To change my job even though I can't really afford it?

(47 Posts)
WiltedSpinach Wed 20-Mar-13 21:07:01

Current income is around 40k. DH is out of work and is struggling to find something else, but my income means we're not poor by any means.

Problem is that my job is stressful, I've been very ill over the last year and with more restructures and budget cuts coming up, I'm worried I may get restructured out.

I've seen another job I could do, but the salary is in the late teens, so an income drop of over 20k. The only way we could survive on that amount of money would be to claim as much financial support as we can from the state, but part of me feels that wouldn't be right, when I have a job now that earns enough to support us.

So WWYD? Would it be unreasonable to take a huge step back off the career ladder for my health, even though I can't really afford to do it?

WiltedSpinach Wed 20-Mar-13 21:09:55

Should clarify that our fixed outgoings (mortgage, utilities, council tax etc) are more than I would bring home on the salary.

ThePinkOcelot Wed 20-Mar-13 21:14:04

I was made redundant a few years ago and am now in a job about £3k less than I was before, and that bugs me TBH. I don't think I would drop £20k, especially as you say it wouldn't cover your outgoings.

Would it help to maybe look on it from that point of view? I.e. not that you have to do the stressful job, but that you choose to do it for a little while longer until DH finds work.

From the sounds of it, the changes you are considering wouldn't remove the stress, simply change the source of it.

Maybe calculate what your living budget would be under those circumstances and try sticking to it for three months first? (Obviously still paying the mortgage etc., so as not to fall into debt.)

ThePinkOcelot Wed 20-Mar-13 21:15:33

Plus, you say you are stressed in your job. How stressed would you be if you couldn't cover your bills?!

zwischenzug Wed 20-Mar-13 21:16:11

Well either you can afford it or you can't. If you can't afford it then you can't do it. Life's too short to spend it being miserable in a job you hate when you have other options. So if you can afford it and you'll be happy, why not.

Smartiepants79 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:16:26

Personally I couldn't give up a job and take on one that pays less than my outgoings!
It is very counterintuitive to me.
Purposefully choosing a job that would mean I needed benefits would depress me personally. I wouldn't feel very good about myself.
Can you wait and see what happens with restructuring? Would that not mean the possibility of redundancy payment which would give you a cushion. I know you are not entitled to certain benefits if you knowingly give up a job.
Or giving your husband a little longer to find something and share the burden better.

WidowWadman Wed 20-Mar-13 21:16:58

Wouldn't you be vastly overqualified for that other job and therefore be unlikely to be offered it anyway?

Dragonwoman Wed 20-Mar-13 21:18:04

Keep in mind that while the new job may be lower salary it may not be lower stress. There are lots of poorly paid stressful jobs out there. Hang on for a better paid alternative.

hatgirl Wed 20-Mar-13 21:19:34

local authority by any chance?

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Mar-13 21:20:48

The welfare state is a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

If people keep bleeding it dry, there wont be a welfare state for those who need it.

Cut your cloth according to your means, downsize, cut your out goings, reduce your property size what ever it takes for you to be able to adopt and fund your chosen lifestyle

Xroads Wed 20-Mar-13 21:21:31

I am in a similar position, I can't afford to change jobs either but I am working on a compromise, would you be able to do that?

For me it means working flat out for the next 6 mths even though I'm suffering from back pain a lot of the time so that after that I can drop my income by about £500 a month, DH is trying to find a job that pays him more to even it out and I am attempting to get my new business off the ground very gradually so eventually I can swap childminding for art & flowers, I'm expecting it to take me at least 2yrs to fully swap roles.

On 1 hand life is too short to be unhappy and your health should come first, in reality few of us can afford to have the luxury of doing what we want and it comes down to doing what we need to do in order to survive and put petrol in the car and food on the table.

I remember being a kid and thinking I can't wait to grow up so I can do what I want........I'm 31 and I very rarely get to do what I want but hopefully one day........wink

annh Wed 20-Mar-13 21:25:35

If your fixed outgoings are more than the new job will pay net then you simply can't do it! There is no way that benefits or any tax credits will cover all the shortfall for food, clothing etc. And the new job may pay less but it may not be less stress! So you end up poor, stressed and regretful.

emess Wed 20-Mar-13 21:26:29

Your mental health is important or you won't be able to function in any sphere of life - as yourself, as an employee or as a wife.

I've been in a similar situation in as much as we have been living on a reduced income for a while, to some extent out of choice (long story), so I can relate a bit. We just cut back really hard, which included selling a car. However it really would worry me if I couldn't cover essentials out of income - the main essential is to keep a roof over your head.

I was also made redundant some years ago, and eventually got a job on a much lower salary and it took me about 7-8 years to get back to the pre-redundancy salary. I had to change direction though - would you be able to re-climb the ladder faster than that?

StuntGirl Wed 20-Mar-13 21:27:41

Agreed dragon.

And what if you don't get as much financial help as you think? What if circumstances change and you lose the lower paid job? What if there are restructures that mean you lose some hours? If you can't survive on £19k imagine how you'd struggle on £15k?

CabbageLeaves Wed 20-Mar-13 21:28:20

I don't think I would do that. Jobs which pay less aren't always less stressful. Being short of money is very stressful

You would be steeping down a huge amount

WiltedSpinach Wed 20-Mar-13 21:29:46

No, not local authority. confused

Most of my worries come from the fact that I've been off sick for 9 out of the last 12 months and serious illness has made me really re-evaluate what is important. Its also made me worried that I would be first out of the door in any restructure. I also know that I've not been performing well, so is it right that I hand on to a job that I'm not doing so well at?

As for bleeding the state dry - I've been in continuous full time employment since I was 21, excluding my extended sick leave, so have never taken anything from the state in the last 20-odd years. It doesn't sit easily with me, knowing that we could get by, but only by claiming benefits to support our income, but at the same time, moving to a job I know I could do, but wouldn't leave me exhausted and miserable is very tempting.

CabbageLeaves Wed 20-Mar-13 21:29:47

Have you fully explored how your reaction to your current job could be changed so you felt less stress?

CabbageLeaves Wed 20-Mar-13 21:32:12

Ah... Different situation then

9 months sick leave is not something which can be ignored. Presumably whatever caused your sick leave is not on going ? If it is on going would new employer give sick leave?

josiejay Wed 20-Mar-13 21:34:11

In most workplaces, you would be first out of the door in a restructure if you were a recent starter so you wouldn't necessarily have more security in the new job.

Dragonwoman Wed 20-Mar-13 21:35:59

Surely if you are made redundant in a restructure you will get a payment? That would be the time to take a lower paid job to tide you over until your partner got work, when you have the cushion of a redundancy payment. Even if you only got statutory that's still better than leaving with nothing.

WiltedSpinach Wed 20-Mar-13 21:36:24

Good point josiejay. I'd not really thought about that. Arse.

Cabbage - it is an illness where I could relapse. I was off for 7 months, came back for three, had a relapse and was off for another two. I'm hoping that taking on something that isn't so full on would help me stay well.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 20-Mar-13 22:21:13

You might get a redundancy pay out if you stay.

Toasttoppers Wed 20-Mar-13 22:31:24

Low paid does not always mean less stress as said up thread. There is nothing the matter with people claiming benefits they are entitled to but the problem is benefits change and I don't trust this lot in power at all.

CarpeDiemCras Wed 20-Mar-13 22:32:32

I think to a certain degree you have to either suck it up, or start to reduce your outgoings to a point where you could take on a lower salaried / less pressured job. (Big caveat, these two seriously don't always correlate. An asshole boss, is that at any salary. Expectations are a cultural thing etc. The grass may not be greener, in addition to there being less of it.)

I really wouldn't voluntarily reduce income to where you are on the breadline (because that is where you are if you can't handle your costs) or dependant on handouts unless you seriously believe that staying where you are until you can make a more robust plan is harmful. Even then, is it more harmful than to being able to pay the bills?

If it were me (and I have been there) I'd probably try to support your DP as much as possible in job hunting while working to make current job as palatable as possible. My own DP is now established in a new role following redundancy and I am now looking at more risky moves for myself now that his income is fairly stable.

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