You Ask, We Answer
I’m 30 years old and at a big company in New York. My team is expanding and moving to Dallas. I’ve been offered the opportunity to lead the team there. The downside is I will have to take a 15% pay cut because of the difference in the cost of living. The upside is that I could potentially be on a faster path to management — although that’s not guaranteed. The prospect of building and leading a team is exciting but I can’t get over the pay cut. Do you have any suggestions? — Daniel Qin, Jersey City, New Jersey
It’s important to balance thoughtful analysis against the inertia of indecisiveness. Here are a few thoughts to consider:
- Cost of living: Presumably, the employer is not cutting pay by 15% as a punishment, rather because costs of living are lower in Dallas. So the 15% pay cut may not be much of a one at all.
- Long-term goals and happiness: This could be a great career move for you and while a direct path to management is not a guarantee, this seems to be a smart forward-thinking move. Why not pursue something that will be personally and professionally rewarding while also enabling possible career growth?
What we do for a living can take up a lot of waking hours, so it’s important to weigh the excitement of what you do for a living together with compensation. In this case, the pay cut really might not be as bad as it seems after considering cost of living. — Elliot J. Pepper, financial planner at Northbrook Financial