Is this selling out? Or WWYD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 11-11-2012, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmmmm.....

 

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! innocent.gif), 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?


Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#2 of 21 Old 11-11-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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Yikes. That's a tough one.

 

Selling out, though? Definitely not! I was expecting to read that this new job was for Monsanto or big pharma or something. :p Working at a state level to help kids with mental health issues is most definitely not selling out.


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#3 of 21 Old 11-11-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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Ok. There's not a clear picture for you to use to decide now.

What about 5 years from now?

Mom may not be around, so the money used to pay for her care will be available for you.
Kids will be out on their own, or almost. So maybe the money for them will be available, too.
Do you think you will have enough to save for a reasonable retirement?

What about 10 years from now?

Will you want to be where you are or in the new job and city?

Where do you want to live when you retire?

Answer these questions and maybe you'll have a better idea of what you want to do.
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#4 of 21 Old 11-11-2012, 09:42 PM
 
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This is not selling out.

These are just 2 different paths. On either one, you will have some things you like and some things you don't, but there isn't a "right" one and a "wrong" one, there is just what you prefer to do next.
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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 21 Old 11-11-2012, 10:01 PM
 
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I'd take the job. It sounds like it would benefit everyone except your son, and in the long run, it would likely benefit him (you, being able to help him more with college, etc). You've done your good deeds, why not do something for yourself?

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#6 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 01:13 AM
 
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I am with Adaline's Mama here. I would take the job too.  It sounds like in the long run, the new job's benefits outweigh the cons.  I am also with others in saying that there is no "selling out" here at all.   

 

Good luck.  I hate, hate making these types of decisions.  Last year I made a one (about a job) and right after wards I felt sick to my stomach because it felt like it was the wrong decision.  However, later, it turned out to be the right decision. So, yeah... I know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when trying to make a difficult decision. 

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#7 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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In this economy, I would take financial security above all else.  If my dh finds a better paying job somewhere else we HAVE to go. It breaks my heart, but it's a fact.  At your age I would absolutely take the better paying job and begin saving.  

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#8 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 07:34 AM
 
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I guess I'd think about this:  Could you take the new job, work it for 5-10 years or so, and then come back to where you are now with ease if you wanted (if it's such an enjoyable place for you and you truly missed the different work experience)?  I guess I'd think about taking it with a goal of that sort in mind because it truly could be very different and you might not always like that.  On the other hand, it sounds like it would end up being worth the extra trouble for you financially which is a good thing, but not everything.  

(Dh recently left a higher paying more managerial position for a 'regular' position because he was extremely unhappy with the new job and minimal patient care, etc. in spite of enjoying some parts of it so my comments are colored by his experience.)

 

 

I think I'd find the biggest drawback having to change caretakers for your mother.  I'd probably look into what's available in your new location for help with her first, to make sure there were a few acceptable options for you.  

 

Congratulations though, and good luck on making your choice.

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#9 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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I think I would take the job. There is at least *something* positive in the new city for everyone in your family. Retirement is a serious consideration. And being able to travel is never bad in my opinion! orngtongue.gif I understand not wanting to give up your current location that you like and being hesitant about giving up working independently to put on the suit & keep regular hours. We rent rather than own in a more expensive area because it is crunchy the way we like, and I am a freelancer & set my own hours, etc. But for three times the salary, I would do it, too. After all, you can travel back to your old town if you want to visit, and I'm sure you'll get used to the hours and new atmosphere at work. My DH was a SAHD and night owl & made the transition to leaving for his teaching job at 6am. It's tough, but once the habits were developed - do-able for the benefits it brings to our family.

 

So anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on even having this choice! It sounds like you are well-respected in your field, and this is a great dilemma to have. Best of luck to you!


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

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#10 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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PS I think the caretakers will understand. I can imagine they would probably also take a job that paid 3x what they are earning now.


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

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#11 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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If you can't raise your income where you live now, I would take the job and move.

 

It sounds like earning more will give you more options for everyone in your family.

It is nice to say you don't want a bigger car or an upscale lifestyle but you are at poverty level with absolutely no savings at your current job. A lot of people won't ever get the opportunity to choose to turn down a decent job that would get their family out of poverty.

One event could be pretty drastic financially for your family at the level you are at. It isn't greedy to want to buy food, be able to afford activities for your kids, give money to your favorite cause, not stress about car repairs and put some money away for your retirement. It isn't selling out, just functioning slightly differently.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#12 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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I would take the job! at 55 you only have another 10-15 years to work, assuming your health stays well. in 15 years you are going to be 70. What will you do with no savings at 70?

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#13 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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It's not selling out in the least -- scratch that "con" right off the list. 

 

Personally, I would take the job in a heartbeat. Being financially independent post-retirement is very important to me, and it sounds like this job might allow that to be possible for you. 


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#14 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 02:42 PM
 
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I don't know, I value financial security (or, I think I would if I had it! lol) but I also highly value job satisfaction. It sounds like you are so, so happy with your current job. Would returning to this job be an option in a few years if you changed your mind? If you applied for Section 8 & food stamps with your current job, would it almost equal out to the new job's salary? Do you enjoy your job so much that you're willing to work beyond retirement age if you have to? Do you think you'd truly enjoy this new job?

I worked in a job I hated for 6 years. It was the worst 6 years of my life. I miss being able to make ends meet (I was laid off, I didn't choose to leave). If I had a job I loved, I'd be tempted to stick with it for the long haul, even if it meant financial sacrifices. But at the same time, I would want to be able to make ends meet. Tough call.

And neither option would be selling out!!

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#15 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 03:26 PM
 
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Reading that you are unable to put money away for your retirement struck a chord with me. Putting myself in a position to be able to prepare for the future would be a huge pro for the new job for me.

Speaking as the adult child of parents who have very little in the way of money saved for retirement, it's stressful for me to think about what my parents will do when they can't work anymore. Unless something major changes (and I can't see what that would be) My parents will need to be partially supported by my siblings and myself at some point. Right now none of us are able to do that, but thankfully they are able to take care of themselves for now.

It's something that majorly stresses me out if I spend much time thinking about it. Accepting our help will be hard on our parents. They're independent and have worked hard all their lives to take care of themselves and us kids. The reason they have so little retirement is that they put it towards our education and other stuff for us.

If I could go back in time I'd urge them to spend a little less on vacations and Christmases and stuff and put that money into retirement savings because I'd be happy to have given up some of that stuff in exchange for the peace of mind that knowing my parents would have sufficient money to be able to retire and enjoy their later years. If I'm honest, I'm also a little resentful that the responsibility of taking care of them financially will fall to my siblings and I while we're trying to care for our own families and save for our own retirement.

And the new job is not selling out at all.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#16 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 03:29 PM
 
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take the job and be glad for the opportunity to try something new. your 95 yo mother is along for the ride. she is financially dependent upon you. yes, your daughter has good reason to worry about having to support you in the future. at 55 your savings will have very little opportunity to grow with interest. it's almost saving a dollar to have a dollar later. UNLESS you are able to truly sock away cash left and right in the new position. then, it's a whole new ballgame... called *financial security.* are the health care benefits much better than what you have now, too? that should be a huge consideration.

 

as for your son, perhaps you can establish a budget that will let him keep in touch with his friends, and set him up somehow with equal in school / outside activities.

 

finally: consider the wardrobe thing an experiment in fashion for yourself. how to find your "flair" in business clothes.

 

all the best; enjoy!

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#17 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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I'd take the job in a heartbeat!  I love my job now (it doesn't feel like work, which is the best kind of job!), but if a school called tomorrow and offered me a teaching position I'd HAVE to take it because it would pay 2 times as much as I make now.  Taking a job that you KNOW you'd hate is a lot different than taking a job that you might not like as much IMO.


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#18 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 06:16 PM
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I think you applied for the new job for a reason.  Perhaps a subconscious reason, but a reason nonetheless.  You want the change, and you want more money.  I'd say go for it!  

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#19 of 21 Old 11-12-2012, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I don't know, I value financial security (or, I think I would if I had it! lol) but I also highly value job satisfaction. It sounds like you are so, so happy with your current job. Would returning to this job be an option in a few years if you changed your mind? If you applied for Section 8 & food stamps with your current job, would it almost equal out to the new job's salary? Do you enjoy your job so much that you're willing to work beyond retirement age if you have to? Do you think you'd truly enjoy this new job?
I worked in a job I hated for 6 years. It was the worst 6 years of my life. I miss being able to make ends meet (I was laid off, I didn't choose to leave). If I had a job I loved, I'd be tempted to stick with it for the long haul, even if it meant financial sacrifices. But at the same time, I would want to be able to make ends meet. Tough call.
And neither option would be selling out!!

Yes, this is exactly the dilemma. The Section 8 and Food Stamps amounts would be so little that it isn't worth it to me to apply. My income will drastically decrease when Mom and kids are gone: Mom's retirement is more than my salary, and I receive SSI for YoungSon. All the more reason to save now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

I think you applied for the new job for a reason.  Perhaps a subconscious reason, but a reason nonetheless.  You want the change, and you want more money.  I'd say go for it!  

I agree with this too. Thank you to all for helping me think about this.

 

I haven't actually been offered the job. I think I will take it, if it is offered. If not, I plan to start looking at this level, both locally and statewide. I have come to like the idea of having a lasting impact on policy, rather than always just "putting out fires". This experience has shown me that I am worth more than I am receiving, and actually qualified to be doing more, better. I successfully lobbied for a $2.50/hour raise last year at my agency, but I know they cannot afford to pay more. Non-profits are notoriously low-paying.

 

Unlike most people, I don't dread the job search process. I enjoy the research, and I do really well at interviews. Especially since I am currently employed, I feel less pressure than most to find a job quickly.


Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#20 of 21 Old 11-14-2012, 05:39 PM
 
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Definitely not selling out. I think you should take the job, and feel good about it. 


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#21 of 21 Old 11-14-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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I think you should take the job. It will be a big challenge and may not be enjoyable but making ends meet is important and so is retirement. I.have worked jobs I hated and it is hard. I get through it by taking my personal days as often as possible, not taking work home, planning two long vacations and counting down the days until they happen. Your happiness with your current job will probably go down quite a bit when your income decreases dramatically. It is hard to be happy with a job when you are stressed out about making ends meet because of ridiculously low pay. Even if Section 8 will take some of that stress away when your income goes down it may be 3-5 years down the road because of the long wait list and lack of funds.
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