Why I Didn’t Take the Promotion

In the post How to Get Promoted Quickly, I mentioned that I was approached recently with two internal job opportunities.  These opportunities came with increased pay, the opportunity to move to a lower cost of living area, and a greater title. I had posted in the Month 3 Update this past weekend that I was ready to accept one of the jobs.  Well after much reflection and a sleepless night last night,  I rejected the offer. My decision may seem crazy to some folks but it makes total sense to me. There are a few key factors that led me to this decision.

Loyalty is a Lost Art

Millennials are known job hoppers.  Heck, I am a job hopper. I worked at 4 different companies my first two years out of college.  In the age of LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed, employees are inundated with opportunities to jump ship and reminded daily of how much money they can make elsewhere.  (I get an email from LinkedIn every day that tells me “Employers X, Y, Z are looking for candidates like me!”).  It’s clear that the market has improved significantly since 2009 and that employees in key fields are well sought after by employers.

Even though the market is so good right now, there is something to be said about loyalty. My current boss gave me the opportunity to lead a team, much earlier than the average person at my company. My boss prior gave me the opportunity to work in one of the hottest and highest paying fields, despite the fact that I had no experience in the field or degree in the subject.  I am forever grateful to both of them for taking a chance on me and came to realize that it’s wrong to jump ship on the department so soon. I haven’t even been in my current role a year and a half!

I’m dealing with the “grass is always greener” issue with some of my employees right now.  Some of the more junior employees, many of which came into the role straight out of college, are now tempted to leave to chase down better opportunities.  Our department invested time training them to the point that they add value and now that they have marketable skills, they are ready to go. The money and title increase that they can get elsewhere is too enticing.

Well, last night I held up a mirror and realized that by taking the promotion I was just like them. I was chasing money, a higher title, and was abandoning my team way too early.

There’s Still More to Learn

In my current position, I am still learning each and every day.  So junior to my career, I want to make sure that I learn the core business and the basics prior to moving up. Now, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be successful if I moved up right now. I have the confidence that I would.  It just means that when that opportunity does come my way again (which it will) I will perform even better when I get to that next level.

I’m thinking about starting my Masters degree classes again.  I took a hiatus from classes due to the cost but maybe it’s worth pursuing, especially since my company offers partial tuition reimbursement.

Life is Too Short

This last one is super important.  As a young go-getter, I would often put work before my health.  I used to be an athlete and last year I rarely worked out. I avoided scheduling doctors and dentists appointments because I didn’t want to ask my boss if I can come in late.  I came home stressed out after a long day at the office and didn’t feel like doing anything but watch television. Even worse, I was grumpy and sometimes took it out on my significant other. Over the past few months, I realized that health, happiness, family, and friends are so much more important than work. Through my debt payoff challenge, my latest outdoors kick, and my ability to set limits for myself in my current role, I have taken measures to improve my well being.

When I compared the jobs I was offered versus the job I had, I realized the job I had was better for my happiness.  I feel energized by my department, my peers, my boss, and my team.  I knew these other departments were struggling and I would be walking into a stressful situation.  I also know my current manager shares similar views and supports the work-life balance I also believe in.  The exposure I had to the managers in these other roles led me to believe that I would spend my weekends and nights responding to their emails and stressing out about the upcoming week.  I’ve seen tragedy happen to friends and family lately which made me realize that life is too short to be anything but happy.

Sorry, Sheryl

Now Sheryl Sandberg told us all to Lean In, and maybe this decision would be perceived as not leaning in,  but I don’t see it that way.  I think I am devoting myself to my team and exhibiting confidence in my future self.  The money and title will come to me eventually, I know it.

Month 3 – Spending Outta Control

Well, we fell off the bandwagon.

monthly spending update

We didn’t make much progress this month due to a few factors:

  • A trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL  (Great trip, huge nerds)
  • Booking hotels for friends weddings on Priceline ($600)
  • Car Insurance for the next 6 months ($750)
  • Excessive Food & Dining Spending due to travel/weekend activities

Oops.  It’s just a major bummer since last month we were *ahead* of our goals. Now, we put ourselves in a situation where we need to payoff nearly $9000 in debt next month to stay on track – yikes!

My New Years Resolution – No Travel

The biggest obstacle to our debt payoff goal this month was travel. We always try to save money when we travel.  We use miles and points for 90% of our flights and hotels. We use coupon codes, Priceline, and shop around for discounts when we can’t use points.  For our latest trip to Universal Studios, we even received discounted tickets to the park since we were going with our friend who is an NBC employee.  Despite all of our attempts to save money on travel, we still ended up spending major moolah due to eating out and other costs.

In 2012, I received the Southwest Companion Pass which allowed Mr. Debt Albatross to travel with me on any Southwest flight for free for two years.  I learned travel hacking skills on blogs such as boardingarea.com and even attended Frequent Traveler University to learn tips. I learned about gift card churning, manufactured spending, mattress running, credit card bonuses, online shopping and cash back portals. With a little bit of effort, we earned hundreds of thousands of airline miles and hotel points in a very short time frame. Thus, we traveled almost every few months during those two years (with points and miles) but still spent more money that we needed to spend between eating out, resort fees, airport parking, rental cars, etc.

While I don’t regret those trips, I know that avoiding travel is best for my wallet in the short term. For this reason, my New Years’ Resolution for the past two years has been to NOT Travel. I made it decently far this year – late March – but then I got the itch and the Orlando trip happened.

We have some weddings coming up where we need to travel but besides those occasions, we are not traveling.  Let’s hope I stay strong in this goal – this is a hard one for me.

Month 3 Spending Struggles

As mentioned above, it wasn’t a great month for our spending.

Category Spending
Home $2,673
Food & Dining $1,233
Travel $774
Auto & Transport $1,494
Bills & Utilities $627
Pets $315
Uncategorized $257
Health & Fitness $158
Education (Loans) $369
Gifts & Donations $75
Total $7,974

On the Bright Side – Our Income is Increasing

My annual raise kicked in April 15th which was nice. I also received a verbal job offer for an internal promotion!  This promotion would mean greater responsibility, more money, and the possibility to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living. I took a lesson from Sheryl Sandberg and am now waiting to hear back tomorrow on my negotiated offer.  Don’t be afraid to #Ask4More, Ladies!