Author Topic: Taking job for less pay...  (Read 8476 times)

ncornilsen

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Taking job for less pay...
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:14:20 AM »
So, my current position as an engineer/project manager at a fortune 500 company in Portland has kind of stalled. I don't want my bosses job, there's no other positions/added responsibilities between my job and his, and I'm really not learning much. There are alot of other engineering jobs in the company, so there is that option, but none seem really interesting to me right now. The job is easy, except for the occasional hectic "Hey, it's friday, and we need you to purchase, install and qualify this machine by Monday!!" which is exciting but inevitably a cluster-f that takes some untangling later.   I'm not unhappy with my job, just not challenged/intrigued by it any more.  Occasionally I get to do some real design engineer work, which I just love. It'll literally make the job fun... and make me want to stay after hours. but those tasks are few and far between.  That said... I make bank.in the 60's, plus a 18.5% bonus, stock purchase program, a pension (who gets one of these any more?), my gym memberships are paid for... if I stay in this development program they'll give me 80-120 shares of stock... (now, the development program itself is a joke...). For a guy 3 years out of college, I do very well.   I also typically don't work more than 45 hours a week, so I have lots of free time. My commute is all of 3 miles also.

I interviewed for a position at another company about 2 months ago. They said they'd call me within 4 weeks. I didn't hear from them, so I embarked on building an addition on my house, which is beyond the point of no return now.  Imagine my surprise when I get a call yesterday, saying they'd offer me the job.  I had told them my current compensation in the interview... they were a bit put off with it being so high. I told them I wasn't expecting a pay increase, and that the right opportunity would have me considering a lower wage. On the phone call, they told me the most they could possibly offer was a few K above my base, but no bonus. (normally they would offer about 10K less than they offered.) I asked for a few non-monetary things, like starting with vacation. They had no problem with that. I'm waiting for a revised offer letter before I accept. All in all, it's still a 12,000 a year pay cut, and my commute would be 35 miles each way, until I finish the addition and move. (the 12K does factor in the commute cost.)

The opportunities for advancement at the new place are better, a friend of mine who worked there said I'd love it and "really shine" in a place like that, and it would be almost exclusively engineering design work.

A final complicating factor is, I know my current employer will counter offer when I put my notice in. I've got too many key projects and my boss tells me I'm the only engineer who "knows thier ass from a hole in the ground."  they've also done it before to other engineers. So the paycut will grow.

Long story short, is giving up a cush job that I can tolerate, $12K/year, 5K in company 401K match that hasn't vested yet, a pension, a very social work environment (though there is alot of bad attitudes from some people), and a short commute worth it for a job that will probably be alot more enjoyable, offer some travel and advancement opportunities? I can certainly afford the hit, but it does push FI further out by about 5 years!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 11:33:10 AM by ncornilsen »

jrhampt

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 08:20:58 AM »
I don't know if I would switch positions just yet, especially given the sweet commute at the old job.  I'd probably use the job offer to get more $$ from the current position if possible and keep job hunting to see if I could find something better that's also close and pays comparably or higher.  Plus if you can get higher pay where you are now, you can use that in future salary negotiations to go even higher.

Spork

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 08:50:35 AM »
I took a 40% cut twice. 

The first time we went from a double income household to a single income household so my wife could escape work.  We ended up ahead -- both from the emotional awesomeness of her being free and because we had to actually sit down and work out how to cut back.  This cut was probably the biggest raise I've ever gotten.  We ended up putting away more money AFTER the cut than we were before.

The second time I left a job I was unhappy with and moved closer to family.  This ended up with 3 years off (as I had nothing lined up) and the resulting job paid 40% less.  (The new geographic area just doesn't have many tech jobs.)  Again: this was the right choice -- if nothing else than my mental well being and being close to family.  I effectively lost 2 close relatives during that time and I got to spend several years with them, seeing them at least weekly.  Had I not done this, I would have probably only seen them 3-4 times a year.

My point: More pay is better.  But sometimes it's not the only thing to consider. 

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 10:10:36 AM »
I wouldn't leave. You don't have a bad job from an emotional or financial point of view. You just are a little bored. The other job is a definite paycut and commute increase but the increase in job satisfaction is not guaranteed. At best to me it sounds like a lateral move. At worst you may not actually like working for the new employer.

Is there anything you can do to make your current job more appealing or take on some "real design engineer work" on a freelance basis or for a not for profit to satisfy that itch? Sometimes when I have downtime at my job I give myself assignments to broaden my knowledge base or just work on something cool. Does your employer allow for this?

motipha

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 10:43:03 AM »
When they make the counter offer, take it as an opportunity to talk not only money, but the type of work.  not knowing your company, you might not have more opportunities to do more design, but telling them "I really want to be doing X.  Give me a pay rise and first dibs and as much X work as you can send my way, and I'll stay."

It sounds like they really value you, and there might be more opportunity to do what you want to be doing.  It never hurts to ask.

olivia

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 10:57:29 AM »
No, there is no way I would take a $12k pay cut and increase my commute by 32 miles for a lateral move.  If you were trying to get into another industry entirely, I could see doing it, but it doesn't make much sense otherwise.  I agree with freelancer-I would try to find additional projects either at your company or freelance to keep you challenged. 

Lina

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 11:37:25 AM »
When they make the counter offer, take it as an opportunity to talk not only money, but the type of work.  not knowing your company, you might not have more opportunities to do more design, but telling them "I really want to be doing X.  Give me a pay rise and first dibs and as much X work as you can send my way, and I'll stay."

It sounds like they really value you, and there might be more opportunity to do what you want to be doing.  It never hurts to ask.

I would take this advice in consideration before you are making your decision. You don't only have the pay cut but also the horrible commute. How long does it take for you to finish you home project so you can sell the house? Can you speed it up?

I am changing jobs now in june at least for 7 months. As I work for the government I can test other temporary jobs and take a leave from my current job. I will loose some money, about 2k in salary and maybe 5k in extra costs relating to a temporary move. I am as you quite bored with my current position even though it gives me a freedom that I probably won't get at my new job as well as other benefits. I can always go back to my current position although that will probably not be the case. I have weighed the cost of a move and lower salary against the benefits in my career as well as the fact that I will have something new to learn. I am miserable when I am not challenged and that was a big factor in my decision as well as I did have the financial means to do it.

My point is that it is not necessary a bad decision to take a pay cut but you also have to consider the other advantages and disadvantages of the job.

ncornilsen

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 01:26:35 PM »
When they make the counter offer, take it as an opportunity to talk not only money, but the type of work.  not knowing your company, you might not have more opportunities to do more design, but telling them "I really want to be doing X.  Give me a pay rise and first dibs and as much X work as you can send my way, and I'll stay."

It sounds like they really value you, and there might be more opportunity to do what you want to be doing.  It never hurts to ask.

I decided to talk to my manager about the lack of content issue. Apparently, he's got a whole pipeline of projects that are coming in the next two to six months that will have the kind of content that I'm looking for. I got the project folders, so it's a little more concrete than anything. I think I will stay where I currently am for those reasons.

I didn't mention that I had an offer for another job, but I did allude to looking elsewhere. I'm not sure how to re-open this dialog to discuss more compensation... though I'd be just as happy if they gave me three weeks vacation as with more money.

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 01:33:24 PM »
You other offer was for less money so I wouldn't use that for leverage to get a higher salary.

Reepekg

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 01:57:03 PM »
Sounds like this worked out for the best. There are circumstances where it would be advisable to take a job for less pay, but yours isn't one of them. Your current job is pretty cushy and the new one didn't really offer any additional benefits. If you don't get enough fun challenging/design work, start your own side project or do all the crazy fun design work you want in the five extra years you'll have to do whatever you want.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 03:45:41 PM by Reepekg »

MtnGal

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 02:22:43 PM »
If you think your quality of life will be better at the other job, take the other job! If you like the work and are okay with working another year or two, your peace of mind is worth it. Just don't burn bridges while leaving your current work. If they like you that much, they might hire you back next year if you decide you made the wrong decision (I have seen coworkers do this before).

workathomedad

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 03:08:16 PM »
Keep your job! Build your savings as fast as possible and use the saved commute time and free time at the current job to explore things that interest you.

cerberusss

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 02:05:46 PM »
You're pretty young and your mind is in that state where it just wants to learn-learn-learn.

Get a couchy job later, for now I suggest you change jobs unless it delays retirement by more than three years.

ncornilsen

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 03:17:58 PM »
I declined the offer, stating that the reduction in pay (I was upfront with my current salary) was to significant.  They asked what it would take,I gave them a number, plus starting with two weeks vacation on the books. They hesitated but met that requirement. So, best of both worlds. I have no attachments, now's the time to move around.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 04:48:34 PM by ncornilsen »

beeth_oven

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 11:58:35 PM »
Oh, so did you end up taking the new job? Can't tell from your last post. Just my two cents: I think that the lack of growth opportunities and you not wanting to move up at the current place are big red flags. You're what, 25-26? Just be careful about ending up a "lifer" at a job that doesn't motivate you.

cerberusss

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 03:50:21 AM »
They hesitated but met that requirement.

Nice! Congratulations on the new job!

ncornilsen

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2013, 08:08:33 AM »
Yes, I took the new job! I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to pay someone to finish out this house addition so I can move sooner, but it's still looking like it will make more sense to finish it myself and deal with the commute for a little while.

olivia

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2013, 10:15:51 AM »
Awesome, congratulations!  I hope you like the new job and can continue to grow there. 

Are you moving closer to the new job?  I think you mentioned that as a possibility earlier.

beeth_oven

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Re: Taking job for less pay...
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2013, 11:22:07 AM »
Congrats! And good job on the negotiating :) Not everyone remembers to do it.