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A Job Offer Complicates My Decision

So I thought the decision had been made for me. A recent restructure will leave me without a job right around the time my first child is due. While some people might be devastated by this news I decided to take an optimistic approach to my new found circumstances. I figured it was a sign that I was meant to stay home for a few extra months with our soon-to-be little one.

Of course I should have known that fate would not let me off so easily. After feeling relatively at ease with this decision a coworker called to let me know that a new position opened up that I would be perfect for.

I’m not sure if the pay would be the same, but the benefits certainly would. If I transferred to the new job I would not receive a severance package, but I would remain employed. If I was offered and accepted the job it would be as though I was never put in this predicament in the first place.

So the question is should I transfer to a new position and forget any of this ever happened or should I simply take my severance and move on? Unfortunately the answer isn’t entirely clear, so I tried to write down the pros and cons of both choices.

First, I recently transferred jobs in an effort to work closer to home, but the new position is closer to my old location half way around the beltway. I don’t want to spend countless hours in the car driving back and forth to work. I’ve been spoiled with my current commute and I dread the idea of driving around the beltway again. Plus I really don’t want to be so far from home once the little one arrives.

Second, I don’t know if the pay would be exactly the same. I’m not sure I could find out the answer to this before applying for the position.

Third, I would only be able to enjoy 10 to 12 weeks off before returning to work after the baby is born. I really dread the idea of going back after such a short period of time even though I know a lot of women who have survived this.

So what are the benefits of leaving the job. Well I would receive a hearty severance check that would permit me to stay home for a much longer amount of time. I wouldn’t have to return to work after a 12 week absence and I would be able to take more care and time finding a nanny and easing back into the working world.

Of course on the negative side I will have to find a new job eventually that may not pay as much or provide me with as much flexibility and paid time off. If I don’t find a new job before my severance ends I will also have to start paying for health insurance since my husband and I both retain coverage through my employer. Of course, I won’t receive 401(k) matching during my severance period and I will have to apply and pay for my own life insurance policy.

After writing down the pros and cons of both choices and listing out the specifics associated with pay, time off and other financial and non-financial benefits I believe I’ve reached the same decision I did a few days ago.

I believe I should be happy with my current circumstances and simply take the money and run. The world is full of possibilities and while I might not find a job that pays as much or offers as much time off I may find a job even closer to home that is much more fulfilling.

So what do you think? If you were in my shoes which option would you choose? Do you think there are factors I haven’t considered and do you think I’m making the right decision?

Anonymous

Tuesday 28th of June 2011

It sounds like you've made your decision, and in general I think its the right one, but I did want to throw one concern out there: the fact that you currently provide the health insurance for your (expanding) family. I assume the severance package includes insurance continuation for a decent amount of time (through the birth of the baby?) After that can you all go on your husband's insurance (at a less favorable rate perhaps) or is that not even provided? If so, be very careful - COBRA continuation coverage is very expensive, there may be pre-existing condition exclusions, and with the previous health issues you have alluded to you may be considered un-insurable on the individual market. It would be too bad having to turn down the perfect part-time/flexible (but no insurance) position when you're ready to go back - maybe your husband should start looking for a new (insurance provided) job situation too if his current doesn't include it.

One Frugal Girl

Monday 27th of June 2011

That's right. I can't apply for the job unless I know I want it. If I apply and turn it down I won't receive severance.

Anonymous

Monday 27th of June 2011

It's odd your company allowed you to transfer and then suddenly eliminated your new position.

If the company really wanted to keep you, the HR people should have suggested you apply for the new position found bu your co-worker.

If a position is made available to you and you turn it down, the severence offer might be rescinded. You could be considered as having resigned and be ineligible for unemployment.

Ruby Leigh

Monday 27th of June 2011

Your in a perfect position to take the severance and run. When you look back - what will you regret more? Not taking a job that would have made you semi-happy. or Not spending paid time-off with your young child?

Pam

Monday 27th of June 2011

I think I would go with taking the severance package. If you are feeling like this now, there is a good chance you won't want to return to work at all once baby gets here. You and your husband have put yourselves in a very good position to be a one income family. It seems as though you are highly enough regarded in your company that if/when you decide you want to return, something will surface. When my first was born I decided rather early on that I wouldn't return to work until my youngest (I knew I would have more kids) started school. I would bank the severance, though!