It’s time for another rousing game of Would Your Rather! Y’all did so good spewing your thoughts on the last one between fame or fortune, I thought it was high-time to pick your brains again. And maybe even get you to stop for a hot minute and really THINK about what you’re doing (or not doing) with your career right now. No harm in that, right?
(PS: If you’re reading this at work right now, you may want to triple check your boss isn’t standing right behind you :))
Okay, here we go… grab your thinking cap and coffee…
Would you rather: Continue working where you are right now – OR – start your dream job tomorrow BUT only get paid 1/2 of what you’re making today? ;)
Haha… you know you want it!! And if you’re already living off 50% of your income, perhaps you can pounce at any time? At least when it comes to the money aspect. If this was “real life,” you’d also have to figure out *how* to catch that dream job too. For the sake of simplicity though, let’s just pretend you snap your fingers and it’s all yours. Even if you don’t now how to snap, like me (#truefact).
If given the option right now, would you accept it? Or are you already DOING what you love and making a generous amount of money at the same time?? You already know the answer I’d choose since I’ve already chosen it, and the funny thing there was that I actually DID take a 50% pay cut! Haha… so perhaps this is one of those “life mimicking art” type deals? ;)
Regardless, we’re here to talk about YOU today. And all your dreams and financial flexibility. If give the option to start your own dream job tomorrow for half the pay, would you jump on it? And what would that job/dream be?
(Photo by Digging For Fire)
Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!
If the dream job had upward potential so that you could make up that pay cut and eventually even come out ahead, why not?
Totally would go for half the money for the Dream Job… Teaching poor kids in Eritrea how to play frisbee.
Absolutely! My dream is to be an entrepreneur, and I’m working towards that goal right now. I hate my day job so most likely I’ll be taking the plunge soon & just living on a lot less money.
No question – dream job for 1/2 the money! When you’re doing something you love, and work HARD at it, the rest of the things will follow – maybe not immediately, but the potential to get back up to your earning potential is there, and you won’t be hating life! :) Dream job – even if it means Ramen for awhile!
I could work the job I am at for the rest of my life. While it is not my dream job, it pays well and gives me plenty of time off, which allows me to persue other passions. Also, the realist in me says I can’t take a 50% pay cut with a child on the way.
Although in reality, I can’t afford to take a pay cut (not even a penny, since I’m the sole earner for a family of 4), I would quit today and start my dream job on Monday (my own business that we have plans for already; just have to get all the wheels in motion at the same time), with a 50% pay cut. Actually, said dream job actually does cut my pay by almost 50%, but my husband/business partner picks up the rest in our plan, so we don’t lose out. If the money (the last wheel to be in place) was there, I’d take it in a heartbeat, no questions asked.
I’d keep my current job, I’m doing what I love and it pays ok, and the next thing I love is sleep and travel, I’m not sure those could be profitable anyway.
Plus I’m unsure if we could live with my pay cut by 50%, we might… but that’d mean no summer/winter/spring vacations
Considering that my dream job consists of sitting on the beach, then yes, of course I would take it :)
I’d stick with the job I have now- I like my job.. I’m a fraud analyst for an auto finance company, so I’m pretty lucky that I have a cool-ish job that pays me pretty dang well for where I live (Dallas area, about 60k), with no college degree.
My dream job would be social work, but even if the opportunity presented itself tomorrow, still no degree required, for the SAME amount of money, I would not take it- I have small kids at home, and I could not bring that kind of mental burden home with me. When they are older, I’m going to work toward the dream job.
Dream job, that of being a full-fledged systems administrator, hands down. I’m living on just a little more than half of what I make now, and some of my current expenses are what I’d consider *luxuries* that I could cut away if I really had to “tighten the belt”
This is a tough one. Although I think part of it is the whole “what exactly is my dream job anyway?” haha. However, I do feel like if the “dream job” did show up, I would probably take it for 1/2 the pay. My only hang up would be that with my job right now… I’m outrageously spoiled with health insurance. When you have brittle bones disease… that’s a really good thing. Me not having good health insurance would be a huge disaster. So I feel if I weren’t to take the “dream job”, that would be why. Beyond that – heck yes! I would rather be doing something that I love and be poor than not.
It depends. Did I start off making $200K so that my 50% pay cut would be to $100K? Or am I only making $40K and a 50% decrease would put me at $20K? ;)
I could do it, but I think taking that 50% cut would be too far right now. Even if it was my absolute dream job, I’m too much of a fiend for money. Losing that 50% …. Going to have to take a raincheck I think. :-(
I’d absolutely take a 50% pay cut to have my “dream” job. I read something by Mark Cuban not long ago where he said “If it matters what you get paid, you’re not in a job you really love.” The thought being that you’d be doing your dream job for the love of the work, and any salary would merely be a bonus.
Well… I’m not working my dream job and since I only make $30K per year, I couldn’t afford to take a 50% paycut anyway.
Hell yeah–I’d already be packing up my office to take that dream job!
I’m already in a job that’s a lot of fun for not a lot of money. Don’t know if it’s a dream job, but it’s pretty close. And there’s no way I could live on half what I’m making. So I’d stay here.
Definitely dream job. Happiness is something that will shine through in what you do, and it will help you make more money as you go. Of course, the going may be rough for a little while, but I think it will help move a person on a path toward making more money doing what they love!
Happy Friday guys!!
@Money Beagle – Well that would all depend on what *your* dream job is, now wouldn’t it ;)
@Alex – Oooooh I like it! :)
@Jubilance – There you go!! You’re making a Would You Rather coming to real life!! I support you! :)
@Melissa @LYWC – Hehe, you got it. Love the concept of your blog btw, was poking around for a few :)
@Brian – Dude, not a bad mindset at all there – looks like you have a good head on your shoulders. I forget, is my baby coming out first, or is yours? Wanna race? ;)
@Laura Brown – That’s not bad! You’re already working towards the dream, good for you!! And that’s really the point of today’s post — getting people to think about how it would be, and perhaps edge them a little bit to at least consider going for the gold ;) Looks like you’re already there though – let us know when you make it!
@m1nts – Oh man if we could figure out how to get paid while sleeping?? AND traveling??? I’d switch too!! :)
@Michelle – Haha… so the next question to ask yourself then, is *how* do you make it happen? ;)
@rosie – Awwww, I think that’s a wonderful goal – and smart of you to know how you’d be in that role too! Congrats on the killer job you have right now, if you ever wanna share some of it with us let me know – maybe we can do a guest post on it? :)
@Yardwork – Oooooooh so you could be close to that dream job soon if you really went for it, eh? A lot better position than most people are in – way to go! :)
@Emmy – Awww I want to fix you so bad!! I love your bones! :) And at the very least help you find your dream job as well – anything I can do to help? You have my number and email! :)
@Well Heeled Blog – You start at the job you have right now ;) So whatever you make at your current job, you 1/2 it!
@Lee – Haha, no shame in that brotha. I’m pretty keen on money too!
@The First Million is the Hardest – Wow, I like that. Cuban’s a beast!
@Julie – Awww, I’m sorry to hear my friend :( At least you know you can live off what you’re making now! If you keep that same lifestyle when you start making $40k then $50k, etc, you’re gonna be WAY better off down the line… and then you can take that dream job from the magical Would You Rather fairy ;)
@The Happy Homeowner – Haha, I like it :) What IS your dream job, may I ask?
@Jennifer G. – Well that’s not a bad position to be in :)
@Christa – I agree :) And if you set yourself up to have some padding and get your expenses in check, it maybe not even be *as* bad as you’d expect. It’s amazing how adaptable we are when we REALLY want something.
@Brian I can totally relate with you! My job is not bad, definitely not my dream job but I make good money and have a lot of time off. The challenge I’m overcoming right now is getting lazy in life with all this time off. :P
There’s no way I could live on half of what I make, so I’m stuck at my job. It’s all good!
guest post? I’d be happy too, although It’d probably pretty boring :) I basically sit in a cubicle all day, looking at docs and calling people to hash out ID theft, or dealers playing dirty with us and sending in made up paystubs and stuff. It’s interesting work, and I enjoy it, but it’s definitely not as rad as it would be if I got to run around in a disguise busting people in person!
I really like what I do, but if I could get my dream job tomorrow at 50% of my current pay I’d definitely sign up. But I think the minimum salary for center fielder for the Boston Red Sox pays a bit more than 1/2 my salary… although I hear there’s an opening… I’d do it though and donate the rest to charity so that my leftover would be 1/2 my salary.
Given that the center field gig won’t last (although I may be an upgrade on their 8th inning relievers) I’d still take the deal. We live on 1/2 or so and could easily make it happen for a dream gig (which would also reduce my work hours)
I’d definitely take the dream job (acting full-time). Half of what I make right now is a pretty dang decent amount to make as an actor, so I’d jump on it with almost no hesitation.
Thankfully, I’m already here:
“Or are you already DOING what you love and making a generous amount of money at the same time??”
Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for it today.
Would someone else be paying for me to go back to school?
Dang you and your topics; you always seem to know what is going on with me. This is exactly what my husband and I are deciding right now. We are in the middle of it and are truly deciding whether to move and take pay cuts to chase better jobs. Not necessarily what are “Dream” jobs are, but what we want to pursue. It would be a pay cut for both of us, it would be in a different state (not our dream state) and would be to pursue the jobs we want (not the perfect dream, but pretty high on our love list).
I think in the end we will end up moving and chasing these jobs, just because it is a better opportunity than what we have right now. We just need to make sure this is the best possible move because there is no turning back. I had planned at staying at my current job for 4-6 years, but with cutting hours and the merge I am not confident I will have a job in a year. Same for my husband, so we really wouldn’t be losing much except for big things like pay, friends, and the only home we have known for a very long time. I wish someone could just tell me what to do, because life has been a nightmare lately with work, school and home and I really don’t want to deal with this issue (arsonist in the area trying to burn down houses and sheds and finally got one and killed the three dogs- only 3 streets away from my house.) But instead I am going to take some time off work over the next two weeks, finish all my finals and freaking long papers for school, relax and breath, then take some time to sit down with my husband and list all the pros and cons. We should know very soon what are decision is.
I currently work because we need health insurance (and want another child).
My dream job is to be a consultant in green construction, finding prospective homeowners or builders construction alternatives, recycling from home demolitions, and sourcing building materials with environmental conscious.
I also am starting to love personal finance so helping people start up budgets, do some credit counseling, and learn how to manage a bank account would be a lot of fun, too.
I’m only 27.. I don’t have to know what I want to be when I grow up, right?
Not sure on this one :)
No, I would not do it. Only because I have no idea what my dream job would be. Kind of sad that at 35 I dont know what I want to be when I grow up. Fortunately, I enjoy my job and the people and make a very good living, so even though I am not fulfilling some passion I am very content.
Now, if I ever figure out what my passion or dream job is, I probably would make the switch.
I have never really wanted to be a stay at home mom, but if someone was going to pay me half my current salary to do that, I probably would jump on it. Considering day care is about $1000 a month, plus I’d be getting 50% salary, it would definitely make sense!
I basically already did this – PhD in a field I adored, now working for peanuts with $100K in student debt but in a job I also adore!
I actually really like my current job, so I think I’ll stay put and keep 100% of my pay ;)
I’m already doing my dream job!
I made that choice last June when I left my job to become a freelance writer. I am making 1/2 my income, but I am much happier. Hopefully by next year I will be making the same income I used to and then my goal is to surpass it. :) Great question.
My dream job is SAHM, which would be much more than a 50% pay cut… especially since I’m single! But, I’m working toward a place where it would be reality at least a good part of the year :) Working a seasonal federal job (that would leave me off during times kids would be out of school, plus some others and give me a 4×10 option, health insurance and onsite daycare) and tweaking the budget so I can live on that income. Side job income is going to pay off debt and save for a house. Goal is to buy a house (and be otherwise debt free) early next year and get licensed as a foster parent in 12-18 months. Also developing various homesteading types of skills to facilitate living on less. The stipend in my state for foster parents is doable for covering the kids expenses and I already have a good relationship with the agency I’d use. I also worked in foster care, so I know a lot of other resources available nearby for foster kids!
So, while I couldn’t afford the 50% pay cut right now, but I am working toward my dream job, pay cut be darned!
1/2 pay. I didn’t get much choice in a less rosy scenario: stay in well-paying job that I loved but turned hostile at the sake of my sanity and happiness (so bad it triggered/fuleled major depression) or quit to freelance and hustle in the service industry.
Take the jump. The decrease in stress level alone is worth a tighter budget. I pre-emptively downsized last time I moved apts and changed jobs to keep my expenses as low as possible should something happen to my job. Because I had been living so cheaply and socking away money, I was able to leave a horrible situation on my own terms instead of suffering through for the money and without the added stress of downsizing as a reaction.
I actually enjoy the jobs I do now, even though I’m not at dream-job level with the freelance work. And the service industry job is far more flexible about my other work and personal adventures than my old day jobs ever were, even when things were great. Oh, and the service industry job allowed me to network my way to my current best-paying freelance contract.
If my old job hadn’t gone bad, I might have never made the leap. Now, I don’t think I’d have it any other way, and I can’t imagine ever going back to my old lifestyle.
Honestly…I’d stick with my current job. There is a lot of opportunity for growth there. Several years ago I had the opportunity to do what I thought would be my dream job, on the side, for a small stipend. I found out it wasn’t really what I wanted. Sometimes the grass is greener but at the end of the day I love the security of my job…and I do the things I love on the side but not for money.
Quit job, never work again. Oh wait, that wasn’t an option above.
Ok fine, quit job, make 50% less.
How about quit job, find a rich husband?
(the JMK from the linked article above)
Really good question and one that’s come up a few times in our house. Because we can be content living on far less that we make, there those rare times when one of us has an lousy day or week at the office and we joke, “wouldn’t it be great to chuck it all and get a low wage/stress/responsibility job that you can leave at work?” If I did ________ I could work my hours, and go home and not think about work until my next shift. We chuckle and then the issue/workload smooths out and we carry on. My husband recently met a former work collegue who is now working in a home improvement centre. He was laid off, got a large severance package and is now thrilled to work 30hrs a week at what he considers fun, rather than his old high stress job in high tech doing 70hrs a week.
When I was laid off in December 2010, for half a minute I debated going back to school to retrain in something other than what I do. At the very least I figured it was an opportunity to consider if a change in careers might be in order. A month later I was offered a position doing essentially what I had been doing at $5k less to start and working with people I’d worked with in the past and liked very much. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, I’m good at it and the people I work with are terrific. The fork in the road for me at that time was, do I want to continue doing the same type of work or do I want to try something else? I didn’t really choose the HR data analysis work I do, I kind of wound up there after several job changes over my career. Kind of a long way from my Political Science degree. I did apply for a project management (PM) type position and was in the final two under consideration when my analyst job offer came in. I had to decide. Continue doing what I’d been doing at essentially the same salary, or if I was offered the PM position, go in a new direction. Turned out the PM position was going to pay 15% less and require a car+bus+train commute of at least 90 minutes each way. The analyst position was a 20 minute traffic free drive through the countryside into the edge of the suburbs. They also offered the option to work from home occasionally. I guess the fact that I took that position is the answer to the question. I was interested in the project management job but clearly not enough to take a small pay cut and add a massive commute – actually it was the commute that was the real deciding factor. Since my husband’s work requires him to travel about half the time and our youngest is 10, I couldn’t visualize a way to make that commute work no matter how tempting the job or even if the salary had been better.
The answer to this question really depends on so many things beyond the simple pay vs “dream” job question. It depends on your age – are you nearing retirement and have everything in place or are you scrambling to sock away every last cent to make it work without living below the poverty line? Do you have children still at a very expensive time of life or who dictate your work schedule? For a young person with few family or financial commitments to consder the decision might be easier. Same for a single person of any age – it would only depend on the state of your finances and whether you are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary. I suppose in every case it also depends how miserable you are at work now. Would the 50% pay cut make your life miserable in a different way, and would you come to dislike that dream job because of all it had “cost” you?
At this point, financially our daily lives could take a 50% hit on either of our salaries. I like my job just fine and financially it’s allowing us to sock away the funds to get us to early retirement in December 2020. I guess getting to that goal is more important that any job change I can imagine now. If there is some type of work I’d like to try for pure enjoyment I can certainly do that after I retire at 57, and at that point the salary won’t matter. Perhaps I could even do it in a volunteer capacity.
Ideally, people work to fund the other things that are important in their lives. We live in a nice house, travel with our children and plan to retire a little earlier than many. I suspect that there are a lot of us in the middle on this question, our jobs are fine, the salary meets our needs (althought a little more is always nice) but there’s no desperate reason to make a dramatic change that would eliminate or at least delay everything else we are working toward. Frankly I can’t imagine any job at 50% less that would be worth giving up our plans to retire early and then do anything for any salary if that’s what we want. I wonder if my answer would have been very different if I were 30 and looking at 35 more years of work? At 48 now and planning to retire in 8yrs, 10mths I’m less willing to compromise since the goal is within reach. Rather than considering anything that would cause a pay cut at this point, I’m considering ways to make a little extra on the side. According to my calculations every $100 extra I save on top of what we’re already doing moves up the retirement date by a day. The question is, am I willing to put in the extra hours now on top of my current fulltime job and cut into family time. Since I haven’t taken a part time job or put serious effort into finding ways to make a little extra, maybe that’s the answer. I’m prepared to wait the nearly 9 years rather than make the next 5 sheer drudgery working too much and missing time with my family just to move up the retirement date by another few years. If we’d had our kids earlier than we did and they were already out on their own I likely would get a part-time job with all the earnings going to moving up the retirement date. I don’t mind working hard and if a PT job for a few years would accelerate the retirement date by several years, that would work for me. I’m just not willing to do it at the expense of family time while our kids are still at home.
@Fifi – HAH! I used to be the same way before blogging happened… it had its perks, but I felt so blah too. Enjoy it while you can though so you can go “ALL IN” later if anything exciting comes up to steal your time!
@This Aggie Saves – One day you’ll be able to ;)
@rosie – Haha… well, in that case let’s pass ;) But I’m gonna pretend you DO run around with masks catching people anyways – cool?
@Nick – Hah! I like it!
@Bryan at Pinch that Penny! – I’ve kinda sorta wanted to be an actor too :) Though I SUCK at remembering things so probably not the best idea, haha…
@jesse.anne.o – Hooray! Well done, my friend!
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Nope! It is what it is right this second ;)
@LB – Woahhhh, soo exciting though! At least to an outsider like me :) Without knowing all the variables, I place my vote in the YES box. I relish the idea of picking up and moving your entire lives like that – so FUN!! And while you do risk a lot in the process, there’s nothing to say you can’t go back and start again. That’s the beauty of all this stuff – it’s never permanent. And even if the odds were still agianst me, it’s hard to always wonder and play the “what if” game. I’d much rather go and find out and KNOW once and for all. Life’s too short in my opinion not to take the bull by the horns (and apparently place two cliches in the same sentence! haha…). So those are my thoughts on it, for what they’re worth :)
@Stephanie – You’re right! But I’d say you’re on a good path so far with your interests already :) They’re both right up my alley too!
@SavvyFinancialLatina – Well that’s the part of the game, you have to answer! Silly head.
@Nicole – Hah! There you go :) I always said I’d be an awesome stay at home dad too, which it may turn into quite literally now that I blog from home! haha… it’s too bad I still have to work though.
@Georgie – Yikes! It’s a good thing you adore it so much! :)
@Cassie – That works :)
@eemusings – Awesome!!! Way to go!
@Melissa@LittleHouseIntheValley – Woohoo!!! A perfect gig that can be done anywhere in the world too :)
@Britney – Wow, you sure do have a good plan in the works! Keep me updated as time goes on, okay? Would love to hear how you progress over the years :) Thanks for sharing!
@joy – Well that’s wonderful, congrats! What a great example too – saving up so much and keeping expenses low so when you needed to go “all in” you could :) Thanks for sharing!
@Melinda – Ooooh there you go! Something that a lot of people never think about ;) I bet I could count 5-6 jobs I at one time wanted to do for a living as well, but turned out to be crap (like being a realtor – on paper it was SO GOOD but in practice not so much). Great things to keep in mind for sure.
@Kathryn C – Now you’re thinking! You’d be excellent arm candy too :)
@JMK – Hey friend!! Nice to see you again here – always with some words to the wise and youngins’ :) Thanks so much for putting in the time and sharing your thoughts with us today (and always). I swear you should start your own blog sometime ;) You always have a lot of good stuff to say! But I’m also happy to see it here too, hehe… I think you’re retirement goal is awesome, and that you know yourself well enough to wait it out rather than make time pass just to shave off a few early years. You’re definitely right in the whole age thing too – I think most of us who are younger struggle w/ the pay vs job stuff a lot more than those in the upper years. At least from what I can tell. In the end hopefully we all figure it out though! :) We’ll have to see what my wife ends up doing over the next couple of years too – she’s also a Political degree acheiver and her mind changes every other month. Have a great week out there, friend!
I’d leave my current job in a heartbeat. I feel that even though I would be making less money overall, the fact that I would be excited and enthused every day would make a difference. I also feel that those emotions would make me better at my job and thus eventually earning more than I currently do.
YES!! Exactly on that last point there – the most successful people in the world usually get that way cuz they are passionate and love what they do!! I always get farther when I’m interested in the task at hand – a good point to keep in mind :)
If I had a dream job, I would take 1/4 of the salary. I wouldn’t think twice.
I don’t care about $ and it’s very to find ways to cut things out if you really want to do something – but I’m single with no dependants or obligations. :)
Unfortunately, I’m one of those “well what do I REALLY want to do?” We’ll see. :)
1/4 of your salary? I hope you’d be making BANK so you can survive on that ;) But you may be a lot better at it than I.
I’d go with half for my dream job but I can’t seem to qualify for the PGA tour.
When I was 22, I would say dream job. I’m 27 now and I have a dayjob that pays the bills. I’m ok with it. The problem with the music industry is that it is VERY tough and you don’t get paid often on most gigs unless you do wedding/cover gigs. You also need to be connected and socializing with these folks will cost money too. Did I mention late nights, early mornings, and staying up for up to 4 days straight?
I have what it takes but I can not accept the fact that I will be financially strapped indefinitely. I think most people are attracted to the IDEA of living their dream lives but are unwilling to bear the consequences.
If you can bear the low-quality lifestyle, by all means go for it. In this day of age, this seems like a suicide to me. I also have a mortgage, meaning I can lose my asset if ‘my dream’ didn’t become a reality.
When your passion becomes a job, it becomes a job, literally. Can you cope with it?
@DSO – Not a bad dream to have though :)
@Musician – Amen to that. I’m living my dream and it’s pretty dope most times, but man there are def. times I wish I could go back into the “real world” and have stability again. Pros and cons with everything! (Now if only I’d pick up my guitar and start learning once and for all, jeez….)
I definitely choose a dream job over a high paying job that I dislike. I would want a job that I love going to because for majority of your life you’ll be working. Besides being miserable dragging yourself to work I want a job that doesn’t even feel like work but, fun. A job you hate will make you sick of life. My dream job would be a professional drifter or circuit/rally driver, or even a Major League Gamer (MLG). I would even love to work as a marijuana farmer/grower in Washington/Colorado (legalized!) or even Amsterdam (don’t judge me haha). These dreams are huge and I know this will never come true but, life will be great having these kind of jobs. At the moment I am in college having no clue on what lame/non exciting major I want to enter in.
Haha, at least you KNOW what you like! maybe you should go into business so you can apply what you learn to these legal marijuana farms down the road ;)
I would take the money! That way I could create my dream job and not worry about what kind of income it made!