In this instalment of the Work and Wealth Watch series by and Money Coach Luca Caruana, Luca shares his expert advice to all your questions related to money, work and wealth. Want to see your own questions answered on Send your questions on [email protected]

Dear Luca,

Over the past 10 years, I’ve pursued career advancement by moving between jobs, each offering a significant pay increase and new learning opportunities. My career began as a TEFL teacher earning €800 a month, and now I earn six times that amount. Although my expertise is in HR and administration, I’ve also gained experience in event planning, PR, and journalism. Currently, I work as a Project Manager.

The latest job switch offered a €12,000 annual pay increase, which seemed perfect, especially with my growing family needs and my wife reducing her workload. However, this role has been disappointing. Despite my senior position, my boss micromanages everything, reducing my role to what feels more like an assistant than a Project Manager. I’ve been in this position for nearly a year and am unable to make decisions independently.

I’ve tried discussing this with my boss, but the response is always the same: “This is how we do things here.” I’ve considered leaving, but potential job opportunities pay €6,000 to €7,000 less than my current salary, which is a significant concern now that my wife works fewer hours.

I’m at a crossroads and unsure how to proceed without sacrificing my well-being for the sake of a higher salary. I appreciate any guidance you can offer.

Looking forward to your advice,

Anxious Project Manager

Luca Responds:

Dear Anxious Project Manager,

Thank you for sharing your challenges with me. I truly empathise, having faced similar situations myself. In one instance, I left a comfortable job for a marketing manager position at a company I admired, only to find myself working under a micro-manager. Despite the higher salary, my mental health suffered greatly, leaving me close to depression.

Prioritising mental health over salary

The salary might seem crucial, especially with family responsibilities, but your mental health is invaluable. My own experience taught me that no salary is worth enduring severe stress or feeling undermined in your professional role.

Building a financial safety net

  • Review and adjust expenses: Start by detailing all your monthly expenses. Identify any non-essential expenses that can be reduced or eliminated. This might make a slightly lower salary more manageable.
  • Emergency fund: If you don’t already have one, consider building an emergency fund. It can provide financial buffer and peace of mind, making it easier to transition out of a toxic work environment.

Money is important, but it should never come at the cost of your well-being. No amount of money is worth compromising your mental health. Remember, taking care of yourself is not just about financial security but maintaining your ability to enjoy life and your work.

I hope this helps, and I wish you strength and clarity as you tackle this difficult decision.

Best regards,


The Money Coach, from the Money Coaching Hub


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