I find myself in an interesting position (long)

kittiemomOctober 12, 2013

Several months ago, I ran into the CEO from the company where I used to work. We chatted for a while & he told me I should be expecting to hear from my former supervisor. I asked him for details, but he just said some things were changing at the company & he couldn't discuss until they were finalized but they would be in touch. I didn't hear from them for a long time, so I just thought that the changes didn't work out like they were expecting. Earlier, this week, I got an email from my former supervisor (for simplicity, I'll call her Janet). She said that she wanted to discuss some things with me & asked if I'd meet & talk with her. Last night we had dinner.

It turns out that the company has experienced tremendous growth since I left. She is moving into a regional role with the company and they are basically looking for someone to fill most of the responsibilities of her current position, which has expanded since I was there. She will keep some of these responsibilities because of the way they're structuring everything.

I joined the company when it was a start-up. It is a high-stress environment. I knew that when I joined since I came from another company in the same industry. Turnover is extremely high in the industry & at that company. After working there for two years, I was offered a much less stressful job in a different segment of the same industry.

Janet asked me last night what salary I was wiling to accept to go back. I didn't name a figure because I'm not sure. I wanted to talk with her about the job, the responsibilities involved, the people who are still there, etc. I also wanted to know about some who have left, either by choice or by being let go, & some of the reasons.

Having worked there before, I know that some of the personalities can clash with mine, but that's the case with every job. I would be reporting to the CEO, who I always liked. I also enjoyed working for Janet & don't doubt that I'd like working with her again. Janet has discussed this with the company president & one of the VP's as well & apparently all of them & the CEO want here to offer me the job. I've worked with all of them & had no particular issues with them. It is, though, a high stress & extremely demanding environment. I always felt a bit shaky about funding for this area because it comes from the state & they've made a lot of changes to this over the last few years.

I've been at my current company for over two years & am very happy. They've been wonderful to me & I'm grateful. I am curious to see what my former company will offer me to go back. I have a feeling that it will be enough that I can't ignore it. I know that my current company wants me to stay & would make a counter offer. But we are more structured & have salary ranges for each position. They aren't able to just offer me a salary outside the range for my position even if they want to. We are also under a lot of budget constraints this year.

So I find myself in an interesting position. My heart is where I work now. I love the company & enjoy working there & what I do. I would be doing some very similar things if I change jobs, but the instability & stress weigh on me. I wasn't unhappy in that job as much as feeling unstable & frustrated. There is always some stress at any job, but I know the stress of that industry well, having worked in in for a total of seven years. I don't want to change because of a raise, but I have a feeling that it will be significant enough that I can't ignore that aspect of it.

DH says that while we can always use more income, that my happiness is very important too.

Any words of wisdom? I appreciate any advice. My head is spinning right now.

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Ask your self if it worth all the stress of leaving a good job and boss who treats you right to go into the unknown situation and personalities. Money is nice but so is peace of mind.Been there done that.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:52AM
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Follow your heart. If you are happy where you are stay there.

Somethings are more important than money. Enjoying what you do and avoiding stress are very important.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Let the old employer make you a nice salary offer, tell your current company about that amount they are offering. Let the current company you like offer you more, accept it, and stay there, where you are happier.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Could the same thing happen to make you quit again and maybe the company you are working at now refuse to take you back? Your health is important to you and your family. Yes, everyone could use more income, but do you really need it and could you sit down and evaluate what you have now, maybe cut back on some things you really don't need/want. You mentioned something interesting--you wanted to know about certain people and if they were still there or why they left. Think about it, would you want this information released on YOU, if it was you. They could be releasing information that might be covered under the privacy act. Benefits? Compare them. Is there someone in your company you could talk to. Lots of things to think about and I do wish you the best.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Money cannot buy happiness in this case. You sound like you are financially stable already in a good paying job. Are you willing to risk it?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Stay where you are. Being happy in a job is rare.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:15PM
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I second Sheilajoyce's recommendation. It's a rare job that makes us happy. I would definitely give up 20% of my income to be in a job with less stress and more security. Of course, you may have a different view of the trade-off.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:21PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Follow your heart! Definitely discuss this with your current employer and see how they respond, tell them you really want to stay put, if they feel they can help you out with a raise take it and continue to be happy.
Heavy stress will age you and can certainly affect your health.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:49PM
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You have a smart DH!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:02PM
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I'm on the same page as Sheila, use the new job and salary as a comparison and speak to your now boss about it. Make more money and you may be able to retire early.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Wow, thanks for all the quick responses. I know some of the employees who left & what their story was. I was curious to see what the company would say. I wasn't expecting or didn't want any private info. I've worked in HR; I don't want them to violate anyone's privacy. I was just curious to see who remains that I used to work with & how much turnover there has been. A lot of people have left for other jobs. That is very rare at the company where I am now. Turnover is low.

I wasn't miserable in that job, but I wasn't as happy as I am now. DH is discussing with me but trying to be neutral about it. I've worked for some really bad bosses & this place wasn't horrible with regards to that. I actually took a salary cut when I went there because they were a startup & didn't have much of a budget & also because I was working for a really bad company & needed to get out. I enjoyed working for Janet; we are very similar in our thoughts & approaches. I liked the CEO fine. He was not CEO when I left but got promoted after. I don't think I'd have any problem working for him.

I told DH I wouldn't consider going back if the CEO that was there when I left was still there. She has been transferred to another office. DH asked what the chances were that she'd be transferred back here. Good question. The current CEO is from another state & if a comparable position opened up there I wonder if he'd take it to be closer to family. So that's something else to think about.

It is very rare for positions in my dept. to come open at my company. There is is little turnover, so if I leave, the chance of being able to go back is very small. The only possibility would be my replacement didn't work out. That is also rare, because they screen employees so carefully. I also know that they won't be able to match the salary I think I'll be offered due to budget constraints. I'm trying to factor in all the pieces so I can be at peace with my decision.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:15PM
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When you talk to your current employer, they may simply offer you their best wishes for your new job. Many avoid getting into bidding wars for an employee unless it's for a top level executive post. .

Money isn't everything though it's better to have than not have. On the other hand, a lower paying job with less stress may be boring and not challenging. You know your choices, good for you for being in demand and good luck.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Simple. Follow your heart and stay where you are.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:23PM
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"The Grass Is Always Greener in the Next Field" is a cliche because it is SO true. You are facing a really tough decision.... good thoughts going your way.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:52PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd call it a no brainer. It's certainly a big ego boost, isn't it? I do have to mention that you will be super sensitive to the stress and occasional irritation of the other position, now that you have left that behind you.

I'd gratefully refuse the offer, nor would I be inclined to mention it to your present employer.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 2:11PM
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"Dear Abby, I've been happily married for several years. I really love my husband, enjoy every day of our lives together.

Our of the blue, my former fiance has contacted me. He says he now realizes how much he values me. He wants me to move in with him and his kids. He's put on a big push, and I did like him a lot before I met my husband. I know his kids and like them. (His mother, with whom I never got along, has died.) Oh, did I mention that he is quite wealthy? His offer is very flattering. I think I could probably be happy with him. My life would be more hectic -- with his kids and a lot more hostessing for his business associates. Should I try for even MORE happiness or..."

"Dear Kittiemom, Do you not know when you are well off?"

OK, so this isn't *quite* the same thing. But pretty close, huh? Do you want more money and stress more than what you have? Does your marriage want more stress?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 2:27PM
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My heart is where I work now.

My advice is to enjoy the feeling of being wanted, and stay put. Lots of things money can't buy, and one of them is job satisfaction.

Also, I think your concern about state funding is well founded. Many states have made drastic cuts in funding, and in some cases will probably continue to do so.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 2:45PM
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What Rhizo said.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 3:47PM
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I think you should stay where your are now, where your heart is.

Would you still consider working at the other place if the CEO or Janet were not there? In a company that has high turnover and is in the middle of restructuring it wouldn't be too hard to imagine that they too might leave, or be transferred elsewhere.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 4:33PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois

If you decide to mention this to your current employer, but honest. Be sure to stress that you were approached and that you were not seeking a change. However, you should continue, the potential money offer and the scope of responsibility has been tempting. However, madam employer, I must tell you that their offer was not enough to make me leave you.

End of discussion. However, your current employer just might look at you and your work with a different perspective. A positive perspective to be sure. Loyalty, as it used to be, is not as prevalent now. Congratulations on staying where you are - to my way of thinking, staying is the better option.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:04PM
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I wouldn't leave the company where you are...sometimes putting a company in the position of having to match salary is not a good thing a can bite you in the butt...it you decide to stay you might just mention that you had an offer and decided not to take it because you are so happy but that you hope they will understand that you can't afford to turn down every offer that comes your way unless they expect to grow in the position where you are..

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:42PM
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A lot of people have left for other jobs. That is very rare at the company where I am now. Turnover is low.

Those words speak volumes. It appears people don't stick with companyX for good reason. After all, you left. If you were happy enough and loved your job there, you would have stayed.

I've been at my current company for over two years & am very happy. They've been wonderful to me….

My heart is where I work now. I love the company & enjoy working there & what I do.

What more could you want? Even if they counter offer, you’ll get more money….without the added stress from companyX.

I don’t know you, but, my gut tells me you will be miserable. With a growing company comes even more stress. Money is not the key to happiness, especially when it comes to a job. I’d much rather love my job and the company I work for, than be making even 25K more accompanied with misery, stress, and possibly longer work days, leading to hating to get up in the morning knowing you have to face it all over again. I'm sure the company moral and work ethic hasn't changed much since you've been there....hence, the high turn around - still.

I don’t know how old you are, but, with age, comes wisdom. Don't let them "buy" you, unless the money is THAT needed and important to you. Remember, if you take the job and regret it, the door may not swing both ways at the job & company you loved but left.

Good luck with your decision. Really think it through, but, I think your heart already knows what you should do.

This post was edited by debi_2006 on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 13:55

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:22PM
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be sure to factor in the ego portion of this offer as you decide. it is real and powerful.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Hi kittiemom,

You've received a substantial numberr of points of view with regard to your current concern, and several have suggested that you operate in a situation where you're happy.

It's a privilege and a blessing for a working person to be in a position where s/he loves her/his work.

Walk outside of yourself, mentally, imagine that you're an employment consultant ...

... and read your messages.

What kind of questions and observations would you make to yourself, as someone seeking information and advice about your current dilemma?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 2:14PM
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I was in the same position as you. I actually considered going back (even though working there was like dancing with the devil). But then I decided that I really needed to be away from the stress and pressure and uncertainty.

So they hired somebody else, and in less than 6 months they were ALL gone - another big company change after the first big change didn't increase the bottom line fast enough.

Lucky! I would be unemployed right now.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:30AM
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I'm sure YOU are flattered...and having options and choices is a GREAT place to be in buuuuuuuuuuuuuut.....you sound job dependant. That is a bad place to be. I'd choose to stay in my present position with less stress and drama, then focus on becoming financially independant on my current income.

Financially independant people can afford to be unemployeed, to quit on a dime, to have time on their hands....make THAT your long term goal. Realistically job hopping is unstable and not for you.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 9:10AM
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you don't mention your age, children, family time, ect...do you need a better salary, or are you comfortable now? do you miss or not take vacations? last? the guilt factor..if you left the current co...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughts & comments. Dances, my situation sounds really similar to yours! I put a lot of thought into this & decided to remain at my current company.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:25AM
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I think you should hold off making a decision until you have ALL the facts--including salary (and your current employer's counter offer, if any), an exact description of what responsibilities this new position would entail.

Then, I'd consider several things.
Satisfaction with the job would be at the top of that list. Would the extra money be worth the extra stress? Or might it not be a slightly more relaxed work environment, now that they're past the start-up phase? Also--for the sake of argument--is there a 3rd company in your area where you might work happily? (in case you make the leap, end up dissatisfied, and your current employer won't take you back). I do think a safety net in this case (either your current company being willing to rehire you, or other local options) would be an important consideration to me.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:52AM
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I don't think you'll regret it, Kittiemom. Now you can relax and think about Thanksgiving. :-)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:54AM
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