Author Topic: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.  (Read 4178 times)

hoodedfalcon

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Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« on: September 25, 2013, 06:04:37 PM »
So, I work in the non-profit sector doing feel good non-profit type work. I have a law degree and so therefore I have significant (150Kish) law school debt, most which is federal and will be eligible for forgiveness in about 7 years. Other than that, my only other debt is 50K or so on my mortgage.

I like my job okay. There is some weird co-worker dynamics and problems crop up from time to time, but I am mostly just a spectator to those. There are parts of my job I am not so fond of (lobbying and fundraising to be specific), but other parts make me feel damn lucky I landed the gig. Been there 2.5 years. Paid in the 50's, with 2-3K raises each year.

I am on the board of directors for a new non-profit org. The new non-profit is looking for an executive director, and a number of other board members are pushing me to apply. I wasn't interested until yesterday, when I became aware that the salary for the ED position was getting bumped to mid-70s. If I am going to put my name in the hat, I'd have to do it by tomorrow. There are various things about this position that I am not interested in, primarily fundraising. Also, the granting agency is totally dysfunctional and they have been nothing but a disaster to work with so far. I almost quit the board because of some unethical shit going on. That aside, the job itself could be awesome. Think something along the lines of kicking ass for the little guy. I am pretty sure that if I put my name in the hat, I would get the job.

I decide to go to my current boss and tell her what is going on. She had a feeling they were going to try to poach me so she wasn't surprised. When I asked if she could at all match that salary, or even get halfway there, she flat out said no, not right now. She then said in her 30 something years of operating a non-profit, she has never considered any employee to fill her shoes until I came along. Total mixed signals, especially since I am the lowest paid (though newest) attorney on staff. She said maybe down the road, but that they couldn't do it then.

So, it's between a known lower paying but not perfect job and an unknown so far dysfunctional but potentially awesome and higher paying gig. Thoughts, oh wise mustachians?
 

Another Reader

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 06:16:12 PM »
Also, the granting agency is totally dysfunctional and they have been nothing but a disaster to work with so far. I almost quit the board because of some unethical shit going on.

Seen this movie before.  I wouldn't do it for 6 figures.  You will go through the wringer and if enough bad things happen, you may get tarred with the same brush. 

In your shoes, I would look for another way to make up $20k.  I would also consider the for profit world if the difference in pay would overcome the benefit of canceling the student loans.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 06:30:16 PM »
Also, the granting agency is totally dysfunctional and they have been nothing but a disaster to work with so far. I almost quit the board because of some unethical shit going on.

Seen this movie before.  I wouldn't do it for 6 figures.  You will go through the wringer and if enough bad things happen, you may get tarred with the same brush. 

In your shoes, I would look for another way to make up $20k.  I would also consider the for profit world if the difference in pay would overcome the benefit of canceling the student loans.

Thanks, Another Reader. This is my biggest reservation. The granting organization will be stepping back once the articles of incorporation and 501(c)(3) letter come through (6mos? maybe a year?) and the new organization becomes it's own entity. The reasons you pointed out are the exact reasons I am not jumping at this opportunity.

As far as the for-profit world. I am definitely open to that. My skillset for the past 10+ years has been based around fighting for the little guy. I am having a hard time translating that to the private sector. I am afraid my resume reads as one big middle finger to corporate/capitalist/mainstream America. But I am incredibly personable when I want to be. :)

Daleth

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 08:26:05 PM »
What loan forgiveness program are you counting on to take care of your law school debt?

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 08:48:34 PM »
What loan forgiveness program are you counting on to take care of your law school debt?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), assuming it still exists.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 08:55:34 AM »
Update: My boss sent me an email this morning saying that she was originally planning on increasing my salary by about 4K in January, but she can go ahead and do that now, and then maybe do another 1-2K in January if the budget works out. I had already pretty much decided that I was going to stick around, so this was a nice and unexpected bump given the conversation I had with her yesterday that sounded like there was no room for any movement.

So, all in all I am happy, though I am worried that there may be some weird tension coming from her based on the conversation I just had with her. Hopefully that will pass.

kkbmustang

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 09:02:21 AM »
Congratulations! It's obvious that she values you, otherwise she wouldn't have gone to bat for you in getting you that raise sooner with another one coming up in January.

I also wouldn't put myself in a situation where there was unethical/possibly illegal stuff occurring. I quit a job over some similar issues without another one lined up. Had I known in advance, I wouldn't have taken the job. Makes for interesting discussions when interviewing for the next job (very difficult!), but it all works out. It's best to avoid those situations if you can.

BoulderTC

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 09:07:12 AM »
It sounds like you mad up your mind, but just wanted to throw out there that you seem to be a good worker with good skills and no problem marketing yourself. I wouldn't consider these your only two options. But yeah, given that these are your two options for now ... seems like your current gig will work out well for you.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 09:10:48 AM »
I, too, would pass on the opportunity. Fear of regret.

As far as your dislike of fundraising...if you can cure that, you will be invaluable no matter where you go, so I encourage you to work on that. Have you ever belonged to Toastmasters? It's a fantastic organization, and over time, you can specialize your work to focus on your career-specific challenges like fundraising.

cynthia1848

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2013, 10:01:58 AM »
I think you made the right decision.  Shenanigans at grant-making foundations are NO JOKE.

I wouldn't expect any awkwardness - keep on being awesome and maybe say thank you to your boss for the raise.  :)

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 01:29:28 PM »
Thanks everyone. I think I made the right decision as well. I sent her a very nice thank you note and I think we will be fine. Goes to show you never know what sort of opportunities exist in a week.

As far as the fundraising part - I know that is a much sought after skill, and I am trying to get more comfortable with it. Grant writing is another great skill to have, and even a potential side-hustle that could bring in a decent amount of money if you get good at it. Something to work on for sure.

lhamo

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Re: Oh Wise Mustachians! I need some job related advice.
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 08:09:47 AM »
I would wait until you are FI until you try to run/shape up a struggling non-profit.  The challenges of taking on that kind of role would be huge, and if you can't turn it around it really could taint you professionally.   Unless you have a real talent/passion for fundraising that aspect of the job will likely also be difficult.