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Dear Wendy

Feeling miserable at work

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  • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by avatarCopa.
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  • #964485 Reply

    Hello all,

    I am feeling completely miserable at work.
    I have been in my company for 2 years, started off as an intern and succeeded to be hired. I joined when the company culture and environment was very shit but I stayed because it was a good kickoff for my future career opportunities, and months after months things got better.

    Unfortunately 2 team members were also here when I joined, and we don’t get along. We worked together at several occasions and they were never too nice to me when we worked together, hiding informations, erasing my work, never wanted to mentor me but just to make sure I was not given too many responsibilities so I wouldn’t shadow them. They’re the least collaborative people from our team and many people complain about them internally.
    I think they don’t like me because I am not the regular entry-level person quiet, and not giving my opinion. I do want to take ownership of things and I am pro-active, and I always felt like they hated it because for them someone who is junior and young should shut the fuck up.

    They’re both not very good at their job but they stay because they’re very much protected by our main manager (will call him manager A), who really sucks at his work as well. They’re well connected and I find myself in a nepotism situation. They’re the only ones being promoted etc, based on nothing but friendship.

    I wouldn’t care anymore since I work with someone else now but they diss me when we are in meetings together (laughing on camera when I speak and I see them typing), which they don’t when it’s other people.
    Also I am afraid that they would block my career evolution by dissing me to the manager just because they don’t like me.

    I don’t know if I should keep all this for myself or have a chat with manager B who I am well connected to and who can push for my promotion to manager A.
    On a personal level it also makes me feel like shit because I feel like they don’t consider me and it makes me question my self worth. I know it’s ridiculous it’s only 2 people out of plenty but it’s still too much for me to see their freaking face several times a week, even on camera.

    Thanks for reading me and for your advice

    #964540 Reply

    You say that you joined this employer as a jumpstart/stepping-stone to launch your career in your chosen field. It may have served this purpose already. There is no harm in seeking a higher-level job at another firm.

    You should be aware that anywhere you work is going to have employees that you don’t get along with. Anywhere you go, many of your co-workers are going to be very competitive and will see you as competition for a promotion. Anywhere you go as a newby/young person, you will encounter more experienced, but less technically qualified coworkers who take a dislike to your offering your opinion and speaking up with your contributions.

    You need to advocate for yourself, but you also need to recognize reality and grow a thicker skin. Don’t expect everyone to love or like you — aim for a neutral professional relationship. It is wise to take some time, not a lot of time — but some time, to become familiar with the culture and procedures of a new employer, before becoming overly outspoken. Often, the persons most wed to the culture and procedures will be the managers responsible for supervising and evaluating you.

    It struck me that you joined this organization (as a non-intern, regular employee) thinking the culture was awful and that your manager was a poor manager, who favored two incompetent employees who didn’t like you. That suggests the possibility of a bad attitude and perhaps an unrealistic view of the real world of work. I say this, because I don’t see from what you say of your work history any way that you could have observed a good culture, highly competent management, and highly competent co-workers.

    #964541 Reply

    Why not look for a new job? Use manager B as a reference. Ignore them. Stop looking for ways to feel slighted by them- like watching them smile or type when you speak at meetings. Try to not notice it. Focus on your work and doing the best you can. People can say what they want, but if you show consistently good work and are a good coworker, no one is going to care what they say. Except you mention this goes all the way to the top. You should start looking for a new job. You will never be happy in a job where you have a dynamic like this.

    #964544 Reply

    Do not talk to your manager about anything to do with these two people. Really, probably don’t ever do that in any situation. I could get into why, but for now, just take my word for it.

    If you want to get promoted, I have a step by step plan for that and it involves documenting your achievements and kudos and presenting a case to your manager.

    You could also move on at this point after 2 years there.

    I do want to say that reading this I’m not convinced there isn’t something about your attitude that is problematic and that might cause you similar problems if you go somewhere else. I can believe these two people are a pain, but it sounds like some of your behavior may be provoking them.

    #964551 Reply

    I’d say it’s time to start looking for a new job. You’ve been there two years and you are miserable. You think your coworkers are terrible at their jobs, leadership is poor, and the nepotism is problematic. Assuming this is all true, what you see is what you’re going to get. A promotion probably won’t make any of this better. You now have enough entry-level experience to move on and up somewhere new.

    When you interview, you can ask questions about company culture and turnover (high turnover is often a sign of a toxic work environment) to try to avoid another situation like one. Though I will say, I think all companies are going to have their share of dysfunction, you’re just going to have to figure out what you can deal with. Moving companies is also a great way to bump your pay up a bit. Until then, you can choose not to let your coworkers get to you. If you’re getting good feedback from your supervisor, it’s really silly to let two people make you doubt yourself.

    And yes, the tone of this letter does come across like you have an attitude at work.

    #964561 Reply

    Thanks guys for your answers! I do agree it sounds like it’s time to change jobs. I just need for the right moment and don’t feel that I have enough value yet to do so. Also in those covid times it’s not the wisest thing to quit so I will wait to have a safe opportunity.

    Besides, I don’t think I have an attitude at work or anything unprofessional. I am just not respecting the whole hierarchy-corporate culture where you need to be silent and hiding until you get a higher position. I just feel like my ideas matter, and that’s also why I got bigger responsabilities I guess.

    But yes I agree I need to not think about them and not pay attention, it’s just becoming harder when you’re working remotely as you don’t have your normal work environment and your colleagues nearby, and you remain alone with your thoughts…

    #964562 Reply

    This is a problem though:

    “I am just not respecting the whole hierarchy-corporate culture.”

    You kind of have to respect it because you work and earn your living by participating in corporate culture. Unless you’re ready to start your own business, you need to figure out how to work within corporate culture to get what you want without making a bunch of enemies.

    Also, you can and should look for another job while still employed. 2-ish years is long enough to start looking. Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished and all the praise you’ve received. Update your resume. Think about whether there’s a position above yours at your current job that you’d want to move into. Don’t just sit there. Your career doesn’t advance without action.

    #964579 Reply

    You don’t up and quit, though — you start applying for jobs and interviewing while you’re still employed. Finding a new job usually takes at least a few months, but can sometimes take much longer depending on where you live, your field, etc., so it’s wise to start looking before you need/want to be out. Companies are still hiring during COVID.

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