Monday, 15 December 2014

Planning and a Promotion

My Mr. has a steady government job.  It's got great benefits, a pension, and a salary that can support a family without a second income.  We both feel very lucky that he has his job. 

He was hired to take on a special project.  Over the years,  the position has shifted away from the work that he really enjoys towards more repetitive day to day tasks that are less of a challenge.  If he wanted to move up the ladder, he'd need to do courses in an area he doesn't really want to pursue.


So, even though he has a great job now, we both agreed that he should think about changing his career direction. 

He's been applying for a new job for a very long time.  It's been hard to see him get excited about a new job posting, then not hear anything back.  I'll be honest, it's taken a lot out of us.

 He has had some interviews, and they've gone well.  But, there hasn't been that right fit. 

He'd like to focus on the part of his job he loves and to move into that field.  But, his degree isn't particularly useful there.  He does have plenty of experience, but it's difficult to fit his experience into the boxes that potential employers are requesting.

So, we've been living with the possibility that Simple Cheap Dad would end up taking a huge pay cut to start at the bottom of the totem pole again so he could get into the field he wants.
Financially we would be able to make it work.  But, it was stressful thinking of how we'd need to tighten the budget to keep up some sort of buffer on a drastically lower salary. 

We live on half our single income now by choice.  If half his income was gone, we'd live on that budget by necessity.  Those are two very different things.


The Good News


If you follow me on Twitter {follow me} then you may have already seen that Simple Cheap Dad finally got the job he's been trying to create at his work for the last four years!  

It's a one year contract, and once it's done there's a possibility it will become a full time position.  If not, they'll give him his old job back or he'll move on to a new opportunity.

He's calling it a Christmas miracle.

I think he might be right.

For one year we've been given some breathing room.  We won't be worrying about Simple Cheap Dad's career path or a drop in income. 

Instead, we know he'll have a little raise and a title that will look a lot less confusing to potential employers.  Plus, he's finally able to see a career path that he'd like to follow at his work.  It's the best possible scenario for us.


Our Outlook Has Changed


The new job will start in the new year and the timing ties in well to our budget and goals planning we do each year. 

It's been hard to plan when things were so up in the air.  There were so many scenarios that could come into play.

We had trouble agreeing on our end game.  We both had very different views on what our dream lives would look like.  I'd like to live somewhere exciting with better weather in an efficient sized home.  But he'd just like to move closer to his family in town and play more hockey.

I was easy to just get frustrated and stuck.

But now we have a clearer picture of the path he'll be taking with his career and of what our income will be.  A fog has been lifted.  Now, when we talked about our plans for the new year and beyond, we were able to see that we both wanted the same things.

We both wanted to spend more time with people, making connections.  Since becoming parents and moving to the suburbs, it's been harder to keep in touch with everyone.  In my dream life, I lived in a tight knit community where I knew all my neighbours.  In his dream life, he was spending more time with his friends and family in town.

The stress around trying to figure out his job situation had blocked us from figuring out what we really wanted.

So now, instead of worrying about where we're headed next year financially, we'll be focusing on trying to strengthen the relationships that probably haven't been getting enough attention.


Our Financial Plans Have Changed Too


Having job stability and direction for at least the next year will have financial changes for our family too.

We can take it easy on our emergency fund.  With a contract, we're not as concerned about job loss.  Because he's staying with his company, we'll be keeping our insurance coverage for health issues.  There might be big home or car repairs, but we're trying to plan as much as possible and fit those into our actual budget instead.

We can also rethink our mortgage payment plan.  Because we weren't sure what our income was going to be, we were planning to replace our large payments with the smallest payment the bank would allow, then add extra optional payments each month.  So, if our income dropped, we'd only HAVE to pay the new smaller payment. 

Seeing as our income is now set for the next year, it makes sense to just keep the easy, large automated payments.  We might even add a little more to our payment to knock off even more principal.


Conclusion


We've been very fortunate that Simple Cheap Dad has had a steady job with benefits and a pension so that we could afford to be a single income family.  We've never had to worry about putting food on the table.  We've never had to deal with a stretch of unemployment.

But, his job wasn't giving him the fulfilment he was looking for, so even with steady employment, we've been considering other options.  We've been planning for every scenario.  That's one of the major reasons that we try so hard to live off one half of one income.

It's amazing the relief that this new position has given to our family.  We couldn't recognize all the stress we'd put on ourselves until it had been taken away.  Without the work stress, we've been able to shift our attention to focus more on the friends and family who are important to us.


It hasn't been easy for us to get to this point.  But, that just makes it sweeter. 



What About You?


Has your stability changed recently?

Are you searching for a fulfilling career?

Have you found your dream job?



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