My boyfriend, Derrick, just got a huge raise at work so you think he’d be excited, but that’s not the case. He’ll be able to pay off more of his $150,000 college debt and enjoy extra spending money, but he is still frantically applying to jobs and here’s why.
Derrick took the first job he was offered out of college because he was so worried about his college debt. He is overqualified for his current job as a computer tester and really wants to work as a developer. He is bored at work and is not feeling challenged. On top of that, the job is five hours away from his friends and family (and me!) in Rhode Island. The problem is that the companies he’d like to work for are offering salaries lower than what he’s making now.
Should he switch jobs even if it means a lower salary?
Family and Friends – My boyfriend travels to Rhode Island every weekend because he hasn’t really made friends in Pennsylvania. By living in Rhode Island or nearby Boston, not only would he be happier, but he would also save a good deal of money. He drives 300 miles each way every weekend. That’s a lot of gas! Those 600 miles equal about $80 a weekend or $320 a month. He also spends $25 each way on tolls. That’s another $50 a weekend or $200 a month. In total, he’s spending $520 a month traveling!
Passion – My boyfriend has always wanted to work as a developer. By taking a job in this field, he would be more passionate about his work. I think that working at a job you enjoy is important so this is a huge pro!
Opportunity for Growth – While the jobs that he is interested in are all entry level positions – with an entry level salary – the positions have opportunities for growth. The drop in salary might be worth it if he eventually reaches the same salary level, it’s just a matter of how long that will take.
Less Money – The first, and biggest concern, is that he would be taking a pay cut and it would most likely be substantial. The loss could be as much as $20,000!
Lost Opportunities – Having been with the company for a little over a year my boyfriend has been promoted twice. This shows that the company values him and are confident in his skills. Most likely, this would mean more promotions and a larger role in the company. While he finds his job tedious at times, he likes his colleagues and the overall company dynamic. Leaving means giving up these relationships and future opportunities at the company.
Risk – By leaving his job for a new company, there is a level of risk involved. What if he doesn’t like his new job? Even worse, what if he hates it? Researching a programming job and the company culture will reduce the risk of a bad situation, but there’s always a chance the job might not be what he expected.
Would you take a job with a lower salary?