Possible Job Change

I need some input here, if anyone is so inclined to share some advice.

Right now I work as an administrative assistant for a non-prime financing company that is a subsidiary of a large automotive corporation. I work 1-2 hours a day and sit on my backside the rest of the day wishing I had work to do. I’m NOT someone who takes easily to goofing around for 6-7 hours a day. I find it highly frustrating and annoying and it makes me want to rip out my hair and scream. Ahem. Anyway, my office is currently 7 miles from my house but is moving to a new location that will add 17 miles each way to my commute. That commute will go through some areas of freeway construction. I’ve worked here for 3 years, but the first year I was a temp. I don’t make tons of money, trust me. I pay around $120 a month for all my insurance expenses (my husband and I found that cost less than to have us both on one or the other of our insurance policies).

I used to work at a University. I was actually in that particular university system for between 6 and 7 years; if I were to go back there, they’d bridge my service for purposes of retirement and leave accrual, etc. They have 9 openings right now for administrative assistants; I applied and have interviews set up on Friday. I would make at least what I’m making now, if not a wee bit more. I would have more time off. While it’s a little further than my current office, it’s quite a bit closer than the new location would be. After a year, my husband and I could get half-price tuition, which is good because I want to go to graduate school. My insurance would be free (they cover the costs for the employee, and it’s only extra if you’re covering dependents). It would also get me back into the Teacher’s Retirement Association, which would be good, and I can roll my current 401(k) over into an IRA.

My husband is notorious for overreacting to all kinds of situations. Right now he’s frantically overreacting to the financial crisis. Please don’t think I’m making light of it–I’ve watched my 401(k) drop 16% in the last few weeks. He does NOT want me to change jobs. His rationale is that the universities will not be attracting the money and new hires would be likely to be laid off. He thinks it’s safer for me to stay where I am. I completely disagree. My rationale is that a university is a safer place to be working than a credit company, particularly as our parent company has been closing locations like crazy. I could easily be out of a job any time, especially once we get moved to the new location and they find out how little work I actually have. (Not that I conceal it–it’s just that I’m exceptionally fast so I get a lot done in a very short time. Until I started here, they’d always had 2 people doing my job, which cracks me up because when I started here I did all my work in 2-3 hours a day.)

So what do you think? Is there anything serious to my husband’s worries about the universities not being able to keep staff? This particular university is attracting a lot of engineering and scientific research funding, and I think it’s a strong, safe place to be. While I’m willing to stay at my current job and tell my husband “I told you so” should I get laid off, I’d really rather be back at the university. I like it better, I think it’s as safe as any other position, and I’ll be netting more money than I do now. I’ve made all these arguments to him, but he’s still insisting I stay. If I could go back to him with more evidence that taking this other job would be all right, it might help make my case, or it might make me feel secure enough to defy him and do it anyway. But that never works out well, so I’d rather convince him than defy him.

Thanks in advance.

I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a university (or any other government job) laying off people. I thought that’s why people wanted government jobs… for the security.

Perhaps your husband should be the one marshaling up compelling arguments for you staying in the job you hate with the inferior benefits. Why do you have to convince him?

From the way you’ve presented the scenario here, you will be more engaged, and have more opportunities to pursue the kind of career and education that matches you so really the burden should be on your husband to present the compelling case to stay where you are bored out of your skull.

Is the university a state university? If so, and even if they did lay people off, it might be after giving them first crack at other positions in state government. That is a better set of alternatives than you’re likely to have with a credit company. Neither credit nor auto industry is giving me any kind of job security warm fuzzies, I’ll tell you that.

Sounds to me like taking the university gig is a no brainer. Finance companies go belly up all the time, and frankly, I would expect that trend to accelerate in the coming months. Don’t know that I’ve ever heard of any state-funded university going out of business.

Benefits sound good, and your own satisifaction with your employment situation is worthy of factoring in to the equation.

Thank you. I was thinking all the time that he’s just overreacting to the financial crisis in a very bizarre way. So I went ahead and took the day off Friday so I can go to my interviews, and he can like it or not like it as he chooses.

I can’t imagine that any non-prime lender is a stable employer these days, even if it is attached to GM or Ford. Possibly especially if it is attached to GM or Ford.

Anyways, once you’ve got the income to avoid starvation and exposure to the elements, job satisfaction is worth more than most anything.

We are talking about the UT system right? I.E. one of the fastest growing college systems in the U.S.? Yeah, I’d say employment with them would be pretty stable. A hell of a lot more stable than a “non-prime financing” company.