August 17, 2022 | In Think Pieces

Good Job, Bad Pay
Bad Job, Good Pay

Good Job, Bad Pay
Bad Job, Good Pay

"Good girl, no dey pay" - Bobrisky.

Ever heard this saying before? Let's rephrase for our context and say, good job no dey pay, bad job no dey work. (A good job does not pay; a bad job does not work)

A good number of us believe that an excellent job with good pay is a "miracle" sent from heaven. Rigthfully so, it is uncommon, especially at the beginning stages of your professional career.

Let's look at these two scenarios:

Imagine working at a startup with a vision you buy into.

You wake up anticipating the change you can make at this startup because your values align.

You however do not see a near future where you are not picking Trotro (public transport) to and from work because the pay can hardly keep you afloat and talk less of getting a car.


You wake up early every morning, rushing to work before the reporting time, as being a minute late can attract a percentage cut from your salary.

You hardly get any rest because of the workload and your boss is a thorn in the flesh.

Your only comfort as you sit in the slowly inching traffic is, “At least I drive a brand-new car and I am able to afford things most of my age mates cannot”

Imagine repeating the cycle five times or sometimes six times a week - and yes imagine it takes a toll on your physical and mental health.


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How to Land a Job Immediately After School - Part A


Which scenario would you prefer, or do you find yourself in? I would ask, what use is luxury when your mind is not at peace? But you could also ask in return, what is the use of peace in poverty?

I believe the answer of whether to accept a good job but bad pay or a lousy job but good income is subjective to you and your needs at that time. Let's delve into the pros and cons of the two sides of the coin.

Bad job, good pay

Who does not love money? You may not be in the best job, but you can be assured of the big bucks. A high-paying job gives you the mental satisfaction of reaping your school fees and getting your labour's worth. So, in the long run, we can say it provides some mental emancipation.

Think about it this way, when you receive a high salary, you can use it for the things you love, which would bring you happiness. Therefore, we can say that the enjoyment you get from getting items you love can overshadow your lousy job.

Additionally, in this Ghana of ours, where your "packaging" alone can take you places, then we can say that having a high salaried job means a good job position, thereby earning respect from others.

But can we compare your "packaging" to the pressure, long working hours and poor professional development? Can we then say a good job with bad pay is more acceptable?

Good job, bad pay

We spend not less than 40 hours for a typical 9 to 5 job, which can sum up to approximately a third of our lives at work. If you are spending so much time on something, I presume we should at least enjoy what we are doing. Thus, in the long run, we can say that the job satisfaction obtained can outweigh the low salary.

You can argue that a lower-paying job can be a steppingstone to a higher-paying career. Hence, it is okay to "lay low" on cash for a while, bidding the time till you get a better-paying job. After all, a job is better than no job at all.

On the brighter side, a salary is not the only way of being financially secure. The company may have added benefits like gym memberships, health insurance, work loans, or even free lunch. These are all ways of payment and help you to eventually save your salary for things that matter though it may not be much.

Passion vs Money

Suppose I am an entry-level graduate. I would not mind following the route of a lousy job with good pay. This is because I believe I need to build the foundations of financial prosperity, as financial support from my parents may be non-existent.

Hence, I would be willing to do "donkey work" for a good salary, but not without a plan for my next move. Once I have amassed the wealth, I need to build a solid foundation. I believe I will move on to my next category; an average okay job with an average salary.

In my mid-thirties to forties, I believe I can afford the "luxury" to slow down my pace of work. By this age, I can afford not to exactly "love" my job but still get a decent salary at the end of the day.

This is because priorities would have shifted, with the addition of possibly having a dependent young family by then. Thus, I cannot afford to let my mental or physical well-being receive a total shock, nor can I also receive a payment that does not pay the bills or put food on the table, all in the name of "I love what I am doing".

In this case, a balance puts all stakeholders and interested parties at rest.

Finally, by the time I am heading to my sixties, closer to retirement, a good job with poor pay does not sound so bad, as I should have amassed enough wealth to relax and enjoy what I am doing finally.

Just in the words of Carl Honore, "By slowing down at the right moments, people find that they do everything better. They eat better; they make love better; they exercise better; they work better; they live better." Hence, I can rest assured of dying knowing I had a successful life, eventually doing what I love.

"By slowing down at the right moments, people find that they do everything better. They eat better; they make love better; they exercise better; they work better; they live better."

Carl Honore

Way forward

What to do if you are currently having a great job but low wages? There are many ways out, and you could consider finding a side-hustle that can provide extra funds to support your daily expenses whilst you enjoy your other job, though this may come with fatigue from long working hours.

Remember, no matter how good a salary is, the price of peace of mind and joy whilst working cannot be compared to any amount of money. Looksharp Global has some careers posted you could start from, or it's time you negotiated for a better salary.

Or you may find you are at a pretty bad job but are receiving a whole lot of money but no job satisfaction. What then do you do? It is known that a lack of interest in a job can affect your delivery and level of commitment although the salary is good.

What do you think about this?

How about you find pockets of happiness at your workplace to start with? Maybe it is that constant smile from a colleague each morning or having a gist partner to vent on or joke with.

You see, it is not looking so bad after all!

The ball is in your court.

Let's go back to our saying: good job no dey pay, bad job no dey work. (A good job does not pay, a bad job does not work).

What would you do in either case?

The ball is in your court.

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Comments (1)

Mahdi Jamaldeen

Your article is a great piece. It is not a matter of having a bad job with good pay or a good job with bad pay but what is necessary at a given time in your life

2022-08-18 11:07:32

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How to Land a Job Immediately After School