Is It OK to Quit if Your Colleagues Will Suffer?

I work in a government department and in my area there are only 4 people (including 2 part timers).

My colleagues are really lovely people - best people I've worked with by far. Trouble is I am in a dead end job (end of my band) with projects I am not that satisfied with (albeit not bad). Their work from home policy isn't great - they want me to come in 4 days/week, in part to mentor a graduate. It might eventually be 3 days/week when graduate is settled but it's unclear.

A job has come up with better long term prospects, more interesting work and a better work from home policy. The salary is about the same - 2% higher, but has room to grow in future years. In my industry salaries generally do not differ greatly. I think I would get this job of I went for it.

However there is a skills shortage in my area, and it's also regional ( a larger regional city) but if I quit I fear they won't be able to replace me easily. The workload has gone up a lot like double - because it's driven by customers, and we can't control the amount of customers. Customers have mainly gone up because of Covid. The work load is a bit unrealistic at this stage, however it will get ridiculous if i quit - putting my colleagues in a stressful situation, and as I said my colleagues are lovely people. I also quite like the management at my current work, and in previous jobs I've usually had some pretty unfair or crazy managers. To me that is quite meaningful, and I don't know the management at the other place.

I'm having trouble deciding what to do. What would you do?

Comments

  • +218 votes

    Do what is best for you. You can't be expected to carry the burden for all your co workers.

    Do you work at Centrelink, or in mental health or similar?

    • +10 votes

      It's town planning.

      • +187 votes

        Oh, then who cares.

        • +15 votes

          Anybody that's waiting for their DA to be approved.

        • +8 votes

          You made me spit my coke damn you

          • +3 votes

            @Wiede: Glad I could be of service.

          • +12 votes

            @Wiede: You're meant to snort it.

            •  

              @Munki: Bro this is ozbargin…

              • +1 vote

                @random101: Haven't seen any deals on coke yet. :(

                •  

                  @Munki: ….I know someone that knows someone who may know how to get some. 😂🤣

      •  

        In full disclosure we're often the developers at the other waiting on town planners.

        You should just leave, do what's right for you, go private and get much better pay.

        Our perspective is that the whole system for you guys is fked. And in turn the system fks up the client as there is no real quality standard of service that holds council responsible - it's not your fault as a town planner. You don't get much training and I'm not completely sure if there is an attitude to get the job done. I would imagine the same system is why on why one set of plans we had 7 town planners over 15 months, for a 2 townhouse development on a massive block of land. Literally shtfkery.

        There seem to be ever increasing rules that don't make much sense, no cause for concern of financial feasibility and no one seems to give a flying fk that council approved planning rules force developers to design tiny arse houses no one can live in.

        No one wants to build houses if people don't make money. No one wants to live in a tiny townhouse. No small business can wait around for 1-2 years for a planning approval.

        • +2 votes

          Not that your points aren't valid, but you're only looking at one end of the spectrum there.

          Some developers already get away with so much, imagine relaxing the rules!

          Do agree that councils should be held accountable.

          We can safely say that the client gets gang banged by both the council and the developer.

          • +2 votes

            @Rick Sanchez: Yeah definitely. Not a relaxation of the rules, but proper adherence and validation of the rules before they're set out.

            The garden rules were a ridiculous addition, have more garden, now your kids bedrooms are now 2x2m in dimension, if they can have a bedroom at all.

            Like they need someone smart to make the rules.

      • +2 votes

        Saturation of planners anyway*. They will find someone.

        Plenty will be willing to travel from the city. Also they could settle for someone without a degree. It's not like you need a degree to become a town planner.

        I wouldn't worry about it.

        Just do what is best for you.

        *I was previously a town planner.

      • +1 vote

        Hey mate. I'm a town planner too. I know exactly what you are going through. Let me know if you want to chat.

      • +1 vote

        that park can wait another 5 years to be built, you don't work in an emergency room, its fine.

    • +9 votes

      Look out for #1

  • +142 votes

    A job has come up with better long term prospects, more interesting work and a better work from home policy.

    Take it.

    if I quit I fear they won't be able to replace me easily.

    Not your problem.

    If they decide to close down your department and you'd be out of a job, no one would care about you.

    Care about yourself.

    • +5 votes

      MnGQ is right.

      You need to do what is right for you, your career development, your own happiness and your family (I assume). Staying there out of a feeling of obligation risks jading you and making you bitter. And you will always ask the What If question.

      Putting your decision in a different perspective of being offered two jobs today. One job doing what you do that was a bit boring with no career upside and no pay upside. The other job with about the same pay, more interesting work that will stretch you, with future pay upside, and it exposes you to even more opportunities in the future.Which one would you accept?

      Many people develop in their careers, grow and move on. Businesses and government have long learned to cope with this fact. It is a normal process which creates an opportunity for the next person's career.

    • +1 vote

      no one would care about you.

      The colleagues he is caring about in this instance might?

      I do agree that you must do what is best for you though

  • +34 votes

    I work in a government department and in my area there are only 4 people (including 2 part timers).

    If they can't replace you easily but actually want to they will have to increase the pay.
    Simple.

    • +6 votes

      Unfortunately the system is set up so they can't increase it really - basically due to HR policies. Bands higher than mine are reserved for coordinators, who are the lowest level managers who are sort of part managers and part line staff who do projects.

      • +19 votes

        HR is there to stop the org getting sued etc.

        Finance is the mob that'll dole out headcount.
        I think you think your role is more important than it is to them.
        I'm not saying it's not important just they don't value it, if they did, they'd just make a role Señor Non-Coordinator with a higher pay band.

        • +4 votes

          I'm not saying it's not important just they don't value it

          Very common these days.

        • +14 votes

          A role for Mexicans!

      • +9 votes

        It's not your fault if HR don't update their salary bands quickly enough to keep up with the market.
        From the sounds of it there might be enough workload for you to go to them and say "promote me to manager, hire another graduate and I will manage them both." Otherwise bye bye.
        You need to continue putting yourself in positions with potential growth if you want your career to progress, employers prefer you stay in the same position for 10+yrs with only CPI increases

      • +8 votes

        they can't increase it really - basically due to HR policies

        HR doesn't set salaries, the managers do. The managers just use HR as a scapegoat for them not wanting to give you a raise.

      •  

        I feel you Brother, i work for Government Utility and i'm at the pay band for a Senior. I too like the people i work with and the team leader and Manager.

        Going private will offer me more money and growth but work/life balance is good in Goverment.

        You should apply for that other job and scope out the work environment there. Make it work for you and your family!

        Good Luck

      • +2 votes

        Since you want more work from home they have at least that to negotiate with. And you can ask to move up a band. The bands are more a guide line. Just because its normally what x and x does or should be earning doesn't mean they can't move you up a higher pay scale. Also if the work load is unrealistic it seems like they need to hire more staff then if wages cannot go up.

        I get that you care about your colleagues but in this case you have leverage since you have demands not being met and another opportunity that will meet those demands.

        Basically ask for what you want, if the management is unwilling to do what you need to stay then its their fault. When you work friends ask why you leaving just be honest. I want X and Y and I asked management if they could accomodate and they said no. Your colleagues will understand.

      • +1 vote

        The issue will just get escalated, and whoever's in charge assigns an additional resource or puts in a special provision. Gotta keep that machine running after all.

        It's great that you value your co-workers, but do make sure to look after yourself.

  • +29 votes

    Its crappy, but its not your problem. Its normal to move on for better opportunities.

    • +6 votes

      This seems to be the consensus here - perhaps I will.

      I guess I am quite friendly with my colleagues so I would weigh this more than otherwise.

      • +12 votes

        No sense guilting yourself. If you're as close as you think you are with these colleagues, they should be more than happy that you have a better opportunity elsewhere.

        Always look out for yourself first. Nobody is going to help you pay your bills or take care of your family.

      • +2 votes

        I work for the government and my colleagues are like my family (right down to that one really annoying uncle who has a conspiracy theory about everything). When you go they will miss you but you will be replaced. They shouldn't hold a grudge - you wouldn't expect your brother to stay in an unfulfulling job so why would you expect a close work friend.
        There is no medal or payrise for being loyal. Good luck in your new job.

      • +1 vote

        Would you hold a grudge against any of them for leaving?

        If you value someone you support their personal growth and choices. If you don't value them, you'll be annoyed when their choices create inconvenience for you.

        And you aren't responsible to them, but to the company. And it's the company's responsibility to make it a decent workplace with adequate staffing, not yours.

        Your coworkers will be happy for you, even if their own work gets shittier. The company might even learn a lesson and make some good changes.

    • +1 vote

      Username checks out

    • +10 votes

      Why do you make so many stupid comments on pretty much every topic?

  • +2 votes

    Not your problem. If your not satisfied with the conditions I would leave. Write a pro snd con list.

    If you want to stay would a pay rise make a difference with better WFH options.. Put it to mananagement.

    If your in TP a private planning company may offer better salary and job satisfsction

    Good Luck

  • +16 votes

    Look after number 1.

    Would any of your workmates stay if they were in the same position as you?

    Doubtful.

  • +9 votes

    No need to feel guilty, just have a good honest conversation. It's hard for people to be upset with you if you explain your situation. Nothing worse then being bored and stuck in a position. Bring on the change, your co-workers will understand, they probably have the same respect for you that you have of them.

    • +5 votes

      Best response. Just be open, firstly to yourself about why you're doing this and then to your current team.
      I'd suggest you apply first and land the job before letting others know you're thinking of moving. You never know if you'll get something due to a myriad of factors stemming from HR/finance or management at the new place.
      Land the gig, then decide…

  • +36 votes

    You seem like a really nice and caring person. But don't light yourself on fire to keep others warm. If you're not satisfied, it's best to switch and make a greater impact in a new role.

  • +2 votes

    Yes

  • +18 votes

    The business (or department here) was functioning before you arrived and will continue to do so when you leave.

  •  

    I'm curious are you leaving govt to govt or govt to private ?

    If the 2nd one you might find it not as cosy hehe .

    • +12 votes

      Gov to gov. I've got a young family and don't want the hours of private sector. I know they get paid more for equal experience, but I work 38 hours/week now and hardly ever more.

      • +12 votes

        Because they leave on time?

  • +1 vote

    Apply and find out the ins-outs of the new job.
    You have time to think before you sign on the dotted line.

    It could be a possibility that your management (only if they are great with you), will become more accomodating possibly by giving you a (5% ?) pay rise, reducing your workload, giving you flexible hours. Or even all of the above. It's rare, but it definitely happens.

    But you won't know unless you apply and secure that new job, and go into talks with your current employer. I was in a similar situation at the start of the year, except, my managers were not great and the new job was much better and the pay gap is much more substantial. And yesterday I found myself in the same predicament, so I might stay at my current great job, or possibly move to another in such a short span.

    At the end of the day, you should think about your colleagues, but look after yourself first. It is possible to be friends with them outside of work. And they may get a replacement for you, that's as good as yourself to them. So stay optimistic. If roles were reversed, you can't guarantee that people would look out for you.

  •  

    Your leadership or management team probably is the root cause for your current work environment. If your workmates are as good as you indicate they are, then finding an alternative employment shouldn’t be an issue?

    • +7 votes

      The root cause may well be deeper than the management in the case of public service. It may well come from the political masters of the day who are ultimately responsible for (declining) departmental budgets, outsourcing and private contracting in place of using public servants and an increasing reliance on ministerial advisers rather than the public service for advice. Admittedly, we are getting off topic here but the above view would probably be more applicable to the private sector rather than the public sector. Ross Gittins has an excellent article on this matter in this weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald.

  • +12 votes

    I also quite like the management at my current work

    This is why you feel guilty about leaving. Good management does that to you.

    You got played.

    • +12 votes

      To be fair, I think good management is hard to find.

      That being said, work will never love you back. Do what's best for you.

  • +12 votes

    Live your own life mate, I can guarantee your co-workers won't begrudge you. They might hate the org a bit more though.

  • +16 votes

    You don't even have an offer yet. Apply for the new job, get the offer first, then consider the tradeoffs when you do.

  • +6 votes

    Appreciate the advice all, even if I haven't responded specifically to your comment. I am erring towards applying.

    • +2 votes

      I agree with everyone saying it’s not your problem. The responsibility for ensuring a healthy workload for employees lies with management/the employer, even if your leaving triggers a situation with an unhealthy workload.
      So go ahead and do what’s best for you and rest easy.

    • +1 vote

      Definitely apply - give it your best shot and approach the new opportunity positively.

      Genuinely interview them back with positive questions to understand their management culture, progression and pay.

      Use the interview as an opportunity to broaden your network and practice your external interviewing skills.

      Lastly, even though you may be perfect for the job - you may not get the job unless all the state align. Sometimes the job opening is made for an internal promotion.

      Good luck and always use the opportunity to learn and meet new people. Don't just view it as a one off.

  • +10 votes

    No one is irreplaceable, Its just a feeling of importance which people develop when they work in same team/company for years.
    I have seen few such scenarios when a person handling multiple activities and responsibilities left the job and others felt that the world will fall down but nothing such happened and all the others just stepped up a bit till the replacement was found.

    • +1 vote

      Pretty much this, the cogs just keep turning at the grind stone, covid or no covid

  •  

    If you arent being paid what you are worth then move on elsewhere.

  • +4 votes

    Is it ok to stay if you will suffer?

  • +3 votes

    It isn't your fault if management can't staff appropriately.
    If you leave and they need to pay more for a replacement, that will bode well for pay rises for the colleagues you are leaving behind.
    Would your colleagues turn down an opportunity for themselves based on what will happen to you, or would they figure management will find a replacement.
    Also, it is easier to get staff in regional centres right now, as many people are considering leaving the big cities after COIVD as suddenly there are remote jobs available.

    All that said, I wouldn't churn jobs for 2% unless the job is actually better, and I would be seeking commitments to that effect, not vague promises.

    I'd also rate good current managers and a 38 hour week, even if you are busy at work.

  •  

    at the end of the day it's you, your family and life that's more important than workmates, don't think for a moment that your workmates would refuse a higher position/location to "be mates" with you.

    These ppl are your friends only during working hours? do they get you and family presents at birthdays, Christmas time, do they invite you and family to BBQs regularly? Do they throw in cash when you or family are sick and bills pile up? If yes to these things stay and enjoy mateship if not stuff them and move on and never look back or call

  •  

    Good managers are rare indeed, but if future opportunities is a priority for you then you should apply and recon the other workplace a bit more.

    Do your analysis after you get an offer.

  • +1 vote

    Some things to consider

    1) Government job tenure and security
    2) Long service leave
    3) Growth prospects, workload and security of new job

  • +1 vote

    They're grown adults. If things really get too tough for them to handle, they have the option to leave too.

  •  

    As others have said apply for the job. If/when you get an offer go and speak to your current management and tell them you are leaving for this, this and this reason. If you are as valuable as you say you are they may offer you the coordinator promotion. You will have to decide then whether to stay or not. If they don’t offer significant change or you don’t believe they will deliver on those changes then be prepared to move. Also not all private sector is long hours. I think that has gone out of favour, especially now with workplaces needing to be more flexible, not less. Also 2% pay increase to move jobs is very small amount in the current climate. I’d ask for 10% more in your new position. Own your worth! Ultimately I’m saying do what is best for you entirely. If what is best for you is ultimately staying because you like the team you work for then stay. You can stay or leave for the reasons important to you. Though, don’t make assumptions about things you can’t know about entirely, ie team having problems without you, longer hours in private sector, not being suitable for a promotion. Try to stick to the facts. Moving jobs is always an emotional experience, especially as people get older.

  • +2 votes

    I always take this view on questions like this: If you dropped dead tomorrow would the world end for the people you are talking about? That is to say it’s really about you. If the workload is not spread enough it is incumbent on the management to have things in place not you. A year from now you may hate where you are because you missed a great opportunity.

    Then again maybe you are not really sure you want to change and this is just your way of taking time to come to that conclusion.

  • +4 votes

    It is management's problem not yours. They wouldn't blink if they had to make you redundant. Pack up your pens and pencils and move on.

    • +1 vote

      this
      they are definitely ruthless when getting rid of staff

  • +1 vote

    Your life is your own. You do not owe anyone, anything. In a dog eat dog world, your so called lovely friends will no doubt show their true colours.

    Do what makes you feel comfortable… it is your life… not their life.

  • +10 votes

    The cemetery is full of irreplaceable people

  • +1 vote

    Go for the other job and see if you are offered the position first.

    If you get the offer then you go back to existing to tell them you are moving on and see if they try to keep you by upping the salary/responsibility etc. Then you can make your final decision with more info.

    Whilst it is noble of you to worry about your colleagues a wise man once said "what if you got hit by a bus tomorrow?… They will find a way to continue on"

    • +3 votes

      Very important point on being hit by a bus. Make sure you tell your next of kin to leave the life support machine on until you run out of your sick leave. I have told my family, I would hate someone to miss out on a years pay because they didn't consider this. As soon as my leave is gone they can flick the switch.

  • +3 votes

    Mate, everyone is replaceable.

  • +7 votes

    I've done this twice in the last 5 years.

    I was working with some great people, and the workload was huge, but potential for advancement and interesting projects wasn't there.

    Took the leap, felt a little bad, but didn't cave to the counter-offers. Everyone survived. People were hired, fired, hired, etc until they foung the right person/people.

    Everyone's replaceable. And it was totally worth it.

  • -1 vote

    Yes

    /thread

  •  

    Trouble is I am in a dead end job (end of my band) with projects I am not that satisfied with (albeit not bad).
    A job has come up with better long term prospects, more interesting work and a better work from home policy.
    The work load is a bit unrealistic at this stage, however it will get ridiculous if i quit
    I fear they won't be able to replace me easily.

    I'm having trouble deciding what to do. What would you do?

    I wish there were more people like you out there.

    I'd talk with the management first and let them know your thinking of looking for better opportunities/more interesting projects. If they value you and they have the power to turn your work circumstances in your favour, they may just change it… though, that being said, I don't know the town planning process so I don't know if this would be possible. There is a potential benefit that if you talk with your managers first, they may support you and help you get the job you're looking at.

    In the end, you have to recognise, it's not your job to ensure it doesn't get ridiculous, if you quit or whether it'll be difficult to replace you. Your job is to do the best work you're assigned to do. Your job is also to best look out for you and your familys needs. If you're not satisfied, you need to put yourself in a situation where that can improve. If it cannot be done where you currently are, you owe it to yourself to find a home where it can be achieved.

    Good luck.

    • +1 vote

      Agree, i wish there are more people like op too, putting other people's interest first.

  • +1 vote

    There are some good advice tips here but I agree with many, apply and land the job first then decide what you want to do. You can always reneg on a job offer and having an offer gives you a lot of bargaining power. Never tell them who the department is making the offer lest they attempt to nip it in the bud.
    You could always start by emailing HR and asking how much notice you need to give for resignation. I'll guarantee it will find its way to the attention of your Manager and you can go from there.

    •  

      Although it does sound like op will get the job as his position is hard to fill.

  •  

    Although this would have been no brainer if colleagues were toxic or management is toxic or both. When you are surrounded by so many nice people, it would be hard decision. Although since your position is hard to fill, may be move to a new position and come back if you don't like it.

  • +1 vote

    Of course it is! It is very nice that you care, but at the end of the day you have to look after yourself. Maybe you could give a little more notice than is require of you if you are able to, to give more time?

  •  

    As others have said ultimately when it comes to work you have to look out for yourself and your loved ones first.

  • -1 vote

    Is It OK to Quit if Your Colleagues Will Suffer?

    A: Yes.

    /thread

  •  

    Oh….FFS!!!!

  •  

    Like others have said it's not your problem. Management is supposed to hire adequately not to overburden staff.

    Actually, it has nothing to do with your colleagues. It's up to you to continually improve your situation. You're not saving the world, but you do need to look after you.

    Either way, it all works out. But it won't if you stay in something you have grown out of.

    I should also take my own advice.

  • +1 vote

    I always feel a bit guilting quitting a job, in fact I just quit one today.

    The two things I tell my self:
    1. look after number one and realise that people wouldn't expect you to stay out of loyalty.
    2. no one is indispensable.