Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What If

I've got a good job, I think.  I enjoy what I do and I do it well.  It's the job I wanted for many years, starting at the absolute bottom and slowing working my way up before I landed the latest promotion last December.  I haven't had this job all that long.  Shortly after I started, I was told that my boss would be retiring in three years and that she was going to "groom" me to replace her.  Her role is pretty much my end game - I have no aspirations above that.

Organization shuffles are about to happen, and we're told that - most likely - my boss will be laid off.  Somebody else will absorb her role and he has no plans to retire.  While my job won't change much with the new boss, the short term plans for my next promotion will be off the table with no other room to move up.  In addition to that, we're all dealing with staff shortages, hiring freezes, pay freezes, benefit and pension cuts.  (Makes you wonder what we're staying for, eh?)  Even better, it is looking highly likely that we'll all be unionized in the next few months.  Nobody wants this.  It will mean bigger cuts to our benefits, a loss of one week of vacation/year, less freedom to move within positions and a 1.5% percentage cut of each our salaries.  We get no say or vote about this.

Last week, somebody in a role quite different and at a slightly lower pay grade from mine quit his job and left a big gap.  It's a critical role, and they're going to have to find a way to replace him, even if it means giving up the FTE elsewhere.  A thought started to niggle at the back of my mind, and I wondered but didn't really let myself think about it - what if I did that job instead of mine?

I could do it.

It would be a higher profile job that regularly deals with directors and executives, where I usually deal with people on the front lines.  There's no more room to move up from this role either, but it would be a new skill to add to my resume.  The pension/benefit/union/hiring/pay freeze issues will still be an issue.  I'd be the newbie who doesn't entirely know what she's doing, where as right now I'm the expert. It would involve being on call 24/7, which I've tried to avoid throughout my entire career.  I'd get less pay.  Because of the hiring freeze (and because my current role is lower profile) my boss would not be able to replace me unless she poached from another team.  I know without a doubt that she's be mad at me if I left - and since she's an amazing boss and I care what she thinks, that's big.   And yet... the job is calling my name.

The job was posted today.  I was approached about applying.  I said I'd think about it.  In the meantime, I agreed to start training.  The position requires coverage 24/7, so even if I decide not to apply, I can dip my toes in the pool and help fill in when whoever ends up in the position is tied up, busy or sick.


  1. Very interesting. Don't you wish we had a crystal ball? Good luck with your decision!

  2. You know what you want to do, so go do it.