This is not the post I had scheduled, but I need to draw on the collective wisdom of the PF blogosphere. Is workplace loyalty an outdated concept?
A Short History
18 months ago, I left my job for the one I’m now in. My previous job was part-time, 5 minutes from home, and reasonably paid on an ongoing contract basis. I enjoyed it, and still have a good relationship with the business, but for various reasons it was time for me to move on.
My “new” job is full-time, and takes about 1 hour door-to-door. You can see how I spend my hours in my Day in the Life post. I was employed to help the local rollout of a larger networked information system, due to go live in July 2016. Unsurprisingly this has been constantly delayed (at the higher level, nothing to do with me!) and the latest go-live estimate is March 2018. This job is better paid than my last, permanent, and has opportunities for advancement. I enjoy where I work, and what I do, but I don’t particularly enjoy the travel, and I especially don’t enjoy working full-time.
I Set A Goal
Once I realised this, I set myself a goal. When we achieved what I’d been employed to do, I would support the system for 6-12 months, then look for part-time opportunities. I really want to return to part-time work. It’s like sitting in the pointy end of the plane. Once you’ve done it, do you want to return to cattle-class? (OK, yes, PF/FIRE people do want cattle class. Have you seen the price of those tickets?!) Still, hopefully you understand what I mean.
Since I’ve started on the FI journey, I’ve identified so many things I’d like to try, as well as some old activities I’d like to pick up again. I really feel restricted in what I can do with the amount of time I currently have, while still having a life.
We discovered FI late enough that it’s not worth it to us to knuckle down to be finished in 10 years. Already our bodies are beginning to break down, so we want to leave ourselves opportunities to enjoy life now while still saving for the future. We’ll never be this young or healthy again!
I have actually told work of my long-term plans. Unfortunately the the chances of working part-time or job sharing in my current role are little to none. I was at peace with that, happy to complete my task, then move on when the time came. This is unusual in my workplace. When I started meeting people, I often heard phrases similar to “I haven’t been here long, only 8 years”. Culturally, 20 – 30 year careers are seen as the norm.
A few days ago, Mr. ETT told me about a local job that seemed to match my skill set. I like to keep an eye on what the market is looking for, so I checked it out. It sounded like a good job, but full-time. Not interested.
Then on the same page, I saw another job. Local, part-time, paying an entire grade level higher than I’m currently getting. I meet each one of the criteria, and it sounds like interesting work. Different to what I’m doing now, but something I would also enjoy.
The thing is, this is 12 months too early. The thought of abandoning my current workplace is… I can barely think about it. I’m not overstating my importance here. I’m a small cog. However we are getting to a critical point in the project, and if I were to leave now, it could impact preparation activities that might reduce the level of successful implementation. By the time they manage to recruit and bring that person up to speed, it would be getting to go-live time (unless there’s another delay).
Also, recently I was successful in obtaining a 13 week secondment to do Business Analysis work. There’s another post on that, but some of my colleagues and managers really supported me when I was going for the position. If I were to leave, it feels like I am throwing their efforts back into their faces.
I also believe there will always be another job. That by articulating my goals, I’m open to seeing opportunities as they arise. Is that enough to let this one pass by, though?
Is Workplace Loyalty Important Enough?
I’ve got a permanent job that I enjoy. I feel like I am lucky in this respect, and should be grateful. But have I been conditioned to think this way? Am I buying in to external values set by society? Isn’t moving away from this type of thinking part of being a non-conformist? As an aside, my current pay level is spot on the average Australian wage. It’s also the highest I’ve ever earned in nearly 30 years of working. This is despite having a Bachelors, Masters and Graduate Certificate. I’m beginning to see where Mr. Groovy is coming from regarding his views on modern education practices.
I wasn’t sure about posting this before I’ve even applied. After all, I may not even reach interview stage. Then there’s a good possibility that a better candidate will get the job. Am I wasting time worrying about a situation that may not happen? This feels so significant to me, however, that I think I need time to process and prepare just in case.
For the record, Mr. ETT is telling me to go for it. He gleefully pointed out that if our roles were reversed, I’d be telling him to pursue it. That’s true, but I’m still uncertain. Guess it’s a case of do as I say, not as I do! He knows me best. He knows what will make me happy. I respect his opinion so will start the application process. But what do I do if I’m offered the job?
What do you think? Should loyalty to my company be a consideration in this case? In any case? Have you ever taken loyalty into consideration?
Or am I simply worrying too much, too early?