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Help me choose between 2 offers
Old 03-05-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
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Help me choose between 2 offers

I'm currently employed as an actuarial analyst for a pension consulting firm. The work is a bit boring (accounting stuff) and including travel time it takes up 55-60 hrs/wk. If any of you are familiar with the actuarial career, you will know that I'm also studying my butt off for exams, which takes another 15-20 hrs/wk during exam season.

I recently received 2 offers, here is a break down:
  1. Life insurance - Product design analyst
    Pros:
    • Total time ~45 hrs/wk including travel time.
    • Creative work
    • Lots of programming, which I enjoy
    • Relaxed culture, family feel when I interviewed there
    Cons:
    • Slight pay cut (-$1,800/yr) but bigger bonus so it's a wash
    • No rotation program between different actuarial departments (annuities, reserving, investments)
  2. Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance - Home Insurance Pricing Analyst
    Pros:
    • Mega Co., lots of room for growth
    • P&C has the highest job satisfaction out of all of the actuarial fields
    • Pay raise (+ 5%)
    • Good rotation program, rotate every 1.5 years between depts
    • Creative and more mathematical work
    Cons:
    • 60+ hrs/wk because of travel time (extreme commute, 3.5+ hrs/day)
    • Cut-throat business culture
    • Strict exam policy, if you don't pass you get a notice of termination
    • Greater number of and more difficult exams
If you had to choose between the 2, which one would you go with?
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:18 AM   #2
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Cons:
[*]60+ hrs/wk because of travel time (extreme commute, 3.5+ hrs/day)
[*]Cut-throat business culture
These two alone, at least at this stage of my w*rking life, would be an absolute deal-killer.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:20 AM   #3
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Sounds like it depends on you. If you're a go-getter, like change and want to deal with political animals, then its job #2. If you're a family type and/or the job isnt your life/#1 priority, and/or you dont like a lot of change/sudden moves/loud noises/etc then go with job #1.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
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Personally, I'd choose number 1 because of the hours and because 2 is so cutthroat. I did my time working long hours and at 59 I really would rather not beat myself to death like that any more. And, I don't tolerate cutthroat environments if they go over the line and become abusive.

But the important thing is, which one sounds best to you?
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #5
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By the way: I'd also add that the "5% higher pay" in j*b #2 would be completely eaten up -- and then some -- by the cost of that hellacious commute. And every time gas prices spike, it's like a big pay cut.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #6
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How old are you and do you have or imminently plan to have a family?
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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door number 1.

biggest reason i saw - time. you need to pass those exams.

getting your certification/degree/etc, which will lead to promotions, career broadening opps, and career visibility of the finest kind.

as my dear mom always told me "they can't take your education away"

good luck in making your decision and your new job.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by success108 View Post
I'm currently employed as an actuarial analyst for a pension consulting firm. The work is a bit boring (accounting stuff) and including travel time it takes up 55-60 hrs/wk. If any of you are familiar with the actuarial career, you will know that I'm also studying my butt off for exams, which takes another 15-20 hrs/wk during exam season.

I recently received 2 offers, here is a break down:
  1. Life insurance - Product design analyst
    Pros:
    • Total time ~45 hrs/wk including travel time.
    • Creative work
    • Lots of programming, which I enjoy
    • Relaxed culture, family feel when I interviewed there
    Cons:
    • Slight pay cut (-$1,800/yr) but bigger bonus so it's a wash
    • No rotation program between different actuarial departments (annuities, reserving, investments)
  2. Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance - Home Insurance Pricing Analyst
    Pros:
    • Mega Co., lots of room for growth
    • P&C has the highest job satisfaction out of all of the actuarial fields
    • Pay raise (+ 5%)
    • Good rotation program, rotate every 1.5 years between depts
    • Creative and more mathematical work
    Cons:
    • 60+ hrs/wk because of travel time (extreme commute, 3.5+ hrs/day)
    • Cut-throat business culture
    • Strict exam policy, if you don't pass you get a notice of termination
    • Greater number of and more difficult exams
If you had to choose between the 2, which one would you go with?
Option #1. Suck a paycheck, save your butt off,get off the hamster wheel early.........
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:07 AM   #9
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By the way: I'd also add that the "5% higher pay" in j*b #2 would be completely eaten up -- and then some -- by the cost of that hellacious commute. And every time gas prices spike, it's like a big pay cut.
About half of it will be eaten up by the commute. I will be taking the train most of the way and the co. pays for half of the cost of public transportation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
How old are you and do you have or imminently plan to have a family?
I'm in my 20s and married. If I was a bachelor I would probably relocate to the P&C job because I've always been interested in working in that field. However, we currently live in a very nice part of town and we are within walking distance of my wife's job. We are both very happy with her job - low stress, flexible hours, decent pay, and great retirement vehicles (she gets the equivalent of two 401ks, a cash balance plan, and a pension plan).

We've discussed starting a family but it is not imminent.


Thanks for your inputs. I'm leaning toward 1 because time is valuable to me. If I compare the $/hr value, the life insurance position is 25% more valuable than my current job or the P&C offer.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:15 AM   #10
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I gues I would suggest you think abut where each of these jobs will lead you in your career. My suspicion is that #2 would give you a lot more opportunity down the road and quite possibly much higher earnings over time. I would probably pick #2 in that case, since I tend to get bored easily and career advancement was especially important to me at your age.

And you can study on the train. That's how I did at least half of the work for my MBA.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:55 PM   #11
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I'm into quality of life issues, not income, so I'd pick #1.

But this is also the guy who, once I landed a straight day work/weekends & holidays off position in a 24/7 agency, stopped taking promotional exams because a promotion would have meant returning to rotating shift work. The day work job also meant about a $5K pay cut. But my wife was about doing cartwheels in the front yard because we could have a normal life. Hard to put a price tag on that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:11 PM   #12
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#1

The commute will kill you with #2.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:20 PM   #13
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If you pick 2, move closer to work. Long commutes are highly unhealthy.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:55 PM   #14
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Ugh. Option #2 sounds like a high-stress hamster wheel with no guarantee of satisfaction.

Quality of life is really important and Option #1 sounds like a better quality of life with what may be the same compensation. Option #2 sounds awful.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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As you can see, people who have a common interest in getting the hell out of the work force aren't the most ambitious bunch out there.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:21 PM   #16
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I guess I would suggest you think abut where each of these jobs will lead you in your career. My suspicion is that #2 would give you a lot more opportunity down the road and quite possibly much higher earnings over time. I would probably pick #2 in that case, since I tend to get bored easily and career advancement was especially important to me at your age.

And you can study on the train. That's how I did at least half of the work for my MBA.
You're right, #2 does offer more opportunity, higher earnings, and especially more challenging work down the road. That is the reason why I am debating this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
If you pick 2, move closer to work. Long commutes are highly unhealthy.
My wife would then have to commute (I don't want her to go through that) and we would be forced to live in an unpleasant neighborhood.

So it's either 1) great opportunity, unhealthy and no time for myself, or 2) less opportunity, less challenging, but greater personal time.

My goal is to kick the bucket eventually so maybe I should just take it easy until then...
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:49 PM   #17
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If you go with option 1, what other opportunities exist for either personal or professional development? 20 hrs a week savings can get you an MBA, pottery class, volunteer time with a local org you like, etc. And, if you plan to have kids eventually, 20 hours is a huge loss (if you see yourself as a family man, that is).

Then again, I took a $25k pay cut to get out of the situation I was in. I favored more free time over more money.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:42 PM   #18
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My goal is to kick the bucket eventually so maybe I should just take it easy until then...
There's one you can count on meeting!

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Old 03-05-2008, 05:47 PM   #19
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:11 PM   #20
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[*]P&C has the highest job satisfaction out of all of the actuarial fields
I'd be more concerned with the job satisfaction of the interviewing company than the job satisfaction of the particular field you'd be doing the work in. YMMV.
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