This is going to be one of those thinking-it-through posts - I welcome comments from anyone's perspective. Like so many life decisions, it has so many facets to consider...
I have applied for, and interviewed for, a job. I applied almost on a lark, and never really expected to get it. But the interview went really well, and now I am considering the reality of it all. Currently, I LOVE my job. I wake up in the morning excited to go to work, and I know I am doing real good in the world. I like my coworkers, clients, and the respect I have earned in the professional community. I like that I can dress in my own style, schedule my own hours, and work independently. I am a Family Advocate for families with kids at the highest level of needs in the mental health system. In fact, I love everything about the job, except the pay. We are below the poverty line, and I am totally unable to be saving anything for retirement (I am 55 years old, with exactly zero savings). We qualify for Section 8 housing assistance and food stamps, although we don't receive either.
The new job would pay more than 3 times my current salary. Really. No exaggeration. It would necessitate a move to our state capital, where the cost of living is substantially lower, so the money would be worth even more. I would get better benefits than at my tiny non-profit. The job is in my field, at a state policy-making level, so I would be helping the same people, although in a less direct and personal way. I would actually be doing broader-reaching, more lasting service to the same folks I now serve, as a government employee. I would work regular business hours, wear business clothes (Thoreau said to beware of any enterprise requiring new clothing!), and I do not anticipate actively loving the day-to-day aspects of the job.
Family member's perspectives:
Me: I like our crunchy/hipster/funky/university/cosmopolitan city. Although I am a loner and have little social life, I like the ambiance here; the museums and intellectual life. The new town is smaller, more suburban, mainstream, and to me, boring. We are planning to move in the next couple months anyway, so the practicalities of moving are not a big factor. I feel deep loyalty to the agency I work with, and would feel bad about leaving. The only lifestyle change that I would appreciate is the ability to travel - I have friends in my hometown, 1,000 miles away, whom I haven't seem in 10 years. I have no interest in a bigger house, newer car, upscale lifestyle.
My mom: she will be living with us. Her caregivers will not be available in the new city, so we will have to find others. Current ones were personal friends prior to taking the caregiving positions, and I hate the idea of hiring strangers. I feel some obligation to the current ones, as they are depending on the income, as well as the friendship. In the new town, we could afford to be in a more upscale neighborhood, nicer house, etc, and this is important to Mom. Doesn't matter to me, but Mom is 95, and I feel has earned the right to choose.
BigGirl: DD, 17, is 100% behind the idea of the new job. She is concerned about my limited prospects for retirement on the current path (perhaps she fears she might have to support me! ), and also would love a nice house with less money-worries. She is homeschooled, and might be starting community college next year. I doesn't matter to her which one, but I think the smaller town (new town) might be less intimidating.
YoungSon: DS, 16, would not be happy about the move. He has good friends, and they are very important to him. He is thriving at an alternative school (against all odds - he has autism and has dropped his IEP and all accommodations). I question if he would transition well to a new school, and don't know if the new school district even offers a similar school program. On the other hand, he would also benefit from the increase in our standard of living - there are activities and programs I have had to say no to, that I would gladly support (gym membership, skiing, etc).
I expect the Dumplings will only live with me for a few more years, and I know Mom won't live forever. I am torn between wanting to provide the best for the remaining years I have with them, and wanting to set up my life to live alone before too long.
Usually, By the time I have written out all the pros and cons like this, I have come to a decision. Not this time! So, back to where I started - is this selling out? What would you do?