Higher Pay Vs Career Growth: An Influencer’s Dilemma

Sitting across the room from Yemi, I could feel the frustration, anger and a tinge of regret in his eyes as he struggled to accept that he had been rendered redundant; and his services were no longer required. The hurt of many missed opportunities, the betrayal by the organization he loves and the confusion of where to start picking up the pieces. After 25 years in the banking industry; it was time to take a bow.

Yemi started out as a young, energetic and intelligent graduate, who knew exactly what he wanted from life – an oil company job and travel round the world, that was a simple request right? After waiting 2 years for the dream job, turning away offers from smaller companies, some stars aligned and he settled for a bank. He met his bae at an official function and had the opportunity to see a few countries. Life was amazing!

Yemi was a hard worker, whose passion for the job earned him rapid promotions. He was a #starboy at work and everyone loved him. However, he noticed that the higher he got, the less he enjoyed the job. The endless politicking, the monotonous nature of his job and the need for a change weighed heavily on him. He was losing his sense of adventure. His pay was great, but purpose was missing.

Yemi spoke with a few friends about his dilemma, and got mixed responses, most said – ‘it’s better to cry in a Bentley; than smile while trekking’ ‘stick to what you know’ ‘you have a family to feed’. When he asked me, I told him to rediscover his passion by trying something new. I have felt that way before and chose to become a business psychologist at 45, after a long, successful career in IT.

Yemi applied to organisations where he felt he could be intellectually challenged, expand his learning horizon and rekindle his passion. There was only one small issue – they were not willing to pay more than he was currently earning. The prospect of promotion and higher pay, kept Yemi in his job. He rose rapidly and became one of the youngest Managers in his bank. Life was good again or was it? … He consoled himself with his bank statement.

Recently, the bank hit rocky waters, and the Board/MD was changed. There were rumors of mass terminations and compulsory redundancy, but Yemi was confident that he would be exempted. Well … In recent times, the concept of agile learning has dominated the workplace; but has it been adopted into your everyday life. Take calculated risks, think long term and love what you do.

Sometimes you choose, other times life forces you to make drastic changes – whichever situation you find yourself, think about this – when you retire at 65, will you look back and say you seized or missed many opportunities. No amount of money can buy back the years lost chasing shadows, guard your career with all diligence, for out of it will come your ‘huge paycheck’. Employee/entrepreneur – there is more to you than what you earn.

Always see the bigger pictures of life and career. Dream and go for possibilities for yourself.

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