Author Topic: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?  (Read 2273 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« on: May 03, 2018, 07:23:35 PM »
Hi all!

Apologize for the backstory here, but I think it may help in getting advice back. This one is part financial, part job advice. Thanks in advance!

I was recruited by a nonprofit to join their team last year. The job was sold to me by the Exec. Director (ED) has having complete control over the marketing/brand/communications. This part especially really appealed to me since in MegaCorp, I've found marketing is rarely in charge of making marketing decisions.

Fast forward and I'm really frustrated with the work situation. My opinions aren't valued. I'm seen as being negative and a naysayer when I ask follow up questions or for more details on strategy or question why we do things the way we do ("We've always done it that way!"). The ED doesn't see the results she expected, and now I've been given a revised 'goals' list to complete by the end of July. I feel like I'm unofficially on probation and being reprimanded for trying to do what they hired me for - give my expertise in my field. Even so, I feel some sort of weird obligation to try to stay and fix this office, which I know is an exercise in futility. It's also a 45 minute commute ($1,500 a year in gas, est.).

SO, here's where you all come in. I have the opportunity to take a pay cut (est. 15-20% cut) and work for a former boss. The clients are a bit boring, but I would be working from home and the second full time employee for a small (but financially stable and growing) PR firm, so I'd get to be involved in the strategy creation with clients. I'm still waiting to see the health insurance options to make sure they are comparable.

The bad part: Retirement. My current job has a SIMPLE IRA I can't start participating in until later this year (it was implied this began immediately upon hire when they recruited me), but the new place is small and while my former boss is working on it, they don't have a SIMPLE IRA in place yet. I'm already maxing my ROTH IRA, so I'd be losing a nice tax shelter, at least for some period of time.

They pay cut wouldn't really be a huge problem other than to decrease my current 35ish% savings rate. My fiance (getting married in the fall) has a very stable well paying government job, so the loss wouldn't result in us worrying about bills.

For those of you who moved from office jobs to work from home, did you like it? What did you miss? Would you do it again?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks Mustachians!


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Re: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 09:13:20 PM »
A few things to consider.

Everyone I know including myself that took a work from home job put in more hours, it is real easy to get in a groove working and look up and it is dark outside and you have put in a few extra hours.

You will have costs that go up, you will be home using lights, heat, A/C and water so expect that your bills will go up.

It is great being able to throw in a load of laundry or a chore while on a conference call or on a quick break.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 06:35:43 AM »
To work from home properly, you need a good space. So prepare to set aside one room as a study and pay for a chair desk etc. Maybe your new employer can help fund this as part of the signing bonus.
Working from home is great if you are alone. Don't do it with others in the house as it will be a constant distraction/temptation. Others will also treat you like you are available for things as you are home, so you may expect requests for groceries and chores, and people dropping by.

And as the_fixer already said it's easy to work too much. Especially in a small company where there is usually very little redundancy, and it all depends on you.

All in all it's harder to separate work from private life and you need to really be intentional and disciplined to make it work. But it sounds as though your current job is bad and they are positioning themselves to fire you, so I'd be looking for another job anyway.


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Re: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 07:43:55 AM »
I'd also consider the growth potential at the new company.  As they grow, would you take on more responsibilities and more salary?  Is this a situation where you take a pay cut for two years, but then come out ahead? 


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Re: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 09:43:49 AM »
I always wanted a WFH job and when I finally it, I was... disappointed. The job itself was terrible, which definitely caused some frustration. My supervisor was very demanding, our customers were batshit crazy, etc... But the thing that really surprised me was that I was not all that happy sitting completely by myself in a room for 8-9 hours a day.

Yes, there were good things, like being able to have the ideal environment and not having noisy/annoying co-workers, but there was a loneliness to it that I did not expect. This was not something that happened right away, it took about 6 months to a year to really manifest.

I think with a different job, it would have still been good, but everything combined to make me go back to working in an office.

Just something to think about.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 04:47:11 PM »
The question about the pay cut is not all that clear cut without numbers.

I took a massive pay cut very early in my career to be happier with my job, but it added only a few years to my FIRE timeline, and Iíll probably end up working several more years because I really love the job, so Iíll come out ahead financially despite the pay cut.

Are we talking a few more years difference or a decade?
How happy do you think you will be at this new job?
How likely are you to end up terminated from your current position? If highly likely, then you have nothing to lose in trying this new job.

All great questions! It would be going from 55K a year salary with the possibility of saving 12K a year in a SIMPLE IRA to more like 45K or so a year without a retirement plan, but hopefully getting a SIMPLE IRA there soon too.

I think I'm really doubting myself with any job decisions since I really thought I'd be happy in this position (which admittedly is different in very important ways than I was sold...) and I haven't been. I really haven't been happy in this position since the starting it. I don't *think* they'd actually get rid of me, but they have recently fired other staff, so I probably shouldn't put anything past them.

My hope (and understanding) is that as the firm grows, so would my responsibilities. I need to find out more info about how that works since I'm used to the corporate world of 3% annual raises. Anyone have advice on what to look for here?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Work From Home Job for a Pay Cut?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 10:04:56 PM »
How about this? 
I think since you are so unhappy with the current job, you should change jobs anyways.  But use your current salary in negotiations, and ask for 55k in the new job.  As part of the increased salary, you can offer to help set up the SIMPLE and also be the plan administrator for the company. 
Now, you get the new WFH job, keep similar salary, and be able to use the simple in the new job also.