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Old 09-02-2011, 10:25 AM
crazy crazy is offline
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Default Taking significant pay cut for work-life balance

I earn about S$260k p.a. basic, with roughly 1 or 2 months bonus. There is plenty of room of development in my career (I am a professional) but it requires a huge amount of ability, effort and sacrifice, which I think I am not willing/able to deliver. After 10+ years in this career, I am able to honestly assess myself. And so while I can hang on for another maybe 2 years, I don't think I can do much more beyond that, as I will have maximised my potential. My career has an 'up or out' policy, which means that you cannot stay still in one position - either you keep getting promoted or you'll be 'managed out' eventually.

Most of my youth has been devoted to my career and I used to spend inhuman hours at work. However, now that I am older (I am already 36 this year, rabbit entering my 4th cycle) and so I find myself slowing down and questioning the wisdom of focusing so much on chasing paper.

As I question my commitment to keep chasing down that bigger pay cheque, I think I have subconsciously been adjusting my lifestyle, or rather, refrained from adjusting my lifestyle to match my pay. And so I don't have expensive habits or a large mortgage to upkeep. My apartment is fully paid and I have a car which is worth roughly 1/2 my annual salary. My wife and I have no children (this is not by choice) and so it is unlikely that we will need to pay for kids' education etc.

And so it makes total sense for me to slow down, smell the roses, and begin to enjoy life, rather than spend all my time servicing customers who are rude, demanding and take up more energy and time from me than I give my loved ones.

However, given my current pay (which is fairly high, given my abilities), it is hard for me to find something that will match, or even come close to what I am earning, so the jobs which will give me a good work life balance (eg non-financial sector companies, or even GLCs or stat boards) will only give me about half of what I am currently earning. I will be able to live quite comfortably on this amount, with sufficient savings to handle retirement.

Anyone has any thoughts?

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