T Nation

Changing Jobs

Hi Everyone.

I just got called into an interview for my second job out of college. I’ve had my first one here for about a year.

The job pays a lot more money and would be a great stepping stone for my career. So I’m pretty happy about the opportunity.

On the other hand I had a hard time finding a job out of college and feel some loyalty to this agency. I like my job here and the people I work with, but I live in an area where I have no family and few friends.

What I’m wondering is:

  1. Is a year to short of a time to look for a new job?

  2. They have pretty big plans for my position (or me) next year and hiring a new person may put a damper on these. Should this play a role in my decision?

  3. The pay at the newer job (if I get it) will start out higher than the pay that my current job would top off at. That’s got to count for something right?

Ok guys and gals if you could give me some advise or anecdotes on changing jobs that would be great.

Thanks.

One year would not be enough time to make a lateral move – however, if it is obviously a better position because of salary, I think you can safely make the move.

I would say that if you wanted to stay at your current job you could negotiate a higher salary, but for governmment positions that usually isn’t much of an option (correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re likely on a scale based on seniority).

Look and see how the other benefits are – if you have to move, consider the cost of living in the new area when you consider the salary, as well as the cost of the move, non-salary benefits and how much more time the new position might entail (lifestyle).

Overall though, think about what you want to be doing 10 years from now. If the new job will help you attain that as well or better than your current position, and the other factors are net positives, make the move.

I can understand your dilemma, being a recent college graduate myself. I beleive that you owe it to yourself to seek better opportunities. I understand that you feel some sense of loyalty, however this is America and improving your situation in life is your right. Just remember eveything has some risk involved, including a new job. Even though the money is better, you may hate your co-workers, boss, etc. If that is the case you can always get another job, options in your life to me is the biggest reason for optaining a college degree. I wish you all the best in whatever road you chose.

Bamit,

Thanks for the quick responses. BostonB you are right about how governtment works, I couldn’t really negotiate a higher salary. On top of that the agency is so small that I can’t even get promoted.

Another thing about this job that I didn’t mention is that it will put me closer to where my fiance (sp) lives and works which will allow us to actually get a house together and get married. We’ve been engaged for about 3 months but haven’t set a date because we live on opposite sides of the state.

Another thing BostonB you said that 1 year is not long enough. What then would be long enough ideally?

If offered the job I will take it, the upsides are too high, but I will feel bad about leaving my position here.

thanks for the help guys.

For a lateral move, at least two years would probably be optimal. However, you have two built-in great reasons to make the move, so if anyone ever asked at a subsequent interview why you only stayed a year, you would just say the combination of being close to your fiancee and a larger paycheck was too good to pass up.

If an organization wanted you to stay badly enough they could find a way to work outside the guidelines. This can be done by reclassifying a position or rehiring you for a higher level position.

Anyway, having big plans based on having you around is nice, but unless you’ve been telling them that you will stay for some period of time then you don’t have any commitment to honor.

The reason I bring this up is that if you take the new job and things don’t work out, you’ll still need the job you are about to leave as a good reference. If you lost that and the new job didn’t work out, your experience to date might not be useable when looking for the next job.

However, the reasons you state or obviously more important than sitting around in the current job. Especially if your spouse to be is there!

[quote]vroom wrote:
The reason I bring this up is that if you take the new job and things don’t work out, you’ll still need the job you are about to leave as a good reference. If you lost that and the new job didn’t work out, your experience to date might not be useable when looking for the next job.
[/quote]

This is what I’m worried about. I’m also worried about people finding out that I’m looking for a different job and getting fired because of it. Except I would like a reference from my current job (since I am doing a good job).

I don’t know guys I wouldn’t think it was that big of a deal. If I was able to reason with my boss I wouldn’t even hesitate to ask her for a refernce since we have a pretty good relationship but I have a hard time reasoning with her.

With most people I could say, “you know I really like my job here but I’ve been offered something that pays a little more and puts me closer to my fiancee”, but her husband doesn’t live with her during the weekdays for work related reasons and when she got engaged (or married not sure) she lived in philadelphia and her husband lived in michigan. So it might be a little hard to reason with her.

Thanks guys your advise and encouragement has helped me a bunch.

Dude, just take the new job.
The positive effects of the move seriously outweight the negative, so bite the bullet and resign!!
And don’t worry about only being there a year, I have known senior managers to be around for less time than that, and they don’t seem to feel bad about it.
As long as you are moving forward and not backwards, go for it. Loyalty is all well and good, but I have worked in too many places where the loyalty works one way only - they have no compulsion in getting rid of people in ‘cost cutting’ measures. Think of your move as more of an ‘organisational adjustment’.
:o)

You have to ask yourself a couple of very important questions:

(1) What makes you happy?
(2) What is your long term goal?

Taking a job that pays more, but is twice as much work and makes you miserable is probably not worth it.

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a wrong time as long as you know what you goal is.

Have a clear goal, and do things that help you move towards that goal.

There is no such thing as loyalty these days working for someone else. Companies these days lay you off for any reason, at any time. You owe no company anything. If you have a better opportunity, go for it. And as for the 2 year advice, bullcrap. You are young. Go for the higher paying position. You have good reasons for the move so as long as it is easily explained when someone is reviewing your resume in the future, you’re good. Where you have to be careful is if you have a string of 1-2 yr job stints. That’s where it gets more difficult. But for now, I would say seize the opportunity.

[quote]randman wrote:
There is no such thing as loyalty these days working for someone else. Companies these days lay you off for any reason, at any time. You owe no company anything. now, I would say seize the opportunity.[/quote/]

I’m with randman. Having been out of college for 10 years and law school for 7, the one thing I have learned is that a lot of companies/employers can view loyalty as a one way street - they will demand it of you until the market changes, they need to “right-size” (gotta love that term) and so on. Also, if the new job puts you closer to your fiancee, I think this one is a no brainer. I am of the same mind you are in a lot of ways… a company has been good to you, gave you a job right out of college and so sometimes you do feel like you owe them something. However, never forget that in the end, they are running a business, they have a bottom line and will make business decisions accordingly. In a lot of ways, you are a corporation of one and need to do the same.

Good luck!

Just always, always make sure you are doing what YOU want to do and not what you think is EXPECTED of you.

Take the new job. 70% of college grads leave their first job within one year. It’s the reason I don’t hire college grads for their first job.

Second job they tend to stay for at least 3 yrs. It’s about the money and opportunity at your age so go for it!