Job Quality vs. Job Compensation: What’s the Deciding Factor?
A big component of any job is the salary or wage. After all, most people work in order to earn money for the things they need and want in life - though enjoying your job is certainly a bonus! When evaluating a job offer, what you will be paid is most likely your key consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.
Possible drawbacks of higher pay
You may think there are no downsides to finding a higher paying job. Everyone likes more money! Before saying “yes,” though, you should consider if there are reasons they are offering a higher wage. Job quality versus compensation is a big factor in employee job satisfaction and overall quality of life. Make sure to investigate if a higher hourly wage is making up for the following downsides.
Mandatory extended hours
Some companies, especially those who go through periods where their work surges, such as a busy holiday time or seasonally-dependent work, build forced extended work clauses into their employment contracts. This means you may be mandated to work extra shifts with little to no notice if work levels require it, and refusal can lead to termination.
Imagine coming in for your 4 hour shift only to be told you need to stay an additional four hours. If your shift was from 8 am to noon, it might not be so bad. Now imagine you have to pick your daughter up from daycare at 1 PM and take her to a piano lesson at 2 PM. Or this is a second job you work from 6 PM to 10 PM, and now you’re being forced to work overnight, even though you need to go to your office job the next day. You may even need to stay more than eight hours - 12 hours or longer isn’t uncommon in a busy season.
Sure, you’ll earn more money by working additional shifts, and perhaps even “time and a half” pay (1.5 times your hourly rate) for overtime, but is your time worth it?
Additional manual labor
In exchange for a higher pay rate, a company might also have very high expectations - some they may be criticized for if they seem impossible to meet. Highly paid, hourly shift work is often in manufacturing or a warehouse-like environment. Unlike other jobs where you could be on your feet a lot like retail or food service, warehouse workers may routinely walk up to 12 miles each shift, and sometimes they can be penalized for not maintaining a certain speed when it comes to stocking or retrieving items.
Performance metrics can be hard to achieve and maintain. Not only can it be difficult to get up to speed when you are hired, but being with the job for years doesn’t guarantee your performance metrics get easier or that you won’t be penalized for not making them. Plus, this kind of performance metric doesn’t depend on your attitude, sales skills, or customer service, but simply repetitive manual labor.
Lack of creature comforts
Office environments are nearly always divorced from the outside weather. Inside solid structures with central heat and air conditioning, you can almost forget what month it is while you’re sitting at a desk. Not so with some jobs!
Shift work, seasonal employment, and other jobs often take place in warehouses or temporary facilities that don’t provide basic accommodations like climate control. In the Mid-atlantic, this can mean freezing temperatures for several months in the winter, with humidity and temperatures in the 90s throughout much of the summer. Again, you will be expected to meet your performance metrics while possibly battling the elements, especially if your job is outdoors or involves moving between buildings.
For jobs like warehouse work, there are also very few breaks for you to sit, eat, or drink. Security measures may mean you spend part of your 30 minute lunch break in line, waiting to pass through metal detectors or security scanners - and that’s after you cross a giant warehouse to get to the exit!
High demand means high turnover
Despite the downsides already discussed, the high pay means these jobs are in demand. This can create a disincentive to actually take the job, though! Rather than cultivating new hires and promoting quality employees, a system of high demand means employers can fire an employee for any reason, knowing they can easily hire a replacement. Employers like to say that higher wages mean they can have their pick of quality candidates, but many jobs they are filling are unskilled.
With high employee turnover, it can be difficult to cultivate relationships with coworkers. Often, the social environment of an office is an incentive to work there, with many companies working to develop their workplace culture and use it to attract new talent. Not being able to eat lunch or talk with coworkers you consider to be friends can lead to a lot of disatisfaction with a job on the whole.
The alternative to difficult part time work
If you or a friend are looking for a part-time, seasonal employment, or even a full time job at this point in the year, look to J & J Staffing. We specialize in placing employees with successful local companies. Even better, these companies are looking for workers who are individuals. Do you have what it takes to succeed in a position and achieve a promotion? J & J Staffing Resources is probably for you! Contact us today to be put in contact with one of our eight local offices.