So it’s no surprise that I’m not exactly happy with my job. I love that I have a job with a good paycheck and good benefits. I love that I work for the government and am very unlikely to lose my job due to the economic downturn. But I’m not exactly happy with the work itself.
I was hired as a writer and analyst, but when I started my job, there had been many changes in the organization and I was placed into a position with lots of analyzing, but very little writing. The longer I’m here, the more I miss the writing. My job has changed a number of times over the past few years, so I’m hoping this last change is going to direct me a bit further into that area, but that has yet to be seen.
I do have an idea of where I would like to work, and I think I could get a job there. It’s another government job, so the benefits would be the same. The problem is that I would have to take a serious pay cut. At least 10%, maybe more. The job I’m in has a “guaranteed” (unless Congress changes Federal pay) raise for my first three years in the position – meaning I’ll get a small bump in March 2010, 2011, and 2012 – and then the period between raises increases. If I got this other job, if I got the highest possible pay in the range (10+% less than my current salary), I’d be stuck there for 2 years.
I do think that sometimes you have to sacrifice pay for a great job. I was thinking about this on Monday night and I was ready to apply for this job as soon as the positions open for applications. I was thinking about who I would ask for recommendations and what I would say to my current boss if I got the job. Then on Tuesday morning, I sat down and did my Net Worth update and read about the current economic situation and the letter from Obama cutting federal raises for 2010 (I’m not complaining – I’m happy to have a job). And I’m thinking that maybe this is not the best time to be making that sort of decision. I like having spending money. I like not having to worry when my grocery budget is a bit over. I like being able to travel and visit my family and friends every so often.
It’s not like I have to make a decision now. There isn’t even a job to apply for right now. Then I have to apply and actually get the job. I should apply for the job and then worry about the decision if I find out I get it (which is no guarantee – but I’ve got a good shot).
It’s weird to feel like I have golden handcuffs, as we called them in law school. That’s what we called it when you took a higher paying job “just for a few years” to pay off loans with the intent of going to a more rewarding, lower paying job in five years or so, then not being able to give up the big paycheck. I never thought I’d be there.