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is a commute worth a job that is clearly a better position?


 I am struggling with choosing between 2 job opportunities.  For the first time in my life, I need to think about paying my mortgage and about my husband and future family's happiness.  Please help.

Job A:  Excellent institution with a great reputation for treating employees well.  I will be working with some of the best physicians in the country.  I have met and interviewed with all of them and I would fit in really well with the group.

The commute is an hour and a half each way by train.  Right now I commute 1 -1 1/2 hours by car.  The pay they offered me is less than what I make now, but I plan to bargain with them.

Job B:  I will be 20 minutes from my house.  I know the institution well as I worked there previously.  The pay is more than job A.

The program is not well run.  It is disorganized and the director is known to be disorganized himself.  There have been a few people that have left because of him over the past year and half.


Re: is a commute worth a job that is clearly a better position?

  • Right away I'd select job B, IF you a) might be in a position to get things better organized and b) have the motivation to do so. Do you know the director here personally? Maybe you can sit down with him and offer ideas (what you've learned while you were away from this institution) that may be helpful?

    I live less than 10 minutes from my place of work and could not imagine commuting 1.5 hours especially for less pay!

  • I commute 1-1.5 hours each way by subway every day (oh - and I live 5 miles from the office - gotta love the city!) - you can get a lot done on the train - it's 2 hours of reading time for me every day. :)  It's WAY better than driving (I once had a 75 mile driving commute...You couldn't pay me to make that drive again - too stressful). I guess I'm saying - I wouldn't necessarily let the train commute be your deciding factor.

    If you don't have a good feeling about job B now, do you expect your feelings to change after you start? Do you really want to be looking for another job in 6 months or so?

  • I have always traveled for work or communted to work, I have learned to LOVE books on tape!

    So the commute would not scare me, however if I had children and had to work I would take the job closer to home.  I may not like the job but my children would always come first, I would suck it up.  One day your children will be grown and gone, then you can pick and chose.

  • Job A, and use the experience as a stepping stone when you're ready to find something closer to home.
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  • Having had a 10 min commute for the past 3 years, doing a 1 1/2 hour commute would kill me.  There is only so much reading I can do!  There is so much other stuff I'd want to do w/ those 3 hours of my day. 

    however, people did cite reasons that A might be a good move.

    I will say, though, that you do have to think about kids. Do you plan to have kids?  When?  I would not, not, NOT do a commute like that while I have a young child.

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  • I did the hour to hour and a half thing for a year- and I couldn't deal with it. (Quincy/Weymouth border to Charlestown)

    It was horrible and made me resent work. It really depends how important the job is and how much better it is- but I really wouldn't recommend!

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  • This is a no-brainer for me.  I take Job B-short commute, and a good challenge.  I like a short commute, but I love a good challenge.  

  • Personally, there is no way in hell I would spend 3 hours a day commuting.  The train is better than a car, but still.  

    I know some people who do long commutes, and they get used to it and don't mind it so much.  But it's a deal breaker for me.

    And as others have mentioned, now that I have a child I wouldn't even consider it. 

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  • Job B, without a second thought.  Short commutes are an absolute luxury.  Commuting, people often forget, is UNPAID.  Those three hours you spend getting to and from your job are not compensated for, and it's three hours of your day wasted, that could spent with your family, your husband, your friends, exercising, or relaxing.  The program is disorganized? Be the change you wish to see in the program.  You'll stand out.
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  • I really appreciate all of your input.   

    From other employees that I have spoken with, the director of program B is pretty set in his ways.  A lot of changes need to occur to get the program to where it should be.  This does not mean that I cannot make changes for the better.  It may be challenging, but is certainly something that can be done.

    Job A will go down to 3 days a week over the summer and stay that way.  This will cut down on commute time.

    I do not have children and do not plan to try until at least 32 or 33.  I turn 29 next month.  I am realistic about what changes I will need to make at that time.


  • Tough call! As someone who's been commuting for years I can honeslty say that a short commute is definatley a positive attribute to your quality of  life. But as someone who has had the experience of absolutely hating her job envioronment with a boss who was "set in his ways" , to put it nicely, I know that this is of the utmost importance also.

    With that said I think your decision should stem from your long term career plans. How long are you planning on staying in the position and what job would offer better resume building potential? If it is about even on the resume building potential and you are ok with it being a strategic move in your career path, and not necessarily staying there for multiple years, if you find the environment too negative/stressful (i.e.- you can commit to the job for a minimum of a year and be ok moving onto another position) then definatley go for job B. More money, a short commute (i.e.- increase in the quality of life - IMO) and great experience sounds good to me. GL with your decision! Let us know how it works out.

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  • Job B

    I have a long commute right now and have been doing it  for 4 years. 45 minutes each way. It was fine before my DD but now it is very hard. If you are not very interested in Job B. Can you continue on looking to find something more desirable and closer to your home?

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