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Cost of happiness? Changing jobs?

Posted

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

What is your cost of happiness? I have been in my new job for about 7 months and part of me regrets leaving a job I loved for this one. There were three main reasons why I changed jobs. One, I wanted to work less days and the job I was at was a Monday-Friday 7:30 to 4:30 clinic job. By the time I got home, I felt like I hadn't seen much of my children (I had to leave for work before they were up for school since my work was 35 min away). My current job is 5 min from home and I love that. I also love working 3-4 days a week and having much more time off to do some of the things I enjoy. Second, the commute. I had been driving 70 minutes round trip to work for 5 years and it was starting to wear on me. This job, as I said, is 5 minutes from home - about 2 miles each way. Third, my pay went from $65k a year to $90k a year. That was obviously a big factor as was the fact it's a supervisory position and the clinic where I was at offered no chance for advancement (they are both within the state system).

Now, I find myself reminiscing about my old job and what I liked about it. We were doing fine with finances before but admittedly, the higher paying job offered more chance to save for a house, retirement, kids' college, etc. Of course, my old position is no longer available and I don't really think I would go back there because the drive really was killing me. But there is a position open about 10 min from my house that is exactly what I was doing before - an outpatient psychiatric clinic - and it's within the state sytem so I would not lose my retirement (we get to retire with 65% of our highest grossing years after 25 years). The downside? It's part time. So we would have our household monthly income cut by about $3000/month. We CAN afford it if we budget carefully and it would mean no extras for the most part. But does all that really make me happy if I am unhappy in my job? Plus, working part time would offer me more time with my kids and to even pick up a per diem position if I so desired. In fact, my current place of employment utilizes per diem nurses and it pays around $38/hr. I could easily handle working per diem here as I like the job, just not all the political BS and gossip that seems to go with it. The per diems generally don't have to deal with all of that.

I think I have come to realize that while I'm in a good place to set myself up for a DON position in the next 3-5 years, I don't really think I WANT to even do that. I like being just a staff nurse, not having to worry about staffing, scheduling, payroll, etc. I'm just very frustrated and confused right now. I've been a nurse since 2005 and this is the first time I've ever struggled with this issue.

So what have you all done with something like this? Stay at a job that is okay (the job is okay, the personnel sucks) and make bank? Or go somewhere that you are really happy, enjoy your coworkers but the pay sucks?

You need to think about what is in the best interest of your family at present. If you are 5 minutes from your house, that is a plus. Especially when the kids are small. Take the extra money, and set up college accounts for the kids now. Start paying extra to the principal of your house now. (even $500 every other month is a good thing and makes a difference long term). This is also setting you up to be able to retire with a lot more income coming in.

When the kids are older, and go off to school, then you may want to think about part time work. But for now with the ability to be able to be close and the ability to make money that can be earmarked for the future, I would most definitely stay with it.

Nothing is as it used to be for any number of nurses. If you are currently in a position of authority, you have the power to change culture. Go with that if you need to. Especially when your time as a staff nurse is fresh in your mind. If the personnel is less than stellar, how can that change? How can you make it change? It may take some thinking on, but I am sure that you can do this.

Best wishes!

LilRedRN1973

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

I wish I were in a position of authority. Being a supervisor here is like being a figurehead. It's in name only. Even the DON doesn't get much accomplished. I work in a correctional institute and there is not much that I can do to change anything, unfortunately. Everyone just shrugs their shoulders and says "that's the way it's been around here for years". Fighting with the warden doesn't get you anywhere. While the extra money is nice for the things you mention (although we currently rent and have no plans to buy a house anytime soon), I can't stand the stress I have when it's time to go to work. I never had that at my old job. I looked forward to going to work every day and on my days off, never gave it a second thought. I think the biggest part I hate is being a supervisor. If I could step down to staff nurse, I would probably be just fine sticking it out. And the cut in pay would only be about $9k for the entire year (I make $90k, the staff RN's make $81k/year). I'm not sure there is even an opening or if they would even allow me to do that. Maybe I should sit down and make a concrete list of pros and cons instead of keeping it all in my head. Putting it on paper might allow me to see things more clearly. Because truthfully, I had stress before when it came time to pay bills. We always had enough but it was something we had to really watch and there were weeks we were living paycheck to paycheck. Now, I don't ever have to worry about that and there is always plenty to go around. But it's definitely a trade off.....

I had worked at a job I hated for 5 years but the pay and benefits is what kept me there. I was making $5 more an hour than I am now. The high paying job was very stressful so I decreased my hours from 40 hours a week to 32 hours a week. I thought that would help. It did help a little but that place was literally toxic. I felt like I was in high school all over again.

I decided to turn in my notice and take a job offer elsewhere. It was scary for me at first. I was taking a $5/hr cut and the benefits were not as good.

I now love my job. The pay cut was worth it. If I ever run into my old co-workers from my previous job they tell me how different I look. I'm glowing, look happier, and have even lost weight. I didn't realize how much of a toll this other job had taken on me.

The pay cut was huge. I worried about how I would make my new house payment. At first, it was a shock but my husband and I adapted. I now have the opportunity to work as much overtime as I like. I work 50 plus hours a week and I still feel better working that much vs 32 hours a week at the job I hated.

My thoughts? You will be spending most of your life working. It needs to be a place that you enjoy and don't dread going to everyday. As far as money goes, you would be surprised at what you can do to make ends meet. We adapt easier then you think. Best wishes.

If it made the difference between my kids having a good college fund and not be saddled with the debt we hear about all the time, and getting that very decent retirement, I could deal with a lot of crap as long as I wasn't truly being abused or my ethics weren't being compromised.

Ask people here, would they have rather had an ability to get an education without 100K in student loans and/or having to go the long way around or 6 more hours a week with mom at home.

I understand that it is a dilemma, but the college and retirement are huge factors down the road.

cynmrn

Specializes in School Nursing, Telemetry. Has 2 years experience.

If you and your family can afford the change, do what is best for your mental health and happiness. It is true that retirement is important, but you never know what the future may bring. You likely have many years of working yet to find the right niche with an amazing amount of income/benefits/etc. Who knows what other opportunities may come your way. As a mom, I think time with your kids is priceless. You will never get this time with your kids back, however you will probably have many opportunities to take on a different job and perhaps help with education. I took a HUGE pay cut to become a school nurse (like 50%) because I felt like the hours would be better for my family, and I just wasn't feeling acute care. I feel like it was worth it, even if sometimes I think longingly of the money. I probably won't be a school nurse forever, but I do know that I'm heading in the right direction.

LilRedRN1973

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

Thank you....everyone has given me something to think about, truly. I had to laugh when I went looking for this post. I just realized I posted in the wrong place! I meant to put it in General Nursing. lol. Thanks again, everyone. Tonight at work has been better with a slight shift in my attitude :-)

LilRedRN1973

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

What is your cost of happiness? I have been in my new job for about 7 months and part of me regrets leaving a job I loved for this one. There were three main reasons why I changed jobs. One, I wanted to work less days and the job I was at was a Monday-Friday 7:30 to 4:30 clinic job. By the time I got home, I felt like I hadn't seen much of my children (I had to leave for work before they were up for school since my work was 35 min away). My current job is 5 min from home and I love that. I also love working 3-4 days a week and having much more time off to do some of the things I enjoy. Second, the commute. I had been driving 70 minutes round trip to work for 5 years and it was starting to wear on me. This job, as I said, is 5 minutes from home - about 2 miles each way. Third, my pay went from $65k a year to $90k a year. That was obviously a big factor as was the fact it's a supervisory position and the clinic where I was at offered no chance for advancement (they are both within the state system).

Now, I find myself reminiscing about my old job and what I liked about it. We were doing fine with finances before but admittedly, the higher paying job offered more chance to save for a house, retirement, kids' college, etc. Of course, my old position is no longer available and I don't really think I would go back there because the drive really was killing me. But there is a position open about 10 min from my house that is exactly what I was doing before - an outpatient psychiatric clinic - and it's within the state sytem so I would not lose my retirement (we get to retire with 65% of our highest grossing years after 25 years). The downside? It's part time. So we would have our household monthly income cut by about $3000/month. We CAN afford it if we budget carefully and it would mean no extras for the most part. But does all that really make me happy if I am unhappy in my job? Plus, working part time would offer me more time with my kids and to even pick up a per diem position if I so desired. In fact, my current place of employment utilizes per diem nurses and it pays around $38/hr. I could easily handle working per diem here as I like the job, just not all the political BS and gossip that seems to go with it. The per diems generally don't have to deal with all of that.

I think I have come to realize that while I'm in a good place to set myself up for a DON position in the next 3-5 years, I don't really think I WANT to even do that. I like being just a staff nurse, not having to worry about staffing, scheduling, payroll, etc. I'm just very frustrated and confused right now. I've been a nurse since 2005 and this is the first time I've ever struggled with this issue.

So what have you all done with something like this? Stay at a job that is okay (the job is okay, the personnel sucks) and make bank? Or go somewhere that you are really happy, enjoy your coworkers but the pay sucks?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

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