Ok, I know what you may be thinking, “Is she crazy?” “Girl, give me that job, I’ll be happy” “You must not be struggling like we are to be complaining”. Maybe, you’re not thinking these thoughts at all, but when I tell you that I wouldn’t be surprised…because I’m even struggling to write this blog article due to how it may come across.
In a world where success is often measured by the size of our paychecks, landing a $100k job might seem like the pinnacle of achievement. The promise of financial stability, status, and a comfortable lifestyle can be alluring. However, what if I told you that I once had such a job, I found myself utterly unhappy?
On my “Life” Vision Board, I have a cut-out image of “$100k” on it. I made this vision board when I first moved into my goddess pad, and it’s a very general/long-term vision board I must say. Around this time, I was in the $50k salary range, working a job that was okay, it paid the bills and allowed me to be social and have fun (a little too much, but that’s a different article lol).
Anyways, let me tell y’all how I had to learn that “money doesn’t buy happiness” myself, the hard way…I should reframe that the job didn’t bring happiness, but I do take accountability for accepting a job (that I knew in my heart was not meant for me) because of the shiny “$100k” salary.
Identifying “The Illusion of Success”
Growing up, I believed that a prestigious job title and a hefty salary were the ultimate goals in life. I, a Black woman, decorated with my degrees and ambitious aspirations, pursued a job that promised financial success. Landing a $100k job felt like a dream come true, and I was initially proud of my accomplishment.
However, as the days turned into weeks and months, I began to question whether the pursuit of success had come at the expense of my happiness. It did. Not just my happiness, but for a time it cost me my confidence, my education, and ultimately my mental health.
The Daily Grind
One of the first realizations I had was the toll that my high-paying job took on my work-life balance. Long hours at the office (or at home, as it was a hybrid role) became the norm, and weekends were no longer a respite but an extension of the workweek. When I did take a normal weekend, I felt so guilty, and I had the biggest case of the Sunday Scaries. Don’t even get me started on office politics and micro-aggressions.
The pressure to meet targets and exceed expectations was a daily loom. While the financial rewards were evident, the cost to my mental and physical well-being became increasingly apparent. Just the year before, I was so proud of myself for losing 50 lbs…then I got this job, and yeah…let’s just say I’m back on my weight loss journey.
Lack of Passion
Despite the high salary, I found myself lacking passion for the work I was doing. The daily routine became monotonous, and the initial excitement of the job (the salary, let me be honest here) quickly waned. I realized that money alone couldn’t sustain my motivation and fulfillment. I yearned for a sense of purpose, a deeper connection to the work I was dedicating most of my waking hours to.
As I became consumed by the demands of my high-paying job, my relationships suffered. I had just removed a few significant people from my life, and I was still processing those adjustments. Quality time with family and friends became a rarity, and the constant stress and fatigue impacted my ability to connect with others.
I remember being irritable and dull all the time, which is so out of character for me. I felt my “Lena Sparkle” getting dull, which propelled a deep sadness within me. I felt my soul getting stale and dark. The pursuit of success/money had isolated me, leaving me questioning whether the sacrifices were worth the price of financial prosperity.
My Turning Point
It took a breaking point for me to reassess my priorities and feelings. A moment of reflection (it was a work trip to Vegas) made me realize that the pursuit of a six-figure salary had led me down a path of dissatisfaction, unfulfillment, and burnout.
In an ironic turn of events, the company decided to do a huge reorganization and I, along with a few others, was ultimately let go. Bittersweet isn’t even the word to describe how I felt.
Finding Fulfillment Beyond Salary
In the aftermath of this career setback, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. I explored my passions, deeply immersed myself as a community manager for City Girl Savings and sought out job opportunities that aligned with my values and interests. At the time of writing this article, I’m actually in a role that’s been a dream of mine for years!
While the paychecks provided by my previous job are missed, the newfound sense of fulfillment and purpose far outweigh the monetary benefits…gosh, I still can’t believe I typed that haha!
So, there you go folks, having a $100k job may seem like the pinnacle of success, but it’s imperative to recognize that happiness and fulfillment extend beyond a paycheck. My journey taught me that pursuing passions/interests, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and nurturing meaningful relationships are essential for a truly satisfying life.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, take the time to evaluate what truly matters to you and consider whether the sacrifices for a high-paying job are worth the toll on your well-being.
Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness requires a detour from the conventional path to find a more fulfilling destination, and you know what…I’m grateful for that detour, down the unconventional path.
Don’t get me wrong though, I still have that “$100k” image on my vision board because I do believe that I will reach that salary again, but it will be in a role that I am passionate about and find fulfillment in.
Let me know what you think about this article. Have you ever had a job that you hated, but the salary was great? What did that experience teach you about fulfillment and happiness?
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