Last time I wrote about the way things lie at work, I posed the question ‘Why not change my job?’ Yes, this is a question that I wrestle with constantly. There are three reasons that keep me in this job right now:
Firstly, one of the biggest benefits for working for my current company is that I now work remotely for them. I used to work in the Minneapolis office when I first started. When my husband retired, we decided to move out to Utah so that we could see the grandchildren grow up. We knew that money would be tight and if we continued to live in Minnesota, then we would only be able to afford to go out to Utah maybe every other year. We so wanted to be a part of grandchildren’s lives.
So we decided to take a leap of faith and move. If my company didn’t keep me on, the plan was for me to temp and get a permanent position that way. In Minnesota, there are staffing agencies that will place you into a permanent position for a fee to the employer. However, in Utah, they don’t have those types of agencies and prefer a temp-to-hire situation so that the companies here can see if you are a good fit.
I approached my boss’ boss and let her know of our plans and whether she would like me to continue with the company as a remote employee since I had incorporated process improvements in my job so that there was no paper involved and I could do the whole thing on the computer. She took it up with her boss who agreed to let me work remotely for three months so that we could get on our feet with a new home and a job in Utah.
We sold our house in Minnesota in a day to a cash buyer and had to be out in three weeks. We moved into our daughter’s basement temporarily and put most of our stuff in storage until we found a place to live. After being in Utah for three weeks, the Chief Financial Officer left the company and my boss’ boss called me to ask if I would like to stay on permanently. We were thrilled. Now knowing that I had permanent job, we looked for a house.
It is a wonderful commute to my office. I love working from home. I am really focused; don’t get distracted; except for the past year, I didn’t have to put up with office politics; and I am more productive.
The second reason for not changing my job is the financial aspect. There is quite a large salary disparity between the two states of Minnesota and Utah although the standard of living is no different. In fact, food and petrol seems more expensive here. The price of Minnesota housing dropped significantly from 2006 through 2014. We lost most of our equity in our house. Utah’s property prices actually remained stable during that time. My husband and I haven’t quite worked out why such young people out here in Utah can afford these expensive houses. We certainly couldn’t. There is a high propensity of women staying at home with their children here too. Most couples have two cars. In the States, it is not easy to get around without a vehicle. You can’t really walk to the shops.
Everything is so big and spacious. Unlike England, the bus services and train services are not as prevalent. In Minnesota, for example, I didn’t even know where the train station was and never saw any signs to it, if it existed. So unlike hopping on a train to get from Fareham to York, I have no idea how one would get on the cross country trains out here. In Minnesota, for one job, I used to take a bus downtown, but it’s not like you could get on a bus and easily go from one town to another. I found the system very hard to navigate. So since my husband is now retired, my salary is important for us to pay the bills. Doing a similar job in Utah would reduce my salary by almost half.
The final reason for trying to stick this job out, is because this type of conflict will follow me around. I have experienced this before in a couple of jobs out here. I do really well in my job for a few years and then another element (person) is introduced to the mix and I get targeted. So there is something in me that really wants to try and make this work. After a few more instances of poor communication and being left out of the loop the past couple of weeks, I’m not sure if I will succeed, but I want to give it one more chance. However, the relationships are pretty shot and I’m not sure if they are repairable. I feel that I no longer have any trust with the people involved and I don’t know how to rectify that since in my perspective, trust has to be earned.
(First published in Spanish Views on 3rd April, 2018)