job offer: Work-life balance or higher pay: How to choose the best option for your next job

Ever thought about what you would do if you were to end up in a situation that necessitated choosing between work-life balance and higher pay?

Let’s say you have received two job offers: both from widely acclaimed companies you wish to join. However, one is offering Rs 35,000 a month for 5 days a week, fixed work of 8 hours a day. And the office is not that far from your home. The other job offers Rs 45,000 (a number you deeply desire) a month, for 6 working days a week, and requires you to spend 2 hours each day commuting to work.

First of all, understand that there is no simple yes or no answer to resolve this dilemma. It all depends on what matters more. Therefore, ascertain what can support your career as well as personal growth better at this very moment. Do you want a pay increase or are you looking to improve your work-life balance?

A tough call to make, right?

To help you make a wise decision, we have listed a few factors you must consider before picking one over the other.

1) Weigh your experiences and expectations
This is the time to set your priorities straight. Reflect on what truly made you leave your last job — exhausting work hours, hectic commute or the low pay structure. This will further bring clarity to what is absolutely non-negotiable for you in your next job, and what you can adjust with in the long run. If money has been a cause of concern for some time, it won’t hurt to take a job that requires you to commute that extra mile. However, if you know that a job that demands long work hours — no matter how well it pays — can meddle with your mental peace as it did earlier, then don’t think twice before rejecting it.

2) Take all the possible ‘what ifs’ into consideration
Another way to ensure that you don’t regret your decision is to put yourself in hypothetical situations and assess the probable consequences. Suppose you take up the job that offered a lower pay only because it promised flexible work hours. Later, you realise that money is a huge motivator and you should have taken the other job offer. Over time, this can affect your mental health, and can even force you to quit within a few months. Similarly, after taking the job with higher pay, what if you start experiencing burnout and start seeing the lines between professional and personal life blurring away? Explore all the plausible outcomes of your decision before reaching a conclusion.

3) Seek the opinion of those around you
Sometimes, a fresh perspective on such situations helps to take a better decision. Discuss the matter with your family members as your decision will directly impact their lives as well. For instance, spending extra hours on work can hamper your relationship with them. Or, earning a lower salary may prevent you from fulfilling the responsibilities you have towards them.

You can also ask for your friends’ opinions as they might have faced a similar situation. So they might save you from committing the same mistake. Lastly, the opinion of your loved ones may not be bias-free or may not align well with your career goals, so consider approaching a career coach, mentor or an industry leader to get expert guidance.

4)Is there a job opportunity that can offer both?
If you are extremely confused between the two job offers — where one promises better work-life balance and the other promises higher pay — why not leave both and search for an opportunity that can meet all your preferences? It is not necessary to sacrifice one to enjoy the other. You can find many organisations that promote the overall well-being of their employees and also greatly value their skills. All you have to do is improve your search process.

Besides, to increase your chances of landing an incredible role, you can always upskill yourself and enhance your skill set.

We all desire work-life balance and higher pay in equal amounts, to experience consistent personal and professional growth. That is probably why it can never be easy to choose between these two. All you can do is figure out which one aligns best with your situation before making a decision.


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