Too soon for new stress?
June 21, 2014 1:27 PM Subscribe
Took a promotion I'm not sure I'm able to deal with right now. Head is on the fence, gut says get out. What to do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Last year I left a stable but incredibly stressful job that I'd been doing for five years. I was unhappy in the industry and not sure I wanted to stay in the big city so after a really difficult, protracted period of back and forth decision-making I took a cut in pay and responsibility to work a short term contract whilst I figured out what to do next.
For a few months months all was well, the new company was a much better fit, the job was interesting and I was quickly able to add value as an individual contributor. I did miss having more authority, and the short-term nature of the contract was a bit worrying but I was so much happier in that environment. So when I was offered the chance to apply for a great sounding new permanent post it seemed like a no-brainer to give it a go. I was crazy busy in the week leading up to the interview and didn't really have a chance to think much about it so was surprised and massively flattered when they offered me the job. I met with both the hiring manager and my own manager afterwards to discuss the role in more detail and started to see some red flags but felt pressured to make a decision by HR. I never got a chance to really sit down and think about what taking the role would actually mean before I accepted. I'm now having serious, waking-up-sick-to-the-stomach doubts and I don't know how much attention to pay to them.
I'm basically worried that new job will turn into old job. Time-out from managing other people and dealing with organisational politics has been a huge part of the joy of current job, but new job will involve doing those things again. It'll also mean involvement in a massive technical area that just about did me in the last time I managed it in my old job and I'm having a visceral fight/flight reaction each time I think about it. Leaving my contract post so soon means I won't be able to realise some of the work I've set in motion or cement valuable new skills that would shore up my employment prospects in industries not specific to big city. I'm deeply conflicted about once again being anchored to a city I find very isolating when I'd just started to pry myself away and think about moving home.
The upside is that I'll get to be involved with a very high-profile company's evolution in a pivotal role. However, I know how complex and potentially difficult that can be and I'm petrified that it's too much, too soon and I should have finished up my short-term contract and decided that it's definitely worth staying before taking on anything so meaty.
I'm also disappointed in myself for a) reneging on my own, very carefully and painfully realised plans for this year, and b) considering rescinding a job offer lots of people in my industry would kill for. All of the above is triggering the anxiety and stress I thought I'd finally got past and I now just feel trapped and frightened. What to do?