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Job with less pay

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Guinevere, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    So I have a dilemma and I'm wondering what your opinion on it is. I'm looking for a new job because my current work situation has become unbearable. Our department head is notorious in our industry (some head hunters I apprached flat out said they would never place anyone in her department ever since so many have been placed there and then cited her as a reason they left). However, I've been there for 6 years and moved up from an assistant to a manager.

    However, the hours are extremely long (I work an hour late almost every day) and I alway seem to be getting stuck doing one person's work in particular. Last year I finally complained about always getting this person's work when she was "overwhelmed" and crying.

    So at the beginning of this year, I got a written notice for always coming in late last year. I was totally taken aback mainly because I'm usually late by about 5 minutes every day but I've been doing this for the last 6 years and was always allowed to because I worked late every night. Now suddenly I was written up for it. Now the department head is on a rampage (that's what we call it) and is scrutinizing everything I do. Obviously this isn't now a healthy workplace (I hear her voice and get stressed).

    So I've been going on interviews for similar positions and was offered a job, with a $6,000 pay cut. Would you consider taking the job or is that too steep a pay cut?
    Coco and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    I'm not in a position to say since I'm not in that kind of work situation in any way shape or form, but my gut reaction is, consider how staying at your current job is affecting your quality of life and health. When you end up having a nervous breakdown from the stress and and up with more problems and medical bills, not to mention overall satisfaction and happiness in life, suddenly a pay cut doesn't sound so bad.

    But anyway, just something to consider. 6k sounds like a lot to me but I don't know anything, lol. Just keep it in perspective.
  3. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    if 6k does not make you unable to pay your bills, then I woulds say a resounding yes. Money isn't everything, and coming home angry and your job is not a good way to live
  4. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    I agree with Spareoom. It is your decision, and only you can answer if you can manage with 6K less. There are ways to cut expenses. If you are trying to get out of your current job ASAP because it's causing too much stress, you may want to consider other options, as you are obviously doing, by going to job interviews at other places. I know people that got out of their stressful jobs with a lot bigger financial cut than 6K and were perfectly happy with that decision, but it doesn't mean you should do the same. Only you know the answer to that.

    Are you in a position to negotiate the lower salary that's been offered to you? The hiring manager does not need to know that you are stressed at your current job. That may be another way to get around it, so it will not be such a big cut.
  5. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Can you pay your bills with the pay cut? Would you have to change your expectations for necessities, and could you do that?

    IME, nothing makes someone more miserable than not having money when they are used to having money. If you can take the pay cut and still pay your bills, and/or are happy to re-prioritise, it is worth considering, but really look at it first. Having less money and a happier work place may actually turn into having a happier workplace but being miserable because you have so much less money, and resenting your work for it.
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Getting a written notice for something that hasn't been raised verbally with you first is terrible practice.
  7. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    I'm in the same boat as you are right now, except that I don't have another job lined up yet. I'm just starting my search and sprucing up my resume. I've been with my company 17 years, and it's gone rapidly downhill. But one thing I did determine prior to starting my job search was determine how much (after taxes) I could live on (within reason - not paycheck to paycheck) in order to determine what my bottom line salary requirements are. I can live without all the movie channels, eat out less, brown bag it more often, curb my spending. For my particular circumstances, I can absorb a 10k reduction. So if I find a job within that threshold, I'm gone. It's much worse IMO to stay at a job that's making me mentally and physically ill day in and day out.
  8. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Try to negotiate for a higher salary. The salary may not be able to go as high as what you're making now, but you may be able to bridge that gap a bit. If they can't bring up the salary, can they give you a signing bonus for this first year, to help you make the transition? If that's not possible, try to negotiate benefits - for example, if they normally offer two weeks of vacation to new hires, ask for three.

    I took a pay cut when I came to this company, of about the same amount of money that you're talking about. For me, it was worth it. The pay cut didn't mean I couldn't pay my bills, and the change in job allowed me to enter a new field. For you, is the pay cut worth it? And can you still make your bills if you take it? Because the writing is absolutely on the wall for you at your current job - all signals show that you're being driven out. It's a good idea to leave before that happens.
  9. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    When comparing two jobs (ie your current and the one with the pay cut, or multiple opportunities), you should consider the entire range of pros and cons, not just salary and whether or not the boss is an idiot (if you can even determine that).

    You have to look at other financial-related factors as well - how do the benefits compare? Will the commute cost more money or time? Will you need new clothes for the job, and more often? (I used to spend a ton on suits, dry cleaning and shoe repair - it can really add up.) Does the company contribute to your retirement savings, fund training, offer perks like a cell phone or laptop? Discounts on products or services by the company? Are bonuses to be expected?

    There is the sanity factor of course - do they have a clear system for complaints (ie you doing someone else's work) or citations (being late)? This one is hard to ask about without looking like a troublemaker, but there are ways to find out. Do they allow flex hours for people who have trouble getting in on time? Do they compensate for overtime with pay or extra time off? Is overtime expected on a regular basis, or just crunch times? What are the coworkers like? What are the immediate managers like, and the overall company leadership? And is the work fun? Is it a company you can be proud to work for?

    And there's the career opportunity - the pay may be less now, but could it potentially move up faster than the other place? Are there advancement opportunities? Opportunities to learn new skills or take on more responsibilities? Develop your management skills further through projects and teams? Work with other departments to expand your skills and network, and thus opportunities inside and outside the company? Is this a good company that's growing, hiring and expanding, or one that might close branches and do layoffs, which often start with the last people hired?

    As for the money, as others have said it's about your own budget. $6K is relative - for example if you make $35K now then of course it's a huge cut that must be very carefully considered, but if you make $98K now then it's nothing and well worth the sacrifice for a better work environment.
  10. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    A $6,000 pay cut is relative. If you're making $50,000 or less, it's significant. If you're making $500,000, it's negligible. Only you can decide if that $6,000 will effect your ability to pay bills and will cause you less stress than what you are currently putting up with. If the $6,000 cut will not put you in a tough situation, I would opt for getting out of a terrible situation. Is there someone above your department head that you can talk to? Can you go to human resources? The problem, there, is that if the department head finds out, you wind up in a worse position. Would it be worth trying that when you know you have another job option?
  11. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me as if word got back to her (maybe the headhunter said something to someone who reported back to her?) that you were complaining about her outside the office. I think you are going to be in for an increasingly hard time if you stay and may end up getting fired.
  12. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Meant to address this in post above. This could be nothing - just someone on a rampage as you say, maybe getting pressure from her bosses to document better etc.

    But it could also be a very bad sign. Putting minor infractions in writing is often part of building a case to get rid of someone. Might be about you, might be about upcoming downsizing, might be about a political move to block a promotion for you in favour of someone else, could be any number of things. But one thing's certain - you should be on high alert right now, and on your best behaviour. Always better to leave a job of your own accord - when you are ready - than be forced.
  13. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Are you sure the paycut is as big as it seems? You say you're working many extra hours. It sounds as though you're salaried and not getting any overtime. When you compare your actual hours worked per week with your weekly salary, are you sure it's much higher than what you would be making hourly at the other job, assuming that they stick to 9-5 or whatever the designated hours are? Again, as others said, this requires some research into company culture at the new job, and it may not matter to you what the hourly rate is if the gross isn't enough to pay your bills.

    Also, have you compared the overall benefits packages at both? If the other job is $6k less in actual salary, but the insurance premium is much lower and it matches retirement contributions, it may end up being equal or better than your current salary.

    Finally, I do agree that the current job may be looking to get of you or may not give you a reference, and it's a lot easier to get a job when you're already employed, so if the numbers work, I would probably take the new job.
  14. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I would say take it, if your ability to cover your expenses is not compromised. There may be advancement opportunities in the new place (if you were able to go from assistant to manager in 6 years in your current place, that shows significant growth potential), or just new learning that could benefit you if you end up going somewhere else sooner than 6 years later. But your current environment sounds very poor for your health.

    My other question would be - is the new position at a company of similar size and scope as your current employer? If so, they may be seriously lowballing you. It's always good to try to negotiate a higher salary, employers generally offer lower than they expect to end up paying. The economy has given employers opportunity to hire great talent for cheap, but things aren't quite so dire as they were 4 years ago and there should be some wiggle room.
  15. Nan

    Nan Just me, retired

    My husband found himself in much the same position and took a $10,000 pay cut to avoid dying from a heart attack. He took a lower paying job and an additional part-time job for a year or so until our income reached the point where he could quit the part-time job. It's been almost ten years since then and neither one of us has ever regreted it.
  16. Everyone's priorities are different, but in my view quality of life and job satisfaction is worth more than money. No question.

    The only question I see here is going from the "devil you know" to a new location where the work environment is unknown. There's always a gamble that things won't be any better at the new place and you'll be paid less to boot. But if your current situation is untenable and you don't think it's something you can change, then it's probably a risk worth taking.

    On a personal note, I've been at the same company for 25 years now. The reason I've stayed so long is that the work is constantly evolving to keep things interesting, I have a great deal of personal autonomy, I like my boss and we have complementatry working styles, and there is zero office politics (not first-hand anyway: we deal with it second-hand from our clients). The only downside is that the pay is less than half what I could make elsewhere. But it's honestly worth it for me. I've seen so many of my friends go on stress leave or take a desperation job. I consider myself extremely fortunate.
  17. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Age and point in one's career can be a factor though. When I was younger, I had a higher tolerance for crap because I was at the stage in my career where getting ahead, getting the right opportunities for projects and people to work with, the right clients and employers on my resume etc was really important, and I was willing to put up with a lot to get what I wanted. Now at my more advanced age (!), my priorities have shifted and I agree quality of work environment and quality of life are far more important, and my tolerance for bad bosses and bad work environments is zero. But, all that slogging and suffering I did when I was younger has put me a position where I can make those choices now, so I don't regret it at all.
  18. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    Just to double check, the new job would still be in the same city, right? Some cities just have a higher cost of living to begin with, so moving to a cheaper area would sometimes come with a pay cut. I ended up being laid off from my finance job in NY back in 2009, when everyone was jobless in that field. The new job paid $14,000 less in Boston but I don't regret taking it for one minute. I get to work for a university, in a much more relaxed and supporting environment. And, they actually give you decent rises, so things worked out very well in the long run.

    I'd say as long as the paycut doesn't prevent you from covering your expenses, your sanity is worth it in the long run.
  19. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    You are spending a 1/3 of your life (or more) being miserable. Is it worth that $6000? I guess that is the first question I would ask myself and if the answer is no then I would find a way to live without it. The best of luck to you either way.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  20. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    My brother in law took early retirement, because the stress on the job was killing him. He had to have heart surgery, and he still continued to work. Things did not get better. Eventually he saw sense in what his wife and children were telling him. He took the retirement, has less income, and is much happier. I am not suggesting that you retire (you may be too young :), or you really want to get somewhere in your career). I agree with Jenny- consider all factors and not just the pay cut, before making the decision. You may even want to talk it over with a career counselor. There may be some where you live.
  21. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Headcase Addict

    I feel for you Guinevere. Change can be good, even if a pay cut is necessary. I wish you the best of luck.
  22. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    Are you happy with your current job otherwise? If so, are there any avenues you can pursue, like talking to someone in HR about the work environment and the perceived unfairness of the lateness policy? Or perhaps you could talk to the boss's boss, if you have a relationship with him/her? These types of despots are a liability to the company, and a smart HR person will realize that - especially if comments about this person bubble up from various sources. It's a difficult conversation for sure, but I have seen it work in the employee's favor.

    Regardless, do try to negotiate the other offer. How did the company present the offer? If presenting a candidate with a lower offer, I try to emphasize the other benefits and/or the rationale behind the decision - e.g., the salary is at the top of the market reference range, the job differs in a way that impacts salary range, etc. If they haven't done this, call them and have a discussion. You can start it by saying you're excited by the opportunity, but have some concerns about the compensation gap. Maybe they'll meet you in the middle and/or throw in an extra perq. At minimum, I suspect you can negotiate an extra week of vacation or something similar.
  23. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all your comments.

    I'm 35 and have been in this industry for 10 years now. A real problem I have is that I feel I would be moving down and am losing an office already. But the line of work is slightly different and so I would be starting over again so to speak in learning the details again. So while the job is the same, the knowledge is different from what I do now.

    Our department head is well known for doing this - since I started working with her six years ago, 12 people in our department of 30 people have either quit or been forced out by her, including some really good people. This is standard fare for her and our senior management does nothing because our department continues to bring in the most money.

    The problem is when it's good, it's really good and fun and hilarious to work here. And I love my other co-workers except the one whose work I end up doing all the time. We call her the department favorite. But then when it's bad, it's horrible. Two women who've been here for 10 and 20 years respectively went through this as well and one had to retain a lawyer to not get fired.

    So that is sort of a snap shot. I feel horrible about looking for a new job behind everyone's back because i really like my co workers and if she wasn't here, it would be great. Yet at the same tome I'm not sure if I have time to wait for a new job.
  24. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    Also for the most part both companies are equal in benefits. My current company had 120 people, the new one has about 30. I think they're mostly equal.
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    You should not feel bad about looking for a new job "behind everyone's back". This is your financial security and sanity you're talking about here. As I'd said before, and others have said as well, you are being signalled that they're going to let you go. You have no choice but to look for something else; and you can't tell coworkers, because that's too risky. There's no need for guilty feelings, here. This is about self-preservation.
  26. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Can we revisit the stress factor? Because outside of the write-up, I am not sure it will be better at the new job. From my POV, working an hour late everyday is not "extremely long hours". As Jenny noted, the write-up is a concern but I am not seeing other things that are making me say that you should run out of the door.
  27. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    It is hard to explain unless you have worked here. We call this her MO - she picks a person and then just watches them like a hawk until a mistake is made and then all hell breaks loose. One girl got reamed out for forgetting an attachment on an email. The client didn't complain but she got yelled at anyway. This person has had 3 lawsuits against her for wrongful dismissal and lost all 3. Two of our employees who are well respected and knowledgeable and have been with the company for 10 and 20 years have had to threaten lawsuits to keep their jobs. Head hunters (note the plural) in our industry will not place people in her department.

    But that's what happens when she "turns" as we call it. When she likes you, it's nice. When she doesn't then you know you're in trouble but you have no idea what went wrong. We call it her "turning.". And perhaps it's not extremely long hours to you but working an hour late every day with no compensation is extra hours no matter how you cut it. That doesn't even include the weekends I have had to come in. And then I'm written up for showing up at 8:35am instead of 8:30 when I've been doing that for years with her full knowledge. Add to that I see someone in our office coming in later than me and nothing is said.

    I think maybe a part of me doesn't accept that I'm in the line of fire or really think its going to happen.

    I went on another interview and I'm kinda hoping they will at least match my current salary.
    antmanb and (deleted member) like this.
  28. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I think the issue is being written up for being late when the initial poster is working back an hour every day (thus covering being 5 minutes late). Sounds like if they were not working with the "bitch manager from hell" that they could deal with having to work overtime. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Guinevere - It is so uncomfortable working with someone who can be so changeable and unpredictable. Sounds like you have some other options because even getting interviews is positive. Like everyone has said if you can afford it take the pay cut to get out of the crappy situation. Maybe this is also sending signs to you that it is time to move onto another job. Good luck with it all.
  29. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    I have to say, there is always going to be someone or something bad. Maybe not as bad as this person who has lost 3 wrongful termination lawsuits, but there will be something.

    In a company of 30, I would be nervous that they aren't as well funded. If they had layoffs, would you be first to go?

    I have similar issues - coming in a bit late and justifying it to myself because I work 9 hour days. But I've been feeling really guilty about it lately. Perhaps you could try coming in 5 min early and leaving earlier? $6,000 is a lot of MONEY! And document your interactions with her. She's bound to do something unfair.

    I'm sorry for what you are going through, because tension like this in the workplace is really awful.

    How does this woman keep her job? She has to be a little big closer to losing it, right? Maybe you should stick it out for 6 months and see what happens?
  30. viennese

    viennese Well-Known Member

    I had a boss like yours - at what I thought would be a fantastic, dream job in my field. This was in a professional atmosphere, all decently paid, salaried employees.

    Yet he had the attitude of an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant, overseeing a bunch of teenagers, watching us clock in and clock out and berating us *at length* for extremely petty things. Everyone had to be at the office before him - and stay long after he'd left. And god help you if you weren't at your desk when he walked by your office - or when he phoned.

    He was prone to rages and, as with your boss, he'd pick one person and blame them for everything, driving them to quit. Then on to the next victim.

    It made me hate a job, a career, I loved. I ended up quitting.