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When you've had it with your job and boss, but maybe you can't move on right away

Business and Professional Relationships Networking and maintaining a positive environment in the work place is important! Surviving the 9-to-5 within.

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Old 16th August 2016, 11:55 PM   #1
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When you've had it with your job and boss, but maybe you can't move on right away

When you've just had it with your job and your boss and want to move on, but might not be able to for another 9 months, what do you do? How do you deal?

I was over-qualified for this job to begin with, and I knew it, and my other colleagues knew it and questioned why I'd even take the job. I had good reasons. Now, I hate the belittling, minimizing way my boss treats me--it's not personal but he's a "good-old boy" and from what I gather prefers women to have a certain place. And I'm really unhappy in my job, to where every day I feel like I can barely keep it together. Even on an easy day, where there's not much required of me, I come home exhausted.

I keep trying to pump myself up every morning, to have a good attitude and make the best of it, but I can no longer deny the degree of my frustration and unhappiness. I have the support of other people in our company, but there's not currently an opening that is a match for me. I could quit this position and go back to my old seasonal job this winter, but that means that come April I won't have any job in place and in the rural, insular area where I live, good jobs are very hard to come by. By then, I probably will be ready to move from here if I have to, but as we know it's a lot harder to job search when you're not currently employed, than to have a job in hand while searching.

I just don't know what to do. I've tried talking to my boss, but it gets nowhere. I have a problem coworker who works with me in the winter and makes things absolutely miserable, and I even tried to open up to my boss about her, but he doesn't care. Basically I feel like he knows he's a few years from retirement and just doesn't want to be bothered to do anything other than what he has always done. When I try to bring up ideas or solutions, he shoots down EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. He's on vacation this week and next week, and while I'm still unhappy at work, I'm much happier and more relaxed when he is gone because I have come to loathe the way he treats me, and his complete failure to recognize the talents I bring to the table.

I'd love to hear from others who have been in this position and what they've done. Do you just follow the screams in your gut and quit? (So, in my case do I just quit this year-round job and go back to my old seasonal job for the sake of my well being?) Or do I try to endure? The other factor is that in the winter, my job is much more stressful, and the elements of it that I LEAST enjoy are really amped up during the winter season. The hours are long and I get tired, and then it's hard for me to maintain equilibrium. I keep trying to tell myself to suck it up right now as it is, but it's not working; the frustration keeps creeping up and I just want to cry.

Just not sure what is the best approach here. The sad thing is, I actually really like this company and it's a shame that there's not another year-round job open right now that would be a fit.
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Old 17th August 2016, 1:56 AM   #2
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I'm in a somewhat similar position. I am over-qualified for the job I currently hold and am undervalued by the company. (This is a chronic problem with the company itself across all departments.)

The difference is my boss is great and has fought for me as far as a promotion goes. But it's not going to happen any time soon because of various reasons.

It's the job itself that makes me come home tired and resigned, with no light at the end of the tunnel. I offer solutions for problems that no one sees and people acknowledge that they work, but the defeating part is I know it won't do anything to push for a promotion and compensation.

Which is why I have heavily started to look for a new job, which is tough nonetheless so I am prepared to stick it out for a few more months. Are you in a highly specialized field? If not, there should definitely be other positions that are a fit.

Don't burn bridges and make the best of it while you're there, but enduring the stress for another few years isn't worth it.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 2:03 AM   #3
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I think one reason I feel trapped is that the industry I'm in is one that I never planned to go into. I entered this industry back in 2009 when I moved across the country for a relationship without a job in place. The economy crashed, I was in a city where I knew no one and where the demographic of industries was very different from that of the city I'd moved from. I couldn't find ANY job in the areas I'd worked in the past. So I thought about industries that were specific to the area where I'd moved, and on a lark went to a job fair in one of those industries and got hired. The job required me to move to a rural area. For several years, I didn't make enough money to even consider moving unless it was to move home to my mom's house, which I was unwilling to do. And I couldn't find any other job despite constant effort.

So I decided to relax my expectations and try to make the most of the situation I was in. I trained hard and received a bunch of certifications in my industry, and then finally, a few years ago, managed to get a full-time, year-round job in the industry. It's this job in which I'm feeling stuck, because I'm not growing my skills; I'm in an admin assistant role which is far beneath my qualifications; and in this current role there's no clear path to promotion or job growth.

So now I'm thinking, "This wasn't even the industry I ever wanted to go into in the first place!" I got as far as I did in it because I'm adaptable, multi-talented, and a very hard worker, and I realized years ago that I had to do whatever it took to make it work where I was, because moving wasn't an option. This kind of pluck and talent is a huge asset and I haven't seen anything like it around me. I think any company would be lucky to have me and yet I feel so overlooked in my current situation...and I don't know how I'm going to explain to potential employers why my career trajectory went so off its original track. I don't feel I should have to apologize for being talented and ballsy enough to actually become knowledgeable in a completely foreign, highly specialized industry. Most people could not do what I did.

And then, within the industry I'm in, I have tried time and again to show how the training in other disciplines that I've had prior to going into this industry actually has a lot of relevance to concerns and needed approaches to problems in the industry. But these people who only ever worked in this industry can't seem to make the mental leap to see that I'm really not a "beginner" in the sense of coming in with NO prior skills and knowledge. I was highly accomplished in three separate areas--classical music, psychology, and publishing--and yet any time I have tried to draw correlations between these areas and my current industry, or my skill in these areas and what I could contribute to my current company, I just get a blank look. So I feel that has stymied me, and continues to stymy me, as well.

The situation is convoluted and probably I need to find a career counselor or something rather than post on here, but I am so frustrated I need whatever help I can get. I just don't know how to find my way to a position that actually uses my abilities. I feel like life is passing me by and I have so much more to contribute and am around people who just don't see it, who aren't as accomplished as I am overall, and if they do see that I could contribute more and take on a role with more decision-making capabilities, they're not going to lift a finger to do anything about it.

Every day I feel like I could just bang my head against the wall and cry.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 9:56 AM   #4
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Few thoughts:

What exactly is it that you'd like to be doing? A lot of people find themselves in jobs and industries they didn't intend, but that doesn't mean there's no way to get back on track. Not every employer is going to ding you for "being ballsy." Yes, some traditional companies may frown upon a non-linear career path, but there are plenty of places that will be able to synthesize all your strengths and see it as a positive. But you won't know where to look until you know what direction you want to go.

What's preventing you from looking for work? I agree that you shouldn't just jump ship, and you need to be a bit strategic in where you go next, but I think you need to think of the place you're at as a dead-end that's not going to change.

Everyone goes through this at some point. I used to work at a financial services firm, and my boss was a total d***. I woke up every morning dreading that job, and hating him. I worked hard to get into grad school so I could get away from that situation, but at the same time, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I didn't just quit. I didn't care that he was awful, I was proud of myself that I didn't let him drag me down. I worked hard there and found people I liked, and clunge to them.

My brother had it even worse. He'd finally gotten his bachelors degree in 2007, but had to move back in with our mom because he couldn't find any work. When he eventually did find work, in 2009, he had to move to podunk Oregon, and his boss was a capital B beeotch who monitored their computer usage (even gaps in their keystrokes), didn't allow personal phone use in the office, and wouldn't even let employees have non-work-related conversations during work hours. Everyone else at that place would leave after two months. My brother looked and looked and looked for other work, and couldn't find anything. And yeah, he was depressed. He drank a lot, he put on weight, he was hating life. But what was he gonna do? He's also very responsible, and was not about to move back in with mom. Anyway, I will never doubt his grit again, because he stuck it out. Finally, last year, after he'd been there for six years of hell, the company was bought out, he got a promotion and raise, and his boss was fired. I have literally never seen him so happy.

All this to say, that yes, your situation may be bad, but you can try and take steps to improve it. At the same time, even if you do try to make things better for yourself, you may still be stuck there for a while. A career counselor would surely help. A regular counselor may help you get past feelings of stuckness.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 10:56 AM   #5
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If you know you want to leave but you can't leave yet, you keep your head down and do your job and stay out of conflicts and don't troubleshoot or bring attention to yourself and then sock money away to prepare to leave and follow job leads. Good luck. And honestly, you may find if you keep your head down, things might improve.
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it." -- Abraham Lincoln
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