Hang in or move on, work edition
February 18, 2014 7:11 PM Subscribe
I got a job offer that would get me out of my high-stress, 70-mile daily commute position. The downside is that it is a pay cut and a step back in my career, at a time when I just invested a lot of time and energy in moving forward in my career.
posted by jeoc to Work & Money (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm currently in a mid-level management position that is high stress, overseeing a system with tons of problems and trying to provide support for tens of thousands of users with a very small staff. I commute 2.5-3 hours round trip to and from this job, and put in lots of evening and weekend hours. (It sounds like I'm in IT, but despite doing IT work I'm actually in another staff department, without the IT level of pay.)
The role is experiencing unprecedented levels of visibility and challenge due to a major organizational project. The project will wrap at the end of June, and I hope (but don't have any guarantee) that things will be less stressful then. This job is in my desired general industry, but in a niche area that I don't want to stay in long term.
In the meantime, my child is struggling in school, and it is very difficult to be a part of the solution for her. My partner has picked up almost all the kid-related duties in the 2+ years I've been in this role, and I am frustrated by not being able to do more.
Last year, I finished a professional master's degree that I hoped would help me transition out of this niche area, but I have had a really hard time finding another job. Most of my classmates that have changed jobs have moved for them, and that's not really an option for me at this time. The goals I had when I got into the program don't seem realistic anymore - given my experience in the current job I'm not sure I could manage the stress of an even higher-level position, and I can't get an interview for one anyway.
I have been offered an individual contributor position at another organization that pays significantly (20%) less, but is more in an area of the industry that I think has growth potential and that I'm interested in. Based on conversations with others in the group I'd be joining, there is good work-life balance, the boss is good, and I like the group of people I'd be working with. It is an easy half hour drive from my house. The job is a step back in responsibility and pay, and I never thought I'd be seriously considering taking that kind of a backwards step after the effort of getting a master's degree.
I'm exhausted and burnt out in my job, and I desperately want my life back, but I don't want to make a career move that I will regret long term. Have you made a backwards move in your career? How did it work out? How can I evaluate whether the offer is really a path to better things or a dead end?