D and I walk together often -- After dinner, afternoons, weekends. It gives us a chance to catch up with each other as well as work out some stuff that may be occupying our minds. It is something I look forward to. Recent events (before Christmas) had us walking and talking about a few things more serious than usual.
D fluctuates from hitting the ceiling with the amount of agony (crap) he is willing to take on a daily basis from his current department to appreciation of his job. Recently he has acknowledged the type of person he would need to change into in order to continue his current role. Despite receiving numerous accolades for projects done under very difficult circumstances (people), he is not convinced he wants to stay and play in such a toxic environment.
When he told me, my immediate thought was OK, what type of planning do we have to do as I assumed it meant a change of job. I asked him if he felt strong enough about it to choose a job that paid less? He isn't leaving the company but will again be looking to move out of this division even if it means a pay decrease. For what he does, he is at the top of his pay grade which actually overlaps with the next level.
I've said this before -- What we potentially give up are the lifestyle "perks" that comes with his current boss who believes in the work-life balance thing. Previous to this D had decided he was OK with tolerating those particular negative aspects of his work because of it. Even now he still questions his motives.
Recent events have made him reconsider and accept that things are not likely to change there. So adapt or get out. Some people thrive in consistently antagonistic frameworks. Not us -- What a waste of good energy. Much harder to be straightforward and honest but better for everyone involved in the long run. However, I'm not the best judge of what's possible in a corporate environment -- Too idealistic.
D is finding it harder to harder to decompress and I can see what it is doing to my otherwise easy going happy man. From my end, what matters most is his peace of mind. If he is not in a good place, then we aren't in a good place. And for us to move along/forward we both need to be...at least moving in that direction deliberately.
What can be done right now is calculate what it would mean should he accept a job offer that pays at the low end of his pay scale. There is a 30K variance within his pay grade so not a small number. It made sense to see how that would affect our bottom line should it end up as our reality even though D thinks it wouldn't be likely.
In order for us to keep living the way we are, save the amount we do, a 30K drop would mean I would not be getting my "annuity" payment from D until he completes his portion of house mortgage/ski condo mortgage/car loan which currently sits at about 59K with the end being Dec 2015.
In reality, it wouldn't be that big a deal to me. I can accept it. The other differences include annual bonus amount -- Overall percentage would be the same but if based on a lower salary, the net amount will obviously decrease. Ditto with pension calculations and life insurance as D's coverage is based on multiples of his salary.
Part of D's apprehension with bringing this up I think was his worry of my reaction. When he realized I wasn't phased by it, he relaxed. I am more concerned for his (our) mental health than a drop in income. And once we worked through what the numbers would mean, we moved on.
We are far from having to sell anything or drastically change the way we do things because of an income drop. It's a freeing feeling. And even if we did, so what? Our lives would still hardly qualify as suffering by any measure.
He gave notice of his intent to pursue difference opportunities at his year end review. And has his eyes on a couple of other departments. I know he will be strongly competitive when it's interview time. And I believe he won't know what he'll really do until he is actually faced with options.