Author Topic: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?  (Read 3853 times)

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« on: February 22, 2015, 11:38:34 AM »
I am having a tough time deciding between staying at my current job or take a new one. As such I'm looking for some form of tie breaker. Surely there is something I'm not considering that, if considered, it would make the choice obvious.

Background: I have a contract gig that I like, pays well, low stress, etc. I've been considering going back to grad school to go into management since I am burnt out on hands on technical work.

I reluctantly applied to a government job and reluctantly went to the interviews at the suggestion of friends and ended up getting the job offer. I know most people would kill for a government job like this. Two years ago, I would have too. Now I'm just comfortable where I am at as a contractor. Dare I say lazy? I have time to collect certifications, learn new skills, play around in a test environment. Very little production work most of the time.

In any case, the government job pays slightly more than I make now, and has much more time off. It's not the most stable agency to be in, and it's a lot more work than I do now, but a foot in the door. There are also some promotional opportunities, while there are none where I work now since I am a contractor.

The agency would pay for me to go to a 2 year state grad program or I could stay where I am now (with some tuition reimbursement from my employer) and go to a reputable public MBA online from another state school and have an MBA in 12 months while working a low stress job with lot's of free time and get into management when I'm done. The ultimate goal is to get into a Director level role where the upside is a 25-40% raise vs the 3% raise this job would be.

Yeah, the time off is a lot more, but if I want to get into management, I wouldn't be there long anyway, and I don't think any job is secure; jobs, be they government or full time private sector, only offer the illusion of security and are not much more secure than contract jobs IMO, if at all.

Still tough to decide. Lot's of benefits at government job, potential path of promotion but a lot more work vs stay where I am now making about the same pay and get an MBA for cheap with some tuition reimbursement out of pocket from present employer while I enjoy all my free time at work and low stress job then use the MBA to move into management. I'm already getting bites now.

MrFrugalChicago

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 340
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2015, 11:49:20 AM »
So tell me about the pension parts of the gov't job. How long do you need to be there? What kind of pension plan is it?

I would shy away from a gov't job if I needed to work there 10+ years to get any pension. Ditto if any pension or retirement money depends on future laws.. if money isnt in a bank account with my name on it and untouchable, I do not trust it at all.

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1818
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2015, 01:18:27 PM »
1.  It sounds like the govt job is more work, more reward without counting any potential pension aspects.  You are clearly ambitious, so why not go for it? 

2. I've worked for 2 govt employers and liked both.  Sure "no job is secure", but sometimes the benefits really do happen.  I have future income built up from vesting in pensions already.  It didn't take any longer than working at a private sector job.  Usually, the trade in govt work is "lower pay now for more pay later" - but you are saying the govt job will actually pay better, so becoming Mr. Insider is a guaranteed win.  Take it while you can get it.

3.  I hear an internal conflict, "easy" versus "more reward".  "Easy" is what you get after you've earned your 'stash... so for now, tackle the biggest opportunity you have.

4. You said you got used to your current job.  Maybe you'll get used to the high powered insider job too, eh?

5. With the current job, you will only learn new stuff by education.  With the new job, you'll learn on the job as well.

Regardless of which you choose, move forward and good luck!!

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 01:24:40 PM »
The pension requires me to stay at least ten years. I get $3,800 a month for minimal contributions (5%) with a 7% employer match.

I am already financially independent, but want to work until 40 (33 now). I have a few good years in me and want to amass even more wealth for now.

HenryDavid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 473
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 01:31:23 PM »
Maybe it's just me, but . . .  if somebody tells me I can take 2 years to go to grad school, and they will pay, I'm gonna say yes to that.

1. Education stays with you, it's a real asset that you own, and somebody wants to give it to you? A no-brainer.
2. I don't know the details of the program in question, but often you get to take some interest-based courses as part of any degree. So: fun.
3. Grad school is--usually--filled with interesting people and can broaden your horizons to include kinds of work you may not even have heard of, so your life possibilities potentially grow.
4. Education teaches you a lot about yourself what you're like, what you like, what you want/don't want. Worth more than money.

You see where I'm leaning with this . . . .

MrFrugalChicago

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 340
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 01:50:08 PM »
The pension requires me to stay at least ten years. I get $3,800 a month for minimal contributions (5%) with a 7% employer match.

I am already financially independent, but want to work until 40 (33 now). I have a few good years in me and want to amass even more wealth for now.

So sounds like this job makes you delay FI by 3 years. How do you feel now? How will you feel in 5 years?

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2015, 05:17:16 PM »
Frankly, the pension is likely a wash. I don't think I would intend to stay in the system. I've changed jobs every 2 years historically, and I like the ability to walk from any job that makes me unhappy and get another one somewhere else vs being forced to stay put for x amount of years to collect a benefit.

Changing jobs every 2 years has historically been good for my career; people who change jobs every 2 years make 50% more than those who don't. Getting into and staying in government would actually be a bad career move perhaps? It limits mobility for the sake of the pension and the time off.

Bare in mind, I have to pay taxes on the education benefit, which basically comes out to the out of pocket expenses of going to the out of state school.

 


Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 10:17:39 AM »
Maybe it's just me, but . . .  if somebody tells me I can take 2 years to go to grad school, and they will pay, I'm gonna say yes to that.

1. Education stays with you, it's a real asset that you own, and somebody wants to give it to you? A no-brainer.
2. I don't know the details of the program in question, but often you get to take some interest-based courses as part of any degree. So: fun.
3. Grad school is--usually--filled with interesting people and can broaden your horizons to include kinds of work you may not even have heard of, so your life possibilities potentially grow.
4. Education teaches you a lot about yourself what you're like, what you like, what you want/don't want. Worth more than money.

You see where I'm leaning with this . . . .

Turns out due to the cost of the in state degree programs, I have to pay taxes on the benefit, which essentially comes out to the same cost as the out of state school. It's a wash...frankly although a nice benefit, I'd rather have the 12 month MBA at that price than the 24 month MBA.

damize

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 10:44:12 AM »
If we're talking US government job, then TSP is a factor. Lower operating costs than Vanguard and a 5% match has a nice ring to it.

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Stay at current/cushy job or take government job?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 03:42:03 PM »
Non federal gov job. 7% match for PERS BUT due to my age I have to be there 10 years to get it.