We have already covered this topic in week 4 and discussed the basic meaning of money and the idea that money can have much more meaning than money itself. The basic property of money is that it is an essential factor when people make decisions ranging from job choice to how much to work, and thus it enables them to maintain basic living and determines their quality of life. According to the article “When does money make money more important?” by Devoe, Pfeffer, and Lee, money shows how valuable they are in the workplace, and for this reason people place much more value on the money from their labor more than the money earned by chance. Therefore, I will first discuss the importance of money itself for satisfaction and proceed to the symbolic value of money to determine that money should be considered as an essential criterion for job choice to achieve intrinsic satisfaction in the end.
For most of us, making money is the primary reason for working. It enables us to maintain our living and enhance quality of life. Therefore, money immensely influences satisfaction in the workplace. Then one might assume that the more money you earn, the bigger the satisfaction. However, since there are limits to biological needs, this concept faces the idea of diminishing marginal utility of income, where the incremental change in utility from money decreases as the income increases. It means that as you get more money from the workplace, the increment of satisfaction from money itself is not as big as you have when you get lower income. Though it is true that money brings you satisfaction, satisfaction from money is variable. Thus money should not be the main criterion for choosing a job.
In addition to economical value, money also has symbolic value. In capitalist society, the easiest way to represent the value is using the price. For this reason, people easily believe that the amount of money shows how valuable a product or service is. Likewise, people recognize the competence of workers by the amount of income they get paid. Accordingly, money implies much more value than its economic value alone. Now money is not only the means to afford basic living cost, but also another way to express individuals’ capacity, by extension, their reputation. Usually, people who have achieved high level of living tend to pursue social recognition. Therefore, when income increase, not only lower income earners, but also higher income earners get higher increment of satisfaction than the satisfaction they get when we assume that money has only economical value.
However, still money cannot be the essential factor in regards to satisfaction in the workplace. Self-contentment which comes from achievement is not only described by how much they get paid. It can be substituted by promotion or recognition from people, for instance. Also, money and social recognition which higher income earners ultimately want are not necessary and sufficient conditions. There are a lot of figures admired by people, though they don’t get paid well. On the other hand, there are also people who get blamed, even though they are rich. Therefore, money should not be the main factor when we pursue the genuine satisfaction.
Of course, considering the fact that money gives people a satisfaction regardless how much money they earn, money is an important factor for satisfaction. However, it cannot be the main factor when to choose a job. To achieve the long lasting satisfaction, we need to find another factor not influenced by any conditions. Here is one story we can refer when we choose a job after graduation. It would be better to invest lots of time in prioritizing values to determine your job by analyzing and knowing yourself. Here is one meaningful video you can get help from.