Middlebrow and I have been having our annual go-round about whether we can just choose to be happy, if where we live is more important than our salaries, and if we need more money. Oh yeah, and how our house is too small. We always agree on that.
Right now at our CC we are having the annual discussion about how we are woefully underpaid. It's stunning, however, to see exactly how underpaid we are, compared to CCs in other parts of the country. I could be making about $30,000 more a year if I lived in, say, California. Aye, as they say, there's the rub. We don't want to live in California. We do, however, want to make $30,000 more a year. I know, housing would cost more. But that much more per year?
In my mind, it's all about long-term benefits, meaning retirement, and earnings over the course of my career.
Of course, I have to remind myself that we love Son's school, and that, having lived here for almost nine years, we have an actual community, something we both value highly. But, are we allowing ourselves to be exploited?
Obviously I didn't go into teaching for the money. But it's apalling how little we are being paid for the same work (in some cases more work!) than teachers in other parts of the country!
So how do we decide what's more important? Lately I've been leaning towards being happy. But with the new information I've been receiving, I feel like maybe I'm selling myself short. I know the legislature in our fair state is not going to wake up and raise our salaries (at least not in my lifetime). I do love where we live, though I don't always love the politics or the liquor laws. I love our proximity to outdoor recreation. Did I mention that our house is too small?
Today I looked at job listings in other states. It looks like I could start for at least $10,000 more almost anywhere else.
Tell me, what's a girl to do?