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The Vine: August 14, 2017

Submitted by on August 14, 2017 – 7:52 AM6 Comments

I started a new job a few months ago and I love it. The work is varied and what I like doing; my boss and co-workers are nice.

The only problem is the pay isn't great. A new job has just been advertised at the company where I previously worked. It was a nice place to work, but the job I had (and most likely with the new job) was kinda dull. But the salary is nearly £10,000 more per year than I'm making now. I'm not sure if I should go for it — there's a good likelihood that I won't get it — or stay with the job I love.

Other important info is that current job is part-time but involves an hour commute each way. Possible job is full-time, but only 20-30 minute commute. Financially, husband and I are doing okay, but the extra money would give us some disposable income for going out and holidays and fun stuff.

Signed,
Money vs happiness

Dear Hap,

Why not apply for the new job and see how things develop? You say you're not sure you'd get it, but there's no harm in putting in for it and seeing if you get an(-other) interview. You may get a "thanks for the interest, we're going another way" from Old Job that makes the decision for you.

In the meantime, make a pros-and-cons list for each job, and in addition to the extra money, and the dullness (not necessarily a bad thing, btw; I love what I do, but there are days when I wish it had more rote chores and downtime), and the commute, think about what each job is contributing to your career overall and your five-year plan for yourself. I don't know exactly what you do, so I can't say whether this is just a "job job," versus a possible stepping stone in a vocational climb; if it's the former, only you can assess how good either one is for your c.v.

But whichever it is, don't discount loving the current job and having non-problem colleagues. Yes, you know the company where you'd be applying for the better-paying position, so it's not a better-the-devil-you-know situation — but really liking your work and the people alongside whom you do it is sufficiently rare that the benefits of leaving should be significant. (Particularly if leaving might burn bridges. You don't mention that as a factor, but it's still something to consider.)

It sounds like the benefits are compelling — more money AND more free time — so this is a tough one. Hit us back in the comments re: how important either one could be for your résumé, and start making your list.

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6 Comments »

  • AF says:

    What's the difference in time commitment between the two jobs? You mention an additional hour plus in the commute for your first job, but being part time, how do the actual hours-worked compare? That seems like a relevant consideration in terms of the difference in pay as well; are the additional hours worked (even inclusive of the respective commute times) actually worth the additional 10,000 earned?

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Very good point, AF. Actual monetary worth can get sticky.

    Does either job compensate at all for commute/parking? Such as bus or train passes (your use of the pound sign makes me assume you're British) or parking fees? Do they offer bonuses for people who commute by bike or carpooling?

    What's the status of your current job–is there a possibility of promotion or more hours once you've been there X amount of time?

    What is your equivalent of IRA funding or other retirement savings programs like at each job? An extra ten grand a year is nothing to sneeze at–saving half or even a third, plus matching donations to a retirement account can make all the difference in the world. Even if you aren't planning on staying at either job forever, do NOT neglect investing as much as you can in retirement.

  • holly says:

    And full time/part time is a complicated math as well. The current job takes more commute, but fewer work hours, for less pay (less pay/hour????)…

    Sars is, not surprizingly, right. Apply for the job, and use the interview process (if you get one) to better evaluate the fit. Remember that interviews are like first dates, you are BOTH trying to figure out if this is a relationship worth pursuing.

  • RJ says:

    Make sure you consider actual happiness in your decision. I took a job that paid $10k a year more, was a shorter commute, had excellent benefits, better hours, etc. Three weeks later I ran, screaming, back to my old job (which, mercifully, welcomed me back).

    My new boss was a complete lunatic; I hated her and couldn't wait to get out of there. No amount of money in the world was worth being in her toxic presence.

    It doesn't sound like it's like that at this other place you're thinking of… but still, happiness is an important factor!

  • cecelia says:

    Hi all, Money here. It's funny that this was published now as I sent it a while ago but find myself in a very similar situation. In the end, I didn't go for that job but a new job at old company was advertised and I have an interview on Monday.

    With the commute, I currently work 4 days a week and have slightly over an hour each way by bus (I don't drive). The possible new job, it's 20-30 minutes and as my husband works there (totally different department), I'd get a lift with him. When I worked there before, I was a nice chance for us to chat without any interruptions from children.

    With my current job, I'm still enjoying it but it doesn't feel like a challenge. The job I'm applying for is slightly above what I'm doing now so I think would allow for me to stretch myself and would be good for my career development. It may burn bridges slightly as I know my boss was concerned that I would leave, but at the time I hated the job I had and needed to get out of there. I'm a total people pleaser, and I do feel guilty about it.

    In taking with family and friends, I am going to give the interview my best shot and see what happens. I'm going to ask them if they'd consider reducing the hours slightly so I could be part-time (not sure if they'll go for that though). If I do get it, I think I will go for it, but I'm still interested in peoples thoughts and opinions.

    Thanks awesome Tomato Nation!!

  • Wehaf says:

    Hi cecilia – have you compared this potential job not just to your current job, but to your advancement opportunities at your current job? If you enjoy the work but aren't challenged, is there space for you to move to similar work that's both fun and stimulating? Or is the best career move overall definitely to go to the other job?

    As others have said, it's also important to compare not just compensation and hours worked, but other benefits. Time off, retirement funding, etc. I know many of those things work differently in the UK than in the US, where lots of us commenters are, so you are best positioned to judge what's relevant for you.

    Finally, if you do get the job and decide to leave your current company, it's true that your boss may feel burned. In situations like these, Alison at the blog "Ask a Manager" recommends wording like "I realize that I'm leaving after I've only been here a short time, and I'm sorry for that, but this opportunity dropped into my lap and was simply too good to pass up. I'm very grateful for my time here and all the professional support you've given me."

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