If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Do I stay or do I go?

  • 17-11-2022 1:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,379 ✭✭✭Mollyb60

    So here's my situation:

    I've worked in the public sector for just over 10 years, 9 of those have been in a particular niche section, only very vaguely related to my qualification (architectural technology). I've been happy here for the past 9 years but last year a restructure changed my job completely. I was told that I was being moved to a completely different work area which I had no experience in. The change over was due to happen last March but for a myriad of reasons I've not been trained in the new area and have, since then, just been stuck in limbo, not really doing my old job (but training and supervising my replacement) but also not moving over into the new area to start learning that. I blame the new manager for that who is, without a doubt, the most inefectual manager I've ever experienced. She refuses to make decisions and I'm unfortunately the one taking the brunt of that. I actually think I wouldn't mind the new job but it sticks in my throat that I'm being moved from a role I enjoyed and that I was excellent at for no real reason. And I HATE being left in limbo like this, for now over 18 months. It's so frustrating.

    So I've been thinking about leaving. My dilemma is that I haven't been in a proper architect's practice for almost 13 years (a victim of the recession) and I've done very little work on Autocad or in the built environment sector since then apart from some maps. The job I've been doing for the past 9 years is incredibly specific and not really transferable to the private sector. I would, in theory, like to go back to an architects practice however 10 years of the public sector has spoiled me and I'm concerned that my work/life balance would suffer if I go back to the private sector. To add to that, being made redundant in 2009 scarred me so badly I'd really miss the security of the public sector. My husband and family are urging me to leave but I'm very reluctant to give up my perks and, being honest with myself, I'm scared of the private sector. 

    I applied last year for an internal Architectural Technologist's post in the organisation I'm in but didn't get past the interview. I found it quite difficult to answer questions on things that I haven't had experience in for such a long time. The feedback from the interview was that I didn't give enough details in my answers which is fair enough. I've been considering doing some re-training in Autocad and an essentials course in Revit (which I've no experience in at all but most practices seem to use these days) but these courses would be expensive (£850 each) and I'm not even sure they would give me a leg up in an interview for a job. 

    So Boards, what do you think I should do? Leave my cushy public sector job which I'm literally stuck in and take a chance that a recruitment agency could find me somewhere that wouldn't suck and would take on a 39 year old with no recent, relevant experience?

    Or, stay where I am and just wait for the new role to come around? Enjoy the limbo while it lasts? Hope that the managers will see sense and return me to my old job (I'm under no illusions that this will happen) or at least that the new role will be somewhat bearable? 

    I'm currently paralysed by indecision. I need some independent opinions on this.

    Post edited by HildaOgdenx on


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 13,816 Mod ✭✭✭✭pc7

    The only worry I would have if there is a recession or slow down coming, building works would slow down so in turn work for Architects could be affected. Could you look to move within the public sector? Have you asked in writing for the move to take place?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,870 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    Try to resolve this with your new manager. If they are so in effective, feed them the answers you want to hear and make it look like it was their decision. Also show some initiative and train yourself for this new role or another one. Are there and skills net or spring board course you could do during work hours.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭cuttingtimber22

    My suggestion:

    • Take steps to see can you get certainty in the new post. Perhaps through the PMDS process where you can request a meeting.
    • At that meeting put in a request for additional training which can make you more marketable if you take that jump.
    • keep an eye out on the market - you may see something you like but the point above about a recession coming is relevant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,807 ✭✭✭joe40

    Could you apply for a career break, might be an option to try something else but with a safety net to return.

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,709 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Mod Note - OP I have moved your thread to the Work & Jobs forum as it is probably more suitable to it. 

    Local charter now applies. 


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,379 ✭✭✭Mollyb60

    Thanks for the comments guys. I actually hadn't considered a potential downturn/recession coming which is silly of me. It would be just my luck to leave my secure job only to be unemployed because of another recession! It's definitely something to consider and would push me more towards trying to resolve my current job rather than seeking out a new one.

    Unfortunately the role I'm moving to is based on enforcement of specific types of legislation so there's not really any publicly available courses I could do to improve my knowledge of the area. I could do a public course on the new role but I'd probably have to pay for it myself and I'm not really willing to do that.

    Re: a career break, funnily enough 2 co-workers were off for 6 months each with "stress". One of them has applied for and been granted a career break so this might be a possibility but I wouldn't be optimistic about it, mostly because you can't take another job if you're on a career break.

    I think I might just need to get an email to the manager and cc in my union to see if that shoves her on a bit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,257 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    I would stay, especially if you're over 40. Harder times are around the corner again.

    Try and get them to fund the courses you want to do, even though they're not related to the new job. Find some ultra tenuous link and ask anyway. Or get them to fund something else to keep you busy, at least.

  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭ Jake Obedient Concrete

    Given your specialist area of work, and the level of detail you’ve given , you and your manager are likely quite identifiable from what you’ve written- I’d edit your OP if I were you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,379 ✭✭✭Mollyb60

    Thanks for the concern but I'm not in Ireland. I'll be fine.

  • Advertisement
  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭ Jake Obedient Concrete

    Ah grand - I was thinking you were a bit too specific for it to be Ireland- my advice is look before you leap- what are the key skills required out in the market now?

    Also, could you reduce current work to 3 days a week and dip toes in private sector? Or take a year off and try your luck?

    You have an excellent education - so you have the grounding- what about a masters in green energy or similar? Ie that you don’t work as an architect but in a related field?

    Just some points for consideration.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,594 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Lots of recruitment happening across the broader public sector. Sign up for email alerts on You might find something in OPW or a local authority where your built environment background is relevant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,063 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    She's literally just said she's not in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,594 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    She said it eight minutes before I posted, which was sometime after I opened the thread, so maybe try not being such a smartass for all your life.

    The point stands, wherever she is.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,709 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    I think I might just need to get an email to the manager and cc in my union to see if that shoves her on a bit.

    I would start as you have said with pushing hard to get into the new role that you are supposed to be in. I would put leaving the job down as your very last option. Certainly don't leave without exhausting every last channel.

    I was in a company that restructured a couple of years ago, and people who knew they were likely to be shafted or mucked around, made their interest known to other teams and moved sideways in most cases.

    Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,206 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Firstly value permanent pensionable, pay scales and pay rises, possibly flexitime and low work load. The public sector can be great but you can end up trapped. Often your direct manager can have a big impact but it's hard to do anything.

    I left the public service after 12 years but it was mostly to do with unsociable weekend work which was not optional.

    In the real world non public life and workload could be 3-5 times higher than in public service and you may end up working unpaid extra hours.

    As others have said try delicately to get what you want where you are. I woul DC not get union involved but quietly plan and try make it happen over months or years. You may be stuck with your existing manager for a long time. A new manager may be no better.

    If you want to make the leap out then you need a firm job offer, to factor in pension contributions, working hours per week, workload, family and work life balance such as flexitime and if course recession and last in first out policies in many organisations. Unless you are getting a good bit more money outside it's not worth the risk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 743 ✭✭✭KeithTS

    Given the economic uncertainty that's looming, or with us, depending on your sector, I'd suggest staying put.

    However, if you're unsure if you could cut it in a private sector role at the moment, there's nothing stopping you from pursuing some CPD. You're unfulfilled in your current role so why not look at getting some gratification elsewhere? Upskill, get back into the swing of things so if/when the time comes you feel more confident pursuing a private sector role.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,056 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    just a couple of quick points:

    weigh up how much you dislike your current situation with the fact that, as others have pointed out, there is most likely a downturn coming when it comes to the building sector soon. depending on where you are (UK im guessing since you mentioned pounds) you might be somewhere that wont be as badly affected but it should be taken into account. then again if you really hate what youre doing now then maybe it would still be worth taking a chance

    technologist can be a weird title depending on jurisdiction, it can be above a technician but below an architect. could you look for technician jobs? (have no idea of your actual qualifications)

    if you are looking to do AutoCad/Revit courses try and find out as much about them as possible beforehand, ideally talk to past students about them. some of the beginner revit courses especially are basically worthless apart from the piece of paper you get at the end to say you did it. if you can learn the basics yourself via internet/books/youtube and then do an intermediate/advanced course it would most likely be a much better use of your money.

    if you have drafting experience could you move into a related field that you would find more interesting?

    best of luck anyway op

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,379 ✭✭✭Mollyb60

    Thanks for all the suggestions and comments guys. I really appreciate the input. You've all given me plenty of points to think about. Bottom line is unless I'm getting significantly more money for a private sector move I just don't think I'm willing to sacrifice the security of my current post for the risk.

    I've emailed the 4 managers above me (never let it be said that the public sector is top heavy eh???) to query where my post is going and how I get out of this limbo.

    I applied before through the assistance to study scheme for a vaguely related degree and was turned down. Maybe I'll apply again this summer and see if I can get some sort of course approved. I think my main gripe is stagnation. I feel stuck here and helpless. At least if I could be actively improving my knowledge it would give me some power and motivation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,143 ✭✭✭jelutong

    Ive heard a job in the the public sector described as “ a bad job in good times but a good job in bad times”.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭whomadewho

    I work in a Consulting Engineers, and it is slowing down now alright. I have a lot of friends working in construction and engineering and they are saying the same thing, the dark clouds on the horizon again so I would stay put for the time being if I were you. Doing a Revit course would be beneficial, but you need to be using regularly to keep or skills up to date, use it or loose It as they say. You could download a student version and practice looking at youtube videos, there are plenty of videos which go through step by step how to create a BIM. I would not waste money on a course fee, from experience they are a waste of time, you will learn more using on a real time job and getting advice from a colleague that uses it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,228 ✭✭✭The Mighty Quinn

    OP, I too am qualified as an architectural technologist. I've been in stable continuous employment in the sector since 2012. The job I do today is a different job than I did in 2012. The job I did in 2012 was a different job than I did in 2006-2008 (my first stint in the role pre-world collapse). The job evolves. Technologies change, software changes, client expectations change.

    Revit is pretty much essential. As above, don't waste money on a course. Classic case of use it or lose it. On the job learning is the only way to make all your mistakes and learn all that goes with it. I did a course in 2013 and didn't look at Revit again until 2015. It was like I'd never opened it before.

    I work for a consultant engineering firm also, on their arch' team. It looks like I'll be busy for the next 12+ months at the moment, I do work for pharma/life sciences.... and it's international work, so looks good for now, but one project failing to land, or pulled or whatever could be big trouble.

    If I were you, I'd stay in the stable job until the economy looks like it's going to pick up again, there are definitely dark clouds gathering over this industry.

  • Registered Users Posts: 905 ✭✭✭herbalplants

    Stay where you are! Recession is on the way and like you said you will be going in unknown totally. You are 39, needs retraining. I would advise stay where you are.

    Living the life