I may be somewhat of a pessimist, but it seems to me finding a job where you're just having a blast and tons of fun is extremely rare. A "good" job to me is one where I'm engaged, interested, days go by quickly, and I'm not absolutely hating my life when I go home each day. Of course there will be the occasional frustrating day, but if it's fairly rare then you're in good shape. I mean at the end of the day, it is a job and you are getting paid for it because you wouldn't be doing it on your own just for fun. There are some people in the rare case that have a blast a majority of time at work and get paid for it, kudos to them. But expecting that is pretty unrealistic IMO. As long as you aren't absolutely miserable going to and leaving work everyday. A big thing for me is as long as I have a sense of accomplishment is what's big for me. Again, it is work at the end of the day. They are paying me because I wouldn't be there on my own just to have fun. But if I get that gratification that I did something good that day, it makes it much better. But to the OP's question. I would take a pay cut to be able to leave the type of job where I'm miserable day in and day out. How much, it would really depend on how strapped for cash I was in the position. But I would much rather take a decent pay cut, not hate my life, and work on adjusting my lifestyle to allow for a lower paying job that doesn't make me miserable. However, you mentioned one thing that is extremely important. Benefits. I would not take a "pay cut" that eliminated health insurance and other things that I feel are necessities. I'd rather be dreading going into work versus physically "dying" because I can't afford medication because my "happy" job doesn't offer health insurance and I happen to get sick.