Would I take a job I hated for double my salary? Triple?

My net worth estimation as of July 31st is as follows:

  • Checking accounts: $8,400
  • Savings: $26,100
  • Taxable investments: $10,400
  • Tax-advantaged investments: $52,200
  • Condo equity: $86,700
  • Total: $183,800

A friend threw out the question “Would you take a job you hated for a few years if the base salary was $200,000? What if it was $300,000?” These numbers seem super unrealistic to me (or maybe I just underestimate how much companies will pay), but I thought it was an interesting exercise.

So, I made a spreadsheet! I took into account the increased taxes, hitting the social security tax earlier, and still maxing out my 401(k). For the sake of this exercise, I used 2012 income tax rates since I don’t have any future tax tables available.

$200,000 base salary: Throwing everything at the mortgage, it would be paid off by May 2015. After that, building up my taxable investment account such that 4% of the value would provide me with $30,000 per year would take until December 2021.

$300,000 base salary: Throwing everything at the mortgage, it would be paid off by April 2014. My taxable investment account would be sufficiently large in December 2018.

Estimation with my current salary including bonuses: Mortgage would be paid off by June 2017. Taxable investment account would be sufficiently large by 2025.

Would being financially independent, not needing a salary anymore, 4-7 years earlier than at my current income level, be worth giving up the reasonable work/life balance that I have now? I’m not sure that it is, considering how young I would still be in 2025.

Maybe it would be worth it to do that now, put in a few years at that level of commitment. But honestly? That’s what I did in college. I took a heavy course load, working 70 hours/week on school for 4 years. I’m not sure that I have that level of commitment in me anymore. I know that I burn out quickly and need time to re-group before I can go back at it again.

So I feel like now is the time to take a slight step back (only slight really since dating happens mostly outside of normal work hours) in my career and put more of an effort on dating. Since graduating from college, I haven’t made a huge effort towards dating or finding a relationship. I feel like my social life has dwindled mostly down to my coworkers and I’ve been going on pairs of dates endlessly. I’ve finally gone on more than two dates with the same person and I’m dating someone :) That’s why I’ve been a bit less active around the blog and commenting elsewhere.


13 thoughts on “Would I take a job I hated for double my salary? Triple?

  1. Congrats on the new relationship! I don’t want to work again as hard as I did in college, especially since there are no longer dining halls to feed me. I think it makes a lot of sense to maintain your high level of achievement in career (instead of increasing it) and focusing more on other areas of your life.

    • Thanks! I never had dining halls in college to eat in – I’d eat out for lunch and dinner and that’s really the only way to do it now, but I really prefer eating at home.

  2. I quit my job because I stopped wanting to work hard at a job I didn’t like. But what I was paid wasn’t worth it. If they offered me triple my salary? Ya, I probably would have sucked it up and gone at it for a couple of years to get ahead financially.

    Congrats!! :) Glad you found someone to move beyond the first date with!

    • I’m totally with you! That’s part of why I like saving so much money – then some day, I won’t have to continue working at a job I don’t like.

      Thanks!! It’s so weird. I was starting to think that dating was useless for finding a relationship, but I finally found someone who I like and mesh well with :)

  3. I guess the answer for me must be no. There are paths I could have taken that would be giving me double my annual salary or more (consulting, Wall Street etc.), but I don’t want to work long hours or have that much stress.

    Have fun dating!

  4. No. Every job move I’ve ever made for money I have ended up regretting. It’s just not worth itif you have to work all the time or are miserable at work.

    Congrats on the dating!

    • Yeah, I was talking to a friend who also works for my company and he made a comment about people chasing the money and life not usually being greener on the other side, that it’s silly to go to another company that will pay you more simply because of the money when you already make more than you need here. It was certainly an interesting exercise though!


  5. I love your analytical approach! I don’t think it’s worth it for me to have a job I hate just for more money. My daily happiness is worth so much more to me than a higher salary. And good luck on the new relationship!

  6. If you’re happy at your job and making good money now, I don’t know if there is any amount in the world that can make you change jobs. With that being said though, I think I would take a job at 3 times my current pay and work my ass off for 2 years knowing that I could then take 4 years off and be at the same point. For me I could sacrifice 1-2 years of happiness if it meant that kind of return…

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