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Taking significant pay cut for work-life balance

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:25 AM
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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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Old 09-02-2011, 12:31 PM
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i can fully understand your situation. i'm 35 this year, drawing S$180K basic, and each promotion comes with ever higher expectations to generate revenue for my company. my networth is close to $2M thanks mainly to some successful investments, and as such i do occasionally question the need to face work stress.

jumping over to public service or GLC and taking a big pay cut is fine, but obviously not the most optimal solution in your case if you are confident about your abilities. it might also diminish your chances of getting back into a high paying job when you need more income.

most successful career transitions i've seen (better work life balance without having to take a pay cut, sometime even higher pay) comes from the person using his own network (e.g. alumni from your current company or customers who have established themselves in senior positions elsewhere) to find the right opportunity. of course one still needs to have the right IQ and EQ for the job.

with your many years in industry and high powered job you would likely have established many contacts who are in top management, and now would be a good oppoortunity to tap on them. if not, start working now to establish your network and sniff out good opportunities while still you are still employed.

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Old 09-02-2011, 01:50 PM
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let me make a guess. is the OP a lawyer?

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Old 09-02-2011, 02:04 PM
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Default Work Life Balance

Work life balance is something one can seek if one can afford it.

It seems you can afford it base on the facts given.

Just remember, when you are 65 or 75, you will not remember the millions you have made, or the impressive job titles (with it comes a fleeting moment of respect and fame), but you will probably remember the people you have relationship with and the positive impact you have on the people around you. Your treasured memories will most likely filled with people.

Its people from the start. And the end. And in the middle of course

With work life balance comes the time and opportunity to contribute to your community, built better relationships and make more positive impact that will last longer than the zeros in your bank account, and the fleeting moment of fame and respect.

Just my 1 cent worth.

Yaj gnoel


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Old 10-02-2011, 01:07 AM
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Can consider going for IVF treatment. The cost is small compared to your $260k pa pay cheque.
You can start thinking who will be the lucky guy who get to enjoy the millions you earned after you are gone.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:35 AM
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I can understand where you are coming from.

After the big ticket items are settled and fully paid for - property and car
in your case no children, you will start pondering if you actually NEED to continue to work insane hours for the money.

Money is never enuff, but money cannot buy back time especially our youth. Whats the point of being 50, rich but no energy to travel or do things you like? For myself, I can feel my body getting old, because it takes longer to recover from a jog or cycling. So I make sure I am not overstretching myself at work. I am willing to sacrifice money for time and I earn probably 20-30% lower than my peers but I have a very good work-life balance. I dont bring my blackberry for holidays and I go 1 long trip and at least 3 short trips a year.

In your case, I can understand why you feel so, but I would advise you to pursue a career in the European MNC sector than GLC. I have worked in a few corporations and found that European MNC offers the best work-life balance.

Salary might not be as good as financial sector (i am assuming you are from there), but still decent. I think probably at your level, taking paycut or not at all will really depend at which level you come into the MNC. Even with a 20%-30% paycut, it is still decent and I believe you can enjoy your life better with less worries on your finances.

But I agree with the earlier comment, once you take a paycut, its really tough to get back to your current level, so I think it is very likely to be a one-way ticket. So think wisely!

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I can understand where you are coming from.

After the big ticket items are settled and fully paid for - property and car
in your case no children, you will start pondering if you actually NEED to continue to work insane hours for the money.

Money is never enuff, but money cannot buy back time especially our youth. Whats the point of being 50, rich but no energy to travel or do things you like? For myself, I can feel my body getting old, because it takes longer to recover from a jog or cycling. So I make sure I am not overstretching myself at work. I am willing to sacrifice money for time and I earn probably 20-30% lower than my peers but I have a very good work-life balance. I dont bring my blackberry for holidays and I go 1 long trip and at least 3 short trips a year.

In your case, I can understand why you feel so, but I would advise you to pursue a career in the European MNC sector than GLC. I have worked in a few corporations and found that European MNC offers the best work-life balance.

Salary might not be as good as financial sector (i am assuming you are from there), but still decent. I think probably at your level, taking paycut or not at all will really depend at which level you come into the MNC. Even with a 20%-30% paycut, it is still decent and I believe you can enjoy your life better with less worries on your finances.

But I agree with the earlier comment, once you take a paycut, its really tough to get back to your current level, so I think it is very likely to be a one-way ticket. So think wisely!

Good luck and keep us posted.
Hmm.. in many occasion, having a pay cut doesn't mean shorter working hours and lesser stress.

Perhaps try to work part-time, start a small home-based business would be better for work-life balance.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:49 PM
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When I first graduated, I worked in private sector, without days and nights. Once I have family, I joined Garman, very good work-life-balance,,,but gave up hope on status, pay cheques and promotion...when children grown up, I retired at the age of 54.

I have many friends retired at the age of 40+, mainly they have enough from work, and making quite a lot from investment.

Life is so much happier for most of us as we still enjoy good passive income.

I always tell friends

When ur young, u use your health to earn your wealth
but when ur old, u may not be able to use your wealth to buy back your health.
For me, only live once. Happiness and health come first, and not the career
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laguna View Post

When ur young, u use your health to earn your wealth
but when ur old, u may not be able to use your wealth to buy back your health.
For me, only live once. Happiness and health come first, and not the career
This is very wise saying but a really tough thing to do.

Imagine that you are in your 30s. Your friends are all starting have titles looks nicer jobs more exciting than yours.

And there you are, stable income, slow and steady. When they talk about the high life, the flying about on business all over the world, you know you can't participate.

Not easy really...
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
This is very wise saying but a really tough thing to do.

Imagine that you are in your 30s. Your friends are all starting have titles looks nicer jobs more exciting than yours.

And there you are, stable income, slow and steady. When they talk about the high life, the flying about on business all over the world, you know you can't participate.

Not easy really...
知足常乐,无需强求

those ppl may not as happy as u
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