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Have it good but want it better.
April 29, 2012 12:51 PM   Subscribe

How much is the ability to work from home, anywhere in the world with an internet connection worth? Other job related questions.

I've been at this company for about 8 years, changing positions every 2 or 3 years and I'm bored there. I don't need to even work very hard to keep performing at an above acceptable level. If I work really hard it won't be rewarded. This makes it very hard for me to even do my regular day to day work. I think it's sort of depressing

I've run my own company in off hours in past years to sort of fill my creative work ethic outlet.

I started at a low salary and while I have been getting raises every year it really hasn't kept me even close to fair market value, especially since my current position is a much higher level compared to when I was hired. A few of my teammates do the same job functions as me and make considerably more. That also bothers me. I cannot ask to have my salary readjusted. It's just not how things work there.

My resume is very good. I've applied to some places and I expect to hear back and then get to salary negation stages. The trouble is I'm not sure how to gauge how much of a raise I'll need to leave the gig I have. It's comfortable. It's good. I have great benefits, a great manager, really flexible hours.

I guess long story short, I've uprooted everything in my life except my job and I'm still not as happy as I think I should be. I'd hate to leave and be shooting myself in the foot though just thinking the grass is greener if it really isn't.
posted by zephyr_words to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
If I work really hard it won't be rewarded.

If you stop looking to your job as the (sole?) source of rewards, this will be less of a problem. Also, if you always expect to be rewarded in some way for hard work, you will often be very disappointed or resentful. Better to do the best job you can for your *own* sense of satisfaction than hoping for someone else to recognize it.

The trouble is I'm not sure how to gauge how much of a raise I'll need to leave the gig I have.

Well, what's your budget? Do you make enough to cover rent/mortgage, food, transport, savings, and fun money, or are you scraping by within days of getting paid?
posted by rtha at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


How much is the ability to work from home, anywhere in the world with an internet connection worth?

I was all ready to answer this question and then read the rest of your post.

Are you asking if working remotely from the office will make you happier than you are now, all else being equal? Or are you asking how much it would be worth to give up the ability to work remotely that you have now?
posted by caryatid at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2012


get to salary negation stages

I realise this was probably a mis-spelling, but I think we call dislike the salary negation stage. ;)

People don't quit jobs, they quit management. Money is only a component of overall happiness. You have serious gains already in the comfort you desire, the benefits, flexible hours, etc.

In fact, quite a few people will give up money for better working conditions. Think about what you would do with a bit more money. Maybe a bigger residence. Nicer car. Nicer holiday. Chances are you would not do anything really new, rather you will increase the quality of something you are doing already, and the returns are diminishing.

With what you have now, you get more time and that needs to be dealt with separately from money. For with time, you can do things you do not do already. Or the inverse. If I gave you a 50% raise but took away the flexibility and the nice working environment, are you happier? Does that sound like a trade that you want to make?

I have seen quite a few people exit crap corporate jobs for more creative pursuits. Ten years on, overall, they're not making more money. In some cases, they make consistently the same money (adjusted for cost of living). But now they have hobbies. They have taken amazing trips. They have written books. Had families. Two parents, each working part-time for themselves. They go to the park every day. They're logic is that when the kids go to school, they will need more money for school and whatnot. But in these years, they're having fun.

So it's always going to be a trade-off. How green is the grass? It's both greener and also dead. It depends on what patch you're looking at.

It doesn't sound like you're in a rush, so what I would advise is to begin saving your money and set the intention to make a move. Don't jump, don't leap. Allow yourself to be passively aware that you want something else. In the meantime, get comfortable enough to where you can make a move when the time comes. And let the next answer come to you in time.
posted by nickrussell at 1:55 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you stop looking to your job as the (sole?) source of rewards, this will be less of a problem. Also, if you always expect to be rewarded in some way for hard work, you will often be very disappointed or resentful. Better to do the best job you can for your *own* sense of satisfaction than hoping for someone else to recognize it.

I'm not looking for my job as a sole source of rewards, I just want it to be somehow rewarding. I don't if it's wrong but it's hard for me to be inspired to work extra at something when it doesn't make a difference. I keep very involved outside of work. Climbing, mountaineering, hockey, lifting, friendships, relationships.

caryatid: I want to know how much it's really worth just working from home and having that flexibility. I figure others have maybe weighed this with themselves.

And I guess for everyone that has responded already: I'm 27. I don't have any debt. Have savings, investments, 401k. Happy with my living situation. So it's really more about just trying to improve my overall life situation. I feel like if i can't work from home 100% of the time then to improve it even if the job is more rewarding would be to earn more money even if I don't necessarily need it.
posted by zephyr_words at 7:56 PM on April 29, 2012


I want to know how much it's really worth just working from home and having that flexibility. I figure others have maybe weighed this with themselves.

I have worked remotely for the past 20 years, both as a contractor and an employee. Prior to that I worked in offices 8-5. Now I have to go in to the office one day a week, unless I am out of state.

To me, being able to work from anywhere is damn near priceless, but there are still tradeoffs.

If you work from home now you already know the advantages. Making big assumptions here: you can run errands when the rest of the workforce is at the office, you don't have to dress and groom for work (this is more valuable for women, IMO), you don't have to commute more than a couple dozen feet. You can work from a farmhouse in the south of France or a resort in Thailand. I have coworkers who do this. I've done it myself. It is awesome. Most people would kill for a job like this.

However, you miss out on the social aspects: having someone to go to lunch with, making social and professional connections at work. You also miss out on the annoyance of working closely with people you don't like.

In my case, the freedom is worth it. I had a job that was a lot like yours is now. I worked from anywhere, but there was no way to advance, no matter how good I was. I was not going to get anywhere, partly because I was not in the office to connect and compete in office politics (I don't consider this an overall loss). That job was boring and the job I have now is somewhat boring - I could and can do both without really trying very hard. Both jobs allow me to work from anywhere. The difference is that my current job gives me paid vacation and benefits.

Two and a half years ago I was laid off, and only then did I appreciate my old boring dead-end job that allowed me to work from anywhere. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have landed an even better job (lower pay but better benefits) that allows me to work from anywhere.

Being unemployed for two years really made me appreciate being employed at all. Being re-employed in a job that allows me to work remotely was more than I ever hoped for. I had six weeks of working in an office every day for training. I didn't like it. I don't even like going in one day a week, although I know it is good for me personally and professionally. Eventually I think every job becomes boring and seemingly unrewarding.

However, you are really young. It might be a good experience for you to give up your flexible hours and freedom for working in an office, just so you can get an idea of what you prefer.
posted by caryatid at 8:57 PM on April 29, 2012


I have worked out of my home for 29 years, however, I'm an introvert and the little time I spend with other people during the week works perfectly for me. I see the rat race everyone else has to put up with during the day and consider myself very fortunate I can do this this. One thing you have to think about is medical insurance. You will have to provide this yourself and it can be pricey. I love the fact that I tell my clients the days I will be taking vacation instead of putting in for them and hoping the boss will let me off on those days. I have my own schedule, and no boss breathing down my neck. It's absolutely wonderful!!
posted by sybarite09 at 8:07 AM on April 30, 2012


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