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I would like to hear from you what the best way to deal with the following situation is.

For reasons I wouldn't like to go into I needed a new job quickly. I found one but the conditions weren't very good compared to my previous jobs (slightly lower salary but much more travelling for example). We spent weeks negotiating and the company went up with the salary a bit and promised me a quick promotion with more money.

I then accepted the offer mainly since I wanted to start working asap. At that point I still had some second and third interviews scheduled and another offer, which was sightly better when it comes to money, but less interesting in terms of the focus.

I've started and now I'm expected to work much more than it's even legal to work in my country. It's around 14 h a workday. It's my third project and the problem existed on all of them. When I protest, I or my boss talk to my PM and they cut the hours a bit framing it as a huge favor and looking at me as if I was unreasonable. Normally, several conversations are needed. I feel very bad about it since I feel I'm always complaining and being the prima donna and I don't like this feeling.

I'm at a loss. I don't want to search for a new job, but the company culture seems irrational. I don't feel like working 14 h a day, or even 12 h a day, unless it's a one-time exception, something that's difficult or impossible to control. My current salary per hour is very bad too since the overtime is not paid (it's illegal to work more than 10 h a day here, so it couldn't even be paid).

Should I still talk to them? Or quit? (Honestly, when working 12-14h you just don't have time to apply while employed).

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    14 hours a day is Ok if you are paid for 8 hours + 6 hours overtime at 150% – gnasher729 Nov 3 at 19:37
  • @gnasher729 if you're working that much OT, a lot of it should be at more than time and a half. – Dan Neely Nov 3 at 19:54
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    Does everyone else at this company work 14 hour days? – Robin Bennett Nov 4 at 11:30
  • You're working for free and in an abusive situation to boot. Don't think this is normal. In what country is this? Can you report your employer to the authorities? That's wage theft. Can you prove your hours? They owe you a bunch of money for the overtime and the number of hours you've worked unpaid. – Stephan Branczyk Nov 4 at 14:28
  • @RobinBennett, I was told there are better projects. But I'm currently on my third one and everyone on my team (apart from interns) is working like that. The teams (from my company) we cooperate with aren't working these crazy hours. It's my team who is always the last one to leave the office. – user5238970634 Nov 4 at 19:14
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Should I still talk to them? Or quit? (Honestly, when working 12-14h you just don't have time to apply while employed).

It sounds like you have already talked to them and gotten nowhere.

So start looking for your next job now. If you truly cannot seek a new job while working 12-14 hours, then stop working that many hours. Just leave earlier and get your next job.

Try to dig deeper when interviewing this time around to find out what you are getting yourself into. Needing to find a job quickly often leads to a less than optimal employment. You don't want to make that mistake twice in a row.

  • I second digging deeper. You can ask to talk to your future colleagues. And one question you can ask is. "How many hours a week do you typically work?" Or "How many did you work last week?" You ask that kind of question and other questions to multiple people and there is really nothing much they can hide from you. – Stephan Branczyk Nov 4 at 14:31
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My current salary per hour is very bad too since the overtime is not paid (it's illegal to work more than 10 h a day here, so it couldn't even be paid).

This is highly illegal. Unless you are taking major breaks (for example going to the gym, getting lunch, running errands..etc) the company MUST pay you.

It would help knowing which country you are from, but I would suggest you get in touch with a workers union or someone official. In Norway we have NITO which is a society for engineers and technologists who provide legal advice and assistance in employment related matters. I am sure this exists in your country as well.

If I were you I would start searching for a new job, I would do my 8 hours 9-5 and leave. If they ask why you can't stay and work overtime I would tell them: "you are not paying me for it".

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