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Help me choose between these jobs

13 replies

jobdilemma1 · 07/06/2023 22:09

I'm on the hunt for a new job and have been applying for various things over the past few weeks. After a few interviews, I now have two to pick from but they are totally different in terms of risk/reward/work-life balance so I need some help trying to work out which one to go for.

Job 1 - civil service, salary around £68k plus very attractive civil service pension. The job is based in another part of the UK so would involve flights/hotel, but they are flexible and have said I can do 4 days per month in the office in whatever combination I want (4 days over one week/2 days every other week, etc), plus flexitime which I would use to work full time over 4 days per week. It is also a location we would consider moving to in the next few years. The job itself is related to what I do now, but a slightly different angle. This would be an interesting change, but there is the risk that I would hate it.

Job 2 - private sector, salary around £80k (but think there could be room to negotiate), pension pretty rubbish - 5% employer and 5% employee dc scheme. Possible performance related bonus up to 20%, employee share option scheme which I have asked for more info on, private health care. Based about 1.5hrs away, 2 days a week in the office. Job is an exact match to my skills and experience, but at a more senior level than I am currently at so I know what I'm getting myself in for. However, it is a SME and feels a bit more risky compared to civil service.

Wild card option - stay where I am currently. Salary around £54k, know the job like the back of my hand, not civil service but public sector so also offers good pension and total flexibility. I have a fairly niche role with minimum supervision so can get away with doing what I like, when I like (within reason). In many ways it's an easy life and most days I enjoy it, but I am quite bored and feeling like I should stretch myself. However, the grass isn't always greener.

So, WWYD?!

OP posts:
dubyalass · 07/06/2023 22:20

I wouldn't fancy a three hour round trip two days a week, so I'd go for the civil service one. And if you don't like it, you can look for something else.

I'm a public servant but have a civil service pension and I must say that only a really amazing and well paid private sector job with a decent pension would make me leave. My current role has crap pay and the bureaucracy can be tedious, but it's challenging and interesting, and it's relatively safe. Plus once you're in, it's much easier to move teams/depts if the role isn't right than it is from outside. Lots of EoIs before jobs go external.

jobdilemma1 · 07/06/2023 22:27

@dubyalass even though the civil service job would mean flying to another part of the UK once/twice a week? It definitely does appeal, but I think the travel costs would almost cancel out the pay increase which is why sticking with my current job is still in the mix. In saying that, I have been at the top of my salary band for the past 8 years with no real prospects of progression, whereas I'd be starting at the bottom of the civil service salary bracket and working my way upwards so at least there is a clear path to more money

OP posts:
dubyalass · 07/06/2023 23:48

I understood it that you'd do the four days in the office in a single week, so "only" flying once a month?
Also be warned that not all depts have bandings - frequently you will be appointed at £xx and you will stay on that unless you get promoted. There was a thread about it recently. My org doesn't offer progression through a band - the only pay rise is an annual % supposedly in line with inflation. Do check this with the dept that's offered you the role.

jobdilemma1 · 08/06/2023 08:53

Sorry typo in my previous message, flying once/twice a month is correct. But even at that with a hotel factored in it will be at least £400pm.

There does seem to be pay progression- it says new entrants start at the lowest point of the banding and will move through the post grade, but interesting to know that that isn’t always the case. Where I currently work we automatically move up a spine point each year.

OP posts:
NoPicklesplease · 08/06/2023 08:55

Job 1, wouldn’t even be a question for me. Tbh I had to push DH to make a similar decision recently (he is very money oriented so was drawn to the riskier but better paid private option)

cocksstrideintheevening · 08/06/2023 08:59

Job 1. I have just left an SME for more security although the sector probably makes a difference. Mine will be one of the first to go tits up if / when the economy tanks.

wherethecityis · 08/06/2023 09:10

Even paying 400pm in flights/accommodation, your take home pay would be better than it is now and if you did move there in a few years, you wouldn't need to pay that any more.
If you do hate it, you can find something else. You have 2 job offers at the moment, you'd no doubt be able to get another a couple of years down the line.
What is the area where Job 1 is based like? Is it a nice place to live? Cheaper than your current area?

devildeepbluesea · 08/06/2023 09:14

Job 1. I’m in the CS and the pension is a deal breaker for me. And yes - there is good pay progression and great flexibility.

Missingmyusername · 08/06/2023 09:15

Wild card- stay where you are. Money isn’t everything!

Vulpe · 08/06/2023 09:16

Where do you envision spending your retirement years? Civil service and other DB pensions are great but aren’t they locked into the UK for all time?

jobdilemma1 · 08/06/2023 10:28

Interesting, Job 1 seems to be an almost universal choice. I probably should go for that, DH has a private sector job with a crappy pension so someone needs to keep us off the breadline in retirement. There is just something about the role that is holding me back from feeling properly excited about it. It is more of a policy role related to my current field, so I'm not sure if I would miss actually doing the job itself if that makes sense.

OP posts:
jobdilemma1 · 08/06/2023 10:31

@Missingmyusername I totally get that. I think it is more that I am feeling a bit bored and grumpy in my job at the moment, very little chance of promotion or development. Just feel like I could do with a new challenge and want to give my career a bit of a push before I become institutionalised

OP posts:
Missingmyusername · 08/06/2023 10:48

Ah, well in that case job 1.

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