$50k a year+ great benefits or $100k a year?

Hello All,
I was faced with this decision a few years ago and was wondering what the opinions are today. If you were offered a package of 50k salary +10% bonus in a mid COL city with 40 hour weeks, 20 days of vacation an 8% 401k match and a great work life balance, would you take it over the 80 hour weeks and $100k a year out of college? I took a job at a credit shop out of college made $100k my first year working 80 hrs/week then switched back and took a similar job to situation 1 and have not looked back.

Opinions? I think that the finance community as a whole is into chasing money, and more power to those that can work those long hours but once life started other things took precedent. There are ways to move up from that initial position and keep similar hours. It also is much easier than anticipated to live off of $50k a year (Again, mid COL) but it did take quite a few lifestyle changes. As we age is it better to have grown in a role like this for quality of life purposes, and what would I have missed out on continuing that schedule? Anyway, I do not regret the decision at all but feel free to comment what motivates you to keep up that schedule, would you trade it and what do you feel you are missing out on?

Comments (16)

Jan 17, 2020

That's nice. What do you do at your 40hr job site? You still have the 20 days vacation and 8% match? Its great that you got to experience both type of schedules and chose the one you liked. How are the long term opportunities?

I tried.
Jan 21, 2020

It worked out, I am a 3rd year analyst now in the financing department of a F500 company. Pay is still not as high but its getting there and the vacation time is really nice and it is a consistent 9-5 in terms of hours and 2 days work from home. Priorities just changed when I got engaged and realized that I wanted more from life than long hours and money.

Jan 21, 2020

Congrats.

I tried.
Most Helpful
Jan 18, 2020

You have to remember that the consulting, banking, grinder job is not a long term path for most, but rather the entry ticket to a club that will pay dividends forever. There is nothing wrong with taking the 40hr per week role and living life on cruise control, but with Goldman, Lazard, Evercore, MS, MBB, or any other highly sought after high paying job on your resume you send a signal that is very difficult to replicate elsewhere, even when looking to throttle down into industry.

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Jan 21, 2020
Pmc2ghy:

You have to remember that the consulting, banking, grinder job is not a long term path for most, but rather the entry ticket to a club that will pay dividends forever. There is nothing wrong with taking the 40hr per week role and living life on cruise control, but with Goldman, Lazard, Evercore, MS, MBB, or any other highly sought after high paying job on your resume you send a signal that is very difficult to replicate elsewhere, even when looking to throttle down into industry.

Is this true though? I feel like people like to say this but the truth is how much money you "need" overtime will always outpace your actual earnings trajectory.

More to the point, I thought the whole concept is ambitious kids will seek the glory and not mind being chained to a desk for the rest of their lives in the name of sacrifice to the "greater good".

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Jan 21, 2020
Billion with a B:
Pmc2ghy:

You have to remember that the consulting, banking, grinder job is not a long term path for most, but rather the entry ticket to a club that will pay dividends forever. There is nothing wrong with taking the 40hr per week role and living life on cruise control, but with Goldman, Lazard, Evercore, MS, MBB, or any other highly sought after high paying job on your resume you send a signal that is very difficult to replicate elsewhere, even when looking to throttle down into industry.

Is this true though? I feel like people like to say this but the truth is how much money you "need" overtime will always outpace your actual earnings trajectory.

More to the point, I thought the whole concept is ambitious kids will seek the glory and not mind being chained to a desk for the rest of their lives in the name of sacrifice to the "greater good".

It's definitely true. The guys I see working the dream jobs (high pay, easy hours) are the ones who put in their time with the prestigious firms. You land the dream jobs by having the prestigious work experience.

Jan 20, 2020

Grind it out for 5-years at the most competitive environment possible. After 5-years then debate taking the lower COL job, but you'll likely be higher up in the food chain.

Jan 21, 2020

The latter, for sure. You can't buy blow with "benefits".

Or... I guess that depends...

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Jan 21, 2020

I think the sprint in the beginning (what you've done) is the best way to go.

I've been grinding harder and harder since community college and it's a rough uphill. I can definitely feel how much harder it is to pull long, concentrated hours as I age, and it gets especially harder to motivate myself as I see my net worth growth reach my yearly salary. I'm not close to where I want to be before easing up, but I think I'd be pretty close if I had started strong, looking at the acquaintances I have who did just that.

I'd advise the youth to spend their 20s working with the goal of leaning back by 30s in a nice position where you can focus on building specific skills in an area you've found passion for so your mid to late 30s can be spent on family and starting a business.

Of course, it all depends on your goals for your life, as fleeting as they may seem.

Jan 21, 2020

might be off on the math here, but 261 work days in a year, (241 if you have 20 off), 55,000/241(with bonus) is $228 per day, or $28.5 per hour in a 40 hour week (8 hour day). 100,000/261 is $383 per day, but $23.9 per hour (if 16 hours a day worked).

Per hour you get more at the 55k, but more overall with investing at the $100K. All depends on lifestyle, what you feel you need.

Also, think about the benefits situation, and how much you have to pay for the 100K for things like insurance, or stuff you need to do that you don't have time for (like laundry). End of the day everyone has a price, you just need to figure out what yours is.

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Jan 22, 2020
Jan 22, 2020

I can see both sides of this- I chose the CF route because I wanted a life outside of work and didn't want to live in a high COL area. Good and bad:

The good:
-I never worked more than 40 hours, and got to work on the 9/80 schedule so I got every other Friday off.

The bad:
-Sometimes there was NOTHING to do. I would be bored out of my mind, and whenever I asked for more work I would get fake tasks like "read through this contract to know what a contract looks like". I inherited tasks that only took a lot of time because the prior owner didn't know excel.. once I made the tasks less manual, I didn't have enough to do. Cutting an 80hr work week down to 70hrs means you get to leave earlier, cutting a 40hr work week down to 30hrs means you have to sit around.

I was recently re-reading "Rise", a book about growing your career. A whole 3rd of the book is about effectively managing the workload, and it struck me that I've never yet been in a role where I have to set priorities or die.. where I have to work smarter or the work doesn't get done. Sure, I have to set priorities. And sure, the work is more boring if I don't automate it or work smarter, but I have enough time to get everything done and to do the work the slow way if I wanted.

So my answer? If it is for a limited time, and I didn't have other personal obligations, I would go for the 80hr/week job out of college. It would force me to learn how to set priorities and how to work smarter, and it would give me more appreciation for work/life balance and I'd be able to save more money right off the bat.

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Jan 23, 2020

Starting your career in a more competitive role with the shittier work/life balance is definitely a way to position yourself for better exit opportunities as well as developing an ability to just grind things out. I wouldn't trade the late night work+shenanigans in the bullpen with the friends I've made in IB for any other experience, because that helped me a) "earn my stripes" in the industry, and b) develop an appreciation for work/life balance.

It's easy to say, "yeah, fuck work/life balance--I just wanna make bank and fuck bitches," when you're 23. Much harder to have the same energy when you're 30.

Really depends on where you are at your life stage, because that'll be the number 1 driving force behind the decision you make when it comes to the work/life balance compromise.

Jan 23, 2020

''sales man salary'' come to DB

Jan 23, 2020
DB Monkey:

''sales man salary'' come to DB

Is this even salary. FML

Jan 23, 2020
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