Author Topic: Seeking advice before leaving job.  (Read 2172 times)

pedal stache

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Seeking advice before leaving job.
« on: November 02, 2016, 01:13:15 PM »
I am looking for some advice in regard to what I should do before making a decision to leave my current job.

I just started this job recently (6 months ago) and the work itself is exciting and very challenging. It brought me to a new town that I thought was going to be great for my lifestyle, and for the first 3 months it was. The pay is a little lower than avg. for my role but livable for me and lets me continue to focus on my FIRE goals.

My readiness to leave comes from a combination of things. One of the key negative parts of the job is the on-call rotation. I am on-call for a full 7 day week at least once a month during which time I cannot go out of good cell phone range and must have a computer with me at all times. This does not allow me to do a lot of the outdoor activities I enjoy and takes a full weekend every month that I have to "hangout" with my computer at the ready. During on-call it is not uncommon to have 4 or more calls throughout the night during which times it can take hours to resolve issues (we do not get any additional compensation for on-call). The people I work with are fine with the on-call and do not really see why I think sacrificing more than 1/4 of weekends is an issue. In addition to on-call, there is a pressure at this workplace that I feel to work much past our set 8 to 5 workdays.

The town has been fun but I am finding it is not quite what I want. It rains a lot and it is a rare day when I even get to see the sunshine.

I think a good way to summarize what I am feeling right now is that my work is very demanding of my time and when I do have any free time I feel like I am not able to do the things I love (play outdoors) due to weather or on-call restrictions.

Any advice is appreciated about what I should do before making any decisions. Also if you want more details about my situation to help advise me, just ask and I will provide it.

Thanks!

doneby35

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 01:27:37 PM »
I completely feel your pain.
I used to work at a major tech company where I was on-call one week per month and get multiple calls almost daily with the best ones being around 2am. Everyone dreaded on-call week.

I ended up quitting because I am not ok with sacrificing my health, sleep and happiness/life for more money.
I would secure another job first (one that does not have on-call) and then quit, which is exactly what I did back then and it was one great decision!

pedal stache

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 02:02:14 PM »
Thanks for the response doneby35. It makes me fell better knowing I am not the only one who dreads on-call.

I am preparing to discuss job opportunities with some other companies, and I will not be considering those with mandatory on-call rotations.

aoptic

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 02:13:23 PM »
I am looking for some advice in regard to what I should do before making a decision to leave my current job.

I just started this job recently (6 months ago) and the work itself is exciting and very challenging. It brought me to a new town that I thought was going to be great for my lifestyle, and for the first 3 months it was. The pay is a little lower than avg. for my role but livable for me and lets me continue to focus on my FIRE goals.
   Awesome!! I never look at initial pay when getting a new job. In many IT/Consultant jobs i been at it is just a means to move people in and out at a cheap cost. Honestly, Even at my present company your cheap labor until you hit 18 months. At that point if your not making above market salary you need to start looking or your going to be on the chopping block.

My readiness to leave comes from a combination of things. One of the key negative parts of the job is the on-call rotation. I am on-call for a full 7 day week at least once a month during which time I cannot go out of good cell phone range and must have a computer with me at all times. This does not allow me to do a lot of the outdoor activities I enjoy and takes a full weekend every month that I have to "hangout" with my computer at the ready. During on-call it is not uncommon to have 4 or more calls throughout the night during which times it can take hours to resolve issues (we do not get any additional compensation for on-call). The people I work with are fine with the on-call and do not really see why I think sacrificing more than 1/4 of weekends is an issue. In addition to on-call, there is a pressure at this workplace that I feel to work much past our set 8 to 5 workdays.
Sounds, like the organization culture might be use and abuse. Here are some honest questions you:
  • Does your management care about you? If you cannot answer this means your not communicating to your management and should really consider talking to them before you jump
  • Based on other co-workers (People been their 18 months or longer) have they seen a good increase? Are they getting more job flexibility as they move up?
  • (Potential Red Flag) If more than 50% of your team have not been there for for longer than 18months you may question if the organization is a good organization.
  • Is the on-call schedule flexible? For example,  in a previous on-call job I had I made it so I was on call for a solid month and have 2 months off from being on-call.
  • Do you have flex time in that 8-5? Culture is something I feel is observation at times it could be some people want that for thier lives, but others who you may not see don't. For example, I have a co-worker that has 3 kids and comes in early to leave early. Also if we don't have "real work" just busy work he takes off early to be with his family this is counter to the culture but people understand and will sacrifice time to help other co-workers in need in return. Honestly if they work longer than 8-5 they are not efficient or do not have any obligations outside work ... that is just plan sad if that is the case 

I think a good way to summarize what I am feeling right now is that my work is very demanding of my time and when I do have any free time I feel like I am not able to do the things I love (play outdoors) due to weather or on-call restrictions.

Use your brain. Ask for a mifi (have your company pay for it) or something (they have to compensate you somehow to allow you to have that flexibility if not look for a new job) so you can take your laptop with you. Setup an alert system if your outdoors to get to the computer or call. Engineer it we live in a world that IT work can be performed out doors. I am a consultant sometimes I get client calls when I am at the beach. If i need my computer I BS my way and run to my car to do what I need to do. Do not make this an excuse to not be outdoors look at this as an opportunity to what you want and if you happen to get a call take it but don't think that you will always have a call and REQUIRE to be home to do it that is crazy. This limitation can be overcome by different thinking. Weather never stopped me again your thought process is poor me not what can I do to overcome this issue.

Overall, give the new job 18 months. Unless, you see multiple other red flags like:
  • Management truly not caring for you
  • High turnover
  • Your boss hates you or you feel it
  • You cannot confront your leadership to help you get through nor they want to help you succeed
  • Your co-workers are narcissistic and are not willing to help each other (this one is a big one for me run away like the plague)
Think Positive try to over come it with your new company if they are unwilling start lining up a new job.

pedal stache

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2016, 02:42:35 PM »
Thanks for such a thorough reply aoptic!

From the discussions I have had with management so far, they care about me as far as the work I do. They have little care about the lifestyle I would like to have. Very few of my coworkers have been here more than 18 months and those that have live their work. Way less than 50% of the team has been here for 18 months, in fact since I started ~1/3 of the team has left. The on-call schedule is set in stone, I have tried suggesting rotations that could be better for a life/work balance to no avail. I am going to propose some changes again before making my decision to stay/leave. There is really not flex-time from the regular 8-5, aside from scheduled appointments.

As far as weather goes, I appreciate people like you who manage to get out regardless of weather. I should add that my life passion right now is mountain biking (and that is really what I mean by get outdoors). I bike when it is crazy hot, snowing, windy, and can tolerate rain as long as the trails are not impacted. With saturated trails though, I do not think it is fun or responsible to get out biking on the trails.

I will say, I agree that I need to ditch the poor me thoughts and find other activities to do outside(or in) rain or shine.

Thanks again for your response, it helps me have more things to think about.

BigHaus89

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 04:41:45 PM »
The fact that 1/3 of the team has left since you started is a huge red flag. This seems like it is coming from bad management overworking employees for little compensation. Make it a strict rule for yourself to only work 8-5 and not give into pressure to work longer hours. Who cares what others think if you are doing good work for 40 hours a week?

For the on-call time, you might want to try to negotiate compensation for this extra time you are working all while talking to recruiters and looking for another job.

pedal stache

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 05:26:31 PM »
Thanks, BigHaus89. I will take your advices on the 8-5 rule. I'll try for some compensation for on-call as well.

Appreciate the input.

icemodeled

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 06:42:00 PM »
My husband had a job where he was required to be on call and we could never make plans or go out much during that time. He also didn't get compensated for the additional time - something he knew taking the job but didn't realize how much extra time he would need to devote to this job, outside of work hours with no additional pay. Needless to say, he wasn't there very long. For some it may work but others it won't. Sounds like for you it's not working well and 6 months should be long enough to know for sure.

Seems like now you need to decide if this is hurting your time and lifestyle to the point where it's worth it to make the move. Does the pros out weight the cons? You said you do enjoy the work and job itself, coworkers are fine so it's just the on call after hours part. For us, it was an easy choice as our time was most important so he looked for another job. Good luck, hope you can decide what is best! Don't rush a decision if your not absolutely sure!

lhamo

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 07:02:52 PM »
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest!  I'm guessing this is where you are, based on the "saturated trails" comment.  Our summers are usually drier, but this year there was a fair amount of rain and we just had record rainfall in October.  Trails won't dry out again until July, most likely.  It sounds like neither the job nor the climate is a good fit for you.  I would  look for work in Colorado or somewhere similar with a high, dry climate. 

doneby35

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2016, 07:16:34 PM »
I wouldn't ask for compensation for on-call, since it was probably in the job description when you accepted the offer, not much you can do about, plus it sounds to me like living your life is more important than be an on-call slave.
I work as an IT consultant, and i have no obligation to answer my phone after 5pm or weekends, no on-call. If you are a systems admin/engineer, you might not have that luxury, however it is also a huge red flag that a lot of the people left already.

I also feel like you're either in the bay area or seattle working for a tech company such as google or facebook, these companies have put a lot of stress on their employees when it comes to on-call and working all the time and then bribe them with free goodies.

Go with your gut.

pedal stache

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Re: Seeking advice before leaving job.
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2016, 07:18:47 PM »
@Icemodeled Thanks for sharing. I have been feeling like this isn't the lifestyle I want for a few months now. The decision to post here is so I can get as much advice an outside perspectives as I can before making decisions and it is stories like yours that help me be more confident in what I am thinking.

@lhamo You nailed it with the PNW. I would love for all this rain to turn to snow as I also love to ski. I have always loved colorado and take frequent bike trips down to CO/UT. Those areas are definitely tops of my lists to relocate to next. I mostly came here for an adventure and big life change after college but so far it has not been what I hoped it would be.

@doneby35 You are correct that they told me about the on-call duties before I started. I really thought I would be ok with it and could handle it before accepting the position. I think it has been a good lesson for me though and it has made me realize how much I value my free time. I am actually looking at consulting positions for my next job.

Everyone so far has raised some good questions for me to ask myself and the stories shared have helped me reflect on my own situation. This helpful to me and making this descision, thanks.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 07:28:03 PM by pedal stache »