Decisions, decisions, help and input wanted - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Which job would you take
Job A - the shorter commute would be life changing 23 69.70%
Job B - you'd be crazy to turn down the salary and vacation time 10 30.30%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH has two excellent job offers. joy.gif We're thrilled.  Either one alone he would have accepted happily.  However, we're really struggling to decide, and only have till Monday to do so.  Both are jobs he'd be happy to have.  Really it boils down to how much are we willing to trade for the shorter commute.  Which one would you pick for your family?  Why?  I'm adding a poll for fun.

 

Job A

  • Base salary $100K
  • Some bonus ($5K-50K, in other words, who knows)
  • 3 weeks vacation (negotiated from 2 weeks)
  • 30-40 minute commute, all driving, no interstate, minimal stop/start, free parking
  • Expectation of 1 work from home day a week for all employees
  • Casual dress code – khakis and golf shirts
  • Leadership/mentoring role on a new team that currently only has junior level employees
  • Would be working to make changes in status quo to move towards more current technologies
  • Leaving financial industry for tech company (already a tech employee, but industry change).  It may be hard to switch back at a later point because his financial industry knowledge would be out of date.

 

 

Job B

  • Base salary $125K
  • Some bonus (I’m guessing higher, but no predicting bonuses)
  • 4 weeks vacation
  • 60-90 minutes commute (60-75 driving on interstate with lots of traffic free parking, or 75-90 minutes using a park and ride $200/mo pre tax for tickets)
  • Possibility of work from home 1 day a week, management open to it, but not really done right now, and they’d have to figure out how practical it would be on the technical side (more info tomorrow)
  • More formal dress – slacks and button down
  • Senior level role on more established team, no leadership/mentoring expectations immediately
  • Using same technologies he’s already doing
  • Staying in the financial industry

 

For reference, current job

  • $82K base
  • Some bonus ($25K last 2 years)
  • 4 weeks vacation
  • 60-90 minutes commute (60-75 driving on interstate with lots of traffic $6 parking, or 75-90 minutes using a park and ride $200/mo tickets, partially pre-tax)
  • 1-2 days of work from home a week (once a week plus one off as needed)
  • Casual dress code – khakis and golf shirts
  • Tech lead with some very real mentoring both in his team and out (which he really enjoys), senior level employee, but lower than the two offers
  • In the financial industry

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#2 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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That's a hard one, especially because I don't know much about those types of careers.  And it's kind of a gut feeling decision I think.  Those are both some great offers though, so congrats to you guys. :)

 

I'd say Job A.  I don't trust gas prices not to get even more crazy, especially in the future.  Plus I don't think you can really put a price on more time at home.


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#3 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 11:20 PM
 
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Wow, I thought this would be easier!

Firstly, congratulations to your DH! Those are some fantastic terms. If only he could combine the best aspects of job offer A and job offer B, everything would be peachy!

Because early retirement is a definite goal in my home, I'd be inclined to suck it up and go with the stodgy work environment and long commute (both of which I've done plenty of, anyway) and take offer B. Twenty five-K a year can go a long way if you're keen on saving (we're some frugal fools in my house!) and then we'd be able to go off cruising (sailing) earlier than planned. Although offer A seems to promise a better work environment, our long term goals would be more quickly met with B.

Short answer: As sad as it makes me to say it, gotta go with the cash. Job offer B.

Good luck and have fun!

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#4 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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I'd go with job A because I think working in a job where there's room for growth and learning new skills would be far more interesting and fulfilling. I don't like to think of being a job where there doesn't seem to be much growth potential. The shorter commute and 1 day a week of working at home are what seal it for me. Both jobs are in the "really nice income" bracket (much more than I make).

 

You can't replace family time. I was gone to work early today (left at 8 when my kids left) and didn't get home until 6:15. I had a meeting (school volunteer stuff) at 6:30 that ran until I left at 8:20. I got home in time to read bedtime stories. As I was reading, ds and I were talking. He said "I wish you were home earlier." Luckily, I this sort of day is fairly unusual for me (though last month this was more the norm). Ds was thrilled to hear that I'll be able to volunteer at his school tomorrow AM and that I'll be home when he gets home from school.


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#5 of 24 Old 03-30-2011, 11:53 PM
 
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Job A.

 

Really, the work once a week from home and casual dress code is the deciding factor. I can't really see an extra $25k as making a whole lot of difference in the end. But then again, I can't see myself being able to live at $100k per year, let alone above that.


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#6 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 12:02 AM
 
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yeah i agree with Lynn esp. since you say ur dh enjoys mentoring. growth is a huge factor. yeah he knows the financial industry but how burnt out is he on that?

 

another factor - which of these jobs does he have a greater chance of promotion. that would be my deciding key.

 

its a lesson i learnt from my dad. he went for the money offer and refused teh job he should have taken which would have given him better chances of making money later on. 


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#7 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 12:06 AM
 
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I also say job A, but that extra week of vacation does look nice. Still, commuting and dressing up...ugh.

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#8 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 12:31 AM
 
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Based on commuting alone I'd say Job A.

Assuming you get the 4 weeks vacation and don't have a work-at-home day every week (since the policy is not in effect at Job B) your husband would be spending 120-200 hours MORE on commute per year than at job A. That is the equivalent to 15-25 work days over the course of a year.

Since both jobs sound great I'd stick with the one closer to home unless you plan to move closer to job B in the next year or two.
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#9 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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If you add up the extra 1-2 hours a day he'd spend commuting with Job B, he'd be saving up to 8 hours a week or 200-400 hours a year if he went with Job A. That's 1-2 weeks vacation right there! And probably less stress, unless he loves driving. Also, if you add up the extra costs associated with Job B (gas, parking, new wardrobe), it's not as huge a difference in salary as it initially sounds.

Job A also sounds more... exciting I guess... but I don't know if your DH wants excitement or familiarity/routine.

Has he tried asking Job A if they'd bump up the salary just a bit to compete better with Job B?

ETA: Sorry tinuviel_k, I see you pointed out the same thing I just did (although somehow we came up with different numbers LOL) Sorry, I should have read the responses first!!

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#10 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm appreciating all of the perspectives and input.  I'm interested to see so many of you bringing up the dress as a factor.  From DH's perspective, the only issues with the button downs and slacks is that we'd need to have ironed button downs (so ironing ourselves or doing dry cleaning) and perhaps the expense of adding to his wardrobe.  So, hassle and minor expense.  The 3 weeks of vacation feels like a big hit to us.  All of our extended family (both sides) lives in the same area, about 5 hours from us.  We do pretty frequent trips there, as well as trying to do an annual week long vacation with just our little family.  We use all of his vacation time.  Going down to 3 weeks would really change that dynamic.  The kids and I might end up doing trips to see family without him, which none of us would be happy about.  Also, he currently gets 1 week paternity leave, but at Job A he'd only get 3 days, so staying home for 2 weeks after a birth (we're hoping for #3 in 2013) would burn through half of his vacation time.  We don't know about paternity leave at Job B.  However, we have run the numbers and officially he'd have more time home with the shorter commute and less vacation time.

 

I too agree that the salaries are so high that it feels ridiculous to reject Job A at "only" $100K.  We're both 30.  We married very young and broke.  I had no clue that DH had the potential for such a high salary so young.  We are also looking at long term financial plans.  Job B would obviously allow us to reach those goals faster - finishing off our emergency fund, retirement, college savings, perhaps Waldorf school for the kids, buying a van with cash in 2012, buying a house (while selling our current house).  We'd also be able to afford some things to help off set the commute energy and time drain, like some lunches out for DH (who mostly packs his own), and a house keeping service.  We are hoping to move to a bigger house slightly closer to Job B in about 2 years.  If we take Job B, that would be very doable, but it would really only shave about 10-15 minutes off the commute.  At Job A we'd likely take longer to move, but then again, with the shorter commute it would matter less, and we'd be able to move within our suburb without having to try to get closer to the interstate.

 

DH and I talked late into the night about the jobs themselves, work environments, and career paths.  As a programmer, you can more or less take a managerial/business job path or a architect job path.  DH is most interested in the architect route.  At Job A he would be in a mentor role, which he would enjoy and thrive in.  However, the company is using quite out dated methodologies, and he'd be working to move them to the current methodologies, which he is very familiar with.  Assuming he stays in the job 5-10 years, when he's leaving, he may not be up to date and experienced on the most current methodologies.  He would be moving more in the direction of management, and would have to really work to keep himself up to date on current methodology, in his own time and with his own self discipline.  Likely, he'd be taking the managerial job path in the long run if he took this job.  It is a very valid job path, and one he could do well at.  He is very excited at the prospect of the mentor role.  However, it's not really the job path he wants long term.  Also, in leaving the financial industry (which he's not feeling burnt out on at all), it would be hard to return to it.  The financial industry is where the amazing salary and the 4 weeks vacation are pretty standard.  Also, during this job search, everyone has asked for his current salary before making an offer.  If he's coming in with a lower salary, he's likely to get lower offers next go round.

 

At Job B, he would have a peer group of senior level coders.  He thrives in peer group environments.  They'd work together and help keep each other up to date with high level discussions.  He has a very positive impression of the environment there, both from the interviews, and from two very well respected former coworkers that are there now.  It would be hard to push ahead to an architect role there with so many similar level peers, but in 5-10 years, he would be very up to date and experienced in current methodologies.  It would definitely keep him on the right career track.

 

At the moment, if Job B says that working from home 1 day a week is do-able, I think he'll take Job B.  That said, we're both struggling with letting go of the shorter commute.  If you'd told me at the beginning of this process that he'd have a job offer with a much shorter commute and a 22% salary increase that we would be considering rejecting, I wouldn't have believed it for the world.

 

 


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#11 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we've discussed Job Offer B with Job Offer A.  They came up to 3 weeks in vacation time, but it doesn't look like they can come up in salary.  I think that for the tech industry Job A is a very pretty offer.  We're just comparing it to a very pretty offer from the financial industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

If you add up the extra 1-2 hours a day he'd spend commuting with Job B, he'd be saving up to 8 hours a week or 200-400 hours a year if he went with Job A. That's 1-2 weeks vacation right there! And probably less stress, unless he loves driving. Also, if you add up the extra costs associated with Job B (gas, parking, new wardrobe), it's not as huge a difference in salary as it initially sounds.

Job A also sounds more... exciting I guess... but I don't know if your DH wants excitement or familiarity/routine.

Has he tried asking Job A if they'd bump up the salary just a bit to compete better with Job B?

ETA: Sorry tinuviel_k, I see you pointed out the same thing I just did (although somehow we came up with different numbers LOL) Sorry, I should have read the responses first!!


 

 


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#12 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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I don't know, I personally find a 60+ minute commute insane. On the other hand maybe the extra 25k salary that job B provides over job A would mean you could more easily move closer to work??? But then maybe you just don't want to live where the job is? Not enough info for me to be sure, but based on what was posted job A is much more attractive.

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#13 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 09:14 AM
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Job A.  BTDT with the crazy long commute (an hour on a really good day, usually longer) and would not be interested in going back to that, especially with kids.  We moved from the hour plus commute to an area where the commute is under 10 minutes and it is heaven.  So much more time together as a family.  If there's an emergency he's home right away.  Quality of life really went up for us.

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#14 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flower of Bliss View Post

However, it's not really the job path he wants long term.


This changes everything, IMO -- if this doesn't fit into his long-term picture, then it's probably not a wise move to make. It's super hard changing industries (I've seen DH & other family attempt this), even when you're young but especially 5-10 years down the line when he's 40 years old and wants a high-level position but is out-of-date and doesn't have the right experience. DH is in his 20's and dealing with this now, in fact.

Plus, it sounds like you are leaning toward Job B for the comforts it would afford you.

I hate long commutes myself & I hate having DH far away but it just sounds like that makes more sense for you guys right now. And if you are planning to move in a couple of years anyway, maybe you could reconsider locations and move even closer if the commute was an issue at that point.

Oh and here's another crazy thought -- any chance Job B would bump up the salary or offer even more vacation to offset the long commute? (It's awesome that he has 2 amazing offers at the same time!!!)

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#15 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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Job B and move. =D

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#16 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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My initial reaction was Job A. Its really difficult to quantify the cost of a long commute. My DH went from a 60 min driving commute to a 40 min train commute almost 2 years ago and we've been shocked at the amount of money and energy that has freed up, and how much less stress he has.

That being said, if his preffered job path is B, then in my mind thats not even a question, and i'd be looking at options to mitigate the commute.

I will ask 1 question that has not bern addressed... How many hours/wk does each job expect? My DH's current job is 40 hrs, but his previous one was 60+, for the same money. Combining the extra hours with the longer commute really eats into family time. Thats actually why he switched jobs when i was pg.

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#17 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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You touched on this in the last post, but for me it would make a difference.  How does he like his future co-workers and new boss?  Who would he rather get a beer after work with?  Being stuck with jerks for 8 hours vs 8 hours with people you genuinely like can make a great job hell. 

 

What about flexible hours?  I know for my commute there is a big difference (30 minutes one way) if I leave at 5:50am instead of  8am. Would he be able (or even want) to work 6am-2pm or does he have to keep core hours (9 to 5)? 

 

Just things to think about.  For me it would not be so much about the numbers, but more of a gut instinct of which one I feel more jazzed about.

 

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#18 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH has done the commute for 6.5 years (so since prekids).  It sucks.  One of our stated goals with the job search was a shorter commute, but honestly, we didn't expect to find such an option.  We live in a suburb of a sprawling metropolitan.  Homes inside the city cost nearly double what our home costs, and are not really where we want to live.  I've floated the suggestion of moving closer in, leaving our current suburb, but staying sort of close to it (so the kids and I could maintain our friends and activities here, we could stay at our church, etc, but we could shorten the commute to maybe 45-60 minutes).  DH is not so sure about moving that far in, prefering to stay in our suburb, but move closer to the interstate.  Honestly I agree, but I'd trade those pluses for the shorter commute.  We'll see how we feel in 2 years.

 

I think really once we had the long discussion about career path, we were pretty settled on Job B.  If it was just money versus shorter commute, we'd likely pick the shorter commute.  We're both very sad to let go of the shorter commute.  The high salary and more vacation time helps us feel better about it.  We'll be able to pay for some things that will ease the stress and time drain of the commute, as well as work more quickly towards financial goals.

 

To answer a few questions, both jobs have the expectation of 40 hours a week.  He may end up working late here or there as necessary, but it wouldn't be the norm or expectation at either.  DH would be MISERABLE doing a super early day.  I hope that he'll settle back into riding the park and ride most of the time, which he's gotten out of the habit of during the job search.  Then he can sleep, read, listen to music, etc on his commute. 

 

FWIW, at Job A he has not met any of the developers he'd be working directly with, but he has a positive feel for the people he has met.  At Job B he has a very positive feel for the environment there.  He would be working with two former coworkers, one who he really enjoyed working with for many years and will be very happy to be with again (sounds like they'll have cubes right beside each other), and one he always wanted to work more directly with.  I think it'll be a really good place for him.


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#19 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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B is sounding better and better. And with the higher salary, you could definitely afford the park and ride, and if he's the sort of person who can read in moving vehicles, that let him get his downtime en route and be energized for the family upon getting home.

 

But do not let him drive over an hour each way. Driving that long won't let him get anything else done and then he'll need downtime when he finally gets home.

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#20 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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I was going to say Job A, but based on this post, I think I'm leaning toward Job B.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flower of Bliss View Post

I'm appreciating all of the perspectives and input.  I'm interested to see so many of you bringing up the dress as a factor.  From DH's perspective, the only issues with the button downs and slacks is that we'd need to have ironed button downs (so ironing ourselves or doing dry cleaning) and perhaps the expense of adding to his wardrobe.  So, hassle and minor expense.  The 3 weeks of vacation feels like a big hit to us.  All of our extended family (both sides) lives in the same area, about 5 hours from us.  We do pretty frequent trips there, as well as trying to do an annual week long vacation with just our little family.  We use all of his vacation time.  Going down to 3 weeks would really change that dynamic.  The kids and I might end up doing trips to see family without him, which none of us would be happy about.  Also, he currently gets 1 week paternity leave, but at Job A he'd only get 3 days, so staying home for 2 weeks after a birth (we're hoping for #3 in 2013) would burn through half of his vacation time.  We don't know about paternity leave at Job B.  However, we have run the numbers and officially he'd have more time home with the shorter commute and less vacation time.

 

I too agree that the salaries are so high that it feels ridiculous to reject Job A at "only" $100K.  We're both 30.  We married very young and broke.  I had no clue that DH had the potential for such a high salary so young.  We are also looking at long term financial plans.  Job B would obviously allow us to reach those goals faster - finishing off our emergency fund, retirement, college savings, perhaps Waldorf school for the kids, buying a van with cash in 2012, buying a house (while selling our current house).  We'd also be able to afford some things to help off set the commute energy and time drain, like some lunches out for DH (who mostly packs his own), and a house keeping service.  We are hoping to move to a bigger house slightly closer to Job B in about 2 years.  If we take Job B, that would be very doable, but it would really only shave about 10-15 minutes off the commute.  At Job A we'd likely take longer to move, but then again, with the shorter commute it would matter less, and we'd be able to move within our suburb without having to try to get closer to the interstate.

 

If there's any way to move closer to cut the commute to Job B even more, I'd seriously look into it.  I did a 50ish min commute for 6 years and it was really draining and I think contributed to the burn out I experienced.

 

DH and I talked late into the night about the jobs themselves, work environments, and career paths.  As a programmer, you can more or less take a managerial/business job path or a architect job path.  DH is most interested in the architect route.  At Job A he would be in a mentor role, which he would enjoy and thrive in.  However, the company is using quite out dated methodologies, and he'd be working to move them to the current methodologies, which he is very familiar with.  Assuming he stays in the job 5-10 years, when he's leaving, he may not be up to date and experienced on the most current methodologies.  He would be moving more in the direction of management, and would have to really work to keep himself up to date on current methodology, in his own time and with his own self discipline.  Likely, he'd be taking the managerial job path in the long run if he took this job.  It is a very valid job path, and one he could do well at.  He is very excited at the prospect of the mentor role.  However, it's not really the job path he wants long term.  Also, in leaving the financial industry (which he's not feeling burnt out on at all), it would be hard to return to it.  The financial industry is where the amazing salary and the 4 weeks vacation are pretty standard.  Also, during this job search, everyone has asked for his current salary before making an offer.  If he's coming in with a lower salary, he's likely to get lower offers next go round.

 

This is what makes me lean towards Job B.  

 

At Job B, he would have a peer group of senior level coders.  He thrives in peer group environments.  They'd work together and help keep each other up to date with high level discussions.  He has a very positive impression of the environment there, both from the interviews, and from two very well respected former coworkers that are there now.  It would be hard to push ahead to an architect role there with so many similar level peers, but in 5-10 years, he would be very up to date and experienced in current methodologies.  It would definitely keep him on the right career track.

 

 My DH is a web designer/developer.  He does a lot of coding so I know what you mean about the peer group being important to staying up to date.

 

At the moment, if Job B says that working from home 1 day a week is do-able, I think he'll take Job B.  That said, we're both struggling with letting go of the shorter commute.  If you'd told me at the beginning of this process that he'd have a job offer with a much shorter commute and a 22% salary increase that we would be considering rejecting, I wouldn't have believed it for the world.

 

 


Good luck with your decision.  We're making our own decision between 2 jobs.  One isn't exactly what DH wants but pays better and is right here in town near both of our families.  The other is exactly what he wants, with growth potential maybe even a chance at becoming a partner in the company, but involves moving 12 hours (by car) away.  It's such a tough decision.

 


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#21 of 24 Old 03-31-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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I would say job B. Dh was iconsidering contention for a job with a good pay raise but it was below his abilities and he would not be improving on his skills which seemed like a bad idea for a techie.


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#22 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I would go with job B, because an extra week of vacation would be very important to us. 

 

However, we would move to be closer to DP's job. I consider 45 minutes the maximum acceptable commute - but if you're already doing a 60 to 90 minute travel time then you know whether that works for you or not.

 

For the money, I don't know what the tax brackets are like in the States, but here the top bracket starts around $125 K and DP discovered that his $20,000 raise made almost no difference on his paycheque because it pushed him into a higher tax bracket. You might want to check that out before you decide.

 


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#23 of 24 Old 04-03-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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I picked job B before I read th rest of the responses, because of recent personal experience (with more established work environments like Job B vs A). Now that I've read the rest of the thread it seems like Job B is more up your alley as well.


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#24 of 24 Old 04-03-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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Job B and move


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