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Physicians, APs: How Important is the Money to You at Your Next Job?

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As we continue our look at common relocation mistakes people make, we turn now to the issue of money. If money is the main reason why you’ve accepted a position, then you better make sure that your new salary will—pun intended—pay off.

If you’re like me, the “quick math” you do in your head when figuring out the affordability of a certain dollar figure ends up being an optimistic overshot. This isn’t a big deal if it’s a pound of meat, but it could be a big deal if it’s your salary at a new job in a new area for the next five years.

As entrepreneur Penelope Trunk writes over at her blog, people who are about to relocate often have one thing in common:

We overestimate the raise.

Trunk quotes Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman who said, “It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”

In other words, if you suddenly end up in an area where no one knows you and therefore, does not love you, will this be better for you and for your family?

This consideration could possibly diminish the importance of money, and Trunk observes that if money is the reason for your move and for “relocating away from people you love in order to get more money, you should think twice.”

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t consider moving away for more money, but it probably shouldn’t be your focal point. Here’s a big reason why, Trunk writes: “Nattavudh Powdthavee of the University of London did the computations to show that you need to get a raise of $130,000 to compensate for the happiness you will lose by moving away from friends and family.”

That’s a heckuva raise, to be sure. Another thing to consider in addition to the family angle is the cost-of-living angle. If you live in an area where the cost of living is low and you’re earning $90,000 a year and you move to an area where the cost-of-living is high and you’re earning $120,000 a year, you may suddenly find yourself pinching more pennies even with a larger salary.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, how important is the money for you when making a final decision about your next position?

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