A reader writes:
I have a temporary job working for a federal government agency as a clerk. I have been offered a promotion. The new position would raise my salary from $30,000 to $38,000. Accepting the position would require moving from the large city I currently live in to a much smaller place about 300 miles away. I have never been there and know no one who lives there. The person I would report to is a jerk. I am not sure I could do the job. It would be a challenge. Both jobs, the one I have now and the one I would move to, are temporary and would last about a year.
Reasons to take the new position: (1) More money (2) Better job title (3) One year in the new job would allow me to compete for better jobs with the federal government in the future. (4) Could lose credibility with current management if I decline.
Reasons not to take it: (1) New boss is a jerk (2) Not sure I would like the job (3) Expense of moving (4) Not familiar with the new town I would live in (moving from metro area of 4 million to a city with 100,000 population)
Should I accept the new job?
I can't answer this for you because ultimately it's about what weight you put on each of these factors, but I can point some things out that you should consider as you make your decision:
* Since the new position only lasts a year, are you only planning to stay in the new town for that year and then move again? If so, are you comfortable with a second move so soon after the first?
* You're not sure you could do well at the new job. If you fail at it, how will having a professional failure affect your career outlook afterwards?
* You're not sure you will like the new job, and you already dislike your new boss. So you'll be living in a town where you don't know anyone, with a boss you dislike, and a job that might not be your thing.
* On the other hand, it's only for a year. Are you someone who can stick out a less-than-ideal situation for the pay-off at the end? And how sure are you about that pay-off at the end?
* Are there other ways to advance your career in the ways that you want without making this particular move? Is this really the only available path to get you there?
As for losing credibility if you decline the move, people decline to move to new cities all the time. If your boss doesn't understand that, he's an ass anyway.
Looking at the factors above, it's not a move I personally would make. But it all depends on how you weigh the issues above, not me.
What do others think?