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If I could choose, I go for the reasonably good salary with great working environment. One spend 8 plus hours a day there, may as well enjoy it.
Once I heard the story of 3 employees so happy at work; their job was to open the garbage bags to separate the items and pass them to different bins; they have a great personal relationship that the environment was secondary; they were having a party every single day.
I think it is a bit of a balancing act. On the surface I would say to always go for the better working environment. But then you also need to look at the difference in the salary. I know people who have taken major salary cuts to have a better working environment. But then they find themselves struggling at home. If you are a 2 salary household that will factor into your decision as well.
And it will also depend on your risk tolerance. With money, I am risk adverse. Which is why I do not gamble even though I am a pretty decent poker player :)
I strive for both. It doesn't necessarily have to be either. And to be honest, the mentioned scenario could easily be switched. That said, there is also the question of where in the individual is in their career. Sometimes it is necessary to make sacrifices until you are at a place to make concessions.
In Canada, up to half of our income goes to taxes and having worked at places with big salary but toxic environments I will always choose a decent salary but a great working environment.
This means I respect the values and culture of the company as a whole, enjoy a mutually beneficial working relationship with my direct manager and appreciate the social interaction and collaboration within my team.
I tried to be specific about the scenario - You have to chose either or ? Not both, not another scenario. What's your choice ?
Today we learned three things about you: You own a house, a good poker player and you were laid off twice :D
Now you and Sante can go play poker together.
Lesson learned : I will chose only great working environment as long as I can pay my bills.
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