Author Topic: Help Choosing Between Jobs: Trying to Decide if it's Worth the Hassle Now  (Read 1900 times)

FIREdancer

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Hey Mustachians, I'm looking for some opinions on which job choice would be better overall.  The thing is, I don't actually have an offer for the new job, so it's kind of a moot point, but I'm trying to figure out now if it is even worth the trouble of going for it considering the salary is not drastically more than my current job and my current job is more flexible.  I appreciate any input!

New Possible Job:
Salary: listed at $38,000 (most likely non-negotiable, but I'd try)
Retirement: 401k, employer matches employee contribution up to 6% of salary
Health: HSA plan costs $22/month with $2000 deductible and employer contributes about $83/mo to HSA (I would have to spend at least and extra $630-$840 a year for a medication that's not covered under this plan)
Dental: $20/year
Vision: $92/year
Vacation: 20 days a year
Sick time: 12 days a year
Bonus time: 1-3 bonus vacation days depending on amount of sick time used in previous year
Hours: Generally 8-5 four days a week and 12-9 one day a week, plus 4 Sundays and 12 Saturdays a year.

Current Job:
Salary: about $33,500
Retirement: 401a, 457b, 403b, employer match ends up being about 5%, plus a pension (but I won't be able to take advantage of it because you have to work until 55 to get it and I plan to retire around 35-40).
Health: $65/mo with no deductible ($5 copay for medication I have to get 3-4 times a year)
Dental: $178 for entire year
Vision: $71 for entire year
Vacation: 12 days a year
Sick time: 12 days a year
Personal Time: 4 days a year, use or lose each year
Other benefits: 75% tuition reduction or can audit courses for free, various discounts around town for gyms/massage/vacation/entertainment (I'm not currently taking advantage of any of them)
Hours: 8-5 Monday through Friday

Other information:
  • The unknown with the new job is that they are currently doing a compensation study, so salary could be adjusted...up or down, don't know for sure.
  • Both employers offer other health plan options, but I only listed the one that is cheapest for me based on my recurring health expenses and what's covered under each plan.
  • If I leave the current job, I will have lost all of the employer match because I'm not vested yet (this amounts to about $5000).  Will be vested in September, so I was originally planning to wait until then to apply for other jobs, but this one is available now.
  • New job has less desirable hours.  Current job is pretty flexible and I generally have free time.
  • Current job has no prospects of even a cost of living raise at this point due to budget cuts.
  • Job satisfaction in each position would be comparable. Current is more flexible and low stress, but sometimes boring.  New would be slightly more stressful, less flexible, but more interesting.

I've been going over this a lot, but I want another perspective, so thanks in advance for any thoughts.  I highly value the Mustachian opinion.

norabird

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I would wait to vest until a more appealing option comes up. You would be leaving 5k on the table for a 5k annual bump, which doesn't seem enough to me. If this job is listed now, another job will be listed later, from somewhere--maybe even one offering a greater increase.


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drteter

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Hi FIREdancer,

Agreed that additional searching might be beneficial to find another role that might have even higher pay. One thing to note is that the potential new role's additional vacation time would be a good way to start a side hustle, build skills to increase your salary faster, etc. Not sure what industry you're in but those extra days could be valuable if used well.

FIREdancer

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Thanks for your responses.  That's kind of what I was leaning towards, but at the same time, I've been looking for awhile and with my experience and degree, that's about the highest pay I can expect in my location (I'm not looking to move right now).

To give a little more information, I have a liberal arts background (English, philosophy, art history) and a Master's in Library Science, and these jobs are both in the library world...not the best place for high earnings.  Perhaps I should wait until I'm vested in the current job and then look for jobs outside my field.

norabird

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I would still wait for a similar posting after you vest, even if it takes several extra months. Totally fine to be working with an MLS and a related salary ceiling! But you'll be leaving money behind to leave now, without a huge reward. You might consider law libraries down the line?


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FIREdancer

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Thanks for your thoughts, norabird.  Law libraries would be interesting, but then I'd have to get a law degree and I've got two side hustles going on right now, which take up most of my extra time, not sure I want to trade those for going back to school right now.  Good thought, though.

mskyle

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Thanks for your responses.  That's kind of what I was leaning towards, but at the same time, I've been looking for awhile and with my experience and degree, that's about the highest pay I can expect in my location (I'm not looking to move right now).

To give a little more information, I have a liberal arts background (English, philosophy, art history) and a Master's in Library Science, and these jobs are both in the library world...not the best place for high earnings.  Perhaps I should wait until I'm vested in the current job and then look for jobs outside my field.

Definitely look into switching industries! I have an MLS but I don't work in libraries anymore, partly because the pay was just so low. Unless you have good reasons for believing that the new job will be a stepping stone to something significantly better, I don't think it's worth switching. Especially with this whole "salary study" thing - that does not sound promising, especially if your own research has shown that the current salary is at the top of the local range...