Author Topic: Promotions are good, right?  (Read 6192 times)

Will

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Promotions are good, right?
« on: June 17, 2012, 08:30:23 PM »
My current job is unique in our company.  I am basically in a "manager-in-training" type of job; when a managerial position opens in the company, I am essentially "next-in-line" to get it.   I've learned a lot of what I need to know to run my own place.  To get my own place though, either we open up a new place or someone who is already in charge has to step down/get fired/die or whatever.  When I accepted the position about a year ago, I was under the impression that one of the places near where I live would be opening up.  There is one open now, but it is 160 miles from where I live, and my company knows that I cannot move there (due to my SO being in the military and cannot move with me, plus we have a house together).   Now, I am being asked to consider a position where the current person in charge is going to be leaving either in 2 months on their own, or maybe in 2 weeks since they might get fired.  Where I work now is about 9 miles away.  The other place is 27 miles away, but not just an ordinary 27 miles away; it is 27 miles away on the other side of Portland, OR.  For those who know traffic in Portland, those extra 18 miles each way would add probably at least 30 minutes to each trip.  I was just on the verge of trying to bike my way to work when it was only 9 miles; 27 miles each way would be too much; the job is already fairly physically tiring (lots of walking).  The pay increase would be about $4k, salaried, with no change in benefits.  I am currently paid hourly. 

When my boss gets back from vacation, we are supposed to discuss me potentially going to the new place.  Promotions are good, right?  It just seems like with the extra commute time, I would be frustrated/annoyed from the traffic hassles when I get to work in the morning and when I get home at night.  But there is another interesting twist (at least to me):  there is someone at one of the nearby places I thought I might get to work at who is trying to go to the one that is 160 miles away.  But there are some extenuating circumstances which might prevent it from happening quickly, if at all.  I just don't know what to do.  Accept the 27 mile away thing and hope one of the close ones opens up (and then decide to move a new person in charge to another new place that quickly)?  Say "no" and hope the close one opens up and that they will put me in there? 

I'm throwing this out there because I wanted to get it down so maybe I could sort it out as I was typing, but I am still torn.  So, what do you think, Mustachians?  Promotions are good, and this should be an easy one to answer, but I'm just not convinced that THIS promotion is good for me. 

CeciliaW

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 09:10:20 PM »
As an "Amen" to his comment about Portland, OR traffic, He's Not Kidding.

About 20 years ago I had the commute from Vancouver, WA to just the other side of downtown Portland. It was 20 miles on the map. Some days it would be an hour each way. Some days longer.

Taking that position 27 miles away across Portland will add hours to your commute.

Not an easy decision.  Do let us know what you choose to do.

Cecilia

Zoot Allures

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 09:55:21 PM »
As a Portlander who avoids I-5 at all costs, I would need a lot more than a $4k raise to do that much driving! If I felt that I had a bright future with the company, and that taking the new job was an essential step toward that future, then maybe the traffic and small raise (you'd pay that much more in gas alone, wouldn't you?) wouldn't be a deal-breaker. But it sounds like you could stay where you are and still be in a position to move up when a better opportunity presents itself.

Arbor33

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 05:38:27 AM »
Hey Will, are there any negative side effects of not taking positions as they open up within your company? Like a 3 strikes and your out sort of deal? I would hate to say that you ought to forgo this chance only to be forced into an even more undesirable position in the future. Maybe you should talk with your boss about how the negatives outweigh the positives and maybe push for more compensation if possible.

I know it's not fair to think like this but I do...
~260 work days with an extra half hour of driving each way = 260 additional hours your job demands from you.
$4000/260hrs = ~$15.40/hour

That doesn't factor in your additional fuel expenses. If it doesn't negatively affect you to say "No thanks", I would indeed say "No thanks".

Sparafusile

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 06:31:36 AM »
Can you use public transportation? It wouldn't shorten your commute, but it would reduce the cost and allow you to do something like write e-mails or make phone calls instead of drive.

grantmeaname

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 06:35:50 AM »
You could calculate how much longer your workday gets. Then, when you talk to your boss, you can tell him that even though it's a "raise" you'd be making less money per hour of work. Yeah, I suppose your commute isn't really his problem, but if you show him with numbers why it's not much of a promotion, you might be able to find some productive middle ground.

Uncephalized

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 08:17:38 AM »
With an extra ~40 miles round trip every day, you're going to eat almost half of your raise in additional fuel and vehicle costs. Then factor in all the extra time it will take up and it doesn't sound like much of a raise at all, does it?

Depending on your vehicle it might cost an extra $1500 or $2000 a year in car costs. Then you're only seeing $2000 per year for a 10-15% increase in time spent on work. That only improves your time:pay ratio if you're making less than $20K per year.

Will

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 10:35:52 AM »
Hey Will, are there any negative side effects of not taking positions as they open up within your company? Like a 3 strikes and your out sort of deal?

I think the negatives would be minimal.  I understand the situation they are in (wanting that person out, wanting someone in), but I'm pretty sure they understand that this is far from ideal for me.  I don't think it would alter their opinion of me very much.

Can you use public transportation? It wouldn't shorten your commute, but it would reduce the cost and allow you to do something like write e-mails or make phone calls instead of drive.

I hadn't really thought of that.  I live on "the other side of the river" so I'd have to take Vancouver public transit into Portland, then get on TriMet.  I went to the TriMet trip planner website first to see what the travel time looked like, and they are estimating 84 minutes each way.  I'm thinking there isn't any point in checking to see the time from here into Portland.

You could calculate how much longer your workday gets. Then, when you talk to your boss, you can tell him that even though it's a "raise" you'd be making less money per hour of work. Yeah, I suppose your commute isn't really his problem, but if you show him with numbers why it's not much of a promotion, you might be able to find some productive middle ground.

I actually turned down my current job initially, and after working at it a month or so, managed to get a pay increase when I was telling them it didn't seem worth it; I doubt I could do that again! If they are really insistent that they need me in there, I think I might try to talk them into a "I can do it until you find someone else or 6 weeks, whichever comes first" kind of deal.

With an extra ~40 miles round trip every day, you're going to eat almost half of your raise in additional fuel and vehicle costs. Then factor in all the extra time it will take up and it doesn't sound like much of a raise at all, does it?

Depending on your vehicle it might cost an extra $1500 or $2000 a year in car costs. Then you're only seeing $2000 per year for a 10-15% increase in time spent on work. That only improves your time:pay ratio if you're making less than $20K per year.

Even without the extra travel time, the $4k raise isn't that impressive.  The thing that would make it REALLY worthwhile to me is if I end up working here in WA instead of OR.  We don't have income tax here, but since I work in OR, I'm forced to pay OR income tax.  If I hold out in hopes of getting a WA location, it'd actually be like an automatic 10%-ish increase plus the $4k.

My thanks to all who have chimed in so far.  I still have a week before my boss gets back from vacation.  He actually hasn't talked to me about it directly yet anyway; he just told my other boss to have me think about it.

Portland Man

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 11:21:14 AM »
Can you relocate to the South Side of PDX and get your SO commute against traffic rather than you driving into and through town every day with the rest of Vancouver? 


grantmeaname

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 12:16:35 PM »
That seems like a lot of hassle for a little raise...

smalllife

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 04:17:03 PM »
I think an almost bigger issue is the change from hourly to salary, especially compounded with a long commute.  You don't get overtime pay and are taking on more responsibility - that alone might eat up the 4k raise.   There are some interesting graphs and calculators you can find on the true cost of commuting, but I think it's a no brainer to turn down on pretty much every level: time, stress, pay, health, etc.

tannybrown

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 01:39:09 PM »
My advice is to determine:

-if you want the promotion
-if any reasonable raise is worth the commute and extra responsibilities of the new position
-if so, would a raise or other perks would make you 'happy' with the decision?  How much/or what (e.g. - reimbursement on mileage +$5k raise)

If you have three yes's above, then you want to negotiate.  Determine the following before starting:
-what is your employer's best alternative to hiring you (e.g. - leaving the position open, hiring someone else, etc.)
-what limits are there on the potential raise (e.g. - company policies)
-what is the employer's interest in hiring you, in particular (what do you bring to the table that another candidate likely cannot)?

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:40:47 PM by tannybrown »

Shipp0

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2012, 03:43:02 PM »
I used to commute from SW Portland up I-5 7 miles past the border (Salmon Creek) each day and it really can wear on you. The above posters (@smalllife)are correct that going from hourly to salary can indeed result in more hours of work for the same pay (your raise - commute costs & extra "unpaid" hours may result in a net-loss of income.) If your store/office is only budgeted for you to work 45 hours a week but there's 50 hours of work, you don't really have a say as a salaried/exempt employee and are expected to work 50 hours.

As you mentioned there shouldn't be a negative impact to your career path, I would try and hold out for a WA-based worksite to avoid your current double-whammy (8.4% WA sales tax and 8-10% OR state income tax.)

One piece of information that I always use to drive my decisions is to try and not be emotionally involved. Oregon and Washington are both "At-Will" employment states - you can quit at any time and they can let you go at any time. It is very common to form an emotional bond with your co-workers and want to do "what's right" for the company. Ultimately you need to do what's right for you and your family and while it is wonderful to be loyal to your company, you also need to consider your sanity.

Will

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 06:01:17 PM »
Just a quick update.  This is what happened:

The thing that would make it REALLY worthwhile to me is if I end up working here in WA instead of OR.  We don't have income tax here, but since I work in OR, I'm forced to pay OR income tax.  If I hold out in hopes of getting a WA location, it'd actually be like an automatic 10%-ish increase plus the $4k..

I'm getting the one here in Washington state!  The commute for me will be about the same as what I have now;  I just won't have to put up with (as many) Oregon drivers.  And then there is the extra money...

mm1970

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 06:44:18 PM »
Just a quick update.  This is what happened:

The thing that would make it REALLY worthwhile to me is if I end up working here in WA instead of OR.  We don't have income tax here, but since I work in OR, I'm forced to pay OR income tax.  If I hold out in hopes of getting a WA location, it'd actually be like an automatic 10%-ish increase plus the $4k..

I'm getting the one here in Washington state!  The commute for me will be about the same as what I have now;  I just won't have to put up with (as many) Oregon drivers.  And then there is the extra money...
That's awesome!

CeciliaW

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2012, 07:08:34 PM »
This turned out well. I'm happy for you!

Cecilia

grantmeaname

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2012, 12:07:52 PM »
Great! When do you start in the new role?

Will

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Re: Promotions are good, right?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2012, 09:56:36 PM »
Sometime in the next couple of weeks.  Just need the one who is in there now to find a place to live near her new location (which is about 160 miles away from here).