Dilemma – assistance needed…

Good evening lovely Vox friends, I have to make a decision and I'm not sure what I should do.

As nothing seemed to be going on at work and I was as bored as a bored thing on an exceedingly boring day, I decided to apply for another job. So I did and got asked to do a verbal and numerical reasoning test, which I thought went pretty badly. But it apparently didn't go that horrendously because they've asked me to go to an interview, in Glasgow (3 hours or so away) and deliver a bloody 15 minute presentation on some guff. The job is worth seven grand a year more than I earn I now but is for an advisor covering not just the North west where I live but also the rest of Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In other words a lot more time away from home than I spend now.

This evening my boss phoned me at home, a most unusual occurrence. The reason? They want to promote me to sole advisor for the North West. I'll have a company car, a phone, a laptop and my life because I'll still be working the same hours I do now. And I like the people I work with. The catch? Because there's always a catch, right? Yep. My salary won't be reviewed until December because we've all had pay increases refused for the past two years (gotta love the recession) and everyone's will be looked at in December. If mine were to be raised before that and people found out there'd be riots so it'll have to be put up at the same time as everyone elses, but the car and everything else will start being sorted tomorrow.

So I need your advice. What would you do? would you chase the money and take a job you might hate or would you stay put and take what might be a smaller pay rise in a job that allows you to have a life? Any advice gratefully received….

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34 Responses

  1. Since almost half your life will be spent there low pay and happyness sounds good, cause If you do something you love it will lead to more money eventually.Now, if you had a lot of debt or for some reason needed the extra money, it might be different.
    You making less money and you not stressing all the time – that alone makes all the difference.

  2. I would go with option 2 – staying put, hoping for a raise (in December), but taking the company car, laptop, and phone. The other job and the uncertainty of it (along with the longer work hours) wouldn't be worth extra money I could probably get by without … and "might" be getting at the end of the year.

  3. I would also go with Option 2 – if there is no pay raise in December then I might consider more actively pursuing another job – but in the mean time you've had time to think about whether or not you would actually do that.

  4. I say go for both and then decide. I'd accept the promotion. The pay is not a raise for your current position, it is the regular pay for an entirely new position. I would ask them to make it clear to the rest of the staff that you are being moved into a new position, and then (no need to tell the rest of the staff yet) start you on your new salary for your new position now. They are cheating you to do otherwise.
    If they didn't come to the party on that, I'd at least ask them to put your new salary and the starting date for it into writing with at least two senior staff signing off on it. Then you can at least make a financial comparison between the two jobs.
    And then … I'd go and interview for the other job anyhow. At the very least you'll get a better feel for the people involved.
    However, I tend to agree with what everyone else says – a job where you like your coworkers and are relatively happy is worth so much. Also, the prospect of that extra travel doesn't seem to appeal to you very much.

  5. Tell them you have a better offer and they need to match it for you to stay, you never know, they might panic and fork out the cash.However, work/life balance is very important.

  6. I'd go for option 2 too. No point in earning an extra £7000 if you've got no time to make use of it. I agree with Little Odd Me though, they may not go for it but it's worth a punt….. then again if they do agree to raise your pay now it may be nominal with no chance of a raise in December, wheras if you hang tight and wait it may be an even bigger pay increase.

  7. I think your Vox friends are in agreement on the Option 2 front as that was what I was going to say too! The other job sounds like a lot of hard work. And Little Ode's option is good – you lose nothing by going further with the other potential job. I think getting something in writing is a good idea as you most definitely don't want to be shafted come December.

  8. I'd also go with Little Odd Me's suggestion – if they're not prepared to give you any more money, sod 'em. The car, phone and laptop aren't perks hon, they're tools ….

  9. Stay.
    Do you get to use the car for personal use? that is worth about $15,000 a year if allowed to use for personal use. I think it is a poor excuse about the salary though – you are getting a different job definition that is not a raise that is a new role. Tough times though so hang fire.

  10. I am definately not stressed where I am and the guys I'll be working with are lovely, they'll help me rather than trying to trip me up all the time. Plus I finish work at 4pm each evening and that's me done, home by quarter past to see him indoors, play with the dog, go for a walk, see friends, whatever. If I'm in a hotel in Belfast I can't do that.

  11. That's what I was thinking. I've got by without the extra money for this long and the extra tax I pay on the car and the fuel will equal roughly what I pay now for car insurance and diesel but I'll not have to deal with maintenence, MOT, servicing or any of that nonsense. So I'll end up a few quid a month better off. Not much but a bit.

  12. Thanks Emjay! It's sometimes difficult to see things clearly when you've spent ages looking at them, sometimes you need another person's perspective!

  13. I thought about that. I guess I have nothing to lose by going to the interview in Glasgow but I'm really not keen on the idea of spending 4 days a week in a hotel somewhere. Thanks for the tip about getting it in writing, I will be giving my boss a ring this afternoon to request that, cheers!

  14. I doubt they will, until the new contracts kick in at the back end of the year the company is losing money, not making it. Recessions are never a good time for civil engineering, although the forecast is good after the next few months.

  15. Cheers Spidermonky, you're quite right. Sometimes I think I underestimate the work/ life balance I have now, which allows me to enjoy my evenings at home, my weekends with friends and enough time to write things on here when I feel the urge! Sure, I'm not earning the top whack for my profession but I do have a life and I guess that's more important to me than a huge salary.

  16. I'll not be impressed if I get shafted in December. Having said that, if come December my salary isn't raised to similar to the other advisors, I can sue the copmany for discrimination on the grounds that I should be receiving smiliar pay for work of a similar value. Or so I've been told by my mother who works in employment law! I'm just glad to be doing something more interesting than pushing paper round my desk to be honest.

  17. They seem like perks to me because I've been getting by without for so long. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing and a lot of people have said 'better the devil you know'. The trouble is that whatever I choose to do it's a gamble. If I stay I'm gambling on salary, if I get the other job I'm gambling with not hating it and everyone in the new organisation. If I could see into the future this kind of crap would be a whole lot easier. Jobs are like buses, sod all for donkeys and then two come along at once.

  18. I do get to use the car for personal use and I can insure Mr V on it too. I pay about £130 a month in tax and for that I get car, insurance, maintenence, servicing, MOT, any broken bits fixed, recovery service and all fuel including that used for private mileage. Currently I pay that much just for diesel and insurance. And you're right about the tough times, where I am I've been for a long time and so will not be subject to the 'last in, first out' rule if things go bad.

  19. Too true re jobs/buses. And I must admit I was pretty happy to get my new laptop recently, instead of the steam driven piece of crap I inherited from my erstwhile boss when he jumped ship – but it is still a tool, not a perk! It's just nice not to have to boot the machine up 10 times a day because it keeps falling over.

  20. My current one has a habit of watching you write hours worth of stuff then the minute you try to hit the 'save' button, freezing entirely and then crashing, losing the lot. Sometimes I'd love to just give it a really good shoeing. You're right of course, these are tools not perks but they are nice shiny gadgety tools, not like paperclips or buff square cut files. Somehow this makes them much nicer.

  21. This is true. I also demanded a company phone as they've been having free use of my personal mobile for almost 4 years – since which time, of course, I've hardly made a call – but then a lot of my colleagues are on hols with their kids …

  22. They tried that one with me as well but I've just refused point blank to give anyone but my boss my mobile number and if anyone wants to contact me they have to do it via the office line. I tend to ignore numbers I don't recognise anyway, assuming that it'll be someone trying to sell me something and it it's not they'll leave a voicemail message and I can get back to them.

  23. Well done you. They even had my private number on my cards. Fortunately I've now moved to a new office which means I have to get new ones and I don't answer work calls on my own phone now – unless it's our technophobic CEO who hasn't worked out how to change a number in her contacts ….

  24. I'm not reading the rest of the comments because I might then change what I say. All I can say is this: my partner was in a similar position recently. His boss promised him a big promotion, but said that it couldn't happen for "six months" because of a freeze within the company. After 3 months he began to really be bothered by the ongoing uncertainty of everything and he started looking around for something else. On the day he handed in his notice, he was offered the position that was apparently a few months away. Whatever you read into this, I guess my suggestion is to give the company the benefit of the doubt for as long as you can… but to set yourself a deadline by when it has to have happened. What you can't do is let your boss give you a promotion without a raise in a few months time – and so the question also becomes "how well do you trust your boss?". They're my thoughts.

  25. Stay where you are – the car is more/less and immediate raise…life and work balance and finding somewhere you actually LIKE to work is worth the stay.

  26. I've never subscribed to chasing the money….it should all be about YOUR happiness and satisfaction and contentment.If you are happy at present I would stay with it…..as FD points out, the car cancels out any advantage the other job may offer.Best wishes in your deliberations.

  27. Cheers Oink! I do trust my boss, she's been my boss for ages and she's got me this far. Besides, if they aren't raising my pay by December they leave themselves wide open to a sex discrimination law suit, as the male advisors would be on a higher salary than me.

  28. Thanks Just Me. I do value my work life balance a lot, as someone said further up, money is no use if you've no time or energy to enjoy it!

  29. Cynical old me is always suspicious of "jam tomorrow", but…….
    I've done the living in hotels thing and it is a shit life so if you are happy enough and setlled where you are then other replies would seem to be wiser than major upheaval. You have reasonably supportive colleagues and know your way around where you are. You could be walking into a pile of shit (and you won't find out until too late because the new company will make it sound like a wonderland as they try to sell it to you). You could also encounter resentment from other staff who have been passed over for promotion to make way for a newcomer.
    As well as the discrimination angle, come December there is another tack you can take. Going into a new job you would have a steep learning curve to overcome whereas accepting promotion where you are means you can hit the ground running because you know the ropes. So you can work at making yourself, if not quite indispensable, at least difficult and expensive to replace as the sole advisor for your region. That gives you quite a lot of bargaining power.
    I would take the promotion rather than move and start getting your ducks in a row for the December negotiations. Do double check the tax calculations on the car though. The benefits in kind when applied to your tax code may result in a reduction in take-home pay. I was once nearly caught by this trap until I told the boss I couldn't afford it (I lied!) what with mortgages etc. That might leverage a smaller immediate rise to cover increased tax liabilities.
    There is of course one other big plus that may outweigh any financial considerations. By staying put you will be able to gloat over the "fridge witch" concerning your promotion. What is that worth! ;-))

  30. Sounds like you have your answer there. A good work-life balance is worth a lot.

  31. Although I wouldn't necessarily burn your bridges with the other folk. I would be straight with them and tell them that the timing isn't right at the moment but you wouldn't discount working for them if another opportunity were to come up. I think this would be better than stringing them along if you really aren't interested in the job right now.

  32. I think you know my thoughts already – plan “B” and all that.

    One of the most important things in life is creating the lifestyle for yourself & your lived ones that gives you joy and maximizes your potential. Not one or the other, but both.
    The second bit is as important, or even moreso than the first because my opinion is that it’s your duty to your family to do the best you can do in order to enjoy a more fruitful life with them later on, and to create some security “just in case” it all goes tits up some day in the future.

    As to being away from home, AutoRant can be right, but I found a way 25 years ago to spend quality time with great friends and colleagues every evening, and this in the days of the Telex, payphones and messages posted on notice boards in agents’ offices and drivers lounges on ferries all over Europe and Asia.
    With advances in technology these days it’s certainly possible to enjoy life away.from home if you’re prepared to work at it. For decades I spent less than 30 days a year at home in the UK, and often hit our shores only to turn right back around on the next stagecoach out of Dodge. I can honestly say I loved it and was never lonely, even on nights in the desert. I always managed to end up camped out with 2 or 3 other Brits and random Europeans making a pot luck meal on camping stoves – but that’s just me.

    Figure out the path that will give you most joy – and if it doesn’t do that then don’t do it!
    You’ve already identified fear of failure and another poster mentioned “better the devil you know” but in my opinion that’s a very limiting phrase which will hold you back.
    if you have your plan “B” in place it’s easier to be confident about your ability to generate income without relying on emplymdng by others.
    That will transform your life!

    Whatever you choose I wish you great joy.

    Good luck with your choices,

    • Cheers Allan! I’ve chosen to stay where I am and take the promotion and so far I’m having a lovely time. I’m sure it won’t always be lovely but for now I’m enjoying it AND I’ve still got my nice work/ life balance. I’m not a high earner but I’d rather have my life than a huge salary.

  33. OOPS!
    That last bit should read “employment by others”
    chubby fingers on the iPhone keypad disease strikes again 😉

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