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Lower grade, lower stress job vs better career option job. What would you do?

(29 Posts)
Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:10:22

I am a CCAB qualified accountant & work in public sector. Before having kids 5 yrs ago was on track to be a financial controller in the next 2-3 years.

Gave up work to have kids & for last 2 years have been doing various part time fill in jobs created by me through old colleagues.

I like my work & am a bit of an all or nothing type of person, a bit of a perfectionist which means I did used to get a bit stressed out at work. I also love being a mum and have been a lot more chilled since I gave up work for kids.

I now have a choice:

i) part time permanent job at current employer at one grade lower than the job I did before had kids. Advantages - low stress, job you can leave at the office, easy, flexible, easy to get to, nice people, efficient and good quality department. Could easily spend off work time doing other voluntary work. Disadavtages - a bit boring and probably a career dead end (I'm 45)

or

ii) part time job share with a lovely job share partner at 2 grades higher. Advantages - higher powered, more career prospects, more interesting, more stimulating. Disadavantages - more stress, would probably spend off work time thinking about it, not such a well run dept as i).

Which one would you do and why?

BBBee Sun 02-Sep-07 23:11:30

2

BBBee Sun 02-Sep-07 23:12:29

when you read my 2 did you think 'oh she doesn't understand' or 'I thought as much'

your response to other people's answers might help you clarify what you really want.

Twinklemegan Sun 02-Sep-07 23:12:59

2) (apart from the less well-run department bit).

Lower grade jobs can be just as, if not more, stressful if you feel under-stimulated.

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:13:13

I'll expand the question then to - what would you do & why?

Twinklemegan Sun 02-Sep-07 23:13:51

I totally agree BBee. There have been many occasions where that has worked for me.

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:15:20

Good point BBBee - that's part of the reason for doing this. DP is bored of hearing it too!

stealthsquiggle Sun 02-Sep-07 23:15:51

Personally, (ii) because of the 'more interesting, more stimulating' bits, and because it is still part time.

envy, BTW. My option (i) is as much of a dead end, but option (ii) means full time and probably travel and I just can't see how it can be done, let alone deal with the consequences for my DC.

Twinklemegan Sun 02-Sep-07 23:16:34

Was my why OK? I can expand. Boring could be a problem when you're motivating yourself to go into work. What if things change (as they certainly can in the public sector) and it's not such a good place to work any more? If it's a career dead end you may be a bit stuck.

I'm doing 2) btw (full time though sad)

stealthsquiggle Sun 02-Sep-07 23:17:10

BTW - the real "why" of my answer is really that the boredom of option (i) would obsess me so much that it would impinge on non-work time just as much as the stress of (ii), with none of the up-sides.

BBBee Sun 02-Sep-07 23:18:34

well I am going back into a more stressful arena - my children are now 5 and 7. The reason I am going back (even thouh I am stressed even thinking about it) is that I have just felt so bored and dead end-y lately. I wanted a bit of sparkle and dare I say it a bit of stress. I could have had a less stressful option but it felt a bit 'ploddy' for me.

That is why I said 2.

Also I imagine that if you change your mind it will be easier to go from 2 back to 1, whereas choosing 1 and then changing your mind and trying to get to 2 sounds a bit harder IYSWIM.

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:19:07

Yup SS - I'm in a good position partic as the money & childcare are not big issues - I guess currently I'm leaning towards i) as am pretty risk averse but can't help thinking that makes me a bit of a wimp. (As in lunch is for ...)

Hope you can work out your dilemma.

Twinklemegan Sun 02-Sep-07 23:20:55

It doesn't make you anything Cherrymix. Only you know what's right for you. smile

And I don't subscribe to the "lunch is for wimps" cr*p btw. You work to live, not the other way around.

pinkteddy Sun 02-Sep-07 23:21:15

I would probably go for i). But it depends on a lot of things like how old your kids are, how supportive your DH/DP is, where you see yourself in a few years, whether you are career ambitious etc. Btw I am just in process of giving up high powered (ish) job for one less well paid and less stressful so I am probably a bit biased! But I know it is the right choice for me atm. Does this help at all?! grin

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:22:05

Good point about the 2 to 1 move BBee although would feel a bit mean to job share partner as finding a good one is v hard.

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:24:29

Lunch for wimps = joke. In fact one of the best things about going back to work is being able to buy big mayonnaise laden sandwich and eat in peace which equally large cappucino. [Large burp emoticon]

stealthsquiggle Sun 02-Sep-07 23:25:09

Cherrymix if the potential boredom of (i) is not going to stress you out completely, and that is what your instinct is, then go for it.

My problem is that I "don't do" boredom to the extent that I am not doing my current job well, although I easily could, because I am too bored IYSWIM. So I know I need the challenge and would opt for (ii) in your situation - but I also need to be able to spend some time with my DC... archetypal WOHM 'no win' situation.

Good Luck with whatever you decide.

BBBee Sun 02-Sep-07 23:25:39

I wasn;t being derogatory about those who had less stressful jobs BTW everyone has different needs and different circumstances.

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:28:02

I agree re boredom to certain extent - am currently not performing tip toply due to boredom but on other hand am a bit nervous about how job share would work etc and if it doesn't work will have to dredge around trying to create another part time job for myself.

stealthsquiggle Sun 02-Sep-07 23:31:18

Ahh - now that is sort of a separate issue. I have never done a job share, but I am sure there are plenty of MNers who have who would be able to help you.

Cherrymix Sun 02-Sep-07 23:36:52

Sorry last post a bit waffly. Job share is an issue - I'm sure it'll be fine and in fact could help me to be less stressed as will have a lovely friend to talk & moan to when things are tricky. However it is both an added layer of complication plus also I'd be letting my JSP down if I quit.

I'm looking forward to hearing from others on this - the more the merrier & will enable me to bore DP about it all again with fresh viewpoint.

flowerybeanbag Mon 03-Sep-07 08:28:39

Definitely option 2, if you are lucky enough to have it.

I would find option 1 soooo frustrating. You wouldn't be doing work at your normal level or to the extent of your abilities and experience. You may not have to work as hard, have less stress in terms of responsibility etc, but I know I would be constantly frustrated because I would be looking at the people in a more senior position and thinking 'I could do that so much better'. Grrrr!
And if it's not such a well-run dept as option 1, you could have an input in improving it....

WideWebWitch Mon 03-Sep-07 08:36:08

11) and make it a better run dept so it became less stressful but had some challenge. And some strategies for not getting stressed (says she, stressed to the gills about a meeting later!)
I think 11 gives you more choices in the future/for next job if you want it

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 03-Sep-07 08:45:22

With your skills/experience/qualification I would do neither of those, frankly. I would set up my own business so that you can work it around your own needs.

Still a stressful option, but if you're OK financially (i.e. not desperate for a massive salary to be provided by you) it can be a really worthwhile and fulfilling way to work.

If I had to answer your OP would definitely go for (ii). I've done (i) - albeit in a completely different job - and although I revelled in the 9-5, lower responsibility aspects I did quickly get bored - and found that little, quite trivial things could quickly stress me out.

lilolilmanchester Mon 03-Sep-07 09:40:28

I've worked part-time for the last 14 years, and have mostly gone for number ii) type options. Am about to make a i) type decision. This is to allow me to take a breather and reassess my options. I am the same age as you CherryMix and after 22 years of corporate life, 14 of which have included juggling DCs it just feels right the moment. However, in my case, it isn't a career dead end, there'll still be bigger and better jobs later. Might that not be the case for you? A few people have commented on a lower level job being stressful too. A lot of that is down to mind set. My first part time role was a bit dull, but I could guarantee leaving the office in time for nursery closing, and I didn't worry about work when I got home/on my days off. I had to keep reminding myself about the benefits and look at work in the context of my whole life (more time with DCs; more energy for weekend activities etc etc). Good luck, whatever you decide!

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