Author Topic: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?  (Read 4989 times)

Johnny Aloha

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Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« on: May 14, 2013, 12:31:15 AM »
I have a job dilemma and not sure which route to go ...

I'm an engineer and work for the government.  I have an interesting job but ...

I am also a military reservist, and I volunteered for one year of temporary active duty.  My original plan was to return to my regular job once the one year military gig was up in September.  They have to hold the job open while I'm on military orders. 

However, the military job asked me to extend for another year (would be 2 years total).  At first I declined, but then re-considered because I'll be promoted and it comes with the following benefits:

- increased take home pay of approx $50k over 12 months (including special incentive pays and tax free allowances)
- increased educational benefits (GI bill)
- increased pension amount in retirement
- better & more fun work environment than the regular job

A senior manager called me today and told me they need me back because staffing is low.  He was not thrilled about the possibility of me being out for another year, which I understand.  I have a good reputation but think this could be held against me (not blatantly of course, that would be illegal).

I am leaning toward extending at the military job, even though it will put my regular job in a bind.  Pretty much everyone I talk to says you have to do whats right for your family, but I end up feeling guilty about leaving my regular job at low staffing levels when the workload is high.

Obviously the extra $50k would expedite FI - most likely would purchase a couple rental homes.  And probably put the rest for the new baby's 529 plan.

What would you do?

Joel

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 12:37:21 AM »
Go for it.

gooki

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 12:39:07 AM »
Don't let the guilt stop you. They have managers, it's their job to manage staffing levels, not yours.

arebelspy

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 12:43:34 AM »
Do what's best for you and your family, not some company (or country, for that matter).
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GreenGuava

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 01:05:33 AM »
Thank you for what you do.  Do what's right for you and yours.  If your current non-military employer doesn't want you back when you return (such as by non-blatantly holding your military service against you), any number of competitors would be lucky to have you. 

lhamo

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 03:01:51 AM »
I would extend the military contract.  You aren't due back until September, so it isn't like you aren't giving them plenty of notice/time to plan.  They should easily be able to get someone on contract to fill in the rest of the time you are away.  They aren't paying yours salary, right? 

If they treat you poorly after you get back then you move on. 


davisgang90

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 04:01:07 AM »
I would extend and not worry about your return.  The rules for allowing reservists back into a commensurate job are pretty well-defined and especially considering you are employed by the government in your civilian capacity, it seems like a no-brainer.  The extra scratch at reserve retirement time will also be a big help.


Pixelshot

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 04:57:00 AM »
It's a tough decision that can hardly be done in a few text posts, but as an outside reader, these two things you said stood out to me:

"- increased take home pay of approx $50k over 12 months
- better & more fun work environment than the regular job"

If those were the only factors, I would do it. Heck, you may get back to your old job and decide in a year to move on to another job anyway, and then you will have missed out on the above two things. Surely, your main concern is what happens AFTER the year is up, so you'll have to think carefully about an exit strategy, but you can always use the 50k to buy you some time... :)

Good luck!

Left

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 07:43:01 AM »
just want to note, that if the company is shortstaffed, as much as you enjoyed the work before, things have changed and you might not enjoy it now... so you shouldn't base going back on what you remember the company being but ask around to see how things are if you really plan to go back

not trying to talk you out of it but might want to think about why you want to return to old job instead of what is keeping you in the reservist job

Reepekg

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 09:25:25 AM »
I spent a few years in a start-up company environment where I felt like we were kind of family working for the same goals. I cared a lot about the success of the company and my coworkers, and in many respects the company looked out for me as well.

Over time, however, it became clear/I learned that the company will always look out for #1 first, even though they treat you well. This is just the nature of business. The only rational behavior for an employee is to reciprocate.

Be understanding and work with them as much as possible, but there is no place for guilt or passing on opportunities that will benefit you.

Johnny Aloha

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 12:27:22 PM »
Really appreciate the insight from everyone - thanks!  I'll be re-confirming my intent to extend today.  And looking for rental properties!

KingMe

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 12:32:31 PM »
Many Federal employees are facing furlough days due to sequestration. I would think about that before you make your decision. You may not only lose the $50,000, but also face a pay cut of 10% or more if you return to civilian life.

ElectroStache

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 12:42:39 PM »
Don't think anyone has asked yet, but if you are interested in the money side of things, could you discuss that with your boss? See what's on the table in terms of incentives to come back instead? I'm not sure if there are regulations against that since they have to hold your job (and therefore shouldn't have to entice you). But if there's one thing I learned about negotiating is you don't get anything without asking.

Johnny Aloha

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 04:53:09 PM »
Negotiating for higher salary isn't an option.  With furloughs, pay freeze, and a hiring freeze, I'm pretty sure management's hands are tied.

jamccain

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Re: Job dilemma - is an extra $50k worth it?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 09:55:23 PM »
Do what's best for you and your family, not some company (or country, for that matter).

Simple and effective...