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To take a pay cut for potential happiness

45 replies

NewNewStart · 10/10/2022 08:45

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but I need advice, maybe from someone who's been in the same position. I'm currently in a job that I took only for the high salary. It's a contract job and I've three years left on it. I'm bored and stressed out, which is a horrible combination. There's no respect for the job I do, talked down to by people at a higher grade etc. I also can't plan anything in the evenings because I end up having to work late at short notice. I work weekends sometimes to keep up. I rarely get a lunch break. The stress made me really sick last year. I've been offered a permanent job that is pretty much my dream job and what I've always wanted to do. But the salary is around 600 less a month after tax. I'm lucky enough that this will only affect how much I save. I'm mid-30s, no family, apart from parents who have no control over their spending and who I will most likely have to look after in a few years, which terrifies me. There are other benefits to the job I've been offered - far more working from home, an extra week of leave per year, regular work hours. I was so sure it was a good idea before they offered me the job and now that I really have to make the decision I'm terrified. Would I be mad to take such a pay cut?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

78 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
lawandgin · 10/10/2022 08:48

I would do it (and have done it in the past). Nothing is worth your health or sanity. Take the job!

ABrotherWhoLooksLikeHellMugYou · 10/10/2022 08:48

Presumably you get benefits with the permanent role that you don't get with contract - health, pension, sick pay, paid holiday etc...? Does that rebalance the books?

FivePotatoesHigh · 10/10/2022 08:48

Take the job! It sounds like you’d be mad not to.

Sarahcoggles · 10/10/2022 08:49

It sounds like a no brainer to me. If you've done the maths and you can afford the pay cut without being unable to pay bills, then I'd definitely take the lower paid job.
I've just halved my salary by reducing my hours, because I don't want to be exhausted and stressed all the time.

DenholmElliot1 · 10/10/2022 08:49

Go for it, there's more to life than money

QuietNeighbour · 10/10/2022 08:49

Costs are covered and it’s your dream job? Not sure why you’re even asking.

QuietNeighbour · 10/10/2022 08:50

Also change is always scary, that’s the only reason you’re second guessing yourself

Ostryga · 10/10/2022 08:51

I’m a month into doing the same. My life is 100x better for it. I’m not stressed/unhappy and have a much better work life balance. I don’t miss the extra money at all.

Jkrforever · 10/10/2022 08:51

I am contemplating a similar move and whilst I’m struggling with the loss of “status” by taking a step down, I think happiness is important too.

I would say go for it.

Sallyh87 · 10/10/2022 08:52

I’ve done, best thing I ever did. So much happier plus I spend a lot less on wine and comfort. It all evens out.

Mindymomo · 10/10/2022 08:53

You are not happy with current job and the hours you are doing, your dream job has come up and is offering less, I’d definitely take it. Life’s too short to be working in a stressful situation. You are going to have to find a new job soon anyway.

mamabear715 · 10/10/2022 08:53

Do it!
I've truthfully never been in your position, so maybe not qualified to comment, but I am getting on a bit, so plenty of life experience!
Contentment is EVERYTHING. Plus you'll presumably have less lunch / travel etc costs? Good luck! :-)

Twillow · 10/10/2022 08:53

Do it. I gave up a higher-paid job for one with less money and less responsibility - the additional work in the evenings was killing me. There are aspects of the other job that I miss but the benefits have not made me change my mind.

NoSquirrels · 10/10/2022 08:54

Do it.

If the only effect is less to save, just do it.

(And you will also have the benefit of not earning so much that your parents think they’re entitled to a bail-out…)

Sciurus83 · 10/10/2022 08:56

Don't really see why you wouldn't. You're in a fortunate position to save that much but it's not worth it if its making you hate your life. The permanent role will come with pension benefits, sick pay etc which presumably is what you save to cover so you may not even be as worse off in the new role as it seems.

DoingJustFine · 10/10/2022 09:06

I would - but is there any room to negotiate the salary?

KimberleyClark · 10/10/2022 09:08

I would take it.

Sarahcoggles · 10/10/2022 09:08

Jkrforever · 10/10/2022 08:51

I am contemplating a similar move and whilst I’m struggling with the loss of “status” by taking a step down, I think happiness is important too.

I would say go for it.

I've lost "status" too, as I've gone from being a partner to being salaried. But I'm loving the fact that with "lower status" comes less responsibility, and I'm able to ignore dramas that would previously have been my problems to solve.

TeefAsseblief · 10/10/2022 09:10

I dropped £20k to do my dream job, and I love it.
There's so much more to life, than being stuck in a job that makes you unhappy.

Even if you try it, and it doesn't work out, you can always return to the old job roles.

Topgub · 10/10/2022 09:13

Take the permanent job and then aye try to work out why you find the idea if not being able to save so much terrifies you.

What do you need so much money for if you're miserable?

JennyForeigner · 10/10/2022 09:14

We need to find a way for it to feel ok to change down as well as up in career terms, and not just by technically doing less days for higher and higher day rates which seems to be the respectable pretence around this stuff.

I'm trying to do the same. Young kids and one of them needs me at the moment. I very genuinely want to be a good permanent employee in a job that lets us live in balance.

Tell that to an employer and they look at you like you're on crack and then try and manage you out. Imho the only option is to do what you are doing - start something new that works for you and make sure it does.

BaileySharp · 10/10/2022 09:14

It sounds like you can afford the pay cut, the gains in quality of life will be worth the loss of income

Twospaniels · 10/10/2022 09:16

OMG! Take the job!

my daughter was working all hours in retail, long commute and good pay, but she was so unhappy and ended up crying virtually every evening.
She got her CV up to scratch and applied for another job in admin and although less salary, there is a shorter commute, shorter hours, better benefits and she is so happy. It’s a struggle with the lower salary but overall a much better life for her and her partner.

bigblueyonder · 10/10/2022 09:26

Do it. I was in a similar position to you and changed job, not such a big pay cut admittedly, and have never looked back.

having a decent work/life balance plus job you can look forward to each day is priceless. Life is too short to spend most of your time miserable and stressed.

NewNewStart · 10/10/2022 11:17

@ABrotherWhoLooksLikeHellMugYou The benefits are pretty much the same for both jobs so I don't gain any more with the new job.

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