Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

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Tamarind
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Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by Tamarind » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:24 am

I have a choice to make and wondering how you all approach the risk trade-offs of job choice.

Current job: pays $x which is enough to max all tax-advantaged accounts and also spend on things like vacations and saving for home renovation, boring and may dull skills edge over time, no overtime needed, all work is at office.

Potential job: without overtime pays 80% of $x but big bonuses for extra work, would have to work longer hours OR make choices about maxing retirement vs discretionary spending, engaging and interesting work with employer support for skills development that will improve future earning potential above $x, can work from home.

I usually think I should make the jump as I'll regret more what I didn't do, but I am a bit impulsive by nature and don't tolerate boredom well. I stayed at current job long enough to be sure it's not me that makes it boring, it's definitely the company.

Is it as clear as I think that I should change jobs and work harder if I'm not happy making less?

Doohop65
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by Doohop65 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:42 am

Some folks will argue with me but I would suggest money isn’t everything and I would aim for the opportunity that makes you happy. Obviously this has limitations but it doesn’t sound like you are comparing a job that will offer wealth that you despise and a job that will offer poverty that you will love.

I finally did my taxes over the weekend and it confirmed what I already knew, last year I made less. I started my own business and our taxable income was down $50k. Obviously there are some start up costs that made that look worse. That being said I love it and my DW comments about how much happier I seem.

Life is too short not to take advantage of opportunities to be happy when they make financial sense. If you can still meet your goals I would take the leap.

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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by RadAudit » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:51 am

Doohop65 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:42 am
Life is too short not to take advantage of opportunities to be happy when they make financial sense. If you can still meet your goals I would take the leap.
+1

Past a certain level, more money does not result in proportionate increases in happiness.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

SQRT
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by SQRT » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:54 am

Do what makes you happiest. Hard for strangers to give opinions on what makes you happy. I always went for the money because that’s what made me happiest. But everyone is different.

Edit to add. It might depend on how much more money for how much more effort. In my case the extra money was way in excess of the extra effort. I wouldn’t have been too interested for 10% more pay for 10% more effort. Higher tax rate and decreasing marginal utility of money would make that a bad deal. In actuality though I got 10x more comp for about 10% more effort. That was a very good trade off.
Last edited by SQRT on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FoolMeOnce
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by FoolMeOnce » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:59 am

Also depends on your family situation. It you are young and single, I'd be more inclined to suggest you take the risk and work your tail off.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:40 am

This is as close to a no-brainer as it gets. In the job you are considering you can get back to X$ or near X$ by trading some of your hours. So, money comes out of the equation.

This becomes an hours-at-work question: today's X hours of boring, intolerable work verses X plus Y hours of interesting work, with opportunities for learning and growth. And your current job is dulling your skills and thus slowly wasting away your human capital: boring, intolerable AND wasting you away. Not even close: Take the new job.
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JTColton
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by JTColton » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:02 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:24 am
I have a choice to make and wondering how you all approach the risk trade-offs of job choice.

Current job: all work is at office.

Potential job: can work from home.
I would take a big risk for this type of work arrangement.

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gunn_show
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by gunn_show » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:47 pm

RadAudit wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:51 am
Doohop65 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:42 am
Life is too short not to take advantage of opportunities to be happy when they make financial sense. If you can still meet your goals I would take the leap.
+1

Past a certain level, more money does not result in proportionate increases in happiness.
+1 given the parameters stated, I would do it, and have done it before (at least twice, went backwards slightly, to eventually go forwards down the line, has worked out every time because I work hard enough to make it a successful decision). Make the jump and GL
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

JGoneRiding
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by JGoneRiding » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:03 pm

I am.going to disagree with the others. You want to trade a secure job you are use to doing that pays MORE for a more demanding less secure job that MIGHT maybe be more exciting?

There would need to be a large potential future income boost for me to consider that trade

stlutz
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by stlutz » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:52 am

What longer-term career opportunities exist at your current company?

It's one thing to leave a pretty good situation (which it sounds like you do have) because you don't want to wait a couple of years for other more interesting opportunities to open up.

It's a completely different thing if you are asking whether it's better to do your current job for the rest of your working life vs. trying something different.

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Tamarind
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by Tamarind » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:56 am

JGoneRiding wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:03 pm
I am.going to disagree with the others. You want to trade a secure job you are use to doing that pays MORE for a more demanding less secure job that MIGHT maybe be more exciting?

There would need to be a large potential future income boost for me to consider that trade
This is a good question. The current job offers the potential for more experience at current job. The potential job would definitely provide training in a subfield that is in extremely high demand and would line me up to start my own consulting business in the future. Obviously there is a lot of risk that way.
stlutz wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:52 am
What longer-term career opportunities exist at your current company?

It's one thing to leave a pretty good situation (which it sounds like you do have) because you don't want to wait a couple of years for other more interesting opportunities to open up.

It's a completely different thing if you are asking whether it's better to do your current job for the rest of your working life vs. trying something different.
I'm in a very particular IT field where only LargeCorps and above have more than one of me. There is no career path but what I can invent at any company for this field now that I'm at senior level.

Over the long term I think these are the career paths:
1) Keep going at current role, whether at this or another company. Remain individual contributor.

2) Move out of day-to-day technical work to manage teams. This would require landing at a MegaCorp, most likely.

3) Learn how to consult in the field and eventually start my own consulting business.

nguy44
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by nguy44 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:18 am

One factor is how much more money you need (not want) to accumulate for your long term financial goals.

Twice I had a similar choice, but in reverse.

In my early 30s I had a job I liked and seemed secure, but was offered a higher paying but more challenging "career advancement" job. I was in the financial accumulation phase, so took the more challenging job. It was more difficult and less enjoyable, both professionally and personally. but actually turned out to be less risky than my "happy secure" job, which 18 months after I left disappeared when that office was shut down. it also led to a job that I enjoyed and payed better.

A few years back I was offered a higher paying but less enjoyable job with potential to get promoted to a top technical position, but it would have required 100% worldwide travel. Financially I did not need the additional salary, and I had enough of jobs that required frequent travel, so I turned it down. It would have netted me around 30-50k additional each year, but since I was already planning to retire in a couple of years and the money was not a "need", the added stress was not worth it.

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Tamarind
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by Tamarind » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:42 am

nguy44 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:18 am
One factor is how much more money you need (not want) to accumulate for your long term financial goals.
Thanks for the anecdote - good to hear about others' results.

I can meet my family's long term goals (mortgage finished at 40, FI in 50s) at either job. We're pretty frugal, and the low end of possible salary for the potential job is what I was making at the job before my current one.

The potential job might require me to choose between maxing out every last bit of tax advantaged (>30% savings rate) and delaying some much desired but purely discretionary spending (international vacation, house reno work) planned for a couple of years out. It was nice being able to do both.

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Meaty
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by Meaty » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:54 am

JTColton wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:02 pm
Tamarind wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:24 am
I have a choice to make and wondering how you all approach the risk trade-offs of job choice.

Current job: all work is at office.

Potential job: can work from home.
I would take a big risk for this type of work arrangement.
I work from home. Definitely worth it
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

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Tamarind
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Re: Job choice: higher pay or more interesting work?

Post by Tamarind » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:49 pm

Just to update, on negotiation it turned out the potential job didn't pay less after all. So I can improve work conditions and keep pay without working more hours. I accepted the new job.

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