A Pay Raise May Actually Make You More Unhappy at Work: Study

Unhappy at work? That pay raise you’ve been pursuing might not make you happier.
A recent WorkWise study shows those who make north of $86,000 per year are less satisfied with their job than those earning less… sometimes far less. As you can see in the chart below, nearing or cresting the six-figure mark doesn’t always leave you happy.
WorkWise data is gathered from all types of industries, and it notes government workers, real estate employees, and marketing professionals were more likely to rate their job highly overall. Retail employees were, perhaps unsurprisingly, the group that ranked their job satisfaction the lowest.
Once we get past the $56,000 hurdle, job satisfaction jumps dramatically, and stays on a steady upward trajectory until the $86,000 mark, where it suddenly drops off.
In an odd twist, people reported more money would keep them in a job they disliked. As WorkWise notes: “This didn’t surprise us very much, simply because a job that people dislike naturally leads to working exclusively for a paycheck. It only makes sense that people would want their paycheck to be as big as possible.”
While this data doesn’t focus exclusively on tech, it definitely encompasses the industry. On the bright side, the survey shows tech pros see a “clear path for promotion” more often than those in other industries. Tech pros also have a low reporting percentage of communication issues amongst teams.
Tech pros still want more out of their companies. Our own anonymous survey shows most (21 percent) are ready for a promotion, lest they quit their jobs. The 2018 Dice Salary Survey shows 42 percent anticipated switching jobs, with 63 percent of that group willing to jump ship for more money. (We should also point out that the average tech pro salary is at the top end of WorkWise’s chart.)
So maybe more cash isn’t the answer. As salaries in tech level off, perks are becoming an important negotiation tool for employees. As tech pros have told Dice, the most sought-after are better health benefits packages and the ability to work remotely, with equity in the company ranking third. Keep that in mind if you’re not happy at work; if your bosses stonewall you on a pay increase, you may be able to negotiate other terms of your employment.