A reader writes:
I took a job that I am not well suited for, but have done just satisfactorily elsewhere in the past. But personality conflict with my manager and my resistance to working hours that would eliminate any work / life balance ended up leading to my demotion.
I'm concerned that I've been irreparably labeled at this company. I am fairly uncomfortable there. I've had a successful phone interview with another company and my interview with the hiring manager is Monday. This position would be a much better fit for me, but the economy has been tough for a while and although this new company (it's a large company) has remained pretty successful, they had some salaried layoffs a year ago and could always end up facing more if the weak economy drags on (especially weak in my region).
I'm a strong match for the new position and its culture and I interview pretty well, so I think I have a good chance of getting an offer. Do you think I'd be better off pursuing the new opportunity or riding things out in my current situation until we have a stronger, more stable economy?
I'd say pursue the new position. You're in a job where (a) you aren't well-suited for the work, (b) you have a personality conflict with your manager, (c) you disagree about the number of hours you should work, and (d) you've already been demoted. This situation is not good. In fact, not only should you pursue the position you're interviewing for, but you should likely conduct a full-scale job search.
While the new company had lay-offs a year ago, your current situation is so precarious that it's certainly no better than a company with lay-offs a year ago and may in fact be worse. Of course, do your due diligence on this new company; do research into and ask about their financial outlook and so forth. And if the information you find doesn't make you confident, you may want to look at other options instead. But by all means, actively work to leave your current position.