August 10, 2014

Job vs Money

Still nothing on either the transfer for new application front.  I am reading this as "Sorry but No" and moving on.  Should I get a call or e-mail down the road, I'll be pleasantly surprised.  But I can't invest any more emotional energy into it.

At the forum, I along with many others advised a new grad not to try and negotiate for a higher salary but to accept what they were being offered and save the haggling for when they are an experienced nurse.  And that's pretty much what a new grad needs to do because the first job shouldn't really be about making the most bank, as it should be about getting through the first year of nursing and laying down the foundation of one's nursing career.

I know that not everyone is in an ideal position to just take whatever salary they are offered.  Creditors and bills don't care that you're doing the job more for the experience:  they just want payment when due.   So some people do have to angle for a certain salary level.  I have been fortunate in that when I started as a new grad, I had the freedom to accept a job offer regardless of the salary that was offered.   Ironically, the offer I accepted as a new grad in psych paid a few dollars more than the new grad positions at the major medical hospitals.  Point being, getting the most dollars per hour was the least of my concerns.

But that will soon be changing.

As the other half will be going to a guaranteed but considerably reduced income, I will become the primary breadwinner.   I worked out the budget and expenses to the nth degree, and have determine what take-home salary I will need to make in order for us to stay afloat.  By "stay afloat" I mean for us to maintain a comparable lifestyle--though with some corners cut and fat trimmed--and still put away a good amount in savings and retirement.

Then I did the math to determine what hourly salary (based on a 5 day/40-hour work week) that I need to achieve in order to meet this.  I keep this number in mind as I look at permanent positions.   I don't need to make as high of a salary as possible:  I just need to meet or exceed this number.   I would prefer not to exceed 5 days/40 hours a week, though in a pinch I can always pick up an extra day every now and then.

This is a shame because this means a lot of potential job opportunities are out of the running because the hourly rate won't cut it.  For example, for all the headaches that Job #2 can give me, I do enjoy the site that they send me to, as well as the people who work there.  It's a wealth of acute care psych experience that I wouldn't find at a lot of other places.  But I asked one of their nurses what she was making per hour, and she told me what it was, what the diffs were, and what the max hourly salary was.  And that number is too low.  If--IF--I got the max hourly rate and worked nights, it would just be possible.  And being that I'd already be getting the max salary, there may not be a lot of room for income growth.

I could stay as I am--the three per-diem jobs--and try to make it work that way.   It does seem like it could work.  I mean, I'm working 4, 5, sometimes 6 days a week.  In fact, provided I don't get cancelled anywhere, tomorrow I will be starting a stretch of 12 days in a row.  I know, I'm masochistic.

But I don't always work a full 8 hour day, and where I usually get the full 8 hour days is either at Job #2 with the lowest hourly rate, or Job #3 with the highest hourly rate but the least frequent offerings.   Plus being per-diem/agency, none of those hours at any of the three jobs are guaranteed--I'd be a fool to base my livelihood on it.  Though I may take a couple of months to see if I could scrounge up 40 hours each week and what the income would be.

It's probable that I could eventually transition into an full-time outpatient position at Job #1.  There's at least two nurses on the verge of retirement and one that I know is looking at other options, so it wouldn't be very long.  And I know that they'd love to have me, as I've been told my management.  The hourly rate I would get based on my experience would be just at that magic number so it would work.

To be honest, I'd rather work inpatient because that's what I enjoy the most.  I haven't finished learning and growing from there.  But as I said before, creditors and bills don't care about my interests--they only care that payment is remitted to them in a timely manner.   And soon that will have to be my priority, at least for a few years.

No comments: