Author Topic: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?  (Read 5514 times)

fallstoclimb

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1082
Without getting too political or specific, I work in a federal agency that is in big trouble during Trump Times. 

My current department (Department Current) is especially endangered.  Like, the department is in the news as a target. No one knows what will happen, but it seems likely the major project I work on will lose funding.  Probably this will take a while, but it may not.  I have no idea what will happen to employees if we lose funding - this is all unprecedented - but I think a reorg is way more likely than layoffs.  I'm pretty certain I won't lose my job.

A department I worked in previously (Department Past) reached out to see if I wanted to rejoin the team in a lateral move. No one knows what will happen, but it is probably a much safer area to be, much less politicized.  They even suggested I could switch on paper to their department, but stay in my current area as a detail for up to a year to finish my projects.  It's a very generous and kind offer.

This seems like a no brainer, I know, but the problem is I LIKE my current job.  I like it a lot, more than I've ever liked a job. 

I left Department Past because of a bad boss (and I wouldn't be rejoining her team if I returned), but I love Department Current more than expected.  My coworkers are fantastic, young and smart and funny and they are such good friends, I do not want to leave them (only one of them is looking, currently).  The building is a much nicer environment.  I have an almost alarming amount of autonomy.  I enjoy the work.  I like my boss and have a strong sense of loyalty towards her and the team.  I don't want to tell her I'm leaving, despite her best efforts.

But, probably everything is going to fall apart.  Department Past makes more sense, logically.  I could wait until things actually start falling apart, which would make the decision easier, but if there is a hiring freeze (which there will be) internal movement might be more difficult. 

I honestly wonder if I can stay in this agency at all, given how our goals are going to change under the new administration.  But I live very close to work and make a good salary and you could also argue I have an ethical obligation to stay.  And, ethically, I'm probably more needed in Current Department (if it even remains a department) than Past Department -- Past Department is full of people with my skills.  Current Department has almost none. 

Fear of change is coming into play on both sides here, as the status quo is (almost definitely) kaput.  At the very least I expect there are going to be lots of leadership changes in Department Current.  Department Past has already had a little shakeup but I do not think there will be more. 

And then the fact that this is all Trump's fault makes it almost impossible to think about clearly.  If Clinton had won, none of this would be happening.  I am mourning the election results on so many levels that I just can't think. 

TL;DR - preemptively leave a job I love just because I can see the writing on the wall, or wait until it all falls apart even though my safety net might no longer be there? 

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4605
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 08:33:40 AM »
This feels like a decision made on fear and not one based on a logical approach.

It also seems like the lateral transfer would solve 99% of the fear issues but the fact that you are hesitant suggests you still don't want to do that. Why not? Is it just fear of change?

fallstoclimb

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1082
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 09:05:12 AM »
100% agree that this decision is full of fear, which is why I'm struggling with it so much.

Department Past is safer and they obviously value me.  There are probably more career opportunities there, given Republican's plans for Department Current.  But the building is so quiet it's stifling, with tons of people working from home or heads down over the computer.  I had no real friends.  And in my old role, I was completely unengaged, although that was probably specific to some issues with my boss.

I really like Department Current, especially my coworkers.  I'm SO engaged - I work really hard because I don't want to let down my friends.  Sometimes it feels like grad school.  There's no way I'd be this happy in Department Past. 

Basically, I think Department Past is the more responsible decision to make, but I'm finding it so hard to leave a job I really like (the first job I've ever really liked) just because I expect its all going to go to shit.  Because it hasn't gone to shit yet, and what if it doesn't?  (But, with the republicans targeting us in the news, how could it not?)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 10:43:27 AM by fallstoclimb »

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4454
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 09:12:48 AM »
Can you get a couple friends to jump ship with you?

fallstoclimb

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1082
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 09:24:37 AM »
Can you get a couple friends to jump ship with you?

Unfortunately, probably not, for a few different reasons.  Eventually one or maybe two of them may wind up there but it's not certain enough to count on.

Imustacheyouaquestion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 09:25:17 AM »
Without knowing the specifics, it's unlikely you can know that "the status quo is (almost definitely) kaput." Talk to old-timers in your current department/agency. Many have been through previous periods of uncertainty or reorganization. You could be reorganized and still do the same essential job function at the same pay grade with a different title and in a new organization. If you are subject to a reduction in force, it would likely take more than a year to categorize employees and carry it out. You have time to spare and don't need to jump to a decision before knowing what's really at stake.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1392
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 09:53:27 AM »
Hello Fallstoclimb,

Man can I ever relate to this decision point.  I had a very similar problem and took the pre-emptive leap rather than waiting to see how things played out.  It was a bad decision, created more stress and in the end, the job I had did NOT get eliminated.  Womp womp.

Trump can't do anything unilaterally.  Congress can't just fire a bunch of federal employees and disband an arm of the federal government without a well thought out and union approved transition plan.  If you aren't bargaining unit, its likely that some of your coworkers are, and that does afford you the protection of time that a union conflict will create. 

You have time to take this slow.  You might get offered a realignment deal that works really well for you.  You might get realigned into something less optimal.  You might get offered VERA/VSIP.  The future is unknowable, but there are some things you can do.

1.  Make sure your resume is current and uploaded into USAJOBs
2.  Go ahead and start applying for jobs that do get you jazzed...you don't have to accept interviews or offers if you just aren't ready to.
3.  You have your FU stash...right?

Take a deep breath man, its going to be OK. 

Uturn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Holly Springs, NC
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 10:36:11 AM »
Every time the presidency changes from one party to another, jobs come and go.  This is just something you need to accept when working for the government, or government related civilian jobs.  The two parties just have differing priorities.  Some times the jobs move from one department to another.  For instance, I had a contract with the Dept of Defense under Bush.  Shortly after Obama took office, that contract was cancelled and a new contract was started under the Dept of State.  We all moved to the new company that won the new contract.  Same people, same job, same office, but the new administration could show less spend for defense and more spend for "nation building."

A better way to view your career, whether public or private, is change will happen and be prepared.  Your job security rests solely with your ability to adapt and maintain usefulness to your employer, even if that employer changes.  I've worked for a company that shut down over night, I've lost my job due to new management that brought in their own people, I've left companies because their priorities shifted away from mine.  The worst was before I figured out this little secret, depression and anger about suddenly losing a job that I really liked kept me stuck for too long.  It sucked, but my ability to adapt to change and not focus on the bad side of the issue has kept me employed since then. 

Shor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 480
  • Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2016, 10:44:14 AM »
A better way to view your career, whether public or private, is change will happen and be prepared.  Your job security rests solely with your ability to adapt and maintain usefulness to your employer, even if that employer changes.  I've worked for a company that shut down over night, I've lost my job due to new management that brought in their own people, I've left companies because their priorities shifted away from mine.  The worst was before I figured out this little secret, depression and anger about suddenly losing a job that I really liked kept me stuck for too long.  It sucked, but my ability to adapt to change and not focus on the bad side of the issue has kept me employed since then.
Sorry, I'm gonna have to print this out and post it on the wall... *wipes away a tear*

fallstoclimb

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1082
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2016, 04:22:09 PM »
Every time the presidency changes from one party to another, jobs come and go.  This is just something you need to accept when working for the government, or government related civilian jobs.  The two parties just have differing priorities.  Some times the jobs move from one department to another.  For instance, I had a contract with the Dept of Defense under Bush.  Shortly after Obama took office, that contract was cancelled and a new contract was started under the Dept of State.  We all moved to the new company that won the new contract.  Same people, same job, same office, but the new administration could show less spend for defense and more spend for "nation building."

A better way to view your career, whether public or private, is change will happen and be prepared.  Your job security rests solely with your ability to adapt and maintain usefulness to your employer, even if that employer changes.  I've worked for a company that shut down over night, I've lost my job due to new management that brought in their own people, I've left companies because their priorities shifted away from mine.  The worst was before I figured out this little secret, depression and anger about suddenly losing a job that I really liked kept me stuck for too long.  It sucked, but my ability to adapt to change and not focus on the bad side of the issue has kept me employed since then.


It's hard to accept that the upcoming administration is so antithetical to my core values.  I believe in my agency's mission and it is going to shit.  I can't be stoic about that. 

In terms of my job security, I'm not worried about actually losing my job.  I have valuable skills and a lot of connections.  I'm much more employable than most of my coworkers.  Financially, I'll be fine. 

What I'm struggling with is how do I leave a job I really like just because (I think) I see the writing on the wall? 

And I don't mean to undersell what the Department Past is offering me -- they put some good things on the table.  Part of my hesitation is actually just knowing what I'd be going back to, that I don't get to have that excitement of the unknown.  I pretty much know what I'd be getting there.  And it would be pretty good, and would certainly be a fine move career wise.

But I don't feel done where I am now.  I just don't want to go yet.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2871
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2016, 05:02:36 PM »
Quote
In terms of my job security, I'm not worried about actually losing my job.  I have valuable skills and a lot of connections.  I'm much more employable than most of my coworkers.  Financially, I'll be fine. 

So why leave? You'll be fine if your current job ends sooner or later.

But I do feel for you. I'm a federal contractor and I never know from year to year if I'm going to be canned.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6191
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2016, 06:32:32 PM »
I was going to guess you're in the environment department, but Trump has been attacking everything from foreign affairs, trade, women, human rights, health, education... could be anything really :D

Never stay just because of coworkers, as sooner or later everyone moves on.

End of the day you have to look after yourself - if your old department are going to let you finish your projects for another year, I'd go with them.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2914
  • Location: WDC
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2016, 06:57:29 PM »
I've had these past vs. current and sure thing vs.  non-sure thing before.  The indecision and uncertainty is very hard to deal with, so I feel for you.  Sorry you're going through this.  I've learned that the right path for me is to never go backwards ... always move forward.  If Current Department doesn't work out, you'll find something even better.  You're hesitating for a reason, so listen to your gut.   


Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6724
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 07:11:50 PM »
It's hard to accept that the upcoming administration is so antithetical to my core values.

I was an army officer and didn't buy 70% of the typical military BS. Although it was a challenging environment to be in one thing that kept me going is that when the shit hits the fan it's important for people of integrity with high ethical standards to be there and stand up for what they believe in. Especially if your career and finances are not at risk you are in a position to stand up to any BS - at least within the limits of your position's power. Don't underestimate what kind of positive impact one person standing up for what they believe in can have on an organization.

GetItRight

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2016, 01:30:52 PM »
Make the lateral move for income stability in the short term. For the long term look for a job in the productive sector and jump ship when the right offer comes along, get out of government so politics has little effect on your income and career.

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1178
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2016, 03:36:28 PM »
I would stay to see how it turns out. But your world is very different from mine, so I doubt my advice fits your situation. I can't really fathom how any political leader in a democratic country can target bureaucrates who are just doing what their current bosses tell them. Our political system have 10+ different political parties, and I have worked for a lot of different ones. I can write speeches for socialists one day and christian democrats the next day. If someone from the green party or the liberal party wants arguments to use against each other, I will deliver high quality stuff to both of them (within the limits of truth and science; the liberalists know better than to ask me for anti climate change arguments). There are some parties that are more difficult or uninterested bosses than others, but they don't go around firing us out of the blue. In fact, they considered doing a big reorganization earlier this year, and the unions negotiated 6 years job security for all of us.

MacGyverIt

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • Location: Not in a tropical, underpopulated location. And that's just wrong.
  • What Would MacGyver Do?
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2016, 09:42:28 AM »
There's a lot of nervousness about the upcoming, potentially radical changes coming to government. I'm all for reducing aspects of government spending, increasing efficiency, etc. but I want the changes to be logical, circumspect and non-partisan (i.e. it'll never happen).

USAID, National labs, DoE, etc. I expect will at the very least lose funding that translates to contractor dollars.

Previous Department, can they hold the position for you for a while so you can settle on how things shake out with Current Department?

rachellynn99

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2016, 10:29:43 AM »
Every time the presidency changes from one party to another, jobs come and go.  This is just something you need to accept when working for the government, or government related civilian jobs.  The two parties just have differing priorities.  Some times the jobs move from one department to another.  For instance, I had a contract with the Dept of Defense under Bush.  Shortly after Obama took office, that contract was cancelled and a new contract was started under the Dept of State.  We all moved to the new company that won the new contract.  Same people, same job, same office, but the new administration could show less spend for defense and more spend for "nation building."

A better way to view your career, whether public or private, is change will happen and be prepared.  Your job security rests solely with your ability to adapt and maintain usefulness to your employer, even if that employer changes.  I've worked for a company that shut down over night, I've lost my job due to new management that brought in their own people, I've left companies because their priorities shifted away from mine.  The worst was before I figured out this little secret, depression and anger about suddenly losing a job that I really liked kept me stuck for too long.  It sucked, but my ability to adapt to change and not focus on the bad side of the issue has kept me employed since then.

YES! This is what happened to me. I worked for the USDA and everytime they farm bill came up for renewal in this last presidency ( maybe the ones prior too, but I never paid attention until I worked for the USDA) I was concerned about my job. There were a few bits here and there were I was cut to half time or 75% time. I knew it would always be in a state of unknowing, so I started planning my escape. I started networking, picked up a few consulting gigs here and there and transitioned to academia about 3 years ago. It's still not 100% stable ( most jobs aren't) but I haven't been scared about my job every 3-4 months like I previously was. That constant uncertainty was not something I enjoyed, even though I enjoyed my previous job very much.

notactiveanymore

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 212
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2016, 12:38:33 PM »
Would you have been on the requested list?

I would probably take the opportunity with department past with the ability to finish out projects with department current. The likely improved work environment without former boss, the likelihood of a hiring freeze, and the real threat to your current department would probably push me to make the safe choice. But I've never worked anywhere where I got a lot of joy out of my coworkers (I mean, I guess I met my husband at work, but other than that!). If you are confident you could get a job private sector should shit hit the fan at current department with hiring freeze at past department, then maybe ride it out and see.

If it's any consolation, other than ending CPP and WOTUS swiftly, it would likely take awhile for larger research cuts and jobs cuts to make their way through the process.

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2016, 12:54:56 PM »
get out of government so politics has little effect on your income and career.

I'm going to be THAT person and say almost every job is tied to politics in some way, because of the economy. :) Obviously having a government job is different than working at say, Target, but politics affects everyone.

Classical_Liberal

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1087
  • Age: 42
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2016, 01:00:31 PM »
Having a job with a core function you enjoy, autonomy, and great coworkers is rare.  Don't leave out of fear.  If change happens, it happens, nothing you can do and it sounds like you are easily employable.  If you jump ship and were wrong... Well, that would really suck!

CloserToFree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Location: Major U.S. City
  • 30-sth lawyer (for now), traveler, lover of nature
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2016, 05:00:00 PM »
Agree with those who have advised staying, at least for now.  In the past year, I've had three friends who have preemptively left otherwise good jobs out of fear/ desire to try something different, and all three have ended up wishing they hadn't left and/or being disappointed in the new job. Some gov, some private sector.  Not the same thing as Trump-related change, but wanted to share.  It sounds like you're genuinely excited about your current gig, while the Past Department job would be a mixed bag (even though mostly good).  If there's any chance the Trump impact will be moderate to minimal and that your existing job and good environment will remain largely intact, then stay.  Especially because you're reasonably confident you won't actually lose your job/ not have another readily available opportunity.

Side note: I see what the other poster was saying about each new administration bringing change, but this one brings a whole new level of uncertainty. It really isn't the same thing as Bush/Obama, or any prior Dem/Rep changeover-- especially for several particularly vulnerable agencies.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1521
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2016, 07:22:27 AM »
Could you "accept' with Department Past, continue with Current Department for a year to see how things shake out and then maybe stay on at Current Department if things aren't as bad as they seem?   Is Department Past specifically looking out for you thinking that they are going to lose someone talented in the job cuts? 

Everything always changes.  Know that when you make your decision.  Make your decision, own it and move forward.

To me, quiet desks does not sound horrible.  LOL.   But you love what you are working on,  but that project may be defunded.
If your department is "the swamp" that is going to be "drained", then I think it's in your best interest to at least have an idea of where you may find solid ground should you need it.   

You must be 100% apolitical at work going forward, btw.   

I will say that I think the Trump cabinet is unafraid to make big changes, quickly and coming from corporate they know how to cut jobs and reorganize.  That's why I might sign and buy "one more year" or until things get crazy, the go back to your safe Old Department.   I am assuming you also have a 6 month emergency fund of expenses in savings and that you are prepared to cope with a layoff if that happens.  Because you really dont' know what's going to happen in Old Department either.  You would be the "new guy" and sometimes they're the first to go.

You may want to bulk up your cash savings more at this time.   You may also want to start networking with private companies that work with the government and your kinds of departments, if your kind of job will become outsourced.

Best wishes with your decision.  Try to find things you enjoy in life outside of work so you are not getting all your happy only from your job.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 07:29:47 AM by KBecks »

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2016, 11:30:18 AM »
when the shit hits the fan it's important for people of integrity with high ethical standards to be there and stand up for what they believe in. Especially if your career and finances are not at risk you are in a position to stand up to any BS - at least within the limits of your position's power. Don't underestimate what kind of positive impact one person standing up for what they believe in can have on an organization.

This is powerful advice.

Yonco

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2016, 06:34:20 PM »
Not to sound like a dick, but your playing with snakes thinking you wern't going to get bitten. Don't rely on the government for a steady job.  Take your skills and start a profitable business your proud of. Now is your chance.

Cranberries

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 126
Re: Help me make a difficult job decision that is all Trump's fault?
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2016, 08:24:33 PM »
when the shit hits the fan it's important for people of integrity with high ethical standards to be there and stand up for what they believe in. Especially if your career and finances are not at risk you are in a position to stand up to any BS - at least within the limits of your position's power. Don't underestimate what kind of positive impact one person standing up for what they believe in can have on an organization.

This is powerful advice.

+1

If you are confident that your job skills are in demand then stay and do the best you can as long as you can. We need you.