Opinion: Would You Apply for a Internal Manager Position at a Failing Branch

Hi Ozbargain, I thought I would reach out to the general group to get some thoughts on people who may have had sucess. A internal manager position has come up in my company, however it is at a branch which has not been too successful (profitabilty, team culture to head office, ect) with 2 manager quitting over 2 years. I am pretty happy in my current role but there can always be room for improvement in pay.

The positives would be that I would have a high chance of being successfully accepted, it will be a promotion and I will be able to learn new things/add to my skills and experience. The negative is that there is a high chance that the branch will be shut down if it does not turn around (loss of job), increased travel time of 1.5 hour, more stress with a step up in position.

So I wanted to ask, would you apply to be a manger at a branch which will be very difficult to turn into a success? any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated

Poll Options expired

  • 8
    Apply for the role
  • 18
    Stick with where you are at and wait for another appreciated
  • 27
    Your own problem and ozbargain does not care


  • The only downside IMHO is the travel time, if you can stomach that on top of the stress of the job, then go for it.

    Either, your input turns around the branch and you get plaudits for good work, or the branch gets closed but you've stepped up to a higher pay grade and get reallocated to another branch (or can more confidently apply for similar roles at competitors)

  • Dunder Mifflin, Scranton branch?

  • +2 votes

    there can always be room for improvement in pay

    If you are doing it for (potential) pay, the role sounds like would become a nightmare, unless you have demonstrated (even to yourself) an strong ability to turn things around and able to lead (i.e. influence) people, and you truly enjoy being in stressful situations to turn things around. Such situations doesn't change by osmosis or just by asking people to change, if your aim is to "fix" the branch.

    • That is a fair point, as you are right it is mainly for the pay. As influencing people in a positive leadership position is not a skill that I have learnt compared to have a positive influence as just a team setting.

  • If you can, get in contact with the 2 managers that quit. They are far more likely to point you in the right direction.

    I would hardly advise anyone to sit safe in normal circumstances - but mind there is a pandemic going on. If you are confident you should take it - you'll learn a lot and could even use it as a springboard for other external jobs. Probably not a bad idea to have a backup plan in reserve - and depending on your bargaining power (skills, etc.), some kind of assurance that you can be transferred if it goes tits up - although you will almost certainly be blamed and lose your job as a scapegoat.

  • Do you think you can change the branch such that it remains open?
    If yes, go for it. If no, stay where you are.

  • Do it. I'd say to take whatever opportunity you can, especially if it's a higher up position that can potentially give you a huge jump to progress your career. I did exactly this early on and I made a name for myself by taking on really tough projects that people assumed would fail or no-one wanted it because it was a difficult client. The only thing required was that extra confidence. I took a no-bullshit approach to those things.

    If it was a successful branch and it fails after you take the reins, then you might be in trouble. But since it's already failing, if it actually fails, noone can really point the finger squarely at you. And if you fix it, then you might be seen as the "fixer" and get lots of credit for it. I don't think you have much to lose.

    You said it yourself - you have a high chance of being accepted but it's because of this situation. In any other situation, there might be a whole lot more people to compete with and it might be a long time before an opportunity like this presents itself again.

  • Copy the CEOs that take over failing companies; get stock options for meeting performance and a golden parachute for failure.

    Otherwise, not worth it. They could just close branch and let you go a week into it as they won't like to give you back your old job at higher salary. They could say you were responsible too.

    You're taking on risk, stress, etc and just seeing "increased pay".

  • How much more money? The travel time would be a massive turn off for me personally.

  • Who would even consider a job with 1.5 hours a day travel time?!
    That's 7.5 hours (1 working day) a week of travelling.
    That's 15 days a year of straight travelling to and from work. (half the time you effectively get for leave.)

    Wouldn't do it for both lifestyle and sanity reasons.

  • fun with dick and jane?

  • extra 1.5 hour commute. No Deal.

    would need to be an extra 30k a year for me at least