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Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 05:37 PM   #1
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Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Just thought I'd type out my thoughts here, since in general people here have similar values. I'm 28 by the way (less than a month to 29), working in technology (coding type stuff).

Current job:
Management position
80k (most likely will be added into the bonus structure next year)
Pretty likely to get decent raises in the future.
Commute: 2 hours each way (heavy traffic, doesn't matter what time I leave)
Decent benefits, 20 days vacation.
They won't let me work from home, except every once in awhile.
I'm an INTJ type, so all the socialization of management makes me tired. I enjoy the challenges, but I'm also pretty stressed by them. If a higher position opens up, I'm pretty likely to get it.. which is good for the money, most likely bad for the stress again.
Can't stand a couple co-workers. If I got a promotion someday, I would still most likely manage them, just would get more teams under me as well.
Some future promotion likely might require me moving to New York (live in the Chicago area now), which would mean selling the house, wife changing jobs, etc etc. Not exactly a great idea.

Possible job switch:
Development position
60k ish (exact offer not made yet)
Pretty likely to get cost of living raises (it's at a university, can't imagine big raises)
Commute: 30 minutes each way (no traffic, back roads)
Good benefits, 24 days vacation, 4/10 during the summer (fridays off, 10 hour days)
Free 8 credit hour tuition per term (limit of 2 classes)
Most likely would be more laid back, less over time required, less hard deadlines.
My new manager would be a previous manager I had years ago, great guy. Who knows what the other co-workers would be like. Supposedly I'd be the most experienced in the bunch, so theoretically if my boss quit, I'd get his job?

Options:
1. Stick with the current position, since it gives us the best chance of saving extra for FIRE. This causes me to want FIRE more, because I often can't stand the pressure / stress / co-workers. Then again, it might be making me age faster, and with 10 hour days, 4 hours of driving, 8 hours of sleeping, 2 hours of dressing.. I'm outta hours for fun.

2. Take the new job, since it's less stressful. I can maybe try to get my MBA on the free credit hours (oh, and maybe take a pottery class, always wanted to learn pottery). Then if I wanted to get into management, I could wait for my boss to quit (he'll be at retirement age within 15 years I'd guess, even if he stays here the entire time) or just get a new job with my new MBA.

3. Look for a new job somewhere else, ignore the low level job offer. The problem here is that I might just not be "cut out" for management. It's hard to tell, since I was promoted to management at this company, so I've never tried it somewhere else. I know I'm darn good at it, but that doesn't mean that it's something I should be doing with my life?

4. Take the job offer, go to my managers at my current company and tell them I'd like to work from home Mondays and Fridays (or some other combination of days). Potential problem: I could see them saying ok, but they'd be looking for a replacement. Then in 3 months I'd be out of a job, without an offer on the table.

As for finances, we could still pay all our bills on a 60k salary, the extra of my salary was just "extra savings", that I was tossing towards a car payment, and into stock accounts. Having no job would be a lot more serious, and we don't have a huge e-fund. I could sell stocks for short term gain / loss, but that would be a last resort.

Anyway, I've made up my mind multiple times now, but I've changed my mind multiple times as well. Any insightful thoughts? I most likely have a week or so before I get my interview / offer (though my understanding is that I'm "in" if I want the job, since I'm overqualified and will be under paid).
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

If I understand correctly, you would reduce your commute time by three hours a day...over 700 hours per year. That alone would be a huge reason for me to seriously consider making the change.

Got kids? Think of what that could mean to them.

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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

What's the upside in your current company?* *Are they publically held?* *Is there a chance you can make it into executive management?

An executive management gig in a public company is literally a money machine.* * For some reason, stock holders have no qualms about money coming right off the top line and going into the pockets of the execs.* *Stock holders also have no qualms about the company printing new money via options and secondary offerings.* * It is a sweet sweet gig money-wise.

If you think you've topped out at your current company, then I'd seriously consider the university gig.* *In my experience, it's a very low-stress environment, you get to hang with lots of smart people, and you'll have a bunch of autonomy.* * You can do interesting things if you want to take advantage of their resources.
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Sounds like you have rationalized everything out except what would make you happy ? IMHO a no brainer, take the low stress, close to home job. That said, don't be under the illusions that you won't have to deal with some of the same undesirable types you have to work with now.

Retired last year from a middle management type high stress job and I'm still trying to decompress. If I had it to do over, I would have taken the low road and enjoyed the journey along the way more.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 07:25 PM   #5
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
If I understand correctly, you would reduce your commute time by three hours a day...over 700 hours per year. That alone would be a huge reason for me to seriously consider making the change.

Got kids? Think of what that could mean to them.
Yes, 3 hours less per day. That drive is killing me right now, which certainly is a large factor in the job switch. No kids yet, we still haven't decided what to do on that end.
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 07:27 PM   #6
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceberon
No kids yet, we still haven't decided what to do on that end.


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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 07:28 PM   #7
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
What's the upside in your current company? Are they publically held? Is there a chance you can make it into executive management?
Within a few years, I could see hitting a Director role, and medium chance of a VP type role within 5/10 years. However, we're not public, no big stock option bonanza. The chances of moving up certainly is a big factor on why it's tough to leave. The higher level management loves me, I'm pretty young but there's no competition in sight for positions. So soon as someone retires / etc, I'll move upwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
If you think you've topped out at your current company, then I'd seriously consider the university gig. In my experience, it's a very low-stress environment, you get to hang with lots of smart people, and you'll have a bunch of autonomy. You can do interesting things if you want to take advantage of their resources.
Yeah, the problem with the current company is that they're not public, so even if I move up a couple levels, I'll just get higher salary, and a bonus (around 10%). So while we're talking a decent salary, it's not "retire in 3 years" type of salary.
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

This would be a no brainer for me. I figure you are spending about $5,000 more on gas for the extra 3 hours a day on the road. This does not count what it cost to operate the car. You may delay your FIRE, but if you are in a neat job, with low stress, that you love to do, with people you like, Well there you go!
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 08:02 PM   #9
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceberon
Within a few years, I could see hitting a Director role, and medium chance of a VP type role within 5/10 years.
Phhbbbbbt. No big salary bump, no restricted stock, no ISOs, no personal helicopter? Sounds like your only "guarantee" is more stress.

Working at a university with immediate return of a few hours a day to your life, in exchange for lower stress and all sorts of education/networking/consulting/startup opportunities? Why haven't you quit your current job yet?!?
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
My new manager would be a previous manager I had years ago, great guy
This would seal the deal for me.* A great boss is worth his / her weight in gold.*

If you need other reasons, I'm an INTJ too and the management roles I've had have been stressful in and of themselves -- I like to do at least 50% of my work alone.* The higher up you move, the less actual "work" you do, to the point where you're managing other people all day long.* If you like it, great.* It's not me.

As others have said, that commute is costing you, bigtime, both in direct costs and in hours spent at work.* If you work it out you're probably making LESS per hour at the current job.*

The MBA is a biggy too -- you can always go back to management if you regret your choice later.* I earned one back when and it opened an amazing number of doors.

That being said, I'm now taking ceramics courses and LOVING it.* According to the teacher I ROCK at it too -- making great progress.* I waited till I was 49 years old to find this out -- how old will YOU be?* *

Good luck!
Caroline





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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
That being said, I'm now taking ceramics courses and LOVING it.* According to the teacher I ROCK at it too -- making great progress.* I waited till I was 49 years old to find this out -- how old will YOU be?* *
Ya know, when my friends or spouse say "Dude, you ROCK!" it has a completely different connotation...
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!


HEYYY! This is a FAMILY discussion group, mister!

Oh yeah, we were talking about families.

Hey Ceberon...sounds like you're on the track I was on when I was your age. Funny story...I took the lower paying, lower commute fun job, got bored with it and the weak money, moved across the country on a whim (and for a lingerie model) and got a job that paid me enough to retire early.

My other option was to take a six figure job running someone elses business for a cut of the profits and a great salary/bonus package. That might have worked out pretty well too. But it seems to me looking back that success was often built on unconventional decisions and keeping up good relationships with people, even when I had nothing to gain.

So sometimes the obviously "right" decision isnt the right one. Sometimes you follow your heart and it works out even better.


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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-24-2006, 11:10 PM   #13
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Didn't get past Option 2 of your post Ceberon. Take the low commute, low stress, more time off option. The monies lost will be gianed by less medical issues due to stress and the like. Living to with the only reward is hours 8 sleep isn't worth it. Just my opinion
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-25-2006, 09:48 AM   #14
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Thanks for all the help everyone. I'll have to wait and see what is offered, what it looks like once I visit, etc. I was thinking that if nothing else, I could get my MBA while working there (for free no less), and then if I was interested, I could move back into management with a new degree. It's something to think about at least.
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-25-2006, 10:55 AM   #15
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Ok, I totally understand your situation. I just quit my high paying job (81K)on Tues this week to take a lower paying one (62K) closer to my extended family.

Trust me I feel SO MUCH BETTER after making the choice to leave. I'll be doing something interesting in my new job and that makes everything in the rest of your life easier. Don't kill yourself with stress trying to get to FIRE. If you still have 20 working years left you don't want that to feel like a prison sentence.

Good luck,
CF
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move
Old 05-25-2006, 02:29 PM   #16
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Re: Thinking out loud about a possible job move

Lost time from family members can never be made up. Sometimes one has to make a choice about career or family; some can do both well but not many because of the demands from the job. To do it all over again I would have worked less, traveled less and spent more quality time with my kids. Too late now and the damage was done. Some things are not worth missing.
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