Make us your home page
Instagram
Career Q&A | By Marie G. McIntyre, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Make side-by-side comparison of existing, potential jobs

Q: I'm having trouble deciding whether to change jobs. For a number of years, I have worked for a small local company. I can walk to work and go home for lunch, which is a great lifestyle benefit. The pay is fair, but there is no room for advancement, and the business owners are greedy, arrogant people.

After looking for other opportunities, I have finally found a position that interests me. This job would provide a better compensation package and more career potential, but the downside is that I would have to travel 30 percent of the time.

I'm hesitant about leaving my current job, but I also think a change might be healthy. My crystal ball just isn't working, so I would welcome any suggestions.

A: Choosing between two alternatives with different benefits inevitably creates a psychological dilemma. Selecting one means giving up the advantages of the other, so people often have a hard time with these choices. On a small scale, it's like deciding whether to have the creamy chocolate cake or the sensible fruit plate for dessert. Either way, you gain something and you lose something.

To help structure your decisionmaking, try this simple exercise. First, make a comprehensive list of all the factors important to you in a job, such as pay, interesting work, competent management, etc. Give added weight to any that are especially critical. For each position, rate these factors on a 1-to-5 scale, then compare the scores.

Viewing the ratings side-by-side should give you a better idea of how these two jobs stack up. Ultimately, however, you will need to take a leap of faith and choose the path that appears headed toward the most desirable future.

Unfortunately, co-workers' food choice might cause indigestion

Q: Our company has a large number of Indian employees who bring lunch from home, heat it in the microwave and eat at their desks. Unfortunately, the smell is very pungent and lingers in the air for at least half an hour. I have tried spraying air freshener, but that didn't help.

When I commented on the smell, a few people accused me of being racist, but that is not true. I like my co-workers. I just think eating smelly food in close quarters is inconsiderate. Should I discuss this problem with human resources or just shut up and live with it?

A: The issue of food smells is difficult to address, because few odors are universally offensive. For example, many people despise the smell of microwave popcorn, while others don't mind it at all. The same is true of fish, gasoline and that air freshener you were using. In India, many might consider the aroma of an American hamburger distasteful.

In this situation, however, the practical question is whether other lunching locations are available. If your office has a decent break room, the HR manager might reasonably implement a "no eating at your desk" policy for all employees. But if desktop dining is the only alternative to eating out, I'm afraid you will simply have to adjust.

Make side-by-side comparison of existing, potential jobs 03/10/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]
  2. The Iron Yard coding academy to close in St. Petersburg

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Iron Yard, a code-writing academy with a location in downtown St. Petersburg, will close for good this summer.

    Instructors (from left) Mark Dewey, Jason Perry, and Gavin Stark greet the audience at The Iron Yard, 260 1st Ave. S, in St. Petersburg during "Demo Day" Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Iron Yard, which is an immersive code school that is part of a trend of trying to address the shortage of programmers.  The academy is closing this summer.  [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. Florida's unemployment rate drops for fourth straight month

    Markets

    How low can Florida's unemployment go? Pretty low, according to the state's latest unemployment numbers. The Sunshine State's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent for June, down from 4.3 percent in May, state officials said Friday morning.

    Florida's unemployment level dropped to 4.1 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May. |  [Times file photo]
  4. Is sinkhole damage sinking Tampa Bay property values?

    Real Estate

    On a scale of desirability, the house for sale on Whittner Drive in Land O' Lakes would rank fairly low. It's a short sale; it sits on an unstabilized sinkhole and it's within a few miles of two houses that collapsed into a gargantuan hole July 16.

    A gated community in Hernando's Spring Hill area, Pristine Place has long been susceptible to sinkholes with nearly a third of its houses with documented sinkhole damage by 2012. Today, however, many houses with repaired sinkhole damage are selling for more than houses without any issues. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times file photo]
  5. The real estate pros in charge of Tampa's $3 billion makeover are younger than you think

    Working Life

    TAMPA — Brooke May, a 36-year-old senior construction project manager, knew she wanted to work for Strategic Property Partners the minute she met some team members involved with the group's massive downtown Tampa makeover.

    Matt Davis, Vice President of Development posed for a portrait in the Strategic Property Partners office in Channelside on July 12, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]