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In the interviewing process at my current job, I was told that there would be at the most 25% travel time. I work for a software consulting firm.

When I started the job, I found out eventually that employees get "deployed"; meaning, they will be sent out to job sites to work from weeks a time, to years at a time (depending on the project).

To be completely honest, this just isn't for me. I like to work in the same place. One of the reasons I took this job is because it's located really close to where I live, and it's just a short 10 minute subway ride from my condo.

I've gone through one interview process to be deployed for this company (didn't get the deployment), and am about to go through a second one.

My question is the following:

How do I talk to my boss about this? I'm thinking of having a conversation asking if it would be possible for me to not be deployed to a client-site, and to work on exclusively in-house projects if possible. It worries me though, that he might take it negatively. Since we're a consulting company. Other coworkers said this situation was clear to them in the interview - where in mine it was not. In my previous jobs I would only go to client-sites for installation (a week at the most).

Is this a bad, or a good idea? Please explain your thoughts.

Extra Info: I'm worried about getting fired if I talk to him about this - but also I don't want to intentionally bomb these deployment interviews in hopes that it won't happen. I'm thinking that if I do talk to him, I might want to have some job offers lined up already - just in case, and so that I have more leverage during the talk. I also really really like working for this company despite this. The office environment is perfect for me, and I love all of the people who work here. Being deployed would potentially change all of the things I like about this company.

Update: Thanks for the responses, it was hard to choose a correct answer since they all had different points that were all valid. For right now I'm going for a bit of a temporary solution. I'm going through a lot of personal problems at the moment, so I'm going to say this to him, and request if he will choose someone else to go through the deployment process. In the meantime I'm going to keep my eyes open and send feelers out for another job. Eventually once I'm not going through so much outside of work I'll have the conversation with him about not being deployed ever.

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    @BillMichell I edited the question from "Should I?" to "How do I?" That should help. – David K Jun 15 '17 at 14:22
  • Thanks. I saw in the sidebar a few "Should I?" questions with a bunch of up-votes so figured it was okay. Thanks for the edit. – ballBreaker Jun 15 '17 at 14:23
  • Sometimes though the title says "should I", the actual question is something more complex. We try to avoid telling people what career decisions to make (should I quit? should I stay?) as someone else in the same situation may have a different correct answer. You can see this meta post for some more details. – David K Jun 15 '17 at 14:31
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    25% of what as your deployment time? If you consider a four year contract, technically one year on the other side of the country as a deployment would still be 25%. – Adriaan Jun 15 '17 at 14:41
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    "I'm worried about getting fired if I talk to him about this" Why worry? You'll very easily get another job. To be honest, it sounds like you simply don't like your current job. Right? (If they, unfortunately, basically lied to you about how much travel was required, before you joined - that sucks. But what can you do unless you got a promise in writing? All companies constantly lie to get everything to their advantage.) – Fattie Jun 15 '17 at 16:13
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It sounds like that idea that some travel time would be part of the job was clearly specified during the interview process. As such, asking your boss if you could be permanently assigned to the office would probably NOT go over well. I would agree with your assessment that you should have a new job lined up if that's what you want to ask for, and personally, I wouldn't even ask this, I would just leave and find a job that has 0% travel.

That being said, you're not completely out of options here, you just need to be a bit more flexible.

Firstly, you should clarify exactly what "25% travel" means. If you get deployed to another city for a year, does that mean you'll be kept in the office for the next three years after that, guaranteed? Does it mean you won't be deployed for such a long term contract until you've worked three years in the office? Or something else?

Secondly, you could ask your boss if it would be possible to limit your deployments to "short term" opportunities, like one week here, one week there. He might be willing to agree to that, or he might not. As above, asking him to keep you in the office 100% of the time is probably NOT going to be acceptable, but asking for only short-term deployments might be.

If you can't find a reasonable compromise and you do decide to move on, you should probably keep this experience in mind for future interviews - clarify not just how much overall time is travel, but how long could any single trip be, and how much "downtime" (staying locally) is to be expected in between trips.

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I also really really like working for this company despite this. The office environment is perfect for me, and I love all of the people who work here. Being deployed would potentially change all of the things I like about this company.

Use your quote above to open a conversation with your boss as it points out the problem with deployment - it changes the company culture for you. Then ASK if there is ANY possibility that you could avoid being deployed. Keep it positive - do not argue.

If the answer is "no" then you know that you'll have to start looking for a new job.

But, who knows, if the manager knows how much you love the company and people, he may make an exception to keep a valuable resource such as yourself.

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I found out eventually that employees get "deployed"; meaning, they will be sent out to job sites to work from weeks a time, to years at a time

To be completely honest, this just isn't for me.

It sounds like this isn't the right job/company for you.

While you can ask to only work in-house, if it's the kinds of company you eventually found out about, I'd doubt they have much (if any) in-house work.

Ask anyway. Be prepared to find a new job elsewhere.

Other coworkers said this situation was clear to them in the interview - where in mine it was not. In my previous jobs I would only go to client-sites for installation (a week at the most).

So clearly a disconnect occurred somewhere in your interview process. Either you heard things that made you assume it was the same as your previous jobs, or they assumed you knew the nature of the work.

Either way, use this as a learning experience for what you need to ask in future interviews to be sure the job is what you need it to be.

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