Author Topic: Which job should I pick next?  (Read 2166 times)

duyen

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Which job should I pick next?
« on: December 31, 2023, 06:16:54 PM »
All,

I'm currently in a job change process and hoping to get advice

My NW (All in ETF investments): 2.7m
Situation: Family with 2 children (middle and high)
My age: 45
Current expenses: 10k (including 4k rent); we can bring the total expenses to 8k if we are tight on eating out and shopping
Wife's salary: 80k (but not a stable job and if she loses it can decide to stay home)

I'm in the process of changing jobs. I have two offers, one for 380k which is fully remote and has good WLB (work life balance). The other one pays 550k is partly remote but has a terrible WLB; 60+ hours per week.

I am wondering which way should I go. The comp difference is significant but WLB difference too is significant. Given my current NW, age it feels like maybe choose the lower comp one but I also feel I am leaving a lot of money on the table.

danceswETFs

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2023, 07:08:27 PM »
 It sounds like at 2.7M, you have enough to kind-of support your family expenses already. I vote for the 380K job - its worth a lot to NOT impact your health, spend time with the kids before they go off to college, have time with your partner. The 550K job may get you to your number faster, but you will lose out on the time with your loved ones. Money is fungible as someone on this forum said.


lavaflow8

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2023, 07:11:15 PM »
There are too many unknown variables to comment effectively.  Do you like where you live?  Do you live in a VHCOL area?  That fully remote gig may be more valuable if you move to a cheaper area, don't commute, and manage work / life balance.  Your wife can also become a SAHM if she wants.  Then again, if you love the area, the kid's schools etc., then maybe take the higher paying gig and kick ass for a few years, then retire when the kids graduate.  Seems like you're in a great position with lots of options.

duyen

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2023, 07:19:47 PM »
There are too many unknown variables to comment effectively.  Do you like where you live?  Do you live in a VHCOL area?  That fully remote gig may be more valuable if you move to a cheaper area, don't commute, and manage work / life balance.  Your wife can also become a SAHM if she wants.  Then again, if you love the area, the kid's schools etc., then maybe take the higher paying gig and kick ass for a few years, then retire when the kids graduate.  Seems like you're in a great position with lots of options.

Buying a house in our VHCOL can put a dint on my FIRE plans. That's the only downside of being in VHCOL. The schools are great and since we don't want to move the elder one out of high school, we may be tied to our location atleast for next 3-4 years. We will most probably move then. 

Metalcat

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2023, 07:23:33 PM »
I can't think of a single reason why you would pick the horrible work life balance job.

I'm honestly very curious why you would even consider it.

TreeLeaf

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2023, 07:30:36 PM »
Sometimes the attraction of money not only fails to provide extra security, it slowly destroys our soul and emotions in the process.

Choose the less stressful job. Give yourself permission to give yourself a break.

You've earned it.

Villanelle

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2023, 08:07:59 PM »
There are too many unknown variables to comment effectively.  Do you like where you live?  Do you live in a VHCOL area?  That fully remote gig may be more valuable if you move to a cheaper area, don't commute, and manage work / life balance.  Your wife can also become a SAHM if she wants.  Then again, if you love the area, the kid's schools etc., then maybe take the higher paying gig and kick ass for a few years, then retire when the kids graduate.  Seems like you're in a great position with lots of options.

Buying a house in our VHCOL can put a dint on my FIRE plans. That's the only downside of being in VHCOL. The schools are great and since we don't want to move the elder one out of high school, we may be tied to our location atleast for next 3-4 years. We will most probably move then.

Isn't the cost of housing already factored into your posted expenses? 

I wouldn't even for one second consider the horrible balance job.  Why would you?  I'd also plan to work the better job for 2 years max.  You should be able to bank enough to get up to $3m.  That should give you a very comfortable $120k/yr withdraw, which is more than you need, especially if you make the necessary changes. 

You say you worry about leaving money on the table.  What about leaving time and life and happiness and memories with your family on the table?  You can leave money that you don't even need on the table, and get more of those things.  Or you can hoard more money at the expense of time with your loved ones.  Is that really even a question you have to pause about before answering? 

lavaflow8

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2023, 10:59:28 PM »
There are too many unknown variables to comment effectively.  Do you like where you live?  Do you live in a VHCOL area?  That fully remote gig may be more valuable if you move to a cheaper area, don't commute, and manage work / life balance.  Your wife can also become a SAHM if she wants.  Then again, if you love the area, the kid's schools etc., then maybe take the higher paying gig and kick ass for a few years, then retire when the kids graduate.  Seems like you're in a great position with lots of options.

Buying a house in our VHCOL can put a dint on my FIRE plans. That's the only downside of being in VHCOL. The schools are great and since we don't want to move the elder one out of high school, we may be tied to our location atleast for next 3-4 years. We will most probably move then.

If you're staying in the VHCOL area for at least 3-4 years, then pick whatever job is more rewarding and interesting, but factor in work / life balance, commute time, what you're doing with your family, and when you want to retire.  Both options seem pretty good at this stage.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2024, 12:11:11 PM »
Given my current NW, age it feels like maybe choose the lower comp one but I also feel I am leaving a lot of money on the table.

You are leaving some money on the table, but you have a net worth high enough to quit and move to a lower cost of living area and live off the assets, so go with your gut.  I think you already know what you want to do and what you also believe that you should do.  Once the kids grow up, you don't get a do over.  You do not get that time back.   And the kids don't care that you were making $380k v $550k.  If you don't tell them, then they will never even know, nor will it even be a question later in life.  They will know, however, whether Dad was around or, well . . . not.

AMandM

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2024, 07:12:35 PM »
Definitely pick the job with the sane WLB. Your older child may be off to college in a few years; these are quite possibly the last years the two of you will live together. Don't spend them at the office.

reeshau

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2024, 10:03:01 PM »
You have enough wealth that you could FIRE tomorrow and live in many very nice places in the US and around the world, without working ever again.  I FIRE'd at 48 with $300k less than you have, and I live very well, in a warm place.

So why work at all?  To stay in your current location?  To be close to family?  To facilitate your wife working at a job she loves?  (Does she?)

You really have four choices:  the two you mentioned, plus c) no work at all, just need to find a place to go or d) find the minimum job to stay here, and maximize time and energy away from work.

Like the rest, the high-paying job that wants to steal your life seem like the first option to be rejected, to me.  You are too successful to need to sacrifice so much time for just more money.

So, what about the three that are left?  What do you and your wife want to do?  Kids are always important, but as teenagers your time with them is almost up already.  Would they welcome more time with you, or are they already mostly doing their own thing?  Any solution needs to address the impact on all family members.  That doesn't mean it is the absolute best for everyone, but you need to understand and talk with them about the choices, to make an informed decision.

duyen

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2024, 10:23:29 PM »
I can't think of a single reason why you would pick the horrible work life balance job.

I'm honestly very curious why you would even consider it.

Considering that the additional money doesn't speed up my FIRE plan by much, I agree 550k job may not make much sense.

I guess it is the feeling of being paid for my potential. The 550k company is more prestigious than the 380k one (may help if I continue working). Also given the additional stock refreshers, the ongoing comp each year will look like 550k, 620k, 700k. Depending on the stock growth these can be higher.

If it goes wrong and I hate it, then I can call it quits and find something. Downside is that I may not be able to find something then that pays atleast 380k with a good wlb and fully remote like this one.

Ofcourse I rarely worked after hours and weekends in my entire career but also I wasn't paid this much earlier. Maybe I will put up with these for the money.


duyen

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2024, 10:26:02 PM »
Sometimes the attraction of money not only fails to provide extra security, it slowly destroys our soul and emotions in the process.

Choose the less stressful job. Give yourself permission to give yourself a break.

You've earned it.

Thank you. I'm not at an age and health to take on more stress for money. Need to make this decision wisely

Metalcat

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2024, 04:36:30 AM »
I can't think of a single reason why you would pick the horrible work life balance job.

I'm honestly very curious why you would even consider it.

Considering that the additional money doesn't speed up my FIRE plan by much, I agree 550k job may not make much sense.

I guess it is the feeling of being paid for my potential. The 550k company is more prestigious than the 380k one (may help if I continue working). Also given the additional stock refreshers, the ongoing comp each year will look like 550k, 620k, 700k. Depending on the stock growth these can be higher.

If it goes wrong and I hate it, then I can call it quits and find something. Downside is that I may not be able to find something then that pays atleast 380k with a good wlb and fully remote like this one.

Ofcourse I rarely worked after hours and weekends in my entire career but also I wasn't paid this much earlier. Maybe I will put up with these for the money.

But seriously, why?

What do you actually gain from it compared to the time it's going to cost you?

Per hour of additional work, how much more money is it actually?

You can always make more money if you are willing to sacrifice more, it's not some laudable accomplishment to just make more money. Does it improve your life? Would the work be more satisfying?

If you're just doing it for the sake of climbing higher and making more money, you are missing out on the fact that *you* get to define for yourself what success is.

I say this as someone who has walked away from more comp than that because the work wasn't fun enough and my version of "success" for myself includes having enough time to take care of my body, invest time in my loved ones, and generally enjoy my life to the fullest.

What's the point of having millions of dollars in the bank if it doesn't free you up to live how you actually want to live?

I recommend reading the last few pages of ender's journal where we've had some very intense conversations about the definition of success and accomplishment.

Villanelle

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2024, 09:09:17 AM »
I'd suggest spending some serious time considering why money and employment prestige feel more important to you than time with your young family. 

When you don't know the name of your son's BFF's mom and miss your daughter's piano recital, will that feel okay because you work at a Really Famous Company?  When your kids have moved out, are you going to feel great about all the time you missed with them because you have more money in the bank than many people will make in a lifetime?  Do you really want to be a person who prioritizes superfluous money that you don't need at all, over time with loved ones?  That's a genuine question.  Who do you want to be, as a human walking on this planet for limited time?  Which decision is more aligned with that?

Also, how does your spouse feel about this decision?  What is her input? 


TimCFJ40

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2024, 12:54:25 PM »
You've essentially already won the game.  You have two great (at least from a money standpoint) options, and your net worth will almost cover your expenses indefinitely at 4%.

I see three paths:

1. Take the higher paying, stressful job, live a shitty life for a few years, then pull the plug.  This obviously has some downsides of current experiences, but it's a strategy.  I often joke that if I somehow miraculously got offered a soul sucking job with a $1m annual salary, I'd take it, but at the end of the year I'd jump and never work again. 

 2.  Take lesser of the two options and live a better(ish) life now, then retire in a few more years.  This to me is the most vanilla option...

3.  Find a job you are actually really excited about, even if you take a massive pay cut.  Even if you only make enough to cover expenses, in another 7-10 years your investments will have doubled as long as you left them alone.  You don't even have to add any new savings. 

When I discuss career options with friends, money almost never is in the discussion, I fall back on one question.  Which job is best positioned to let you live the life you WANT to live?  With the financial margin you already have, this is the ONLY question that really matters.

Laura33

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2024, 04:59:21 PM »
Don't.  Just don't.  You mention stress and health and age as key concerns that require a smart choice -- and yet you're making excuses to sacrifice all three of those things for a little more money, when you already have all the money you need.  What the actual fuck? 

When a choice seems completely illogical, it is almost always because there is something driving it that is not being acknowledged.  IOW, your fixation on the higher-pay job isn't actually about the higher pay -- it's about something else, like the status that job brings you from working for BigName, or the greed that gets tempted by big options/big payday, or the fear of realizing that Job X is the highest you're ever going to get in your career and is that really good enough, or some internalized values of what a man* should be/how he should behave, etc. etc. etc.  You need to figure out what is actually driving you to choose a job that you absolutely know is bad for you.

You know the number one rule for success?  When you've won, stop playing.  You have won the money game.  All you need is enough cash to cover living expenses while your 'stache grows a bit more.  The "lower"-pay job gives you all that and more; it even pays enough to let your wife walk away from her job if she wants.  IMO that's a total win.

You know that saying about how no one on their deathbed ever say they wished they had spent more time at the office?  Yeah, it's kind of a crock -- pretty sure there have been a lot of women in particular who over the millennia have wished they could have done something else beyond just cook and clean and take care of kids.  But it does bring home that your time is not infinite.  Your kids will be out of the house soon.  How is it going to feel when they go off to college and you realize that time is done?  Are you going finally decide X years from now that it's ok to step back from work, and then realize that the kids are gone and you missed it? 

At some point, everyone has to decide how much is enough, and what level of career success/fame/visibility/etc. is good enough.  I'm a lawyer; I can literally make more money than I can spend if I want to work my ass off.  Instead, I went part-time when my daughter was approaching her senior year of HS, and I liked it so much I stayed part-time.  Now my son is in his senior year of HS, and I can't tell you how glad I am that I am here and present for it, both physically and emotionally.  Even when he annoys the fuck out of me by interrupting my work to vent about the stupidity of his stats class, there's still a part of me that is smiling inside, because I know for sure that in the not-too-distant future, I'm going to look back and miss having him around for those kinds of little interactions that are so easy to take for granted. 

Or to put it more succinctly:  my kids have surprised the fuck out of me by turning into cool, interesting people who can have good conversations, who routinely crack me up, and who no longer require me to wipe their asses or drive them everywhere or pay for XYZ.  Why in the world would I want to spend less time around them now that they're actually fun? 

[Not to mention that the lack of constant childrearing-and-work demands has meant that my sex drive is up, too.  Again: why would I want replace that extra energy with more time at the office that will once again leave me so tired all I want to do is crash when I get home?  For a little more money?  Uhhhh, no thank you.]


*Assumption alert.

badger1988

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2024, 07:53:03 PM »
380/40 > 550/60 ... which job pays more?

Metalcat

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2024, 08:47:03 PM »
380/40 > 550/60 ... which job pays more?

Right??

It's like asking "I already make a butt load of money, but if I took on a whole second full time job for the same salary I would make DOUBLE the money. Sure, I would never see my family and never get to sleep, but I just feel like not having a second full time job would be leaving so much money on the table."

lhamo

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2024, 08:53:29 AM »
Imagine two weeks from now you go for a regular physical and your doctor sees something concerning.  One colonoscopy later you learn you have stage 4 colon cancer.  Prognosis with aggressive treatment?  12-24 months.

How would you spend those months?  Would you choose to keep working either of these jobs?  Personally, I wouldn't, but maybe you would.

Time is your most precious asset.  I FIREd in a HCOL city  in 2015 when my kids were 14 and 10.  There were some rough aspects (losing elderly parents, realizing the marital relationship didn't work and we are better as just co-parents), but overall I'd say those last few years with kids at home were some of the best of my life.  And I am hopeful/pretty confident that the great relationship I built with both of my kids as teens is going to carry over into a great and close relationship with them as adults.  Money couldn't buy that -- time did.

duyen

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2024, 06:09:19 PM »
Thank you all for your replies. I ended up chosing the better wlb job. It is fully remote so even more exciting.

Fully remote is the closest to FIRE in a working situation.

I have always been a want to FIRE guy and with my mental and bodily skills on decline, this is certainly not the time to risk my wlb for higher pay. I've let go of the greed.

314159

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2024, 07:23:19 PM »
Well done! Happy for you.

And if after a while the job loses its luster, don't forget that you can retire!

Laura33

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2024, 08:45:49 AM »
Thank you all for your replies. I ended up chosing the better wlb job. It is fully remote so even more exciting.

Fully remote is the closest to FIRE in a working situation.

I have always been a want to FIRE guy and with my mental and bodily skills on decline, this is certainly not the time to risk my wlb for higher pay. I've let go of the greed.


Yaaaaayyyyyy!!!  Great job resisting the temptation of the big bucks, when you knew would be bad for you.

Metalcat

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Re: Which job should I pick next?
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2024, 11:22:20 AM »
Thank you all for your replies. I ended up chosing the better wlb job. It is fully remote so even more exciting.

Fully remote is the closest to FIRE in a working situation.

I have always been a want to FIRE guy and with my mental and bodily skills on decline, this is certainly not the time to risk my wlb for higher pay. I've let go of the greed.


Yaaaaayyyyyy!!!  Great job resisting the temptation of the big bucks, when you knew would be bad for you.

Seconded. We would have been flipping tables around here otherwise.