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#1 Edited by matoya (775 posts) -

Hi friends,

I'm currently in a bit of a predicament. I am a teaching assistant at school, and I work a 26 hour week. It's not the best pay, but it's about £800 a month and that's enough to live on. I love the job, I really like the people I work with, and I adore the children in the class I'm in. There's a few problems though, however minor they are. At the moment, I walk 2.5 miles a day to work, each way. That in itself isn't to bad, but it's really cold, wet, and muddy where I live at the moment, and those walks to and from work can feel like a bit of a death march. Another problem is that 7 of my work hours are doing outside dinner duty. Again, it's not the worst, but it's standing outside for 90 minutes a day in the bitter cold making sure nobody gets hurt. Naturally, both of these problems will ease up as the year goes on, with it getting warmer, but at the moment, it's pretty miserable.

Now, I still get job updates from the local council because I signed up when I was unemployed. I got an email through this morning with a job opportunity that seems too good to pass up on. It's a 34 hour a week contract, naturally 8 hours more than my current contract. It's on a direct bus route from my house, which means I can get the bus straight to school, and there's no dinner duty, which means no standing around for hours outside. I know the school already, it's one I did my TA training at. I volunteered there for 18 months, so they know me there, and I built up pretty good relationships with everyone there.

But I can't seem to pull the trigger on this one. I fucking LOVE the school I'm at at the moment. The teacher I'm currently working with probably the best I've ever worked with, and I get on really well with the rest of the staff, and I've built up a pretty good relationship with the children that I work with every day.

But despite this, I know the newer job would be absolutely perfect. Outside of all the little "pros" that I've already outlined, I'd finally make enough money to move out of my parents house. Now don't get me wrong, it's great here. I get on well with my family, and they have no intent to kick me out. But the thought of being able to get that independence and finally move out is mighty appealing.

I spoke to a couple of friends about this situation last night, and I think the biggest thing holding me back is a sense of guilt I've placed on myself. I've only been at my current job for about 6 months, so I feel like I'd be slapping them in the face by leaving for a job with better hours and pay. Like I said, I get on really well with everyone here, so that's not a problem. I just see this newer job as such an opportunity. It's better pay per hour, and it's a lot more hours in total. For TA's, it's pretty much the gold standard- anything over 30 hours.

I feel super nervous about explaining to my current headteacher that I'm applying for a new job. What if I don't get it? What will the people I'm currently working with think of me then? Won't they see me as a bit of a traitor- someone who left the job because something better came up. I'm super nervous that if I do apply, people will find out and "fall out" with me.

What would you guys do in my situation? Would you take the risk and go for the better paying job, knowing what you do? Would you rock the boat a little and take that risk? Or just buckle down at my current job where I'm happy

Thanks

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#2 Posted by Shindig (4831 posts) -

If you don't get it, no damage done.

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#3 Posted by Sinusoidal (3608 posts) -

£3200 a month isn't enough to move out of your parents' house? Ouch.

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#4 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

£3200 a month isn't enough to move out of your parents' house? Ouch.

I make 800, not 3200

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#5 Edited by Sinusoidal (3608 posts) -

@matoya said:

It's not the best pay, but it's about £800 a week ...

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#6 Posted by James_ex_machina (1067 posts) -

I have a job I love but I would leave for more money under the right circumstances. The circumstances would be things like the commute, hours, benefits, reputation of the company, and others things. It's a tough choice. I've worked at places I loved the job and hated the owner and environment. My last job had lots of freedom but terrible management. I went in when I wanted and left when I was done, OT if I wanted it, occasionally worked from home. Listened to podcast in my huge office all day. Wore my jeans with holes in them. The bad was not only management but the environment was all about backstabbing each other and getting yelled at. I found peace in situation by sticking to a small group of friends there and doing a good job. My last few years there I moved to a new department with a boss who couldn't keep anyone because they couldn't handle her. We hit it off as friends and I understood what was expected in this new role. She had my back and ended one of my favorite bosses ever while others hate her. We are still friends and stay in contact. When I started my new job I wanted to handle things differently so I started myself on a no gossip or negativity at work rule. When people gather in a huddle to bitch about others I say hey I have work and walk away. I stay positive and it's working. I've received one ok raise the first year then 2 big raises DURING my second year. On Fridays after "work" the owner and some department heads and me gather in a room and tell stories and drink beer for an hour or two. Its the best place I've ever worked but yes I would leave for the right amount and circumstances. Just remember to leave any job on good terms because you always want to keep those doors open.

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#7 Posted by Busto1299 (250 posts) -

Go for it. It's always kind of sucky to leave a job you love, but when opportunity knocks, open the door. And hey, Good Luck Duder!!

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#8 Posted by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

Why not get a bike instead of walking?

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#9 Edited by matoya (775 posts) -

@matoya said:

It's not the best pay, but it's about £800 a week ...

Sorry, I meant to say £800 a month. I'll ammend the OP

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#10 Posted by Naoiko (1674 posts) -

That really is a tough choice. More money vs being happy. Well I mean it is possible that you'd enjoy the new job too. I would at least be sure to not burn any bridges with your first job if you leave. That way if one day you ever want to go back the door won't be closed. If your religious I'd say pray on it. If not..well that's the best advice I can offer. As someone who has left jobs for a similar reason (and moved across the country) sometimes it works out good. I wish you luck duder!

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#11 Posted by AndyC80 (57 posts) -

Yes

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#12 Edited by Sinusoidal (3608 posts) -

@matoya said:
@sinusoidal said:

@matoya said:

It's not the best pay, but it's about £800 a week ...

Sorry, I meant to say £800 a month. I'll ammend the OP

S'alright. I genuinely did not know if the situation was that bad with the Pound.

As a forty year-old who has had a lot of different jobs, satisfaction always tops money. Unless it's a ridiculous amount of money. I'm a teacher too, (so there's never a ridiculous amount of money :-( ) and having a staff you get along with and kids whose names you've learned really makes it feel worthwhile. That said, there's joy to be found in getting to know a new group of kids and co-workers. At least until they turn out to be racist or incompetent. Which has happened to me. The joys of teaching ESL in Asia.

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#13 Posted by deactivated-5a0917a2494ce (1350 posts) -

Here's the thing, you don't know what's going to happen at this new place. I'm not sure how old you are but even if things turn out poorly, you'll find a new job that you may like, and for more money. Taking a risk is worth it, especially because you sound young.

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#14 Posted by DinosaurCanada (938 posts) -

Unless I had a family I probably wouldn't.

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#15 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

Here's the thing, you don't know what's going to happen at this new place. I'm not sure how old you are but even if things turn out poorly, you'll find a new job that you may like, and for more money. Taking a risk is worth it, especially because you sound young.

I'm 28, so pretty young

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#16 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (1180 posts) -

A 2.5 mile walk to work forward and back sounds miserable to me...no bike or car? What are your goals in life? Do you want to be a TA forever? At some point I assume you'd want to move on.

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#17 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7470 posts) -

I would try for the new job, and let someone else have the experience of joy you had at the old job. You have to keep hustling early in life, keep moving and improving your situation. Go for the new job!

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#18 Edited by BelowStupid (495 posts) -

So long as you're sure you won't hate your new job I say go for it. I'm 26 and I just got a new job two months ago that will allow me to finally move out of my parents place . After staying with my parents for almost 4 years with a entry level job that didn't pay well I realized that you only have so much time to make a living so you need to take every reasonable opportunity you can take to better your life.

Also no one at you current job will be upset with you if you take a new one with more money, and better commute conditions. If anyone thinks less of you for trying to make more money, and trying to grow up and live on your own, and be an independent adult is simply an asshole you don't need in your life.

I don't know how it works with schools, or the UK in general but I wouldn't tell anyone you're applying to a new job b/c that may cause turbulence in between your interview and finding out if you got the new job. Honestly it will suck to do it, but the most you owe your current job is a few weeks notice if you do get this one, that's just business, opportunities don't wait.

Good luck if you try to go for it!

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#19 Posted by deactivated-58ca104190dca (324 posts) -

Apply for the new position, if you're not successful no big deal you've got a job you like already, but if you're offered it then you've got to make the choice.

With your current position is there the possibility it could turn into something more permanent? You spent 18 months at the other school so you've already got a pretty decent idea about what you're getting yourself into. Honestly work is always going to be a balance of pay, people, time & job satisfaction, with the people you work with being one of the biggest things about making a job crappy or amazing.

I don't have teaching experience but the relationship you've built up with the kids, doesn't that change every school year?

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#20 Posted by csl316 (14946 posts) -

Usually I'd say stick to the job you love, but 34 hours a week isn't terrible. If this new job is the "gold standard" and you want to make that next step into independence, taking the new job is essential to moving forward with your life. Years ago I had to take a big risk, which was scary, but it turned out to be worth it. You never know how often these opportunities can appear.

I wouldn't worry about feeling guilty after only 6 months. People move on professionally all the time, and you either get congratulated with a good luck or you're quickly forgotten (sorry, but it's true). I like my co-workers and whatnot, but you have to have some sort of separation as if you don't leave, they might leave eventually, too.

Again, depends on your goals. I wouldn't announce that you're looking for a new job, though. One of the most awkward things about a transition is keeping it hush hush until you're accepted at the new position.

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#21 Edited by beligerent_beard (52 posts) -

I’m just a few years older than you, but with the opposite job: I make great money, but don’t love what I do. And ya know what? Life’s pretty ok.

Now let me be clear here….I like my job and the people I work with…..this isn’t some “sell your soul to the devil” kinda thing. Sure, when I’m at my job, I’m thinking how much better it would be to have a more fun or fulfilling role, but for me, having more income allows me to live the life I want. I have a house and I get to do the things I want and I get to play the games I want.

But here’s my one piece of advice that I ignored MANY times from MANY people – companies don’t owe you anything. This is a hard pill to swallow and I didn’t agree with this for many years (I thought people who said that were old, cynical husks) until I experienced it firsthand. Companies aren’t people, so don’t think of them as people. The only thing your job owes you is the exchange of money for the services you provide (you should still care about the people you work with and for, but changing jobs doesn’t mean it’s the end of your friendship with those people. Some of my best friends are those that I worked with, but have moved onto other companies.). But don’t sacrifice your own happiness for the betterment of a company because you think you owe them anything.

My intention here isn’t to convince you to take the new job or not, but more of a way to say “hey, you can be happy in lots of ways, but you have to know what you want”. Do you want to define yourself by your job? Then stay! Do you care more about having enough cash on hand to live by yourself comfortably and travel and….I dunno….buy your own personal bus to take you to work? Then move on! I wasn’t truly happy with my job until I came to terms with what I wanted in life (for me, it was my job coming in second to family and friends).

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#22 Posted by falserelic (5768 posts) -

Go with the new job man. More cash will help u out in the long run.

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#23 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

You should primarily ask yourself what your goals are and what you want to get out of your job.

When do you want to move out and become independent, what kind of quality of life do you want to aim for at the moment money-wise (and thus what pay would satisfy you), what are your job aspirations and how fast do you want to reach them (when would you want to be a full-blown teacher, and where would you want to go from there).

Then there are also the additional factors of things like commute and work environment.

From what you've said it sounds like unless you have a reason to expect a negative, tiring or boring work environment, there's a lot of good reasons for taking the job.

As far as the 'leaving your team behind' thing goes: you're still pretty new there. I seems only natural to me that as a young TA you would want to develop and grow in your career, and I think anyone who would hold that against you as a sign of you being selfish or a 'traitor' is themselves being needy. I think it would be a great idea to talk about this with the teacher that you look up to and ask them what they have to say.

Also, you can ask yourself what you would tell one of your students if they said that they have an opportunity that they think is valuable but they're not sure whether their friends would approve of them pursuing it.

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#24 Posted by Slag (8155 posts) -

Take the job. You might like the new place as much as your current one (since you have relationships there I bet you will), and if you don't end up liking it having more cash and longer hours will make it easier to find your next job after that.

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#25 Posted by zulululul (55 posts) -

Go for the money. You will like it just as much as your current job. Don't confuse being comfortable with liking your job.

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#26 Posted by duke_of_the_bump (313 posts) -

@matoya: Have you tried asking for more hours/a raise at your current job first? Worst that could happen is that they say no.

If they do, then tell them you hate to make this decision, but you've been offered a job with better pay, more hours, benefits, etc. and you need to advance your career. Give them your 2-week notice, don't burn any bridges. If they really like you, then hopefully they'll at least make a counter-offer, if not then give it a go. Change is good.

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#27 Posted by OpusOfTheMagnum (647 posts) -

Do it duder. With time you'll find yourself enjoying this new position and you'll only find yourself behind in life if you don't go for it. I can't imagine pulling in less than $1000 a month.

Sooner or later you'll need to move on. Doing it now puts you ahead which brings you closer to something even better.

Turnover happens. Your current school understands that and unless the people running the place are giant tools they will not only fully understand you moving to a position with better pay and hours they may be happy to see you moving up.

Good management takes pleasure in building people up. Don't worry about it. So long as you give them time to make the moves they need to make there's nothing to feel guilty about. You gotta see to yourself so do it!

My only caution is that you should go as far as you can before communicating your plans to the current workplace. I don't know the people you work for but you have a right to protect your own interests. If you don't get the new position it'll make things cleaner and they won't be able to screw with you either way. Maybe they wouldn't normally but don't assume as much. I have a dear friend that really liked much of her job and the people she works for. She wanted to move out of the position and her boss interfered with an application for a new position with the organization.

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#28 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

Thanks for all the advice so far.

I think my biggest concern is being seen as kind of a dirtbag. The people at my current job have really embraced me and made me feel like part of the school family. I feel really guilty about packing in after 6 months. I'm good friends with the teacher I work under, and the rest of the staff.

Plus, I'm concerned about what happens if I go to an interview, then don't get it. What will the people at my current job think of me then? Will they really be as accepting knowing that I tried to get out?

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#29 Posted by BaconHound (281 posts) -

@matoya said:

Thanks for all the advice so far.

I think my biggest concern is being seen as kind of a dirtbag. The people at my current job have really embraced me and made me feel like part of the school family. I feel really guilty about packing in after 6 months. I'm good friends with the teacher I work under, and the rest of the staff.

Plus, I'm concerned about what happens if I go to an interview, then don't get it. What will the people at my current job think of me then? Will they really be as accepting knowing that I tried to get out?

Is there some reason they'd know? I'm assuming you wouldn't tell them you were considering another job until you already had an offer in hand, but perhaps there's some networking going on behind the scenes? If that's the case, just be upfront about it and outline the same reasons you wrote above.

Generally, I've found that good co-workers WANT people to succeed. If the staff you work with now is aware of your commute and living arrangements, I would think that they'd be supportive and understanding of your decision to pursue a better job. Just make sure you give notice and leave on good terms.

I say go for it.

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#30 Posted by Grilledcheez (4071 posts) -

Based on what you laid out, I would say pursue the new opportunity. It sounds like it might be a job where you'll get more "experience" too? That's something all of my jobs so far have done for me, is get me additional traits and things I can list on a resume. The reasons you list for staying don't seem to be strong enough, the new job is also in a place where you say you have some familiarity or connections, so you could very well like it just as much.

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#31 Posted by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

How old are you? If you are over the age of.. let's say 22, and still living at home, do whatever you can to get out. It's important to live on your own. Better to live at your own place and get some financial help from your folks, than living at their place.

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#32 Edited by dubios451 (160 posts) -

@matoya: try for the new opportunity, and dont tell your current job you are apply for it, thats silly. People who care about you at your current job will be excited for you if you get it. I am also 28, and having been out of my parents house since i went to university I can say moving out is an important step in your life, if you have the chance to make it a reality you should. Besides, you are 28, I am sure your folks would appreciate if you struck out on your own, i hope you are paying them rent at least.

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#33 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

How do I bring this up with my boss tomorrow?

"Sorry to say this, but there's another job nearby that I'm applying for that has more hours and more money?"

I just don't know what I'll say to her that covers me incase I don't get the job

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#34 Posted by BaconHound (281 posts) -

@matoya: Why would you bring it up until you actually have an offer for the new position? Continue working just like normal until the new job contacts you and makes you an offer (in writing). If/when that happens, confirm a start date with the new position that allows you to give notice to your current job - usually two weeks.

THEN you let your boss know that you've accepted an offer for a new job that gives you more hours and the income you need to move out of your parents' house. Some places will you let you keep working while they find a replacement; others will have you stop working immediately.

If you don't get an offer, no harm done - keep working like normal with nobody the wiser.

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#35 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

@matoya: Why would you bring it up until you actually have an offer for the new position? Continue working just like normal until the new job contacts you and makes you an offer (in writing). If/when that happens, confirm a start date with the new position that allows you to give notice to your current job - usually two weeks.

THEN you let your boss know that you've accepted an offer for a new job that gives you more hours and the income you need to move out of your parents' house. Some places will you let you keep working while they find a replacement; others will have you stop working immediately.

If you don't get an offer, no harm done - keep working like normal with nobody the wiser.

I know they'll contact my current school for a reference though. I don't wanna just have them drop that on my current school without letting them know. I feel I owe them more than a surprise job change. I've been thinking about talking to my boss tomorrow about the fact that I'm applying for this new job. She's super nice, and she's been there for 19 years, so naturally, she's seen people come and go. Plus, if they contacted my current school for a reference, it'd go through the school office, and the current lady who works there is a bit of a chatty cathy. Everyone at school would know about it by the end of the day. I suppose by talking to my headteacher tomorow and asking her to keep the whole thing under wraps unless I get it would be something sensible to do

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#37 Edited by AlexW00d (7570 posts) -

@matoya said:

Thanks for all the advice so far.

I think my biggest concern is being seen as kind of a dirtbag. The people at my current job have really embraced me and made me feel like part of the school family. I feel really guilty about packing in after 6 months. I'm good friends with the teacher I work under, and the rest of the staff.

Plus, I'm concerned about what happens if I go to an interview, then don't get it. What will the people at my current job think of me then? Will they really be as accepting knowing that I tried to get out?

I'm not trying to be mean, but the school will find someone to replace you no problem at all. Unless they're some weird assholes they will probably be expecting you to be looking for new opportunities, you're a TA, not a head teacher. Hell they'll probably encourage you to do so, and if they don't? Well fuck them.

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#38 Edited by Turambar (8251 posts) -

At the end of the day, you have to do what is best for yourself and your future prospects. Do you intend on choosing teaching as your future career? Will working at the new school expand your options and accomplishing that goal? If so, then don't feel guilty about leaving. I doubt you're the first one to leave that school for a higher paying position elsewhere, and you won't be the last either.

I'm in a similar situation currently, working as a high school teacher at an international school. I have to make the decision between staying on next year, or breaking my 2-year contract after 1 year due to a mountain of problems with the school (a lack of a curriculum, major structural problems with the building, a complete lack of support staff, and all the problems that you can think of that comes with a for profit school). I enjoy the people that I work with, and there are as many lovable students as there are miserable excuses for human beings, but at the end of the day, I have to balance my personal morality with practicality.

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#39 Posted by Brendan (9210 posts) -

It sounds like this isn't necessarily a case of money vs happiness, since you don't know how much you'll like the new job. This seems like a classic example of having to take a risk in life to move forward. I recently moved out of my parents house for the first time and moved across the country (Canada - Ontario to Alberta) to take a promotion and it was scary.

I hope this doesn't sound mean, but you mention feeling "guilty" by abandoning them so soon? To be honest your current position is low enough on the totem pole that you leaving will probably not be more than a temporary detriment. I really don't need to denigrate you but that's kind of just how it is.

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#40 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -
@brendan said:

It sounds like this isn't necessarily a case of money vs happiness, since you don't know how much you'll like the new job. This seems like a classic example of having to take a risk in life to move forward. I recently moved out of my parents house for the first time and moved across the country (Canada - Ontario to Alberta) to take a promotion and it was scary.

I hope this doesn't sound mean, but you mention feeling "guilty" by abandoning them so soon? To be honest your current position is low enough on the totem pole that you leaving will probably not be more than a temporary detriment. I really don't need to denigrate you but that's kind of just how it is.

I totally get that. I think the "guilt" factor comes from how nice they've been to me. Naturally, at a school, everyone works and sticks together. But everyone has been so good and welcoming to me since I've started, and I've already built up a great relationship with the children in my class. I guess I feel bad about leaving them after 6 months because everyone (staff and students) have been so great to me thus far.

I'm just mega nervous about what to say to my boss tomorrow. How do I even begin that conversation?

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#41 Posted by chaser324 (8642 posts) -

@matoya: It's extremely common for people to feel that way when they leave a job, but sometimes, you just have to look past that and do what's going to be best for you.

Moderator
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#42 Posted by dudeglove (13677 posts) -

Go for it and have no regrets.

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#43 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

I've spoke to my family about it and I'm going to apply. While I do like it at my current job, it's simply not enough hours. I imagine that school will understand my circumstances. I'm a 28 year old guy that still lives at home. I don't currently make enough to move out, and it could be years until there's a more full time equivalent available for me.

I know I can't let my stupid feelings of guilt overcome the logical conclusion that this new job is just better for me. More hours, the hours themselves are better paying, and I know I've gotta take that risk. I'm not going to bring it up with my school until they've at least offered me an interview. No point in unecessarily rocking the boat when it could just cause negative feelings.

And if I don't get the job, no harm done. I already have a job that I can stick with and can keep looking for a new job while I'm there.

Thanks for all the advice. It's been helpful

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#44 Posted by mjbrune (175 posts) -

Everyone wants to see you succeed. You are holding yourself back.

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#45 Edited by Slag (8155 posts) -

@matoya: Just be straight up with your current place if you feel the need to tell them.

I.e. Tell them how much you love the place and your current job, but you got an opportunity you can't pass up.

If your current place is awesome as you say, they will totally understand and be supportive. It's not like other teachers haven't had to wrestle with their path to financial security.

Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and your current place may make you a counter offer to try to keep you.

Good luck man.

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#46 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

Just sent in my application lads!

Thanks for all the great advice, you really convinced me that it's the right thing to do.

I'll keep you all updated as to how it goes (If anyone gives a shit?)

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#47 Posted by JPPT1974 (120 posts) -

All I can say is that you need to follow your heart my friend. Good luck! Hope you can figure it out.

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#48 Posted by billmcneal (1202 posts) -

stay with the job that makes you happy

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#49 Posted by StrikeALight (1259 posts) -

Pragmatism is great and all, but it helps if you can at least maintain some semblance of job satisfaction.

Being young definitely warrants you to take a chance. Just remember to ask plenty of questions after the interview.

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#50 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

More money matters, especially when you currently do not have enough money to support yourself. There is no indication that it is likely you will hate your new job. Therefor, take it.