Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2016 - Gorse Hill, Surrey, UK
I need some help! I went for an interview yesterday for an administration position at my local college. The job would have been mostly data entry and reporting on attendence, letter writing to students, raising orders for resources and researching and booking educational trips. Sounded great to me as it uses all of the skills I have right now, with less managing people.
At the moment I am a projects administrator for a company that installs playgrounds, so althought I do a lot of order processing, I’m also managing teams of people to complete the jobs.
I wanted to get away from the managing people side of things, it makes me stressed fast because when things go wrong its generally beyond my control as I’m relying on so many other people, and I’m not really that thick skinned to deal with clients who are upset about it. The good thing is that when things get really heated where I am, I have my manager for back up and I can go back to processing orders again.
So, I wasnt expecting to hear back about the job I was interviewed for, as even though the interview went well and I got through the excel test, they gave me a mail merge test to do that I wasnt expecting, and although I can do basic mail merge stuff I just couldnt remember how to do the specific task they were asking so I didnt finish it properly.
I got a phone call that afternoon and they wanted to discuss a different position for me – a higher one! its about £3k a year more than the one I applied for which is just above my current salary.
The catch is, its basically a step above the job I applied for and I would be managing the different teams within that faculty to make sure all of the stuff I said above is happening and is accurate. I’m just shocked they thought I was good enough to offer it to!
So….. Now what?
Take the higher job knowing its more managerial? Say thanks but no thanks, explaining why I would prefer the administration job and hope they offer it to me? turn it down all together and stick it out where I am a while longer?
Post # 2
I’m not in HR, so I don’t know a delicate way to phrase this or anything but if you know that this job will be more of the same that you’re trying to get away from, I would try to figure out a way to diplomatically reassert your interest in the “lower” job. But it might be that they’re offering you a job specifically for your managerial experience and wouldn’t want you in the lower job at all, so I would consider what you would do in that scenario, too.
ETA: Rereading your post, though, it doesn’t sound like you’re entirely convinced that you’d hate the new responsibilities of the higher job and that the higher salary might make up for the increased level of stress for you. So maybe you should go for it? Sorry, I know this isn’t helpful but it seems like in this scenario, whatever choice you make, it seems like you won’t know if it was a bad choice until you make it. At least if taking the job ends up being the wrong choice for you, you’ll have that extra salary cushion to make it worth your while as you search for different job.
Post # 3
I know how you feel when it comes to managing people…I also don’t enjoy that part of my job (I’m a department head at a public library). In fact, I despise it. Like you mentioned in your post, if things go wrong I have to take the blame, and overall just causes so much anxiety. With that being said, I would try to see if they would let you go for the lower position since it sounds like that’s what you prefer, and come up with a good explanation. I know someone who opted to take a lower position at her job because she just had a baby and needed more flexibility. Don’t know if that’s your situation at all, but I thought I would throw that example out there.
Post # 4
I would be honest with them, that you’re looking for a position that wouldn’t be primarily a managerial role. Maybe they assumed that since that’s what you’re doing now, you would be bored in the other position. I would think carefully about taking on a management role in academia, from what I’ve heard, those can be very frustrating. Colleges can be super dysfunctional.
Post # 5
I think you need to consider what your long term goals are. Yes managing people is not always fun, as is pushing yourself to go beyond your currently existing skill sets. But the reality is is that managing people and diversifying skill sets while also strengthening the expertise of the ones you already have is what makes you a stronger candidate for better positions in the future. As is having a higher salary – often, your salary is what will be used to negotiate/determine the salary of the next job you apply for.
So what I mean is that depending on your long term career and earning goals, you may want to think a little bigger picture than just whether you enjoy ever aspect of what you will be doing each day.
If you have specific goals for the long term and want to get to where you’re competitive for a really amazing, dynamic position down the road with lots of autonomy and flexibility because people trust you to make decisions and lead and are willing to pay you very well for iy, then it’s probably better to suck it up and put in the hard management work now. But If you are more looking for a position to stay at for a set period of time (long term or short) and aren’t really concerned with advancement, then you can totally afford to only consider what would be most enjoyable to you in the day to day.
For me personally I would worry about taking a job where i don’t manage anyone and my skill set used is mostly admin as i dont see that going anywhere i want to be in my future. Yes there will always be a need for admin type people but there is either no or very limited advancement opportunity for those roles, and the longer you stay in them the harder it becomes to do anything else. I have several friends in this position now – stuck at average or below average salary doing work that is easy and comfortable for them but now wanting a job with more flexibility or specialization that pays better. But because they chose to stay “comfortable” they are now not able to compete with people who spent the past few years advancing in responsibility and specializing their skill sets. They are also not able to command any significant salary bump because there are tons of people with general administration skill sets willing to take the average to below average salary.
So just anothe perspective to think about. 🙂
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2016 - Gorse Hill, Surrey, UK
Thanks for your advice guys. I think in my heart of hearts I know this isnt the right job for me. I get far too anxious and stressed than anyone really should and I would just be forcing myself into a career path that is just not what I want to be doing. I’m really not a career driven person and have never envisioned myself managing any one. I like to be part of the team, but I’ve never wanted to lead it.
I just feel bad for looking a gift horse in the mouth as I wouldnt have applied for the higher position in a million years, so to be offered it out of the blue was a bit of a shock.
I would rather be poor and happy than well off and miserable.