Hey guys! Got our first reader question of the year!
Check it out, and then hit her back with some feedback from that beautiful mind of yours if you’re feeling generous today…
I’m sure she’s not the only one to ever be put in a situation like this!
I’m a longtime reader/lurker of your blog. I love the features where you give someone your opinion on a matter, and open it up for comments. I’d LOVE it if you did that with my question?
What are your thoughts on taking a pay cut to land a more dependable job?
I work for an elected official (small time, local, not Federal) who is retiring a year from now. The rumor mill is working overtime regarding what will happen, and who will be the next person to hold the position.
None of the most likely possibilities look good for me. It’s not uncommon for a newly elected person in that position to totally clean house, a.k.a. fire everyone. We’re an at will state, and have even less protection working for an elected official. There’s also already starting to be some backstabbing in the office by people trying to preemptively prove their worth to one of the likely candidates; people being set up to fail, finger pointing, and blaming. It’s deteriorating rapidly.
I’ve applied for a job with a different agency, not under an elected official, and with much better benefits. I believe the interview went extremely well. The work seems interesting, the office seems like a nice place to work, and for the first time in my adult life I felt more like they were trying to convince me to take the job, and less like I was trying to convince them to hire me. It sounds perfect, except for the pay.
This job would come with over a $4.00 an hour pay cut. Some of that would be recouped by lower insurance costs, lower/no deductibles, better retirement matching, and a better chance for merit raises. However, it would still result in less money in my pocket.
The commute is the same (it’s in the same building), so no changes in expenses there. It also offers very similar holidays, vacation leave, and sick leave accrual.
Our financial situation isn’t fabulous. We’re currently paying down a lot of debts, and digging our way out from some really stupid financial mistakes. A pay decrease would hurt, but not be devastating. Losing my job a year from now would likely be catastrophic.
What do you suggest? In some ways it makes sense to me to take the job if it’s offered, and in some ways it makes sense to bide my time at my current job for as long as possible.
Interesting predicament indeed!
My gut feeling is that if you already went out of your way to apply – and the interview went super well like that! – then it seems like you’re on the right track and already have your answer ;) I don’t know too many people who would spend a good amount of time like that to start interviewing unless they were serious, so it def. shows you’re ready to make some moves and improve that quality of life of yours!
And ain’t nobody has time for jokers and toxic work environments these days, even if the pay is nice. Yeah it’ll suck for a bit getting reacquainted with your new budget, but I’d imagine if things continue to go as smooth as they are with the new gig option, you’ll likely be able to recoup some losses sooner than later as Happy Minds = Better Times! For both you and your wallet!
(I just made up that tagline btw, should we make bumper stickers?? ;))
It reminds me of something my late Aunt once told me when I was questioning life/career/love back towards the end of my college years… She told me that when things start lining up real easily and smoothly, it’s the world’s way of telling you you’re on the right path and to keep going.
That’s been pretty dead on for me over the past 20 years, particularly with jobs and projects, and the main reason I’m still here blogging away my thoughts for the past decade+! The flow keeps going and who am I to deny it? ;)
All this to say that a) I think it’s smart to be looking for ways to secure yourself NOW vs later when you don’t have as much power/flexibility/TIME on your side, and b) the new option sounds like it has a handful of things going for it and the pay part can be corrected as you advance (or even accept a new opportunity down the road – no one says this one has to be The One forever, right?)
So my vote is to go for it, especially since they really seem to want you there and you didn’t have to beg for the job ;) Desperation can be a stinky cologne!
I’ll turn it over now to our dear readers for input…
What would you guys do in her shoes?? Anything particular she should focus her attention on that hasn’t been brought up yet?
Drop your thoughts below in the comments or via email and I’ll pass them over to her, and in the meantime it’s a good exercise to go through in the event it ever happens to you too!
Thanks for opening up and sharing your situation, Belle! (Not her real name, but I’ve always loved it and never had a girl, so…), and I hope you find peace in your decision whatever you decide to do :)
Let us know what you decide later!
// Brilliant gif up top by Jesse Luo
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!