Stay or go, having already gone?
September 6, 2012 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Time to switch jobs? Remote working, role change, and the possibility of promotion inside.

I'll try to keep this short.

I've been with a company for the last two years, and have been doing well there. Over the summer, I moved half way across the country with my partner so she could take advantage of a kickass opportunity.

When I made the move, my company let me stay in my role and work remotely, with the understanding that I'd come back regularly to be onsite (once every two months or so). I've been working remotely for about two months, and I'm about to take my first trip back. The rub is, I'm not happy in the role remotely. I don't feel motivated, and I don't feel like I'm getting the recognition I got when I was in the office (which I anticipated would be the case -- no ill will).

I've started looking for work in my new location, and have been successful. After not much searching, I found an exciting opportunity at a small company, in a slightly different and, I think, more exciting role. The pay is lower, but negotiable.

At the same time, I've talked to my manager about possible role changes in my current job, and he mentioned that before I left I was being considered for a management position, and that might still be an option if I am willing to go back to being local for some period of time. I've talked it over with my partner, and we agree that could work for 4-6 months. That might not be long enough, though.

I feel completely torn. I'm not happy in my current situation, but I'm not sure if the new opportunity is the right one, or if I could improve my situation at my current company. I'd like to hear about your experiences working remotely, switching to a new role, managing remotely, or any other salient experience.

If you have any advice or questions not fit for the public, I'll be listening at:
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total)
I wouldn't do the long distance thing. It's expensive and it will give you undue stress.

If the new job offer isn't what you want, it's not the only job out there. Wait for a great opportunity to pop up. You don't hate your current job, you're just not as fulfilled.

You seem to be excited by the new job, what about it isn't right? Is it right enough, for right now? If so, go with that, if you think it will make you happy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:19 PM on September 6, 2012

On the one hand, it will look bad and/or piss off your current employer if you leave shortly after asking them to let you work remotely (and, presumably, paying for your travel.. or is that not the case?). You don't want to leave too quickly after going remote or you risk losing that job as a reference or damaging relationships with your colleagues there.

But you also don't want to stay somewhere where you're unhappy and ineffective, because it will show. Plus, I mean, it's your life. You shouldn't stay in a job where you're that unhappy if you have any other appealing options.

It's a tough call, but if I were you I would wait at least another six months before jumping ship. And I would make sure that you do what you can in the interim to make sure your work performance doesn't slip before then. After all, you asked to work remotely and they granted it to you. You don't want to appear to have abused your company's trust that you can be effective while working remotely. So, basically, stick around long enough to save face.
posted by deathpanels at 5:20 PM on September 6, 2012

Regarding being a remote manager... if you manage direct sales folks, who mostly work on their own anyway, I think it can work ok. If you manage a team who is mostly together in the office, it is going to be really hard to be effective as a remote manager. Your current manager may or may not have a realistic idea of how possible it is for you to be promoted while working remotely -- presumably after a promotion, you will be their peer. What does their boss think or other execs? Are there any other remote managers? Unless you have more than your own manager's opinion to go on, I wouldn't stay in your role in the hope that you will be promoted.
posted by elmay at 8:14 PM on September 7, 2012

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