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More teeth-gnashing job-related decisions

February 12th, 2012 at 08:40 am

Today, after mulling it over all weekend, I decided not to pursue 2 jobs I had interviews set up for Monday and Tuesday.

You may think I'm being awfully fussy for someone who's been out of work so long. But I ended up bowing out of both jobs for 2 very different sets of reasons, which I think are valid.

1. The crossword puzzle editing job.
When I applied, I thought the lowest this job could pay would be in the $40K range, but I was wrong on that. When I learned the pay was just $29K, it didn't sound like it would be enough to even cover my expenses. But I like to keep my options for as long as possible, til I'm ready to make a decision, so I didn't reveal any hesitation to the editor when i spoke to her on the phone last Friday.

My net monthly pay after taxes would be $1928 (based on $29K a year gross)

My MINIMUM monthly expenses are $2400.

That's a monthly short-fall of nearly $500. And this is a full-time job!

Add in likely monthly savings of $250 a month for cheaper health insurance with them, but deduct $143 a month for gas, and I would net just $2035, still short of my minimum monthly expenses.

I would have little time or energy to do freelance to make up for the shortfall.

Next spring when my mortgage is paid off, it will be different. My monthly minimum expenses would fall to $1800. So, ok, I'd have an extra $235 a month in my pocket. Just not enough.

When I figure my minimum monthly expenses, I DON'T include things like: car repairs, retirement/IRA savings, clothing, home maintenance, Netflix or occasional lunch out. Nothing like that. I'm getting tired of living like this. What's the point of a long commute and full-time work if it doesn't even alleviate some of these budget shortfalls?

I just don't want to get back into that kind of daily grind/commute if I'm getting so little back for it. Quality of life is a really big deal to me. If I'm earning so little, it should at least be a local job to compensate for that.

The only reason the editor called me for this job is becus a very good friend of mine put in a call to the wife of a very good friend of his, and the wife happens to be #2 in the company. While the editor I spoke to on the phone seemed super nice, she did question my wanting to drive all that distance, and at that time i just tried to allay her concerns.

2. The senior writer job at large IT research firm.
This job would be over an hour drive, so in this sense, the long commute would be a similar issue, though more so. But there are other issues: it appears a regular part of this job would be traveling to conferences and interviewing analysts attending them so I could write up white papers which are later sold to their clients. I don't much care for business travel, would have issues getting someone to take care of the cats and it's just not something I enjoy. The other thing is, while I apparently met all their requirements (like being someone who worked at a large firm and agency before in financial services or some other heavily regulated field), I don't have a lick of background (or interest) in IT stuff, and that's what this company is all about. So I'm passing on this one too, although the money for this perm job would be quite good.

So what's left? I'm still very much interested in the United Health Care contract job and will call the recruiter for that one to see if he's gotten feedback from the company on my resume yet.

What really miffed me is this guy insisted on knowing how much money I wanted (on an hourly basis). I tried to sidestep that and just bluntly said if he could tell me their range, it would probably expedite things. He ignored that. So I ended up telling him $30s, meaning somewhere between $30 an hour and $39 an hour.

I guess that was really much lower than I needed to go, becus I saw that the company has also retained not one, but TWO other headhunters to find someone for the job, and one of these other headhunter agencies posted the job as paying $48 to $53 an hour!!

So, I decided to apply for the same job with these 2 other agencies. If all these submissions result in an interview with one of the other 2 agencies rather than the first, then I will of courses, up my salary requirements. As it is, if something comes thru with the first guy, I will insist on $39 an hour. Becus I'm quite sure that they and United Health Care have already worked out what UHC will pay them. A portion of that payment will go to me and the rest the agency keeps. So obviously, the less I earn the more the agency gets and I'm sure they like it that way. But if the company talks to me and decides I'm the one they want, I don't see how the agency could refuse to pay me at the top end of my scale if I insist. They'd be forced to give me what I wanted becus if not, then they don't get paid either.

The other job I'm now very interested is a 100% remote job with unknown company doing marketing writing. Unclear whether it's p/t or f/t but it is contract work through a recruiter. This looks like a highly desirable job to me. The only thing is the job posting was old, 23 days old. I checked the recruiter website and it seems like it's still an active posting. I somehow hadn't seen it earlier.

In the meantime, I still have the 3 day a week publishing job. With the weekly quotas they've set for us for the number of listings they want us to complete, it's not an easy job and a bit of a grind. I barely met that quota at the end of my 3 day workweek, and the quota will only rise over time. I'm hoping I'll be gone before it rises in early summer, but who knows? Like just about every other place I know, they're trying to squeeze the maximum amount of work out of you for the least amount of pay.

Just trying to do the best I can. It ain't easy.

4 Responses to “More teeth-gnashing job-related decisions”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    On one hand I am wondering why on earth you would have to withhold so much taxes from your paycheck (you should be able to take home about 90%? Maybe more?).

    On the other hand, you are hitting the *Retirement Syndrome* I talk about. Single tax rates are way high, no itemized deductions probably?, no retirement contributions?, and then add SE taxes on top of that. So, I see it.

    Thank goodness for our wonderfully fair tax system, right? Wink

  2. patientsaver Says:

    Well, the retirement calculator i used was www.paycheckcity.com, based on state of CT taxes and single filer. Maybe it was inaccurate?

    I ALWAYS itemize deductions. for 2011, total deductions were $12,419. and just $350 in retirement contribution this year.

  3. Jerry Says:

    You are wise to compare all of the details (travel costs, insurance differences, etc.) in addition to the straight salaries. I have actually known some very shortsighted people who will just look at the salary and make a decision, without consideration of the total costs/benefits that a new job will lead to. Good luck!
    Jerry

  4. PNW Mom Says:

    Sounds like you are doing the right thing. You obviously know exactly how much you need to at least make ends meet. I don't blame you at all. Good luck!

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