun either. Surely a billionaire would feel happier, on an average day, than someone who's really struggling financially. This is a fair assumption, but it's only true to a point. Let's look at some research concerning wealth and happiness to try to understand the relationship between the two a little bit better.