Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 46 total)
  • How long to stay in a job
  • Premier Icon bikemonkey
    Free Member

    I started my new job in Jan and it became immediately apparent that late nights are normal here.

    Now, I don't mind the occasional late night when you've got something to do or the shit has hit the fan. Let's say I'd even volunteer to do, say, 2 all nighters a month. The culture here though is to only think about going home at 7pm, and regular impromptu late working. For example, at 5pm today I was told I need to stay "for hours" to work on something I shouldn't really have to work on and it now looks like I'll be here until 11ish.

    It stems from poor management higher up (who all leave at 5 incidentally) and given that I get no extra pay, time off in lieu and am not particularly well paid in the first place, I don't really want to work here any more. It's wrecking my home life as I can't make any plans in the week and am always grumpy outside of work.

    How long should I stay here for? How do you tell new employers in an interview why you left without looking workshy?

    Premier Icon dmiller
    Free Member

    For the last 8 to 10 months I have been doing 10 to 12 hour shifts and sometimes 60 plus hour weeks – I only get paid for 37 hours. I have been with them for 5 years now.

    I have seen no thanks for it, and indeed recently went to HR and explained how stressed it was making me – long story short they are not going to do anything about it and I have been marked as a trouble maker for bringing it up…

    Dont start to do it, be the 9 to 5.30 guy. Its a slippy slope to start going down.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    As long as you don't end up with a string of short jobs on your CV a one off shouldn't be an issue. I worked for a company that required a minimum 10 hours unpaid overtime per week; as you say bad management, if you need more staff then hire them. Happy to be flexible but don't take the p!ss.

    Premier Icon samuri
    Free Member

    I just left a job after only working there for less than 6 months and the conditions were nothing like as bad as those you describe.

    It was just shit, frustrating and boring so I moved on.

    Premier Icon bikemonkey
    Free Member

    I know, but leaving a job after 6 months because you can't hack it looks bad, even if it's reasonable.

    I'm also not sure how I'll get to go to interviews!

    Premier Icon mrmo
    Free Member

    i have been in my new job for two months and have decided it isn't what i thought it would be, and isn't what i want to do. IF the question comes up the answer in my case is it isn't the job i thought it was.

    But at the moment any job is better than no job, the interview i had lined up for tomorrow was cancelled today as funding was withdrawn.

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Free Member

    As long as you don't have a string of short term stays then you'll be fine.

    Premier Icon Grimy
    Free Member

    Dont start down that slippy slope, just because the rest of the team are mugs.

    Premier Icon ernie_lynch
    Free Member

    I know, but leaving a job after 6 months because you can't hack it looks bad, even if it's reasonable.

    Well one of the UK's leading economists Alan Budd, has just handed in his notice after only a few weeks as head of the Lib Con government's flagship new quango, the Office for Budget Responsibility.

    Far from challenging his reputation, his resignation has probably enhanced it. I've never had a job interview in my life, so can't offer any advise. Although I would have thought explaining that you were unimpressed with your previous employer's "poor management" as you describe it, would be the way to go.

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    Just refuse to work the excessive hours. Its against the law for a start of – working time directive. Quite possibly takes you under the minimum wage as well.

    You are being exploited – don't let it happen

    Join a bleeding union FFS

    Premier Icon BigBikeBash
    Free Member

    I leave my current job on Friday purely because of the sh1t hours.

    At the interviews I have had this hasn't been an issue. 'I was mislead about the job when I was recruited and after 6 months I can see it isn't going to change'

    Simple and honest explanation. No issue.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    I think blaming 'the management' always comes across badly in interviews as you are talking to your potential new manger. As mrmo says you just need say it wasn't the job you thought it was, you gave it a reasonable chance but it didn't work out

    Premier Icon Kuco
    Full Member

    Your in a job that you say is wrecking your home life, have to stay late for no extra money and can't make weekend plans plus it makes you grumpy and your worried it will look bad on your CV.

    Get the **** out of their, start looking for another job.

    Premier Icon tails
    Free Member

    I find it absolutely bizarre that anyone would put in that much extra time without a monetary or extra time bonus. I'd put in a bit of extra time during busy periods as my boss is a nice chap but no more than working lunch or a hour after work.

    Premier Icon keavo
    Free Member

    i'd get another job and then leave, asap. tell potential new employers that you want to work for them…..think of your reasons to make them believe you are impressed with their company.

    Premier Icon joolsburger
    Free Member

    What is it you do?

    Premier Icon cheers_drive
    Full Member

    Leave ASAP, as the others have said if you don't make a habit of it it won't be seen as a problem and if you put off another employer who wants you to work stupid hours then that's a good thing.
    I've always put in extra hours when the chips are down, especially if everyone does. Having said that even though I have twice the work I can cope with at the moment I'm not putting in extra hours as the company is making millions and will just be making more out of me doing extra hours.
    Basically put the extra hours in for emergencies etc, or if the company's in trouble but don't do it to cover for other people inadequacies or to help save them money in recruiting others.

    Premier Icon _tom_
    Free Member

    I would leave the office as soon as my hours are up. Why would you work when not being paid except on the odd occasion when something just needs doing?

    Premier Icon bikemonkey
    Free Member

    I work as an advertising account manager. As an industry it can tend towards long hours, but neither of my past emloyets were as bad as here. I think I'm going to circulate my cv at the weekend

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    Start working the hours that you think are right, make sure the work you do is up to standard and on time and then just wait to see if they call you in for a meeting.

    You never know, it might just work.

    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    why would you work extra hours for no extra pay. every job has a start and finish time.
    hours extra to those times should be paid the correct monies.

    if you took the job knowing that they would have you working extra hours for no more money…………then mtfu.

    if you were not told that you would be working extra hours for no more money, go and see the hr people or the citizens advice.

    Premier Icon joolsburger
    Free Member

    I was a sales manager at Yellow Pages for several years. It's pretty normal to see people working long hours in that environment as it's whatever hours to achieve the targets. If you're not on a commissioned comp plan then you need a new job, otherwise par for the course I'm afraid.

    Some companies are better than others but in sales you have to do what it takes to hit the numbers.

    Premier Icon chewkw
    Free Member

    If the company is not in deep shit then by all means leave at 5pm. Those sort of working culture wrecks everyone life. If others want to stay longer to get brownie points then sort them. You work for them but not at the expense of your sanity.

    Start looking around. No point and life too short.

    Oh don't wait too long start looking …

    Premier Icon konabunny
    Free Member

    leaving a job after 6 months because you can't hack it looks bad, even if it's reasonable.

    You can hack it. You just don't want to – and that's the right course to take. There is no point in working long hours at a crap job that isn't even paying you well and you don't get any reward. You are dying slowly. Move if you can!

    Premier Icon brooess
    Free Member

    BikeMonkey – tell me it's not Finex, please? or TMW?
    I've just spent 10 years in London ad agencies, first as a suit, then a planner and it was the same everywhere. Excessive unpaid hours are the norm. Lots of people are happy to do this and so it carries on. I've always had to sign out of the Working Time Directive – ad agency margins are too tight to afford otherwise.
    Martin Sorrell (runs WPP – produce 25% of all advertising globally) says 2010 will be another rough year and my old Creative Director said clients are getting tougher and tougher on budgets… so it's not going to get better.
    If you want and believe you have the ability to get right to the top then you can make a pile. If not but you're happy to make the sacrifices to your personal life then stick with the business cos it can be a lot of fun. However there's a reason why there aren't many people in agencies over 35… we've gone clientside to earn a better package, for less stress and fewer hours 🙂

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    What does your contract actually look like? is there mandatory overtime, terms of payment or TOIL etc?

    AFAIK…if you have cleared your probation period, they can't just fire you. they need to formally tel you why you are not performing and set you clear objective on how you can resolve the issue. (except for serious misconduct) so if you FOH when your hours are up they can't say you aren't doing your job properly and fire you (well not immediately). you can probably hold on and get to a year at this place until things get grim and a year looks OK on your CV.

    i don't do unpaid overtime anymore: used to do it a long when i was younger. i also say in interviews that i expect mutual respect in a job and that if it is a day before delivering something then obviously i will stay later. if management factor in unpaid work in the project plan to get things delivered cheaper and earlier that is when i start to say no.

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Free Member

    if management factor in unpaid work in the project plan to get things delivered cheaper and earlier that is when i start to say no.

    I used to work for a company that did just that. It was essential that we a) won the work and b) delivered it within budget at all costs, usually the staff's.

    Premier Icon hora
    Free Member

    I work in recruitment. I think the longer you stay in this job OP the more chance you'll jump into the wrong job that comes along. Long hours tend to stop you looking for a new job or putting it off without realising that. Its a vicious cycle as looking for a new job can be a job in itself can't it?

    Everyone is allowed to make a mistake and realise that they are in the wrong role. Shows that you are proactive.

    In my industry its normal to work 8am-7pm+. You can **** right off.

    Start looking now- whilst you are in the driving seat. Think of you, your employer isn't.

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    urnipforgeindustries – Member

    AFAIK…if you have cleared your probation period, they can't just fire you.

    Not really – you have no recourse to a tribunal until you have a years service so sacking you within a year is easy. You cannot be sacked or discriminated against for not opting out of the WTD however. If you were then you would probably have recourse as you would if it was discrimination that led to your sacking

    so until you have a years service your recourse is extremely limited.

    Premier Icon tron
    Free Member

    I'd look somewhere else. The idea of joining a union or telling them it's not on generally doesn't work in the private sector. For that sort of thing to be effective, you need a unionised workforce, not one bloke in a union.

    Obviously, find something else before you leave. It's grim out there at the moment.

    I'd not worry about being in the job for a short period of time – you have a good reason to leave and you're not starting out in life, so your CV will prove that you're not a slacker.

    Premier Icon hora
    Free Member

    Agree with tron. Plus if you had a pattern then yes it would worry an employer. One inbetween long service isn't a problem.

    Premier Icon johni
    Free Member

    I worked as a manager somewhere with a similar late evenings culture. At the time we had a new born. I used to drive in very early to avoid traffic so got to the office about 7.15am. I'd arranged when I started that I would leave at 4.30pm again to avoid traffic.

    When I started I got meeting requests for 5pm, 6pm etc. I used to reply with a suggestion that I could do 7.30am the next day. I made sure my work was always good and on time.

    It is very difficult to change you working lifestyle once you have started the "who can stay longest" competition, but I found once people realised I normally left at 4.30pm, they were fine with it. In fact a lot of others began working their proper hours and just made better use of their time.

    I did work extra hours but it was the exception rather than the rule. I could also do some of it from home so it didn't matter too much.

    Premier Icon squin
    Free Member

    If you are in an ad agency, my understanding is that those sort of long hours are par for the course – doesn't mean to say that it's right or fair, but that industry seems to have it's head up its arse and can get away with treating people badly as there are more people wanting to work in role than there are roles.

    I know a bloke who was a group acc director at a big agency, and got sick of doing late nights and even all nighters. He decided to move over to the client side and now works for a part of Manchester City council (in a marketing capacity) that runs loads of the sporting venues. He took a big pay cut, but he now gets home just after 5pm and gets to spend time with his family – he is much happier.

    I would suggest you start to review your options, but don't do anything too hastily. It may be that you need to move sideways within your field as opposed to jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Your next employer might expect similar from you (without actually saying it) if you stay in the same sector of your industry. FWIW, I don't think that you have shown a lack of committment currently, but you need to look for your next move to be with an employer who would equally view your current regime as harsh.

    Good luck with what you decide.

    Premier Icon peterfile
    Free Member

    what are the benefits if you continue to work these hours? Does the job offer sufficient progression to those who are committed?

    My contract explicity states that although my standard hours are 9am – 5.30pm, I need to work "such other hours as are necessary for the business of the firm". I also waived my rights under the working time directive.

    On a quiet day I work 8am – 8pm. Busy days often involve not making it to bed.

    I don't get any overtime, although I do get a bonus based partly on the number of hours I work, although the targets are quite high.

    However, EVERYONE I know working for a similar type of firm puts in these hours. I knew what I was getting myself into and what needs to be done to stay ahead (or just keep up!). There's no point moaning about it, I get paid well for it and feel looked after, and there is limitless progression (both in terms of the business and financially) where only your skill and commitment hold you back.

    People who want to work their "contract hours" here don't last very long at all. Some may argue that it's exploitation and we're mugs for doing it, but look at the market average for your job (or for a job that requires a similar level of qualification). Are you being paid more than the average? If so, then it's normally the case that you have to work for that extra cash, it's not a freebie.

    If, however, you are being paid a market wage, and there is no other career benefit to be gained by putting in long hours…..screw them. As others have said, just leave once you have sorted something else.

    Despite my ramblings above, I'm not actually committed to this profession for the long haul. You sell a bit of your soul every day, and I've given away too much already. I've given myself until september 2012 (hefty workstream will finish around that time) and then I'm on the lookout for something that will allow me to lead a more "normal" home life.

    In the meantime, I still feel like i'm getting out the right amount compared to what I put in, so missing being at home aside, that's surely the balance we all look for?

    Premier Icon TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    I work in the motor trade and had a pretty horrific time at my last employer.

    There was fall outs with management. Long unpaid hours and even a bit of underhand favouritism to other staff in order to force me out. I ended up with acid stomach all the time, angry at my family and unhappy. Cant even say the money was worth it. Things came to a head the day before i was due to go on holiday. The manager went balistic at me going to acompany my wife to collect our holiday money because i did it in a 'lunch break'. Thing is lunch breaks were not normal!!

    I actually discussed a few things with TJ on here and my wife works at a solicitors but the black & white of it was that i was days away from 1yrs service and to sit tight.

    When i came back from holiday i started looking for a job and managed to be offered my ideal job after a couple of weeks. 30mins later i was handed my redundancy and 1mths pay and got myself a paid holiday 🙂 Things have been great ever since and i love my job. Nearly two years here now

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    Peterfile's post is spot on, there's plenty of good reasons to work big hours if there's some big, tangible benefit to you – financial (either immediate or the prospect of making serious money through advancement, and then being able to go home at 5), or maybe you have a very creative job that just demands intense work to get things done, but it's worth it for the inherent reward of what you're doing.

    If you're just doing generic, non-creative work with minimal possibilities for advancement, though, then you're being exploited by working long hours. One thing's for sure, though – if that's the industry standard and you feel like opting out you'll eventually be shown the door. So make sure you have some options lined up if you're thinking of laying down the (working time directive) law.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    peterfile – I bet you're a lawyer or working in a similar profession.

    I spent the best part of 10 years where 8pm was an early finish. There were enough times when I'd go in on, say, Monday morning and return home on Wednesday morning. It went with the territory.

    However, I knew long term that this was not for me, especially since the possible future rewards were looking less and less obtainable. So, I changed what I do and, rather than working for a private practice law firm, I now work on the "client" side.

    I arrive for work for 9am, work hard all day, and have yet to be here after 8pm, with most finishes at around 6. I get paid more than I did in my last job.

    There was something I read once that helped frame all of this for me: too often the people who define success in the workplace are workaholics.

    Plan an exit and off you go.

    Premier Icon joemarshall
    Free Member

    I've worked in software development where this kind of culture is quite common too.

    I was okay doing it once or two days a year max on a deadline, but other than that I've always worked my contract hours. I found that after a couple of weeks of people moaning, they realise that you get exactly the same amount of work done per day as the long staying people, and stop hassling you about it.

    Particularly in creative type work, there is loads of evidence that people are less productive working more than an 8 hour day, meaning that they actually get less work done in a 10 hour day than in an 8 hour day.

    Possibly less so in work that doesn't demand much of your brain, like very repetitive manual work although there are often safety reasons why long hours aren't a good idea in that field.

    Having said that, I know the sales guys used to get quite competitive about long hours, late nights, early mornings, big travelling etc. and have some bollocks kind of macho thing about it, which probably did affect their career progression, so it might be a pain if you're in an industry like that.


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