She likes her job
Colleague gets promoted/new boss comes in
She doesn't like the new regime
Starts job hunting
Finds new job hard to find
Clashes with new boss
This has lots of negativity inherent in it - she doesn't like the situation, although at least she's fighting against it. Lots of conflict is good - I can picture some dramatic scenes. But her character isn't particularly confrontational, and part of her character arc over the course of the book is to wise up. Here's an alternative route...
She likes her job
Hears of new job
Decides to apply
Gets job offer
Leaves old job
Starts new job
I month trial period
New company hit by recession, can't make post permanent
Old job has either gone to someone else, or not hiring because of recession
Now she's unemployed
There are lots of potential scenes here as she goes through the job process, which is good as I can weave them in with the other plot strands. I'm slightly concerned about timing - this process would plausibly take at least 2 months if not 3, but I can always get round that if the route is interesting. It's certainly more positive in feel than the first one, but there's less conflict. Now I'm asking questions to see if there's potential for conflict.
How does she hear about the job?
Through an ad is the least interesting, through a friend has more potential for blame later on.
What makes her decide to take the job?
More money - always plausible. More status, ditto. There could be some issue at work also.
Is the job a change in career direction? Or is it a promotion?
If it's a promotion, she will have different feelings about the new job - success, moving up the ladder - than if it's a change of direction. She's not that ambitious a person, so a new direction is more plausible with her character than going for promotion.
I'm playing around with a couple of routes, seeing how they pan out, where they fit with the other characters, how the choices my character makes fit in with her personality. I'm looking for a plausible route that gives my characters lots of potential action. I thought I'd cracked it with one route, but then realised it wasn't consistent with another character's motivation.
Hey ho - it's back to What If for me.