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I have a chance of a full time job but feel guilty about leaving my supervisor in the lurch!

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Question - (30 March 2017) 9 Answers - (Newest, 6 April 2017)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I guess this is sort of a work relationship question.

Basically I currently have a part time job where I work 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. However, due to the first quarter of the year being our slowest time,I've now been cut down to 5 hours a day, 3 days a week. Needless to say, this isn't going to help me pay off my student loans. Especially when my hours aren't expected to pick up until hopefully May.

Although I'm not super fond of this job, it suits my lifestyle quite a bit. I have bad anxiety with IBS that makes it extremely difficult to get settled in to a new job, and having short days, one coworker (my supervisor), and a lot of free time really keeps my anxiety down. Plus I get along really well with my supervisor and I like being there to help. However, my mom keeps hounding me to get a full time job. To get use out of my college degree and pay off my loans, which I completely understand where she's coming from and why she wants this for me.

There's two issues preventing me from doing this.

1. When I started this job there were 3 of us in this department, so tasks were easy to split up, and we were always caught up, so I didn't feel too bad about taking a sick day if need be because one of us would always be there to help my supervisor. Then, due to her own situation at home, my coworker had to get a better paying job so she left. Now it's just me and my supervisor. And although we've slowed down as a company, my supervisor still gets a lot of work and she needs me there to keep us caught up which is difficult considering I'm only there 3 days a week! My plan was to stay until we got a new 3rd person, but it looks like that's not going to happen until MAYBE sometime in May. And now I've found a full time job that I really want to apply for but the deadline is April 4th. I just hate the idea of leaving my supervisor alone because I know she's going to get behind and the other workers in the store don't make things any easier at times. My mom thinks I shouldn't worry about her but I can't help it. I hate letting people down in that way. She's stressed out most of the time and this will just add more stress, especially when I get the feeling she thinks I'm going to stay there for awhile yet.

2. The other issue is what I said before, I'm used to this job working well with my anxiety and I'm afraid of trying to settle in at a new place. My nerves act up so bad all the time that it leaves me always needing to run to a bathroom and I'm afraid at a full time job, people aren't going to put up with that. It's going to appear unprofessional... Even my current job took me about a good 6 months to get even slightly comfortable at to the point where now I hardly use the bathroom when I'm there. My nerves really only act up there now when I have to learn something new or have to sit/stand in one spot for a long period of time (makes me feel trapped like I can't leave to use the bathroom which in turn makes my nerves act up even more)

I don't know what to do. Am I stupid to feel guilty about what will happen to my supervisor and my own comfort than I am about my future?

View related questions: co-worker, period, split up, trapped

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (6 April 2017):

CindyCares agony aunt Yes, of course your supervisor has no say in hiring new people, she is an employee like you. The decision and responsibility of hiring or not hiring pertains to the management and / or owners of the company :

SO WHAT.

Do not try to micromanage the whole Universe !

The boss will decide to hire or not hire , and your supervisor will react accordingly as she sees fit. Supposedly, she is a mature and competent individual, capable of handling the challenges of her working life, and not under the impression that work has always to be a bed of roses.

If she will find herself handling an extra workload, she may decide to put up and double the efforts, or to speak up and demand more help, or to just let things slide a bit at work, or to seek a new less demanding job... or whatever.

Point is, she'll deal with this as she thinks it's best.

It's nice of you to be so considerate toward a colleague, but - you need to learn to prioritize. First things first. Your duty and responsibility is to build up the best possible future for YOURSELF , not for your supervisor ! And that's not " selfishness ", it's just common sense. You have a responsibility toward yourself ( and your family ) , you cannnot neglect it and waste professional opportunities, or end up saddled with debts, or get stuck in a perennial " teen with a part time job " mode, if you are offered the chances to forge ahead and better your cirrent position... just to be " polite " .

In fact, I suspect that this is basically an excuse to not go out of your confort zone, to not let go of your security blanket.

Yes, I realize how changing jobs may be more challenging for you than for another individual. Challenging does not mean impossible, though, and every life has its different challenges. You just need to equip yourself to handle yours. Which you are not doing, as long as you are addressing the problem of your crippling anxiery ( and related pgysical symptoms ) only by keeping a bottle of Imodium in your purse. You know the saying, " God helps those who help themselves " ? Start by doing your best effort to solve your problems, - not your supervisor's.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (5 April 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntDon't let your anxiety or IBS rule your life. Apply for the new job. Nobody else is going to better your life only you. You can be replaced at your old job. Full time work, means more pay and less stress from student loans.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

I'd also like to say that while I understand you suffer with anxiety, having a new job opportunity makes everyone anxious so you're not completely on your own and everyone can empathise :)

You could still tell your supervisor about it now. Of you've got a good relationship it won't hurt.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

Apply for it and if you get it,then take it and worry about all this stuff further down the line. If you apply and you don't get it, you'll know how much you did or did not want to move on and this will give you a push to find something else. Same as if you do get it.

You supervisor should understand (and probably would by the sounds of your relationship) that you are entitled to move on and up in the world and that people can't usually live off of the hours she can offer you.

Not to be mean but you, as an employee, are replaceable. Your supervisor will have to man up and get a new you.

You're lovely to be so kind to them but if it was the other way around a company would be quick to ditch you if they benefitted. Do what's best for you because opportunities don't come very often.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

This is the OP.

I should clear up a few things. First off, my supervisor is just the full time version of my position. She doesn't have any say in when to hire people. And it's not that we're struggling under overwhelming work, it's just it would be a ton of work for just one person to try and keep up with. Also the company is behind on their budget so they can't afford to hire new people and give out more hours.

But you guys are right, I should apply first then see where things go. My problem is that my anxiety stems from my constant worrying. It's honestly automatic. My brain will think of things that may or may not happen months from now and my stomach will churn at the 'what if.' 'how will I handle this situation if it comes up?' At the moment, yes, I'm just winging it and trying to cope with it. My worries make me such a skeptical person that I can't imagine anything working which is ridiculous, I know. I have a whole web of concerns and issues that tie into my bad anxiety and I've been telling myself 'fix this first and then go for a new job' but I've haven't found a way of fixing it yet besides always keeping medicine on me in case of bathroom emergencies.

I guess I'm just worried if I do get a job offer that it'll be totally out of the blue to my supervisor because she had no idea I've been looking at other jobs. But that's my own fault for not speaking up more

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2017):

As I see it you have two concerns here. 1. You dont want to betray your supervisor. 2. You have health issues and you find your current job suitable with your health issue. First point is easy to solve. You apply fir the new post and if they take you,you give notice to your supervisor during which she has to find a replacement. The second point is admitedly difficult to solve as we cant assiss you health situation. You have to discuss this point with your mother who is nearest to you and probably who can assiss your health issue much better than anyone else. Good luck either way.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (30 March 2017):

CindyCares agony auntMisplaced guilt. I am sure you are valued and valuable at your part time job- but you are not irreplaceable- nobody is.

If you leave, they'll just hire somebody else. And with the tons of young people looking for employement, it should not be difficult to find your replacement. But even if it were, that's no skin off your nose. Loyalty and professional integrity are wonderful , but not up to the point of self defeat. If you have debts, you DO need a full time job, sooner or later, and if you have the chance to make it sooner rather than later, definitely you should take it. I am pretty sure that even your supervisor would think the same.

In any case , as Chigirl says, you have not been offered the new position, you haven't even applied yet ! You'll cross that bridge when you'll reach there. Get that job offer first, THEN it will be time to weigh carefully your options.

I want to add that I understand how your condition makes you resistant to changes, but... are you just HAVING anxiety ( and anxiety- triggered IBS ), or are you CURING it ?

Both anxiety and IBS do not need to be a life sentence- there are ways to heal them , or at least mitigate them, and make them much more manageable and less disruptive of your daily life.

Are you seeking these ways out ? Are you exploring all the possible paths to healing ? Are you taking a proactive stance with reference to your condition.... or just hoping that somehow you can tiptoe around your health issues indefinitely and wing it nonetheless ?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (30 March 2017):

You haven't been offered the other job, you want to apply for it. I'm not sure why you're so concerned about regarding the supervisor. If she's short of help, if she's worth her salt; she'll speed-up the process of finding a replacement.

Isn't the real concern about your anxiety issues? You really haven't been offered another job yet; and defaulting on your student-loans will pose even more anxiety than you already have. Your mother is pressing you to taken-on full-time work for your own good. You have to be independent; and you also have to challenge yourself a little more. If you can handle an overwhelming workload at the job you have; you should be able to handle a full-time job.

The job you're working on should consider making you full-time, since they're short of help. Why haven't you inquired about that? Otherwise; maybe things are slow enough that they can hire a temp if they require help until they get another employee. I just can't see where your being there is so effective, if you're only there part-time anyway.

Why haven't they considered increasing your hours? Do they value you as much as you are concerned for the supervisor?

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (30 March 2017):

chigirl agony auntApply for the other job. Then ask this question again if you are offered the position.

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