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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
NewNewStart · 10/10/2022 11:19

@Topgub I think I'm terrified of not saving loads because I worry I'll have to financially support my parents for the rest of their lives. If I only had to think of myself it'd be easier to make the decision I think.

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NewNewStart · 10/10/2022 11:20

@QuietNeighbour Yeah I think it's the fear of change too that's making me unsure.

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Topgub · 10/10/2022 11:21

Then you need to make it clear to your parents that won't be happening

You need to live your own life, for you.

QueenoftheNimbleFlyingCat · 10/10/2022 11:22

No brainer. Take the new job. We work to live not live to work and be so stressed you can't live in a way that makes you happy!

warofthemonstertrucks · 10/10/2022 11:30

I'm just about to do similar in as much as I'm dramatically cutting my hours from 40 to 17 a week.
Trying to work full time in a stressful job, manage the house and the kids is making me ill-and it's not working for any of us.
It will be the first time in my adult life that I haven't wolfed so I feel a bit odd about it to say the least but I also can't wait-3 weeks full time to go.

bingbummy · 10/10/2022 11:58

No, you'd be mad to stay in a job that was making you miserable.

I did do similar. I moved from a decent salary in London to 10K less up North. I had a fraction of the rent, was much happier, had so much more money, and now have a nice home and family with little stress - all because I'm not in a job I hate.

I would do anything but a job I hate ever again. It's life ruinous to not enjoy your job. It's so much of your time.

doobedooboom · 10/10/2022 12:03

Take it from someone who is in a high paid high stress job and now trapped - take the better job. If you do well you will get pay rises. Do this for yourself - I woke up at 4am today riddled with anxiety and stress and have no easy way to change it now. Put your happiness at the top of the list of priorities. It will change everything and you will see good things happen.

Merlott · 10/10/2022 12:07

You sound burned out - black and white thinking, absolutist statements.

You can take this job now, it doesn't close any doors. You will no doubt get another job in a few years anyway and can decide where you want to go from there.

Definitely detach from your parents, they are adults who made their own life choices and you are absolutely NOT responsible for their mistakes or bad fortune. Live your own life.

Toooldtoworry · 10/10/2022 12:11

Stress causes illness. I'd go for the lower salary and save your soul.

Redqueenheart · 10/10/2022 12:16

I would take the new job. Life is too short for being miserable at work like this everyday.

You will have a better work-life balance and you are more likely to be promoted and do better in your career with a job you actually enjoy.

purplecorkheart · 10/10/2022 12:38

I have done it over the last two years. Left a higher paying job for one with slightly less pay and I would 100% do it again if I had my time over. Honestly I do not know myself now. I am so so much happier,. I have a much better work life balance I don't get that sick feeling on a Sunday evening. I can take my Leave without being made feel like I am letting people down. It was scary at the time but I am so so glad that I did.

FarmGirl78 · 10/10/2022 14:04

Do it. I've been in your shoes. It was a long hard battle with myself and mental health after years of upbringing that money and status equalled happiness and success. I finally gave myself permission to choose my own happiness over what my parents thought of me. I took a lower paid non-management job and downsized back to a cute little terraced in childhood home town. Never been happier.

Driving to my new home with a car full of stuff the night before my new job started I felt so ridiculously naughty because for the first time in my whole life I was doing something for no other reason than the fact I WANTED IT. I still drive to work each morning not quite believing that I wanted this for so many years but wasn't brave enough to put myself first in my life.

Please do it. You are the leading lady in your own life, you're not living for anyone else other than you.

Good luck for your next chapter.

thesandwich · 10/10/2022 14:08

Think about why you feel you have to support your parents. Do they own or rent? There is state support - have a look at entitled to for ideas.
please don’t sacrifice your life, and health for them.

UnderCoverFieldAgent · 10/10/2022 14:16

Look at it this way. In your current job, as you’re doing weekends, your hourly rate is actually lower than advertised. Let’s say you’re contracted to do 40 hours at £10 an hour it’s £400 a week. However, if you do 60 hours, suddenly your hourly rate is £6.66 as you don’t get paid any more 🤷‍♀️ If the new job will mean no more unpaid overtime and less stress then definitely go for it.

badgermushrooms · 10/10/2022 14:51

I did it 4 years ago, no regrets whatsoever. Bored + stressed is a horrible combination. Having taken the pay cut I have then found it very helpful in reminding myself that I am literally not paid enough to stress about things above my pay grade, and I work for people who are in full agreement on that. It's great.

Goldmember · 10/10/2022 15:03

I took a pay cut for my current role. However, there are way more perks than my old job, health insurance, shorter commute, flexibility to nip out for assemblies etc. 6 years later I'm earning way more in the role than I ever did at the old place. The old company no longer exists, it was bought out and everyone was made redundant. Turned out to be a better decision to jump ship when I did.

Friday123 · 10/10/2022 15:06

I clicked the wrong option. You are definitely not being unreasonable. Health and happiness is priceless. You are young so plenty of time to work up to a higher salary in a job you love or return to a high salary in a job you hate if there comes a time money is very important.

I left a job that was boring (repetitive) but incredibly emotionally stressful, despite my employer offering us a 20% retention bonus. I do not regret it at all. I now have an interesting job, can leave work on time and am not permanently stressed.

superplumb · 10/10/2022 16:44

Take the lower paid job if you can afford to. No point earning more if you're stressed out all the time. I wouldnt worry about your parents, it's not your role. You live once and if you can get by on less money, do so. In a few years time things may changed and you can work the next tier up

NewNewStart · 10/10/2022 20:09

@FarmGirl78 Thank you. That's such an inspiring story. I'm glad you're happy with your decision.

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NewNewStart · 10/10/2022 20:09

Thank you everyone for all your advice. I'm so grateful.

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