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Started a job 3 months ago as a software engineer...

I have a brutal commute ~ 1hr 30min which has proven itself also dangerous at times because traffic and weather.

Is it acceptable to use these conditions as a reason to switch to a location closer to me? There's a location 10 minutes away.

What I'm concerned about is that I've only been working for 3 months and that will probably look bad. But this is driving me completely insane (3 hrs of driving a day + 8 hours of work = ~12 hrs a day)

I tried going to route of being remote, but they seem to frown upon me not wanting to come in as a new hire. (My end goal is to work remote, but I couldn't find that right out of college).

I don't want to ruin my career quitting, but this doesn't feel sustainable and I don't know who to talk to without ruining my reputation for work ethic.

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    Why did you accept this job given what you knew about the commute? – Philip Kendall Dec 4 '16 at 17:53
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    @PhilipKendall I messed up and didn't do my research on how expensive it was to move there. Doing damage control at this point – Kolob Canyon Dec 4 '16 at 18:21
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    As long as you ask nicely and with the expectation that they can say no it can't hurt. Unless the team also has people in that other office already I'd probably assume the answer will be No. You might also consider other options. Can you adjust your hours to improve your commute? Coming in an hour or two earlier might significantly improve your commute. Can you use mass transit and work on the way into the office? I had a co-worker who did that for years. If all else fails you can look for options you control such as finding a room to crash during the week or moving closer. – Evan Steinbrenner Dec 5 '16 at 17:59
  • @EvanSteinbrenner Wouldn't it hurt me because they would think I wasn't committed to my work? – Kolob Canyon Dec 6 '16 at 5:28
  • @KolobCanyon I don' think so as long as your expectations and approach are reasonable. If you said "My commute sucks you NEED to let me work in the other office" and wouldn't accept no as an answer that would be bad. If you say "I realize after doing this commute for 3 months that it is not something I enjoy and isn't sustainable and I would like to find a way to improve the situation." that isn't a problem. – Evan Steinbrenner Dec 6 '16 at 21:17
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Your commute is your problem. That said, you can certainly try to mitigate it:

Ask nicely if you can switch locations. Be prepared to accept a "No", but if you don't ask at all, chances for a switch are zero.

Try to find a cheap room close to the company. It does not need to be a full blown apartment, just a place to crash over the weekdays. Come to work from your place on Monday, sleep in that room Monday through Thursday working extra hours and leave early on Friday for your home and a long weekend. Almost every consultant from another city does this. It's not perfect, but being in a small room for the nights beats being on the road for 3 hours every day. You may find that a rented room is not as expensive as you think, given you can safe 80% on travel costs.

  • I'm also wondering if I could apply for others jobs and quit this job if I find something else? I'm so fresh out of school that I may be able to do so? – Kolob Canyon Dec 4 '16 at 20:16
  • @KolobCanyon if you can't find somewhere close to your job that is affordable, that's probably what you need to do. Finding a new job is almost always easier if you're employed. – Dan Neely Dec 4 '16 at 20:26
  • @DanNeeley - Probably not that easy in the specific case of the OP. Given the three-hour commute, the OP might have to take a full day off every time they interview face to face. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 4 '16 at 21:24
  • I may be able to switch now that I'm at 7 months – Kolob Canyon Mar 10 '17 at 22:13
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Is it acceptable to use these conditions as a reason to switch to a location closer to me? There's a location 10 minutes away.

Certainly. You can always ask.

But if they didn't want you to work remotely before, don't be surprised if they don't want you to work out of a different office for the same reasons.

For your next job, consider how far away from home you wish to work more seriously, now that you know how it feels.

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This is really your responsibility. You can certainly ask, but unless the same department has people at that site, you are asking your manager to lose a person and be forced to re-hire and re-train. That's expensive.

In general, difficulty of an assignment change is proportional to how many steps up the management chain you have to go to find the person who owns both management trees.

Getting permission to work remotely is also not easy in most situations. The company has to be able to trust you not only to work hard without supervision, but to work much harder to keep communication channels open with the folks you are working with.

You can ask if there's any way to cut down your commute. But be prepared to be told "Sure. Move closer to the office. Where you choose to live is not our problem."

  • Is there a set amount of time I should work a job before moving to a new one? And I mean long enough to reference it on my resume – Kolob Canyon Dec 4 '16 at 19:58
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    @KolobCanyon a pattern of 1 year or less positions is problematic in that hiring managers will worry that you'll bail on them in very short order too; but an occasion job like that isn't a problem (a bad fit or layoffs due to problems at the company can happen to anyone), so I wouldn't worry too much about an early departure. And 3mo is long enough you probably do need it on your resume (if you bailed after a day or too that would be pretend it didn't happen range.) You'd be best off finding a new job before quitting though. – Dan Neely Dec 4 '16 at 20:25
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You can try this:

  • Rent a place nearby the office and travel home every weekend. I don't know how similar it is but I face a similar situation.My Office is like 2 hour away from my place,So I rented a house near by Office and visited family every week-end and sometimes mid of the week Or whenever i can.
  • Now there you see I was able to manage crushing Office hours along with quality home stay.
  • As on daily basis I suppose when you reach home now You can only sleep there. Family time --> Nill.So better can be stay near office enjoy Office work,You can concentrate on office work in weekdays.Rest on your weekends on Home.
  • Hope it works for you.And don't quit because you will manage anyhow,Initially you will save less because of the extra rent but eventually your travel exertion and time that you saved by renting place nearby office will give you its fruit believe me,You will be more effective at office and at home you will be more joyish.
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Don't quit.

I worked in this exact situation for four years and the solution was to get a new job closer to home. I was an inexperienced programmer and quite frankly fairly expendable. In circumstances where you're relatively easy to replace it is unlikely your company will want to make special arrangements.

I'm guessing you were probably quite naive (like me) about the mental impact the commute was going to have, it probably didn't seem so bad when you drove to the interview.

Even if you can organise something with your employer I have seen those arrangements be gradually eroded due to the demands of the business. If you are struggling with this you're far better off working close to home.

Stick the commute out while applying for other jobs. I wouldn't even worry about justifying wanting to leave because of the commute, a three hour round trip five days a week is a perfectly reasonable reason for leaving a job.

I went from getting home at 7pm to getting home at 4.45pm (with the same working hours) just by switching job and my life has felt far better.

I don't like to tell people they should change jobs but the alternatives seem to be you moving closer or internal relocation and your question doesn't seem to imply either is on the agenda/possible.

  • 4 years!? Brutal man – Kolob Canyon Mar 10 '17 at 22:15
  • @KolobCanyon Yeah, changing job was the best decision I ever made. In my exit interview my boss actually said he was surprised I had stuck it out that long. However professionally it helped me massively and put me in a position to apply for more senior positions. – Dustybin80 Mar 13 '17 at 8:44

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