The New Day Job…A Bad Idea?

Day 54 | $31,450 paid | $59,267 till freedom

So I talked earlier about how the bonus (that I get in April/May but is decided in December) will probably be around $8k, but could be much lower or much higher–up to $15k after. It all depends on my performance, and to a larger extent than is probably right, my boss’s perception of me. At $8k, I would still have about a $5,500 shortfall to my $90k pay-off by the end of June. If it’s anything less than $8k, then that incredibly huge gap gets only bigger. If it’s higher than $8k, then the gap gets smaller.

I got a promotion a month or so ago, and officially moved into the new role two weeks ago. I was looking for a new job before I started NMHD because I wasn’t being challenged in my old product line management role any longer. So I got a new job, and it brought with it a 6% raise. However, it also brought with it a whole new set of challenges along with an extremely steep ramp.

In the old job, I would have probably gotten the high-end of the bonus I quoted earlier. I knew what I was doing, my boss loved me, my business partners loved me, and life was good. I worked eight hours a day. But I was bored as hell.

So I got a new job. Unfortunately, I don’t think my boss loves me, my business partners really don’t know me yet to make a judgment call, and I’ve been working eleven to twelve hours per day just to ramp. On the plus slide, I’m no longer bored and I’m  loving the new job. However, I think my $8k bonus is in jeopardy.

I won’t go into details because some of it could be considered inflammatory, and if my boss gets ahold of this blog, I could lose my job, which would be completely horrible and counter to what I’m trying to achieve here. So let’s just say that while I think my ramp in the new role is good, my boss said some things in my meeting with him at the end of the day yesterday that make me think he doesn’t have as quite a rosy view of my performance as I do. 

A very large part of me regrets getting a new job this close to the time when bonuses are determined. I found the new job before I started NMHD, when I was less concerned about money and bonuses and more concerned about job satisfaction. Looking back, I should have just sucked it up and stuck around my old job for the guaranteed pay-out. But that statement just goes to confirm that hindsight is always 20/20. Anyway, I’ll be doing everything in my power to change my boss’s perception of me within the next six to eight weeks, at which point he’ll be asked by HR to submit my bonus amount.

Off to Detroit
I’m heading to Detroit in thirty minutes for my cousin’s wedding. I’m expecting to spend $30 on parking and $55 on a gift and card total for this three-day, two-night trip. Gotta love getting sponsored by the parents!

(BTW, I bought the tickets for this trip before NMHD, which made it a sunk cost by the time I started my mission, so that’s why I’m going. Same goes for the reunion I had a few weeks ago, and same goes for next weekend’s wedding in Ashville.)

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The New Day Job…A Bad Idea?

  1. decon50

    i get that your trying real hard to finish in 10 months but don’t forget that any bonus money you lose in the short term by taking this position will pale in comparison to the future money you earn by continuing to moving up.

  2. Walnut

    Can’t let short term-ism get in the way. While it might mean that you’ll come up short of reaching your goal by a couple months, it will be best off in the long term.

  3. Similar to what others have said, don’t worry about the bonus – it’s a short term setback for a longer-term future.

    But here’s the deal about bonuses – you can negotiate them. I work on the HR side and there are a lot of negotiations that go into the bonus calculations. If you don’t like what they want to give you, you can always go to HR and point out that you were in one job for 9 months and another for 3 months and so your bonus should be based on the combination of the two, rather than just the performance in the new job. If you don’t want to go to HR, you can have a similar conversation with your new boss – depending on how comfortable you feel with him.

    Additionally, I’m not sure if this is the first bonus at your current company or not, but don’t forget to factor in taxes and 401k deductions from the bonus amount. Bonuses are taxed at flat rate that is higher than the normal income tax levels and is subject to 401k (if you participate in the 401k plan). So make sure you factor that in – the general rule of thumb that we used to tell employees is that it’s a 40% flat rate. (but I’m in CA)

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