I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

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MikeZ
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I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MikeZ » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:40 pm

So some background.

I live in FL and make around $95k in IT security. I like my job a lot and while there is some risk because of a project I'm working on is likely to be a failure. That said I feel that I have a good reputation with leadership and the general thought is if it fails it would because of higher level missteps.

That said my DW hates the area and wants to move. Ideally out west to a smaller town. I'm also underpaid. I would estimate my market value around $115-125 right now.

The problem I'm tackling is that I have a high certainty that if I ask to telecommute I would be approved and we could move anywhere she wants. Others in the department already do. On the other hand I'm thinking that would lock in my below market comp for the foreseeable future.

On the opposite side, I'm not seeing a lot of IT security jobs in the lower COL parts of the west (Colorado Springs, Santa Fe, Fort Collins, etc.)

One option I could see is if I got an offer in a city the DW would tolerate (Charlotte...) I could bring it to my current employer and if they want to keep me ask them to match the offer and allow telework at that time but that seems dangerous either way it plays out.

Just picking everything's brains on this.

Olemiss540
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:50 pm

Approach them about telecommuting ASAP. Once you settle in on a place to live, can always job hunt places that may value you more while still allowing you to telecommute.

There is no such thing as "locking in your underpaid wages" unless you sign a lifetime contract as part of your negotiations. It just might be easier to deal with the locale issue first and foremost and the underpaid issue secondary.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

eugenem
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by eugenem » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:54 pm

What industry are you currently doing IT Security in and do you have any of the certifications (e.g. CISSP, GSEC, etc.)?

I've seen a lot of demand for IT Security, particularly for CISO type positions in the northeast. If you are open to work travel, have you considered joining one of the large consulting firms as a consultant? There's a lot of demand, especially with regulation such as EU GDPR, NYDFS, and California's Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Many businesses will need help interpreting the regulations and mapping out what needs to change within their organization to follow the new laws.

MikeZ
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MikeZ » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:57 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:50 pm
Approach them about telecommuting ASAP. Once you settle in on a place to live, can always job hunt places that may value you more while still allowing you to telecommute.

There is no such thing as "locking in your underpaid wages" unless you sign a lifetime contract as part of your negotiations. It just might be easier to deal with the locale issue first and foremost and the underpaid issue secondary.

I would agree somewhat but I think if I had a telework arrangement we would choose to move somewhere were local employment was not an option so if I did want to change jobs I would be looking at getting a remote position directly---which from my observation is very rare.

MikeZ
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MikeZ » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:59 pm

eugenem wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:54 pm
What industry are you currently doing IT Security in and do you have any of the certifications (e.g. CISSP, GSEC, etc.)?

I've seen a lot of demand for IT Security, particularly for CISO type positions in the northeast. If you are open to work travel, have you considered joining one of the large consulting firms as a consultant? There's a lot of demand, especially with regulation such as EU GDPR, NYDFS, and California's Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Many businesses will need help interpreting the regulations and mapping out what needs to change within their organization to follow the new laws.
I am a CISA and CISSP. I used to do audit and now do IAM. Honesly I'm more happy doing IAM than audit or policy stuff. I rather do stuff that deal with policy or the non-practical side of audit.

Olemiss540
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:00 pm

MikeZ wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:57 pm
Olemiss540 wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:50 pm
Approach them about telecommuting ASAP. Once you settle in on a place to live, can always job hunt places that may value you more while still allowing you to telecommute.

There is no such thing as "locking in your underpaid wages" unless you sign a lifetime contract as part of your negotiations. It just might be easier to deal with the locale issue first and foremost and the underpaid issue secondary.

I would agree somewhat but I think if I had a telework arrangement we would choose to move somewhere were local employment was not an option so if I did want to change jobs I would be looking at getting a remote position directly---which from my observation is very rare.
My wife's "hate" takes precedence over my "feels" any day. I would personally get out of Dodge and then reassess.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

aristotelian
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by aristotelian » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:10 pm

Does your wife have a career of her own?

I am in a somewhat similar situation in that I have a good breadwinning job in a very specialized field, while my wife would eventually like to move to a HCOL area long term. If I leave my job, I do not have a Plan B. I realized that I was having a mental block around the idea that it was my responsibility to provide the income to make such a move happen. I have told her that if she wishes to go back to work full time and work longer, I would be happy to quit my job and support the move. Now it is on her to make it happen if she truly wishes.

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Meg77
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by Meg77 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:23 pm

The ability to telecommute is huge; you guys can literally live anywhere. I would probably do the following.

1. Pinpoint what exactly she hates. Is it the weather? The urban noise? Traffic? Local religious/political views? Lack of walkability in the neighborhood? Come up with a wish list you both agree on when it comes to a place to live. And remember that it's possible to change a lot of that just by moving neighborhoods or suburbs - you don't always have to move across country.

2. Really evaluate if you're willing to work from home. My brother in law moved to TX and kept his old job and worked from home for 4 years. With small kids at home and in a new part of the country where they knew no one besides his wife's family nearby, he became isolated and depressed. Wife did a bit better because she made some friends at work, but at that stage of life with little ones (before school age), there's not a lot of time to go out and make friends or put down roots. They tried it for four years and just moved back north. He's a lot happier having an office to get up and go to each day.

3. Start a nationwide job hunt for a better paid position (after taking into account cost of living adjustments). Rule out any places neither of you want to live or that she flatly vetoes, but otherwise see what you can find. You getting a 20% raise or more might do a lot for her willingness to put up with a place she may otherwise not choose.

4. If number 3 doesn't get you anywhere, then broaden your search to try to find a location she'll like - but preferably one with some nearby market for jobs like yours (and with a decent airport or at least one with direct flights to your company's headquarters). It's a bad idea to become dependent on any one job; if you lose it for any reason down the line you may be forced to uproot and move again.
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Bfwolf
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:24 pm

Moving somewhere doesn't have to be permanent. You can telecommute from your dream town, and if your current job falls through at some point in the future or you're not loving it like you used to, you can start job searching in another city.

Alternatively, as you said, you can job hunt in a location that is less than your dream town and hope more money makes up for the location. Just keep in mind the COL differences between your dream town and where the jobs are.

One approach might be to feel out the market now. Go at it for a couple of months and see what offers come your way. Maybe you're worth less than you think. Maybe more! Get some information about your employment value and some concrete offers and then make a decision.

ponyboy
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by ponyboy » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:31 pm

Tellework is great until they no longer need you. Then what? If you move to a place where its difficult to find work...no bueno.

If I was moving I would find a new job in the local area.

MtnTraveler
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MtnTraveler » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:48 pm

MikeZ wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:40 pm
So some background.

I live in FL and make around $95k in IT security. I like my job a lot and while there is some risk because of a project I'm working on is likely to be a failure. That said I feel that I have a good reputation with leadership and the general thought is if it fails it would because of higher level missteps.

That said my DW hates the area and wants to move. Ideally out west to a smaller town. I'm also underpaid. I would estimate my market value around $115-125 right now.

The problem I'm tackling is that I have a high certainty that if I ask to telecommute I would be approved and we could move anywhere she wants. Others in the department already do. On the other hand I'm thinking that would lock in my below market comp for the foreseeable future.

On the opposite side, I'm not seeing a lot of IT security jobs in the lower COL parts of the west (Colorado Springs, Santa Fe, Fort Collins, etc.)

One option I could see is if I got an offer in a city the DW would tolerate (Charlotte...) I could bring it to my current employer and if they want to keep me ask them to match the offer and allow telework at that time but that seems dangerous either way it plays out.

Just picking everything's brains on this.
Not sure how you are searching for jobs but I know for a fact that one of those cities listed above has a ton of IT security jobs. That said depending on what size company you want to work for and how much experience you have your salary may not change. I am a hiring manager in one of the above cities and there aren't enough security people to go around. Small companies pay really well but there is no stability whereas large companies have the stability but not the high salaries.

MikeZ
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MikeZ » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:00 pm

MtnTraveler wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:48 pm
MikeZ wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:40 pm
So some background.

I live in FL and make around $95k in IT security. I like my job a lot and while there is some risk because of a project I'm working on is likely to be a failure. That said I feel that I have a good reputation with leadership and the general thought is if it fails it would because of higher level missteps.

That said my DW hates the area and wants to move. Ideally out west to a smaller town. I'm also underpaid. I would estimate my market value around $115-125 right now.

The problem I'm tackling is that I have a high certainty that if I ask to telecommute I would be approved and we could move anywhere she wants. Others in the department already do. On the other hand I'm thinking that would lock in my below market comp for the foreseeable future.

On the opposite side, I'm not seeing a lot of IT security jobs in the lower COL parts of the west (Colorado Springs, Santa Fe, Fort Collins, etc.)

One option I could see is if I got an offer in a city the DW would tolerate (Charlotte...) I could bring it to my current employer and if they want to keep me ask them to match the offer and allow telework at that time but that seems dangerous either way it plays out.

Just picking everything's brains on this.
Not sure how you are searching for jobs but I know for a fact that one of those cities listed above has a ton of IT security jobs. That said depending on what size company you want to work for and how much experience you have your salary may not change. I am a hiring manager in one of the above cities and there aren't enough security people to go around. Small companies pay really well but there is no stability whereas large companies have the stability but not the high salaries.
I think I know what city your are talking about but everything I've seen there requires a TS clearance to start. (I'm not cleared and my current employer has not shown a willingness to sponsor me based on my current responsibilities).

Bacchus01
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by Bacchus01 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:32 pm

Do you have to live together? Maybe she can move.

HappyWorkerBee
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by HappyWorkerBee » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:04 pm

Unless you've already spent years telecommuting, I would not recommend relocating with telecommuting being your Plan A.

I telecommuted for years and hated it, it sucked the life out of me. I've talked with other former telecommuters who had a similar experience. It's the kind of thing that sounds great until you actually do it, day in and day out.

The people who make telecommuting work find a way to integrate a lot of face-to-face social connection non-family people in their day. I never managed to pull that off, in part because the hours my software engineering job demanded were fairly long and the work did not involve talking with people much (it's not sales, it's coding).

The other caveat here is that it seems possible telecommuting works ok when the whole team is remote. I was the only remote worker on my team, so including me in discussions was inconvenient and therefore I wasn't included.

Long story short: telecommuting, I wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:12 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:50 pm
Approach them about telecommuting ASAP. Once you settle in on a place to live, can always job hunt places that may value you more while still allowing you to telecommute.

There is no such thing as "locking in your underpaid wages" unless you sign a lifetime contract as part of your negotiations. It just might be easier to deal with the locale issue first and foremost and the underpaid issue secondary.
+1.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:19 pm

HappyWorkerBee wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:04 pm
Unless you've already spent years telecommuting, I would not recommend relocating with telecommuting being your Plan A.

I telecommuted for years and hated it, it sucked the life out of me. I've talked with other former telecommuters who had a similar experience. It's the kind of thing that sounds great until you actually do it, day in and day out.

The people who make telecommuting work find a way to integrate a lot of face-to-face social connection non-family people in their day. I never managed to pull that off, in part because the hours my software engineering job demanded were fairly long and the work did not involve talking with people much (it's not sales, it's coding).

The other caveat here is that it seems possible telecommuting works ok when the whole team is remote. I was the only remote worker on my team, so including me in discussions was inconvenient and therefore I wasn't included.

Long story short: telecommuting, I wouldn't recommend it to a friend.
HappyWorkerBee,

<<The people who make telecommuting work find a way to integrate a lot of face-to-face social connection non-family people in their day. >>

I guess this must be a personality type kind of problem. I do not like face-to-face social interaction. Hence, telecommuting is great for me.

KlangFool

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MichaelRpdx » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:23 pm

MikeZ wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:59 pm
I am a CISA and CISSP. I used to do audit and now do IAM. Honesly I'm more happy doing IAM than audit or policy stuff. I rather do stuff that deal with policy or the non-practical side of audit.
Go for the telecommute and start your job search.
Those credentials are in demand and telecommuting is becoming common.
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

rgs92
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by rgs92 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:00 am

Your salary is pretty good. Big telecom is paying highly experienced developers $80K - $85K in HCOL areas. Less experienced IT people are paid in the $60K range, and raises are small and infrequent and the pressure is high.
But there are tons of people lining up for these jobs since the competition from overseas workers being brought in to do the work is still intense and common.

$95K in Florida? The more I think about it, that's downright excellent. You should hold on to your job like a precious gem IMHO. Once you start changing jobs in IT, which is an employment minefield, you have no idea what kind of terrible, pressured, insecure situation you will enter.

My advice is to definitely stay put, no matter what.

daveydoo
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by daveydoo » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:10 am

You had me at FL

:D

I made a 2500-mile compromise like this for spouse. It was a great decision.

I make all the small ones like money. She makes all the big ones. :D
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

Ecorp
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by Ecorp » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:58 am

rgs92 wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:00 am
Your salary is pretty good. Big telecom is paying highly experienced developers $80K - $85K in HCOL areas. Less experienced IT people are paid in the $60K range, and raises are small and infrequent and the pressure is high.
But there are tons of people lining up for these jobs since the competition from overseas workers being brought in to do the work is still intense and common.

$95K in Florida? The more I think about it, that's downright excellent. You should hold on to your job like a precious gem IMHO. Once you start changing jobs in IT, which is an employment minefield, you have no idea what kind of terrible, pressured, insecure situation you will enter.

My advice is to definitely stay put, no matter what.
I agree, 95k in Florida is very good. Im in similar field .HCOL will pay that 125 but then you are paying 3k for rent.

rich126
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by rich126 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:10 am

Maybe this is a bit off topic but how did her hate for the location come about? Did you know it all along? Or did you guys decide to try something new and then later once she found what it was like, it turned out not to be what she wants?

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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MichaelRpdx » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:22 am

rgs92 wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:00 am
Your salary is pretty good. Big telecom is paying highly experienced developers $80K - $85K in HCOL areas. Less experienced IT people are paid in the $60K range, and raises are small and infrequent and the pressure is high.
But there are tons of people lining up for these jobs since the competition from overseas workers being brought in to do the work is still intense and common.

$95K in Florida? The more I think about it, that's downright excellent. You should hold on to your job like a precious gem IMHO. Once you start changing jobs in IT, which is an employment minefield, you have no idea what kind of terrible, pressured, insecure situation you will enter.

My advice is to definitely stay put, no matter what.
Financial services pay much better than that. Banks know they must excel at security. Budgets reflect this.
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

rgs92
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by rgs92 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:34 am

I know people in IT (development, systems user support) at Wells Fargo and TD Bank in the NY/Philly area with decades of experience and they are being paid in the low 90s. And the pressure I hear is crazy and the jobs tend to be insecure. One was fired after a couple of years.

So the OP should NOT jump if they like him there. It's hard to earn a good reputation. You don't want to be the newbie and go through the hell of having to prove yourself.

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MichaelRpdx » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:44 am

rgs92 wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:34 am
I know people in IT (development, systems user support) at Wells Fargo and TD Bank in the NY/Philly area with decades of experience and they are being paid in the low 90s. And the pressure I hear is crazy and the jobs tend to be insecure. One was fired after a couple of years.

So the OP should NOT jump if they like him there. It's hard to earn a good reputation. You don't want to be the newbie and go through the hell of having to prove yourself.
The OP is in security and security management. This is very different.
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:55 am

MichaelRpdx wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:22 am
rgs92 wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:00 am
Your salary is pretty good. Big telecom is paying highly experienced developers $80K - $85K in HCOL areas. Less experienced IT people are paid in the $60K range, and raises are small and infrequent and the pressure is high.
But there are tons of people lining up for these jobs since the competition from overseas workers being brought in to do the work is still intense and common.

$95K in Florida? The more I think about it, that's downright excellent. You should hold on to your job like a precious gem IMHO. Once you start changing jobs in IT, which is an employment minefield, you have no idea what kind of terrible, pressured, insecure situation you will enter.

My advice is to definitely stay put, no matter what.
Financial services pay much better than that. Banks know they must excel at security. Budgets reflect this.
Bingo.

OP, if you want to maximize your earnings you should do three things:

1. Find a regulated industry to work in (e.g. financial services, healthcare/pharma/med devices)
2. Be on the edge of the orchestration and automation wave; learn how to use Demisto, Rapid7, etc
3. Be platform agnostic. Don't just be an Active Directory junkie

ponyboy
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by ponyboy » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:05 am

Which part of FL do you live? Man I love FL. I dont mind the humidity/heat. I do love Fall weather though...but a few trips to the mountains could fix that. Does your wife work too? If not...maybe she should find a job. Could take her mind off "hating" the place she lives. Remember, the grass isnt always greener.

MtnTraveler
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MtnTraveler » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:14 am

I didn't realize you had asked about Huntsville a few months ago so now I understand better. I realize your wife is unhappy in FL but I would suggest a different approach. Go work for one of the defense giants in FL as they will likely submit you for a clearance even if the job you have with them doesn't require it. Most of the defense giants that I know of only require 1 yr service before you can switch jobs so do your year, get in line for a clearance, and then transfer to Huntsville or Colorado. I wouldn't expect much of a pay jump (if any) but that would set you up better going forward if that is the direction you want to go.

It is probably industry specific but I see very few IT security telecommuter jobs and of the few I know of most involve >50% travel. I've had really bad experiences with telecommuters in my dept so I do not allow it anymore.

rgs92
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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by rgs92 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:29 am

I guess I spoke too soon. What exactly does IT Security involve and how does it differ from other IT work? Just curious and sorry for being ignorant of that. Sounds like an interesting career choice.

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Re: I love my job but DW hates location and I'm underpaid

Post by MichaelRpdx » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:48 am

rgs92 wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:29 am
I guess I spoke too soon. What exactly does IT Security involve and how does it differ from other IT work? Just curious and sorry for being ignorant of that. Sounds like an interesting career choice.
The foundation involves ensuring
* Confidentiality
* Integrity
* Availability

In essences, making sure only people with a need to know have access to information, that the information is secure from tampering, and is accessibe by authorized parties. Ensuring in this context includes verifying these conditions exist and have not been compromised.

OP MikeZ works in Identity and Access Management. His group's role is to ensure people logging into systems are who they claim to be, that they're able to log in, and once logged in they can only access approved resources. The overhead in matching users to job roles to access rights is a huge task with many subtleties.
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

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