Should I Stay or Should I Go? (The Work Version)
January 2, 2012 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Please help me with this work situation: stay at old job or take new job?

I've been at my current job for a year and a half. I like the company for the most part, but my immediate Department's environment is challenging, mostly because my boss (who is the head of our Department) is located halfway across the country in his home office. I feel like his communication style can be difficult as well - he can be vague at times about things, goes for stretches without updating his calendar, etc. and then nitpicks about trivial things when major things are falling off the radar because they require his signature/approval. I try to keep a task list and on top of the emails, but it's really tough at times. I have scheduled 1:1 meetings with him and talk to him during the day as well which has been helping me prioritize, but it's draining.

I've been struggling with working in this environment for awhile. I'm generally on top of my work, but sometimes get rather demotivated. I also have the option to work at home, which I find hard to handle because I think I do better with the structure of an office, but in my physical office it's still unstructured because of the virtual nature of the enviornment.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, my boss was in the office and gave me a scary lecture on how I need to essentially step up to the plate and do a better job. This has created quite a bit of anxiety for me lately. Although since that talk I got a fair end of year review and he even commented that he's noticed a difference, I'm still paranoid.

Meanwhile, this triggered me to put the feelers out. I went on a few interviews and was offered a new job, doing essentially the same thing at a new company with a 10 minute shorter commute for $5k less (which I'm ok with, I negotiated them to this actually, and they have better benefits). I accepted the new job and would be starting in a few weeks. I provided them with the signed offer letter and have a start date scheduled.

I haven't given my notice yet at my current job and this is where I need help. For whatever reason, I cannot bring myself to let go and pull the ripcord. I like my current company and feel like I'd be giving up. I've changed jobs a few times in the past and my ultimate goal is to settle in and stay with a company for awhile so that when it gets time to get married/maybe have kids, I'll have a stable work/life balance. I'm nervous to quit my current job and take the new job - it will be all new adjustments to the work, people, could be longer hours/more face-time, etc. I'm nervous to stay at my current job and politely decline the new job and then get pushed out of my current job or let go over something stupid.

I feel lost. I don't want to give up on my current job. I don't know how to communicate any of this to my boss as an option, because I don't want to further create drama with our boss-employee relationship and it feels like he already has trust issues towards me. I considered using new job as leverage at old job, but can't even decide on whether it's worth it.

Help?
posted by floweredfish to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: I feel lost. I don't want to give up on my current job. I don't know how to communicate any of this to my boss as an option, because I don't want to further create drama with our boss-employee relationship and it feels like he already has trust issues towards me.

It sounds like you want your current job with a better boss. That's nice but isn't going to happen. You should take the new job. Making a lateral move is not "giving up" espcially when it sounds like you have poor job security in the current gig. Hand in your notice.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:04 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Best answer: This is not a "should I stay or should I go" question like in your title. You have already accepted the new job. Do you need a kick in the pants to resign? Here it is:
Dear Boss,

I resign my position as [Position] at [WidgetCo]. My last day is January 17, 2011. Thank you for this opportunity.

Sincerely,

Flowered Fish
You are creating your own drama by turning this around in your head. You've already accepted the new job and given them the signed offer letter and set a start date. Your misguided loyalty to your boss and your current job are causing you strife, I see that, but as soon as you come to think of this as a business decision the sooner you will get on with your life and your new job.
posted by juniperesque at 10:09 AM on January 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


You've already done the hard part. Submit a simple resignation like the one juniperesque suggested, and you'll immediately feel 100% more satisfied and in control.
posted by hermitosis at 10:28 AM on January 2, 2012


"a few weeks ago, my boss was in the office and gave me a scary lecture on how I need to essentially step up to the plate and do a better job."

You do not want to continue working for this boss; especially since he doesn't see what you do day in and day out. He's out of touch. You made the right move; now skedaddle.
posted by BostonTerrier at 10:31 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


^I should have added: yeller-atters and lecturers do not deserve good workers. He loses!
posted by BostonTerrier at 10:33 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Thanks everyone, so far! I just wanted to add that the New Job wanted me to start next week and I pushed it off to late January so I could take a mental break (I didn't tell them this though, only the date I would be available to start). They weren't necessarily happy, but said that it was ok with them. I don't know if this has anything to do with the situation, but I feel almost like it could be another reason why I'm afraid to hand in my letter - like they will rescind their job offer or something. :(
posted by floweredfish at 10:43 AM on January 2, 2012


I'm agreeing with the above - you are not in the "stay or go" position anymore, now that you've accepted, signed the dotted line, and set a start. You are in the "go" part and it sounds like it's the right move for you. Changing jobs is not giving up; it's moving ahead - this may be a technical lateral move but the opportunity to work in an environment in which you might thrive is a step up.

[Also, leveraging your new job versus your old job, when you've already accepted the new job anyway, is a sure-fire way to create some bad blood. You've already passed the point where this would be acceptable or helpful, if ever, because it isn't likely that your environment was going to change at your behest.]

So, give notice.
posted by sm1tten at 10:44 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel lost. I don't want to give up on my current job.

Reframe it as not 'giving up' but rather moving onto something potentially better.

I don't know how to communicate any of this to my boss as an option, because I don't want to further create drama with our boss-employee relationship and it feels like he already has trust issues towards me.

You just resign. That's the only communication you need to have.

I considered using new job as leverage at old job, but can't even decide on whether it's worth it.

It's more than likely not worth it. Time to move on.
posted by mleigh at 11:27 AM on January 2, 2012


They can't rescind the job offer if you signed an employment letter and accepted already. You can sue them for that.
posted by empath at 11:57 AM on January 2, 2012


Best answer: I don't know if this has anything to do with the situation

It does not. You're having some anxiety about a major life change -- perfectly natural -- and are trying to find anything you can to attach that anxiety to.

The longer you put off resigning, the more of this anxiety you're going to have to go through. So close this web page right now, type up that resignation letter right now, and send it to your boss. No, really, do it right now.
posted by ook at 12:11 PM on January 2, 2012


Change is really scary. Even good change takes some time and mental energy to come to terms with.

You will feel relieved when it's over and you've left that job, and that's how you'll know you did the right thing in leaving.

Because it sounds like you are doing the right thing.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:59 PM on January 2, 2012


Best answer: I considered using new job as leverage at old job, but can't even decide on whether it's worth it.

This probably will not work. Even in the best of situations (they love you and there have been no lectures) it's iffy because they know that you have one foot out the door and it can turn into a situation where they counter only to keep you in place until they have your replacement. Meanwhile you continue to have grass-is-greener thoughts and are unlikely to see sweeping changes occurring immediately. It becomes a race to see who can score a replacement worker/company first. That's in the best of situations, and which is not your situation.

You've really already made the decision, and only need to inform your former employer of that decision. Have courage! Do it, and quickly, so that you can enjoy some time between your two jobs.
posted by Houstonian at 8:25 AM on January 3, 2012


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