I Chose Freedom Over Money and Benefits. Would You Have Done the Same Thing?

by Alexa Mason · 9 comments

I recently received an email from a business asking if I’d like to apply to a job they had open up.

I’d inquired about jobs at the business before, so I was excited to be asked to apply. I quickly read through the job description to see exactly what type of role this would be. The work seemed to be right up my alley, except for one thing: I would have to put in a minimum of 55 hours per week. Which also means that I’d have to give up all the other jobs I’ve worked so hard to get.

Even though I’d been notified by the company about the job opening, I’d still be up against some stiff competition. My chances of actually getting the job were slim. Being hired would equate to a larger income, but before applying, I had to weigh the pros and cons.

Is earning more money really worth everything else I’d be giving up?

Here’s what I considered when deciding whether or not to make this career move:

What Do You Have to Give Up?

When you change jobs, you’ll always be giving up something. Sometimes, it’s comfort and familiarity; other times, it’s hours, pay, and benefits.

I have it pretty good right now. I don’t make a lot of money, but I live on a small budget and choose my own hours. I work for a variety of different people and have developed personal relationships with most of them. I also just started working a couple days a week at my dad’s business, which I thoroughly enjoy.

In addition, I often keep my two kids home with me and do my freelance work after they’ve gone to bed. In order to pursue a 55+ hours/week freelance position, I’d have to take my girls to the babysitter for at least five days a week.

Earning more money

What Do You Gain?

Obviously, when making a career move, your gains should outweigh your losses — but the pros of a job change look different for each individual.

In this instance, I’d gain more money, as well as health benefits (something I’m lacking now). This position could also help me to be identified as more of an expert in my field, meaning I could charge higher rates to future clients.

What’s the Right Choice?

In my case, there’s definitely no guarantee that I’d get the new job — just a chance. But after weighing the pros and cons, I don’t think it’s for me.

At this point in my life, I feel likes there are so many more important things than chasing money. I’m comfortable where I’m at, I like what I do, and I appreciate the freedom my current jobs provide me.

I’m all for earning and saving more money — but for right now, I’m content with the work I’m doing.

What’s your criteria for making a job change? Would you have done the same thing?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Alex says:

    Having a wealth of control and maneuverability sounds the better option, so long as you enjoy your time working from home. Also with having kids it’s great that you’re around for them when they need you, and the cost of a childminder may be like throwing money away to begin with.

    • David Ning says:

      The memories of you being with kids is priceless, and you’ll also have a stronger bond with them that will last a lifetime.

      The few dollars you are missing is definitely worth the tradeoff!

  • I’ve been self-employed for over 10 years and I can’t imagine myself going back to working 9-5. Freedom is indeed priceless!

  • David Ning says:

    Good choice Alexa (though I’m obviously bias!)

    Regarding health benefits, you should also take into account that a 55 hour work week + kids means you wont’ have any free time to exercise and eat right, which will, through time, lower your health and increase your health bills.

    You can’t buy freedom (and health), as they say!

  • Deborah says:

    Your inner voice is always the one to listen to. That old expression, “do what you love, the money will follow” is true.

  • You know, it’s tough.
    We all want to be ambitious and move forward with our careers. At the same time, we’re seeking balance.
    It seems like you have a good balance right now, as do I.
    What I’m trying to do with my freelance work is find a way to evolve it so I’m learning new things all the time.
    The more I diversify, the less tempted I am to return to a traditional job.

    • David Ning says:

      Balance is key, which is one of the main reasons a traditional job is so undesirable.

      There’s no rule that says you can’t be ambitious with your freelance work either, so work hard and plot your way to success. You really can have your cake and eat it too here!

  • Michelle says:

    I have been offered a few jobs since I left my day job to pursue full-time self-employment, and I’ve said no to everyone. I just can’t go back – I’m enjoying life way too much right now 🙂

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