Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I have been complaining about my job and saying that I need to look for a new one for some time now. I'm bored with it. I would normally have moved on some months ago by now, as I have a pretty short attention span. Usually, after a year or two, I move jobs so that I can keep learning new things. I'm not very happy with the policy directions, which are very politicised. Also, I'm concerned that I have been in this field so long (four years) that I am going to become over-specialised.

But I've been holding off for a few reasons. The main one is that it suits my family responsibilities. A job that allows me to pretty much choose my hours and alter them as needed and lets me work from home regularly is a major asset and not to be lightly abandoned. Also, my department is in a very contentious area of government policy. There are many areas of it that I don't want to work in, so I have limited choices within my own department. But it's hard, at my level, to find part-time work anyway and trying to move to another department as a part-timer would just be that much harder.

The Big Dude thinks that maybe I should go back to work full-time to expand my options. But I really don't want to do that. Our Little Dude is not even two years old yet, and I want to have that time with him when he is little. Also, I really don't think that he is up to more hours of looking after the Little Dude than he does now, so any extra pay would probably just go on childcare.

I confided in a woman I know, a former boss of mine, about this dilemma. She advised me to wait until the election this year is over, because election years are always difficult in government. There is so much uncertainty. And this year, there is actually a possibility that the opposition will finally win government after eleven years, which just adds to the uncertainty and feeling of instability.

Two days later, she offered me a job in her area.

I'm happy she wants me. I'm flattered. And I know that she's a good boss. But I had only just decided to take her advice and worry less about it, was feeling all calm and centred and focusing on enjoying my non-work life, and now I'm in a dither.

I'm stupidly anxious about the whole thing. I do want to move. I'm sick of where I am. And yet, its a predictable environment and one where I am highly valued and able to call the shots about my working arrangements most of the time. I have a lot of control over my work. I like and respect my colleagues. The new job is more demanding, less predictable and, in a way, would be like starting again. And although my small part of the new context would be quite good, I'm not completely easy in my mind about the policy directions of that general area.

Most people would consider this offer to be a good career move, but I can't decide whether it would be a good move for me and my family.

I would probably decide to delay a decision a bit longer, but I'm starting to get the feeling that my current area might be a casualty of looming budget cuts and changing priorities. I'm worried, essentially, that my current job might be abolished from under me, meaning that I would have to find another job anyway. Maybe I should take this offer now, which is a good one, rather than risk having to accept a lesser offer in a hurry in a few months time.

I don't know why I am so anxious about this, but I am!


Blogger Rob said...

Every action or non-action incurs it's own risk (you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't). You stated some good pros and cons about staying in your present job versus moving on to that new job that your former boss has offered you. Consider this: in the past you've switched jobs regularly, deciding to take on a risk that your next job would work out and trusting in your abilities to see that it would. And every time it indeed did. The difference this time is only one factor - the presence of your son and his care - otherwise I see no difference. I'm sure that if you did decide to switch jobs again that you would make it all work out well. You thrive on change for it gives you challenge. I say take your former boss's job offer. Stretch yourself to achieve more and don't risk boredom, stagnation, or worse (possible abolishment) in your current job. No pain, no gain.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Lady Let said...

Seems that we are both in need of a change, obviously for different reasons and in very different circumstances.
I am tempted to say, go on, move on, accept the challenge.
Trust your instincts and your desires of learning new things, on looking ahead.
Good luck!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Fusion said...

I agree with Rob here Emily.
And if the new job doesn't fit you, then you can always start looking again, and from what you're saying about your current position, you could have to do soon anyway. At least this way, you will have a job while looking for a new one if need be. It's aways harder when factoring in kids, isn't it?
Good luck in whatever you do.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Undercover-Nerd said...

I say take it.
I mean, you're unhappy, and when you're bored, you don't do nearly as good of a job. I know, because that's where I am. You can always take the new job, and then keep your eyes peeled- that way, at least you have SOMETHING, and something new to learn, while still having the option of moving again.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

I have to agree with Rob and Fusion it is a risky move but it's always better to take the risk instead of living with regrets out of fear. I wish you well whatever you choose to do.

1:33 PM  

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