resigning because of homesickness, job changed after I was hired, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. What to say if I’m going to resign because of homesickness

In May, I began my first full-time contract position in my field with a small organization whose mission I am passionate about. I get along well with my coworkers and I’m gaining experience I never would have dreamed of having right after graduating university. It’s a one-year contract that will almost certainly be renewed next year.

The problem? My field is very limited and competitive, so I ended up moving over eight hours away from my hometown to take this job, and I never expected to be as homesick as I am. Though I am generally fine now, my first few weeks at work I would cry when I was alone and had this feeling of a huge hole in my heart. Moving from a mid-sized city to a small town didn’t help (I’m close to my family and I have a small group of dear friends who I also miss very much). So as much as I truly love my job, I am keeping an eye out for another job closer to home.

I would never leave this job without another one lined-up and I plan on telling prospective employers the reason I’m looking to leave my current position is because my contract is ending and I’m looking for more challenges and opportunities, as I don’t think they’d be interested in hearing their location appealed to me. But what would I give for the reason when/if I resign? Despite this being a contract position I know they’re looking for someone who will commit long-term, and I would feel disingenuous saying I was leaving for another great opportunity when the one I have here is one of the best someone my age and at my level of experience could ask for.

I just think everyone will think this reason for leaving is incredibly dumb, and I know being closer to home won’t guarantee I’ll be happier at work or in life (the grass isn’t always greener). I know to some people I must sound incredibly inexperienced and naïve for wanting to leave a great job simply because of location, and I know many people have had to leave their home state or even country just to find a job. Any advice?

People won’t think it’s a silly reason at all! Wanting to live closer to family and friends, and especially in your hometown, is very, very normal and something a lot of people can relate to. You can simply say, “I’ve realized that I want to return to my hometown, where my family and friends are.” Seriously, people will get it; it’s actually one of the most easily understandable explanations for wanting to relocate!

2. Job was supposed to include anchor work, but now it doesn’t

I recently moved across the continent to take on a job as a news reporter. In the job interview via Skype and in emails with a producer, it was indicated that I would be anchoring news as well as reporting. As anchoring is the direction that I would like my career to go in, I accepted the job on this basis.

However, when I arrived and inquired about anchoring, they looked at me blankly as if I was crazy. I produced the emails from the senior producer who had made the decision to hire me. However, just before I arrived, a new news director came on board. She has told me that it won’t be possible for me to anchor and said that I should not have been told that I would be. She said I should embrace the skills I will gain as a reporter. There is nothing about doing anchor work in my contract. What can I do?

Not much, unfortunately. They’re not legally bound to offer you anchor work if it’s not in your contract. You can certainly explain that you took the job because of that agreement if you haven’t already, and/or you can ask if there’s a path to eventually moving into anchoring, but from what she’s said so far, she doesn’t sound open to it. If that’s the case, all you can really do is decide if you still want the job under these terms. I’m sorry — that sucks. (And in the future, be really careful about getting any agreements in your contract. You’re in one of the few industries in the U.S. that regularly use contracts — take advantage of that!)

3. How should my resume address old tasks that aren’t still part of my current job?

I work as an administration assistant in the registry department of a large university. Due to a lengthy restructure, some of my colleagues and areas which the department was previously responsible for have moved to another part of the university, which means I no longer carry out administrative duties in these areas. Let’s say that when I started the job, I did Tasks A, B and C, but now I only do A and B (and occasionally D), with B looking as if it might also be moved out of the department in the next year.

I am starting to job search for a similar role at the same or other universities where experience of doing Tasks B and C might be essential or desirable, but I don’t know how I would mention this in a cover letter or my CV (as well as LinkedIn and other places that want detailed information on your employment history). Since these tasks do not fall under my role presently, how do I go about mentioning my experience in them where relevant, without confusing hiring managers or making it seem like I’m lying?

It’s not going to seem like you’re lying; it’s totally fine for your current job on your resume to include things you did at one point in that job but don’t currently do. You don’t even really need to specifically explain that, although — depending on the context — it might make sense to list them in past tense rather than present tense.

Also, keep in mind that your resume shouldn’t just be a list of activities you were responsible for carrying out, but rather should focus on accomplishments you had in the role. So ideally you’d be talking about results that you achieved by doing Task B rather than just the fact that you did Task B.

4. Leaving a job soon after turning permanent

I’ve held a contract position for two years and took the opportunity to turn permanent after my contract was up. If I change jobs six months after turning perm, does that look bad? Or is it okay because technically I’ve worked there for two and half years?

Yeah, I’d count that as two and a half years, and wouldn’t worry about it at all.

5. Update: Should I reach back out about a job I was rejected for?

Here’s an update from the person who was wondering if she should reach back out to an employer about a job she had already been rejected for:

I thought of sending you this update today because I just received a note from the HR manager at the organization where I applied, where they have AGAIN re-posted for this same position – it must be cursed or something! So, I did end up reaching out again to the HR manager at Organization A, who told me they had just closed interviews for that position but she would keep me in mind if something opened up. Around then I started a graduate internship at Organization B, which happens to partner with Org A. I casually asked people at Org B their opinion about Org A and heard some negative things, including issues regarding staff retention, and that the specific hiring manager I had interviewed with was a little crazy. Since I was only a few months from finishing my grad degree I was still looking around a lot, while keeping Org A on my radar.

Fast forward a few months, I finished my grad program and Org B offered me a full-time position, which I turned down because Org C, where I had been doing some consulting at the same time, also offered me a position doing exactly the kind of work that I wanted! I’ve been in this role for about 8 months and I’m confident I ended up in the right place. I’m not a huge believer in fate, but this happy end to a very long job search was a good reminder that sometimes things really do work out the way they should when you have patience, put effort into networking, and commit to being excellent at whatever you are doing (even if you feel silly working as an intern at age 40!)

{ 58 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous Educator*

    #1. I moved across the country and took a job close to where I grew up. After a couple of years, I quit and told my boss that I missed home (where I spent most of my adult years), and he was very understanding about my need to move back to the other side of the country. It really is one of the best reasons you can give. Think about the other reasons employers usually get (I got a better job, I don’t have a better job but hate it hear and just quit, I like it hear but the pay is too low).

    1. Adam*

      Yep. Wanting to move to be closer to family and friends is probably one of the most amiable reasons to cite for leaving a job. It’s something nearly everyone will empathize with, and it’s not something the company can fix but doesn’t reflect badly on them either.

      1. Meg Murry*

        Yes, I think leaving to be closer to your family is actually a better reason than “looking for more challenges and opportunities” – especially if you are moving back to an area where lots of people stay for multiple generations instead of a city full of transplants. Especially since you’ve only been at your current job 1 year, it sends a message that you are probably going to stick around long term.

        That said, it might be a bit difficult to portray a “racing up the ladder as fast as I can!” career over home life image – but unless you are going for a position where moving up the ladder requires moving across the country every few years, I think you are fine.

        And if anything, living in my hometown area makes me more able to “lean in” to my job, because I have a built in support network to help with outside of work situations. For instance, traveling logistics are easier for me than for my other colleague without family nearby, because I know my parents will help with my kids or watch my house or take care of the dog, etc.

        I live in an area often rudely described as a “flyover” state, and an out of area candidate looking to return to our city where they have family or roots will get my attention more than an out of town candidate with no roots or local history – because the people with no roots have declined offers or pulled out of the interview process more often when they decide they don’t actually want to live in our area, or only stick around a couple of years before moving on again. Even for a place that is considered exciting or aspirational, I would imagine “I grew up in NYC/SF/DC, all my family is here and I miss it.” would be taken more seriously than “I’ve always dreamed of living in NYC/SF/DC”.

        1. Bea W*

          Same here. My last couple rounds of interviewing candidates were mostly people from outside the area, and it makes everyone more comfortable when the candidate has ties to the area that are a compelling enough reason in and of themselves to stick around. We can’t even offer people a perm/regular position. Even though we want someone to stay as long as possible, we are only permitted to hire on 3 renewable contract. So if someone is going to move to a new area under these circumstances, it’s a plus to us that s/he would be moving for other compelling reasons aside from needing a job and/or having fantasies about living in a new city, and that goes double for people who have lived in the area previously and know what the are getting into, especially after last winter. That was a real concern of the team when we were interviewing over the fall, and had a few candidates from more tropical regions.

          Being a strong candidate will help you out no matter what, because employers will be willing to give less weight to the relocation factor when the person is a strong contender in all other areas.

          1. Allison*

            My company doesn’t offer relocation, so the recruiters I work with won’t even interview a non-local candidate unless they’re already planning to move to the area for some other reason, like if their spouse had already taken a job here.

        2. TootsNYC*

          ” I would imagine “I grew up in NYC/SF/DC, all my family is here and I miss it.” would be taken more seriously than “I’ve always dreamed of living in NYC/SF/DC”.

          I’ve interviewed people looking to relocate to NYC, and my industry never pays relocation. (Maybe at the very, very highest levels; but it’s not usually necesssary, even than).

          So someone who says, “I can stay with my parents” will actually get my attention faster.

    2. Chinook*

      I have long believed that you get to choose where you live or the industry you work in but rarely both. Sometimes, sacrificing a good career to live back home or where a spouse works is wOrth it for your long term well being. Any employer who doesn’t understand that probably is not one you would want to work for.

  2. Nobody*

    #1 – It looks like you’re being really hard on yourself about this, and you shouldn’t be. You’re only at work for 40 hours per week (give or take); the best job in the world isn’t so great if it means you have to be miserable for the other 128 hours of the week. Location is an important consideration for most people, and it’s not stupid or naive to factor it into a decision about your career.

  3. MandyMae*

    #2. I did TV for a while. (Behind the cameras) And That Totally Sucks. But do see what you can do to anchor as a fill in, or weekends. Anything really. Being polite and persistent can get you there if your news director is reasonable. If she hasn’t seen your anchor work on your resume tape, see if she will review it and tell you what you’d need to do to be an anchor. Or see if she’d be open to letting you do a demo segment of one of the shows there for her once you’ve been there for a while. If you ask your Production staff nicely they might find some time to help you out. You could go for the ‘sitting here reading our stories’ on cam thing, or talk the Production people into doing part of a segment, or a short segment with all the bells and whistles.
    Basically. Do the reporter thing for a while and do it well. Then see if you can get into anchoring from there.
    I’ve seen people who are totally focused on anchoring who can’t be bothered with reporting flop horribly when they asked to try out anchoring. But I’ve seen lost of people who want to anchor who focused on being good solid reporters first get a chance at anchoring when they asked because they showed the news director that they can report well, and had a good example of anchoring to show as well.

    And DO take advantage of getting things in your contract. They’re a good solid list of the agreements and terms of the job you accepted. Raises, Job titles and duties. Things that you don’t think about too much but are good to consider, like clothing and makeup allowances too.

  4. SCR*

    #1 I am quitting my job in the Middle East after 4 months because I want to move back to the US (I’ve been here for 2 years). I’m homesick for my country… I also hate my job and my boss but I do want to move home. It’s a very reasonable approach for changing jobs! My coworkers are annoyed but whenever I talk about how I want to go home, they concede.

    1. MK*

      I think it’s rather different when you are from another country, especially when there is such a cultural divide (Middle East/U.S.). When employers hire foreigners, especially people who haven’t actually lived there yet (or for long) , they know the a risk that the new hire might not adapt well or like the country or need to move home for personal reasons. And they understand that it’s likely a temporary, even if long term, arrangement; most people who work abroad do eventually return home sooner or later.

      I do understand the OP’s concerns; she is probably afraid that she will come off as immature or not-driven-enough. And there are people who might consider it, if not a flaw, then a sign that you are prioritising your personal life over your career. But that’s not in itself a bad thing, if you are indeed interested in work-life balance and not prepared to sacrifice everything for your career.

      Also, there is no need for the OP to stress how missing her family and friends played a role in her decision. Something along the lines “A new opportunity came up that will also allow me to move closer to home and, weighing all the factors, I decided it’s the best choise for me right now” should cover it.

      1. SCR*

        Fair enough. And to counterpoint myself, I originally moved across the country from my home city and was miserable at first but eventually loved it then eventually became an expat. Sometimes it is worth it to stick it out past the initial sadness.

  5. SL #2*

    OP #1 — half the reason I took my current job is because I was six hours away at my old job and I hated the city I lived in. Most of my friends and my professional network were an hour or less away, but I couldn’t stand living that city.

    Current Job did ask me why I wanted to relocate. I emphasized the fact that it was my hometown and I was ready to bring my skills home after being away for the better part of 5 years developing said experience and skills. I too felt like it was an awkward subject to approach, but the answer flowed from me naturally and the team accepted it just fine. The desire to be close to home is probably one of the most natural things in the world and most people can empathize with that. If there’s interviewers out there who will ding you for a reason like that, think hard about whether you’d want to work for them anyway.

    1. TootsNYC*

      The only people who might care in any level of detail about why you’re relocating, and who might have a legitimate reason to inquire, is the people at any NEW job. Not the old job.

      1. NutellaNutterson*

        Sure, but if you want to stay in a particularly small industry, it can help maintain your reputation to leave with a “good” reason.

  6. Nursey Nurse*

    I don’t know whether this is the kind of thing you want pointed out, but in your answer to letter 3 I think you meant “you’re.”

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I do*, thank you. I also normally delete them once I see them to avoid cluttering the comment thread (but that doesn’t indicate lack of appreciation) — and periodically I like the opportunity to say that, so am saying it here!

        * Corrections of my own stuff, that is, since I can edit, but not corrections of other people’s comments!

  7. littlemoose*

    OP #1, I was in a pretty similar situation years ago. I accepted a position with a large organization across the state from my home city because I’d been fruitlessly job searching for 18 months. I didn’t know a soul in that city, and only socialized with my coworkers on occasion, often driving home on weekends to see my family and friends. About nine months later, the stars aligned and I was able to get a rare transfer to the same position with another office of the org in my home city. The first office wasn’t thrilled that I was leaving after they’d invested the time in training me – but everyone absolutely understood that it was nothing about Office A and just about wanting to be near the people in my life. I feel like I left there on pretty good terms, and it definitely wound up being the right decision for me. Office B in my home city was also extremely understanding about why I wanted to transfer.

    I might stay away from using the word “homesick,” just because it conjures up thoughts of summer camp. But simply saying “I’m relocating to be closer to family” is a universally understood reason. Best of luck in finding a new position in your home city!

    1. TootsNYC*

      Yeah, don’t get into your unhappiness. It’s often best not to talk about what you’re “running away” from (away from feeling unhappy) and instead focus on what you are moving toward (closer to family). With many things.

  8. ExceptionToTheRule*

    #2: I’m really surprised that station management let a producer make a hiring decision while they were between news directors. Because that happened & because they didn’t bring you out for an in person interview before they hired you, I’m going to guess that you’re working in a small market owned by a small station group.

    That has it’s down sides, but the upside is that eventually everyone does everything. Bribe the production & engineering crews to help you with practice time – chances are they’ve got someone they’d like to train and can use that time too. The weekends are great times for this. Our crews can be bought for donuts/bagels and/or a small bag of Oreos. Just enough to say “I know you don’t have to do this & I appreciate it.” Offer to anchor holidays and other days when normal people would have the day off.

    Good luck.

  9. Jimmy*

    #2: “She said I should embrace the skills I will gain as a reporter.”

    Actually, that is sound advice if you’re relatively new to the field. While it is a disappointing situation, use it as an opportunity to focus on your reporting skills. Becoming a really good writer and storyteller is the best thing you can do to become a good anchor in my opinion.

    1. Macedon*

      I agree – I value reporters over anchors, myself – but it’s sort of like getting a nice main course when you ordered dessert. It’s not bad, but it’s not what it was agreed you’d get, and it’s not what you’re paying on your side for.

    2. TootsNYC*

      As someone w/ training and experience in journalism and publishing — I agree. Embrace this–it’s far more powerful to climb the ladder with some of your focus on the section you’re currently in.

  10. AnotherFed*

    #1 – I’d be a little careful with the language you use – at least where I am, ‘homesick’ is sort of code for ‘new hire is not ready to live alone/be a grownup without parental supervision.’ Phrasing it as wanting to be closer to family is much better, especially if you can truthfully talk about aging relatives.

    1. Blue_eyes*

      We were typing at the same time. And of course you’ve said it much more succinctly than I did!

    2. TowerofJoy*

      Yes, fair or not, “homesickness” carries a connotation of “I can’t handle being alone”, because most people moving away from home suffer through homesickness. You want to phrase this as a choice to move back and be with your family and friends.

      And AAM is right, its very common and understandable.

    3. Allison*

      To me, homesickness conjures up images of sad children at camp, or depressed teenagers at college. Wouldn’t surprise me if other people associate homesickness with immaturity.

  11. Blue_eyes*

    #1: I think it’s all in the way you frame it. If you told an employer “I’m leaving because I’m homesick,” that might come across as a bit juvenile. But if you say “I want to move back to [city] in order to be closer to family and friends,” it comes across more as a considered decision that many adults make. It’s the difference between “I can’t hack it here” and “I would prefer to live in [city].” Wanting to live near family is totally reasonable (and many people feel that way), but being unable to live away from family is where I think it starts to sound childish. I hope that makes sense. OP, your feelings are completely understandable and shared by many, many other adults. When my husband and I were deciding where to live, it pretty much came down to where my parents lived or where his parents lived.

  12. Mazie*

    I’m right there with you! I moved for a job and the location and the job turned out to be not the greatest so I’m looking to move back closer to family. So don’t stress because there are probably lots of other people just like you!

  13. Courtney*

    OP1 – An alternate perspective for you… When I read your letter I felt liked I was reading about my first job out of college. I moved cross-country after being offered a salary/title that was rare for someone with my experience. Crying when I was alone…huge hole in my heart… that is exactly how I felt for the first three months. I thought it was homesickness, but it turned out to be depression. Needless to say, leaving that job didn’t solve the entire problem. A decade later, I am ultimately in a great place in my career, but not sticking it out there for two or three years derailed my career trajectory quite a bit. Not saying this is what you’re going through, but I wish someone had asked me back then if that might be part of the issue. Follow your heart and do what’s right for you. Just be sure to be honest with yourself. I regret that I wasn’t.

  14. matcha123*

    I moved overseas for a job in 2006 and have been in the same city since. I think it’s an OK place, but there are other cities in this country that I’d move to. The weird thing is that I’ve had people here pass me over for jobs because they thought I’d miss the city I was in, when I’m sitting there thinking this isn’t even my hometown!

    OP #1, I wouldn’t even mention being homesick or anything if I were you. Just say that you enjoyed the chance and have decided to move on or something like that.
    I say that because I’ve seen a lot of people on here post that they are weary of hiring people from out-of-town because they assume they would get homesick and leave. There might be an out-of-town candidate after you who wouldn’t be homesick who could be passed over because “The previous person got homesick…”.

    1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      I disagree – I think that the OP will leave a better impression if she explains why she’s leaving. She’s only been there a year, so “I decided to move on” could make her seem kind of flighty – and she may want people at this job to serve as references for her down the road. It’s not the OP’s responsibility to protect hypothetical future out-of-town candidates at the expense of her own reputation.

  15. M from NY*

    OP#1 – your feelings are valid but I wanted to give another perspective. Are you from mid-size city that people stay in? Are you the first of your friends to go away? My concern is that you are making a short term decision when in the next 3-5 years your immediate circle of friends could all move for various reasons (grad school, their own dream job, marriage etc.).

    If you are sure you can get another job at same level then press on. But you’ve already done the brave part of moving away. Make sure you get all the benefits your resume can handle before moving back. One more year in small market may equal 5 years in bigger market with more competition. That’s a big deal depending on what your future plans are.

    Save money so you can visit on long weekends, ask your friends to come see you or meet halfway at spa. It’s ok to miss home but be sure you’re making best effort where you are.

    Here’s the thing, if everyone is working, going “home” isn’t going to be the way you’re building it up in your mind. Life after college with real world responsibilities means things change and my friends that moved away were always surprised that those who were in same area just didn’t meet up the way we used to. They were missing something that had already changed. Physical location had nothing to do with it.

    Good luck.

    1. VintageLydia*

      These pretty much mirror my thoughts. I was one of the first of my friends to leave the area I grew up in at 23 years old, but I certainly was not the last. Even my family is slowly moving away (they are still staying within an hour or so from where we grew up but some are talking about moving even further.) Now, I grew up in Virginia Beach which, due to the military, is pretty transient, but few of my friends were or are military and only two moved away because of the military (one of which ended up closer to me than to “home.”) But I’m down to 2 friends in the city I grew up in and my husband has 3, and not all of them are guaranteed to stay in the same city for long given their careers. In the 6 years I lived here (DC suburbs) I’ve made new friends, though it took a while because making friends as an adult is HARD, and now I’m on the fence about whether I ever want to move back whereas in year 1 I was chomping at the bit to go back.

      I’d give it another year. Two years will look better on your resume at one and will give you enough experience to not go directly back to entry level if you do decide to move back, If your job was horrible I’d say leave as soon as you’re able, but a big move will ALWAYS be a shock, even for those of us who aren’t super close to our roots. Slightly new culture, new retail chains, new traffic patterns, and a need to find your sort of people pretty quickly. Try Meet Up or other similar sites, or if you’re religious, a church/temple/etc with a good community would be a good place to start, too.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        I am also a Virginia Beach native in the DC area! (I always tell people that there are a lot of similarities between the areas – transience in DC tends to be more politically-related than military, though.) Nearly everyone I know has left the Hampton Roads area – even my folks have left!

        If I were OP1 and waiting to get a job back home, I would simply say that I got a new position that offered similar challenges as the current one with th benefit of being closer to family. (Personally, I like my family 100 miles away, but I get that not everyone enjoys their better at a distance.)

    2. Alternative*

      I completely agree with this. For a couple of years, we lived in a place we hated, and I wanted to return to my home city SO badly. But, I realized it wouldn’t be the same now – many of my friends and family have moved away, and I cannot recreate those fun years when I was in my 20’s that I had built up in my mind. We eventually ended up in a city we like quite a bit, and that desire to return to home city is gone. I totally understand feeling that way, but I would ask whether the hit to your career is worth it, when your hometown might not be the same anyways.

    3. Seven of Nine*

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing! Although, to be fair, I moved from a small town to a large metro area, so I think my personal experiences are significantly different than OP’s.

      OP, I have known a lot of people who have taken jobs to be closer to family, and have made that a significant part of their job search! I’ve also known people who have just not liked their location after relocating, and looked for a city with better culture fit, etc. — think about whether this is a missing family thing or a not fitting in in a small town thing. Either way, I don’t think anyone thinks of not liking the area as a bad reason to find a different job.

      But, in the meantime, take the advice of the others here, and try to build relationships with those around you now — whether through church, sports leagues, community music ensembles, book clubs at the library, or whatever else floats your boat.

    4. Chloe*

      YES. I came on here to echo this. I moved from New England to DC when I had just graduated college and it was terrifying, but I made some of my best friends in the world while I was there, and it better positioned me to get a better job once I was truly ready to make the move back to New England almost 4 years later, when I knew to really move on with my life (marriage, kids, etc.) I wanted to be closer to home. I was really homesick too. It’s not easy. But it *can* get better. If you love your job, I would urge you to stick it out just a bit longer until it feels more like home … it took me a solid six months.

    5. Ethyl*

      “My concern is that you are making a short term decision when in the next 3-5 years your immediate circle of friends could all move for various reasons (grad school, their own dream job, marriage etc.).”

      Yes, this was my thought too — and also, that those close friend groups you hang out with every weekend? Those mostly go away by the time you’re in your 30s. People have kids, move away, that kind of thing. You’re still *friends* with those people, but you don’t have a “group” the same way you do in college and for the next couple years after. TV has a lot to answer for with regards to ideas about how friend groups always stay close (I actually thought HIMYM handled this really really well in the last season).

  16. Small town reporter*

    I spent eight years at a newspaper in a highly desirable but remote location. My coworkers had a rough time getting any traction with employers when it was time to leave, because employers always wondered why anyone would want to leave such a fantastic place. When it was my turn, I put a lot of emphasis on wanting to be closer (still not close, but not three plane rides away) to extended family. It was a totally normal, totally acceptable thing to talk about. When I put that in my cover letter, I got three interviews and three job offers in a row. I took the one closest to family, though in a place I’d never lived in before. And if we ever decide to leave here and apply for any jobs in that direction, I’ll talk about family again. Totally helpful while job searching, in my opinion.

  17. Permanent Temp*

    I have a question kind of related to #4’s question. I’ve been in a temp job for almost two years. When I got a new supervisor a few months ago, he told me I’m doing phenomenal work and he wants to hire me (though he says he doesn’t know when they’ll be hiring for my position). I’ve been job hunting, and he knows. On the off chance they actually offer me a job, is it okay to accept it and continue job hunting? I don’t want to continue working there and want to leave as soon as possible, but the higher pay and benefits would be nice to have until I found another job. I feel like I don’t owe them any loyalty since it’s taken them two years to decide they want to hire me, but I’m not sure if accepting a permanent position and getting training means agreeing to stay for a while.

    1. AnotherFed*

      Unless it’s a contract, you don’t owe any time, and you’d be able to say you were in the same role for 2+ years, so that wouldn’t hurt you. However, if this supervisor goes to bat for you to get a permanent position, then you turn around and leave after only a few months, it might torpedo your chances of a good reference from this supervisor. Whether that’s worth the risk depends on how much you want the reference down the road (and how sucky this place is to work at).

    2. Velociraptor Attack*

      While I don’t believe you owe anyone time, I would definitely not take a permanent job knowing I don’t want to stay and would leave as soon as possible. It seems that your supervisor is aware your hunting but might be of the thought that it’s because you haven’t been offered a permanent position and if you were to be hired on permanently that you would stay. It’s going to be very clear to your supervisor that you continued job searching and what currently seems like it would be a glowing reference may no longer be one.

  18. TootsNYC*

    It’s OK to want to move to a new city–so it’s OK to want to move to an old city.

    You want to live somewhere different. I wouldn’t even say “I miss home,” I’d just say, “I want to relocate back to my hometown.”

    You don’t owe anyone all the deep, personal emotions behind what you want. Just give them the surface part. You want to move.

    Too many times I think people reveal too much. You just want to move.

    You don’t have to get their approval of your personal decisions. You just need to be sure they know what the decision is: “I’m looking to relocate to Town Previous.”

  19. KR*

    I had a friend who went to college one state over and graduated with a job in hand. She lived over there for a while and then moved back because she missed home and her friends. She couldn’t find work in her field (dairy management) but she did find similar work at a stable and seems a lot happier. She’s gone out west to farm country and done interviews and training programs over there, but she seems happy to stay close to her family and her friends. Long story short, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be close to home. Work to live, don’t live to work.

  20. Hephaestia*

    OP#1 Hello!! Another person who has also been very alone, and very homesick, and spent every night for a fortnight on the phone to their parents lamenting that moving was the worst decision they’d ever made… It gets better!

    By all means, if you find a comparable position in your hometown, where your are inherently happy – jump on that ship! But, while you’re looking, have you tried looking to see if has anything going in your current area, or maybe a local pub quiz, or (*if* your office is the kind that socialises!) ask a co-worker if they’d like to go out for lunch, or catch up after work for a drink…?

    You may find, that creating a new network and support group of friends will completely change your views on your current location of work…?

    It *will* be exhausting, but it could also be amazing! And, in my experience, branching out and finding places to make friends made my move one of the Best decisions of my life! YMMV.

    Good luck!!

  21. Julia*

    Am I the only one that thinks (with regard to question 1) that a cmpany who only gives one-year-contracts, but expects employees to be commited in the lng-term, has no right to be upset when they move on?

    OP1, I feel for you. I quit grad shool due to a homesickness (or “not being able to live alone”, as someone else kindly called it) that was later diagnosed as depression, just like another poster mentioned.

  22. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

    OP1: Saying you want to be closer to family is so totally valid!

    If only “I want to be farther from my family” were seen as equally valid, because that’s how some of us prefer to roll.

  23. BSharp*

    Op1: It sounds like you have an amazing community and support network in your hometown. That’s one of the strongest advantages a person can have. Choosing to prioritize your relationships is not a bad thing—it often has a huge impact on your overall quality of life.

    (The usual caveats apply: Yes, your friends might move away. Yes, it may be hard to find a job as good in your hometown. Yes, there are things you can do to make Newcity into a home with its own vibrant support network.)

  24. Bunny*

    OP2: I’m an anchor/reporter. This has happened to me. MANY TIMES. I work in radio; I suspect you’re in TV. I have two networks under my belt, and I’m happily back in my hometown at one of the best stations in the country.

    Throw yourself into it. Establish your on-air presence. Build your contacts. Anchoring is not all it’s cracked up to be. It gets kind of boring, actually. There is nothing like breaking the story that changes someone’s life. That’s what reporters do.

    I suspect you have a shitty boss now. It is not about your boss now. It’s about building a reel so you can, eventually, write your own ticket. Save ALL OF YOUR WORK. Treat your co-workers well. Save your contacts in your own, private files (I never use company cellphones or computers, sorry boss. Remember all the things you use for work are tax-deductible, including your internet connection at home).

    News Directors and GMs will be fired and come and go, especially the bad ones. Eventually you’ll climb into a top 20 (I’m in a top 10) and get your contract.

    Better yet, you’ll be in an AFTRA shop.

    Nothing like getting to work at 4am for bad pay (and it IS bad until you get to a big city) and being treated badly, is there?

    Reporter’s tip: make friends with police, never pay a ticket. :)

    1. Bunny*

      OH. And, the better a reporter you are, the more likely you are to get picked up to anchor. Wow, they’re good someone is going to say. And it might be the rival station.

  25. socrescentfresh*

    #1 – As someone who left her first Real Grownup Job (and ended her first Real Grownup Relationship) to move back across the country to be close to family, I say do it. It may seem impulsive at the time, but while you can find another job, you only get one family.

  26. KH*


    2 years as contractor and 6 months as permanent is not always the same as 2.5 years as permanent. In some companies, slots for converting a contractor to a permanent position can be extremely limited and like moving heaven and earth to obtain. The manager may have called in many favors and pleaded the case for the conversion. If the employee leaves, it may be months or years before another spot is available and cause the next person in line to have to wait that much longer.

    This is exactly the case at my current job (a well known major IT firm). Permanent openings are few and far between and you had better be good to be even considered for one, and even once your management decides to go to bat for you, it could be months or years for the deal to go through. I would be burning bridges if I left the position so soon after making the conversion.

    There are most certainly other companies where such conversions are commonplace – but be aware that this is not always the case.

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