I realized in the last three or four years that when I get anxious, I like to plan or make lists or charts. Some of those you see on this blog. I think it just gives me something to do with my mind other than ruminate and ruminate. And at the root of anxiety is the fear of the unknown. If I can manufacture some knowns or alternate pathways, my mind thinks it’ll help. So I do – I plan, I list, I chart.
Besides if reality TV is to be believed, everyone is anxious about everything these days. So I know I’m not alone.
I recently applied to 20 jobs and am hoping to find out something this week as last week was the holiday and some companies have summer shutdowns during Fourth of July. I was hoping to take you along this journey with this handy chart. We are in the era of the overshare after all! My hope is the company (that’s you guys) might help ease some of the anxious feelings and curb some of the overzealousness.
Here’s what I have compiled.
It turns out jobbing (what I’ve decided to call the process) is a lot like dating. The silence itself is a telling response. Even if it’s not a good fit, the rejection still stings. They should just want me because I’m awesome!
For context, I’ve been at my current job for 3 years and 9 months as a Widget Specialist making a little over $40/hr (a little over $90k last year with bonus+overtime). The jobs I’m seeking would conceivably be more responsibility utilizing the skills and experience I’ve acquired in my current position.
I have also been asking for more money, depending on the region, in the $130k to $142k as of late. My boldest ask was for a Mgr, Widgets position in April 2019 at $152k. I got the interview so the salary clearly did not present a problem. Except for a few roles I applied for in my current area, these roles are out of state and in areas of higher costs of living (COL). The rent in Southern California, for example, is currently my entire monthly budget!
Making even $120k in these higher COL areas would generally keep me at my same level of savings (in dollar amounts not percentages). Thus I settled on $137k as my sweet spot for at least a cool $10k increase in savings after taxes. In the back of mind, if I were really interested in the offer, I would be open to accepting $120k primarily because I would be able to leverage the promotion for future opportunities.
I will say that’s one of the things FIRE has taught me in the job search. It’s not how much you make; it’s how much you can save. Doing the actual math in these high COL areas made me realize a low six figure salary would be more than I make now but would actually mean I would be saving less. I don’t know that I would have even considered that before I started my FI journey…at least not prior to the salary ask.