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Wrong Career Move- Advice Please
April 5, 2012 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Wrong Career Move- Advice Please

Hello all:

Situation:
1) Joined company X in midwest some time back, stayed with them for 3.5yrs, fortunate to have gotten 2 promotions and plenty of accolades. Left company X on a good note to join company Y due to certain family reasons.
2) Stayed with company Y for 2.5yrs before reaching cross roads once again. Company Y is a European conglomerate and needed me to relocate if I wanted next level. I simply loved company Y (much more than X) but couldn't commit to relocation.
3) I decided to join back company X but in a different division under different boss. I was also given a next level role than when I had first worked with them.

Complication:
1) Right off the bat, in my first week back at company X, I realized it was a bad decision on my part to rejoin X in this division.I was not compatible with my boss's managing style. He's abusive (screams, yells, mocks/readily overturns in front of other team members), leads by fear/authority (always his way- no room for negotiation, doesn't listen, speaks/preaches for 55min in a 60min meeting), slave driver- no respect for individual or family (weekends are 2 additional week days) etc.
2) His working style is worse as well. He's very tactical and takes an inefficient route to doing things leading to long hours for him and his team. In short, he creates an unbearable culture.
3) I contacted few folks for advice after a month after rejoining company X. I was then presented with few new career options but i didn't pursue them as I felt it was too early then.
4) It's been 9 months now, I still face/see the same issues- they only grew bigger. While I've now developed a thicker skin to deal with the shit in workplace, I am not happy and hate going to work each morning.

Request for advise:
I have few options that I want to layout to seek opinions. Thanks much.
A) Stay put: Am I over-reacting? Should I "grow up" and stay put where I am? And perhaps hope that something magical happens and the boss moves or gets promotion or whatever?
B) Find a different role internally: This is a possibility once I complete 18-24 months which is still 9+ long months away. And am not sure if I will be able to bear my boss till then. I also have a 2yr old son and feel guilty that am not spending enough time with him in his toddler age.
C) Find a different role externally: This too is a possibility but I'll likely be branded as an unstable guy due to # of career moves.
D) Go back and rejoin Company Y: I did leave company Y on good note. They'll likely take me back in the US but at the same level at which I left the company (not a big deal). The weird part is it would look like a seesaw on my resume (X to Y to X to Y)- have no idea how bad this would be. Also, not sure how colleagues would at company Y view/treat me and my career moves. Those colleagues also know I had gotten a promotion when I moved back to company X.

My order of preference is D, B, C, A.. Thanks for your time in reading thru my situation. Comments, thoughts, advices are much appreciated.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total)
 
Life's too short to hate going to work each morning, especially when you have other options. If you choose D and go back to Company Y, plan to stay with them a while. Same if you choose C.
posted by jabes at 7:37 AM on April 5, 2012


B will take too long. C is probably more possible than you thought, and a great idea - leaving quickly will just show that you "didn't mesh well with that division". But D sounds like it'd be easiest and fastest. So I vote that you investigate C & D, see where they take you.

And as jabes says, life is waaaay to short for A or B.
posted by ldthomps at 7:46 AM on April 5, 2012


D) Go back and rejoin Company Y: I did leave company Y on good note. They'll likely take me back in the US but at the same level at which I left the company (not a big deal). The weird part is it would look like a seesaw on my resume (X to Y to X to Y)- have no idea how bad this would be. Also, not sure how colleagues would at company Y view/treat me and my career moves. Those colleagues also know I had gotten a promotion when I moved back to company X.

1) On your CV, you would just put company X and then company Y. If asked about the gap, you can explain that in person with amusing anecdotes.

2) If you need inspiration, Google's COO went to Group On and then back to Google five months later.

3) This is much larger indictment of Company X than you. People don't quit jobs, they quit management. You don't need to tell people the whole story. The fact that you are willing to depromote yourself back to a place you liked is all you need to say about your boss at Company X.

4) As far as the coworkers, don't assume. They'll be happy to have you back and now you have some war stories.

You already know the answer to this. I suggest you allow that answer to be the answer.
posted by nickrussell at 7:53 AM on April 5, 2012


D involves you going back to an untenable situation; you're unable to move up at all without a move out of the country. So, that's going to mean another move when you're ready for a promotion again. Why dig back into that hole if you've already seen it once and didn't like it?

My advice would be B, but with a caveat; why do you need another 9+ months before you can move? If there's an open position and you're qualified, apply for it. Consider a lateral move if you have to. It sounds like they really like and want to keep you, so network internally on ways to make that happen. You probably have some allies elsewhere in the organization to increase your chances.

Also, stop worrying about your CV; the days of 10+ years at each firm are coming to an end. If you present it as "received X promotions over X time" in your cover letter, you show yourself as an ambitious and talented individual who's greatly in demand. You've put 6 years in with two firms, which is more or less par for the course nowadays.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:13 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as how your resume will look in the future, C is the best choice. Don't stay at this company. This manager will probably have some power to continue to make you miserable there, even if you don't report to him anymore.

Good luck!
posted by Citrus at 8:49 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


My advice would be B, but with a caveat; why do you need another 9+ months before you can move? If there's an open position and you're qualified, apply for it.

I don't know if this is the case with the OP, but many companies have rules like this about internal applications/transfers. My job requires a year, I believe (it was mentioned when I was hired but I never verified with HR).
posted by pullayup at 4:26 PM on April 5, 2012


thanks all for suggestions.. appreciate them all..

@Rodrigo: As pullayup said, company X has a 18 month policy that's strictly adhered to.. so no luck for internal role for 9+ months.

Sounds like majority are recommending D or C. I'll need to pick one and move on. Right now leaning a little towards D. I agree with the argument that C could be viewed as a clean slate but, frankly, I'm scared of an "unknown" due to disastrous experience I'm having at X.

Thanks again everyone- as nickrussell said, i'll need to pick one and allow that answer to be the answer.
posted by nickless03 at 6:22 PM on April 5, 2012


I say that C is your best bet - especially if you can find the right place where your experiences at X and Y would be valued.

With any work situation there are good eggs and bad ones; it is just the nature of people. Options A and B are out IMHO as it forces you to face a clearly unacceptable situation. Life is way too short to suffer through something you have other options you could choose.

A piece of advice for you, though: evaluate any future manager as carefully as the manager is evaluating you, which includes references, peers, and other co-workers not within their department or division. You can get a very good sense of what they are really like to work for in short order.

I completely understand the concern about the CV appearances, having been through a stretch of brief stints at different employers, but don't worry about that - just worry about keeping a 'clean and crisp' story about this stretch at the ready, that would show you in the best light to everyone, terrible prior manager included.
posted by scooterdog at 6:37 PM on April 5, 2012


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