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I know I'm being flaky and ungrateful but help!

(9 Posts)
glassspider Tue 16-Aug-11 21:46:40

Since I decided to go back into employment after having my son, around three years ago now, I have been looking for permanent work. I used to be a journalist but the long and unsocialble hours did not sit well with having a small child, and so I decided to move into PR and copywriting, where things are more stable and I am likely to return home at a reasonable hour.

Between September 2008 and June this year, I have had a series of temporary and fixed term contracts. Not because I like job-hopping, but this was all that was available due to the recession and employers being reluctant to take people on permanently. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these placements and would have been more than happy to have been kept on these permanently. My last role, weirdly enough, was a wonderful one where I actually looked forward to going to work every day and was in tears when I was told I would not be kept on permanently - odd, I know!

In June this year, I was offered a permanent role. this was just what I had been waiting for and I was happy. That is until I started the job. Put simply, I am not enjoying it. I have far more responsibilities in this role than I am able to cope with (and I have taken on some demanding roles before) and I am often unable to do the job I am meant to do because I am called nto other projects. I work very long days and this, combined with a two-hour commute to work and a two-hour commute back, is leaving me with very little life outside work - about two hours in the evening between coming home and going to bed. I wake up constantly during the night worried about work and dread going in. This job just about pays the bills, and not much more.

I am applying for another role which I have been seen advertised and sounds perfect. This role is much closer to home, which means I will see a bit more of my family, and it is considerably better paid - meaning I can do more than just about pay my bills.

Should I even consider leaving at this stage? I really don't want to let my managers down, and I know they would be very disappointed. In addition, I have had enough trouble in the past explaining to prospective employers that the reason I have so many temporary roles on my Cv is due to the fact they were temporary and I needed to work - there was nothing more permaanent available. If I was to try to leave this permanent role I now have, how would I convince any future employer that I am not just a flake and I really do want permanent, long-term employment - I just want a bit of a life too and I was not anticipating such long hours at my current role? If you were an employer, would you touch me with a 100-foot bargepole? Help!

glassspider Tue 16-Aug-11 21:51:33

And yes, I've just checked my thread and know there are typos. All this after saying I'm a copywriter. Doh! smile

Bohica Tue 16-Aug-11 21:52:48

Tell any new employer exactly what you have written in your post! If you dislike the commute & the new position is better money & closer to home it mkes sense to seek something more appropriate than what you have now.

I would also see lot's of temporary positions on a CV as someone who is keen to work, especially in these tough times.

I couldn't go to work all day every day with a 4 hour travel window & a 2 hour relaxtion window if I didn't enjoy it, it sounds like your work is bringing you down.

plupervert Tue 16-Aug-11 21:53:00

All you have to do is convince the (hopefully) new employers. After that, it won't matter.

Anyone, not just a mother, would be interested in:
- shorter commute
- more money
- clearer responsibilities/ not so much conflict within the role

You'd be a fool not to be interested in these things. For your part, with the shorter commute, you will be able to "give more" to the new job, which is presumably what you have been giving up till now. Is your current job much further away than the contracts you have been doing?

ChippingIn Tue 16-Aug-11 21:58:34

Leave. Life is too short to be this unhappy and that's one hell of a horrible commute to do when you are single (did it for 6 months) let alone when you have a child/family.

I would wait until I had secured another permanent role and I would be actively looking if this one that you are talking about doesn't pan out.

I've employed quite a few staff over the years and your CV would not put me off (especially if your refs would confirm they were temp positions).

glassspider Tue 16-Aug-11 22:05:59

Hi,

Thank you all so much for your replies! They are very reassuring.

Plupervert - I have taken on long commutes before on a couple of my previous contracts, but as I knew they were temporary, I sort of grinned and bore them, knowing the situation would not last long. This commute I am taking at the moment is a bit longer than expected before i took on the role, but the fact I am starting work early and finishing late is making the commute that bit worse!

plupervert Wed 17-Aug-11 07:34:53

Okay, then gloss over the fact that you have had such long commutes before, but be able to name the shorter commute as an advantage for this job. In any case, as I understand it, applicants shouldn't be pushing forward their reasons for wanting a job, as it's all about "you", whereas the company wants to hear about the advantage to them in hiring you.

You could bring in the local bit more obliquely, though, by mentioning that you want to see a more direct impact of your work on your own community, and that's not as easy working so far from home (it also allows you to compliment the aims and impact of your current, disliked job/company, erasing any impression that you are a bitter sort).

When is the deadline to apply for the new thing?

gaaagh Thu 18-Aug-11 10:12:31

Should I even consider leaving at this stage?

I would, if I were you, based on the push factors (at your current work) and the pull factors of this potential new job.

You haven't been offered the job yet, and have made no promise about jumping ship. so you've really got nothing to lose by applying/interviewing for it.

I'm very harsh about job hopping when i interview people at work (generally I'm involved in 2nd-level meetings, not the filter-style first interviews).

I really don't want to let my managers down, and I know they would be very disappointed.

You need to put yourself first. Fine to consider your current employer, but you aren't "letting anyone down" or disappointing them - if they are, and you've given the correct notice/dealt with the departure professionally and they still get irked, they're not very professional.

Employment is a business transaction. It isn't always just that, but it is primarily. You give your skills in exchange for payment. Don't forget that. Don't also forget that if the business was struggling, the owners/CEO wouldn't feel terrible (personally) they're having to let you go, if it was business-driven. They might feel bad about letting someone go, but it would have been a business decision. Not an emotive one. You should think of your employers in the same way, IMHO.

In addition, I have had enough trouble in the past explaining to prospective employers that the reason I have so many temporary roles on my Cv is due to the fact they were temporary and I needed to work - there was nothing more permaanent available.

This is a perfectly valid excuse, as long as it fits with the profile of the jobs you've been working in e.g. I know a few people have tried to pass this off at interviews in the past for companies where I know they mostly favour permanent staff, not freelancers - so I've queried the contract status at reference checking just to be sure they're telling the truth. If it is the truth, there shouldn't be much concern, because they should know the job market that you've been working in.

how would I convince any future employer that I am not just a flake and I really do want permanent, long-term employment

You should just be clear about the things that any employer is going to understand, as the other posters have said. Shorter commute, etc. You might even list "a better benefits package" if they probe for more reasnos - just make sure that you don't come across as someone who would jump ship at the drop of a hat if someone else offered you a payrise. But that's the point where you'd give examples of why they are a good fit for you, and vice versa (and re-inforce stuff like wanting to get involved with some of their outstanding client list, the location of the office being more practical, always wanted to work in this area of the industry due to XYZ....)...

that's just my opinion, i'm not in HR, i'm merely a "second opinion" at most of the 2nd level interviews my employer does.

gaaagh Thu 18-Aug-11 10:15:26

I'm very harsh about job hopping when i interview people at work... forgot to add.. but I wouldn't neccesarily call you that if you clearly marked they were projects, contracts / temp positions on there. it wouldn't count against you.

where it does count is that in my own industry, in some roles, the turnover is quite low. so, not your normal work history. but we sometimes get folk who've been in permanent positions but stayed 6 months. a couple of times is ok, but if they've spent no more than 6 or 8 months in a permanent position for the last 5 years... that would be enough to get them marked down from a Yes to a Maybe.

That's the distinction between an "accemptable job hopper" and an unacceptable one, IMHO.

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