Author Topic: Do I take this almost dream job with some downsides, if it's offered?  (Read 1756 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I was just interviewed and references were requested for a position that would basically be my dream job (college counselor at a high school), but not my dream location. I'd be leaving a non-dream job in a dysfunctional environment but with great financial and logistical benefits.

Positives to taking dream job:
Working with the age group I want, doing the main "thing" I want to do, having flexibility and independence to grow the program but also with the presence and support of the person who has been running it for 10 years or so (she is stepping into a new role in the same institution), in an environment where change and trying new things is encouraged. One of my BFFs has worked in this institution already for two years (she's not the reason I'd want to work there, she plans on leaving soon for her own dream job) and she describes it as a very encouraging, supportive, balanced place to work. I would be leaving a toxic environment with poor leadership that is resistant to change, where we are over-worked and under-resourced, and no one in leadership takes anyone in my department seriously. Oh yeah, and it's officially a 10 month position so I would get my summers off (I'll have to do some stuff but not 40 hours a week worth!) My BFF heard the salary range and it tops out at 13k more than I make now, so I would get a little pay bump, but not enough to make up for the negative financial hit due to...

Negatives to taking dream job:
A 40 minute one-way commute. It's an easy, no-traffic drive, but I currently live two miles from work which is one of the best parts of the current job. We'd need to get a second car so my work-at-home spouse wouldn't be stranded during the day, and in case our child needed to be transported unexpectedly. It also sounds like  a lot of work, which my current job is and it's exhausting. My current job also has excellent benefits that get better as you stay longer (better retirement match, better health insurance, a mortgage discount - we'd have to refinance our house at a cost of about $4000 rolled into the new mortgage if I took a new job - plus the only guaranteed infant childcare in the area if we have another child, and if I stay for the long haul, one of the best dependent education benefits in the country).

We could potentially move closer to new job, but our house equivalent in nearby towns would cost us $50k - 100k more. I could also potentially work 5-10 years at this dream job, then try to get a job back at current institution to get the sweet tuition benefit (I currently work in a very specialized field and have made a pretty good reputation for myself at current job so if there was an opening, I'm confident they would want me back). With the summer off, I could easily consult in my current field for some extra bucks.

I've been trying to get this type of job for the last six years unsuccessfully, and we've committed to live in a rural area with barely any job opportunities in any field, let alone this specific one, so "waiting for another dream job" is not really an option. I'm not hardcore Mustachian, but have planned out our current financial lives to retire at 55, possibly earlier. With this job 55 would probably be the earliest, and if we did have a second kid, maybe not until 58.

My gut says to take it, but my brain says.... I don't know? I need a mystical magical life coach guru to tell me what to do!!! So, I'm "Asking a Mustachian!!"


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Do I take this almost dream job with some downsides, if it's offered?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 08:22:38 PM »
Ask the new job for what you need in order for the decision to be easy. If they don't meet your ask, don't go. There are other jobs out there, keep looking, and treat finding your next job as your top priority.

It's also very easy to feel trapped with few opportunities if you're not willing to move. So make peace with relocating for a better opportunity, then rerun your analysis to determine what you really need in order to take the job you want.


  • Bristles
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Re: Do I take this almost dream job with some downsides, if it's offered?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 08:52:30 PM »
Sounds like a personal decision, though it seems you would regret passing up on this one and since you can always go back to the current job seems like it is worth the chance to change.

Just curious, what kind of background does one typically have to be a college counselor at a high school?