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Did I make a mistake accepting this job?

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  • #846939 Reply

    Ok, you guys. I got an opportunity to interview with a big company in my city, though I like my current role. I interviewed, got a great offer. During the interview process I was informed there would be some travel, 5 days a month, and I said i was ok with that but it really could not be more. We’re hoping to start a family soon and extensive work travel is not for me. I was told explicitly this is not considered a travelling role. I take the job, yay! My last day with my current company is next Friday

    Fast forward to last night, my soon to be new boss and her boss take me to dinner. One of the first comments out of new grandboss’s mouth is “so you’re going to be travelling pretty extensively huh?”. Um, I am? I reiterated what I’d been told (5 days a month) by my soon to be new boss, which she confirms. She then says there may be a month with more, but that is usually balanced out when there is none in the month of December. Grandboss starts talking about an extensive trip Boss took across the world for a project. I took the opportunity to ask “is there any international travel in my role?” (A question I’d already asked and gotten an answer of no). Boss says no and grandboss says well, yes, maybe.

    At this point I am…a little worried. After grandboss left, new boss confirmed the travel we had discussed (basically a few times from now to the end of the year). So, either grandboss was mistaken. Or i was mislead about the travel aspect of this job. This is a hard “no” for me, like would leave this job within a year if I am traveling more than 5 days a month. I’m now really unsure about what to do. Do I contact new boss and ask her to clarify and say the comments from grandboss at dinner surprised me? I’m worried that will affect how I’m seen since I already accepted the job. Do I just plain renege on the job offer if my current company will keep me (they have not filled my position, I have not burned any bridges, and I was clear I’m happy here and this opportunity fell into my lap) and deal with the embarrassment? Say nothing and go forward knowing it’s a great advancement/promotion and I may only stay for a year if the travel is an issue? Talk to HR at the new company and tell them about my concerns/confusion? I am starting to really worry this was a mistake and I don’t see a good way out. Any Ask A Manager fans out there with some advice?

    #846940 Reply

    Since you are currently unemployed and new company gave you a great offer, I think you should start the job, see how it goes, and plan to stay at least a year. Luckily it doesn’t require relocation, so immediate disruption of your life won’t be huge. You want to start a family, but you have no idea when that will actually happen.

    If things seem not to be working out as you approach the year mark, look both inside this company for a transfer to a job with less travel, as well as outside. You should have your eyes open to areas/functions within this company which will suit you better.

    I would not run to HR. That is just going to be a black mark against you and I seriously doubt they are in a position to help you. Most likely the complaint gets the job offer rescinded and you are unemployed.

    #846941 Reply

    Thanks Ron, good perspective. Just a point of clarification I am still currently working at my old company through next week and they have not filled my role yet, or even begun interviews. I’ve got solid relationships here, and am fairly confident they would have no issue with me staying if I asked at this point. Though I certainly don’t know that to be 100% true, and they could very well say they won’t keep someone who has decided to leave. I would make absolutely sure I could stay here before telling the new company Im backing out of the offer, if it would come to that. But neither situation is ideal by any means.

    #846942 Reply

    Took the job now you stuck with it. If you turn back running to your old job it will look really bad on you, and most future promotions will skip you because of this. Take the job and see how it goes for a year, you might like it and thing may change, get pregnant and things will change for sure. Good luck and don’t go running back.

    #846943 Reply

    Lemme ask some questions

    1. If you have to spend a year working with more travel than you expected, how much of a problem would that be? I mean, you probably will not conceive immediately and the gestation period for your species is about nine months. Or is it a question of being around at the right time to conceive?

    2. In your field do people move around? If you need to find a new job in a year, how much does that disadvantage you?

    3.Is it possible that grand boss is just not that knowledgeable about your role? If boss confirmed this for you even after the conversation, I wonder if that may be the case.

    #846944 Reply

    I would move on to the new job, I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to back out and stay. But I do think it’s something to be on guard about that they were so on different pages about the travel, and I think you need to keep boundaries about how much you can travel given what you agreed upon with your new direct boss.

    #846947 Reply

    Start the job and then actually see what the requirements are. The grandboss may be thinking “old school” where this position used to travel extensively but it’s been reduced significantly through remote access and video chat. I often travel extensively for work but with my current client I am working from home 80% of the time.

    Boss may have some new ideas and it’s not making it through the grandboss’ brain barrier.

    #846950 Reply

    Start the job. See how it goes.

    I’ve worked in a situation or two where the grand-boss doesn’t actually know/understand the underworkings of my job and has misrepresented them before. The key part here is that your boss is holding steady on the terms of the job; this is something you can use to maintain your boundaries. Is this something you can still get in writing in your contract?

    I guess the real questions is why is this new job so appealing that you decided to change jobs for it? Do those benefits still hold if you only stay for a year? Do they hold if you have to travel 5 times a month, 7 times a month, 10 times a month etc?

    #846952 Reply

    I agree, it’s very, very common for upper level bosses to not have a single clue what their employees’ jobs are like. Sounds to me like he was just blathering to make conversation at dinner. Maybe the person who had the position before you traveled a lot, maybe they’ve modified the position’s duties since then. Maybe they really like you and are willing to adjust the travel requirements in order to hire you.

    Your immediate supervisor has said (repeatedly) that there won’t be extensive travel. It wouldn’t be to her advantage or the company’s to lie to you about that, because you’d just leave.

    I would just drop it and take the job. You’ve more than made the point with your new boss, so I wouldn’t bring it up again. And for the love of god, don’t go to HR. That’s going to leave the impression that you think your new boss is a liar, or is misrepresenting the position to interviewees, and you’ll ruin your relationship with her before it starts.

    #846953 Reply

    I think you should wait and see if it’s actually an issue. My boss’s boss doesn’t even recognize me when he passes me in the hallway of our building. I was in a meeting with him once where he described my job to external people and he got a lot of stuff wrong about it. I don’t think that a higher-up saying contradictory things about your job (when your actual boss is continuing to confirm what you agree to) is really enough evidence for you to start blowing everything up over it. I get your concerns and I’m sure most people would be worried, so I hope this doesn’t sound flippant, but I think you need to just chill out for right now. There’s no concrete evidence that your boss is lying or that it’s a bad job, and going up the chain or quitting or anything would be a huge overreaction at this point.

    I think it’s good to find the best fit when you are balancing a family, but I think sometimes women turn down opportunities pre-emptively that can affect their careers. My friend almost turned down a job with a lot of travel because of starting a family “soon” and they ultimately didn’t have kids until 2 years later (unrelated to the job). After those two years, she was able to move into a role that’s a better fit for her family and now she actually knows what’s a better fit rather than just assuming.

    #846956 Reply

    I would take it. I don’t think your boss would mislead you so blatantly about your role.

    Your boss’s boss may have thought travelling was a benefit you are interested in and tried to impress you with that.

    #846958 Reply

    I am chiming in to say I agree with everybody else. Don’t make this a problem, until it becomes one. Bosses are often just fucking clueless. Hilariously so.

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