My girlfriend started with one of these worldwide consulting companies around a year ago. This is her first job, and she was quite excited to start at a company with a big name just after graduating from college. The pay is not bad for a junior position, plus she got to learn new technologies that might be useful in future employment.
Now she is facing this problem: As she works on consulting, she usually has to work in the client offices. Every new project she starts is at a client further away. The company headquarters, where she started, are around 40 minutes from home on public transport, which is acceptable. She has been asked to go to several different clients this year, but yesterday they asked her to move to another client's headquarters which are 2 hours from home. This means a 4-hour round trip. Besides this, the working hours are not so great: from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This means that she has to get up at 5:30 a.m. (or even before) and won't arrive home until 8 p.m., just to go to sleep at 11 p.m. and sleep too little.
If that wasn't enough, she feels some pressure when leaving at her scheduled time. Some of her coworkers say that they had to work until 3 a.m. the night before, and things like that, which feel like insinuations to her.
I've asked her if she enjoys the work (ignoring the workplace and the company itself, but the things she works on) and she told me that she does, so I have been encouraging her to look for a similar job, closer to home and with better working hours, even if it means getting paid less. She has been looking for similar and related jobs with no luck so far. The problem she is facing is that most of the companies are not looking for junior positions, so she gets rejected.
Last night she started crying because of this new place she has to move. To be honest, I don't know what kind of advice I could give her. Until now, my advice has been, "Hang on a little bit more if you like the work, and eventually you will find something better." But with this indefinite situation, I don't know if I should keep encouraging her. On one hand, I'd like her to learn a little bit more, so she can progress in this sector, since she likes it (it is the company she doesn't like). That way she can end up getting paid well for work she enjoys and in a company with a better understanding of work-life balance. On the other hand, I don't want to see her like this. If it were me, I think I would resign and look for another, even unrelated, job.
My last advice, just yesterday, was to talk with HR to see if she can be moved to another client, but because of some things she told me in the past, I don't think she will has this transfer granted. If she doesn't, what do you think is the best move for her?
As additional information, we could live with just my salary and our savings for some time, and I am willing to support her on any decision she makes.