When it comes to determining job satisfaction, position trumps pay. The size of a paycheck plays only a minor role, in determining work happiness. More important, finds a survey of office workers, is how far one has traveled up the corporate ladder.
Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, surveyed 16,266 workers from more than 800 workplaces and found that salary minimally influences job happiness.
Yet, when Oswald looked at an employee's worker's position in a company, he found a strong link with job satisfaction. Rank influenced how proud they were with their professional achievements. Rank also increased happiness 50 to 60 percent when compared with bigger paychecks.
Oswald explains that employees gain satisfaction from ranking higher than others. In a second smaller experiment, done with a group of students, he asked how satisfied they would be with a job offering a yearly salary of $32,000 after graduation. Some were told the pay was the second lowest in the firm, while others were told it was the fifth from the bottom. The higher the ranking, the more satisfied the students were with their prospective job.