Author Topic: Dream job vs. shorter commute - what to do?  (Read 2451 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Dream job vs. shorter commute - what to do?
« on: February 28, 2016, 08:00:19 PM »
Hey all. I'm just putting this out there for suggestions around things I may not have thought of.

You know when you're relatively happy (more like plodding along) in your job, but you stay there because it's comfortable? That's me at the moment. I work in NICU, and while I won't bore you with the details the one single element of my job that drives me and makes me passionate is providing end-of-life care for families and babies. I know, morbid, but it seriously does. I love being able to facilitate the gentle transfer from life to death for these little ones, and have the parents and families leave hospital, not happy, but without harsh memories of the whole experience. And to be honest I think I'm pretty good at it.

So they're opening a pediatric hospice facility in my city, and advertising for roles at my level. Exciting times, right? Except there are a few things to consider, of which I will elaborate.

1. Commuting distance. The new commute is an extra 10 minutes drive. Fortunately with shift work and the actual direction of travel it wouldn't be peak hour traffic, but 20 minutes more every day. This is compounded by the fact that the new job is 5x8 hour shifts instead of 3x12s, so I'd be doing the drive 7 times more per month.

2. Long service leave. We accrue leave here for long service at the rate of 1.3 weeks per year, accessible after 10 years. I've been in my current job 9.5 years, making me eligible for LSL in September 2016. I added it up, we're talking about somewhere in the $15k range... not an amount I'm prepared to wave goodbye to. Fortunately the LSL I've already accumulates doesn't go down if I drop my hours, so one way around this is to work part-time at both my current and new jobs (I'm making the assumption I get it!) until after September and then resign and increase hours at the new job. That's dependent of course on increased hours being available when I want them. After 10 years I have the option of taking the entire amount as cash, before that I'm not entitled to any.

3. Employer-paid study. Currently I'm doing a graduate diploma in my current field of study, and it's essentially free to me. I've looked at the subjects for the equivalent course in the palliative care field. Guess how many of the ones I've done transfer over? Yep, none. While it isn't essential, it would look good on paper to have a post-grad qualification in healthcare, the catch here being I have to be working in neonatology to continue in my current course, at a minimum of 24 hours per week.

4. My husband. He's on the kidney transplant list, and that will happen when a donor is available. So whenever someone compatible gets killed in the right circumstances. When it does I have to take 4-6 weeks off effective immediately. I have enough EF to do it easily, it's more the guilt thing about taking a considerable time off soon after starting a new job that concerns me.

Oh, salary range is equivalent, so that's a non-issue.

Right now I'm leaning towards applying, getting the job (obviously!), taking a part-time role and letting the cards fall where they may after September. I'm not completely happy in my job, we had a major restructure at the end of last year and let's just say things aren't exactly going smoothly from an HR perspective, job roles have changed a bit, and not in the way we were hoping. So I'm looking to get out anyway. If this had been an option in a years time it would be a no-brainer, but it's not the best timing.

The commuting distance adds about 15km per day, plus 70km per week for the extra 2 days travel. I drive a paid-for Fiat 500, which costs me less than 10c/km in fuel. Insurance and rego etc. would obviously be the same, but wear and tear and general maintenance would be extra to that.

TL;DR - New job opportunity with longer commute but in a field I'm passionate about rather than just floating along in. What do I need to consider?


  • Stubble
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Re: Dream job vs. shorter commute - what to do?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 10:30:12 PM »
It seems like going part-time in both jobs for a couple of months would help you assess the benefits and disadvantages of both jobs more effectively. It may turn out that the new job is not all you'd hoped, in which case perhaps you could transition back to your old job. Or maybe the new job Is amazing and they want you full time, in which case you'd be able to readily quit the old one.

The extra driving would be annoying, but you could see about carpooling, biking or taking public transit some of the days.

I wouldn't worry about your husband's kidney transplant - you have no control over when it happens, so take the time off when it comes. They'll figure it out.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Dream job vs. shorter commute - what to do?
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 08:40:53 PM »
I would try to do both part-time for a while.  You say your current job isn't terrible, so why not sick around part-time and finish your diploma, get your $15k, and assess the situation at your new job.  I know it is always tempting to go somewhere else, so remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

About your husbands condition, medical emergencies happen all the time.  Employers are used to it.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!