Author Topic: Work Reduction vs. Promotion  (Read 5520 times)

vwDavid

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Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« on: November 24, 2012, 09:53:01 PM »
Hi All,

Need some speedy advice before Monday. I have been talking to my DW and my career coach but wanted to see what MMM readers had to say about my situation.

We are well along the journey of mustachian saving ~40% of our two incomes and need a couple more years to make our FIRE goals.

Recently my workplace has become dysfunctional and stressful. Not to mention that I suffer some depression/addiction to negative thought traps. Not sure if it due to work or because of work. In anycase it has taken me 2 years of intense soul searching to decide to ask for a work reduction to 80%. I have worked here going on 8 years. I asked my boss on friday for meeting on monday. I simply said I would like to chit chat about workplace issues. He notified me of a likely promotion coming my way in January. You have to realize my company does not really have any advancement opportunity. I am not sure if this is a fake promotion (a bit more money and a title change with basically the same work) or a significant income increase with a significant boost to responsibility.

This is like two ships colliding in my world. I have taken two years or more of agony to embrace the idea of a sustainable work relationship and ask for a work reduction. Now this. Parts of my reasoning for requesting a work reduction such as stress reduction and life balance could seen in opposition to the reasons there is a promotion available.

I don't know what to do. I can't take anymore stress at this job. I'm not sure how to approach this discussion to look for a win-win scenario and would like your opinions.



« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 09:54:38 PM by vwDavid »

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 11:05:04 PM »
I'd say go for gold and see if you can get the promotion at 80% (c:  If you're really the right person and it's a reasonably flexible workplace they might go for it.

Failing that, I'd have to ask how much the promotion would accelerate your FI and if the added cash/prestige is worth the added stress. Likely if you've spent 2 years soul searching it isn't.

Good luck, and I'd love an update on Monday

happy

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 04:23:03 AM »
I wonder if the "likely" promotion is your managers usual response to your request for a meeting. He doesn't know what you were going to discuss, but it could be an effective way of throwing you off balance for a variety of situations e.g. asking for more money, thinking of leaving, bored and wanting different work, work from home. Lets face it there are a limited number of things you could be wanting to discuss....and now he has control since dangling a possible promotion will likely alter your negotiation.

I think you should find out about his offer....it is definite or only a "possibility".

Be bold and go for 80% time with the promotion.

You sound unhappy...and after a lot of agonising you've already decided to try to decrease your hours: don't let this de-rail you at the last minute.

Alternatively you could start looking for another job where you are less stressed.

skarn

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 04:28:51 AM »
Dysfunctional and stressful workplaces are not worth holding on to. If you're so near to FI, you are in a strong negotiating position. Because if you don't get what you want, you can always leave and do something else. Stay in control of the situation and be clear about what you want at the meeting.

gooki

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 06:16:33 PM »
FWIW I recently turned down a marginal promotion, and will be aiming to move to four days a week in the new year.

I say do the reduced hours, and reduce your spending to negate the loss in savings.

vwDavid

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 09:12:33 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I'll touch base tomorrow. I'm almost certain my boss isn't dangling something to derail my position- but its certainly helpful to see all sides of it to be prepared.

I after thinking about it I will definitely be pursuing the work reduction still with the hope of a win-win compromise that might also include which ever promotion.

The tricky part is if this is actually a managerial promotion as the company just signed the dotted line to expand. If it is then this will be more difficult. I've always said I will not do management type work at this company as too much life balance compromise is required. I see it in the others.

It will be interesting to gauge their reaction if that happens and I have to say no...

Thanks for your support.

okits

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 10:36:01 PM »
Hey vwDavid, it sounds like you have your financial house in order and your FI goals are only a few years away. The point of being in that kind of healthy financial position is that you can walk away from a stressful job in a dysfunctional environment with shit work-life balance. A promotion might mean more money and a bit of an ego stroke, but you've spent two years figuring out what was healthiest for you. I say stick to your plan and don't look back. Enjoying your life more (by hating your job less) is a worthwhile reason to reach your FI goals a little later.  Don't forget that your happiness and mental health affect your family, so lots of people benefit when you are happier.

Good luck, look forward to your update!

vwDavid

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 10:51:10 PM »
Thank you.

PJ

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 11:36:46 PM »
Actually, it seems to me that if being fully FI is just a couple of years away, you are effectively FI already - you could walk away from this job knowing that you wouldn't starve or lose your house, you just wouldn't be able to fully "retire" as soon.  Financial independence means being able to make decisions without stressing about how money plays into them.  As okits says, that's a real position of power, which you can remind yourself of when you meet with your boss. 
 
Good luck!

vwDavid

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 03:49:33 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement from you folks to keep SWAMI foremost in my mind. My boss really is an accommodating person so my discussion went swimmingly well.

I chose to ignore the promotion aspect and just present my case for a work reduction. It went well. Following that there was also indication of working out Win-Win scenario with what appears to be a pending real promotion. The big bosses have to be consulted so I expect I won't hear further results for a couple weeks.


ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 03:54:58 PM »
Excellent! That sounds like a positive discussion, I'm glad thing went well.

PJ

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 08:22:41 PM »
Really glad to hear it, vwDavid!

happy

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 10:43:35 PM »
Good on you - pleased it went well

Hamster

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 02:20:34 PM »
Congrats. I had read this thread over the weekend, and finally got to check back in. Sounds like best of both worlds.

vwDavid

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Re: Work Reduction vs. Promotion
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 09:37:42 PM »
Success. Despite some opposition my work reduction has been accepted on a trial basis. My request had to be approved by the CEO (small company) so I had to take a meeting with him and listen to his concerns which I did my best to answer. I felt partially successful there. But it worked.

In the end he granted a 6 month trial basis 4 day week without to much teeth pulling and in the end the so-called promotion looked to be more of a improved title or acknowledgement of past work compared to if they are really ready to change their business practices and do something different.

My only concern is I am required to remain flexible to variable work demands and the next 1-2 months will be very demanding so I probably wont' get to feel the effects of this just yet.

I was even able to SWAMI in a few management suggestions at the same time...they were received well too!

Thanks for the support from the forum and MMM.