Tech & Work

Does money make you happy, or does being happy make you money?

It's highly unlikely that any employee would object to making a good salary. But is it too simplistic to think that money buys happiness?

It's highly unlikely that any employee would object to making a good salary. But is it too simplistic to think that money buys happiness?

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We've just published our 2009 IT Skills and Salary Report. Here's an excerpt from the report:

"The base majority of IT professionals are satisfied at work with 4 out of 10 being either 'very' or 'extremely' satisfied with their jobs. Indeed, the results show a direct correlation between job satisfaction and the amount of money that one is paid. Since more money equals greater job satisfaction, one could infer that for some, money does buy happiness—at least at work."

While I'm not denying money can put a smile on most people's faces, I'm wondering if this may be a case of what came first — the chicken or the egg. Instead of considering that money buys happiness, how about thinking of it as more money comes to people who like their jobs. If you like your job, you're more likely to put in that extra effort, which is recognized by your manager who, in turn, issues you raises. If you're happy in your job, it may have something to do with the fact that your talent is recognized with positive attention from your managers and others in the company. And that positive attention results in more money.

On the other hand, if you're unhappy with what you do, you're less likely to respond readily to new intiatives, and your negative attitude might impact effective communication with your co-workers.

What do you guys think?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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