Ask The Doctor

Boss trouble? Overworked? Should you shift jobs or no? Sandeep Goyal answers all this and more in this week's column

Dear Sir,

I have been working with a boss for the last five years. He changed jobs three years ago and I moved with him. Again, last year he decided to shift and I shifted with him. He has now decided to move to a new job again and has arranged to take me along. Of course, the designation and the money are better but I am very happy with my current job. It’s a big agency and I am on a large multinational business which gives me a lot of exposure. My boss is 10 years older than me and somehow in a hurry to become an agency head even if it means moving to a really small outfit. The one he is headed to and where he wants me to join him is much smaller than our current employer and with clients who are of no comparison to the ones we work on currently.

I want to tell my boss that this time I will not shift with him but I feel he will get very angry and misunderstand my intentions and reasons. I really respect and admire my boss but this one time, I want to take my own decisions.

Do you agree with my decision not to follow my boss into his new assignment? And how do I tell him that I am not coming along?

Rahul M.

Dear Rahul,

I kind of agree with your decision not to follow your boss into his new assignment. If you are in a good agency, working with a good client and are not dissatisfied with the current job, there is no real need to look outside. Just because your current boss, a good boss you have followed around for some years, has other plans and ambitions; it should not automatically impact your life.

Having said that, let us look at it from the perspective of your boss. He obviously attributes some of your growth in the profession to his mentorship. And that may actually be true. That he has taken care of you every time he has moved also means that he is fond of you and trusts you as a team member. That brings in the element of loyalty. This loyalty is actually two-ways. He has so far exhibited his part of the loyalty by arranging a place (with better designation and better pay) for you too, every time he has planned to move. Obviously, he expects you to reciprocate. It may be an unfair expectation but he thinks it is only keeping your end of the bargain. Partly true, partly not true.

Have you had a chat with your boss? Have you asked him his motivations for moving to a much smaller agency? If you are that close to him, despite the 10 years age gap, it may be fair to ask him this question. It may also explain perspectives on the new job that you may not have thought about. It is also possible that in the course of discussion, you may get your boss to see the futility of moving on so quickly, that too to a job/company that may not have a long-term promise. I suggest you have that chat. It will help.

Should you decide not to have the above chat for what so ever reasons; to avoid an unpleasant situation, why don’t you write an email to your boss telling him that this time you may not want to move jobs alongside him. Why I’m suggesting that is simply for matters not to get uncomfortable or emotional face to face. In your email, suggest that both of you meet and chat. The mail will take the sting out of your rejection.

Dear Sir,

I work for an event management company. The work is enjoyable but very tiring. Unlike my friends in ad agencies and media agencies, my hours are much longer and my work involves a lot of physical energy. I am at work sites from dawn to dusk. In fact, through the night, when the sets are going up and rehearsals are taking place. I am also on red alert during the actual event. I just feel very fatigued with my work. Should I move to another business? I hesitate for two reasons. First, because I have worked only in event management all along. Two, the money is better here. There is a third reason also. I get to travel a lot, which I like.

Do let me know what do you think.

Shipra S.

Dear Shipra,

These are the perils of the job. Long hours at work are today becoming a part of almost every job. So just moving to an ad agency or to a media agency may not make life easier.

What you have not said in the mail above is if you are careful about your diet and the timing of your meals. This could have a lot of bearing on your health. With your kind of a job, it is not easy to maintain a healthy diet. More so, to keep tabs on your meals. Making sure both these are addressed suitably, could partially help in getting you to feel fitter and healthier.

And there is, of course, the need for good physical regimen and exercise to keep fit. Even if there is no gymnasium where you may be working, in most places, there is always somewhere you can go for a jog. Do that. Without fail.

When you feel healthier and fitter, many of your work-related lows will surely go away. 
Your problem is not your work. I think it is your current lifestyle where you are not doing enough to look after yourself. Do that and other issues will resolve themselves on their own.

Good luck!

Dear Sir,

There are a lot of my colleagues who are going to the Goa Fest. I have not been selected to go. Should I just take a leave from work and go? Will it be misunderstood by my agency management?

Joe C.

Dear Joe,

If I were you, I wouldn’t take leave from work and go attend Goa Fest in your personal capacity. It will send out all the wrong signals at work. Not worth doing it.

There will always be Goa Fest next year. If they did not send you this year, they will surely send you next year. No point getting worked up about it.

Scooting off on your own is actually easy to do but your boss or your management may see this as a kind of unnecessary cocking a snook. It may jeopardize your position in the agency. Such things are not normally taken kindly. As I said before, best to avoid.
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