What to do if you love your job but it isn’t paying the bills

We’ve all been given the same advice before – find a job that you’ll love doing day-in, day-out. However, it’s not always that easy. Many of us don’t know what we want to do, or we’re afraid to step outside of our comfort zone.  

So, when you finally find a job you love, you should make the most of it. Of course, there’s always the small problem of having to pay your bills. If your job isn’t particularly lucrative and you’re craving a more stable lifestyle, it can be tempting to consider changing career.  

But is this the right move? In this article, we explore what to do if you love your job, but it isn’t paying the bills.  

Ask for a raise 

Asking for more money might seem obvious, but many people shy away from this option through fear of rocking the boat. Buas the saying goesif you don’t ask, you don’t get.  

This doesn’t have to be a scary prospect, though. If you feel like you’ve done the work to deserve it, then why not arrange a meeting with your boss to discuss getting a pay rise? Know your worth and write down your achievements, in case you don’t forget in the heat of the moment.  

Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary, either. Be sure to give them a list of your accomplishments after your meeting, so your boss can discuss with the managerial team and HR.  

Do your research 

Unfortunately, even if you’re the best negotiator, it’s not always possible to achieve a pay rise. Whether this is because your boss simply doesn’t have the budget to allow it, or they want you to improve in certain areas first, you need to accept the outcome and start thinking of alternatives 

However, it could be time to consider whether you could be earning more for the same job elsewhere. You can use our salary guide to check what the average salary is for your position. If you’re clearly underpaid, it’s worth going back to your boss and using this as leverage.  

If they don’t increase your earnings to remain competitive in the current market, you’ve every right to leave with your head held high.  

Get a side hustle  

If you love your job too much to quit, then start thinking about your other options. If you’ve got a passion which you’ve never explored before, why not consider starting a side hustle? A side hustle is a job you can take on alongside your full-time job.  

What’s more, over half (59.9%) of Brits started their side-hustle to make extra cash. While it may not be a long-term solution, it will certainly tide you over until you can make your regular job more profitable.  

Who knows, your side hustle may even develop into a new career path! 

Look for other opportunities 

What is it you love about the job? Is it adding to your personal career development, or have you just got comfortable? Perhaps it’s the people you work with that make your job so enjoyable? Remember to put your career progression first if it’s more money you’re after.  

It’s very likely that you could find a similar career trajectory elsewhere, for more money. Therefore, it might be time to look for other opportunities which continue to challenge you but will reward your efforts fairly.  

Negotiate from the very beginning 

If you end up looking for a new job to help pay the bills, make sure you learn from past mistakes. Don’t wait until it’s too late to negotiate your worth.  

Before accepting your next position, ensure that you’re being offered a fair and competitive salary. You know the value that you add to a company, so stick to your guns. You don’t want to end up with the same problem all over again.  

Why loving your job is great 

While this article has largely focused on the financial reward from a career, a pay cheque isn’t everythingthough it definitely helps. You’ll be happier in the long term if you choose a career that you love, which adds value to your life. 

Even though your love for your job may not be reflected in a pay cheque, it could help you climb the ladder to your dream career. This will have untold benefits in itself.  

So if you love your job but it isn’t paying the bills, don’t panic. There’s plenty of steps you can take to earn more money, but just be sure this is the right move before making any decision that you’ll regret.  

Bethan Port

About Bethan Port

Beth did her degree in English Literature, but loves all things language-related and is trying to learn Spanish too! She kept a blog on her year abroad and loves being able to write creatively about all things career-related.

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