Long commute for a big pay rise... would you?(149 Posts)
I work in a specialist field where jobs in my area are very hard to come by. I live outside of the city where salaries are generally very low. I am lucky enough to work close to home at the moment and whilst my salary is considered very good for where I live, it’s low for the field I work in.
I’ve been offered an opportunity in central London (where most of the jobs in my field seem to be), which would be a £30k pay rise plus benefits for doing the same role I do now. The commute to work would be around 2 hours each way.....!
I’m 25, married but no children and we own a property, so moving closer isn’t really an option for us at the moment. We are comfortable financially, but of course it would be amazing to have such a large pay rise and an opportunity to make some significant overpayments on the mortgage etc.
Am I crazy for considering this? It would be really helpful to hear from anyone else who has a long commute to work and what your experiences are!
I do 2 hrs each way. It's very, very draining. So ask if WFH possible once a week? But get the bunk up where you can. It is doable if you are prepared for it and the sacrifices you may need to make.
It would be worth working out how much you will actually get net. That might help decide if worth it. £30k sounds a lot but depending on what tax bracket you're in it can soon reduce...
Can your work from home? How much are the travel costs? I'd be tempted to go for it for a few years pre children.
I used to do a 1hr30min commute. Was a 1hr 15min train ride and then a 15 min bike ride. I did it for 8 months and I can't stress how hard it was. I had all these visions of sitting in the train and listening to podcasts, reading books, etc. But the tiredness, the stress of late trains, etc, getting home so late, having no life was just not worth it.
You say you're comfortable now so I don't see the bonus of an extra 30k as worth it. Yes that big a pay rise would be amazing but I would only say do it if you had no job/were struggling to pay the bills.
I know you say you own a property so moving isn't an option for the moment but long term could you look at moving? Because if you were thinking of putting your house on the market and moving nearer asap that would be different?
I need to ask about home working, but I don’t believe it’d be a regular option. Travel costs would be just over 6k a year, but I’ve factored that in, so the £30k payrise is after travel costs
Depends what time you start and finish
And deffo try and get a wfh day.
Honestly at 25 with no DC, I'd rethink moving rather than restricting your career long term for a house, if you have opportunities like this but they are unlikely ever to come up nearby.
I couldn't do it. At your age, pre-children, I used to have a 1hr 30m commute into central London. It was awful. Sometimes it could be two hours because of train delays. I'd never, ever go back to that, even for lots of money.
Do it. You get used to the commute. I read loads when I used to commute.
I had a 1.5 hour commute each way, I would get home and be absolutely knackered, weekends ended up being recovery time rather than hobbies, socialising etc.
I moved close to work, yes, homes are more expensive, but gaining three hours a day and losing the stress of commuting was worth it. I wouldn’t take on a long commute again.
Would you consider staying up there a couple if nights to ease the commute?
I've considered a long commute and living elsewhere through the week before for jobs but ultimately decided I couldn't face it.
Things I'd consider that others have mentioned too:
Could you WFH a day or two a week?
What is the net gain after tax, travel, extra expenditure like food because you've got such a long day?
Are you thinking of having children and if so, when?
It would be a really long day and will impact on your daily life outside of work. Socialising, getting to a GP/medical appointment and lots of other little things that might not be immediately obvious.
I’d say look at the details of the commute ..I do about 2hrs door to door into London once or twice a week.. Its a walk, train, tube , tube, walk . If its all on overland train and you’d get a seat then fine ...but if you’ll have to stand / jostle / walk / steps the whole way it just grinds you down, even if there are no delays. Would you have a fixed desk so you coukd leave laptop / smart shoes at work , or would you need to carry a big back pack home.
For two years, I commuted twice a week three hours each way door-to-door. It was knackering! And that's with an understanding line manager who never asked me to get an earlier or later train, who accepted my office hours on those days would be shorter (around 5.5 hrs excl lunch). Great job, great team, hideous commute... Two out of three ain't bad
I knew it was temporary (although I didn't know how long that would be). I was single and in my late 40s.
I think £30k increase is hard to say no to. What other benefits are there? Can you work from home one or two days per week? Will there be opportunities you wouldn't otherwise get?
I think longer term you'd have to move. The commute will get too much. You'll need to think about how household tasks get done, simply because you are less present physically.
Also if you do plan on having children, you need to factor that in.
Basically go for it, but plan strategically and think long term.
Is 2 hours realistic? Or ‘in theory’? DH’s commute is in theory an hour and 15 minutes but with train delays/tube problems or traffic on the way to the station, it’s frequently longer. How many different modes of transport are involved?
That is an incredible pay increase and I would definitely do it in your position. If not now, when? Because you certainly won’t want to do if you have children in the future. I commuted into London (two hours door to door, sometimes more, sometimes less) for years and I soon got used to it. But the majority of that time was on one train so I did a lot of reading. I actually miss reading so much now that my commute is less! I think you’d be bonkers to turn down that kind of money for this.
I used to work on my train journey in, but read or podcasts on the way home. I read 100 books in one year
It's a really tough call and the only way you will really know is by trying it out. After I qualified I used to have a 2 hour commute, I managed for a couple of years. I got a job closer to home and had an hour commute by car which could easily increase to 90 mins if there was traffic I again managed for a couple of years. I always thought that although stressful the commute wasn't having that much of an impact. Then I got a job with a 15 minute commute and I realised how stressed out I had been and how limited my life was due to adding an extra 3-4 hours to my working day. It works for some but I would never again work anywhere with a commute longer than 45 minutes. Money doesn't always buy happiness. It's possible but do not underestimate the impact on all other areas of your life.
At your age yes, I did it. Knackering but do able!
I sound like your mother but capitalise on the additional salary, save it and then when you don't want to do those hours anymore you've got a nice cushion if you take a pay cut.
I had a two-hour each way commute for three years and absolutely hated it, but for most of that time I was either pregnant and/or had DC. Have now had to give up job as cost of nursery X2 and train fare meant I would have been paying to go to work plus out of the house for 13 hours a day with two under three. But like you, my field is quite niche so struggling to find as good a job outside London. I definitely would have lasted longer without DC so if the job/money/lifestyle appeals then go for it. But maybe make sure it's easy enough to get another local job if DC are in your medium-term plans.
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