This spring I took a position in a new department at my job that came with some specific perks and significantly higher expectations relating to crunch time. Shortly after joining the department, COVID started having significant ramifications on the industry and we shifted into crunch time. They also announced that the specific perks related to crunch time (bonus pay) were being scrapped for the year as a result of COVID.
I've effectively been working in crunch for about 6 months now and they just announced the reinstatement of the bonus pay for the position, but at this point I'm sufficiently burned out. The work hours are bad, the material I have to deal with is bad, and it's having a significant effect on my life. I've asked for a transfer but have been strung along with empty promises about it getting better. At this point I know that I don't want to stay in this department, but due to my pay level it becomes harder to transfer out and/or downward.
Earlier this week, I found an internal posting for a position that was a couple levels downward in pay. The level is low enough that I would likely take a pay cut to move to this position, but the position is one that I know I would do well in and feel much happier about. I reached out to the person posting the job and asked if there was a problem with the pay scales and reiterated about how I do not mind dropping pay levels, and they suggested I apply for a similar position that I would not want. I applied to the desired position and that has apparently triggered red flags as now every member of management all the way up to directors now knows about my application to transfer to a lower pay position.
How can I navigate this situation as I feel like I'm being targeted and scrutinized over a decision to move out of a position that is just not a good fit. I do not feel like I'm succeeding in this role. Even if I was I'm having difficulty in dealing with the material involved in the role. I would prefer to remain with the company because while I do not enjoy this particular department, I've been with the company for over 10 years and I do enjoy working for the company. I just don't know how to make it clear that I'm miserable in the position and I want to move to a less stressful, less mentally burdened position.
This is strange to me because the company has never really cared much about department transfers and lateral moves before. I've worked in several departments up to this point and have some difficult to acquire credentials in the field, but as this is the first department transfer that includes a pay decrease it seems to also come with a significant stigma.
TLDR: After speaking to management about a transfer, I've applied for a position a few pay levels lower than I am and its sent red flags up through every level of management. They are viewing me as some kind of "suicide watch" and I just want them to understand I merely want to move back to a place where I feel comfortable. How can I navigate this situation and make them understand that this is just a bad fit?