My experience looking for a radiology job was nothing short of stress-free. Looking for a job was about as stressful (if not more) than several other events in my life. It would be about 11 out of a 10 point stress scale.
The problem for me was I didn’t know what I wanted and I had choices both in private practice and academic medicine. On Facebook, I constantly read articles of physician burn out contrasted by material purchases of my colleagues and I was stuck between my friends who were riding their new BMW and wanting time off to recharge and recover. After 5 months of terrible headaches and indecision, I realized I was asking the wrong question. The question for me was not was what I wanted, but what I needed financially. Just as the pursuit of "Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness" are fundamental rights, I think financial security is an unspoken yet critical basic need to grasp. Once I understood this point, my headaches went away because I understood my minimum financial need and then, could focus on what would make me happy. This idea is similar to the known understanding that when people are financially secured, that's when they start becoming creative and innovative. I would argue financial security/freedom is near the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
The fundamental, basic question to answer is "at what point will you have financial freedom?
Tony Robbins in his book "Money: Master the Game", he introduces the idea of "Financial Freedom." This is the point in your life when you've saved up enough money to sustain you for the remainder of your life. At this point, do you don't have to work if you don't want to. But, if you choose to work, you're going to something you love and enjoy because money is not an issue.
How to determine your point of "financial freedom," or your nest egg?
$120,000 / year x 25 years of life to support = $3,000,000
So, what do I need to earn/save for my job to reach my nest egg (say I have $50,000 in savings)?
If I save 20% of my earnings, my income needs to be $150,000 per year.
When I am searching for a job now, my baseline need would be $150k. That means everything else is a plus.
If you have higher lifestyle needs, or want to be financially free earlier, etc, etc, obviously your monthly contributions will be different.
Your nest egg depends on two things: timing and lifestyle needs.
Let's take an example of the monthly expenses:
Mortgage is: $5000
Total $10,000 / month or about $120,000 per year.
Let's say in the example, I want to be financially free by age 60 years old with the current age of 35 years old: I have 25 years to save. The average age of death is 80 years old so I will need to have money saved up to support 20 years.
I have to save $3 million over 25 years to reach my nest egg at age 60 years.
Using the compound interest calculator with an annual return of 9% (stocks), with $50,000 initial savings, I will have to save about $30,000 per year.
Now, I know that based on the fictitious needs, my minimum earning need is $150, 000 per year. This gave me a lot of freedom because I could now find a job that would give me the most fulfillment than a job that paid the most (and I would work like a dog and not have time to enjoy my life).
You might also be interested in my other blogs: Radiology Job Search: Practice Models and Ikigai "The Purpose for Being.