Difficult Decision regarding newish job and another job offer
March 16, 2013 4:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm not sure what to do - leave a job I've only been in for 10 months and move after a job offer - or stay in my present job and try to see if I can make it work?

I started a new job 10 months ago. I thought it was going to be the perfect job for me after working previously in a company for 10 years. It’s absolutely none stop and I’m working extra hours each day and sometimes at the weekend just to keep up. This is unpaid as it's a salaried position.

I’ve felt completely overwhelmed at times – but realistically have learned a lot.

It’s an admin job and I work for 9 people. I’ve been told how well I’ve been doing and that I’m an ‘exceptional’ colleague etc etc.

Unfortunately because I'm so responsible I keep getting more and more - my boss is aware I'm working longer hours and just says that 'it's appreciated' - but doesn't offer to get me anymore help and still emails me with new projects! We have had meetings and I have said how busy it is and that sometimes I just feel like walking out as there's too much to do for one person.

The job was filled previously by 1 woman that lasted 4 months and another who lasted 6 – both left of their own accord and without giving notice (I didn’t realize this when I took the job).

I applied for another job – and have been offered the position.

So – how come I feel torn?

Pros for the new job offer

7 days more annual leave (this is a real bonus for me)
Less hours
Better pension and benefits
Flexi hours

Cons for the new job

Less money (about 2K a year less)
Lower grade
No opportunities for advancement (I don't know if this is a con or a pro at the moment!)
Have to start from scratch training again in another company.

I’m so confused now I’ve been offered it. I don’t know if I should cut my losses with the company I’m at at present, or stick it out and see if things improve.

I’m worried that I’m being lazy and just can’t cut it in a fast paced environment.

I know I need to sort this out myself but can’t understand why I feel so paralyzed by making this decision – I’m seriously panicked by it – by telling my boss and feeling I’ve let the company down, by telling my present co-workers – who are a lovely bunch and have been relying on me more and more to get their admin done and who completely trust me to do their work for them.

Most of all I’m worried that if I make this move after such a short time then hate the new job – I’m gonna end up being a job hopper.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation – how did you cope?
posted by Flowerpower to Work & Money (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In your situation, I would take the new job. $2K is not a huge difference (you could even ask if they can ask your present salary, maybe?).

I've worked for the kind of place you describe, and it sounds like you may be at risk of burnout. It sounds like it could be a sick system, especially given the two previous people in your position left so quickly.
posted by pie ninja at 4:45 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd bail. Uncompensated overtime with no end in sight is a recipe for madness.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:46 PM on March 16, 2013 [10 favorites]

Take the new job. And try to negotiate the 2k/year. Your boss is the one letting the company down, not you.
posted by jeather at 4:55 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

$2K/year less is basically covering the time you're not being paid for at the job you have. Leave this one.
posted by xingcat at 4:56 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Fifthing"new job." If you're applying for other jobs, that's your own way of telling you that you would be happier somewhere else.
posted by Etrigan at 4:56 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

See, what they do is they hire a person, pile far too much work on them, and then see how long they last (before having a breakdown). When you leave they will do exactly the same to the next person.

You have the opportunity to leave - take it!
posted by heyjude at 5:06 PM on March 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

Yeah if the last two people left after 4 months and 6 months, then you have already gone above and beyond by staying this long. They've already lost two people prior to you, and meetings where you have expressed frustration have not resulted in any change - so when you say you want to see if you can "make it work," what exactly does that mean? It sounds like it means you accepting an unchanging situation. I don't think you will become a job hopper -- the last 2 people left so quickly that I really don't think the problem is you.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:28 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Take the new job; better to leave when you have someplace to go to than being forced to leave without a new job lined up.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:51 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm going to bet you a donut that 'it's 2k less per year' means they offered 2k less per year.

Come back to the new job asking for 3k more than they initially offered, plus one other thing that you want - maybe working from home one day a month, or them Totally Overhauling your work space (spin it as ergonomic engineering, but seriously, new chairs, phone headset, filing system you love, replace the shitty carpet if possible, change the height of the desk/counter) or, you know, the big job thing you've always wanted. Maybe they'll pay for some continuing education if you ask.

They will negotiate. But as a woman, you have been trained (effectively, if this question is any indicator) to take what's handed to you and not make any noise.

Look into the research on what happens when men get job offers - the hit is they usually negotiate for more. And employers expect that.
posted by bilabial at 6:00 PM on March 16, 2013 [13 favorites]

Take it from the guy who soldiered on at an office full of crazy and cruel people out of some sense of duty only to be unceremoniously pitched on his ass one Wednesday: Life's too short to stay at a shitty job. Bail. They probably don't even expect you to give notice. If the old place acts put out, tell them "It's appreciated."
posted by notsnot at 6:15 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Interesting. I feel a bit different from others here. I think that probably yes, you should take the new job (and yes! Negotiate salary!). And you shouldn't worry about being branded a short-termer. You won't be, and in the unlikely event you're asked, you can always fall back on the old chestnut that it "wasn't a great fit."

But you say you like everyone at your current job and enjoy the work, and it's not clear from your post if you've ever seriously discussed your workload with your boss.

So. I think it's probably true that you're overworked, and it may be true that your boss doesn't care. But I wonder if things might have been different for you there if you'd been more assertive --- if you had spoken up early and clearly, and made a clear ask of your boss (to offload some of your work, or outsource it, or get an intern or something). It's not your responsibility to do that (and maybe you did), but it might have made it possible for you to stay, which it sounds like you would have liked to do.

Basically I'm speculating that you may I've been a bit passive about this, and that might have ended up serving neither you nor the org as well as speaking up early. If I'm wrong ignore me -- you just sound like a nice person with a tendency to worry or suffer in silence. I might be way off base :-)
posted by Susan PG at 7:09 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you're unhappy and don't see it changing, leave. I took less money and a less prestigious title for a job that actually had more hours, but I was happier at. In the end, I wish I had done it sooner. When I wanted to quit that job, people told me it would look bad to leave that early and I should try to "make it work." I did that, and it only made things worse as I got more miserable and more unable to give it my best. I burned more bridges by staying and feel like I couldn't perform. Frankly, I see people leaving for new jobs quickly all around me. It seems kind of normal. I did it and as far as I can tell it wasn't a big deal. I wouldn't let the fact that you've been there 10 months stop you from anything. If you plan to be at the new company for a long time, your 10-month stint won't matter.

If you try to leave the new job within a year, be prepared to have good explanations. And make sure it won't come back to big you with your current job if you do decide to pursue the new job. But you can't let "what ifs" keep you from taking chances. What if you hate the new job. What if you switch and the new company goes under. What if they implement new furloughs and less vacation time. There are a million what-ifs. The one thing you know for sure is you hate your current job and you can leave. Good luck!
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:21 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Everyone else has the 'bail' advice nailed, but let me tackle the 'no future' part of your question. Take the new job, kick ass at it, and use it as a stepping stone to a higher position in the future if that's what you end up wanting. You don't always have to progress at your current company when you want to advance. Good luck!!
posted by thatone at 7:26 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Before I took the new job, I would ask my current boss on Monday morning for a raise and some change in working conditions. At the same time I would negotiate with new company for at least the same pay. If current company will not give you a raise or accept that you will only be working 50 (?) hours per week, bolt. If you want to stay, this is your leverage. You have another choice.

The risk you have of staying if they offer you new terms, is that one, they may not honor the work load agreement and two, they may give you a raise, but at the same time start to look for your replacement at the lower level. Then, they fire your ass and you are out of both jobs.

On second thought, I would negotiate with newco for a higher wage and take whatever you can get from them.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:21 PM on March 16, 2013

I'd quit and take the new job, but explain to them on the way out the door that even you, who tried to be superhuman enough for their requirements, just could not keep up without burning out any more. Maybe they'll get enough of a clue when they hire #4 to take over. There is a reason why this job has such high turnover.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:33 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also vote for taking the new job after negotiating a bump up in salary. Asking $3K more would allow you to negotiate down to your present salary. Life is too short to stay in a soul-sucking place, and seven more days of leave per year is a huge bonus that might even make up for the drop if they won't move at all.
posted by rpfields at 8:02 AM on March 17, 2013

Divide the total number of hours' work per week that you do at your current job. Multiply that by 40 and you have your true current salary.

Does the other salary still look like less?

(But f*** yeah, still negotiate for a salary match)
posted by tel3path at 1:28 PM on March 17, 2013

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