Live Well

Stephanie HowesBy Stephanie Howes
Interim associate dean, Faculty of Health, KPU


I have a friend who used to have a job where she was partially paid in puppies.

Or at least that’s what she always told people. And of course it would naturally spark a conversation about where she worked and give her an opportunity to promote what she did – communications and community relations for an animal welfare organization. The conversation would always segue into the organization’s great work and programming.

But she wasn’t kidding when she indicated her compensation package included puppies. Indeed, her employer – a non-profit society – couldn’t exactly pay its employees gobs of cash. So instead, the society allowed staff to bring their dogs to work and gave them opportunities to work from home, in addition to other perks that didn’t cost them anything.

For my friend, working from home saved her two hours on the road every day she did it, plus gas and wear and tear on her car. And bringing her dog to work saved on the cost of a dog walker while adding to her overall job satisfaction. Even the employees who didn’t bring a pet to work benefited from every pet/person interaction – hence the “puppy payment” I mentioned earlier.

So maybe you’re in the hunt for a job right now. I’m not suggesting the monetary return for your work isn’t important as you weigh and measure your options; rather, it’s only part of the equation. How much is it worth to you to be able to save time on your commute by working from home? What are the working conditions like? Do you get your own office or shared space? How about your colleagues – what do you know about them and are they your contemporaries? Are there opportunities for professional development?

And then there is the work itself. Are you passionate about it? Is there satisfaction in completing a project or doing a task well?

Then there is the stress question. If you’re in a stressful business, what will make it less so?

In short, money isn’t everything, and employers know this. They also know it costs a lot to hire and train people, so if and when you get that job offer, they want to give you a reason to stay. You may even be able to negotiate some of the things that are important to you beyond your net pay.

Good luck and happy job hunting!