There is No Answer to this Riddle

While I’m feeling confident about the next step in my career as a whole – given I’ve now had appropriate time to rest and reset prior to taking another position – I’m still extremely confused about what to do next. It seems I will indeed have the luxury of at least two options, but I’m just completely torn on which opportunity to sign up for. On top of that I’m severely stressing out over negotiations. I just wish one employer could give me a deal that I cannot refuse, but of course job negotiation doesn’t work like that.

I don’t want to go into this position as a short-term fling, so to speak. Wherever I go next I want to stay at least a year and ideally remain until I have my first child, or after that if it makes sense. I’m turning 31(!!!) in two months. My plan is to get married at 32 and have my first kid by 33 or at latest 34. So. I can go to a company that may or may not be around in two years now, work my ass off, negotiate a high enough salary to save a lot of money, and take time to be a mom when the company either is acquired or goes under. I would need to set up my contact so the company’s success does not inhibit my ability to achieve this plan. Yet I’m not sure if this makes sense at all.

Beyond professional objectives, my financial goals are to achieve $400k in networth in 2015 ($15k-$30k in investment growth + $70k-$85k in additional savings.) I can live on ~$3500 a month (less if needed, but let’s just say $3.5k to allow for some vacations and shopping sprees, which I tend to take when I’m stressed.) So in order to save an additional $85k I need to be able to put away $7083 a month after taxes. That’s a lot and probably not possible, realistically. I would have to make $10583 AFTER taxes in order to do this. Well, if I make $200k a year that’s really $8938 a month after state/fed tax (estimate.) I mean, $8938 a month is a lot (not that I’m getting $200k a year, but I’m just saying my goals aren’t realistic, unfortunately.) But – let’s just say I an earn 10% on my existing savings for the year — that leaves $70k to save for the year or $5833 per month. That would give me $3105 a month for rent/food/life and I could deal with that — if I was making $200k per year. That sounds like a very lot but given my aggressive financial savings goals it really isn’t.

My objective is to get to $500k networth before I have my first child. That has been my objective throughout my 20s and it hasn’t changed. Given I’m 31 now I’m thinking about that a lot. I’m not going to chose a job just because of this, but every extra few thousand dollars I can negotiate gets me closer to this goal. Maybe I can reach it. Who knows. It’s not like I won’t have a kid until I do, but I like to set goals for myself and achieve them. I want to hit $500k by the time I’m 33. Given some of the job offers I am receiving this no longer seems¬†entirely¬†impossible.

But ultimately there is more to selecting a job than salary. I want to find a place where I can do a great job – where I will learn and grow and ultimately have a sustainable career, not just a few years of high-stress before I’m thrown to the dogs. I’m so lucky to even have these opportunities but I want to pick the right one. And both are just so very different. I really am excited about the opportunity of teaming with a very smart former colleague and another good friend of mine as well as a prior agency I rock and rolled with at a previous co, but I’m not sure that will be enough to win tenure at a rocky company. Its further grace is that I absolutely love the general space the company is in. On the other hand I have a relatively stable larger company with a role that isn’t as high up but where I would be… well… both probably more stable but also more bored. As I think about it I believe I can still go to the larger company a few years down the line as these talented folks don’t jump ship often… some have been in the company for over 10 years. If they like me now why wouldn’t they like me later? I’d just be gaining more relevant experience before coming back for another shot.

Or do I stop going with my gut on these things and maybe for once think this all through? I just wish I had someone who has been in this position before to talk about this with. Honestly I am considering hiring an attorney to help with contract negotiations. S/he won’t help me decide what to do, but at least I can negotiate the best deal for myself and perhaps de-risk the riskier option a bit. I am surprised by how confused I am by all this and it sounds crazy but I wish I could do BOTH jobs. Well, maybe I can, just not both at the same time.

(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)

Related Posts:

6 comments

  1. Those sound like two good options… I do think it’s helpful to have at least one recognizable name on your resume if you want to go to another big company or want to get credibility at smaller places. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to go with a bigger name for first job out of MBA vs. startups even though the upside for those jobs may be much higher.

  2. Henrietta Schermeier says:

    So you already have both offers or just one? How do they compare? Is one or both of them close to $200k? That would be quite an impressive increase in salary for you.

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Have one offer, the other one should be coming in today. The base on both of them isn’t that high but with bonus and if you look at the full package I guess that’s what they’re worth. I would like a higher base. Living is expensive and I like to save a lot each month.

  3. NZ Muse says:

    HA, I feel you on that last point. I was approached about what would have been my other dream job literally the day I started my current job (though if I had to choose I would have chosen this job). As in literally, when I thought about specific jobs at specific cos I’d want to have, this other one was the one that most came to mind. Hoping that role will pop up again in a few years when I’m ready to move on. Who knows though, it may evolve and change in that time. I know the guy who got the role, so may be able to get some insight.

    Just thinking about what you’ve previously said about stress and about having a string of no longer existent companies on your resume, I do wonder if maybe the time is right for you to try a different environment.

    I personally went for stable and less exciting at my current job and I have to say, I love it.

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      That is what a lot of people are telling me to do. The ONLY reason I’m considering not doing that is I believe I have my whole life to work in big stable companies. It would be much harder once I have kids to work for a startup, and this is maybe my last opportunity to do so. I don’t think it’s going to make me rich but I do think it will provide the opportunity to push myself and learn a lot. After this I can get an MBA if needed or go straight into a big company. I believe the great contacts I’ve made via this interview process at the large company will still be there in two years and all I will be doing is building relevant experience – so unless I piss them off I’d have a shot at going there in the future. It’s still a very tough decision because you’re right, a big co can do wonders on a resume – but the more I think about it the more I feel my talent right now is doing a lot more then I’d get to do in a big company. Later in life I can slow down and specialize, perhaps. Though the numbers have to be right.

  4. James says:

    Fantastic news on the pending offers. Good luck. Why the desire to be married in a year after the lengthy recent rant against marriage?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge