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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Alice on July 18, 2015, 11:18:30 PM

Title: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: Alice on July 18, 2015, 11:18:30 PM

First post here.  I have already discussed this a bit with my partner / friends / parents, but am interested to see what the MM Community might think!

I have been in my current job since graduating University - I will hit my four year anniversary in December this year.  It is a good job, in a top firm in the industry.  About this time last year, I took on a new project within my role, which has been awesome, but very, very, stressful.  I am paid a (reasonably good) salary, but not paid overtime at all.  I estimate that I have been working 55+ hours on average a week for the past year, including incredibly late nights and weekends (often at short notice).  So taking that into account my pay is actually pretty average. The nature of my area of work means that the general rule of thumb is no overtime is paid.  A couple of weeks ago, I raised the issue of the hours I am doing with my supervisors, and told them I couldn't cope with doing this for the remainder of the project (which ends mid next year).  The issue being the hours themselves, as opposed to the pay (because I just am sick of not having weekends, or not being able to hang out with friends etc).  They have reacted brilliantly and are bringing down a temp worker from another office for a few months, plus are looking to recruit a further team member (I have seen the short list etc). 

My bosses and wider team are great - I enjoy working with them and our work styles are very compatible.  However, I think I am getting sick of the type of work, and want to try a different type of job at a much smaller 'mum and dad' firm.  The type of job I am looking at is in my industry, but I would need a bit of retraining in that area.  I also cannot cope with the idea of having to work these hours any more.  Having new staff members will no doubt assist, but I think since raising the issue with my supervisors I have realized that the hours is just part of the issue - I am just not engaged any more either.

Some other relevant facts:

- I am moving to another country next year with my partner.  We will be leaving March / April.  This is non-negotiable timing wise (ie won't be earlier / won't be later), and we are both happy about that.
- I am at the point where I think I want to resign from my job.  Financially I am not concerned (in that I know I can get a job on similar pay, with far less hours, in a different area of my expertise which will stimulate my mind).
- In a new job they would have to invest some time in training me up, but I think I would be good to work autonomously after 6 weeks or so (and overall I am pretty confident I would earn them far more than I would cost them, even if I was there for a short period of time).

So the moral question(s) are:

1) Is it wrong for me to resign from a job, when I have told my supervisors I can't cope with the hours BUT I have only given them a few weeks to fix this and then resign? I think I can explain this away, because I genuinely thought the issue was the hours and have since realized that is not the only problem. 
2) Is 4 weeks notice enough? There are 3 of us involved in this project (and some others on the fringe).  I have a lot of 'inside' knowledge, but the other two do as well.  My contract is 4 weeks notice, but they have been a great place to work for and I would like to give more notice.  The issue is, the longer notice I give, the shorter time I have available to work at the "new" job, before moving country.
3) Which leads to the third moral question: Is it morally wrong to take on a new role (where you will need some training) when you KNOW you will be leaving in 7-8 months time??

Note: I won't be quitting the job until I have another lined up, but based on the market at the moment, things will move quickly.

Would be interested to see what you guys think. I'm just a bit stuck on what to do. Suck it up, or make the move?

Thanks in advance :)
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: worms on July 19, 2015, 12:19:02 AM
In my book "yes", morally wrong on all three counts - but I am old-fashioned on these things and much more loyal to team, unit and company than the average.

I would expect the majority to say "go for it!".
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: gooki on July 19, 2015, 04:07:11 AM
No. You don't owe the business anything except what is in your contract.
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: andreamac on July 19, 2015, 04:21:23 AM
I would consider if it's possible to do a temporary contract somewhere else for those months instead of a full time position and 4 weeks notice would be generous. You have to do what's right for you!

My husband worked for a big law firm for a short period of time (he's not a lawyer) but saw how people were overworked and underpaid (especially new/junior staff) and he decided this environment wasn't right for him. I think it takes a certain type of person to work well in environments like these and not get burned out.
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: Trifele on July 19, 2015, 05:29:34 AM
My two cents -- No on question (1) -- if it's not working, it's not working. It sounds like you have thought it through thoroughly.  Don't feel guilty.  (2) 4 weeks' notice per contract is enough.  Don't feel guilty.  (3) I think the answer to this one depends on the size of the company that hires you and the type of work you will be doing.  If this is a smaller company and/or you will be difficult to replace when you move, then yes I think it would be wrong to apply without making your timetable clear. 
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: Tick-Tock on July 19, 2015, 07:55:06 AM
Just my opinion:

It's not immoral to leave your current job, if it's just not working.  Though given that you're leaving in 9 or so months anyway and owe a 4-week notice, and they're going to try to make it better, if it were me I would probably try to stick it out at least a few more months (and maybe take a vacation first to help make that happen). 

It is immoral to take a new job at a small firm where they will put some effort into you when you know you will be leaving in several months, unless you've told them your timetable and they are fine with that.  It's expensive to find and train a new employee, and you would be putting them through that twice within a year.
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: Zamboni on July 19, 2015, 08:07:13 AM
I don't think it's morally wrong, but it might be wrong for your overall career. It might look weird on your resume down the road that you had another job for less than a year. 9 months is not that long; try to stick it out and keep a positive attitude. You are at an industry leader, so a few more years there won't hurt your resume. Do you vest in anything in 5 years? I vested in a small pension, for example, right before I left one job. I will still get that pension even though retirement is a long way off.

Are you getting another job in the future location? I'd probably focus my efforts on that at this point rather than stewing about being bored or dissatified in my current job. I'd focus on learning about the new location, planning the travel, packing up my old place, etc. Other things to do with my mind than worrying about my current job.
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: frugally on July 19, 2015, 08:57:36 AM
If you're not engaged any more, I would say it's reasonable to move on from your current position with proper notice without any remorse.  Having short stints on your resume eventually takes a toll, but one short stint with good reason (moving) should be fine.

One thing I might suggest instead of quitting - just stop working 55 hours per week.  I did that with my current employer, and I find myself to be much more engaged (and less stressed).  I think you'll find that when you time-box yourself, you find that perhaps not all of the work you were doing is actually adding value.
Title: Re: Should I quit my job? Moral questions
Post by: Zamboni on July 19, 2015, 09:16:05 AM
^Yes, I agree that they can't make you work so many hours, especially since you are planning to leave relatively soon anyway.

Take responsibility for limiting your work hours:
Start saying "no" to working on evenings and weekends. If someone asks you to do something on a Friday, say "Yes, it looks like I can work on that next week." It's fine to say, "That sounds interesting, but no, I have other plans this tonight/this weekend" if someone is pushy. You don't have to justify your plans. Just say no. If it looks like something is going to run over, simply say "I have to leave a 5 (or 6 or whenever you want to leave.)" They might not like it. Tough. Don't even power up your computer, and turn off your phone alerts when you are home. It will be hard at first because you are probably addicted to working overtime to some extent even if you don't like it.