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Career advice for DW and I
Old 04-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #1
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Career advice for DW and I

So DW and I have worked out a pretty plumb situation. She makes $65/hour for 25-30 hours a week, working one day in the office and the rest from home. So she's essentially a stay at home mom to our 5 and (almost) 3 year old. She gets up at 4 to get work done before they wake up, and stays up a couple hours past their bedtime, so it's not easy, but she loves it.

I am an IT security manager with a small team under me and total autonomy. I make $105k a year with middle of the road benefits for mega-corp (non-cola pension, 4% 401k match, etc.). The best benefit I have is my company operates on a 9/80 schedule, so I get every other Friday off.

My company has had several rounds of layoffs over the last 18 months, supposedly I'm safe but work is stressful due to the dread filled atmosphere (those of you who have been through layoffs know what I mean). Meanwhile I've been getting some tips from former and current coworkers that my skill set is in demand elsewhere ( I have a Masters in my field, CISSP, etc. etc. and about 14 years experience in various parts of IT and IT security). I kind of just shrugged until one req I was handed listed my exact skillset and said "$120k+" so that had me thinking.

Meanwhile DW has an old boss who's a VP at another company trying to recruit her. He pays her $80/hour for about 10 hours of work a month on the side right now, and he asked her if she'd be willing to leave her current gig and work for him at "at least $80/hour" for 30 hours a week with the same mostly work from home arrangement. She's also got her Masters and has a real science background - she works in Biotech.

Last bit of info...drum roll please....we have our 3rd (and final) child on the way now, due late November-ish! This is all sloshing in our head and making us think.

We are very happy with our house, our low fixed mortgage, our cars run great, we want for nothing. Our only thought is how much faster we could pay down our last debt - the mortgage - and sock away for ER if we both changed and made this extra money. The minuses would be my loss of the off Friday, and the uncertanty of new jobs for both of us. DW's new gig would be a smaller company, her current, mega-corp is not going anywhere, but like I've learned layoffs strike all companies, large or small. Both DW and I are in niche fields where if you have the skills, you are in demand - but the flip side is it's a really, really small community, where everyone knows each other. Not sure if that info makes a difference but trying to paint a more complete picture. We would be able to put the entire increase into savings/investments, at this point the percentage of total income isn't huge, but since our costs are fixed, it's a huge increase in amount saved....but I also think we could be killing the golden goose...
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #2
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Laurence, you dawg! Congrats to both of you on #3!

My only advice is to consider very carefully making so many moves at the same time. With a third one on the way and both you simultaneously changing jobs, that seems to be a lot of pieces moving at the same time - always an opportunity for increased stress and for something to go wrong.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the new baby and all the job opportunities coming your way !
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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If you are happy and you Know it Clap Your hands !

Should you keep what you have now or trade for whats behind door number 3 ?

More money - More work maybe - who knows...

What do you want ?

< We build our working lives on this myth of more. Our expectation is to make more money as the years go on. We will get more responsibility and more perks as we move up in our field. Eventually, we hope, we will have more possessions, more prestige and more respect from our community. We become habituated to expecting ever more of ourselves and ever more from the world, but rather than satisfaction, our experience is that the more we have, the more we want — and the less content we are with the status quo. >
— Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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Congratulations, and is life just not busy enough for you guys?

I was going to ask about your plans after you got your master's degree but... never mind. You seem pretty confident about the "final" part of that "3rd and final" comment. Good luck with that!

I think it's fun to flirt with prospective employers, but it's even nicer to have the love & security of current employers to help you get through a pregnancy and a year or two of sleep deprivation. You can put a dollar figure on your salaries & benefits, but I think the confidence of being able to sign up for a third tour of diaper duty without stressing over work schedules is darn near priceless.

Besides, when you tell everyone that you just want to get through the next year or two of pregnancy and baby care, they'll think it's a great negotiating tactic...
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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You have a nice dilemma--probably can't go wrong if one or both of you jumps or doesn't to a new position. Congrats on the latest upcoming blessed event!
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #7
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Thank you all! So, my thought is at most for her to jump, but not me. It's my health care plan and we know the doctors and the system etc. Her situation is a "known". She worked for him before, he's made the jump from Director to VP by moving to another company, has established himself there for a couple years now, and wants her as part of the team. That's a lot less risky, especially as she is part time and has no real benefits at her current job, so it's apples to apples. I've only been in management for 2.5 years now and where I'm at I'm getting good experience. I think waiting 2 years or more before jumping is right for me. Plus I know with the off Fridays I can get a couple more certs under my belt to pad up the resume.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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Sounds to me like a good plan - as does stopping at three...
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:31 AM   #9
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I tend to be risk adverse, so I wouldn't want to make that many changes all at once either.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:50 AM   #10
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A highly competent IT Security expert and manager is a valued asset at every megacorp. You are in high demand. IMO you could be making much more if you shopped yourself around. Much more.

But...other factors weigh in. Not the least of which is stability and benefit questions given your growing family.

I think you should cautiously shop yourself around. Who knows but that you could find that golden opportunity that also seems to provide safety. If not, then no harm done.

Of course that advice is coming from a guy whose in IT and been with the same megacorp for 21 years now.

Good luck to you and congrats on your growing family. Kids are awesome...till they grow up
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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L-man, I would shop yourself discretely. The every other Friday off is a sweet gig (I know since I have the same deal), but at some point money is money. Discrete shopping will show you the real market for your talent and that way you can mke the decision with full knowledge. But it would have to be a large bump to make up for the extra day of work every two weeks.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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I got sucked into the corporate IT world, but missed the family friendly schedule enjoyed as a fed worker. 40 hours a week, max. Lots of time off, holidays, etc. Of course, I favor the slow and steady, risk free, totally boring job over actually going out there and working!
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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CISSP is not an easy certification, and that with a Masters -- good going.

A job change right now might be more stressful than the current situation; you might consider waiting until the new baby arrives and things normalize.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:18 PM   #14
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Funny story, I got my CISSP first, then asked myself how I'd get the continuing education credits. It actually led me to discover the Masters program I completed. Obviously I did the Masters for more than the credits for CISSP!

I'm in a specialized niche for government contracts, my technical skills have gotten a little soft over the last 2-3 years as I'm mostly whiteboarding designs and the senior engineers go implement. That's why I'm going to get a couple more technical certs to stay honed, and try and complete one each year after that. I'm working some huge projects right now that would be good to have on the resume, I will brush up my resume and quietly talk to some people just to get a better picture of what I'm worth...
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:37 PM   #15
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Congrats Laurence!
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:56 PM   #16
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Congrats Laurence!

My wife and I both started new jobs at the end of March '09. I was leaving an untenable job, and she was trying to find a more stable gig, so our circumstances are a bit different. So far, so good after one year. And probably important to mention, we had a paid off house, no other debt, and a sizable slush fund in case the fit hit the shan.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #17
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Only area I have any insight into is your wife's! How does she handle pregnancy, birth and newborns? That usually has a huge impact on how she will look at taking on new or different work. Will the new job be more or less flexible? More or less stressful? Would her pregnancy/leave affect the new boss's view of her and her security there?

I know for a lot of women who are going into their maternity leaves (and I coach or provide support for) take different bents - some are anxious to keep up their high level of activity, some want to ease in and see how they feel when they come back and are glad to have work they are familiar with when they return.

Anyhow, I'd just make sure she reminds herself how she handled the first two and then remember each one can be different!

Congrats to you both!
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:17 PM   #18
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A little discreet shopping around might show you your current market value, Laurence, which could be very useful to know--you could use that information for a raise from your current employer to cover your upcoming investment in Pampers, etc.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:26 PM   #19
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Heck.... you wife makes more per hour than you do.... put her to WORK!!!

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Old 04-23-2010, 06:02 PM   #20
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Don't you think I've said that to her She very much likes her arrangement, plus I can't get part time work at home so we'd go from 70 hours worked per week to 40, and she doesn't make that much more! Meanwhile I've had guys at work say, "Laurence, I'm honored to know you, a good Christian Man who provides a good example for his children, providing for them while the wife is at home..." and I break into a cold sweat and say, "Please don't let DW hear you say this! She'll kill me just for listening!!!"
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