Author Topic: Should I accept the job offer  (Read 1313 times)

LLL

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Should I accept the job offer
« on: April 20, 2019, 09:11:35 PM »
Should I take the job offer?

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 09:11:55 PM »
The current job is in finance with a long commute (50 min one-way), fairly long hours (45 hour work week and some occasional work at home at night or on the weekends), and is rather high stress some days. Several months ago it looked like my job might disappear so I applied for a few other positions. Well after a long process with a university, I have been offered a tenure track professor position at a teaching university in another city. The hiccup is, that things have improved at my current place of employment (which is the better choice financially) and now I don't know if I should take it and slow down my path to FI.

I would likely have a commute in the professor position of 15 minutes or less with more flexibility than I have in my current position. However, my current position pays better and my current track has higher potential for increased income. If I move to academia my income will likely stagnate.


The financials:

Current job
Salary: $105k
Standard bonus: $10k (this is practically guaranteed)
Special bonus: $50k (I have only got this once in the 2+ years I have been at my current job and have no idea if this was a one-time thing or may reacurre in the future)
Time off: 10 days of PTO.

New job
Salary: $93k
Summer teaching: $16k (paid for teaching half the summer)
Time off: Three months in the summer (or 1 1/2 months if I teach a summer class) and a few weeks around the holidays

Any thoughts or advice?

FIreDrill

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2019, 09:31:09 PM »
Would the new job be 40/hr a week?  Technically you would be getting a hourly pay raise If it is 40/hr a week with 3 months off.  I think that would be my ideal work life balance.  I think this really depends on what you want to do but it sounds like the perfect opportunity to downshift, do meaningful work, and have plenty of time off in the summer.

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Tester

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2019, 09:31:16 PM »
I can't tell you what to do.
I will just tell you this: when I moved to the USA there was a mix up and it looked like I will only gat 10 days off.
I told my wife that if that will be like this we are going back in one month.

You can make a quick comparison by dividing income to hours of work - don't forget to include commute and extra hours.

For me, if the 93 k plus 16k would be enough I would enjoy the 30 + days of vacation per year......

Even more, I would really try to only 93k and take 3 months off during summer!!!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2019, 11:36:35 PM »
How far from FIRE are you? Are you possibly spending more money than necessary due to the stress and longer hours of your job, that you could cut out with the other job?

Montecarlo

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 06:01:20 AM »
If Iím reading it right, one job is 109K and one is 115K?  What are the promotion prospects for each?

From my perspective, being able to cut out well over an hour of windshield time is worth giving up 6K

herbgeek

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 06:37:21 AM »
The teaching job pays significantly more, if you look at it from a per hour basis.

Current job:  45 hours plus 9 hours commuting = 54 hours (plus you say there is overtime, but I didn't count that)
You work 48 weeks /year (assuming 10 paid holidays and 10 PTO days)
54 hours * 48 weeks = 2592 hours you work
@ 115,000 year this works out to 44.36 per hour (115K/2592)

Potential job:  40 hours (I'm assuming) plus 2.5 hours of commuting = 42.5 hours per week
You'd work 44 weeks/yr (assuming you teach in the summer)
42.5 hours * 44 weeks = 1870 hours
@109000 year this works out to 58.28 per hour  or 30% more than you currently make (58.28 - 44.36)/44.36

I went through this math myself, when "downsizing" from a manager position to an individual position at a lower wage.  I actually came out ahead when I factored in how many hours I was working/commuting to get my salary.

Plus there's the stress and overtime factors.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 06:39:03 AM by herbgeek »

pbkmaine

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 07:08:51 AM »
1) What are your current living expenses?
2) What are your estimated expenses at university job?
3) What are the requirements for tenure, and how likely is it you will meet them?
4) How far along are you on the path to FI?
5) Which position fits your personality better?
6) Where are your friends and family, and how will this move affect them?

Brother Esau

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2019, 07:52:29 AM »
I switched jobs to one that paid less and broke down the numbers the same way that herbgeek did above. Once factoring in shorter work day, shorter commute, more PTO and holidays, it became a wash financially. We're very close to FI so I think of it as being semi RE.

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2019, 07:53:27 AM »
Would the new job be 40/hr a week?  Technically you would be getting a hourly pay raise If it is 40/hr a week with 3 months off.  I think that would be my ideal work life balance.  I think this really depends on what you want to do but it sounds like the perfect opportunity to downshift, do meaningful work, and have plenty of time off in the summer.

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The new job would be a, whatever it take to get the job done kind of position. That could result in 35-hour weeks if I streamline everything. On the flip side it may be closer to 45-hour weeks in the beginning. The first time you teach a class typically takes more time because prepping lectures for the first time takes some extra time. 

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2019, 07:56:39 AM »
How far from FIRE are you? Are you possibly spending more money than necessary due to the stress and longer hours of your job, that you could cut out with the other job?

Probably 5 to 7 years. The networth is around $340k right and we are targeting something around $1 million right now. We could probably reduce our spending a little bit with the new job but not very much.

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2019, 08:03:44 AM »
If Iím reading it right, one job is 109K and one is 115K?  What are the promotion prospects for each?

From my perspective, being able to cut out well over an hour of windshield time is worth giving up 6K

That's correct, except the current job has a hard to predict financial potential to participate in certain events. In the 2+ years I have been at my current position there was an event that resulted in a $50k bonus. This could happen again in the future but there is no way to predict if or when. Lastly, I think we will move closer to the current job if I don't take the new job.   

rockeTree

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2019, 08:17:23 AM »
Both these jobs are financially fine; I had the faculty gig and a technical gig that sounds very similar to your current workload at different times. This is really about how much the core parts of these jobs wear on you. Have you taught before? College teaching can be grindingly repetitive, dealing with the emotional responses of late adolescents all the time is hard for a lot of folks, bureaucracy at universities can be maddening. OTOH the flexibility is fantastic and very hard to replicate elsewhere, and a shorter commute is always a boost.

If you need to work longer than the tenure clock, think hard about the tenure standards and how hard it will be to achieve them. If there are significant non-teaching requirements you may not want to take the summer classes. How many classes are you expected to teach? 2-2 is pretty chill, 4-4 is pretty frantic during semesters.

You know what bugs you about where you are now- bullshit six sigma lingo, pointless dollar chasing, whatever. Both options are pretty good jobs. Iíd weigh quality of life heavily.

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2019, 08:46:15 AM »
The teaching job pays significantly more, if you look at it from a per hour basis.

Current job:  45 hours plus 9 hours commuting = 54 hours (plus you say there is overtime, but I didn't count that)
You work 48 weeks /year (assuming 10 paid holidays and 10 PTO days)
54 hours * 48 weeks = 2592 hours you work
@ 115,000 year this works out to 44.36 per hour (115K/2592)

Potential job:  40 hours (I'm assuming) plus 2.5 hours of commuting = 42.5 hours per week
You'd work 44 weeks/yr (assuming you teach in the summer)
42.5 hours * 44 weeks = 1870 hours
@109000 year this works out to 58.28 per hour  or 30% more than you currently make (58.28 - 44.36)/44.36

I went through this math myself, when "downsizing" from a manager position to an individual position at a lower wage.  I actually came out ahead when I factored in how many hours I was working/commuting to get my salary.

Plus there's the stress and overtime factors.

This was very helpful. I factored in all the information I have, including benefits and got the follow results, assuming if I stay at my current job I move closer.

Current job without incentive $55
New job $74
Current job with incentive $82

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2019, 08:54:46 AM »
1) What are your current living expenses?
2) What are your estimated expenses at university job?
3) What are the requirements for tenure, and how likely is it you will meet them?
4) How far along are you on the path to FI?
5) Which position fits your personality better?
6) Where are your friends and family, and how will this move affect them?

1) $2,800 per month (Base) + $1,400 per month (15-year mortgage) = $4,200 per month or about $50k per year.
2) Its hard to tell because a lot of it will depend on the house we buy. However, gas and maintenance for the cars would decrease by at least $150 per month.
3) Tenure is focused on teaching excellence. As long as I do a good job teaching publish a few papers over the next five years and perform some service it is likely I would get it.
4) I am estimating about 7 more years.
5) I am having trouble figuring this one out.
6) My wife and I have family in both cities and the cities are only about a 1 1/2 hours apart. Except for my wife's best friend, we don't have a lot of friends in our current city.

pbkmaine

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2019, 09:09:57 AM »
Based on your answers, I have two more questions:

7) How does the cost of housing compare between the two locations?

8) How are the schools rated in the two locations? (This matters whether you have children or not, because it factors into resale value.)

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2019, 10:05:56 AM »
Both these jobs are financially fine; I had the faculty gig and a technical gig that sounds very similar to your current workload at different times. This is really about how much the core parts of these jobs wear on you. Have you taught before? College teaching can be grindingly repetitive, dealing with the emotional responses of late adolescents all the time is hard for a lot of folks, bureaucracy at universities can be maddening. OTOH the flexibility is fantastic and very hard to replicate elsewhere, and a shorter commute is always a boost.

If you need to work longer than the tenure clock, think hard about the tenure standards and how hard it will be to achieve them. If there are significant non-teaching requirements you may not want to take the summer classes. How many classes are you expected to teach? 2-2 is pretty chill, 4-4 is pretty frantic during semesters.

You know what bugs you about where you are now- bullshit six sigma lingo, pointless dollar chasing, whatever. Both options are pretty good jobs. Iíd weigh quality of life heavily.

Which job did you like more? Which job are you currently in?

I would be teaching 4-4. However, I would only have two or three preps.

I think what bugs me about my current position is that there is a lot of micro managing. Also, the work environment is not great and I always feel as I am not sure I will still have a job in six months. On the flip side I am getting to work on once-in-a-life type projects. Some of the projects that I have worked on ended up in the front page of the news. The reason I mention this is because that I think that I might be able to leverage my experience into a much higher paying job in the future if I don't go work in the ivory tower.

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2019, 10:14:34 AM »
Based on your answers, I have two more questions:

7) How does the cost of housing compare between the two locations?

8) How are the schools rated in the two locations? (This matters whether you have children or not, because it factors into resale value.)

7) Our current house has a value of ~$280k.
In the city with the new job, a similar house would cost around $310k.
A similar house about 15 minutes away from my current job would cost about $350k. 
A similar house about 5 minutes away from my current job would cost about $410k.

8) The schools at all three locations are good.

Padonak

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2019, 10:26:47 AM »
Do you like teaching? Have you ever tried it? It's definitely not for everybody. I tried it part time and chose a job in Finance. I'd rather sit and crunch numbers than teach. Besides, if you have to publish papers in addition to teaching it will make the new job even more challenging.

There are Finance jobs out there with PTO more than 10 days and even more than 20 days. There are also 9 to 5 finance jobs though the pay may not be very high. There are even remote Finance jobs (though I can't find one unfortunately).

rockeTree

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2019, 10:27:08 AM »
Both these jobs are financially fine; I had the faculty gig and a technical gig that sounds very similar to your current workload at different times. This is really about how much the core parts of these jobs wear on you. Have you taught before? College teaching can be grindingly repetitive, dealing with the emotional responses of late adolescents all the time is hard for a lot of folks, bureaucracy at universities can be maddening. OTOH the flexibility is fantastic and very hard to replicate elsewhere, and a shorter commute is always a boost.

If you need to work longer than the tenure clock, think hard about the tenure standards and how hard it will be to achieve them. If there are significant non-teaching requirements you may not want to take the summer classes. How many classes are you expected to teach? 2-2 is pretty chill, 4-4 is pretty frantic during semesters.

You know what bugs you about where you are now- bullshit six sigma lingo, pointless dollar chasing, whatever. Both options are pretty good jobs. Iíd weigh quality of life heavily.

Which job did you like more? Which job are you currently in?

I would be teaching 4-4. However, I would only have two or three preps.

I think what bugs me about my current position is that there is a lot of micro managing. Also, the work environment is not great and I always feel as I am not sure I will still have a job in six months. On the flip side I am getting to work on once-in-a-life type projects. Some of the projects that I have worked on ended up in the front page of the news. The reason I mention this is because that I think that I might be able to leverage my experience into a much higher paying job in the future if I don't go work in the ivory tower.

Iím in the technical job and I like it better and it pays better (but the commute bites- I could bike to my old faculty gig). I could not teach 4-4 myself, especially not and teach summers while still publishing even minimally. Thatís a ton of classroom time and associated office hours and grading and student emails (and teaching schools usually have minimal TA or grading support). This job would be a nightmare *for me*. That said I am not micromanaged or job insecure in my current job and faculty jobs really are the opposite of that, accreditation cycles aside.

It sounds like a job change might be right for you but maybe this isnít the gig- tough call.


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LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2019, 10:40:59 AM »
Do you like teaching? Have you ever tried it? It's definitely not for everybody. I tried it part time and chose a job in Finance. I'd rather sit and crunch numbers than teach. Besides, if you have to publish papers in addition to teaching it will make the new job even more challenging.

There are Finance jobs out there with PTO more than 10 days and even more than 20 days. There are also 9 to 5 finance jobs though the pay may not be very high. There are even remote Finance jobs (though I can't find one unfortunately).

Unfortunately, I have not yet had the chance to try teaching. So in short, I have no idea if I would like it. I like working with and explaining concepts to interns at my current job, which are right out of college. But I would imagine teaching in a classroom setting would be rather different.

pbkmaine

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2019, 10:47:00 AM »
Is there a way you could talk to current faculty at your level in new job?

rockeTree

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2019, 12:24:55 PM »
Do you like teaching? Have you ever tried it? It's definitely not for everybody. I tried it part time and chose a job in Finance. I'd rather sit and crunch numbers than teach. Besides, if you have to publish papers in addition to teaching it will make the new job even more challenging.

There are Finance jobs out there with PTO more than 10 days and even more than 20 days. There are also 9 to 5 finance jobs though the pay may not be very high. There are even remote Finance jobs (though I can't find one unfortunately).

Unfortunately, I have not yet had the chance to try teaching. So in short, I have no idea if I would like it. I like working with and explaining concepts to interns at my current job, which are right out of college. But I would imagine teaching in a classroom setting would be rather different.
Oh wow, if you have never taught at all my vote is no. Learning to teach decently is a real skill and going straight into 8 classes a year will wipe you out and during terms will take well over 45 hours a week for several semesters, even if itís only four different courses a year. Every minute of class time is a minute of prep for an experienced teacher with an established course but over five for a newbie, more if your lectures arenít more or less directly from a text. Grading an hour long test for 40 students will take maybe ten hours if itís not multiple choice, longer if you havenít learned to write questions very cleanly (youíre micromanaged now but wait until a teenager with a b+ decides to harangue you at length about how their answer was a reasonable one if you twist the question to the limits- and every single student with a b+ will come by or write to try to negotiate the grade). If youíre not really jazzed about teaching, or it doesnít come relatively easily to you, this will be crushing.


Maybe read James Lang on his first year at a teaching college for a perspective from someone who liked it more than I did... https://www.amazon.com/Life-Tenure-Track-Lessons-First/dp/080188103X
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 12:35:45 PM by rockeTree »

BicycleB

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2019, 01:46:02 PM »
Go with your gut!

I can't tell which one is better for you. But you sound likely to achieve your financial goals in either case, so I would guess that your pleasure/pain/personal development experience in the job will be more important to your overall life than the money difference.

If money weren't involved, would these once-in-a-lifetime projects still excite you?

Tenure track offers are rare. But if you're good enough, they could occur again. So pretend you're FIRE except that you must do one of these jobs for free for 6 years. Which one do you want?

LLL

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2019, 08:38:08 PM »
Is there a way you could talk to current faculty at your level in new job?

This is a great idea. I schedule a call with a faculty that would be at my level.

Pigeon

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Re: Should I accept the job offer
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2019, 07:04:09 AM »
They are very different types of work.  I wouldn't base this on finances so much as I would the difference in careers.  You say you'd have to "publish a few papers a year."  I'd make sure it's that casual and that you understand what the research and productivity expectations are very clearly.  If publication is expected in certain higher impact journals, that could be much more involved than it sounds.

I'd also make sure I understood what types of courses I'd be teaching and understand the student body.  There is a big difference in teaching upper class seminar type courses at small, private schools and teaching large lecture hall type classes taken for gen ed credit.  Is there any way to sit in on the kind of classes you'd be teaching?

What kind of service and committee work is expected?  If you have to be the faculty rep to campus-wide committees, that can be a huge time suck.  Likewise, are you going to be expected to hold office and do presentations for national professional organizations?

I like academia, but it's very different than business.  Also understand the benefits.  I have absolutely outstanding medical insurance, retirement, deferred compensation opportunity, vacation, sick leave, etc, but it's institution dependent.