Why high total compensation doesn’t make anyone happy?

Aug 24, 2019 628 Comments

i have realized that TC (total comp) doesnt matter after a certain point. i am in early 30s, married, and i stopped asking and caring about what my peers are earning. When i look back at my life, i would have never imagined to earn as much as i am doing right now in this age. But i still see alot of greediness around me. I am really happy about my TC even though i know i can earn 1.5x more by switching jobs etc.

I have barely seen a post on Blind where people say that i am happy with my TC and life. Once i stopped optimizing for TC, my perspective on life changed. I would suggest everyone, dont just try to earn money but also figure it out how to spend it - not on expensive cars and houses - but something more meaningful like donating 10% of your TC to the charity you believe in or travel across the world or may be just spend it on your new hobby. TC doesnt make any difference in your life unless you know how to use it.

I would actually love to take a job that has lower TC but gives me more timeoff (~2-3 months in an year) and enables me to create a wider and direct impact in the community.

I would love to hear more from both sides:
1. if you are earning over 200k+ - why do you need more TC? dont mention house, kids college tuition.
2. If you are really content with your life, what is it that makes you content and happy? I can be anything like good kids, happy relationship, loving spouse/partner, career opportunities. If it is higher TC, then answer #1.

YoE: 9
TC: 274

UPDATE: i shared my further thoughts as a comment answering some of FAQs people were asking me based on original post and DMs i received.


Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 628 Comments
  • priceline.com / IT top_phodu
    OP is SDE3 with TC 274, new SDE3 hires easily get 340+ .. OP is pissed he is unable to get back in the game after reaching 30+ .... Hence seeking an easier way out to comfort himself...

    Answering OP's original question, I would always drive for higher TC because of Darwin's theory of natural selection...
    Aug 24, 2019 11
    • New SpRJ26
      Some strippers also earn so much more...
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Facebook / Eng

      Facebook Eng

      Amazon, Facebook
      LMAO Priceline. lemme get whatever you're smoking.

      everyone's happiness is separate. buffett lives in the same house that he bought 50 years ago because that's what matters to him. robin williams committed suicide even though he was wealthy. op you gotta stick with what makes you happy
      Aug 26, 2019
  • Microsoft / IT ThreeDots
    All this philosophical things will.come when you have a better TC
    Aug 24, 2019 3
    • Microsoft / IT ThreeDots
      I agree ... I never felt poor untill I decided to buy a house. It's us and our expectations that made things look good or bad. .. but always good to have a better TC as no one else will take care of your retirement ... If u think u have surplus always u can give back to society but everything based off of your TC
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Amazon hde2
      What does better TC mean to you? What happens when you hit that ceiling?
      Aug 24, 2019
  • Google / Other

    Google Other

    Flagged by the community
    Go back to a low TC and see how unhappy you become.
    Aug 24, 2019 5
    • Expedia Group / Eng Anony🐭
      Some would argue that's already a low tc
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Splunk / Eng ImaRainbow
      Housing, medical and education inflation are fucking everything up in American cities. It’s 10x as costly as a generation ago.
      Aug 25, 2019
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Facebook sum41pwd
      BS, leave your home at 5am, work on the shuttle, shit, even get a $800k home then. Or rent. Can’t convince me that $500k in the Bay justifies “feeling poor”.
      Aug 24, 2019
    • PayPal Isjnd
      $1.4M bottom of the barrel? Bull. That's $600k, and has been for a long time. 700-900sqft 1 or 2bd shoeboxes. $1M can get you a nice 3bd 1400-1800sqft in SJ and surrounding areas. Heck, you can find those for $800k, and they go for asking or a little over (unlike last year).

      Only talking single family homes here. Condos/townhomes excluded.
      Aug 24, 2019
  • Microsoft seagull
    You are not wrong but I’d like to share a different perspective on why some people care about making high TC as soon as possible. Regardless of your education, skills and experience, high TC is not a right and your position at work is not a tenure.

    The job market will not stay hot forever and you have to be prepared for a day when you are not one of the most valued engineers in your team, especially when it’s due to circumstances that are beyond your control. If you invest your high TC well and don’t splurge on unnecessary desires, you will start building your wealth and eventually have enough of a safety net mid-career to walk into work each day knowing that you can focus on doing the kind of work you love without worrying if your boss likes you or if you are working only on politically sanctioned projects to keep your job vs doing the right thing for the product.

    Think about it, if you had no debt, with a 500K TC and get to keep every penny of your paycheck(s) every month, what kind of engineer/colleague/boss/spouse/parent/son/daughter/friend will you be?
    Aug 24, 2019 4
    • Yelp bbtea
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Microsoft boogr
      Agree 100%. Many folks in tech now did not experience the last 2 recessions. Jobs (lots of them) disappeared overnight. Calculate when you plan to retire and how much time between now and then and you'll likely appreciate what high TC can do to your retirement plans. And keep in mind, it's a physical impossibility that you and those close to you will always be young and healthy - shit happens. Nothing wrong to get while the get'in is good.
      Aug 24, 2019
  • Google / Eng yogi bear
    “why do you need more TC? dont mention house, kids college tuition.” lol what is that shit?
    Aug 24, 2019 6
    • Microsoft Satya007
      ^ Word hahaha.. CC OP @gahjsndh
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng gahjsndh
      I am answering it as a separate reply.
      Aug 25, 2019
  • New / Product Udacity PM
    TC is for suckers. I have many growing assets the provide income, over time, throughout the year, allowing me not to rely on TC.

    Buy houses, rent them out. Write books, screenplays, and paid articles.

    Buy soda machines. That’s what I do. Now my job is about me loving it, or leaving.

    Save, create a trust and estate.

    1. I don’t need anything, after I have everything. Which I do now.

    2. Family and happiness are the only things that matter!
    Aug 24, 2019 9
    • New / Mgmt

      New Mgmt

      You’re the best
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Intel YJPz88
      For many people ( myself included) high TC stands in a way of exploring business opportunities. After all why spend energy, time, risk when you have bread and butter and a little caviar on top already. That's all good and bad at the same time, depending on how this turn out in life.
      My respect to people who overcome the laziness and develop business sense.
      Aug 25, 2019
  • Intuit RammyG
    I had a friend who died at 32 after getting. Masters degree and before he married his wife. Stomach cancer that just came and killed him within a few months.

    All the money in the world won't buy you more time.
    Aug 24, 2019 4
    • UPS Vvzz25
      Agree. My mom passed away cuz of stomach caner. Stage 4 when she found out. I asked doctor for the best/most expensive cancer treatment. "Money is not the problem" I remember I said that. She passed away after almost a year.
      Aug 26, 2019
    • Microsoft / Eng PIEM84
      Agreed, not sure if this is an argument for "ignore TC" though. Illness can come regardless of TC and is an independent factor IMO.
      Oct 29, 2019
  • IBM YroV00
    People are always greedy. But I agree with that you says. I’m 3 year SWE earn roughly 110k per year. I couldn’t believe I could earn that before going to college.

    Everything I’m trying to do is to learn more, not because I could earn more but those knowledge will be being with me with my whole life. And TC will grow accordingly.
    Aug 24, 2019 2
    • Amazon / Eng gahjsndh
      +1 on your approach.
      Aug 24, 2019
    • Nordstrom P-A-R-U-S
      All you are learning now may no value in 5 years..
      Aug 24, 2019
  • Snapchat Jer.
    TC too low
    Aug 24, 2019 0


    Real time salary information from verified employees