How People Who Choose ‘Soul Sucking’ Jobs With High Salaries Actually Wind Up With Less Money In The End

You shouldn’t have to choose between a job that pays well and your happiness.

Woman stressed out at soul-sucking job Martin Lauge Villadsen / Shutterstock

Everyone needs money to survive — it’s the way of our world. We’ve been fed stories of hard work, the American Dream, and a “bootstrap mentality,” which would have made you think your purpose in life is solely to climb the corporate ladder and earn the highest paycheck possible. 

However, as many hard-working Americans have discovered, an unending devotion to your job often leaves you overworked, depressed, and disconnected from what truly matters. 


One man claimed that people who choose high-paying ‘soul-sucking’ jobs often end up unhappy and with less money. 

You shouldn’t be deterred from chasing your dreams of being a lawyer, a doctor, or a technology professional simply because someone online said so. But if introspection and self-awareness are virtues, what’s the true reason you’re striving for that “good job?" 

Is it to help people? To explore something you're passionate about? Or to have enough money to live comfortably? Almost 60% of people with high-paying jobs report staggering “unhappiness” — but they’re making lots of money! So, it’s worth it in the end, right? 

@thejaunt Something to keep in mind with high-paying but soul-draining jobs #psychology #philosophy #spiritualtok ♬ original sound - TheJaunt

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Sadly, many have found that not to be the case. Not only do these professionals often have less free time to enjoy life with the money they earn, but intense feelings of anxiety and stress accompany that, a dwindling sense of purpose, and an excessive commitment to work.

Content creator @TheJaunt echoed this sentiment, adding that the high salaries are only a facade. 


“Something to keep in mind if you end up choosing a ‘soul-sucking’ job with a higher salary,” he said, “is that, ironically, there’s a scenario in which you end up having less money.” 

Not only do they spend more attempting to remedy their anxiety and stress, but they often resort to toxic spending habits to simulate happiness. 

Mental Health America studies revealed that almost 80% of employees admit work-related stress and anxiety have contributed to their overall mental health and burnout. Not only is their work negatively affecting their time spent “in the office,” but it’s also seeping into their personal relationships, overall happiness, and physical and mental well-being. 

@roilysm Please know you are not alone if this is something you’re experiencing ❤️‍🩹 #corporatetiktok #mentalhealth #workstress ♬ original sound - Kendall

This man’s TikTok empathizes that work-related stress and anxiety also influence the daily habits, vices, and stress-relieving behaviors of its victims — feeding into heightened addiction struggles, irresponsible spending, and isolating behaviors. 


“Let’s say you end up choosing a job that pays 30% more, but you absolutely hate it. You dread every single minute of that job," he said. "What often happens is these people come home from work … they do their drinks or [other vices] and eventually realize that it’s not enough to counteract the depression they experience at work.” 

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“People who are not even materialistic, who are very responsible about spending and saving in the past, all of the sudden will say they ‘need something else,’" he continued. "They start buying gadgets they don’t use, food they don’t eat, and clothes they don’t wear."

Studies support this man’s theory on increased spending — admitting that employees with higher salaries inevitably spend more in their personal lives under a misguided assumption that “they have more money than they actually do.” Their work-related stress and depression also influence toxic spending habits, as they seek dopamine and distraction with vices, entertainment, or “gadgets” they’ll never utilize. 


People with higher levels of stress and anxiety also accumulate higher healthcare bills. They’re more likely to need therapy, seek mental health support, or develop stress-related health problems. 

“Before you know it, that job that was paying 30% more means you actually have less saved because you’re spending 40% or 45% more,” @TheJaunt concluded. 

While many people admit they’ll 'hate any job' and would prefer to live comfortably when they leave the office, others can’t fathom sacrificing their mental health, physical well-being, and relationships for a bigger paycheck. 

“I quit my highest paying job because my mental health was declining fast,” one commenter shared. “I couldn’t even think straight. $150K and walked away to travel and live my life.” 


"At one point, [I] had a high-paying job. Paid well, but I was always sad/angry at the world, and it affected my relationships," another user wrote.

So, if, in the long run, you’re not actually saving more money, are these “high-paying” jobs worth everything you have to sacrifice? Our culture’s expectations, norms, and standards thrive under the assumption that the answer is “yes.” 

Woman stressed at soul-sucking job CrizzyStudio / Shutterstock


Without young people taking on educational debt, employees seeking an upward “corporate ladder climb,” or high-paying leaders willing to sacrifice their lives for their work, companies, corporations, and wealthy individuals would crumble. 

Yet, people are realizing that the “American Dream” is a sham for the vast majority of people — they’re working hard but never seeing the fruits of their labor. 

So, when you’re planning your future career or even a job transition, make sure you give thought to your priorities. What are you willing to sacrifice for just a sliver of monetary gain? 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.