Do I ditch the joint or not?
December 26, 2008 6:35 PM   Subscribe

I've been told I will be laid-off in the May to July time frame if no new work happens. I like my job a lot and I really don't want to move, but I like being able to pay my rent more. Turns out there are several jobs that I think I can handily win in another city, but I think they'll all be filled by the time I find out if I will be laid off or not. Do I leave now or hope for the best here?

Here's a few more details to "sweeten the deal":
  • My partner is currently in graduate school with 1 year (hopefully less) until graduation. She won't move before 1 year and I would not expect her to.
  • Partner has fairly good job prospects around here. I have bad job prospects around here. Place with potential job has fairly good job prospects for me, average job prospects for her.
  • I have about 6 months of living expenses saved up and depending on unemployment, I can go probably another 3 months more before running into problems.
  • The mood at my work seems uncertain, but noone is willing to look for new jobs yet. I'm rather new to the business; most seem to think it's just a "down year," but I fear they might just be not willing to talk about the realities of the future here.
  • Now for some very specific questions for the ambitious: What factors do you consider in deciding when to jump ship at a company? I've never had to make mutual job decisions before - is it fair to ask to go to a different place even when your partner is best off staying where they are? How do you reconcile the career needs of two ambitious people, both of whom work in rather specific areas that are served only be a small number of companies? Thank you for your help! I have a throw-away email available at
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Anonymous, I think that this is a question that needs a strong definition for "partner".

If this person is someone who is important to you, but is really only a person you are dating (with potential), then it may be best to act in your own interests -- that is, move.

If this person is someone who is basically your spouse, who you intend to live with for the rest of your life, then it's best to talk with that person and come to an agreement together. There may be other situations to think of, too. For example, the two of you may decide to figure the combined income in both locations, and live in the location with the best combined income. Or, you may talk and come to the realization that she would like to start a family within 5 years of graduation, and so that may change the decision. Or, you may decide that the risk of losing a job in May, plus 6 months living expenses, plus 3 months unemployment (so, getting through February 2010) balanced against her graduating and contributing income on or before December 2009, does not require you to move.

I've never had to make mutual job decisions before

I think that's where you are going a bit wrong. If you are with someone you want to live with for the rest of your life, you don't make mutual decisions -- the two of you make mutual decisions, after talking to each other.
posted by Houstonian at 7:46 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Leave now and get the other job before your co-workers also get laid off and scramble for the same position.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:53 PM on December 26, 2008

Do you have any influence over whether your company gets new work?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:43 PM on December 26, 2008

This sounds like your current job is hinting for you to find another job and leave.
posted by majortom1981 at 5:29 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

You have to get another job as soon as you can pronto...they are hoping enough of you leave so they dont have to fire or lay off whoever remains....
posted by The1andonly at 7:09 AM on December 27, 2008

I would take the other job. Giving you a heads up you might get fired is probably a polite way of letting you know that you probably will get fired.

Of course, I have no idea what you mean when you say partner. If my wife didn't want to move because her job was super awesome where we are, I'd probably be willing to a crappy job.
posted by chunking express at 7:39 AM on December 29, 2008

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