Like it or love it, most of us have to work for a living. This is the place to commiserate with other cube-dwellers and get tips from other business travelers. Talk about how the daily grind will one day allow you to realize your vagabond dreams. Share tips for turning travel you have to do into travel you want to do.

Moral dilemma

Anna_

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Tags: moral dilemma, dilemma, guilt, career, job offer, leaving, replacement
  • Added on: January 7th, 2011
For 1,5 year now I've been freelancing (working only 1 day per week) and searching for a job. Now I have the opportunity of a job related to my study that I would like and that would look good on my resume.

But it's not the kind of job where you can easily be replaced. It's a small company, nice people, and it's a networking job, meaning that it'll probably take half a year or so for me to be worthy of my salary. In the job interview the boss indicated that he doesn't want someone for just a year or so, but for the really long term. I lied to his face saying that's fine with me, but it isn't. I want to save for a year and then travel for 6-12 months. And I want to travel a lot more after this, a career isn't really important to me.

So what do I do? Do I take the job or do I search for a job at a fastfood restaurant or something, where I won't feel bad about leaving? Ofcourse the study-related job pays more. So far I applied for a few jobs that don't require a study and I got turned down because I'm overqualified.

Anyone been in a similar situation? In how far would guilt towards a company matter to you when taking on a position? What would you do?

rhythm_blues

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  • Added on: January 7th, 2011
If you know full well that what you offer (a presumably conscientious worker for a year, who definitely doesn't want to stick around beyond that) isn't what they want, and what they offer (a long-term career that takes 6 months to get up to speed) isn't what you want, then I think you should keep looking. Or, be honest with them. Could you work for a while, take an unpaid leave of absence to travel, and then come back and continue working there again? Would you want to make that commitment, or do you really want to keep your plans open?

EMH

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2011
A couple of thoughts:

1) Remember that most companies want more loyalty from their employees than what they're willing to give in return. The company may run into financial problems and let you off even before you were planning to quit. Or they may decide you're not a good fit for the position. Beyond that, you have no idea what the job will really be like. You may end up hating it for a lot of different reasons. For example, the boss may seem like a good person during the interview but may turn out to be a jerk. Are you supposed to stick it out for 5-10 years because of some promise you made during the interview even if you're miserable? No one really knows what a job will be like until they start doing it. So generally speaking, I personally wouldn't be too concerned about what the boss wants.

2) On the other hand, if someday you might want/need a job recommendation from this company, then you'll have to think much harder about what you want to do.
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Cube Dreamer

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2011
This is always a tough one but, if I were choosing between this and a fast food (lower pay) restaraunt, I would definitely go for the resume building/ higher paid experience. In the long-run, even if not your highest priority, you should place a high emphasis on what is in your (rather than your employers) best interest. I have performed a lot of corporate interviews and can tell you that it is rare that employers fully disclose all their intentions during the process. They are always putting there interests first (which I do not necessarily disagree with). I agree with EMH that you could just as easily be let go prior to the year mark for a number of reasons. Also, even if it is short, a stronger job will ultimately pay more dividends to you with respect to your higher priority of travelling.

busman7

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  • Added on: January 21st, 2011
As a former small businessman & employer the last 2 responses sure tell why places like Walmart only hire part-time employees so they don't have to pay benefits to people who knowingly make false statements on job applications.

What goes around comes around!
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Beachcombers

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  • Added on: January 31st, 2011
Pass on the job......It's not fair on the employer.
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MilenaizLA

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  • Added on: February 3rd, 2011
If it were me, I would take the job.

I agree with the others who said that you could easily be laid off or fired if they don't like you at any time.
Just because they say that they prefer to keep you on for the long term, doesn't mean they are making you any promises.
And somebody mentioned that: "companies want more loyalty from their employees than what they're willing to give in return".
This is dead on.

Companies always have their own best interests in mind and you should do the same.

I say: Work hard, try to make it as beneficial as possible to them, keep your eye out for a qualified replacement, and when you are ready to leave, give plenty of notice, apologize, pretend like it was unplanned, offer to train a replacement and then get on with your life.

halfnine

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  • Added on: February 3rd, 2011
Anna_ wrote:Now I have the opportunity of a job related to my study that I would like and that would look good on my resume.

In the job interview the boss indicated that he doesn't want someone for just a year or so, but for the really long term. I lied to his face saying that's fine with me, but it isn't. I want to save for a year and then travel for 6-12 months. And I want to travel a lot more after this, a career isn't really important to me.


I see two contradictions here...

"job related to my study that I would like" yet "career isn't really important to me"
and
"that would look good on my resume" yet "lied to his face saying that's fine with me"

I would say that you can't have both parts of each of those statements simultaneously. If you lie to your employer then the job isn't going to look good on your resume. And if travel is more important to you than your career than having a job you would like related to your studies isn't going to be all that important in relative terms. Nor again would it then be all that important to have that job for your resume.

Life is long. As such, you'll have to figure out what is really in your best interest over the long term and whether you can or cannot afford to burn bridges.

Anna_

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2011
Thanks for the replies, you guys help me think about the issue.

MilenaizLA wrote:I say: Work hard, try to make it as beneficial as possible to them, keep your eye out for a qualified replacement, and when you are ready to leave, give plenty of notice, apologize, pretend like it was unplanned, offer to train a replacement and then get on with your life.


That's exactly what I'm thinking, just to give them my best in this time frame.

halfnine wrote:
I see two contradictions here...

"job related to my study that I would like" yet "career isn't really important to me"
and
"that would look good on my resume" yet "lied to his face saying that's fine with me"

I would say that you can't have both parts of each of those statements simultaneously. If you lie to your employer then the job isn't going to look good on your resume. And if travel is more important to you than your career than having a job you would like related to your studies isn't going to be all that important in relative terms. Nor again would it then be all that important to have that job for your resume.


The first one is not necessarily a contradiction. Travelling is my #1 priority in life, and I don't see (yet) why a career couldn't be #2. Some companies' desire to keep employees for the rest of their life or at least for decades is dated and doesn't have to be the best construction possible, even for the companies. And if noone tries to do things in a different way, things won't change. Since you have to work anyway to pay for travel, why wouldn't you make the best of the time spent on jobs? I.e. doing jobs you like, building experience and doing jobs that will lead to better jobs.

I do worry about my resume and having to explain quitting this job after a relatively small amount of time to possible future employers. But if I dedicate lots of energy to this job and pretend as if I only realised I want to travel after having signed the contract, I hope they won't think too bad of me.

I took the job by the way. I figured it's not fair to the employer to undisclose that my intentions are to work for them only short term, but it's not fair to myself to pass on this opportunity. I'm willing to do my best and go for it as long as the contract lasts. As others have said, they could still lay me off. And if I wouldn't have a passion for a travel, I'd probably work for them only a few years anyway, because the same job for the same employer for the rest of my life sounds dull to me. If I really like the job, maybe I'll consider offering them an unpaid leave of a half year or so.

Zuleika

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2011
Good for you!
I would have done the same. Who knows how you'll feel in a years time - you may love the job so much that you put off travelling for a year or 2 and it will defo have been so worth it.
People come and go all the time in employment - thats life.
Life is such an adventure, I can't wait to live it some more.

busman7

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  • Added on: February 6th, 2011
[quote="Anna_"

I do worry about my resume and having to explain quitting this job after a relatively small amount of time to possible future employers. But if I dedicate lots of energy to this job and pretend as if I only realised I want to travel after having signed the contract, I hope they won't think too bad of me.

If you really think an employer won't see through your ploy then you deserve the consequences. :(

Remember that your present employer, whom you lied to, will be writing the reference to any future employers. ;)

As I said "what goes around, comes around"! :seesaw:
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"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

2wanderers

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  • Added on: February 7th, 2011
busman7 wrote:Remember that your present employer, whom you lied to, will be writing the reference to any future employers. ;)
If her boss is a company owner, you might be right. But for people whose bosses are also employees, they won't hold the circumstances of your departure against you. They're playing the labour market to their best advantage, too.

I'd agree that staying a year after saying a longer term commitment isn't a problem will reflect poorly on you. But if you develop a good working relationship with your boss and coworkers, and do a good job, you should still get a good reference out of it.

busman7

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  • Added on: February 7th, 2011
Well Anna mentions 3 things "small company", "signed contract" & "I lied to his face".

Not conductive to getting a good reference IMO.

If I were writing the reference her good work (providing it is but kind of doubt that from a self confessed liar) would be mentioned but it would be overshadowed by the other factors.

Oh well it's a moot point now, she has made her bed & will have to lie in it.
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"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

KathrynD

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  • Added on: February 10th, 2011
Maybe she will love the job and decide to stay longer and just travel for shorter trips for a few years. Who knows?

I agree it's not right to lie. However, she took the job so she'll just have to see how she feels a year from now, perhaps she see it more from their side at that point and not want to leave them in the lurch?

I also see the point about the employers not always being truthful with us, the employees - I've certainly seen that way too much. That is of course, why people lose the guilt of lying to an employer. It's a shame we can't all be more truthful about our intentions.

I like to keep this in mind when I am making a moral choice: Reputation is what others think of you. Honor is what you think about yourself. Honor is the most important.

Anna_

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  • Added on: February 14th, 2011
busman7 wrote:
If you really think an employer won't see through your ploy then you deserve the consequences. :(

Remember that your present employer, whom you lied to, will be writing the reference to any future employers. ;)

As I said "what goes around, comes around"! :seesaw:


You make me feel bad but you are kind of right.

busman7 wrote:If I were writing the reference her good work (providing it is but kind of doubt that from a self confessed liar) would be mentioned but it would be overshadowed by the other factors.


I can and will do good work.

I don't really feel that bad about it anymore. One cannot see into the future. It's not like I don't want the job and the career and all, it's just that it's not my #1 priority.



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