by Sunny Simon

Several weeks ago I wrote a column regarding factors to consider when deciding on a job offer. Bottom line, the decision should not be based exclusively on compensation. Granted we all want to make top dollar, but dismissing other items like benefits, commute, career growth and company culture can sometimes have an undesirable result.

Yesterday I received some validation on that column in the form of an email from a past client. A few years back, during a tougher economy, Diane found herself laid-off. She embarked on a long job search before she landed. Reluctantly she accepted a pay cut, but her decision paid off. She wrote: “After proving myself, the company gave me an extra $2,000 per year salary increase. This is actually larger than any raise I ever received working at another bank. Each year since I joined, I’ve been granted a $500 Christmas bonus. It’s truly a blessing. Although I took a pay cut initially, my happiness outweighs the larger salary I once received. I found my HOME!”

Sure, no one wants to take a pay cut, I don’t recommend it, but there are times when happiness trumps take home pay. Diane was pleased about more than the financial increases she received since joining the company. She further explained: “Never in my entire life have I worked at a corporate headquarters where I had the opportunity to meet and speak with the Vice President and CEO. It’s pretty mind blowing to be inside the elevator with top executives on a regular basis who converse with me and know me by name.”


Upon reading that last line I smiled. Being more than a number can make a difference. Diane came from a large financial institution, and as mega-corporations are structured, it is highly doubtful in that setting the CEO is going to smile and greet you by name.

Included in Diane’s email was a sentiment about the culture: “Despite our growing size, we receive a catered lunch once per month and pastries and fruit every Friday.” Okay, if you work in Silicon Valley and get a free lunch daily, this might not sound impressive; however, it means something to Diana. She realizes the company is growing yet maintaining a culture of appreciation.

Do you feel you’ve found your home about your current employment situation? If the answer is yes, I applaud you. If you are shaking your head in dismay, perhaps it’s time for you to find a place where a great job combined with culture of recognition and appreciation feels like home. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog