A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Dear Sue: I have been offered a great opportunity. A customer of mine wants to hire me. His company is small, but growing and I have an opportunity to make more money long term.
I've left this company twice before to stay home with my kids, and both times the company called me to come back. My husband is not happy with me because I haven't worked at a place longer than four years. He says I'm "job hopping." What do you think?
- Job hopper
Sue Says: Four years at one company would be considered a long time by a real "job hopper."
You obviously are a great employee. With two companies wanting you to work for them, I don't think you need to worry too much about your resume right now.
I can't tell you how to make your husband happy, but can tell you that you should make yourself happy by selecting the company you most want to work for.
Dear Sue: I currently am in a position that I enjoy immensely even though it is not financially rewarding. I am well known, have established seniority and am respected for the work I do. I have just been offered a higher paying job with a different company, but I think it will be far less challenging.
I don't know if I should give up the job I love, but am underpaid for, or leave to take another job that may be boring, yet will pay much more.
- Love my job
Sue Says: People work for a variety of reasons. Some people live to work and others work to live.
There are people who love what they do and people who need something to do. There are people who may or may not like the work they do but do it because they depend on the income.
You didn't mention the reasons you work at this job, but based on the information you provided, you sound very happy. It is possible that the job you have offers you more in personal satisfaction than any amount of money could provide. You need to decide what your needs are and what is most important to you.
If money were the only issue, you wouldn't be writing to me. I am guessing you might be happiest staying where you are. However, before you make your final decision, talk with your manager. Reinforce how much you love working there, and request an increase in your salary because you believe you are underpaid. If a raise is denied, you will need to decide if you still want to stay. If you receive a raise, you end up with a job that gives you what you want, including a good salary!
Dear Sue: I am very torn about a decision I need to make. I like my job, but my boss makes it unbearable. He's consistently inconsistent. I think he means well, but he creates more work for me when it's not necessary, he loses things, creates a stressful environment and he makes my life miserable. I am not the type to say anything, so I hide the panic attacks and go to the bathroom to cry.
I see a therapist, and she thinks I would be better off mentally and physically if I left this job and got away from my boss. I really care about the other people I work with and I know that if I quit, it will be hard to replace me and the others will really struggle. I don't think I can take it anymore, but I don't know how to resign or how to make it less stressful for the others. I am at the end of the rope and don't know what to do.
- Hanging on
Sue Says: I am not sure what I can tell you that you don't already know. I am not a therapist, but do know that it your concern for everyone else is hurting you. It is nice of you to concerned about what your coworkers will do when you leave, but you seem to be worrying more about everyone else rather than focusing on yourself.
You really shouldn't stay at a job that is making your life miserable under any circumstances. It may be tough to leave, but you need to do what is in your best interest.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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