Author Topic: Job opportunity - not sure what to do  (Read 8728 times)

TacosForever

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Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« on: February 14, 2014, 05:40:16 PM »
So I have a situation that I could use some additional opinions on.

Some background - I work in a high pressure, high visibility position in financial services. I'm pretty well paid, but it's one of those jobs that you end up bringing home every night and weekend. I'm being treated for severe depression and anxiety, and one of the things we're trying to work on in therapy is how much is my job contributing to this mental state.

However, I have a high achieving personality, and can't deny that on some level I love the adrenaline and prestige of my current job. My current job is not in danger.

A position in the training department has opened up at work. I also LOVE training and teaching. I've been the unofficial (read unpaid) training for my department for the last several years. The job is two grades below where I am at now, and my current salary is near the top range of the lower pay grade. The hiring manager has indicated she wants to make me an offer, if I want the job.

Things I'm trying to think through.
- If I take the job, I would keep my current salary but there would be little to no opportunity for advancement or raises.
- If I take the job, my position would be much less visible and it would be low pressure. I could have a chance to get some of my work life balance back.
- If I take the job, I might get bored with the lack of stress and adrenaline rushes.
- If I take the job, I would lose the prestige and advancement opportunities (and salary increases) that I have in my current department.
- If I take the job, I would get to devote myself full time to something I have been happily doing for free.
- If I take the job, I lose my current co-workers who are the greatest team of professionals I have ever been part of.
- If I stay in my current job, it's unquestionably financially better. And we are paying off debt while living on one income.
- If I stay in my current job, I may lose my mind (seriously)

Half of my brain is telling me to take a step off of the treadmill, devote less of my energy to work and more to living. The other half of my brain is afraid that I can't cope without the constant stress, and high risk, high reward M.O. that it's become accustomed to. And I would severely miss my coworkers. Part of the reason I moved across the country for this job was because I was convinced (and rightly so) of the awesomeness of my team.

Anyone have thoughts on this - or had to make this choice yourself? I'm really struggling with this. I usually rely on my gut feeling to guide me in situations like this, but the gut is non-responsive.

meteor

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 06:07:53 PM »
From everything I've read here, I think it is important to go to the teaching job you love.  I actually don't think adrenaline, prestige and stress are things to strive for.  I think they actually wear you down healthwise.

Most of the people I've met who face similar challenges have a lot of fear around making a change, and a month later they tell me "I can't believe I wasted all those years at a job I really didn't like."

Unless you are under 30, I wouldn't worry about your possibilities for advancement.  Nothing advances you more than someone seeing you do something you really enjoy.  Life is just too short to be unhappy.  (And you'll save money on therapists/drugs).

fwiw  You-go girl (or boy)

jrhampt

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 07:08:35 PM »
Depression and anxiety, eh?  Your situation reminded me of this recent post:

http://simple-living-in-suffolk.co.uk/2014/02/how-much-work-can-you-withstand/

I'd be a fan of taking the step away.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 07:44:45 PM »
Your situation is somewhat reminiscent of mine a few years back.  I was at a job that paid well, but I didn't like what I was doing, and the politics were a drag.  I jumped ship, taking a 30% pay/benefits cut to go to a different job, and it has been a huge blessing for me and my family.  My job now has a *positive* influence on my family life, and I am much happier.  Sure, it'd be nice to have the extra money (especially as we work towards ER), but my (and my family's) happiness are well worth the loss in income.

As they say, in 20 years, you will never look back and say "I wish I had spent more time at the office"

wtjbatman

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 03:20:10 AM »
How much of an adrenaline rush do you honestly get from working in "financial services"? Is it really worth it? Unless your "financial services" job involves the exciting thrill of evading the DEA as you transport kilos of Colombian bambam across the border, you should probably take the less stressful job. It will likely help with your depression/anxiety.

ch12

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 06:15:25 AM »
I'm being treated for severe depression and anxiety, and one of the things we're trying to work on in therapy is how much is my job contributing to this mental state.

- If I stay in my current job, I may lose my mind (seriously)

Half of my brain is telling me to take a step off of the treadmill, devote less of my energy to work and more to living.

I'm also a high achiever. It's scary to read stuff like this and Charlie Hoehn's story: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2014/02/13/anxiety-treatments/ . To me, you seem to be saying that the new job is unequivocally the best choice.

I know other people have said this, but you're hitting 2 and 5 of the 5 regrets of the dying: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/03/top-5-regrets-of-the-dying_n_3640593.html

TomTX

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 06:16:07 AM »
Jump to training.

If it doesn't work out, you can always ask your old manager to move back. "I love training, but I miss the thrill of XX and ZZ. I'd like to come back to [High Power Finance Group]"

If you are good at what you do and don't burn bridges, any reasonable manager should be willing to take you back.

Something similar happens semi-regularly where I work (.gov) - someone retires, then a few months to a couple of years later, they apply to come back. Typically they are re-hired. They already know the job, and it's cheaper for the Department to re-hire*

The return-to-work retiree continues to get paid their pension, plus the salary.

*Health insurance is covered by the pension plan, and the Department also skips paying the normal ~7.5% contribution to the retirement fund as they would with anyone else. Plus, their seniority is reset, so their vacation is back to starting employee status.  Pension plan doesn't care, as the retiree is taking a lower payout than they would if they had kept working.

MarcherLady

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 06:18:10 AM »
TacosForever, while I'm not a high flyer, your question reminds me of my own current position.  If your current job is possibly damaging your health then it doesn't seem worth it to me.  Would you keep working at a job that was giving you cancer? Your mental health is just as important.  Can you get an adrenaline rush from other activities? Take up rock climbing? Down hill mountain biking?  I say take the training job and regain your health.

TacosForever

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 01:46:25 PM »
Thank you everyone for the input. I've decided to take the next step in applying for this job. As I was digging deeper into the compensation protocols, I realized that the hiring manager for the job doesn't have anything to do with setting the compensation level - that's totally split out and dictated by HR. So I will have to talk to the HR recruiter to discuss the salary issue. If they're not willing to let me keep my current salary then that may be a dealbreaker. But if it was maybe a $1,000-2,000 pay cut that might be worth it.

Also, because I've been in my current job title for only 13 months, I have to get permission from my current manager to apply for the new job (you have to have 18 months in your position to apply w/o manager approval). I'm sure she would give it to me, but yet another thing that is a potential obstacle.

I'll post again with an update when I have some answers....

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 03:32:14 PM »
Good luck! I've taken a big pay cut two times in my career to move to a better/happier position.  Both times it was the right move. As others have said, it wouldn't be impossible to go back if you change your mind in a few years. :)

Sarita

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 03:33:29 PM »
Hi-- can you ask for the job to be a limited term assignment e.g. 6 months or 12 months, and then return to your former position if everyone agrees?  Sometimes doing a 'rotation' can be a good way to test out something with limited risk.

Sarita

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 03:34:40 PM »
btw-- like Short In Seattle. I've twice turned down promotions and have also sidestepped into lower level positions.  Each time because I was a strong performer it didn't cost me that much politically.  And it was *such* the right decision each time.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 04:15:08 PM »
When you talk with your current manager (or anyone at your job), I would avoid saying your depression/anxiety are the reason you want to make the switch, because it might be harder to move back into your position if the need requires it. Just say you love training and think you can help make a real difference.

Melody

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 04:16:47 PM »
Option 3 might be taking an in house role somewhere else.
IMHO in house (company employee) lawyers, accountants, consultants etc tend to have better work life balance than those that work in firms. Pick a high paying industry and get both a payrise and your work-life balance back.
I did this - 50% payrise, 2 hours less a day in the office and have never looked back. Only the highest performers at the firm (who were an equivalent level to me when I left) are close to equaling my salary,most are still 30% behind me, although those who got more firm experience before jumping ship have accelerated past me. (Do I wish I'd waited? Not really? Because I got 3 years of good salary and sanity, and I do expect to catch up with those people soon.)

TacosForever

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 04:33:43 PM »
When you talk with your current manager (or anyone at your job), I would avoid saying your depression/anxiety are the reason you want to make the switch, because it might be harder to move back into your position if the need requires it. Just say you love training and think you can help make a real difference.

I totally agree that is best left out of the conversation. However, just to be clear (which, re-reading my original post, wasn't very), I'm not thinking about this move solely because my current job is too stressful to manage. I'm hoping that a move to a lower stress position would have the happy side effect of improving my mental health, but I have to consider that it's possible my conditions won't improve with a job change. I believe the job is a contributing factor, but I may be wrong about that. If they don't change, would I still wish I had gone for the job? That's something that could only be answered for sure in hindsight, but I think the answer is yes.

I'm considering this position now because I have always loved and been excited to train people, and received consistent feedback from both trainees and managers that I'm very good at it. It's scary to really think about because in many ways it's a 180 from the career path that I've had so far, but as I'm seeing all of the thoughts from everyone rolling in, I think I would regret it if I didn't give it a shot.

TacosForever

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2014, 04:20:51 PM »
Received encouraging news on the salary front from HR - at most I'd have to take a $2,000 pay cut, and I think that should be very easy to negotiate back up to no pay cut. Meeting with my boss tomorrow to see if she will approve me applying for another position. Cross your fingers for me that the conversation goes well!

MarcherLady

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2014, 01:52:16 AM »
Good luck!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 06:40:02 AM »
I wasted 22 years of my life and probably shaved a few years of in the High Anxiety stress pressure Job. That is one thing if i could do all over again i would change. Sure I made money but not worth what i lost because of it.

TacosForever

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2014, 08:35:42 PM »
Applying tomorrow!

TacosForever

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 04:48:45 PM »
Interviewed today - think all went really well. Should hear something definite next week (I hope).

TacosForever

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2014, 06:58:47 PM »
Hi everyone! I just wanted to post a final follow-up to let you know that I got the job offer today! No pay cut.

I am excited, but also feel a little bit bad, my current managers really tried very hard to convince me to stay. Unfortunately right now the problems in our department are structural and not really within their control to make life any better for me or my current team members. And if I end up changing my mind, they'd take me back anytime (as many have pointed out).

So onward and upward to new challenges! Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and thoughtful advice :)

MarcherLady

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2014, 12:11:11 AM »
Yay, great news.  Best of luck for your new role. 

SunshineGirl

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2014, 08:55:02 AM »
Congratulations - great outcome.

mm1970

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Re: Job opportunity - not sure what to do
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2014, 11:48:38 AM »
Great outcome!  And remember, it doesn't have to be permanent (someone else pointed that out already).

When a friend of mine had her first child, she was torn as to go back to work or not.  I told  her to go back.  She said "what if I am miserable".  I said "then, you quit".

In your case, if you are good at your job, they will want you back.

In her case, at her company, going back after you quit is MUCH harder than just quitting if you are miserable.  She went back, part time, for about a year, then quit.  During that year the company's stock went crazy, and she was able to cash out in a big way.