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Seeking Advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HeinekenMan, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I was pitching a story a few days ago when an editor asked about my qualifications and experience. After I shared that information with him, he noted that he was hiring a full-time editor and encouraged me to apply. Here we are a few days later, and I have landed an interview.

    The problem is that I've been freelancing for six months and have grown to like it. I earn a fair wage while working less than 40 hours per week, and I spend a lot of time with my kids. So I'm in a bit of a quandary regarding what I should do if offered the job.

    On my list of positives are
    • job would pay more than any job I've ever worked
    • job would pay approximately $10,000 more per year than I am likely to make freelancing
    • job would give me health insurance and other benefits, possibly 401K
    • job would provide a steady stream of income
    • job would be the most distinguished of my journalism career
    • job would be a step toward an even better position

    On my list of negatives
    • I would sacrifice about $12,000 per year in daycare costs
    • After daycare costs, my income would be about the same as my freelance work affords
    • I would sacrifice the wonderful time that I spend with my children each weekday
    • I would no longer be my own boss

    Those are short lists. I'll probably think of more pros and cons later. But I'd really love someone's unbiased perspective.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Not sure of your freelance gigs, but be aware that they can dry up suddenly.

    If it were a more certain job, I would say it's a wash, but being a freelance job, I think you have to carefully weigh what's best for you and your family.

    Putting kids in daycare more than just a monetary decision, though.
  3. Alisha_H

    Alisha_H New Member

    Also, find out how much "stress" and time constraints you would be under.

    If you're working a 40-hour week, and I mean 40 hours - not 50, not 60, etc., and you're not having to deal with office/work environment, petty B.S., then it's certainly worth looking into (the fulltime job).

    However, the extra stress can greatly impact what time you do have with your family.
  4. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Day care is deductible on your taxes, and the more you make, the more credit you get (or at least that's the way it's supposed to work).
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's true, so from a financial standpoint, $12,000 worth of daycare might cost about 8-10 thousand (depending on tax bracket).
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    money isn't everything. you seem to value quality of life over tangible things like money. if you can handle the risks of freelance gigs drying up and varying from month to month, year to year, etc., then i vote for freelancing.

    but it never hurts to go on the interview. maybe they love you so much they offer you $30K more than you make now and the chance to sock away money to pay for the college fund for a few years outweighs the quality of life.

    ultimately no one can make this decision except for you. when i have a huge decision i usually make a list of pros and cons and ask my wife to make a separate one. often we'll have three lists -- i make pros and cons for leo, wife makes pros and cons for mrs. leo, together we make pros and cons for the whole family and then we figure out what's best.
  7. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Good point on the daycare. Actually, it's not just a deductible. You get a $3,000 credit per child. So I'd be able to recover $6,000 of the $12,000 I'd spend each year. For this year, I'd probably be able to recover the entire amount.

    And having a steady paycheck would have some benefits. I tend to start every month with no jobs and then breathe a relieved sigh four weeks later after putting forth a great effort to acquire different gigs. But I'm starting to get into a comfort zone with expectations of better gigs and a steadier stream of incoming funds.

    The kicker, I imagine, is that I could still do some freelance work. I'm not sure of the parameters on that, but I can't imagine that they'd have a problem with me doing some magazine features. This paper actually provides a great deal of my freelance work. We'll say about one-third to half. So I might be able to salvage about $5,000 a year in freelance income.
  8. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    That sounds logical. Just tell your wife to e-mail me her pros and cons ;-)
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    May depend on where you work but you also have do a dependent care savings account and pay the fees out of that and the money is all tax deductible. Not sure how that works with a child care credit and all. We pay our Swedish au pair under the table, you know.
  10. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Does your wife have a steady source of income with benefits?

    The first thing I would think of in this situation would be the kids. And yes, spending time with their father is the most important.

    But then think of other issues as well. By taking the fulltime gig, you guarantee being able to provide for them all the necessities (food, shelter, medical, etc) and probably a little more. And you would still have time to spend with them off work or on days off. Sure, it may not be as much as you spend right now, but what time you do spend with them will be cherished even more.

    And putting them in daycare would help them in social situations too.

    Really, tho, it is what you feel comfortable with. Can you live with seeing your kids a little less, but providing a good life for them (not saying that you're not providing a good life for them now either).
  11. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    You eat her out and then she goes ATM on you?
  12. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    If the childcare numbers are a wash or close, your decision really comes down to two things: 1.) Who you want looking after your children and 2.) Which situation gives you the most control.

    Each situation has its own stresses. In my experience, with freelancing the stress mainly comes from waiting on checks to arrive and making sure your shingle gets seen by enough potential clients. If your household has enough regular income to make ends meet without budgeting your freelance income, that would be ideal. With a regular job, it comes from submitting to someone else's bureaucracy. You have do do that as a freelancer, as I'm sure you've already figured out, but having the ability to say no alleviates it to some extent, as does the fact that you are getting to spend time with your kids.
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