I've worked in IT about 20 years, and in a (state) school as an IT Manager the last 2 or so. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and it's been the most satisfying job I've had in those 20 years. What I love is that combination of being very busy and challenged on a frequent basis, which I appreciate is not for everyone. Ironically I had to take the job as I'd been made redundant, so it was somewhat of a step down for me, yet still I've really enjoyed it.
The problem is that I can't afford to live on what's deemed to be an IT Manager's salary for the county (£25k, which I think is ridiculous for what's expected). This isn't greed, as my salary just doesn't pay the bills in the area I live, and I have a family to support. My parents have been fantastic and supported us during this difficult time, when job opportunities are few. I've strongly hinted about salary issues to my manager and was told matter of factly (and presumably honestly) that the only way to earn more money is to get another job i.e. leave the school. Very recently I have had a couple of interviews for jobs that would mean an 80% pay rise, but chances are may not be anywhere near as satisfying.
The dilemma is what do I do: carry on in a job which I really enjoy but is short of paying the bills (let alone having anything extra), or take something back in the commercial sector that's going to be dull yet leave me with something extra? Hopefully some will empathise with this, if you enjoy working in a school.
Interested to hear people's thoughts, although I'm not sure there's any magic solution.
Work to live so if that means a duller job so you can afford to live then do it, work is 9 - 5'ish depends on your real hours.
IT Manager earning £25,000 per year......Is you role term time only? Does part of your role include service delivery and project management?
You could look towards these two if you want to go into a less technical role and more managerial role. Salaries for even 'junior' or 'assistant' project/service delivery managers start at around £25k and average about £30k.
Am in a similar situation to you and am currently undertaking a Prince2 course to begin a transition to project management.
I am in the same sort of situation, but in my case I had to change roll from NM to senior tech to stay employed.
The drop in my sallary combined with the wife having to reduce her hours leaves us very tight.
So I am looking but finding little that pays enough. Been in my place for 15 years through some major ups and downs but don't want to leave. But it seems the only option.
I have discussed with friends and family, and there's a somewhat even split between those that say stay and do what you enjoy, versus go for better money (work to live).
Originally Posted by plexer
No, it's full-time (holidays as well). It includes project management (not to any specific standard, but I've been project managing for years without), and team management (performance appraisals, mentoring etc.). The skillset required in the school is huge, which is why it's somewhat galling that the salary is so low.
Originally Posted by superatticman
I've seen a whole range of salaries during the last 2-3 years. There are some very highly specced jobs that are trying to pay ridiculous low salaries. I wonder if they find anyone.
I must admit I'm flabbergasted by what you've just said. I know we are all aware that the front line tech support roles can often pay poorly in schools, but a relatively middle managerial role paying just that?
No one will probably ever know, but I do wonder what other managerial roles at your school pay.
May well be worth speaking to your union about it; with a list of responsibilities written down it would be easy to compare comparitive jobs from nearby schools - are you friendly with any other local network managers? Maybe they might agree to telling you their responsibilities and salaries (very personal I know - maybe just the pay scale instead) and you can put that to them.
However, on a personal level, I think it's a decision you best make yourself and with input from your family as you've already done. Only you know how much you need to live on and how it works. There is unfortunately not much leway in what you can do to make things easier for yourself, obviously you can be a lot more frugal perhaps at home but that may not be much help at all. Moving further away may help on living costs but again raises transport costs. It's likely the school are indeed having financial difficulties but again it would be interesting to know how your salary compares with someone in a different area with similar responsibility.
I think generally someone is very lucky if they are in a job they love and it pays the bills, so to speak, so it's unfortunate that the most likely solution is to keep up the job hunt. I'd not want to be in that situation myself and wish you all the best.It may be worth posting some details i.e. whereabouts in the jobs forum so people here can keep an eye open for similar openings. Good luck, regardless.
I don't know why I'm in exactly the same situation and I know lots of other network managers on the same, dunno what your position is.
Doesn't sound like he's a Network Manager. Sounds more like an ICT Services Delivery Management role?
TBH I think you should move on. After all, you took this job because you had to and it turned out to be interesting - who's to say that won't happen again.
I'm all for working in a job you really enjoy but at bottom, your life is out there with your family, not sat behind a desk being taken advantage of, salary-wise.
You sound as if you really think things through, so I reckon if you take one of these jobs, you will find a way to make it interesting and worthwhile.
And if it isin't - well I should think you could find another NM-type job without too much difficulty.
80% pay rise...........
Take it. Schools can afford to pay a lot more, they just undervalue non-teaching staff. Yes it's a sweeping statement, but being honest we all know this is true.
Originally Posted by Trapper
our network is probably in the top 10 largest and advanced in our county ( both private and public sector organisations). but we are just a school IT department.
80% pay rise, I'd go for it. Might even prove to be more interesting then you think.
At the end of the day, support staff don't have a clear ladder to climb with the "pinnacle" being bursar and that isn't for everyone. You need to switch organisations to progress up the support ladder but be sure to stay around for a while on each rung to pick up each set of advanced skills on the way.
You may love the job you are in, but unfortunately happiness doesn't pay the bills. So if you are struggling to live, and your boss won't budge on your pay, then it is time to move on.