Author Topic: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?  (Read 4198 times)

Connemara

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Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« on: June 03, 2016, 11:44:13 AM »
I currently work for a state government agency. We deal primarily with the state budget and have a long "busy season" where the assignments and requests are flying, the hours can be long, and everyone is a bit on edge. From February to early April we often work insane hours...I'm talking about meetings at 3AM or 4AM, home to sleep for 5 hours, and then back to the office for another marathon night. I've been doing it for 3.5 years and it's starting to get old.

A position in my agency was recently posted. This would be a lateral move (same title, same salary of ~$70K) but the environment in this office is much different. I would not have to attend those early morning meetings and the busy season would largely pass me by. The work is similar with a different task thrown in the mix.

I applied for the new job and am interviewing next week. My boss said he would be disappointed to see me leave and immediately dumped on this other team. "It's kind of a soft landing, they don't work that hard, etc." He is more of a Type A person who gets some satisfaction from being overwhelmed on a daily basis. I don't! I really value a 9-5 gig where I am not checking e-mails at 9pm or working on the weekends. This new job would have that, though there is some truth to the claim that this team is not the best place to be if future advancement is in mind. Obviously I'd like to get a promotion some day but it is relatively easy to move throughout the state workforce and I'm interested in working at a different agency within the next 5 years or so.

Any advice on what I should do? I would regret ditching my current team because we all get along quite well...but the prospect of a new and less demanding job is intriguing.

Rosy

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 12:35:32 PM »
Those are some intense hours and demands for sure. Unless you have some major bennies that come with this job I know that 70K would not hold me there, unless like you mentioned it is the only springboard for your dream job down the line.
Lateral move or not, it never hurts to ask for a couple thou more, worth a try.

It will be nice to have a life again and still make that 70K.
As long as you still have the opportunity to move up and out (and I assume you are young enough to want a career) I wouldn't think twice about this opportunity. Take it while you can - you never know what the future holds. I say GO FOR IT! and Good Luck with the interview:)

 

hodor

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 04:44:03 PM »
No chance in getting me to work those kind of hours, especially if I am not been paid serious over time, I would be gone.

I can only assume that part of why you read these forums is to reach FIRE and have more time. You have the opportunity to get 8 hours of your life right now each "busy season" and not take a pay cut.

ender

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 04:55:41 PM »
Why on earth would you not take a same paying job that pays the same and gives you three months of your life back every year?

I would take a considerable paycut to avoid that!

rocklebock

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 04:57:57 PM »
I would consider whether the lateral move could derail the rest of my career trajectory. For example, if the current job put me on the path for promotion to a great position, but the lateral move was a dead end, that would be worth considering. But $70k would not be enough for me to work a job with those demands, so I'd still be trying to leave.

Jim2001

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 08:30:07 PM »
+1 for rocklebock's consideration.  What are your career aspirations?  What are the promotion possibilities in your current department?  What are the promotion possibilities in the new department?  Weigh all of that and see if the jump still makes sense.  I would discount the boss trying to talk you out of it; it sounds like sour grapes.

Based on what you've posted, I say go for the interview.  Until you get a job offer, there is really no decision to make.

ltt

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 07:09:08 AM »
You haven't mentioned how old you are, but trust me, if you have a wife and children (or even if you are not married), by the time you hit age 35-40, you will not want to be meeting at 3:00 a.m.  If it's already getting old, sounds like it's time to move on.   If your boss is Type A and enjoys that type of schedule, that's great, but not all people do.  And remember, he is not managing your health or your finances.

Choices

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 09:36:00 PM »
I try to run toward something rather than away from something. If you can figure out where you want to be in a few years and make a move in that direction it would be better, but it definitely sounds like your current situation is untenable.

Is it worth it to you to switch twice quickly-- to this new job then one that has more of a future, or to hang in there where you are while you actively search for something YOU want, not just what happens to be easy?

chappy

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 02:25:09 PM »
Both 70k. Job A requires more hours. Job B requires less.
Based on that, Job B is an easy choice.

Sounds like you have some career ambitions, but unsure if you want to stick with the current situation to achieve that...and if/when the opportunity for that comes up. Like others asked, you are missing some information (age, family, FIRE, etc).

Personally, with 70k annually working for the government (I'm assuming has a decent pension), I'd value lifestyle over career since finances are pretty much taken care of.

But I'd worry about that after you get a job offer.

MLKnits

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 03:33:01 PM »
Honestly, maybe this is my work-life balance bias talking, but from my perspective, OP, the only problem you've got is the risk of getting way too attached to this magical alternative job before you've even had the interview. I would swap them in a moment, no problem at all.

Connemara

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 01:36:55 PM »
+1 for rocklebock's consideration.  What are your career aspirations?  What are the promotion possibilities in your current department?  What are the promotion possibilities in the new department?  Weigh all of that and see if the jump still makes sense.  I would discount the boss trying to talk you out of it; it sounds like sour grapes.

Based on what you've posted, I say go for the interview.  Until you get a job offer, there is really no decision to make.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone. Lots to consider.

To the point raised by Jim and rocklebock: it may be harder to move up within this particular unit, but opportunities at other units are always posted and are always available to all staff. That doesn't mean I'd have the same chances as an internal candidate, but the opportunity is there.

However, I don't want to grow my career in this particular department. Those crazy scheduling demands increase as you advance here. The salary increases, but my boss makes around $90K and works far longer hours including frequent e-mails at night and on the weekends with no overtime OR even comp time. To me, that is not worth it, especially when you can make the same or more at another state agency with very little overtime. This is one of the main reasons my agency experiences a great deal of turnover.

The new job seems like a good place to spend some time growing my salary (we get annual advances plus annual 2% COLAs - and yes, I'm in a trad pension plan) and learning some new skills. Obviously it comes with the very important side benefit of more work-life balance.

I had the interview today and I think it went very well. The work seems interesting enough but more importantly the team (who I knew casually already) seems great. Very nice people. Hoping I get invited to a second interview with the unit director.

Connemara

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 08:52:40 AM »
One more thing to add: I met with my division director today to discuss the interview. He made a lot of insightful comments and noted that, from an enterprise-wide perspective, it would not be a bad move to go to this unit and learn new skills. He was happy to hear that I want to stay at the agency either way. He did acknowledge it may put me on a different path long-term, one that preps me for leadership in a finance office at a state agency.

There was also mention of some manager positions in our unit opening up in the near future. This is the level at which my current boss works. Again, I don't think this is the right move for me. I would net another $200 per paycheck but is that worth the insanity from October through April? I mean, I'm pretty confident I could build a side hustle that nets me another $400/month. May not be easy but it's something I want to explore.

If anyone has other thoughts I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks guys!


Connemara

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2016, 11:35:27 AM »
Quick update - I was just invited to a second interview with the unit's director. A good sign, obviously.

mtn

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 11:49:31 AM »
One more thing to add: I met with my division director today to discuss the interview. He made a lot of insightful comments and noted that, from an enterprise-wide perspective, it would not be a bad move to go to this unit and learn new skills. He was happy to hear that I want to stay at the agency either way. He did acknowledge it may put me on a different path long-term, one that preps me for leadership in a finance office at a state agency.

There was also mention of some manager positions in our unit opening up in the near future. This is the level at which my current boss works. Again, I don't think this is the right move for me. I would net another $200 per paycheck but is that worth the insanity from October through April? I mean, I'm pretty confident I could build a side hustle that nets me another $400/month. May not be easy but it's something I want to explore.

If anyone has other thoughts I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks guys!

This sounds like a point in favor of the "new" job if you get an offer.

I have about 4 weeks a quarter where I'm working from 8:30AM to 6PM; about 3 days during that time I take work home with me. For the most part other than that I have lenient bankers hours. Don't think I'd trade down to less work life balance unless it was for a LOT more money.

Connemara

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2016, 12:38:16 PM »
One more thing to add: I met with my division director today to discuss the interview. He made a lot of insightful comments and noted that, from an enterprise-wide perspective, it would not be a bad move to go to this unit and learn new skills. He was happy to hear that I want to stay at the agency either way. He did acknowledge it may put me on a different path long-term, one that preps me for leadership in a finance office at a state agency.

There was also mention of some manager positions in our unit opening up in the near future. This is the level at which my current boss works. Again, I don't think this is the right move for me. I would net another $200 per paycheck but is that worth the insanity from October through April? I mean, I'm pretty confident I could build a side hustle that nets me another $400/month. May not be easy but it's something I want to explore.

If anyone has other thoughts I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks guys!

This sounds like a point in favor of the "new" job if you get an offer.

I have about 4 weeks a quarter where I'm working from 8:30AM to 6PM; about 3 days during that time I take work home with me. For the most part other than that I have lenient bankers hours. Don't think I'd trade down to less work life balance unless it was for a LOT more money.

I tend to feel the same way. If I got a promotion, I would be handed a work mobile phone which I would need to monitor at all hours; one to three direct reports (depends on the assignment); crazy work schedule for much of the year as previously described; and a fairly stressful day-to-day workload. None of that bodes well for maintaining work-life balance.

Turnover is high at the low to mid managerial level in my department partly because you can make the same (or more) at another agency with a regular 9 to 5 workload. Many people will slog through a year and ask, "Why am I doing this when I could make the same and work less?"

But again, the Type A people who want to be busy all the time do well here.


Dicey

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2016, 12:45:47 PM »
Run, do not walk to the job that pays the same and gives you back a greater share of your one-and-only life in return.

Connemara

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2016, 02:08:18 PM »
I heard this morning that I will be getting an offer for the new position shortly, maybe by COB. Unless I have a radical change of heart I'm going to take it. There's some hesitation because I respect my immediate boss and everyone else on my team and I don't want to leave them in the lurch. They taught me a lot. Then again, I need to be thinking about my own future here.

Thanks to all of you for the advice!

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2016, 11:59:58 PM »
I heard this morning that I will be getting an offer for the new position shortly, maybe by COB. Unless I have a radical change of heart I'm going to take it. There's some hesitation because I respect my immediate boss and everyone else on my team and I don't want to leave them in the lurch. They taught me a lot. Then again, I need to be thinking about my own future here.

Thanks to all of you for the advice!

Congrats! And good luck! I hope your new position is even better than you hope.

stashgrower

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2016, 11:19:36 PM »
Well done! Good luck :D

Dicey

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2016, 09:31:51 AM »
Can't wait to hear the details!

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Dilemma - lateral move for less stress?
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2016, 10:58:56 AM »
Great news!

If you find that you are bored of your spare time I'm sure you can find a part time gig to keep you busy!