Should I Take a Boring Job for the Money?

Last Updated Dec 22, 2009 8:10 PM EST

Dear Stanley,
I took a travel sabbatical a while back. When I returned to work last year, I took a job for a large and stable company that is doing well in the economy. The job gives me a lot of freedom, but it's way below my last position in both title and pay. The good news is that my co-workers are amazing. Now, a year later, the head hunters have approached me for a new position with more money and a better title. It's a boring job, one I've done before with a boring medical company. Should I move for the money? Or should I stay here where I am appreciated and underpaid?
Signed,
Loved One

Dear Loved One,

I think you know this is a tough one. You wouldn't be asking it otherwise -- you'd just be taking the job with better money, the way most of us would. I'll tell you what I would do.

I would by all means take the job that would pay me more money, except if it was boring. If it was aggravating, I would take it. If it was dangerous, I would take it. If it was exhausting and frightening, I would take it. But nothing is worth being bored for the rest of your life, or however long you could stand this particular job.

With the current gig, you have 1) freedom, 2) amazing co-workers, 3) a stable company that is doing well during this crazy financial time. Okay, you're not making the kind of money you should and your title is not up to snuff. Keep that in mind. Maintain a good attitude towards incoming opportunities. But don't trade happiness for well-paid misery. Life is too short, except when you're unhappy and bored. In that case, it's not short enough.

One day you'll look back on these hungry days before you hit it big with great affection. Savor them while they're still with you.