Amanda was unhappy with the amount of money she was making at her job, so she went after a position with a competitor and negotiated a higher salary.
When she told her current employer about the higher salary offer, it countered with a considerable increase in her current salary to keep her on board.
Hoping this is what would happen all along, Amanda accepted the new salary and stayed with her employer.
One year later, the company made a round of layoffs because of changing market conditions and Amanda was one of the first to go. Not because she was a bad employee -- because she was overpaid compared to her contributions.
In today's society, workers associate earning a high salary as one of the most important aspects of their jobs. They assume making a lot of money equals happiness, satisfaction, less stress and job security. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; Amanda's story is just one of many examples of how having a higher paycheck can backfire.
"Our sense of value and self-worth is often tied to how much money we make," says Michael Zwell, human capital expert and author of "Six-Figure Salary Negotiation." "There is an illusion that we live with and believe that a bigger paycheck makes us happier and more valuable."
In fact, research shows otherwise. Studies have shown most people feel happier in a five-figure job where they are earning more than the majority of other people in the company than they do in a six-figure job where they are making significantly less than others, says Stan Smith, founder and CEO of Smith Economics Group Ltd., in Zwell's book. Ultimately, he says, people can't rely on short-lived salaries, promotions and raises to keep them happy but rather the contributions they make in the long run.
事实上，研究的结果却有所出入。在Zwell的书中，Smith Economics Group公司创始人、首席执行官Stan Smith说，一些人拿五位数的工资，但他们的收入比公司多数人高，另一些人拿六位数工资，但他们的收入比公司多数人少，研究表明，前者比后者更快乐。最后，他说，要保持快乐，人们不能依赖于短期的（高）收入、晋升或提拔，而是要着眼于长期来他们所做出的贡献。
Smaller paychecks reap large rewards 收入少、收获多
In some situations, having a smaller paycheck than you'd like can actually be a bonus. If you are in a job where there's a steep learning curve, for example, getting a smaller paycheck will buy you time to develop the skills and experience to earn more in long run, Zwell says.
Additionally, less money can buy you more flexibility on the job, Zwell says.
"Compensation is based on an exchange of value for value. Depending on your life circumstances, you may want to contribute less and put in more time on another key area of your life," he says.
If you've always thought a bigger salary was your dream, take a look at how making more money can actually work against you. You might start to appreciate what you currently earn.
Potential backfire No. 1: You're one of the first ones to be laid off 潜在问题1:你将会是第一个下岗
When the economy is weak and companies need to cut back on costs, one of the first places they look is the highest-salaried employees, as exemplified in Amanda's story. This is not to say that just because you earn more than others you're a target for layoffs. Nevertheless, if you're earning more than you should be for your market or contributions, chances are that your job could be under scrutiny.
Potential backfire No. 2: The more money you make, the more money you lose 潜在问题2：赚得越多，损失越大
Let's say you earn $85,000 annually and you received a raise that brought you up to $90,000. Sounds exciting at first -- until you the do the math and realize your new check is only a couple hundred dollars more than your old one.