Sorry to xpost: would you take a 20k pay cut to move to a HCOL city for a job you think you might like and enjoy? (In-house) I thought I would be staying in my current city for the long term and love it here, but hate my job. New city also has friends and connections, so I wouldn’t be totally alone. Would be going from around 140k to 120k.

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I think it depends on your finances. If you’ll be able to stay afloat (and save some money), then move if you truly think this will be good for you. You’re only young once. Also, if you don’t have a family to take care of, move, get it out of your system, and then decide next steps whether to stay or jump back to another city.

From reading your post, it already sounds like you’ve made up your mind. You’re finding more excuses to move rather than stay. If you need that one sole person to say do it, then use me as that person. Do it!

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20k is barely a hit. COL could move needle more. Mental happiness is most impt factor. We work too hard to be miserable.

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I agree with the first reply. With as much as attorneys work, you cannot hate your job. While the pay cut and added expense for cost of living may require some changes, you can't put a price on mental health and general well-being.

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140 to 120 is a hit I would take

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Truthfully, I almost made a similar move. I asked for at least 120k while interviewing for an in-house role. Current job was 149k. They ended up offering me 115k with a "5k signing bonus." I ended up turning it down and cited the offer being lower than my limit as a valid reason. No hard feelings, so it all worked out well.

But anyway, I decided 120k was my limit and stuck to it. It's somewhat arbitrary, but figure out your range and feel confident in what you want.

Yes. The difference is nominal after tax. And your happiness is worth a lot more than that.

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I took a pay cut around the same percentage to move to a small community and be near great outdoor recreation. No regrets.

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