Author Topic: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?  (Read 974 times)

Arbitrage

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Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« on: February 12, 2019, 11:16:25 AM »
Preface: I'm aware that this decision is really something I'm going to have to figure out for myself.  Nevertheless, I thought I'd seek out opinions and see if any others have faced similar situations.

Situation: Working a steady job, at a company I've worked for my entire career, albeit in different jobs in different divisions, with progressively more responsibility.  Engineering.  Married with 2 young kids, reasonably good income, HCOLA.  Early 40s.  DW also works full time. 

Saving about 60-65% after tax.  FIRE is hopefully within 2.5 years, contingent upon geographic arbitrage to a MCOL location I'd rather live in anyway. 

The conundrum: My current job is reasonably challenging at times, slow at others, but is near the pinnacle of what I can reach on the technical track.  I haven't ever been particularly opposed to getting into management, but also haven't made the leap.  A new management position is opening up, and multiple people have commented on how I'd be great for the job.  If I applied, there's a reasonable chance I might get it, though it's certainly no guarantee. 

Part of me wants to just finish out my sentence in my current job.  It still has its challenges, and I know how to do it.  On the other hand, the new position could potentially be far more engaging.  It could also be a nightmare; I worked in a similar division for two years, and while it was exciting, I was stressed out.  Management might be even more stressful.  Pay would be higher, but not that much higher (the rumors are that working-level management might make about 10% more).  Given the FIRE plan, there's no particular long-term career benefit, though my company often does have opportunities for people who have retired work the occasional project, and the pay is likely related to their final salary. 

Has anyone else out there faced a similar decision, or made a job/career change when you knew that FIRE was approaching? 

Lady Stash

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 12:50:41 PM »
Go with what you think you'd enjoy most.

I'm in engineering also.  I've gone back and forth between management and hands on work a couple times now.  If you hold the company, location, level and work hours constant the pay tends to be close in every company I've worked at.  Managers may get 5% more.  For me it comes down to what I enjoy most.  That answer is different at different companies and at different times in my life.

If you enjoy meetings and spending more time with your co-workers, give management a try.  As a manager, your tech skills will (likely) stagnate but you'll grow more inter-personally as you work to motivate your team and influence peers.  It could be an interesting, stretching, life experience that will help you explore new sides of yourself and find new strengths as you move into FI.   


MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 12:56:27 PM »
Honestly, with 2.5 years to go, I’d say just stay on track. Your work isn’t your life and you don’t hate your job. The increase in pay won’t increase FIRE. With management you have to deal with everyone’s shit and you generally clock out later. Plus the endless fucking meetings! For what? If you were staying longer, sure, go for it. I’d imagine now, your job is to just get through, and focus on everything outside of work. Use all that extra energy you would’ve spent on this new role for yourself and your family. Sometimes less is more.

Owassogirl1

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2019, 02:41:46 PM »
I faced something similar a few years back. I was in my late 40's, at the top of the ladder on the technical side (also engineering) and a management gig came up. Leadership told me the position was mine if I wanted it basically. I wasn't necessarily wanting to get into management. However, what ended up pushing me toward the management gig was my thinking about 'who' they might give the job to if I didn't take it. Then 'who' would I be reporting to. That ended up making my mind up, I didn't want to report to who I thought would get the job if I turned it down. With the management gig I've probably lost some of my technical expertise, but I've definitely gained some interpersonal and other skills. Also, management jobs don't come along everyday. So, if it is something you're remotely interested in you have to keep that in mind. Because you may not get the opportunity again for a long time. Good luck!

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2019, 02:52:40 PM »
Engineer here too.  I left the technical track for a smallish leadership gig and then got the big job within 2 years after that.  Been at the big job 6 years now, so 8 years total in leadership. 

With only a couple years left I would not have done it and certainly not for only 10% more. 

Some days it is truly a Sword of Damocles environment, and others it is just political goofiness where nothing gets done.  Managing people has ups and downs and the downs can really make me wonder what the hell I signed up for.  Travel demands are awful at this level (not sure that applies to your situation). 

Nope, definitely would not have taken all this on for just 10% more if I was clear on an approaching FIRE date as you seem to be.       

Arbitrage

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2019, 04:10:27 PM »
Thanks to all for the perspective.  Interestingly enough, shortly after posting this, the decision became a bit moot, because I was offered...and more or less accepted...a different path that keeps me on the technical track (instead of near the pinnacle, essentially at the pinnacle).  Downside is that I'm going to get a lot more responsibility, and haven't actually been given a new job with a new title and the corresponding pay.  The upside is that it's basically the job I wanted my career to progress into, at least before I started really embracing FIRE.  I do kind of feel like having this responsibility, for a time, will allow me to FIRE and look back without regrets on what might have been.  Theoretically it could/should lead to higher pay as well, though this late* in my career it won't make a huge difference. 

*I suppose I should feel strange talking about being late-career at 40, but I don't anymore.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 02:14:32 AM »
Thanks to all for the perspective.  Interestingly enough, shortly after posting this, the decision became a bit moot, because I was offered...and more or less accepted...a different path that keeps me on the technical track (instead of near the pinnacle, essentially at the pinnacle).  Downside is that I'm going to get a lot more responsibility, and haven't actually been given a new job with a new title and the corresponding pay.  The upside is that it's basically the job I wanted my career to progress into, at least before I started really embracing FIRE.  I do kind of feel like having this responsibility, for a time, will allow me to FIRE and look back without regrets on what might have been.  Theoretically it could/should lead to higher pay as well, though this late* in my career it won't make a huge difference. 

*I suppose I should feel strange talking about being late-career at 40, but I don't anymore.

Congrats on being offered the job you really wanted. This would have been a chance to also negotiate over an increase in pay. Otherwise, prepare for the next review and mention there that you expect to be compensated for the bigger responsibility. The pay isn't that important in the last stages, but you deserve to get what you are worth.
What you should do now towards FIRE is trying to optimize your life. That is not working longer weeks, but having time for things you enjoy. This jobs sounds like something you wanted to do. Just do it within reasonable hours.

mm1970

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 08:46:33 AM »
Thanks to all for the perspective.  Interestingly enough, shortly after posting this, the decision became a bit moot, because I was offered...and more or less accepted...a different path that keeps me on the technical track (instead of near the pinnacle, essentially at the pinnacle).  Downside is that I'm going to get a lot more responsibility, and haven't actually been given a new job with a new title and the corresponding pay.  The upside is that it's basically the job I wanted my career to progress into, at least before I started really embracing FIRE.  I do kind of feel like having this responsibility, for a time, will allow me to FIRE and look back without regrets on what might have been.  Theoretically it could/should lead to higher pay as well, though this late* in my career it won't make a huge difference. 

*I suppose I should feel strange talking about being late-career at 40, but I don't anymore.
This sounds awesome to me!

Arbitrage

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Re: Take a new job in management or mosey on to the finish line?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 12:40:24 PM »
Thanks to all for the perspective.  Interestingly enough, shortly after posting this, the decision became a bit moot, because I was offered...and more or less accepted...a different path that keeps me on the technical track (instead of near the pinnacle, essentially at the pinnacle).  Downside is that I'm going to get a lot more responsibility, and haven't actually been given a new job with a new title and the corresponding pay.  The upside is that it's basically the job I wanted my career to progress into, at least before I started really embracing FIRE.  I do kind of feel like having this responsibility, for a time, will allow me to FIRE and look back without regrets on what might have been.  Theoretically it could/should lead to higher pay as well, though this late* in my career it won't make a huge difference. 

*I suppose I should feel strange talking about being late-career at 40, but I don't anymore.

Congrats on being offered the job you really wanted. This would have been a chance to also negotiate over an increase in pay. Otherwise, prepare for the next review and mention there that you expect to be compensated for the bigger responsibility. The pay isn't that important in the last stages, but you deserve to get what you are worth.
What you should do now towards FIRE is trying to optimize your life. That is not working longer weeks, but having time for things you enjoy. This jobs sounds like something you wanted to do. Just do it within reasonable hours.

Absolutely.  I'm already planning a number of changes to make the organization more efficient; previously, I would suggest them and try to push them but not have the power to implement.  That will now change.