As I progress down my path to financial independence, I realize there will always be forks in the road. There will be life choices you will have to make that go beyond money such as deciding between two jobs.
These life decisions make you question if the money is worth the potential happiness/unhappiness. After all, aren’t we striving for financial independence to gain control and be happier?
The Job Search
After being out of work for a while, taking a much wanted and needed break, I had decided to kick-start my job search.
First interview or two, I was super nervous. I realized there was nothing to be nervous about and didn’t actually need a job in the first place. Being on a path toward financial independence eventually shows it advantages.
Most of my job search consisted of replying back through LinkedIn messages. They were to recruiters that were at companies that sounded interesting. I filtered through the garbage and only interviewed at companies that seemed worth-while.
I found myself a bit overwhelmed and scaled back on the interview process. The IT world is vastly growing and the need for skilled and social people is in great demand. Before I knew it, I had two offers sitting in my hand with other potentials on the way.
Comparing The Offers
The offers at hand were both very good although one was dramatically larger in pay. Being a contract position, it was able to pay more.
Being a contractor has the pay advantage, but you take on more risk when a job ends and you become unemployed again. Plus, you have to worry about paying for your own benefits and usually requires needing an accountant, which can be a pain.
To me, the gap risk is minimal because any job has the same risks regardless if they don’t have work for you to do. You won’t last long in the contracting world if you don’t have a skill that is valuable and if people don’t like you.
Let’s call the larger paying contract job, Company A. The lesser, Company B. Company B had lots of potential. I could learn new skills while still earning a good salary. It also now included benefits. With Company A, I could have just taken the higher salary and studied on the side for any additional skills I could have wanted.
The majority of a week was spent just trying to decide which option was better. I stalled as much as I could. I also tried to negotiate higher pay for both companies as I’ve learned in the past it never hurts to ask. If it does, then the company likely wasn’t that interested in the first place.
Comparing Both Companies
Company A had the major benefit of pay. The issue was that the company that was a bit stuck in the past. It was much like the work I was trying to avoid. Yes, the building was nice and the pay was good, but the work itself was potentially stale and suffocating.
I even took to Twitter, just to see what people thought during my decision process and the few that responded all said they’d just take the money. This sort of surprised me at first. Then I quickly realized this is what I had done in the past.
In the past, I just chased the money. I never let the dollar amount exceed the potential to be happier though. I even once paid a company over $3000 just to leave because I was still under contract.
Company B had the right culture. Overall, it felt like a great fit. I had worked with older colleagues for a long time. It was a breathe of fresh air to see people that were peers. Mentors are a great thing, but it was time for a new kind of mentor-ship.
The company was also very conscious of the type of project work that they do and sell meaning there was less risk to be doing work that wouldn’t excite me.
After taking a full week to decide, I went with Company B, the lesser paying of the two. Until the last few hours of my final decision, Company A was my choice.
I went with my gut as it’s never steered me wrong in the past. If the passion is there, and the environment is right, the money will follow. There has been no regrets. The company is great and the people are awesome.
Money is a great tool, but don’t let that get in the way of your happiness.