October 10, 2007

The ideal salary?

I got a text last Sunday from my dad asking me to check out this article in the Inquirer JobMarket section entitled "By the time you're 30, your salary should be P120,000". Written by a CEO of an executive search firm, it talks about why you need a career consultant, how you don't need an MBA and why those who graduate with honors do not make it to the top.

"By the time you reach the age of 30, your salary level should be four times your age. If not, go and check what's wrong with your career."

For someone like me who is about to turn 30, the author's opening line immediately got on my skeptical side. I wanted to know what his basis was. Was this industry standard? How achievable and realistic was this? How fair was that statement to everyone else in my batch? What did I need to do to achieve it?

I thought I'd go into career angst mode but after reading the article, it sounded like the whole salary computation thing was just based on the author's opinion and experience with a couple of clients. Wow. How factual can you get? The bold headline might even have been an attempt to attract clients(through the author's contact posted at the bottom of the article).

Another thing. Is salary the only career benchmark? What ever happened to job fulfillment, work-life balance and learning? I know they sound like a bunch of corporate HR bullshit but these are values which sometimes go beyond how much a professional's take home pay is. Would you rather work in a company which pays 4 times the salary but 5 times the stress? I've had friends who turned down offers from crappy companies who doubled their salaries. I also have friends who would much rather work for an NGO or the academe than be corporate whores with 6-digit salaries. Bottomline for me, money should not be the be all and end all of a career. A JOB IS JUST A JOB. Do what you need to do to pay the bills and run out of the office to experience life.

Read the full PDI article here.

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