I am new to this group. I have been working in my field for 18 years, 13 of them in the public sector at the same employer (local government). I currently live about 15-20 mins from my employer. I make good money and have job security but my current position has no room for growth and I am underutilized and terribly bored.

I may have two opportunities coming up... the first would be a lateral internal move into a position close to home that I would enjoy more. The second would be a promotion to a leadership role at another public sector employer (same retirement system), about an hour’s commute. I have a child in elementary school so it would take some juggling but could be done. It would be a significant pay increase and work I enjoy but more hectic than where I am. Also I would have no tenured security but I am a hard worker who has never been fired.

I am the primary breadwinner in my family.

I am having a really tough time with these choices. I still don’t know which opportunities I would have but given the choice between the local lateral move and the commuting promotion with large raise - what would you do??

Editing to add - I would lose some vacation time but would still have good leave and similar benefits. Both options are work I have done before and am well qualified to do.


  • Unfortunately, we cannot really help you chose. We do not have enough context, and each person's situation is too different for our opinions to help much. You might want to check in with some friends or colleagues or other people who know your situation a bit better. This question is likely to be closed as being off-topic. Please don't take it personally though; and welcome to the site! – Erik Dec 12 '18 at 15:34
  • Thanks. I saw posts from laser pointers to promotions so I did not realize this was off topic. I will delete it. – Rebecca Dec 12 '18 at 15:57
  • Guess I won’t delete since I am getting helpful advice... – Rebecca Dec 12 '18 at 16:19

"The best is the enemy of the good" (c) Voltaire

IMHO, job security is important,

it usually means you have a good life / work balance,which allows you to take on personal projects on your own time without compromising your financial security.

Do you have a spouse and what does she do? Can she take on some of your current responsibilities?

Ultimately, it will be up to you, but i would take a leadership role and split other responsibilities with the spouse

  • Note that, given the name, OP is probably a female. (Not that this means she can't have a female spouse; just that it's an odd choice of gender given that we don't know) – Erik Dec 12 '18 at 16:00
  • Erik is right, last time I checked I am female... that said, my husband does help a lot but recently took a position with limited flexibility. I also have parents locally who help. I appreciate all the thoughtful advice. – Rebecca Dec 12 '18 at 16:17
  • I am sorry @Rebecca, haven`t look at your nickname when answering the question. My response meant to be gender neutral :) – Strader Dec 12 '18 at 20:33
  • Thanks and I do appreciate the comments very much. Too bad my question was apparently not appropriate for this site. Thanks tho. – Rebecca Dec 13 '18 at 19:53

There is a few way you can look at the problem.

First you need to evaluate your tolerance to risk. Look at other parts of your life: Are you taking every insurance policies you can? Do you put money in the risky stock market? Does unknown situation puts a ton of stress on you? This is a decision between a safer choice and a riskier one but you already made such decisions plenty of times before. Learn from those times to see what you are comfortable with.

Second is the importance of work in your life. The second choice leaves you less time for hobbies and family because of the commute and responsibilities of a leadership role. If your main satisfaction in life is your job investing more time for it shouldn't be a problem. If it's not consider the option that leaves you time to find fufillment elsewhere. I personally had a job where I had a one hour commute and quit it after a year because I couldn't find time to do sports and hobbies in the evening anymore.

Whatever you choose remember that a raise is most likely not gonna make you significantly more happy if you can manage just fine with your current pay. Those other factors are probably going to have a more significant impact.

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