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Advice please: 4 days a week job 1 hour away or 5 days 10 mins away

(27 Posts)
Auntybez Sat 24-Oct-20 08:01:55

Hi all, hoping for some advice please of which to choose. TIA for reading.

I am almost at the end of my year’s maternity leave for my first DC.
I have a job offer that would be <10 minutes from my house in the car or with two public transport options. The company I work at currently is an hour’s drive away (~50 miles - mainly A roads bar some city traffic,
no public transport options). I’m pretty certain my current company would give me a 4 day week if I was to ask. Also I know the job Inside out as I’ve been in it almost 4 years, there could be an opportunity for a promotion soon, lots to learn and it’s all very comfortable (Literally too - Desk based as well as nice colleagues and boss).

The new job will be physical work and obviously I won’t know anyone, the politics etc. It’s entry level so I’ll be starting from scratch again and promotion could be a long way off.

I’m feeling guilty about potentially being away from DC 5 days a week and being tired from a new, physical job and the thought of regretting leaving my current job. However the new job has flexi time and I could hopefully eventually apply for part time hours or term time working after I pass probation. Current job doesn’t have flexi so I would be getting home ~7pm most evenings. Likely missing bedtime. If I requested to change hours it may be granted so I could be home at 6 but I would need to leave house at 7 to be in work for 8.

Heart says to take the closer job as it will be easier for DC in the future and head says I’m mad to throw away the comfortable job especially with the job climate at the minute. Any advice appreciated, thanks.

OP’s posts: |
SarahSinuses Sat 24-Oct-20 08:09:02

Is it a possibility for you to become home-based at your current job? Or to move closer so your commute is less?

If not, and there is no difference in salary, being close to home might make things easier/less stressful having DC.

AutumnSummersBuffysCousin Sat 24-Oct-20 08:13:14

You would be nuts to move to a new role in the current climate. Stay in your current role, work your ass off 4 days a week and get promoted.You can enjoy three uninterrupted days with your DC and be on track to pay for all the things they’ll need when older and more expensive than when they’re babies.

TobblyBobbly Sat 24-Oct-20 08:15:48

Obviously it's your choice, but to me it sounds like a no-brainer and that you should stay in your current role.

TabbyStar Sat 24-Oct-20 08:16:21

The jobs sound quite different but you only mention hours and travel etc., which actual job interests you most?

BuffaloCauliflower Sat 24-Oct-20 08:19:50

Stay in your current role and go for that promotion, a much better long term plan.

You have the right to request flexitime arrangements whether your job usually has that or not, it’s the law, and if they say no they need a good business reason why. This year has also turned normal working on its head in many places, so you might be able to get more flexibility than you think too. Perhaps a 4 day week with 1-2 day’s working from home as well? You never know. If you’re good at your job and dedicated employers will often be more willing to make things work for you.

Don’t give up on on your chances of progression to start again at the bottom for a sake of a few more hours a week at home, which you might not even get if you’re still working 5 days a week!

KnobJockey Sat 24-Oct-20 08:34:47

I think if you can definitely drop a day, I would stay in your current job. I'm recently back off maternity, and honestly, it's hard enough getting back to grips with something I've done for 5 years and can do in my sleep, never mind learning something new.

Auntybez Sun 25-Oct-20 06:18:10

Thanks for all the advice everyone smile - really appreciate it!

I think my original post really bigged-up my current job. It hasn’t been without its problems over the years - previous psycho boss, bullying.

I should have said that my new job offer is public sector ‘job for life’ while my current job is in the private sector. There are far more benefits with the new job (contractual maternity pay, more holidays, better pension, etc ). Also once you’re in if you are unhappy you can request to switch to a new section. The recruitment process took over one year and had a massive pool of applicants and several stages of elimination - with it being a job-for-life there is so much competition. All factors making me think I should take the plunge as the opportunity to apply doesn’t come around often.

I think my mind is stuck on “is the grass greener” or “better the devil you know” confused

OP’s posts: |
charlieclown Sun 25-Oct-20 06:20:34

Do you want to give more info on what sector? What is a job for life in this sense?

charlieclown Sun 25-Oct-20 06:21:21

Also what are the financials? Could you request 3 days a week at current job? And 3 or 4 at New job?

borageforager Sun 25-Oct-20 06:22:43

Is the new job some sort of civil service grad scheme?

Qwertywerty3 Sun 25-Oct-20 06:29:36

Being 10 mins from home sounds much better to me. So does the idea of a job for life (whatever that actually means).

Commuting an hour each way sounds exhausting, especially when you have a small child to look after. And what happens if you want to have another baby? It sounds like the new job would be a lot more accommodating of that.

It’s easy to stick with what you know but you just have really wanted this new role to have gone through a year long recruitment process. I think you should take the leap.

pumpkinpie01 Sun 25-Oct-20 06:29:37

Presumably your dc will go to nursery/school near to home , if you ever got a call needing to collect them as they were ill/had an accident being 10 mins away is going to be better/less stressful than an hour. I would go for the bearer job (But I'm biased as I'm a 10 min walk from work ,I can't imagine an hours commute every day. )

IRememberSoIDo Sun 25-Oct-20 06:29:49

What sort of home set up do you have in terms of family? My biggest concern with a new role would be that the first year after maternity leave can be very hard particularly if you have a baby in a Creche catching everything. Do you have other family members to shoulder that burden so you're not the one having to ring in every time something is wrong? I ask as at least where you're known you've already proven yourself but in a new role you're an unknown. The first year after I had my eldest my dh and I nearly cracked up as she caught every dose going and we were constantly in and out. Thankfully his was a family company so as time went on he was able to be the one to stay home first. That company shut just as I was going back to work after my second child so dh was a stay at home dad for a few years. Financially it was tough but my stress levels were much lower as a) she didn't get sick as much and b) it didn't mean constantly having to ring in taking leave at no notice etc.

ivykaty44 Sun 25-Oct-20 06:53:25

I’ve worked in public sector and been redundant twice... it’s not a job for life

BessieSurtees Sun 25-Oct-20 06:55:48

Is there such a thing as a job for life? So far the only advantage of the second job seems to be the commute, but you sacrifice a day at home for that commute? There are other variables that you haven’t mentioned.

Do you have a partner and what is their input, childcare costs and salaries could make a difference. If you are desk based can you do any of the work from home to save travel? Public sector are particularly keen on having employees at home where they can.

It also depends what support you have at home, will your DH be there with DC doing bedtime routine for the 4 nights you miss and sharing the load? Will your shorter commute actually result in you doing more at home?

Parkandride Sun 25-Oct-20 07:46:29

Do you know there's been no change to work from home set up in current job while you've been off? It you wanted to drop a day, then do even a day wfh then the commute seems less drastic. Plus more chance of promotion etc. I think I'd stay where I was but it would depend what the career path and salaries in the new job are like

averythinline Sun 25-Oct-20 10:45:13

Job 2 ...being close is great benefit as is public sector...
Commuting is rubbish with young dc

dooratheexplorer Sun 25-Oct-20 21:14:55

Tell us about the new job....

NHS?
Healthcare Assistant?

WisestIsShe Sun 25-Oct-20 21:20:09

My first thought was that 4 days with 1 hour commute each way was the same hours as a 5 day week? Also it's expensive to travel so far so frequently. Does the further away job pay enough more to cover the travel expenses? I prefer 5 short days to 4 long.

Divebar Sun 25-Oct-20 21:33:25

I have a 3 day weekend and it’s great. I would be tempted to stay with the old employer - particularly if there was an opportunity to WFH for a day too.

Auntybez Tue 27-Oct-20 05:45:57

Thanks again for all the advice - all good food for thought smile

New job would be in the civil service so you’re well taken care of in terms of benefits and it’s renowned for having an excellent work-family-life balance helped by flexitime. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t ask for a reduced week until I passed my probation (one year). My current job has moved to 2/3 days a week wfh with the pandemic. I’m unsure how it would work with the new job as it’s a job you couldn’t do everyday from home (at a stretch I would guess maybe 1 day a week for paperwork).

I would save ~3k a year on fuel and car maintenance if I was to leave my current job. This makes the salaries work out pretty much the exact same, when I factor in costs to travel to new job.

My DH can wfh and his office is local and boss is very flexible so he would be able to pick up DC if something were to happen at nursery. I thankfully have family close by too who could help if one or both of us couldn’t get away.

OP’s posts: |
SarahSinuses Wed 28-Oct-20 08:50:27

If you have the potential to wfh 2/3 days a week long term in your current job you'd only be commuting 1/2 days a week.

Could you ask your employer if that's a possibility long term? If yes, I would stay in that job personally.

Hope you can make the best decision for you smile

Debradoyourecall Thu 29-Oct-20 03:28:41

It sounds like you have done very well to get this new job offer with the long recruitment process. It sounds like it has a lot of benefits.

I think only you can decide what’s best but either way you have a great set up with your partner working from home and family nearby to help. Don’t feel guilty whatever decision you make, your baby is likely to cope fine and make friends at nursery x

Aurorie11 Tue 17-Nov-20 21:50:21

Ha ha civil service work life balance and job for life. I regularly do more hours with no flexi for years and in the process of being made redundant in weeks from civil service.

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