Author Topic: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?  (Read 5480 times)

matchewed

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Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« on: March 11, 2014, 03:07:32 PM »
A bit of background. I have some college education but never finished. I decided to start working and earning money instead. Nine years ago I started working at a small manufacturing company. Today I'm a Quality Technician for the same company with some certifications but have never finished school. In December I gave my notice to my boss. We agreed upon a five month transition where a replacement would be found and trained. My last day is in April. I have savings which were not meant for FIRE and were originally planned for a house which never came to fruition due to several factors (primarily a shift in priorities). These savings will allow me to support myself for a few years which puts my income low enough to receive financial aid after scholarships and the like. This has bought me the opportunity to go back to school and get a degree. My current plan has me going in perhaps $20k in loan debt.

The question I have is that I was recently given an offer by a manager at the same company to stay on board as a supervisor for $75k. I currently make approximately $43k gross. By my calculations if I took the offer it would allow me to FIRE in five years. The downsides would be that I'd probably have angered my current boss, it's a higher stress job, and I still wouldn't have a degree. There would be much more autonomy with the job and it would get me closer to FIRE. My old path to FIRE had me at about eight years, my going back to school path has me at about 10 years. I get that this is all a toss up and it's about my priorities but I really like the way you all think... so with that in mind what do you think? Would you do it? Is an education that much more worth it? Am I just selling my freedom for a piece of paper (in either scenario I guess :) )? Insert Batman circa 1960's cliffhanger line here?

arebelspy

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 03:09:32 PM »
If you go there will be trouble.
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Gimesalot

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 03:16:33 PM »
You don't mention why you want to go to college.  Do you want a new career?  Or you just want more knowledge?  What kind of degree will you be seeking (B.S. or B.A)?  Also, will your current company contribute towards tuition? Also, what age are you?

I say stay for the 75k, after asking your old boss if he can match the offer.  Take a night class at the community college to figure out what you want to study, or just to get into the rhythm of things.  You could take one class a semester for the next five years.  At that point you could decide what you wanted to do without any pressure on extending your timeline. 


Ambergris

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 03:17:32 PM »
A bit of background. I have some college education but never finished. I decided to start working and earning money instead. Nine years ago I started working at a small manufacturing company. Today I'm a Quality Technician for the same company with some certifications but have never finished school. In December I gave my notice to my boss. We agreed upon a five month transition where a replacement would be found and trained. My last day is in April. I have savings which were not meant for FIRE and were originally planned for a house which never came to fruition due to several factors (primarily a shift in priorities). These savings will allow me to support myself for a few years which puts my income low enough to receive financial aid after scholarships and the like. This has bought me the opportunity to go back to school and get a degree. My current plan has me going in perhaps $20k in loan debt.

The question I have is that I was recently given an offer by a manager at the same company to stay on board as a supervisor for $75k. I currently make approximately $43k gross. By my calculations if I took the offer it would allow me to FIRE in five years. The downsides would be that I'd probably have angered my current boss, it's a higher stress job, and I still wouldn't have a degree. There would be much more autonomy with the job and it would get me closer to FIRE. My old path to FIRE had me at about eight years, my going back to school path has me at about 10 years. I get that this is all a toss up and it's about my priorities but I really like the way you all think... so with that in mind what do you think? Would you do it? Is an education that much more worth it? Am I just selling my freedom for a piece of paper (in either scenario I guess :) )? Insert Batman circa 1960's cliffhanger line here?

The issues are as follows. 1) Will you be able to stay with this job for the 5 years? and 2) Do you want a college degree for some other reason besides getting a job (e.g. personal achievement sense, learning, status, etc.)

If 2) is low, and you don't care about the degree in itself, then I personally would totally go for the promotion and FIRE.  Even if 2) is medium-ish it might even be possible to take the degree after you have FIREd, by doing a bit of part time work to finance the tuition.

But what about 1)?  You say the job is higher stress, and that your current manager would be angry.  Would you be interacting with this person regularly?  Could you cope with the stress?  Do you have outlets for stress management that you could emphasize in the 5 years?

Given the short time to FIRE I think I personally would go with the promotion, FIRE and then be free to do what I wanted with my time.

JohnGalt

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 03:21:12 PM »
Why would our current boss be upset?  If I had a boss that wasn't happy to see me advancing, particularly if it's at the same company, I'd very quickly stop caring about what he thought.  Regardless, that shouldn't play into your decision unless you think it would make for an unhappy work environment for yourself.

As you said, it's kind of up to what you want... but here are some things I would consider.

Is the new position stable?  Basically - if you go into with plans to hit FI in 5 years, is it likely that the job will last?
If it's not stable, what's your backup plan?  I don't see why it couldn't be the same as your current plan, just with more savings to do it with.

Are you wanting the degree for more reasons than just earning potential?
5 years with this job vs your 10 year estimate (it will be at least 5, if school takes you 4 years) for going the school route is a pretty big difference.  Getting a degree later if you just wanted to have it would always be an option.

Will you be happy working the new position for 5 years?  To me, this is the important one.  If you expect you'll be as happy working 5 years in that position as you would be doing whatever it is you would be doing after getting a degree, where is the benefit from the degree?

hokiegb

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 03:26:15 PM »
JohnGalt beat me to it!
I was thinking the same thing - would you be happy in the new position for the next 5 years? 5 years can feel like a really long time if it is a position that you dislike. Conversely, if you like what you do, the time will fly by.
Also, if you have not worked as a supervisor before, there is a pretty tough transition to go through from being the person who does things to MANAGING the people that do things. It takes a whole different set of skills when you get into supervisory positions. So that's something to take into account when evaluating if you would like the new position or not.

matchewed

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 03:57:40 PM »
You don't mention why you want to go to college.  Do you want a new career?  Or you just want more knowledge?  What kind of degree will you be seeking (B.S. or B.A)?  Also, will your current company contribute towards tuition? Also, what age are you?

Yes, yes, B.S., they have offered but the hours are quite demanding in the job and I don't feel like spending the next six plus years working towards a degree, I've tried it before and I know what works for me. 33. :)

The issues are as follows. 1) Will you be able to stay with this job for the 5 years? and 2) Do you want a college degree for some other reason besides getting a job (e.g. personal achievement sense, learning, status, etc.)

If 2) is low, and you don't care about the degree in itself, then I personally would totally go for the promotion and FIRE.  Even if 2) is medium-ish it might even be possible to take the degree after you have FIREd, by doing a bit of part time work to finance the tuition.

But what about 1)?  You say the job is higher stress, and that your current manager would be angry.  Would you be interacting with this person regularly?  Could you cope with the stress?  Do you have outlets for stress management that you could emphasize in the 5 years?

Given the short time to FIRE I think I personally would go with the promotion, FIRE and then be free to do what I wanted with my time.

As for 1) I'm not sure I could stay with it for five more years. I'm feeling a bit worn down from being with the same company for so long (it's odd that nine years is considered long these days, or just odd that I feel that way).

For 2) there is a bit of all of that in there. Probably less so the status. I've grown quite used to the "blink and pause" response when people get the answer of "So what did you go to school for?" Knowledge can be obtained through libraries but an external pressure like a degree can't be discounted either. I do view it as opening up options. Much like money can buy you options in life so can having a degree.

Yes I'd have to still interact with my current manager regularly. We're not a big company and it is a tight knit group. Yeah I think I could cope with the stress, I'm just cautious as there is quite a large amount of turnover in the supervisory positions. Some of that turnover is the stress, some the manager of that area who is giving me the offer as he is pretty poor at giving concrete direction. I think I manage my stress rather well and it's not too much of a concern.

Why would our current boss be upset?  If I had a boss that wasn't happy to see me advancing, particularly if it's at the same company, I'd very quickly stop caring about what he thought.  Regardless, that shouldn't play into your decision unless you think it would make for an unhappy work environment for yourself.

As you said, it's kind of up to what you want... but here are some things I would consider.

Is the new position stable?  Basically - if you go into with plans to hit FI in 5 years, is it likely that the job will last?
If it's not stable, what's your backup plan?  I don't see why it couldn't be the same as your current plan, just with more savings to do it with.

Are you wanting the degree for more reasons than just earning potential?
5 years with this job vs your 10 year estimate (it will be at least 5, if school takes you 4 years) for going the school route is a pretty big difference.  Getting a degree later if you just wanted to have it would always be an option.

Will you be happy working the new position for 5 years?  To me, this is the important one.  If you expect you'll be as happy working 5 years in that position as you would be doing whatever it is you would be doing after getting a degree, where is the benefit from the degree?

And hokiegb, good point on the pissed off boss.

The stability is an unknown. There is a possibility in the next 3-5 years for the facility to be picked up and moved to Georgia. Yes the backup plan would be the same as my current direction; school and degree just with more money and less loans.

I'm not sure I'd be happy during those five years. That's a pretty big unknown, given my already sunny disposition I think I'd be okay. My general philosophy is that regardless of what I do I'd be just as happy in 15 years no matter the choice I made. The benefit of the degree... I'll have to consider that a bit more beyond what I've already mentioned.

And hokiegb Re: the skill sets; yes I'm aware of this. I already have a sort of lateral supervisory position with the crew I'd be overseeing. Since I work as a Quality Technician in the manufacturing field I have a great deal of sway in what happens during production and I'm used to and comfortable giving direction. The skills I'd need to develop further would be things like evaluating performances, dealing with conflicts that may occur...etc. More the people managing aspects.

Thanks everyone so far, you're giving me some things to think about.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 04:25:36 PM »
I'd take the manager position. Give it at least a year. That's a really nice pay bump and this way you're getting management experience at a company you're already familiar with.

Plus, if you're planning on staying in manufacturing and/or QT, certifications go a HELL of a long way versus a college degree, and are usually 100% funded by the company. My wife is formerly a quality tech, now she's in process improvement/Six Sigma. She's been with her company for eight years at this point, but increasingly the skills she's learning span all sorts of industries.

Join ASQ if you haven't already. They have lots of learning/cert opportunities.

matchewed

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 04:35:49 PM »
I'd take the manager position. Give it at least a year. That's a really nice pay bump and this way you're getting management experience at a company you're already familiar with.

Plus, if you're planning on staying in manufacturing and/or QT, certifications go a HELL of a long way versus a college degree, and are usually 100% funded by the company. My wife is formerly a quality tech, now she's in process improvement/Six Sigma. She's been with her company for eight years at this point, but increasingly the skills she's learning span all sorts of industries.

Join ASQ if you haven't already. They have lots of learning/cert opportunities.

Already a Certified Quality Techinician, Six Sigma Black Belt (sadly no project as my company pays a great deal of lip service but doesn't want to do projects) Certification, and all sorts of Internal Auditing qualifications including lead auditing.

And a current member of ASQ.

Ambergris

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 04:39:49 PM »
OK, so the remaining issue seems to be the stability of the position: will it be there for the five years?  I think given this I would still take the promotion, hang on as long as I could bear it; if I had reached FIRE then fire; if not, leave and look for a new job with the management experience in hand.  If a new position opened up, then stick with that until FIRE; if I had trouble getting a second post, reconsider the college option.

But like I said, you might actually enjoy the college experience/learning more if you did it after FIRE (if the experience/learning is what you want it for).  It would be a lot less stressful, especially if you only had to work to cover tuition.

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 04:40:52 PM »
Another thing to consider is the value of having a line management position.  IMHO this can be resume gold later on!  Depending on your profession, getting a supervisory position can be difficult, and it seems like if it doesn't happen by a certain time, you missed your window and it just doesn't happen.

So, you have a job you are willing to leave.  I'd take the job, talk with your current manager first to keep that good relationship.  If you cannot stand it in 1, 2, 3 .... Etc. years - then leave with your wallet and bank accounts/investment accounts full.

Short-term pain for long-term gain.  Unless there is something else in the back-to-school scenario that won't be available in 1, 2, 3 .... 5 years.

Good luck - I think there is no bad decision here, just different options.

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2014, 04:46:24 PM »
If you go there will be trouble.

If you stay there will be double.

reginna

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 04:53:18 PM »
If you go there will be trouble.

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impaire

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 06:55:53 PM »
So come on, and let us know...

My vote is that you try out the manager position, and if you don't like it, you re-resign next year and go to school then. School will still be here. It will also be here in five years, when you are FI...

and

I'm not sure I understand why it matters that the new position be stable, or that you can be happy in it for five years? Even if it disappears, or you decide you do not like it after all, you're just either back to current position (with more savings) or back to current position (with more savings).

MKinVA

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2014, 07:10:55 PM »
Take the promotion. You would save enough in one year to not have that 20 grand school tuition bill. You would be making 30,000 more a year? How long would it take you to save that at your current savings rate? It seems worth it to me.

Nords

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 07:39:08 PM »
If you go there will be trouble.
If you stay there will be double.
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James

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2014, 08:03:48 PM »
I agree with the others, going for the promotion seems like a great way to reach your goals in the end. You want a degree and FIRE. The promotion gives you both in 9 years rather than 10, with the advantage of having the job in hand and not having to look for one after college. You will be free to take whatever you want in college, even if it takes more than 4 years, and won't be tied to finishing the degree if you decide you don't want to.

matchewed

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2014, 08:02:16 AM »
Talked this over w/ the GF. She isn't thrilled with the offer. The offer would put me on second shift and she's a first shift worker with school and a second part time job. This would reduce the amount of time we could spend with each other to one day a week, kind of sucky for building a relationship. Given that she's important to me and that school and completing it will open more options than my current path I'm going to stick with my original plan and go back to school.

I do have to admit the offer is incredibly tempting but have narrowed down that the primary reason is money. And while FIRE is one of my goals it isn't the only goal and is something I'm sure I'll achieve regardless of the decision I make. Thanks again for all the advice everyone. Even though I went against it I really appreciate the time you guys took to answer.