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06/21/2005: "should I stay or should I go?"

I just can't help it.  The longer I work where I am, the less incentive I find for me to stay.  The only reason I can see that the coffin hasn't been firmly nailed shut for a few weeks is that there is the slight possibility that the president (the one who actually hired me) may have plans for me above and beyond the mundanity that I'm currently immersed in.  I somehow doubt it, however.

Thus, the question must be asked: Should I stay, or should I go? It's audience participation time - my wife wants your opinion.

First, a little about why I'm increasingly wanting to leave.

When I got the employee handbook, I took a read through it (as I was supposed to do) and found a little piece of treasure - the tuition refund program.  "Wow," I thought, "They will actually refund tuition if you take some classes!  Great!"  I wasn't under the delusion that they'd be refunding the $10k that I was looking at shelling out for the Masters program I wanted, but I figured that even a partial refund would be nice.  What I kind of glossed over at the time was the clause that each position in the company has a job description associated with it, and each of these job descriptions has a pre-approved list of classes or courses that are eligible for the tuition refund program.

Well, that's easy enough to deal with - I e-mailed the HR manager and asked to see the job description that I would likely be working under, and the list of pre-approved courses that went along with it.  That's where this golden nugget of a benefit turned into a lump of fool's gold.  The job description for my co-workers - Mechanical Engineering Technician - has only two courses approved for tuition refunds.  One is an in-house course on 3-D CAD (which I certainly do not need), which doesn't cost anything anyways.  The second is a jig and fixture design course, but apparently it's been included in the 2-year technician program, and thereby isn't really necessary anymore.  Summary: there is no tuition refund for that job description.

So in the space of an hour, a nice little benefit that was in the "pros" column for this company violently swung into the "cons" column.

This contract is going to die the death of 1000 cuts. Micromanagement, poor interpersonal skills, no clear focus, petty management... we're at 950 cuts and rising fast. So the question I ask to you (no, really - my wife REALLY DOES want to hear your opinions) is simple: should I stay or should I go?

If I go, I'm not leaving into an empty void. The company that I was contracting through previously has been after me for quite a while, and is actively marketing me to their clients. So there is demand for my services. What I'd be giving up by leaving is the chance for a full-time position (which I don't really want anymore), a company that's close to home (no more rollerblading to work), and a position doing work that I actually like and want to do.

Something else to consider... I may not want a full-time position. If I am going back to school full-time in the fall (my application is already under consideration for the full-time program) then I'll have to ditch whatever job it is I have at the time. Leaving a contract will be easy... leaving a full-time position and saying, "I'll be back in 10 months" might not be so nice. So until at least September, contracting is definitely the way I should be going.

But now, over to you. Express yourself, let us know what you think about my situation. I'm looking forward to it.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Tuesday, June 21st, Bob said

It's clear that you don't like your current job. You should not stay there. However, I'm reminded of the expression involving a bird in the hand. The leads provided by your contracting company and the possible school in the fall are both tentative, while the job you've got puts food on the table. I would suggest sticking the job out until the fall (if it doesn't kill you), to see if the school thing pans out. If it doesn't, you can quit your job anyway, but you'll have had a few months to secure your next gig.

Meanwhile, I suspect that your current work would be more tolerable with the days numbered.


on Wednesday, June 22nd, Robert Hahn said

+1 Bob. Wait until you have something to move to.

on Wednesday, June 22nd, mike said


From the Latin, Ibidum, which means "that which comes before".

Get closer with your contracting company and tell them you're interested in going elsewhere. When you jump ship, you'll have a lifeboat ready to take you to the next ship.

on Wednesday, June 22nd, mike said

if I go it will be trouble....

if I stay it will be double...

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