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To consider a pay cut of over 50%

(56 Posts)
Believeitornot Sun 05-Feb-17 16:36:51

AIBU to take a massive pay cut in order to get better quality of life and work closer to home?

I currently work in a senior job, earn a high salary etc. But I am tired of the commute (nearly 3 hours a day), missing the dcs and the stress.

I've started looking for more local jobs which are either a short walk or drive from home. I could massively reduce childcare costs (we have a nanny and I'd switch to before/afternoon school clubs) so my net pay wouldn't be much lower.

However as I'm still young (early 30s), it seems a bit of a waste to essentially throw away my career. I've no guarantee I'd even get a lower paid job or that I would be able to work my way back up to a better paid one.

However I'm fed up. I've wanted to leave this job for years and I feel depressed. Sometimes I struggle to get up in the mornings and just want the world to stop.

has anyone taken a huge pay cut and can they tell me if it worked out or not?

nocake Sun 05-Feb-17 16:59:39

I've taken small pay cuts several times and its always been worth it. You have to work out what you won't be able to do and compare it to the benefits of having a shorter commute and less stress.

You're going for a bigger cut than I did but if the finances work out then I'd say go for it.

PurpleWithRed Sun 05-Feb-17 17:03:52

I've just done something similar, although through necessity rather than choice. It's worked out surprisingly well - switching from a 3-hour-daily commute and long working day (but part time) to a 20 min drive and a 9-5 job but full time has been surprisingly painless. Definitely worth considering if the finances work out.

Twopeapods Sun 05-Feb-17 17:05:57

Agree, if it's going to work out financially then yes go for it.
My DH has been offered a job twice his wage but he could be sent worldwide for months at a time and with two young DC he just doesn't want to miss out on them at such a young age and turned it down. We have everything we need and anymore would just be going into a savings pot which is good, but it's not worth it for him. We work to live, not live to work.

Joinourclub Sun 05-Feb-17 17:08:23

You only get one shot at life. This is it. If you are miserable with how things currently are, then you should change.

Crumbs1 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:11:26

I took a massive pay cut to rear children. I mean massive from very high earner to a few hours lecturing every now and again. I always did a little work so could get a professional reference and stay up to date/avoid retraining etc. Three years ago I went back full time and am on a very good salary again now. Taking a break isn't necessarily career suicide if you are sensible.

helenfagain Sun 05-Feb-17 17:12:17

Yanbu, I am considering similar.

tinydancer88 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:14:31

Based on the info you've given I'd do it. You've disliked your job for years, you have children you're missing, you'd save childcare/transport costs.

There are never any guarantees, but I'm guessing you must be good at your job if it's a senior position you've held for years, so you should be confident that you can find something else and work your way back up should you choose.

Japonicathehorseygirl Sun 05-Feb-17 17:16:32

I haven't done this myself but I am beginning to question the point of my hugely demanding soul consuming job. If it works for you to do this then the improved quality time would be a major thing.

Sallycinnamum Sun 05-Feb-17 17:18:44

I haven't taken a massive pay cut but last year I moved from a local but extremely stressful job in senior management to a full time job in London but WFH two days a week.

I now really enjoy my job and the transformation has been remarkable in sense of my mental wellbeing.

The job is a step down from.what I was doing before but my stress levels have plummeted. I actually enjoy going to work now.

Mari50 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:32:23

I took a pay cut of about 40% many years ago, I only now earn the wage I used to earn, was definitely the right decision as I have an interesting and varied job which in my field is quite lucky. I probably earn about 10k less than those who stayed on track so I've not lost much in the grand scheme.

RortyCrankle Sun 05-Feb-17 17:36:42

Fifty percent is a big cut so presumably a much more junior job; won't you be bored to tears after a while?

JustMarriedBecca Sun 05-Feb-17 17:43:46

Do it. I quit entirely and haven't looked back. I will go back in a year or so but I'm loving life at the minute.

I look back at my satanic boss and her 3am emails with pity.

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 05-Feb-17 17:45:35

I think you need to find the job (or sort of job) you're going to move to to make a decision about whether it's worth it. Giving up your financial potential is a big risk, so being smart about that as some pp have suggested, would make the whole thing much more positive. You also need to consider, if you have a partner, how this will play out in terms of how expectations will change regarding childcare and housework.

Also, have you considered moving closer to your job? Would getting rid of that commute instead work? Or, if you're in an area where they have it, could you use a luxury commuter service and work while you travel, so you can cut office hours a bit?

PoundingTheStreets Sun 05-Feb-17 18:00:46

Have you had a really good, long think about what it is that is bothering you? I think if you can pinpoint the actual causes of your unhappiness, that can sometimes reveal the solutions.

For example, if it's simply you hate the job and the stress, changing jobs may a no brainer. Or, it may be that it's due to the culture in your particular workplace and a change of company may work. Or that you're new in a role and given time you'll feel less stressed.

If you hate the travelling, moving or finding a similar job closer can be solution. As could finding healthier ways to commute that don't leave you feeling frazzled or like you're wasting time.

If it's time spent away from the children, what is it that you're actually feeling there? Sometimes, this can be not enough interaction and yes you may need to cut back hours for that. However, sometimes it's more to do with feelings that you're not juggling everything effectively which you feel has to have an effect on the children. In that case, it can be more beneficial to look at solutions for juggling everything (e.g. making sure you have effective child care, a partner who pulls his weight and spends as much hands-on time with the children, or a cleaner, etc.).

Changing jobs may be the best solution for you. Just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons and not just because it's the most obvious solution.

PollytheDolly Sun 05-Feb-17 18:08:00

I took a 75% pay cut because I was bloody miserable.

Never been happier since (but DH has the bigger income so I could) he's happier because I'm not a mardy-arsed, stressed out twat.

Believeitornot Sun 05-Feb-17 20:13:11

Thank you everyone for your posts, they're helpful!

Have you had a really good, long think about what it is that is bothering you?

Yes. We moved further away from work so have a longer commute. I think I need to find something local while the dcs are smaller. I regret our move bitterly but cannot move the dcs again. There are benefits to our move but the downsides are that I'm so much more tired.

I have excellent childcare. I have a cleaner. My DH is hands on and spends plenty of time with the dcs.

I spend less time with the dcs because I work too far away so can't take them to school, except on my day off. I get incredibly tired by the weekend.

The main thing which bothers me is that I think it's important for DH and I both to be there more for the dcs and it grates me that I'm the one who's going to have to take a step down in order to get the things that I think we need as a family. It doesn't bother DH as much.

Also I'm not happy in my job anyway so want an escape.

I'm a muddle of constrictions. I want a job which is less stressful, I want more time with the dcs and at home. I also am wary of giving up my career.

To the poster who says I must be good at my job because I'm senior - well I hope so and sort of have faith that I can climb back up again when the dcs are older. Seems a bit of a gamble though.

I keep running through the options in my head and there just isn't a right answer at the moment.

tiredofhavingtothinkofnewnames Sun 05-Feb-17 20:17:34

You need to think long term- what do you want to be doing in 20 years time?

When my DC were young I took home £2k less than childcare costs (but childcare a joint responsibility)

They are now 18 and 20 and I have a fantastic job. Earn at the possible top of my career in the UK. People say that I am lucky- no I made sacrifices and choices.

What do you want long term?

tiredofhavingtothinkofnewnames Sun 05-Feb-17 20:20:10

Would your DH be prepared to give up his job for a local option? If not why should you?

Is he pulling his weight? Could he do more?

NapQueen Sun 05-Feb-17 20:22:17

If you do make the switch can it be to an industry you can advance in over time?

I'm switching from hospitality to housing because I need to get out of the shiftwork and taking a 20% cut and at least one step down in terms of responsibility. I'll be home every teatime and every weekend. So I'm thinking it's going to be worth it.

However it is a new industry to me so over time I will learn as much as I can and take every training opportunity given so once my kids are both well into primary school age I can look to climb within the industry. If it goes the way I planned anyways!!

Nanny's are spendy, the Nanny must cost around 50% of your wage or major anyways?

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 05-Feb-17 20:24:42

I wouldn't.

You are very young, you still have your whole career in front of you.
I would be thinking long term. You will be bored to death in your convent little job closer to home.

The children will get older, childcare will be less, it will make more sense financially.

museumum Sun 05-Feb-17 20:27:58

For me it's all about autonomy and ability to make decisions not about money.

I would find a low paid job which involved following a strict process with no flexibility or autonomy really tough.
What I like about being senior is the ability to do things the way I think they ought to be done, to think strategically and to make decisions.

I feel I could do something like run a cafe where I was earning very little but I would struggle to feel fulfilled working in a big chain cafe for the same or even more money.

Fruitbat1980 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:54:23

Watching with interest. I have a very well paid job that's bloody miles (90) away from home, I'm customer facing so spend a lot
Of time when not In office on motorway visiting customers . I have an amazing husband who works from home plus a nanny, cleaner and Gardner. I'm at the end of my bloody tether! For my menta health I think I need to walk away but I've worked so hard to get
Where I am. But I just want
To stay home and cuddle my baby (2year old). I start dreading Monday morning on a Saturday night. I just don't know if it's worth it, my menta Heath is suffering, but what the hell else could I do??

gemtheboats Sun 05-Feb-17 21:01:38

I did. Not as big a pay cut as you, but a big definite step off a career path. Financially we worked out that it could work for us, and in terms of a work:life balance for the benefit of the whole family it was worth it, as it's much more flexible in my current professon. I do sometimes get bored, but that's outweighed by the fact I get to go to pretty much every school show/ good work assembly / sports day / breakfast with the headteacher etc. and that means an awful lot to me and my DS. I do sometimes have a 'what if' about my old job but I'm confident that I made the right decision. If someone offered you an extra day per week with your family, how much would you pay for that? For me, it was more than the difference in my salary. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Cherryskypie Sun 05-Feb-17 21:06:37

'I regret our move bitterly but cannot move the dcs again.'

You can. It's never going to be easier than it is when they're young.

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