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Self and Hasty  
#1 Posted : 30 April 2019 16:56:22(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Self and Hasty

Hi all,

I've been in my new role for only 6 weeks, and it could be a great job, I have lots of responsibility and duties, I've peen put on two courses already, It's a middle management role for a company producing chemotherapy medicines for 3000 patients a day. However the existing health and safety is minimal with LOTS of gap and work that needs doing and the culture is toxic with resistence to health and safety from every department including the Duty Holder CEO "I don't care what my employees have to say about health and safety" unfortunately a direct quote from the CEO when discussing employee consultation requirements. As soon as he said that I decided this isn't the company for me and I started applying elsewhere. Other factors are that I'm currently paid about £5k less than I'm worth.

I've now been offered a job with a consultancy firm in London, I would be a junior at the company which would be a step back, but the salary is £2.5k more than I'm on now, still £2-3k short of what I'm worth but still an improvement. With promises of additional training over the next year and becoming a senior as part of their fast track program (Fast-track programs/offers always make me wary!) 

I really can't tell what would be best for me for both the short and long term, do I carry on where I am, with a real potential to implement positive change (even though I may have to constantly battle to get it!) where I have title and responsibility for a company that can make a difference. Or do I go for being a faceless junior for a consultancy firm but with clearly mapped out progression.

 Both roles are geographically away from where I want to be, but there were no jobs where I was living so have branched out my search.

The truth is I don't want either of them because neither are what I really want, both are flawed but needs must.

Any advice or input is appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Dave5705  
#2 Posted : 30 April 2019 20:23:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Dave5705

Self and Hasty.

I have changed career a few times over the years and been around more blocks than most, and I can tell you there is no answer to your conundrum because whatever you do, you will never get to find out what would have happened if you made the other choice!  Are you able to talk to this guy, why not ask him outright, what have you to lose, you are going to leave anyway? Maybe he genuinely doesn't see the need (but I doubt it).

I will say if you are going to go, go now (unless you have any reason to think the situation might change). Leaving by choice after such a short time says to me you are confident and don't shy away from hard decisions, and it sounds like you have good enough reasons, your personal integrity being one. Whether you take the position offered is up to you, how much experience do you have? Would a year in a position with other experienced practitioners to absorb learning from be a bad thing? There are no crystal balls, but be as sure as you can you will be able to stay at least a while... leaving two jobs in short succession might give a negative vibe to your CV. I would be clear and upfront with the agencies, let them know WHY you are leaving, they can communicate that to any prospective company and clear the air.

I have learned the hard way that chasing against the tide is never worth it. You will not win, you can't against a person like that. You might be the best H&S manager in the world, but unless you get the top brass on side you are flogging a proverbial.

Personally, I would let all the agencies know you are looking and why, and see what else is out there. Good luck

thanks 2 users thanked Dave5705 for this useful post.
Self and Hasty on 01/05/2019(UTC), Martin Fieldingt on 01/05/2019(UTC)
Ian Bell2  
#3 Posted : 01 May 2019 10:57:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

For most people any job is a compromise between salary, location, job interest, family time etc.

Personally I would go for the consultancy job. I have worked both in consultancy and in house HSE manager.

In my view consultancy is less hassle. Ok you have the normal company politics in a consultancy (unless self employed) - but with consultancy you undertake a project assignment, complete the work. Its then up to your client to accept or reject your report - you can often walk away to the next assignment, no or much less politics or arguing with managers who have negative h&s opinions.

thanks 3 users thanked Ian Bell2 for this useful post.
Self and Hasty on 01/05/2019(UTC), Swygart25604 on 01/05/2019(UTC), Martin Fieldingt on 01/05/2019(UTC)
Clark34486  
#4 Posted : 01 May 2019 11:14:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

First impressions last, always, your gut instinct is definately worth listening to in my experience.

Over the years I've worjked for good and bad and what I have learnt is that it's never perfect

Many won't agree with me here and I accept that BUT the sooner you (sic) realise that as a H&S 'bod' nobody wants you and you are a necessary evil, the sooner you will have peace of mind. I say this being able to tell all that I absolutely love my job and wouldn't swap it for the world (apart from a substantial lottery win of course, but that isn't in essence a job)

thanks 2 users thanked Clark34486 for this useful post.
Self and Hasty on 01/05/2019(UTC), CptBeaky on 02/05/2019(UTC)
Self and Hasty  
#5 Posted : 01 May 2019 12:53:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Self and Hasty

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

...realise that as a H&S 'bod' nobody wants you and you are a necessary evil, the sooner you will have peace of mind. 

Exactly, it was the public meet and greet with the CEO with ten other new starters where the boss replied to my introduction with "well don't tell people you're health and safety you'll put everyone to sleep" followed later with the "I don't care what my employees have to say about health and safety" that made me think I didn't want to work for this man... 

My interaction with him is minimal (seventh week and only met him the once) but when he's got that negative attitude and oversees the toxic atmosphere and is resistant to change then I despair.

It could be a great company to work for, they do a lot of good, and the consultancy might be worse?! It could be horrible and corporate, and I wouldn't be the H&S 'expert' I'd just be a junior, I might fail and then they fire me or...

I'm leaning towards the consultancy, but it seems a big step away from title, responsibility and security to the unknown which could be catastrophic...

I really don't know, I have a week to decide and I appreciate the input, thank you.

Self and Hasty  
#6 Posted : 01 May 2019 12:59:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Self and Hasty

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

...realise that as a H&S 'bod' nobody wants you and you are a necessary evil, the sooner you will have peace of mind. 

Exactly, it was the public meet and greet with the CEO with ten other new starters where the boss replied to my introduction with "well don't tell people you're health and safety you'll put everyone to sleep" followed later with the "I don't care what my employees have to say about health and safety" that made me think I didn't want to work for this man... 

My interaction with him is minimal (seventh week and only met him the once) but when he's got that negative attitude and oversees the toxic atmosphere and is resistant to change then I despair.

It could be a great company to work for, they do a lot of good, and the consultancy might be worse?! It could be horrible and corporate, and I wouldn't be the H&S 'expert' I'd just be a junior, I might fail and then they fire me or...

I'm leaning towards the consultancy, but it seems a big step away from title, responsibility and security to the unknown which could be catastrophic...

I really don't know, I have a week to decide and I appreciate the input, thank you.

Roundtuit  
#7 Posted : 01 May 2019 14:14:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Carefully assess the economics if it involves relocation or significant commute in the London region - renting a one bedroom flat can take a very hefty chunk ot of a monthly salary and "weightings" as they used to be called really have not kept up with the cost of living disparity between the capital and elsewhere.

Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 01 May 2019 14:14:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Carefully assess the economics if it involves relocation or significant commute in the London region - renting a one bedroom flat can take a very hefty chunk ot of a monthly salary and "weightings" as they used to be called really have not kept up with the cost of living disparity between the capital and elsewhere.

chris42  
#9 Posted : 01 May 2019 14:15:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Can’t help but think you had already made the decision to leave once you applied for another job! Could the consultancy experience allow you to set up a consultancy of your own in the future in the area you would prefer to live / work?

Is the company that bad so far ie have you identified any particular issues which once advised they are ignoring or is it just a feeling from that once comment?

Not a dig at you, but how would you handle the question in the future when asked why you went, and you say because the CEO would not listed to my advice and they ask “so you are no good at persuading people then what makes you think you can do this job” you just applied for ? Not having a go at you I am well aware there are some real muppets out there running companies who will not take advice even to save their own life  However there are always at least two people in a conversation (if not you may need the people in white coats come and take you away). Just a thought, have you given it enough of a chance to ensure he is a muppet.

The question of is it you or is it them, one I’m sure a lot have had. I will admit I have had this thought ( I decided it was them 😇 )

Chris

Ian Bell2  
#10 Posted : 02 May 2019 06:30:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

Depending upon the consultancy, another advantage is you can get experience of lots of different indutries/sectors and/or more speciailist work/areas of h&s.

WatsonD  
#11 Posted : 02 May 2019 08:39:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

"As soon as he said that I decided this isn't the company for me and I started applying elsewhere." Sounds like a decision.

The next job may not be your dream job, nor the one after that, or the one after that. What you have got to do is consider where you want to be and what is the best route to get there.

A couple of years working in a company where you can make changes, learn to strengthen your arguments and build experience, could be a good option. Your not hurting your CV by staying where you are.

However, as a consultant you will get a great deal of exposure with many companies and make a lot of contacts. You wont however, get real experience of managing H&S within an organisation.


thanks 1 user thanked WatsonD for this useful post.
Clark34486 on 02/05/2019(UTC)
ttxela  
#12 Posted : 02 May 2019 09:04:41(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

On a slightly different tack, you seem to have a clear idea 'what you are worth' how did you determine this? Is it based on what you were paid in previous positions, some sort of peer research or benchmarking, a calculation of your benefits to the organisation or just a personal judgement?

Not having a dig at anyone, genuinely interested!......

MrBrightside  
#13 Posted : 02 May 2019 09:10:41(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

Consultancy work does not suit everyone. You normally have to travel a lot, spending more time on the road than in the office. You often don't get to see things through as you are dictacted by what the client wants and needs (willing to pay for) and it can be a bit like Groundhog day just different companies each time. You will often find that you chucked in to industries that you have no idea about but your expected to sell then the product.

I have done it twice and it is fantastic for gaining varied experience across different industries, but there are frustrations and it can be a lonely life at times. It just depends on what suits you as a person.

CptBeaky  
#14 Posted : 02 May 2019 09:17:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

I was in a similar position to you when I started my job. I went the opposite route to what is being advised and stayed. I am not saying that is the right move for you, but I'll play devil's advocate for a moment, it may help you make your choice.

The reason I stayed had a lot to do with both security and what Clark said. The company I work for are a great company with a bad H&S culture. I am not liked for what I do, they only have a role here because their insurance company told them they must employ a H&S officer. However, I am liked personally. The role and the person are two separate thing.

They trust me not to waste their money, however they want little to do with what I am doing. This means I have a pressure free environment to work in and can try to implement change at my own pace. Sometimes I do get projects over-ruled ("Why do we need another noise assessment? We already know it is noisy out there"), but I put my objections in an e-mail and move on. I am slowly changing the culture and that is very satisfying. I create and maintain my own work schedule. I get on with the dirctors, despite them not really understanding my role. The factory workers feel they can talk to me, but they also know that when something isn't funded it is not due to me not trying and therefore I don't get too much stick. All areas are extremely resistant to change, but they all want a safe work place. (average age on the factory floor is well over 40).

If I had moved to consultancy I feel I would have worked longer hours, had less job satisfaction (as you rarely see the results of your labours) and would have had a much less secure job. I am 42, so at that stage in my life that I just wanted stability and a reduction in stress/hours.

I have no doubt that my choice has harmed my long term prospects, but I am happy with what I am doing.

thanks 5 users thanked CptBeaky for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 02/05/2019(UTC), Clark34486 on 02/05/2019(UTC), chris42 on 02/05/2019(UTC), Martin Fieldingt on 02/05/2019(UTC), Andrew W Walker on 02/05/2019(UTC)
westonphil  
#15 Posted : 02 May 2019 09:47:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
westonphil

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

I have no doubt that my choice has harmed my long term prospects, but I am happy with what I am doing.

If you have already mastered how to be happy with what you are doing in the environment you describe then in my opinion your long term prospects are good to great; not only in work but also in life.

Regards

thanks 1 user thanked westonphil for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 02/05/2019(UTC)
Clark34486  
#16 Posted : 02 May 2019 10:03:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

I was in a similar position to you when I started my job. I went the opposite route to what is being advised and stayed. I am not saying that is the right move for you, but I'll play devil's advocate for a moment, it may help you make your choice.

The reason I stayed had a lot to do with both security and what Clark said. The company I work for are a great company with a bad H&S culture. I am not liked for what I do, they only have a role here because their insurance company told them they must employ a H&S officer. However, I am liked personally. The role and the person are two separate thing.

They trust me not to waste their money, however they want little to do with what I am doing. This means I have a pressure free environment to work in and can try to implement change at my own pace. Sometimes I do get projects over-ruled ("Why do we need another noise assessment? We already know it is noisy out there"), but I put my objections in an e-mail and move on. I am slowly changing the culture and that is very satisfying. I create and maintain my own work schedule. I get on with the dirctors, despite them not really understanding my role. The factory workers feel they can talk to me, but they also know that when something isn't funded it is not due to me not trying and therefore I don't get too much stick. All areas are extremely resistant to change, but they all want a safe work place. (average age on the factory floor is well over 40).

If I had moved to consultancy I feel I would have worked longer hours, had less job satisfaction (as you rarely see the results of your labours) and would have had a much less secure job. I am 42, so at that stage in my life that I just wanted stability and a reduction in stress/hours.

I have no doubt that my choice has harmed my long term prospects, but I am happy with what I am doing.


That's a fantastic post and resonates with me hugely.

I basically work in an asylum (not literally), it's a cottage industry gone crazy and it has decades of legacy starting from when they launched their first product. What they produce is truly mind-blowing and I look on in wonder when I see it.

The culture is madness and it will take years to sort, I've been given free will to on-board a structure and team, I now have 10 people working for me in the SH&E department. I have absolute autonomy and the executive board is, generally, very supportive, mainly because they think SH&E is alchemy.

I've worked for businesses in various guises including 8 years in central London as a 'regional H&S Manager', this was great BUT I eventually tired of the travel etc.

Soemtimes my job is hugely stressful and nearly always frustrating BUT I absolutely love it and the working week feels like a day.

thanks 1 user thanked Clark34486 for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 02/05/2019(UTC)
Ian Bell2  
#17 Posted : 02 May 2019 10:39:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

You soon realise in this h&s lark (as other have alluded to) - you are often not popular. Most jobs end up going pear shaped eventually. Its how much hassle are you prepared to put up with and amount of brown stuff you are prepared to take to feed the kids and keep a roof over your head.

CptBeaky  
#18 Posted : 02 May 2019 13:08:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

As an addition to my above post.

My job, throughout all areas (managers, directors, factory workers, supervisors etc.), is seen to be soley to stop the company getting sued/prosecuted. I have managed to prove to the workforce that the easiest way for my to accomplish this is for none of them to get hurt in the first place.

Also I love my job because they don't feel the need to have a full time H&S person, so my hours are 10-3 :) 

peter gotch  
#19 Posted : 05 May 2019 14:44:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Self and Hasty

How have you worked out what you think you are actually worth?

It's not clear where your current job is but £2-3k more to work in London is probably not a real pay rise.

Perhaps you are not alone in finding the CEO difficult to work with, so may be others simply get on with improving what they want to improve bypassing one single individual's prejudices.

For some this can work for years or decades!

Dumping your existing job after such a short time could easily be interpreted by those reading your CV as not having the motivation to influence and secure change.

But we are not there so we don't really have sufficient feel for the culture and it might be that ultimately you have to go with your instinct.

chris42  
#20 Posted : 13 May 2019 09:00:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

So what have you done ?

Self and Hasty  
#21 Posted : 21 May 2019 16:31:17(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Self and Hasty

I thought long and hard about it and now I've made the decision I feel confident that for me and my family in the long term it is the right decision.

I'm taking the consultancy job in London, I negotiated an extra £2k which covers the London cost of living (just about). They were keen to have me, made me feel valued and wanted.

I had a meeting with my current line manager first to outline my issues with the company and my personal situation and needs in terms of salary, location etc. and they were disinterested and inflexible. They pretty much didn't care that I couldn't really afford to work here let alone the issues I had with resistence from various departments and the CEO.

I think I'm going to personally struggle emotionally and financially in either location but that with the London job I have a clearly mapped out progression that if I put in the work and study then I'll be able to develop myself and potentially double my salary in just a few years, whereas by staying here there would be little-to-no development and progression nor salary increase for a lot of resistance, stress and drama.

As soon as I made my decision public the MD was trying to get me to stay, but I know that despite the associated negatives, that I have made the right choice. I was hoping my current employer might let me go to start in London ASAP but they are desperate for me to stay as long as possible so I have to work here for the next four weeks, I'll try to fix as much as I can in that time and assist them in finding my replacement, I think they will be hard pressed to find someone with my skills and experience willing to commit to a dual-role for such a small salary but I'll assist where I can!

Thank you all for your advice, it was helpful in making my decision (but I won't blame any of you if it all goes tits up!)

Thanks

CptBeaky  
#22 Posted : 22 May 2019 08:03:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Goog luck in your new venture. I am sure it will all work out well, things have a way of doing that!

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