Author Topic: Turning down way more money for family/life balance  (Read 1915 times)

Apocalyptica602

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Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« on: January 14, 2021, 06:35:17 AM »
So I've been looking to leave my current position for a variety of reasons.

Just ended up turning down a job offer for a large, well known company, who is also known for high stress, work hours, and expectations disguised as 'the culture'.

The job would've taken me to ~$180K (after multiple rounds of aggressive negotiation since I didn't 'need' the job) versus my current $135k. However:
  • Commute would increase from 5 minutes to 40
  • Zero possibility to WFH versus 1-2 days a week
  • Expectation of 'on call' alternating weekends and overnights
  • Red flags when interviewing

The me of even 2-3 years ago would think I'm absolutely insane for walking away. But this time it was surreal how easy it was to look at my wife and toddler and say no.

I was already in a privileged position in some ways prior to finding MMM years ago, but this is the first time I've really had to 'walk the walk' in terms of hard decisions about my career path.

Dicey

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 06:38:40 AM »
Those look like great reasons to me. Your kids are only young once and so are you.

Adventine

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 06:44:29 AM »
Based on your description of the commute, inflexible stance on WFH, on-call expectations, and what seem to be "red flags" with the company culture, I would say no, and I'm unmarried and childless.

You can do better.

Malcat

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 06:50:36 AM »
I passed on WAY more money than that for the sake of life balance and I don't even have kids.


Nutty

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 07:08:31 AM »
After DD#2 was born, I was offered a 20% raise for a traveling field tech position in a small company with a lot of personal growth.  They guaranteed I'd be home one weekend a month.  DW made it simple.  Divorce would go with the traveling position.  We are still together after 27 years.

I talked with the company later and they said that they really could have used me.  They spent 3 years in Asia.  So much for the one weekend a month home. 

I got to see the 3 kids grow.  Still working, but so worth it.  You made the right choice.

rockstache

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 07:08:35 AM »
I think youíd be insane to even consider it. And I donít make half that much.

nirodha

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 08:26:05 AM »
This is good practice. When you retire early, you'll probably be at peak market value. Since compensation tends to go up in percentages, the amounts don't scale linearly. The last few years of the career feel obscenely compensated, compared to the early years. Stepping away from "I never imagined I'd be paid this much" is hard.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2021, 07:20:34 PM »
When I was younger I was offered a contract that paid me $12.5k a week, 6 weeks a year (discontinuous, so one week every two months), for me to do remote work out of town.

I eagerly snapped it up. The money was good.

The experience - I lasted two years - was awful, and definitely not worth it. I couldn't see my partner (or anyone) for 6 days at a time, six times a year. This constrained our ability to plan holidays and other get-aways. During each week-long period, I was constantly working, around the clock, and working out of my hotel room and car. The work was stressful. When I got home I needed half a week to recover. The stress caused rifts between me and my then-partner.

It was a mistake to chase more money, and I regret it wholeheartedly. The money meant nothing compared to the stress that it caused. And once I factored in costs of travel, accommodation and working around the clock, the hourly rate wasn't even as good as I had thought.

HenryDavid

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2021, 09:58:00 AM »
The musician Brian Eno famously says "if I'd done things to get rich I'd be really poor now" (I'm paraphrasing).

(He's not poor. He eventually produced U2, designed "the Microsoft sound" and other well-compensated things, but mostly did exactly as he pleased and created really original work.)

StarBright

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2021, 10:08:03 AM »
The musician Brian Eno famously says "if I'd done things to get rich I'd be really poor now" (I'm paraphrasing).

(He's not poor. He eventually produced U2, designed "the Microsoft sound" and other well-compensated things, but mostly did exactly as he pleased and created really original work.)

I will always comment on anything related to minimalist music :) , but Music for Airports (specifically the bang on a can version) is my flow music when I really need to focus on work.

Freedomin5

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2021, 11:13:33 AM »
I think you made the right choice. I passed up a job that paid half a million a year for one that is A LOT less for work-life balance. Iím very happy I made that choice. Itís been 1.5 years and I donít have a single regret. In fact, Iím grateful for this lower paying lower stress job. With higher stress jobs, I found myself spending more money for convenience sake because I didnít have the mental and emotional capacity for anything else in my life. And it definitely was not a healthy lifestyle.

utaca

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2021, 12:21:50 PM »
This post is timely for me as it's my (sort of) last day at a law firm where I've spent the last 8 years (sort of because I need to keep computer access until Sunday "in case something comes up"). I'm leaving for a government adjacent gig for the same lifestyle and family reasons OP identifies. Ultimately, I realized I'm sacrificing my time, health and mental health, to churn big hours at a job I dislike/hate, while ignoring my spouse and child.

The lifestyle change will be significant: I get more weeks of holidays per year at the new gig than I get days of holidays at the firm. I'll rarely to never have to work past 5:00 pm, I get flex days every three weeks, sick days, weekends and statutory holidays.

The pay cut will also be significant - I'll be earning 1/3 of what I made in the last year (although the new salary is pretty decent and we'll still be able to save and invest relatively large amounts of money). Running the numbers though, I realized the pay differential on a per hour and after-tax basis, was minimal.

Maybe it's because you're in the same boat but I think you're making the right choice. I know I won't regret putting in more hours on the weekend for a bigger end of year bonus. I know I already regret all the weekends when I could've been playing with my kid in the park - and you can't put a price on that.

draco44

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Re: Turning down way more money for family/life balance
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2021, 02:33:52 PM »
Glad to hear that you made the right decision for you. That "on call" requirement sounds especially horrible.

I'd be curious to hear more about what stood out to you during the interview as red flags, if you care to share.