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New job - long commute - Mad?

(8 Posts)
Blackduck Mon 24-Aug-09 10:52:32

Background - went for Civil service HR grad scheme - took almost a year of tests etc. Got a place on scheme. This is a career change for me, but potentially a good move...
BUT the location of the first placement is a 2 hour commute from where I live and would mean being out of the house 7-7 five days a week.
Ds is 6 and at school (and used to a childminder), dp works long(ish) hours and there are times of the year when he has to work late (student productions etc etc).
Am I mad to even be considering this?
Are there any alternatives I haven't already thought of (and discounted)?
Thoughts, advice...

foxinsocks Mon 24-Aug-09 10:57:47


I assume that 2 hour commute is with everything working. Because when it doesn't work, it will take longer and will drive you mad. And 7-7, assumes 9 to 5 working and I'm guessing you won't always be able to guarantee a 5pm departure.

Now, if it is only a placement, so temporary, then maybe it's workable. But wouldn't think it would work on a permanent basis tbh. I am very commute intolerant though, I have to say. My commute (door to door) is about 70-80 mins and that drives me insane.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 24-Aug-09 11:01:42

How longs the placement?

I would consider this if there was an end in sight ie. less than 6 months and with the guarantee of a job/next placement closer to home.

Blackduck Mon 24-Aug-09 11:03:43

18 months in the first instance - no idea where the next 18 could be...
fox - I think I am probably commute intolerant too - an hour to an hour an half is my max I suspect....
god I am saying no here aren't I...

seeker Mon 24-Aug-09 11:08:31

Speaking as an ex Civil Servant fast streamer, I would careful about making plans based on being about to get away bang on 5 every day. And a 2 hour commute only needs a broken down train to become a 4 hour commute. Sorry to be so pessimistic!

Is there anywhere neared where you could do your placement? It's worth asking.

Blackduck Mon 24-Aug-09 11:15:05

seeker - no - tried that one...although dept has office in city I live in, their HR dept is elsewhere...

dollyparting Mon 24-Aug-09 16:32:04

To some extent it depends on how much you really, really want to do it. After all you can make almost anything possible of you want/need it badly enough.

If you do want to go for it, then you need to make the whole situation manageable for you.

I understand where seeker is coming from, but it can be easy to get sucked into a long hours culture. On another thread someone has commented that the most effective manager they know always leave work at 5pm. Don't start with the assumption that it is not possible.

Having had a job with a long commute, here are my thoughts - some of them might work for you:

- be very, very strict about leaving on time - no procrastinating or chatting at the end of the day
- become very organised so that mornings are not a hectic, stressful rush
- get all the domestic help you can so that your time at home can be spent with ds and dh
- work out ways of usefully using your commute time: reading wonderful books; sleeping (not if you are driving); tackling aspects of your work (especially if you can use a pc on your commute); reading documents that require concentration. Be deliberate and planned about how you use your time so it doesn't get wasted.
- get your employer to invest in as much home/remote working technology as you can.
- refuse to feel guilty (either at home or at work) - if it doesn't work out then leave, but feeling guilty is not going to help anyone.

I used to get up early and spend 10 minutes logged on to work and read all the email that had arrived after 5pm (reading it only, not answering anything). Then I would use an hour of my commute as dedicated thinking time to work out how to respond to things. When I arrived at work I could immediately get started with well-considered answers. Sometimes I viewed the commuting time as a luxury - not many of my colleagues could get that much uninterrupted space, and I believe it showed in the quality of our responses.

At one period when I had to commute by car - I got a dictaphone with a headset. I would dictate stuff for my PA while I was driving and by the time I arrived at work, a portion of my days work was already done.

Good luck with your decision

Blackduck Mon 24-Aug-09 17:03:09

Thanks dolly, I hear what you are saying about really wanting it and all that, but even when you do really want it if it means an unfeasiable amount of time out of the house that is obviously going to have an effect. I have actually just recieved the full T&Cs and they are not as flexible as I hoped (I HAVE to be in the office during set hours) this will actually mean leaving home around 6.30 which I think is just not managable. I simply would not see anything of ds.... If there was more flexibility this would be a different issue, and maybe just about doable. They have also stated that they have cocked up the salary and have revised it (downwards of course....). Back to the drawing board I think

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