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Dream Job vs. Money Job - need advice

Need advice on a possible job scenario.  This may get long, so bear with me. 

I am in the position of possibly being offered two jobs:  my dream job (which doesn't pay great) or a well paid position (that really doesn't excite me that much).

Job A:  This is the job in the field I have been hoping to get into for some time.

The plus sides: my dream job, fun job, great work environment, company that is number 1 of it's type in our market, short commute, enjoyable manager and bosses, opportunity to do some local cool travel, longevity of staff, opportunity to move up as some employees are planning to retire.

The minus sides:  taking pay cut from previous job (although still able to make a comfortable living and afford my bills), so-so benefits (takes awhile to build up sick days, vacation days, etc.)


Job B:  This is a job in my field.  In terms of excitement, it would be okay.  It's not as great as job A, but I would still feel comfortable.  I can't say I would jump up and down to go to work (like job A), but I would not dread it either.  Pay would be significantly higher than job A.  Not sure of exact numbers, but approx 10 to 15k higher.

The plus sides:  pay, in a great industry for moving up and around in my area

The minus sides:  less excitement in job, company takes a number 2 seat in market position in the industry, company has had financial troubles in the past, longer commute, not as fun office environment or staff.  


So, what would you do?  If A and B paid the same, I would take A.  No question.   Job B is very tempting because of the salary.


Job A would give me enough money to afford my standard of living, but job B would give me more extra money to play with and splurge on.



Re: Dream Job vs. Money Job - need advice

  • P.S. - Just to add.


    My husband and I are having some discussions of possibly seperating.  It's rocky right now.  We'll see.

    If I take job A, I would not be able to make payments on my house and support it alone.  Job B may offer enough for me to scrape by. 

  • I'd try to negotiate with Job A.  Tell them where you are currently at and that you have an offer with Job B that is significantly higher than their offer.  Tell them Job A is your dream job, you're excited, etc., Perhaps Job A has room to make their offer more attractive. 
  • Definitely negotiate with A. Ask for a more comparable salary to job B (if they have an offer on the table) and see if they'll wiggle on the vacation days.


    My recommendation is to take job A, even if they can't meet your requests. There is nothing like working at a job you love, with great people. You will be there 40+ hours a week- you should enjoy it! My last job was tolerable, but not great. I also took a pay cut and now work at a job I totally love! The lower pay is worth it to me. 

  • Ditto the suggestion to negotiate with job A. For me personally, this would be an easy decision, and job A would win, hands down. There are things that are more valuable than money, and the things that stand out to me are the differences in working environment, management, and likely opportunities to move up. 

    I'm sorry to hear your marital issues, and I understand the impact that could have on your decision. I do think, however, if the separation happens, it sounds like it would be a stretch to keep the house even with job B, and that sounds like as stressful way to live, so selling and moving into less expensive housing should be considered. 

    Also, if my personal life was going through a difficult time, it would be especially important to me that I really, really enjoy my job--job A sounds like it fits that bill better and would be more of a bright spot in a difficult time. Good luck with everything!  

    When people are the most unlovable is usually when they need it the most.
    Steps on My Spiritual Journey
  • Job A, hands down.  If things don't work out with your H, then sell the house and he'll need to help with the mortgage until it sells.  Or you could be the one to move out.    Unless you are upside down on your house and just stuck, I would go with job A.  It sounds like an exciting opportunity for you, and if you are able to meet your financial needs and have a job you are passionate about, then you are a very fortunate girl, especially in this economy.
  • Just a little bit of update and clarification:

    If my husband and I stay together, both jobs A and B will work financially.  We will have a decent lifestyle - bills paid, some extra change to go to dinner, and money to put into savings.  Neither of us can afford the house alone.  Job A will not let me afford it, even if they come up in price.  Job B may or may not allow me to afford it alone (depending on what they are offering).  Either way with Job B, it will be tight.

    Also a little clarification on where I stand with Job A and B.  I've actually already accepted Job A.  As the timeline went, I had to accept it before I was offered (if at all) Job B.  That would be sometime this week.

    I plan on hearing out Job B.  I need to see what the pay actually ends up being.  I could always come back to Job A, tell them I have a higher offer that I need to consider and see if they can come up in price.  I know they do have a small window of about 5k wiggle room.

    If I do that, I have to be able to walk away from Job A though.  It's a risky move.  They can always come back and say no dice.  But I was the top candidate and I doubt they want to go through the rehire process again.  I will have put in a few days at Job A before Job B comes back with an offer.

    Additional thoughts?

  • Even with the update, I still say job A. If you leave after only a few days, that will most likely be a totally burnt bridge, and that is not something you want for your "dream job" that you may want to come back to someday. You just never know.

    It also sounds like the negotiating window is pretty much over--you have accepted the job. Of course you could go back to them after a job B offer, but you want to think about if that is among the first impressions you want to make. I know people do it, but as a manager I would not be pleased, and you definitely need to be willing to walk away and burn that bridge if that is the direction you go.  Also, how do you know they have a 5K wiggle room? That is odd information for you to have at this stage in the game and not have negotiated that in the acceptance stage. 

    Anyway, two jobs is a good problem to have, hope things work out for you.  

    When people are the most unlovable is usually when they need it the most.
    Steps on My Spiritual Journey
  • I know about the wiggle room because of the salary range they gave me early in the process. 

    The reason it wasn't brought up at the initial offer was because I just reacted poorly.  I should have negotiated, but I didn't.  Nothing else to say there.  To my (somewhat) defense, the offer was a very pushy one.  I asked for a day to talk it over with my husband, and the HR gal seemed almost annoyed.  Since I've been strapped for a job for almost a year, I just reacted to her pushiness and my eagerness badly.  Live and learn.

    Their HR process does give me a little bit of an eyebrow at the company.  They took quite a long time to hire (about 5 months), they were under a budget freeze during the hire process, they offered a lowball number, etc.  Other things about them make me wonder too.  They've been known to offer jobs and then yank the offer away before the start date.  Sometimes I wonder how much they will jerk me around after I start there.

    If job B offers, and I ask for job A to come up in price, I have to be willing to walk away from A and take B.  So much of this hinges on what B will pay.  5K difference won't matter to me.  If we are talking 15k or 20k, I need to start thinking harder.


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