Jump ship or hold the course
August 3, 2015 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I've been with the same Organization "Alpha" for five years and have been growing more and more dissatisfied. I'm on parental leave now and they have promised me a better position to return to than the one I left. Meanwhile, the boss of Organization "Beta" called me personally and offered me a job there. Both jobs have pros and cons and I can't decide which is the way to go.

Alpha is a not-for-profit - I have been there for five years and almost all of those have been at the lowest level. My job there is high stress, on-call, with very little actual decision making power but a lot of responsibility. Management keeps dangling carrots in front of me, promising things will get better, but just when I climb up a little bit, they reorganize and I am back to the bottom. I had started looking for other work, but when my partner got pregnant last year I decided to put that on hold. She took some time off with baby (and 3yo) and now I am off with kids until November. I was determined not to return to Alpha. I think I need some therapy to deal with the anger and resentment I have towards them.

While I am on parental leave, Alpha posts a job that would be perfect for me. I am told that the job is mine, I just have to jump through the hoops.
---The job would be more predictable, not on-call, very little overtime. It pays well (~$50,000 for 35 hours a week), with benefits, and I would still be working in my local office with people I love.
--- It is a position I have been angling for. I would be very good at it.
---I would have to return from parental leave in September (part time - although there is no such thing as part-time childcare for babies, so I would be paying for full).
---My supervisor would be someone who I do not trust though, she was directly responsible for a lot of the changes that I am still angry about. She has lied to my face. She has punished other staff members for giving negative feedback to a relative of ours who also works for Alpha.

While I am going through the application and interview process at Alpha, a friend calls. She has opened an office for Beta, she is calling the best people she knows, would I come and co-coordinate the office for her. I've taken this job.
--- It also pays well ($25 an hour), but is part time and has no benefits or vacation.
--- Right now it is 8 hours a week so I can maintain parental leave, but in November it will bump to 20-30 hours. I will have control over how many hours, what days. I sort of think 25-30 hours would be great. My wife and I had wanted me to be a SAHM but we couldn't afford it. A 0.8 position is a nice compromise. By the time it hits 0.8 I should be able to get childcare as baby will be 1yo.
--- My colleagues are the two most amazing and smartest women I know, who have bent over backwards to make this job work for me.
--- It is a 1 year term contract, although I am very confident that I would be renewed. Please just take it as a given that the office isn't going anywhere and management isn't changing.

So, I took the position at Beta two months ago, when the process with Alpha was just starting. My gut told me not even to do the process with Alpha but everyone talked me into going through the whole process so that I had all the information. Well, I've had the interview and Alpha is now waiting for me to tell them if I am willing to come back early. It seems it is the time to shit or get off the pot. On paper, Alpha is clearly the better job. It pays better, has benefits, 4 weeks vacation, I know the job, and it is finally a move up in an organization where there is more room to grow. Beta is exciting and new, and also not a career move. No benefits, no vacation.

My wife will support me either way, but she has been the main person pressuring me to go through with the Alpha application. We can afford for me to take either job. What do I do?
posted by arcticwoman to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
My supervisor would be someone who I do not trust though, she was directly responsible for a lot of the changes that I am still angry about. She has lied to my face.

It would take a LOT for me to return to a job under this kind of supervisor if I had another option.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:19 AM on August 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


Management keeps dangling carrots in front of me, promising things will get better, but just when I climb up a little bit, they reorganize and I am back to the bottom.

You just answered your own question about Alpha. You also would have to cut parental leave short to go back to work for someone who has lied to your face and "punished" other staff members (yikes!)

--- My colleagues are the two most amazing and smartest women I know, who have bent over backwards to make this job work for me.


Well, there you go, if you can afford it. That's a big if, but I don't think we can really determine that for you. But ultimately it seems well worth it to me.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:21 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I see that you say that you can afford it, but I would just make sure you and your wife both truly believe that and feel secure about it. And congrats on the new little one! What a lucky baby!)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:22 AM on August 3, 2015


If there was any top up to your leave, make sure you don't have to pay it back if you don't return. Otherwise, I'd follow your house (go where you can be happier) because sanity at work is important to being a good parent.
posted by chapps at 7:25 AM on August 3, 2015


I think having zero vacation time would be really stressful and lead me to become super resentful of my employers, pretty fast. Especially with kids! Are you really going to be okay with missing out on holidays, family vacations, etc. (or are you financially okay with losing the pay for those days)? But, is it possible to do the year at this job and use the time to look for something better at a third company?
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:46 AM on August 3, 2015


5 years is a long time to be looking at dangling carrots. It's time for plan Beta. While you're at Beta you can start working on plan C (which could possibly be Beta but doesn't have to be).

Regardless of Beta or any other letters, it sounds like you should be looking to leave Alpha anyway. For your own well being and also for your family's.
posted by eatcake at 8:32 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


My wife will support me either way, but she has been the main person pressuring me to go through with the Alpha application.

You're asking a bunch of Internet strangers for an excuse to go against your wife's wishes? Okay...

Here's my piece of advice: Do you have an offer letter (or something else in writing detailing the job and wage and benefits, committing to hiring you as soon as you say "Yes") from Alpha? If not, call them and ask for one in the next two days. If they can't get it to you, then go to Beta and never look back.
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM on August 3, 2015


Response by poster: You're asking a bunch of Internet strangers for an excuse to go against your wife's wishes? Okay...

No, my wife's advice was to apply, which I have done.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2015


Wow Etrigan that was a bitchy, uncalled for response.
I am going to provide a much less sensible response to the people above and say definitely Beta. I have a life I love, but my job is a nightmare and affects me in so many ways. I'm looking for a new job now, in a new field I have dreamed of, and I'm willing to compromise the convenient/pros of this job. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but I just think it's so so important to have a job that doesn't cause the kinds of feelings you have dealt with at Alpha. There are some people who say your job is just a job, and I respect that, but for me it's not. It's where I spend the majority of my life. Alpha sounds so toxic and I imagine the difference in quality of life you would feel at Beta would be so intense once you switch.
That's just one internet strangers opinion.
posted by shesbenevolent at 2:32 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Beta
Beta
Beta

Again, I say:

Beta
posted by harrietthespy at 9:22 AM on August 4, 2015


Response by poster: I went through with the Alpha application and they jerked me around so badly I ended up just furious. I took the job with Beta and I have no regrets. None of my colleagues at Alpha called or emailed to wish me farewell.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:28 AM on November 12, 2015


« Older How to set up a basic but decent studio for...   |   Make this unveiling special! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.