This week, I was talking to a coworker about a new job I applied for. It’s a long-shot, but I figured it never hurts to put in an application. She immediately asked about the pay. She and I are on the same exact pay grade and received our last promotions together, so there really are no salary secrets between us. I told her that if I could get a salary at the top of the pay band advertised in the job posting, that it would be a small pay cut, but that I would be stuck at that salary for my first two years before I was eligible for a promotion. Contrast that with my current job, where I am guaranteed a small raise on the anniversary of my current position for the next two years.
The job is so far from a guarantee that it’s silly to be worrying about it. But it’s a job I’ve wanted for a while, and for a great job, I’m willing to take the slight pay cut. I’m not going to be in my current job forever.
My coworker, however, freaked out. I felt like she was scolding me for the decision (yes, the decision to just apply for the job). She thought it was completely irresponsible for me to leave a job where I know I will be making a good chunk of money for a job where I know I will still be making good money, just slightly less. But in my opinion, if I’m leaving for a job I will enjoy so much more, then it’s completely worth it.
Of course, this is all a ridiculous discussion to begin with, because I’ve not even interviewed for the job. Just applied. And if I get the job and they offer me a lesser salary, I won’t take it. I am willing to take a small pay cut, but I’m not ready for a big pay cut just yet.
It was interesting to see how different our priorities are. She was all about the money, and I’m all about finding a job I can truly enjoy while still supporting myself. She’s about five years older than I am, but also single and without kids. While I can see the expansion of my family a reason to shift priorities, I just don’t see it happening automatically with age.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.