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This or That: Money or Career

Welcome back to DearSugar's newest feature, This or That, where I give you two scenarios to choose between. They aren't easy choices; sometimes you'll want both and other times you'll want neither, but you have to choose: this or that?

After two years at your current job, you've realized that it's just not the company or career path for you. In fact, you spent the past few months interviewing with other companies. You also have bills piling up and could really use a salary boost. After a Sunday night filled with dread, you come in on Monday morning and get some unexpected news. Would it be better to . . .

Get one of the recent jobs you applied for. The salary isn't great and the role is a step down, but there is potential and at least you could leave your current job and start pursuing your future.

Or . . .

Be offered a huge promotion at your current company. It's a management position, which you're not thrilled about, in an industry that you don't love, but the salary increase is huge and you get a parking spot!.


Join The Conversation
Astro_nerd Astro_nerd 9 years
I voted "that: raise" for the following reason: you need the money, and taking the position does not mean you have to stay in it. You could take the raise, stay for a few months, use the time to get your finances in order, and then use the higher position to give your cv (resume) a boost. I am currently in a "that" position myself, in a job that does not interest me. But my last day is coming up in two months, and I am on to pursue my Art Career! :WOOHOO:
kiwishe kiwishe 9 years
Career. I can't be productive when I hate what I do. More money is always good, but if the new position in the career track you want is still under your livable lifestyle, I'd go for the new job. Your potential to make more, be successful, and have fulfillment is higher in doing something you love.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Sometimes you don't know what a job is like just by looking at the description and relying on your own assumptions. There was a time I was offered two jobs at two very different places - one appeared exciting, was in my field but at minimum wage, the other was much more money but didn't sound very exciting. I took the job with more money, and as it turned out, the project they had me do was very related to my field, and I got a lot more autonomy than I likely would have had at the minimum wage place. Even if a job is at the same company doesn't mean it's going to be the same. I think there's a chance it can be good. Worst case scenario, you look for another job again, just this time, with a bigger nest egg behind you. The job offer would have to be some kind of serious once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to pass up money for it. Step down in role and salary for mere potential doesn't sound good enough to be considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It sounds like the kind of opportunity you can easily get again after working management and earning good money for a while.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I think I'd rather have the money right now. The new job might be a lot better and you can always job hunt again later.
brookrene brookrene 9 years
how is "stepping down" now a step in the right direction that could make a career? No thanks...give me the raise along with the management experience and I'm on my way to giving myself a boost in the resume department, which will mean more in the end...doesn't mean i need to stay at that company offering the raise for the long haul.
Career! I would never choose money over happiness. I want to be in a career that I enjoy, no matter if I get rich doing it.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
If I knew job # 1 would be my dream job and fulfill all my wildest career desires, then yeah I'd take it in a heart beat. But if not then I'd probably stay. New jobs can look great from the outside and really, really suck when you get there.
emalove emalove 9 years
I think it's important to like your job and be happy doing what you do. Otherwise, you'll be miserable! No matter how much money you make. I could never stay at a job that I wasn't happy at.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I've been at this crossroad. I chose career, and I never looked back.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
I am currently working for a small company where the pay isn't stellar, yet there is so much potential for me to grow. I would definitely take the career over money, because money doesn't cause happiness in the long run. HOWEVER, it also depends on my financial situation. If I'm in debt & the other job won't be enough to keep my head above water, I would have to consider what is best for myself at the moment. Maybe take the promotion & save money so that I can take the plunge later. There are so many factors.
Meike Meike 9 years
Hmm, career fulfillment or money...obviously, I would love both but I would choose the first option and work my way up. Too much stress from work at a job you are unhappy with subtracts years from life. Health is priceless.
sabrinaland sabrinaland 9 years
Although it would probably kill me, I would take the promotion. I'd do it for a year for the money and the opportunity to put "managerial experience" on my resume, which might lead to a better job in the field I truly would want to be in. I'd save my money like crazy during that year and then run out the door!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
That's a tough one. I guess it would depend on how much money wise my bills were piling up. Can I afford to go down a step but be happier with a better future or do I need the money "right now" to save myself. I guess there are too many other factors I would need to know.
juicylove juicylove 9 years
i would say try out the higher position, and if you did still hate it, then keep applying at other places, atleast its more experience to add to your resume? and if you needed the money, it would be pretty difficult to pass up.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Career for sho! I am currently at job that I dont like and no matter how much they are willing to pay me I am gone in a quick second if a great company with great potential comes knocking on the door. When you hate your job- you hate the job.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
I would take the promotion. Even if its just for a little while, it would give the chance to start saving some money, or just get caught up on bills, you can always resign from the position once you found something more suitable for you.
Buffy2103 Buffy2103 9 years
I'm actually doing one of those soon - quitting my crappy 9-5 job that pays me nothing to pursue personal training. I just need to pass the test in a week! Even if my current employer offered me twice what I make now (which, sadly still wouldn't be AMAZING), I would say, "sorry, here's my 2 weeks!"
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Do what you love--don't make yourself miserable just for the $$$.
alltherage alltherage 9 years
ahhh this is sooooo wierd! i have an offer on the table for a new job. i am negoiating $$ right now. it wont be much more but the job would be AWESOME. and my current job sucks nad there is no potential for growth or more $$ though i work my a$% off. so yes -- career over $$ -- if it reallymatters you can make it work!
Marseeah Marseeah 9 years
How do you know that you won't love your new position at the company? And, you can leverage your new position to a higher position at a place you really love if you don't like the management position you have. Plus, two or three months of a super high salary could do wonders for your finances.
remedios remedios 9 years
The first choice would have to be a definite, though, not a "potential" for helping out my goal. I did pretty much this very thing - I left a job where my boss said she was hoping I'd take over her role within a year (which would mean a huge salary boost) to go back to law school. Once I finally knew what I wanted to do with certainty, I saw no good reason to not jump at it. And I'm not getting any younger, so it would only be more difficult to go back later, especially after getting used to more money. Now I'm a 30-something dirt poor college student again. I could do without that part.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
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