Potential new job.. how big a sacrifice for a better work/life balance.

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  • Potential new job.. how big a sacrifice for a better work/life balance.
  • 1981miked

    Evening all,

    I had an interview today for a job I know I would enjoy. Waiting to hear back if I got the job but in the meantime I’m mulling over the details.

    I’m currently mulling over the figure and job details and just looking for some outsiders opinion and you lot are usually good at being practical.

    I’m working as a lorry driver just now delivering fuel oils etc and it’s well paid for what I do, although I do have to put the hours in. I’m currently doing 55-60 hour weeks and this has been the norm for many years now and no signs of improving. I’m not massively motivated by money, I’m set to make a good wage this year but I’m tired of it and fed up working away most of the time. I have a 20 month old daughter who is only going to be cute and not answering back for a short time so I want to make the most of it.

    The job I have been offered is near enough half the wages but it’s only a 35 hour working week on shifts, there will be weekend work included but I can live with that for some free time during the week to ride my bike(s). SO I guess I’m really looking for opinion on wwstw do? I have used the salary calculator website to work out what I think I’ll get monthly and it seems so-able.. but I’m afraid I’m missing something so if anybody works or knows about this stuff and wants to PM me I’m happy to disclose figures to clarify my maths.

    Thanks in advance, I know I would enjoy this job and it would certainly free up loads of time to actually have a life..


    If it’s do-able, do it.


    I have a 20 month old daughter who is only going to be cute and not answering back for a short time so I want to make the most of it.

    more time at home for a few years or you’ll regret it


    That’s my thinking.. that it is do-able but I Can’t get the thought out my head that I’m missing something with the figures.

    If I could sell my car that would make it easier aswell.. anybody want to buy a 2017 Seat Leon St Fr DSG?

    Seriously though.. it would mean less spare cash each month but I’m not any happier for having a good year financially.. I just spent more on stuff I didn’t need.. like an Orange Clockwork 137s.. but it’s a nice bike.


    My nieces boyfriend is a HGV driver and she’s basically a single parent due to his hours. He’s on a good wage, not far off what I am on as a ‘senior’ accountant. But he works 60 hours a week.

    If you can manage, do it, the hours won’t do you any favours.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    I worked all the hours god sent before and after Boy1 was born, just to make sure we had enough. Unfortunately I missed out on the things that money can’t buy. I didn’t make the same mistake with Boy2. There’s a time and place to work and earn lots of money. When your children are little is not it.

    Only you will know if the sums work, but don’t carry on spending as if you earn the same as you do now.


    No the hours just exhaust me now. I’m shattered all the time and the start times are ridiculous. Done it for so long now it just feels like I can’t do anything else. I didn’t even expect to hear back about the job let alone pass the online tests, pass the fitness tests and get an interview.

    I certainly don’t have another 30 years in me at this amount of hours every week.

    I don’t waste my money.. I just have expensive hobbies.


    Make sure 35 hours a week means 35 hours a week before deciding. It’s one thing to drop half your income to free up time, another to drop it and end up working the same amount as it turns out that’s the expectation.


    Nah it’s definitely just the 35 on shifts, but I know what your saying Rene. It’s a totally different sector I’m going into aswell.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp

    If you think the financial side works then go for it. You’ll never get the time with your daughter back.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Sounds like you need the change anyway, go for it.

    Have you spoken with your current employer about reducing your hours?
    Is it even legal under EU drivers hours to be driving for that long ? I guess the answer is Yes if you take enough breaks
    It will be a big change dropping to 2/3 of your current hours and money isnt everything
    But .- I used to work every saturday and get a Thursday off. Didnt like it at all

    Premier Icon TomB

    Also worth considering work related spend- commute time and costs, daily food&drink outlay etc.

    Premier Icon Bregante

    My working hours can occasionally be long. I’ve been averaging 60ish hrs a week since late October (sometimes a lot more). it’s been doable BUT I know it’s only going to be a temporary arrangement – possibly for another month. There isn’t a cat in hell’s chance I’d do it on a permanent basis and even less chance that my wife and kids would put up with it either. If you can afford to do it, do it and don’t look back!

    You can ALWAYS get by on less than you think.
    It’s only in the last 200 years of human history you were less than 50% likely to be a cowering serf

    I went the opposite way, 12 hour night shifts working my balls off with 1 hour 15 mins of breaks. The 4 days off – will add 50 percent to my salary and I have condensed “me” time instead of having 3 hours tops in the evening that I piss up the wall. 25 days holiday, plus I can buy into 3 extra….which means I get 7 stints off where I am gone for 12 days at a time. Sleep isn’t much of a problem with total blackout blinds that stop any light creeping in around the corners.

    Also, you don’t get asked to do longer than 12 hours due to safety concerns at my company. So my total yearly hours will be a lot less than a lot of people doing 9-5s with regular overtime.

    A win in my book. I actually felt down when I went back to a standard job, having to spend 5 lots of daylight hours out of 7 in work. The holiday is great as well, it means I can technically do 60 odd days abroad riding wherever the **** I feel like and then spend the rest with my wife when she is off.

    I’m currently doing 55-60 hour weeks

    The job I have been offered is near enough half the wages but it’s only a 35 hour working week on shifts,

    Sounds like the hourly rate is worse in the new job and you also have to work shifts.

    Id be looking at reducing my current hours in the job you have.

    . I didn’t even expect to hear back about the job let alone pass the online tests, pass the fitness tests and get an interview.

    Police? Don’t think many coppers routinely work  a bare 35 hour week in reality

    Premier Icon Ambrose

    If there is any way at all to spend more time with your family- do it. Both my kids have left home now and live hours away.
    Grab every moment.

    Premier Icon Bregante

    Police? Don’t think many coppers routinely work  a bare 35 hour week in reality

    Correct. 40hr week on average. Usually a good few hours of casual overtime on top. Or see my example above. I think the most I did was around 115 hrs in a 7 day period. Have also done 12 days in a row on more occasions than I can recall.

    If there is any way at all to spend more time with your family- do it

    So much this.

    You can ALWAYS get by on less than you think

    And this.

    Within the last 18 months I’ve gone from close to 6-figure salary – in a toxic work environment and away from home more than half the year – to a much more modest £25k-ish and home every night. I get to wake my two young kids up and get ready for school/nursery every morning and I put them to bed every night and I’m 100x happier than I was. There’s been no discernible change in my quality of life – in terms of what we can do as a family, what we can eat, where we can go – to the point where I wonder what exactly I used to piss my money away on.


    Some good advice here, thank you chaps.

    In terms of reducing my hours where I currently work.. it’s an option for sure but I know my boss and he will promise the earth and stick to his word for about a month then he will slide right back into hammering me week in week out.

    As for the legality of working 60 hours a week, it is legal as its working and driving time. They seem to think your ok doing 15 hour shifts.. which I’m really not.

    The potential new job is the airport fire service, I am also considering going for the Police but this job appeared earlier on in the year so I thought I may as well apply and get some practice at filling out application forms etc.

    I have been getting home a bit since the turn of the year as it’s a bit quieter and it’s been great, I have had more time with my wife and daughter and even managed to run 2-3 times a week. Commuting wise I could walk to the new job aswell which is certainly appealing.


    I’m generally looked down on at work for not pursuing promotion whilst the same people moan about the amount of time I get off. They’ve got expensive cars and go skiing, I haven’t and don’t but will be going cycle camping with my kids at the weekend with my phone turned off.
    The people at work are k##bs, don’t be a k##b.

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    Have you actually got a job offer after interview, for the airport fire service? It’s not so clear from your op… I ask after attending an interview for the same thing and there were five days of 200 people per day, going for three positions…


    No job offer yet, expecting to hear today or Monday but just getting as much perspective as possible.


    I don’t think you really need to ask us whether you should spend more time with your family.


    This is true Eulach, but there are many considerations to be taken into account.


    The short commute would be a major plus for me. You gain so much extra time by not wasting it commuting. That was a massive lifestyle changer for me. If the money is enough to pay the bills then go for it.


    I did similar when i moved to Norfolk from Surrey way with my wife that comes from here, we had a 2 year old daughter then, I had a choice between getting the train back to London to work at a law firm, great money etc, or finding something more local and ending up working in legal team of an insurance company for pretty much 40% less.

    But, your children don’t remember the toys you bought them or the size of dad’s bank balance, your children remember the time you spent with them and the experiences, you may have to tighten your belt, but you cannot buy back the time with your kids.

    Plus i presume if needs be, you could have HGV driving as a fall back, haulage firms here are desperate for drivers (especially with more eastern European lads heading home)


    I dropped about £15k to move away from a job in London ~2 hours each way commuting. To 8 miles each way biking. Plus over 2 hours a day of my life back, so it was worth it.

    I’ll confess, my current salary is still comfortable, but I tend to find I budget and spend what I have, so I have noticed no real difference in the money I have available.

    If you have used an online salary cals, those are usually quite accurate, only other thing to consider is pension contributions and benefits that may differ?


    You cope.

    I left a job in london after 12 years (with a 2 hour commute each way). I now work a 25 minute drive away (80 minute cycle)

    The extra time is invaluable (although I didn’t know what to do with it to start off with). I missed being there in the mornings with the kids (used to get the 6am train). Now they’re older, OI’m there to help with more activities. It’s also freed my wife up to be able to work more (at her own admission, she was stagnating). Obviously the lack of train fare made up some of the short fall in salary (went from £500 a month train ticket to £70(?) a month in fuel, and obviously not wasting money on it when on holiday)

    So if you can afford it, why not? As mentioned, you’ve always got the driving to fall back on.

    Premier Icon siwhite

    We are in the process of relocating for a better quality of life – current 40 minute commute will be 10 minutes in the new place. Pay is dropping c.5% but that’s a drop in the ocean compared to what you are considering, and shouldn’t be noticeable with my reduction in fuel spend.

    If you go for it, definitely consider keeping your LGV and Hazmat tickets – the odd day here of there will make the financial implications less difficult. You’ll find that most Water Fairies have secondary income streams.

    If you want any Police advise drop me an email – 16 years service here!


    If I were in your shoes, I’d start living of your new proposed income right now. The difference in monthly take home pay,put it straight into your savings account/investment isa and ignore it.

    Stop buying all the useless shit in an attempt to make your life better (it doesn’t work) – focus on spending it on good times with your family / riding your bike / doing the things which make you happy and give you good memories. Do that for a few months and see where you find yourself and how much you’ve put away. You sound like you have the potential to have a high savings rate.

    If you cut out all the unnecessary expenditure out your life and have a high savings rate, then perhaps you could look to retire sooner than you think. Have a wee read of Mr Money Mustache’s blog – no connection but changed my outlook on life a little.


    My missus has gone from a front line shift nursing job to term time job. The big cut in income is partially offset by doing a few nursing agency shifts, and still get much more family time.

    Following redundancy I’m now only working part time and the work life balance is great, but not financially viable ling term for us.

    A mate who’s recently gone full time hgv driving was supplementing his previous job with hgv agency work, partly for the experience and partly for the extra cash. Could that be an option if you need to top up the income a bit, at least then you can choose (within reason) when to work the extra. Anyway isn’t it traditional for firemen to have a second job?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    well I hope it’s a good decision. Because I’m just finalising a settlement agreement to leave a job where the environment has become positively toxic, with nowhere to go to.

    It got me to depression / suicidal in mid 2017, and the only thing that stopped me was leaving the family to clear up the trauma. I’m now (or rather was) on that path again (and only properly realised when someone asked the psychologists ‘button’ question a fortnight or so ago) and I need to live a bit so I can be there for my youngest who faces a tough few years. I have better coping mechanisms now, but it’s kind of like saying punching yourself in the face becomes less painful if you keep necking paracetomol – the real answer is to stop punching yourself in the face.

    I’ll probably have about 3-4 months before the immediate money runs out, then if I sell up various investments and the like I’ve got a few months more on that so i need to find something in the meantime. Bit scared, obviously, but I’ve slept through the night for the first time in months this week.


    I wouldn’t say I waste money on useless shit that’s for sure. I’m as tight as a sheep’s arse in a snowstorm. I’ve always managed to save something  every month. So there just won’t be as much to save.


    Remember one day you’ll retire and you won’t remember all those happy times you stared at your bank balance, you will remember the good times with your family and friends.

    I still think the most important things you can do in life are to spend time with family, with good friends and to travel, newspapers will give you a very skewed view of the world, best to go and see it for yourself.


    There are some wise people on here. Good work STW.

    Someone close to me has recently made the same sort of rationalization, but instead of going from more to less hours, it was turning down an opportunity to go from flexible work life (with quite a few hours) to more, less flexible hours (and more money). Turned down the offer/opportunity.

    If you have got young kids, that that time never comes back. Having two parents around to help (if family situation allows) means that the child care for both parents is shared, so better for everybody’s sanity.

    I know there are other pressures in life that make it hard and arguably times are not that certain, but go with your gut. Like a Hawaiin Pizza, if it feels right, it probably is right…

    Premier Icon duncancallum

    Do it

    There’s always agency driving jobs too so if you wanted too a couple of shifts would get you some holiday spends ect.

    Ask first , jump second imo
    WHy not ask for a 4 on 3 off rota ? Why not ask for Mon – Thur one week , followed by Tues – Fri the week after
    If you can afford to live on 3/5 then ask for Tue/ Wed / Thur

    I know you are governed by driver hours but if you cite fatigue, falling asleep or nearly falling asleep , depression , over tiredness , near misses etc . Doesnt have to be entirely true, just plausable enough to make them sit up and listen . Maybe get more than your direct manager involved.

    Or , ask for more holiday allowance,, a week per annum Why not ? No harm in asking is there
    Or , ask for a 4 day week / 4 on 3 off if neccessary but be flexable and say you will work overtime when needed , but for 2 days off in leiu.

    Then you might do a 55 hr week,but you have banked 22hrs as paid days to take as and when.
    If you are professional in your appraoch to work , and mention H+S , employers responsibilites etc they should take on board what you say and you could end up working less hours at the same hourly rate you are now on

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