On Thursday, I accepted a job offer that I have been waiting on bated breath for for a month. Well, in truth, I've been waiting for the job offer that would signal my exit from my soon-to-be-former employer for over a year.
I've been vague yet up front about this here on the blog for, pretty much, as long as I've been writing here: I was not happy at my job. For a couple months, it was sort of run-of-the-mill not happy, and the typical kind of not happy that comes with working for a small business that often finds itself understaffed for its big ideas.
But over the last six months, the regular old not happy became a different animal entirely. It was no longer that I simply didn't enjoy going to work—listen, I graduated college in 2011. I am well aware of the realistic nature of my generations' job prospects. I know what economy we walked into. I know no one is guaranteed work/life balance or a happy 9-5. I know that a lot of people out there do not like their jobs. For many, many months, I accepted being one of them, justifying it with my easy commute, amazing coworkers, and casual dress code.
As I was saying. Since 2015 and an altered definition of my roles and responsibilities at work came into view, everything changed. I wasn't simply overworked and underpaid anymore, and my office became a really challenging place to just be in.
I finally had enough.
It was enough to make me take a 40% pay cut for my new position.
(And let me just be clear, my current paychecks aren't exactly weighing down my pockets.)
But what it ultimately came down to (aside from the fact that I've been looking for a new job with intermittent vigor for 14 months without a nibble until now) for me was this: I can compensate for a lousy paycheck. I cannot—not anymore—compensate for the way my life looked and the way I felt 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
My new salary will be enough for me to pay my bills and buy groceries and gas. Probably. But not much else. So I'll return to taking on freelance work. (Wrote a book? I edit those! Need some posts or articles or features? I write those!) It will be fun to hustle again at times, and other times it won't be as much fun. I will manage it, though, and I hope it will be worth it.
(One thing I can say is that I will not likely be monetizing my blog. This space is sacred to me in a way that I can't be confident will be maintained if I introduce sponsored content. That's not a slight at others who have monetized, but a criticism of my own balancing skills.)
Oh, and I guess I should get around to just about the only thing I haven't said yet in this gratuitously verbose post: my new job. I'll be the new managing editor for an area newspaper. I'll be writing—really writing, in a way my job hasn't let me in months. I'll be editing. I'll have a voice, and an influence on creative direction.
Oh, I hope it will be worth it.
I would really love some feedback from you, my sage friends, with all your vast experience of the world and this life. Have you ever taken a pay cut when changing jobs? Was it worth it? What's your best (not obvious) money-saving tip? Do you think I'm an absolute moron for making this decision? What's the biggest leap of faith you've taken in your career?