I have a dilema. The library where I work 32 hrs/week has just opened a job at another desk. It’s one of the only non-circulation positions that does not require an MLS, so I am eligible with my bachelor’s degree. The pay is between $15 and $22/hr, depending on the experience the candidate has. I currently earn $12/hr at the circulation desk.
The dilema is that I love the people I work with at circulation. We’re like a group of sisters with a couple mothers thrown in, and we have a fantastic time together. No matter who’s on the schedule, you know it’ll be a good day. In the three years I’ve worked at the library, I’ve made a point to get to know everyone in all the departments, and the circulation desk is by far the most fun-loving group of employees. I know everyone at the department I’m considering, and get along with all of them, but try as I might, I have never been able to build much of a rapport with the two supervisors – I’m not sure if anyone has. One of them actually referred to me as “just a shelver” a few years ago when she was introducing me to a new employee. One is polite but very shy, and just doesn’t talk much at all. The other is talkative, but not the most pleasant person I’ve come across.
The other employees in that department are fine, and I know I would get along with everyone there, since I already see them every day and we know each other. It just wouldn’t be the same as working with the circulation staff.
I estimate that I would probably earn about $18/hr if I got the job, given my library experience. That would be almost a $10,000/year raise. I would work pretty much the same hours, and get the same benefits.
So, is it worth it? That’s the question I’m debating with myself. $10,000/year would be sweet. It would fully fund both our Roth IRAs. And I would still enjoy my job, since I love working in the library. But it wouldn’t be as much fun as the circulation desk, and I’m wondering how much “fun” is worth when it comes to a job.
What would you do?
For me, $10k/year is huge, so I would probably take the new position.
I recently turned down a job that I know I would have absolutely loved, for a job that paid $15k/year more. Reasoning? When I’m financially stable and able to work a job without worrying about pay, then I can go back and take that lower paying job that I love. Until then, I want to make sure I’m secure with my money – a fully funded EF, a lot of money in my retirement, etc.
Fabulously Broke says
May I offer a voice of discension?
If you hate your job, and you don’t want to go into work to work with your colleagues, it isn’t worth the $10k.
For me, when I go into work, I’m happy to be there early, smiling, chatting with everyone and in general, in great spirits when I leave. If I were in another department where they were all mean and not very friendly or I was just unhappy and bored… I’d drag my feet getting there, and run out the door when I leave…
Quality of work balance (rapport, people to joke with, and general happiness) is worth $10,000 to me.
Is it worth that much to you? Can you stand being there? Or would you find yourself being patronized and looked down upon for being a “shelver”? If it’s worth it, suck it up and take the job, but just consider how much loving to go into work – especially since you have other commitments – is worth to you.
Fabulously Broke says
Oh, and that bad mood would drag onto the rest of my evening and make me grumpy at night instead of cheerful and happy.
Is ruining the rest of your day, and making you emotionally drained, worth it? :P
I would definately take it, since it’s in the same line of work and it’s something you would still love to do. 10K is a lot of extra money – and that’s exactly how you should treat it. Extra money that can be saved up!
Well, the answer to your “should I apply?” is yes. You should always apply for jobs that are of some interest to you. My philosophy is never turn down a job you haven’t been offered yet. Bad karma in my book. There is value in the process of applying and particularly being interviewed. There is absolutely no obligation on your part to actually take the job if offered.
Now, if your real question is, should I take the job if offered that is another one all together. I think that $10k is a healthy chunk of change and it does not sound like it would be miserable there…just not quite as wonderful as what you’ve got right now. I’ll argue that just because you aren’t working right next to those folks, you’re still working together and won’t totally lose that connection, there are things to be learned from dealing with people that may not be your first choice (particularly in this situation where it sounds like it would only be a slightly difficult situation) and did I mention that that is a lot of money?? :) I agree that work/life balance is important and not hating your job is important but so is not underearning!
My 2 cents worth! Good luck with your decision!
Mrs. Micah says
As someone who spent 5 years (6?) in the same position (page) at a library, I’d say give the application a shot. I considered whether to join circ, but always decided against it because paging gave me more flexible hours.
Another idea, is there someone (not a supervisor, I guess, since you’re not close to them) higher up who you can talk with frankly? Tell them you’re considering taking the position because you think you could do well in it. Mention you’re concerned that if it’s not a good fit for both sides you might not be able to get back on circ.
And another idea, take the job (if you get it) and if you don’t like it then wait for a position to open up back at the desk. Then explain to your supervisor that you think you’re a better asset to the library at circ than in the back.
But if you’re too unsure, then don’t do it. I just would feel more comfortable knowing I took the opportunity to at least apply. Maybe you won’t get it and your problem will be solved. If you don’t get it, it might be becaus they don’t want to break up a good team, who knows?
Good luck making the decisions!
Isn’t your blog about paying off debt, not about having a good time? You can always invite those wonderful co-workers over for lunch or go out with them for a coffee, etc. if you want to keep up the socialization. Jobs, earning money, should not be based on a social life. That’s why they call it ‘work’. $10,000 is a lot of money, not chump change. You are NOT supposed to get along with supervisors. They probably treat you, as well as others, the same way for a reason. Separation.
You can use the extra money to max out your retirement funds which lowers your tax burden, pay off your debt and retire early and socialize all you want to.
I think the decision is crystal clear, don’t you?
It’s in your heart. From what you write you have no adverse relationship with the people at the new position and all relationships have to evolve. I’ve been in my present position 4 1/2 years and have been through 6 supervisors. They have ranged from the spawn of satan to sugar daddies and 34 months ago it came full circle and my favorite of all was promoted to my boss. It took suffering through the bad times to get to the good times and it really is good – personally, professionally and financially.
I say at least apply. If they make an offer you can then make the decision but there is no decision to make if you don’t apply!
Oops – not 34 months ago – I meant 3 – 4 months ago.
I’d apply. If you dont get it then you wont be too upset, but if you do you can always visit your friends in circulation and have lunch with them regularly. I guess it depends on what is more important to you in the long term- think of what you wish five years from now that you had chosen.
Thanks for all the input everyone. I think I’m going to apply for the job. The only reason I was debating the actual application is because it would mean that my current supervisor (whom I adore) would know that I’m considering leaving her department, and I don’t want to cause a rift in our team, especially if I don’t end up getting the job.
Boomie, I agree with you about work being a means to an end, and the reason I got the library job three years ago was because we were in debt. But as of next week, that debt will be gone. The only debt we have is our mortgage, and we save about $1000/month right now. If I were to get this job, it would increase our savings, but we’re in a comfortable financial situation already – very different from the one we were in three years ago when I would have taken ANY part time job to help pay off debt. That’s why this is a tough decision…. we don’t NEED the money in order to make ends meet, but it would be great to add more to our savings and be a little more flexible with our budget.
I say apply, do it for me because if you got the job with your bachelors degree you’d be making more than I am with a MLS ;)
Who knows, maybe you’ll inject some fun into the new department?!
Any chance you could ask them to match that salary at your current position?
Another thing to think about …
A few years ago I was in a similar situation, and made the wrong decision. I stayed in the job I loved with the great co-workers and turned down another not-quite-as-great job that paid $5K more. Two months later, my boss left and was replaced with an ogre of a man. I went to looking forward to work to having to force myself to go in each day. WIthin six months, everyone of the original employees had left the department.
Lesson learned. Work environments can change quickly. I would never recommend taking a job you hate just for more money (well unless you are desperate for money or they are offering you obscene amounts, in which case you can suffer through). But, a good job for more money can always become a great job once you are there and you still have more money.