It’s been a while since I have updated you all on the dream job. I applied for a job back in February and over the last 11 months have been slowly moving through the exhaustive hiring process. Thus far, I have peed in a cup (twice), completed a medical screening, passed an extensive physical fitness test, survived a three person hiring panel, passed a written test, completed a 700 question psychological exam, and undergone psychaiatric evaluation, oh, and I’m still not done with all of the hiring steps.
Needless to say, it has taken a good chunk of time, as well as a lot of work, to make it this far in the process. As a potential final job offer nears (fingers crossed), I need to begin to plan my life accordingly. One of the interesting things about this dream job; my starting salary could possibly be $20,000/yr less than what I currently make. That’s a whole lot of dinero to give up.
I’ve explained before the government pay system, but one thing I did not hit on was the consequences of switching positions. Come February, I will be a GS-11, which means I will be making $62,000/yr. The position I applied for starts at a GS-7 ($42,000/yr) but progresses to a salary much higher than my current positions maximum salary (the most I can make in my current position is $90k/yr, the dream jobs max salary is $143,000).
So here is the dilemma. If I am offered (and I accept) said dream job, then my income will immediately drop $20,000/yr. At approximately two years, I would be making equal money to what I’d be making in my current position. And from the third year on I would be making increasingly more money each year. It would be a short term loss of income, for a long term gain.
I know what most of you are probably thinking. “Take the pay cut while you are young and not really dependent on a large income”, that is definitely good advice, but it is not that simple. Reducing my income for the next two years would severely hinder my goals to pay off my student loan, to fully contribute to my Roth IRA while I am young, and to save for a large down payment. Not to mention, that if I ended up not liking the dream job, I would have taken a huge income hit for nothing. I have weighed the pros and cons of both options and made a decision, but before I share that, I’d like to see what you all had to say.
Could you afford to give up a large portion of your income, for a long term gain? Did you ever start a job you thought you’d love, only to realize it was absolute misery? Have you ever done anything like this? Was it scary? Did it work out like you thought? Is taking an initially lower paying position considered “taking a step backwards” in my career? I’m in a pickle and I would love some help 🙂