KJ: Surely the job that would pay you the most should be top priority and make the decision of what path you take an easy one, right? The reality is that most of us at some point in our lives or careers will be faced with this dilemma. Is it better for you and your family to accept the higher paying position at the expense of flexibility? The answer for you may be much different than your young-self had always imagined. Since few people have both a rich income and the flexibility they need to fit their lifestyle, the reality is that most of us will be faced with this decision at some point.
Given the unique answer for each of us, this post has a slightly different format where we propose a series of questions to reflect upon.
How much more money?
Are you talking a modest bump or a leap?
Is a lot of the increase based on an uncertain stock payout, bonus, or other variable payment?
What flexibility are you losing?
Are you losing out on the ability to break away from work an hour or two early to go to a doctor, pick up a sick child, or take time off when you’re sick?
Can you work from home or is your access restricted?
Do you have one pool for time off, or are they compartmentalized to sick days and personal days?
Does one of the jobs have “flex” time – where you can work 7-4, 8-5, 9-6, etc.?
Is part-time what you are seeking?
Does your family need someone to stay home with children or the care of a parent or sibling?
If a higher paying job doesn’t allow you the part-time flexibility you need to be able to care of those in need of your support, is it more important to be there with them to provide support or is the income support your primary goal?
Which job has better long-term prospects?
Sometimes a smaller step now could lead to a much bigger step in the future (if that’s what you’re looking for).
A college graduate may be intrigued by a shiny, high profile job right away (with often little to no future growth), but what about the path that gets you ahead of the curve 5 to 10 years later instead?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to balance the here-and-now versus the uncertain future on where the opportunities may rise.
- Have you had to contemplate a higher paying job versus a job with more flexibility?
What caused you to lean one direction or the other?
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