Author Topic: Should I take a temporary paycut to transition into IT management?  (Read 3268 times)

Bearded Man

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-I generally like where I work (good hours, good pay/benefits, easy work, well liked), and am padding my bank account each year.

-My reasons for looking are more that I'm burntout on doing hands on technical work and would rather deal with people and in the long run, I can make more money in senior management positions than I can in engineering positions, etc. (I was a manager long ago so I have some experience).

-I've had several offers for more money/management positions, but turned them down due to red flags that came up when I vetted the jobs.

-I could stay where I'm at, comfortable, routine, get my MBA in about a year, and then keep looking where I will be certain to find something again (I consistently get offers).

-Or I could take a pay cut from 115K salary to 70K salary and take what appears to be an easy IT Management gig at a local University and either ride that train for a long time since it's easy work not burn out work (everyone there has worked there for decades or more) OR...use it to transition to a higher paying management gig down the road. I see a lot of IT Manager/Director jobs in the area in the 150-170 range.

-I would not feel TOO bad passing up this opportunity, since I have had three offers in this lower pay range for IT Management gigs; they seem to be easier to get since less people want them due to the lower pay.

-I've also had offers paying 140K but turned them down due to things I found out when I vetted the companies.

So the question is, knowing these facts, should I bother taking this position (that I could get a similar one relatively easily down the road, even as a retirement job if I so desire), or should I ride the gravy train I'm on now, keep building up my savings and investments and then either transition into a management gig with a pay increase OR take the lower paying gravy train management gigs as a retirement job?

Gone Fishing

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Re: Should I take a temporary paycut to transition into IT management?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 12:53:00 PM »
How long are you thinking until FIRE?   How long would the new job delay you?  How burnt out are you, really?  Are you drinking yourself to sleep or just a bit bored? Is there no opportunity with your current employer?  I wouldn't give up $45k on my way to FIRE unless I thought I was about to crack. 


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Re: Should I take a temporary paycut to transition into IT management?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 12:54:41 PM »
No one can really give you a good answer for this other than yourself. What are your FIRE goals? How far along are you? Have you calculated what the difference in pay will make in terms of when you can retire or meet your goals? Are you willing to sacrifice earlier retirement for the possibility of an easier gig? If you're well on your way, and the difference in pay really doesn't hinder you, then go for it!


  • Bristles
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Re: Should I take a temporary paycut to transition into IT management?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 12:58:12 PM »
Hmmm. as someone pretty familiar with this area (my family and friends work in this area)... my advice is "HELL NO".

Giving up a hard skill (technical) to become a manager have been the undoing of many people I know. They get into management, obtain soft skills that are not as rare as the hard skills...and then get laid off and unable to find another management position.

Managers quite often are the easiest layer to let go in a downturn, as you still need technical workers to do the work.  As a company downsizes managers are redundant and removed.

Since you'll be making a decent salary as a manager, after a downsizing - trying to find a similar management position making similar salary is going to be very difficult.  There just aren't that many management positions around.

So unless you've got some unique management skills that aren't easily replaceable, I'd advise you to strongly retain your technical skills.

Remember, the grass is not greener on the other side, very often.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 01:01:50 PM by Valhalla »


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Re: Should I take a temporary paycut to transition into IT management?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 02:54:47 PM »
I work in IT at a college. Most people at the college I am at have been here for 5-15 years. It is a great place to work. And I have considered trying to move into management for the long term. From my own personal view I would agree with Valhalla, "HELL NO". In fact I just withdrew from the MBA program here (which was free other than books for me) because I decided it wasn't worth the time and effort when I no longer have any desire to be in management. After the second course I became so disillusioned. Basically all the crappy management practices I had experienced over my career were being taught.

As an outside observer management isn't always as easy as it seems. I know many people who moved into management who regretted it. In fact one guy here who had been here for ages "retired" out of management and now works for us as a consultant doing the technical stuff. Granted he now works part time but he could be managing a number of large projects but instead chooses to do the tech side of things. And the lady who took his management job is much more stressed than prior to taking over. Plus in many places IT workers get paid very close to management pay anyway.

As others have asked how long until FIRE if you stay put? How burnt out are you? And as a retirement job usually it is much easier to get a consulting gig as a techie than a manager.

If you really think management is right for you I would do the MBA first. For me that helped me see that they teach all the bad management practices and I did not want any part of it.


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Re: Should I take a temporary paycut to transition into IT management?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 03:15:29 PM »
Your spread is 70k to 140k? You would take HALF?

This is what I noticed more than anything. However, for me, cash is king.