Do I Choose Love or Money?
April 17, 2008 3:53 PM   Subscribe

I have two relatively equal job offers on the table. Job A will potentially provide more personal satisfaction and job B will potentially provide more future job advancement. Which do I choose?

Let me clarify a bit more. Both Job A & B are in my field, will present me new challenges, be a step forward and interest me a great deal.

Job A will allow me to live near a family member I haven't been near in quite a while, will put me close to old friends and a potential love interest. It will give me more management experience as I will be in charge of a small staff. Job A also pays a bit more.

Job B has a snazzier title attached. Its a small organization and I would have a lot of responsibility and an opportunity to implement my own initiatives. There is also the possibility, if things go well, to get a nice career boost.

How have other people weighed similar options? What did you do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Job B!!!

Move forward in life! Job A sounds like sticking in the past, and all those great things could turn out to be a pain, and or a disappointment, too

Go for B
posted by Salvatorparadise at 4:11 PM on April 17, 2008

I'd go with Job A. From what I found jobs that sounded good on paper, rarely live up to expectations. They may be over selling the actual job to you, to try and get you to sign on, especially if it pays less.

Job A sounds like you have a much more concrete idea of what you would be doing, would also be good experience, pays more, and is near all your friends. Unless, there is some reason that you've left out that makes Job B an amazing opportunity, I'd go for A.
posted by whoaali at 4:24 PM on April 17, 2008

Job A. The happier you are, the better you will perform.

The higher you go, the less job titles matter--your accomplishments will speak for themselves on your resume. Besides, job titles vary.

For example, one workplace's Director of Operations is another workplace's COO.
posted by sondrialiac at 4:39 PM on April 17, 2008

Job A.

Otherwise you're STILL looking, waiting, and hoping for a (better) job.

Titles don't mean anything anymore. About 7 out of 10 people I know chose their own title anyway.
posted by rokusan at 4:54 PM on April 17, 2008

Which do you want more now, a steady and well-paying job that lets you hang out with family and friends, or an exciting and high-stakes job that could either catapult your career to the next level or have been a total waste of time? I think most people have done both in their life. Me, now, I'd do Job A, since it sounds like a sure bet (more money, management experience you don't yet have, good life), whereas Job B sounds like a gamble. But I've done Job B, had a fantastically exciting time, bungled it but learned a ton, and it shaped how I see my professional self and where I see my career going.
posted by salvia at 5:05 PM on April 17, 2008

I think it depends on where you are in life.

If you're young, carefree and dynamic with no commitments (family/house kind that is), willing to take some risks on the job not actually being quite as advertised, then go for B.

If you're ready to settle down, get married, pop out some sprogs and live the family life, then go for A.

I was in the second category, chose A, and am very glad that I did.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:09 PM on April 17, 2008

5MeoCMP has it. If it was me in this situation, I'd go for Job B without hesitating.
posted by meerkatty at 5:32 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Did you like one set of potential coworkers better in the interviews? That will make a huge difference in your day to day job satisfaction.
posted by MsMolly at 5:38 PM on April 17, 2008

I had a similar decision. I took B.

Incidentally, have you talked to either place about the other offer? I would definitely tell Job B that you really want to work there, but you also have Job A and A is offering more money...

In my case, job B upped their offer (still not up to A's level, but still) and that made the choice easy.
posted by meta_eli at 5:48 PM on April 17, 2008

If the love interest was a definite rather than a potential, I'd say A. I'm the sort of person that does a lot of "Job Bs" - travel far away from friends & family, takes gambles on things. It's bloody hard. But don't discount the possibility of other love interests and friends. Also, you can always keep in touch with friends & family no matter where you are; some of the people closest to me also live far away.
posted by divabat at 6:19 PM on April 17, 2008

B. THink longer term. Do not take short term gratification over long term success. You will be happier in the long run with B
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:57 PM on April 17, 2008

You have to decide for yourself instead of asking random strangers on the internet who know nothing about your situation. Here's how I decided between two good job offers. It's kind of a high tech version of the standard pros/cons list.

I made a list of all the qualities that were relevant and significant to me, e.g., commute distance, possibility for learning new skills, collaboration, compensation amount and benefits, etc. I then assigned a weighting to each one from 1-5 based on how important that factor was to me. I then rated both offers from 1-5 based on how well they met each criterion. I did this in an Excel spreadsheet so I could multiply each offer's score by the weighting I gave to that score, then added up the weight-adjusted scores for a bottom line calculation.

I'm very happy with the decision I made and am really loving the job.
posted by matildaben at 7:16 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

If Job A and the career that follows from it are good enough for your life, go for it. Work is to keep you alive so you can be with people who matter. And it's an article of faith with me that if you're doing what you like, you will do it well enough to get paid enough for it.

It sounds to me like Job B will put you under a lot more pressure, more of the time, and cut you off from people who matter, the compensation for which is a snazzy title and maybe a more impressive resumé. I've had a B-type job, lots of pressure, lots of must-be-done-yesterday-and-only-I-can-do-it, and it looks neat on the ol' CV but I didn't relish it. And I wouldn't have, even if it had had a snazzy title.

/random stranger on the internet

P.S.: Here's A Psychological Tip.
posted by eritain at 7:40 PM on April 17, 2008

Yeah done B, successful but sucked the life out of me, go with A. Friends, family, love interests vs a job title? Job title loses so heavily it's laughable. Remember also that somewhere round the corner are unexpected jobs c thru z and any number of permutations of friends, family and love interests so this decision isn't as make or break as it might feel right now. Good luck!
posted by merocet at 7:48 PM on April 17, 2008

Why do you care about your career? No, seriously. I'm not asking to be flip. What is it about career success that makes it important to you? Is it the fact that you take satisfaction out of being successful in your career? Because you like achieving things, the satisfaction of mastering your goals? If so, what you're actually doing is weighing one kind of satisfaction (love of family and friends) against another kind of satisfaction (fulfillment through career and achievement).

Personally, I would choose B. My personality is such that I gain greater satisfaction out of my achievements than I do out of maintaining old relationships. I figure I can always make new friends and keep in touch with the old ones even if I don't see them face to face as much. But that may not be your personality. There's no right answer to this question. You need to figure out which kind of satisfaction your personal preference steers you towards. It's not a "love or money" question; it's a "what are your goals in life, and what are your values" question.
posted by decathecting at 8:04 AM on April 18, 2008

Job A. You can always advance your career by changing jobs in a few years.
posted by happyturtle at 8:47 AM on April 18, 2008

Where do you want to be in life in ten years, and which job will better get you there? Look at your long-term goals, and work backwards in choosing where to be today. If it was just a function of which choice would make you happier today without regard for future consequences, then we'd all be having ice cream and meth every morning for breakfast.
posted by commander_cool at 3:14 PM on April 20, 2008

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