When it comes to your career, money doesn’t necessarily mean more satisfaction or happiness.
I’ve had clients who’ve come into my office asking what the highest paying careers for women are, saying “if only I made more money,” or countless other variations on that. Plenty of misconceptions abound when it comes to making a lot of money on the job.
Thanks to the recession and bailouts, the image we have when we think of a person who earns a lot is a corporate CEO who doesn’t do much.
While I’m sure there are cases where a high earner does considerably less than those who are lower on the pay scale, most people work hard for their high income.
Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about high income careers.
After reading these, you might change your thinking from what is the highest paying job to “what job will make me most happy?”
The highest paying careers for women are the most rewarding.
Thanks to recent books such as Lean In, by Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, some women are of the opinion that to be fulfilled in life, they need a high-power, high-paying job.
That might be the solution for some women, but for many, it means giving up a lot in life, including a family and social time.
Those who earn most work least.
I’m not sure where this misconception came from, but there’s an image floating in a lot of people’s minds that those who pull in six figures plus spend most of their time on the golf course or lounging by the pool.
Earning a high income typically means putting in incredibly long hours at the office, sometimes more than 12 or 15 hours a day.
High incomes equal big living.
The more money you earn, allows you to buy happiness. That might seem true, purchase your way to happiness by spending on fancy dinners or designer clothing.
But for a lot of high earners, there’s no time to live it up.
Earning a lot of money makes you healthier.
Another major misconception people have about those who earn a lot is that they are automatically healthier. The thinking is that these people can spend more on higher quality, organic food or have the money to see a doctor regularly or meet with nutritionists.
Yet, a lot of highly paid individuals don’t have time to make the best meals or see a doctor and may be just as unhealthy as the average earner.
In some cases, they are more unhealthy because of the demands and stress of the job.
Higher incomes mean more benefits.
Benefits such as health insurance, vacation days, and retirement plans don’t necessarily increase when a person’s income goes up.
A person who earns a lot of money might have a ton of unused vacation days, because she never gets the chance to take a break from the office.
The higher your income, the fewer money problems you have.
Some people think that earning more money will help them solve their financial problems. But money doesn’t solve problems.
If you earn a lot, but still spend more than you earn, your debt issues won’t go away. Instead, you need to learn to handle your debt for your money problems to go away.
The higher your income, the fewer personal problems you have.
Money can’t make your family happy or patch up strained relationships.
In fact, having more money can make your relationships more strained, as people might start expecting you to cover their bills or take care of them.
Companies value those they pay more the most.
High earners face the same work-life balance issues as lower or average earners. A company won’t necessarily cut a high earner slack or help her get a better work/life balance.
Most companies are willing to part ways with employees who earn a lot, but feel they need to spend less time at the office.
Higher pay means more choice.
When you earn more, you can afford more, such as a house cleaner or nanny for your kids.
But, while you can afford to pay people to handle your day-to-day concerns, earning more doesn’t mean you have more choices. You might prefer to take care of your kids yourself and feel resentful that you have to outsource the task.
Those who earn a lot climb the corporate ladder.
For a lot of people, earning more is connected to making their way up in a company or in the industry they’ve chosen. But, a high paying job can also be a dead-end job. You might earn a lot, but find you’re stuck in the same position, doing the same thing for years on end.
When choosing your career, don’t think “what is the highest paying job?”
Instead, think of jobs that you know will make you happy, that will let you pursue your other interests and goals in life, and that will let you live a life you find valuable.
“The 10 Worst Highest Paying Job Misconceptions” was written by Kelly Anderson.