Author Topic: A Tale of 2 Job Offers  (Read 1857 times)

mountains_o_mustaches

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A Tale of 2 Job Offers
« on: August 01, 2016, 07:08:46 PM »
I'm currently applying for my 1st job out of school and have 2 offers on the table - help me make a Mustachian decision - which would be which ever job gets me closer to FIRE fastest.  I list some intangibles, but honestly both seem like good places to work where I wouldn't be miserable.

Job Offer #1 - Federal Job
Salary = ~$80K (highest earning potential = ~$100k)
Health Insurance = better health insurance in terms of options, coverage, and out-of-paycheck expenses
Paid Time Off = 13 federal holidays, 208 hours combined vacation and sick leave 1st 3 years, 310 hours 3-15 years, 416 hours 15+ years, 32 hours of professional development leave (e.g., for professional conferences, training, etc.).
Retirement = TSP - gov't matches first 3% dollar for dollar, then next 2% (up to 5% max) at $.50 to the dollar, a pension (FERS Basic Plan)
Intangibles = work would be more varied, would have more interaction w/ colleagues, more opportunity for being involved with students/trainees (something I enjoy)
Drawbacks = more bureaucracy (which is somewhat crazy-making for me), limited resources (e.g., office space, supplies, etc.)

Job Offer #2 - Private Sector Job
Salary = ~$95k (highest earning potential = $115k)
Health Insurance = pretty basic - 2 options including a high deductible option, more taken out of paycheck for less coverage
Paid Time Off - 6 holidays, 200 hours / year combined vacation and sick leave first 5 years, 240 after 5 years, and 280 after 10 years.
Retirement - 403(b) w/ 50% matching for up to 4% contribution, no pension
Intangibles = more autonomy, would enjoy the clients I'm working with more, potentially more flexible work hours
Drawbacks = commute would require a car either for me or my husband - the jobs are too far apart for both of us to bike

So what do y'all think?  It honestly seems like a wash to me - The one job will pay less, but I'll also pay less for health insurance, get better matching for retirement, and more PTO; while the other job pays more, but I'll pay more for health insurance, get less employee matching, and less PTO. 

coffeehound

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Re: A Tale of 2 Job Offers
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 07:14:03 PM »
As someone who really values intangibles, I'd go with job 2.  Yes, you'd have to buy a car and have commuting costs, but of the drawbacks you list, one is an added expense, and the other is "crazy-making" for you. 

It's not just how long it takes to get to FIRE.  It's also being sane and happy along the way.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: A Tale of 2 Job Offers
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 07:20:01 PM »
As someone who really values intangibles, I'd go with job 2.  Yes, you'd have to buy a car and have commuting costs, but of the drawbacks you list, one is an added expense, and the other is "crazy-making" for you. 

It's not just how long it takes to get to FIRE.  It's also being sane and happy along the way.

I agree - but the 1st job has both more drawbacks and more positive intangibles as well that I thought would balance out - maybe it'd be more of a roller coaster of really good days and really bad days compared to pretty consistent OK days at Job #2 - not sure which is better though...

mozar

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Re: A Tale of 2 Job Offers
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 12:12:41 PM »
Do you want a nice government job where you can stay for a long time and then get a pension, or do you want to switch jobs every couple of years to chase money? If your primary goal is to get to FIRE asap I would go with private.

coffeehound

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Re: A Tale of 2 Job Offers
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 05:44:29 PM »
Well, then, I guess the question is: Do roller coasters make you nauseous?

The first time I read your post, I thought, "these are the same two jobs!  What's the difference?"  But then I re-read, carefully.  And perhaps another way to look at them is this:  You have some control the things you don't like about job 2 - yes, you have to buy a car, but you can choose which car, how much you spend, etc.  And, perhaps, you may be able to negotiate a work-from-home scenario.

But with job 1, the downsides are absolutely, positively, out of your control  You cannot control bureaucracy, and you sure as hell can't control resource allocation.

Also, it's relatively easy to move from private sector to government, but not so easy to move the other way (ymmv), in my experience.