- April 20, 2017 at 10:10 am #682804
I have a work-related conundrum and need some advice. I’ve been at my job for two years. My day-to-day work life is good, but I want to work somewhere that is better-run and more in line with my values (this is totally reasonable in my field). The city I live in is kind of boring and more conservative than I’d like, so I know I want to move one day.
I’ve had the opportunity to take slightly higher-level versions of my job in my department and decided against it. Partially because I felt that my current job fit my career interests more, but I also didn’t want to start a new job and feel obligated to stay here even longer.
Initially, I had planned to leave after two years, but after a lot of turnover (some of it improved my job, though), I chose to commit to another year. I say commit in the sense that I signed a year lease where if I left early, I’d have to pay a few thousand dollars between the penalty and 60-day notice. I figured that when I was approaching 3 years, I’d be in a good position to be upfront with my supervisors that I was searching without them being obnoxious. I felt like the ability to be transparent and stress-free about my job search, combined with finally getting my retirement contributions matched and not having to move again for another year would be nice. I also got freaked after Trump won and was nervous because my field is heavily influenced by governmental policy (didn’t want to move to a state and then find out said state was imploding my field or my rights).
Now one of the same higher-level positions opened again (the one I’d prefer most out of them all) and I was offered it. At this point, I think it would be fun to do and would give me good skills going forward. I think I’ve gotten all I can out of my current job, and there’s a raise. However, it throws a wrench into my plan because my choices would either be take the job and leave in a year (and defeat the entire purpose of having stayed because I’d be a jerk), take the job and stay two years, or turn it down and then leave in a year.
Beyond that, though, I am just in a weird place in regard to making life decisions. My family/friends have been hounding me to death for years about moving close to home. I’ve half-heartedly said I would, but I have zero interest in it (beyond wanting to see my BFF and spend less travel money — and feeling that inevitably my parents will need me). I have interest in a lot of areas within my field, but haven’t narrowed it down. But this is my second career, so I feel like I want to get it right this time. So, even when I talk about “leaving” my job, I don’t know what the next step would be.
I guess I’m thinking the best thing is to take it and then see how it goes and stay for a year or two depending on how I feel. Maybe do a better job of getting out there and learning to be happy where I’m at, versus expecting a place to make it better.
Thoughts? (Sorry for the length. At least I used punctuation and paragraphs?)April 20, 2017 at 10:12 am #682806
Shameless bump.April 20, 2017 at 10:20 am #682811
Just take the job if you want it, which it sounds like you do. It might be a jerk move if you knew for sure you were quitting in 3 months, but you don’t know even what direction you’re going in yet. You could easily be there another year while you figure it out. It’s fine.
Side note, I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to tell your bosses you’re job searching.April 20, 2017 at 10:27 am #682816
Staying in the job for just a year is perfectly fine, especially since your employer has high turnover and it sounds like you’d be one of the stable ones. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER tell your employer you are looking. NEVER tell them you will only commit to the job for just a year.April 20, 2017 at 10:33 am #682818
Agree completely with Kate & Ron. I’m curious about why you think you would be a jerk for leaving after a year? Seriously, talk to anyone who’s been laid off–that type of loyalty towards your employer gets you nowhere.April 20, 2017 at 10:35 am #682819
Take the job. The experience can never hurt and you don’t yet know what you want to do. You aren’t seriously looking around for other jobs and haven’t spent time trying to figure out where you would like to go. Take the time to start looking around. What states and cities interest you? Are the job prospects in those cities good, okay or bad? Can you spend some of your vacation time visiting some cities to see if you like them? It’s better to take your time and make a good move than suddenly feel like you need to move in a year and jump to a new location without taking the time to check it out adequately. The increased pay will also help you to save money for the move.April 20, 2017 at 10:57 am #682820
Thanks. 🙂 You are all so insightful. I think part of the reason I’d feel like a jerk is because of the turnover so far. Because so many people have left all at once (some just super early and some for retirements, promotions, etc.), whenever someone leaves, particularly if it’s after a short time in the role, it becomes a huge ordeal.
In my old field, I’d never tell someone I was searching, but it’s fairly common in my field. Some units prefer to know because they hire cyclically and need to know how many spots to hire for at conferences. Mine isn’t that extreme, but people definitely take it to mean you don’t trust your boss if you don’t tell them. One of my bosses has been explicit with me that she doesn’t think I should stay in one place for too long, and I can trust her 100%, but she won’t be my boss anymore if I take the new job. The other boss is the one who is getting all of the heat for the turnover, so it’s probably correct that I shouldn’t tell her when the time comes.
But again, like you guys are saying, I probably shouldn’t get hung up on these things and how people will perceive me if it means risking my job stability or progression.April 20, 2017 at 10:58 am #682821
Yeah, you need to stop being so dumb about telling your bosses your long range plans… or that you might be looking for work…April 20, 2017 at 11:06 am #682823
Trust me — I’ve seen so many people burned by this…April 20, 2017 at 11:09 am #682824
If you’re entering a department with high turnover that your new boss is getting heat over ask for more money–you’re going to be earning it.April 20, 2017 at 11:23 am #682829
I feel like you are over thinking this. Do you want this job? Then take it. Commit, in your mind, to give it a year, then reassess from then. Maybe you’ll love it and want to stay. Maybe you’ll love it and have the resume to find something similar elsewhere. Maybe you’ll hate it. Maybe the political environment will change or settle and it will be more clear if this career choice has a path for you. Maybe the company will go under in six months and you’ll be out of a job regardless of what position you have.
Who knows? But if you want this position and you think it will help further your career, take the opportunity.
And for God’s sake, if you never have any interest in moving home again, tell people. And definitely don’t They’ll be sad, but it’s your life.
Also I agree you shouldn’t tell people if you’re looking for another job. I mean, it’s very common for people to move around a lot these days so no one will be surprised, but your desire to be transparent could just mean you get seen as a lame duck employee.April 20, 2017 at 11:28 am #682831
Also – don’t ever feel like a jerk for leaving for better, or different opportunities. Or planning to give a place a year or your time and then moving on.
People do it ALL THE TIME.
You may work for some great people, but at the end of the day the company has its best interests at heart, so its on you to look after yourself. You don’t owe your employer anything beyond the standard two week notice.
I mean, I’ve had instances of offering people a job, they’re on the job for like two weeks and another offer comes from somewhere they also interviewed with and then they quit. I think those people are kind of jerks.
But a year in a position? That’s a long time to give and totally normal to move on from without you being an asshole. Especially if you give plenty of notice once you actually have a job elsewhere.