Personal, job-related conundrum

Good evening all

I am in an absolute conundrum and I just don’t know what to do. I’m aware no one can give me the answer but I need some guidance.

I resigned from my job and found another job. It is in a different sector.

The reason I’m leaving my current job, is because the areas I look after are quite a significant distance from me and the expectation to visit them is increasing, previously it has been manageable but this will change. The rest of the time I work from home. The distance to travel is approx 3.5-4 hours each way (in a day or overnight stays) which is a challenge to me with children

My new job is closer to home, working from home , occasional office visits for meetings etc.

Since resigning my line manager has offered me a multitude of options such as saying I can only travel in certain days, offering to change areas (albeit the closest areas are still some distance from me) she has made it clear she does not want to lose me

I absolutely do not know what to do. I like my job, but some part of me wishes for a new challenge. My current job is very flexible and I’m not sure I will have the same degree of flexibility. I have a degree of ‘protection’ in my job and I will be the new person in my new job. I like the idea of a new sector and new challenges but I also like familiarity and have great relationships where I work now. I would feel terrible to have accepted my new job to then withdraw, likewise, my role hasn’t been replaced but a more junior member in my current company is going to be acting up, it’s likely they’d have some opportunities still but it won’t be a full acting up, however has I said my line manager has made it very clear ahead of would do what it takes to make me stay.

I really don’t know what to do, I don’t want to let anyone down. I don’t know what’s best for me. The new job could be great but I could lose all the flexibility I need with having a small family. , but I could stay in my job and not be happy in a few months as I still struggle with having to travel more frequently and further than I’d like.

Any words of wisdom or advice . Honestly my brain thinks one thing one day and something the next to the point I almost don’t want either job now

  • Did you current employer offer you any degree of flexibility before you resigned? Did they show any interest in the fact that they were asking you to make such a long commute? Did you try to engage them in that conversation only to be given vague assurances but nothing concrete?

    First up, if you were struggling but never raised it, then that's a little on you. But assuming you did try to raise it but got no joy, then you should take their current panic in that context. An employer who waits until someone has resigned to respond to their needs isn't one who is likely to stick to any agreement made, essentially, under duress, so you should have no qualms in thanking them for their offer but continuing with your move.

    Even if you didn't raise it, well, sure, you should have. But a good employer should be anticipating that they might be asking too much of their employees and at the very least check in with them and give them a chance to say if they are struggling.
  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    18 Dec, 2023 09:33

    Hi Susan, just reading your post makes me wonder, what makes you think the new job won't offer you the flexibility you need? You say 'My new job is closer to home, working from home, occasional office visits for meetings etc'. Which sounds quite flexible :) Perhaps have another chat with the team there to reassure yourself. Also maybe set yourself a timeline, say you'll try it for 2024 and see how you get on then reconsider your options...?
  • If i am struggling with a big decision like this, I tend to write the options on pieces of paper and draw one out of a hat.

    This sounds a very dodgy way of making decisions, but I do it to find out how I feel when I see the option I picked, and don't always stick to the one I picked out. If I feel relived or happy, when I see what I've chosen then, I can be fairly confident that that is actually what I do really want to do. Conversely, if I feel disappointed, then I know that deep down, what I really want to do is the other option.

    Good luck with whichever option you go for
  • In reply to Robey:

    Years of recruitment taught me approximately 50% of people who take a counter offer to stay are looking again within 6mths.

    Either they remember why they wanted to leave (and all the shiny promises have failed to materialise) or they have been used to train up a replacement (usually in the guise of - we will give more more or less of X please train y so they can cover that bit for you) and then managed out
  • In reply to Ian:

    Agree with Ian, the reasons you want to leave rarely go away in full if you stay.

    My last two roles I've resigned from both times I was asked what could have been done for me to stay and my answer was usually in some form of ""all the things I told you about X months ago". I've sometimes felt that as HR we're often expected to fix our own issues/grievances but some things are not within our scope to fix.

    If as Robey said you've flagged all the reasons you're now choosing to leave to your manager previously and they're only now looking to fix them then they're in panic mode. But ultimately only you can decide and I do quite like Teresa's approach to this :)

    Please keep us updated and hopefully you can reach a decision that's best for you.
  • In reply to Ian:

    The research backs you up, Ian. 3-6 months is typically the longest a business can retain someone with a counter-offer. Because it's almost never about the money and almost always about the people and conditions.
  • In reply to Robey:

    Bear in mind you will be highly unlikely to ever find the "perfect" job... so it's about weighing up what's most important to you, what's a deal breaker etc.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    19 Dec, 2023 08:49


    Thanks for sharing this with the Community. Good to see you're receiving some very sound and thoughtful advice above. 

    I've moved your thread to the Careers Clinic