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Career advice - lateral move for less stress?
Old 06-20-2016, 08:39 AM   #1
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Career advice - lateral move for less stress?

Hi all...hoping I can get some career advice from the experts here.

I'm 27 years old and currently work for a state government agency. We have a long "busy season" where the assignments and requests are flying, the hours can be long, and everyone is a bit on edge. From February to early April we often work insane hours...I'm talking about meetings at 3AM or 4AM, home to sleep for 5 hours, and then back to the office for another marathon night. That is the extreme, but it's almost routine to work late and be available every weekend to come in at almost no notice. I've been doing it for 3.5 years and it's starting to get old.

A position in my agency was recently posted. This would be a lateral move (same title, same salary of ~$70K) but the environment in this office is much different. I would not have to attend those early morning meetings and the busy season would largely pass me by. The work is similar with a different task thrown in the mix.

I interviewed for the new job and will go to the second interview this week. My boss said he would be disappointed to see me leave and immediately dumped on this other team. "It's kind of a soft landing, they don't work that hard, etc." He is more of a Type A person who gets some satisfaction from being overwhelmed on a daily basis. I don't! I really value a 9-5 gig where I am not checking e-mails at 9pm or working on the weekends. This new job would have that, though there is some truth to the claim that this team is not the best place to be if future advancement is in mind.

Obviously I'd like to get a promotion some day. However, I don't want to grow my career in this particular department. Those crazy scheduling demands increase as you advance here. The salary increases, but my boss makes around $90K and works far longer hours including frequent e-mails at night and on the weekends with no overtime OR even comp time.

Any advice on what I should do? I would regret ditching my current team because we all get along quite well...but the prospect of a new and less demanding job is intriguing.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:47 AM   #2
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I've only changed jobs a few times, the first was a transfer to another office in the same company.


Each time I wrote down a list, one column of why I should quit and the other why I shouldn't. That may help you.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:03 AM   #3
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Looking back on a 38 year career - there were a few jobs that I should have left for another company - stress does take a toll.
Since you are essentially doing a job transfer and keeping seniority etc. I say take the other job if offered.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:33 AM   #4
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I moved laterally frequently - usually 2-3 times lateral for every 1 vertical. Worked well because when I was ready for the vertical I was more skilled and well rounded than those who focused purely on the vertical.

Your hours are insane and not sustainable. You are only 27 so you have plenty of time to experiment. I'd jump.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:49 AM   #5
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Let's put this into simple perspective: you laterally transfer at same level and same pay, but get back to normal work hours. Keep your service time credit and associated benefits. Reduce stress considerably.

Seems a no-brainer decision to me.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:01 PM   #6
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Your hours are insane and not sustainable. You are only 27 so you have plenty of time to experiment. I'd jump.
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Let's put this into simple perspective: you laterally transfer at same level and same pay, but get back to normal work hours. Keep your service time credit and associated benefits. Reduce stress considerably.

Seems a no-brainer decision to me.
Definitely concur with what they say. I worked rotating shift work changing weekly (daywork, afternoon/evening, midnights, back to daywork) for 18 years and by the time I hit 40 it was definitely taking a toll.

At 27 you can still do those insane hours but trust me, in ten years if you're still there you will be looking for other opportunities. Take the one in front of you if you can get it. Same pay, grade, etc. and work way fewer hours, you have a life back, it'd be crazy to turn that down.

Jump.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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I agree that you should take the new job if it's offered to you. If you do well there (and I'm sure you will), the promotion opportunities will still come along later, and you'll have a life in the meantime.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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Could you clarify something? Are you saying you work these crazy hours for no overtime pay or comp time off, if so you are pretty different from most state workers I know. The gig you said you want 9-5 and no weekend is pretty standard for most state office workers.

If you are going to work that many hours you might as well go to public sector and look around there.Or just take the transfer.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:16 PM   #9
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Any job that requires 3 a.m. meetings and mega hours is a result that they're unwilling to properly staff their operation to match the work load. I don't care if it's just 3-4 months a year. At least they should be paying overtime, which I doubt they are.

Run, don't walk to that new job in a different division. A quality life is just not working so much and so hard.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:20 PM   #10
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I would definitely try to move into the less stressful position. I wonder if your current boss's personality is part of the reason for atmosphere in your current department:

Quote:
I interviewed for the new job and will go to the second interview this week. My boss said he would be disappointed to see me leave and immediately dumped on this other team. "It's kind of a soft landing, they don't work that hard, etc." He is more of a Type A person who gets some satisfaction from being overwhelmed on a daily basis. I don't!
Your current job sounds like what the young people I know who work for startups sometimes find--but they are well compensated for it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:25 PM   #11
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I would definitely try to move into the less stressful position. I wonder if your current boss's personality is part of the reason for atmosphere in your current department:



Your current job sounds like what the young people I know who work for startups sometimes find--but they are well compensated for it.
I agree, I think it's hysterical that a boss would use "less work" as a reason NOT to move.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:52 PM   #12
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I was in public accounting for many years (CPA firms, mainly tax) and these hours seem like tax season! Only hope was to stick around long enough to make partner, and that wasn't worth it. Get out and take the lateral move!


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Old 06-20-2016, 05:54 PM   #13
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Could you clarify something? Are you saying you work these crazy hours for no overtime pay or comp time off, if so you are pretty different from most state workers I know. The gig you said you want 9-5 and no weekend is pretty standard for most state office workers.

If you are going to work that many hours you might as well go to public sector and look around there.Or just take the transfer.
Correct. No one in my agency is unionized. We work with the state budget which is a mammoth undertaking each year.

9-5 with no weekends is indeed pretty standard, just not at my agency.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:32 AM   #14
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I made several lateral moves over my career and never regretted any of them. Do what feels right.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:44 AM   #15
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I made several lateral moves during my career. Primarily by my choice and due to being burned out in a particular position. As it worked out, those moves allowed me to gain broader experience in the company and I believe helped me advance (via promotions) later on in my career. Seems like long hours, late conf calls and weekend work were required to excel/compete in almost all positions. "However" until I was FI, the hours were just something that I had to deal with and were part of the job, if I wanted to advance. That became an intolerable PIA once I was older and FI.

Even though I was very well compensated (pay, vacation, benefits, etc), the "long hours" were probably the biggest factor in my decision to retire early.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:54 PM   #16
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Thanks for the input everyone. I have the second interview tomorrow...wish me luck!
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:31 AM   #17
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Quick update - I got a heads-up that I'm going to receive an offer today or tomorrow. At this point I'm strongly leaning toward taking it, although I feel badly about leaving my team and boss in the lurch.

Thanks for the advice I've received here, everyone!
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:50 AM   #18
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Yay! Your team and boss will understand why you accept it, if you do.
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:06 PM   #19
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nice work. hope this turns out to be less stressful. I would never work those crazy hours you work.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:31 PM   #20
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Let's put this into simple perspective: you laterally transfer at same level and same pay, but get back to normal work hours. Keep your service time credit and associated benefits. Reduce stress considerably.

Seems a no-brainer decision to me.
+1.

It's significant that when your current supervisor found out that you were considering a transfer, he responded not by telling you to do whats 's best for you, or offering improved work-life balance, but by denigrating the other team. Sounds like an insecure jerk ...

FWIW, unless you truly love what you do IMO 70K pa - or even 90K pa, your boss's salary - is insufficient for a job regularly requiring work on weekends and in the middle of the night (3 or 4 am!).
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