How much is better working conditions and shorter work day worth to you?

Discussion in 'Job Trade' started by PatrickBrown, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. PatrickBrown

    PatrickBrown Active Member

    Aberdeen NJ
    I have been working in NYC as an Audi tech for the past 3.5 years. I am up at 5:00-5:20 daily. drive to the bus, then a 45 minute bus ride. then walk 1.5 miles to work to be there for 7:30AM start. work until 4:00-4:30 and then do the reverse commute. usually get off the bus and then back to the house by 5:30.

    now the workplace sucks, its filthy, stuffy, non air conditioned. and its run by a dealer group corporation that runs it basically by the numbers, from their head quarters in NJ. nothing gets repaired when needed, and what really gets to me is that I'm tired of them always looking to the bottom of the pile, in their eyes, the techs are always where the problem is, the slow business is, the cuts need to be from.

    I came here in january of '09 after the economy took a dump. my second year and 3rd year I made about 25k more than my best year in NJ. this year isnt looking so good. I'll probably make about 10-15k less than those 2 great years.

    I have a job prospect back in NJ that has presented itself to me. and I will more than likely make more than I was previously making in NJ, but definitely not as much as making here in NJ.

    if I chose to pursue that job, I would not have to wake up until 7am, commute 20 minutes by car, work 8-4, then could be home by 4:30 and spend time with family, ride bikes, get on with personal life. and be working for a smaller dealer group that seems and appears from the outside to be a better run company from inside.

    I know that its my thing to have to weigh good vs bad, right vs wrong, but I'm just having a hard time with the thought of losing say 10-15 k per year.

    the other side to the pay cut is that when I took this job, my wife wasn't working and up until this past November she was still out of work. she is now working and my pay cut is going to be offset by her salary.

    I have a 4 year old son who I never get to drop off at school in the AM and sometimes just get home in time for him to have dinner and go to bed. and we do want to have another kid.

    anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

    THATmanMANNY Well-Known Member

    if it were me

    after the paycut and I'm still financially stable where I can still put money in savings, I'd do it no question
    you're getting back 3 hrs of your day. That's a lot.

    1 hr with your kids at the park
    1 hr to yourself
    1 hr more sleep

    I would also consider how stable the new opportunity is. Also, you can probably so ride to work and you work hard. I can tell. You would probably ride to work 2-3 days I week I bet.

    Oh, I guess you just added the part about you two would want another kid... I would take that into my calculations too. One of the best feelings is cutting back and living more simple. I'm definitely not the king of it but I am frugal so I can buy more and more things I don't need... wait, that made no sense
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  3. JerseyPete

    JerseyPete Member

    Bergen Cty
    Do your figures include the tax issue you currently have living in NJ and working in NY? Do your figures also include transit savings as well?
  4. axeman_g

    axeman_g New Member

    Cherry Hill, NJ
    What are your commuting costs per year to this job? Add that to your new salary estimates, then add $1 Million for being able to spend more time with your kid! Problem solved.

    Been there... done that. It was worth every penny I turned away from. Made 6 figures while working telecom in Atlanta, enduring two-three hour commutes every day. Dont really remember much about my son's first two years because I was not around much. Made a switch, lost a bunch of income, reduced my stress levels, secured my marriage and I could not be happier.

    Sounds to me like a large part of your $10K gap might be made up in commuting costs alone. I bet your commute costs $5K per year if you look close at the numbers. That's a no brainer to an old man like me.
  5. Rusty

    Rusty Active Member

    made a similiar call years ago, working now from home, got my life back, would not change a it - the time with your kid(s) trumps your need for a new ipad....
  6. PatrickBrown

    PatrickBrown Active Member

    Aberdeen NJ
    the shop has been there for at least 20 years. it is definitely somewhere that is commutable by bike.

    I hadn't figured in how much difference in state tax it would be, but for the most part, commuting expenses are figured in.

  7. ChrisRU

    ChrisRU Well-Known Member Team MTBNJ Halter's

    It sounds like you value having a work/life balance, and are in the work to live rather than live to work camp. 15k is a substantial drop off, but you are also making a pretty significant gain in free time. The potential stress reduction is also a mega factor.

    The numbers are pretty straight forward through. Moving from a 5-5:30 workday to a 7-4:30 nets you 3 more hours a day for you. That's about 780 hours a work year, or just over a month of time. Is that worth more than the 15K? Perhaps you could also negotiate something to offset the paycut, maybe a bump in vacation time? Can't hurt to ask.
  8. jmanic

    jmanic Well-Known Member Staff Member Team MTBNJ Halter's It's my Birthday!

    These are never really easy decisions, but I think you start with the math.
    NY salary vs NJ Salary + commute savings- basically what does the bus and parking cost you now that it won't if you go to NJ?
    Subtract your additional commute costs from your NY salary and compare it to the NJ salary- then how does this look?
    And more importantly, does the NJ salary allow you to cover all your expenses? (I assume so)
    You probably have a sense of your fixed costs and monthly net for NY-
    what's the monthly difference when you adjust for commuting savings?

    Any appreciable difference in benefits to consider?

    Then factor in the non-financials: What are these things worth to you?
    The time savings- you probably won't do much with the extra time in the morning, but the extra time with family or extra ride time might be valuable.
    Then there is the commute hassle- commuting to NJ will require only one moving moving part- just the drive. Depending on what that route will be like, that might be nice. Maybe you could even bike.

    And what is the environment worth to you?
    Sounds like NJ is winning in this regard- can you talk with some techs at some of the shops in this dealer group to see if it is as good as it appears?

    Anyway, like you said it's your decision to puzzle out,
    but in case any of this helps.

    Edit: Okay you just added the bit about your wife being a good earner, and the kid(s).
    As others have said- that simplifies the equation.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  9. jimvreeland

    jimvreeland Shop: Hilltop Bicycles Shop Keep

    Personally, I've always chosen quality of life over money. Learn to live within your means and everything will be just fine.

  10. PatrickBrown

    PatrickBrown Active Member

    Aberdeen NJ
    This is a very similar situation. 2-3 hours commuting, 6 figures (last 2 years, but definitely not this year., and worked like a dog. no saturday work.
    very true.
  11. Carson

    Carson Sport Bacon Team MTBNJ Halter's

    Readington, NJ
    +1 on Jim's philosophy.

    Work to live, don't live to work. $15,000 is alot of money, but it shouldn't really change your overall lifestyle very much with some budgeting.

    Just remember the grass is always greener...I'm sure you'll find things at the new place that irk you as well, so consider that in your decision.
  12. walter

    walter Fourth Party

    South Amboy, NJ
    this and this.

    I totally think the more home/quality/family/personal time wins out every time.
  13. JerseyPete

    JerseyPete Member

    Bergen Cty
    Not long ago I had a day off and was able to pick my son up from school. He jumped in the car and said how much he was glad I could pick him up. You can't put a price on things like that. As others have said, quality of life and extra time are worth more than $.
  14. Dusty the Whale

    Dusty the Whale Mr.Chainsaw

    Is this Open Road Audi?
  15. PatrickBrown

    PatrickBrown Active Member

    Aberdeen NJ
    mmmmmm could be rabbit
  16. MST.ESQ

    MST.ESQ New Member

    Essex County
    This is a no-brainer. Go back to Jersey. I am trying to convince my firm to acquire a North Jersey practice so I can work from home soil again. I have to believe that your commuting costs are eating up a large chunk of the increase. What does a NJ Transit monthly go for these days, over $400?, plus parking, subway, etc.
  17. PatrickBrown

    PatrickBrown Active Member

    Aberdeen NJ
    Bus pass is $325. and it includes parking. no subway

    $3900 yr
  18. Not tons to add on this that the others haven't already added Pat but I think it's a win-win to get back to NJ and avoid the commute to NYC.

    Quality of Life is a hard figure to put a $ amount on but I think it's pretty clear that you would be getting back a significant chunk of time for a noticeable but probably very manageable reduction in Salary.

    Another way of looking at it is the 750hrs gained * your hourly earnings rate is significantly > 15k in estimated earnings lost so in theory you are making more not less. Perhaps the hit to the bottom line can be negated by picking up OT or side work?

    I'm sure you know plenty of people in the different dealerships to talk to but definitely do your due diligence on the Dealer you would be jumping into. The grass isn't always greener on the other side, but very often it can be.
  19. Frank

    Frank Sasquatch

    Work to live, don't live to work. Come back to Jersey.
  20. Arwen's Mom

    Arwen's Mom Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains


    Money is temporary and flows away from you faster the more you chase it. Family is forever.

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