- March 25, 2020 at 12:23 pm #878473the_optimistParticipant
Hey all. Longtime lurker, sometimes poster. I thought I’d post here for some insight from all of you on a job I started at the beginning of the year that I now, unfortunately, despise. Since a lot of us are quarantined it seems as good a time as any to vent, right? 🙁
I left my last job after close to a decade there. I loved a lot of the people, but my last boss was incompetent and vindictive (several other colleagues have reached out since I left to disclose they’re looking for new positions, specifically because of this same boss). It was tough and scary to leave, but an old colleague reached out about a great position–nice pay bump, good title, prestigious company–on their team, and I jumped at the chance.
Well, I’ve now been here for a few months and absolutely hate the job and everything about it. None of what I was told in the interview process was true. The old colleague/now boss was well aware of my concerns at my last job and stressed that things would be different here. Turns out boss (also fairly new to the company) was also lied to, told that they’d have full autonomy over their team, great work/life balance and real room to make change, which is what they then, in turn, told me. They confessed all this to me a few weeks ago after a frustrating meeting with their boss. I didn’t express any of my own concerns at the time because I knew I’d get emotional. I have been dealing with some crying fits over the job and DO NOT ever plan on crying in front of this person, or anyone at work, but it at least solidified that it’s not just me feeling this way. They also let slip that there are people within the company who wanted and did not get my job, and that those people were bitter and would be less inclined to assist me (while I don’t supervise anyone directly, this is understood to be a function of their job). Well, that has happened, and my boss had conversations with their boss, during which it was implied that my job was unnecessary. So, no support there. We finally had a team meeting where I calmly explained to my boss that I was concerned that the position was not what I was told it would be and that I lack the support and guidance I need to do it. They then just stated that I was right in feeling that way but….that was it.
Also, I’m well aware that this is kind of silly, but I miss working with kind people! I haven’t been able to find anyone I can click with in even a superficial way. Everyone is buried in their work, and there’s little work/life balance to speak of (again, something I was NOT told in interviews). It’s very cliquey and not terribly welcoming to new folks, it seems. Somehow I thought having to work from home would make things easier, but I’m feeling more isolated than ever with no “work friends” to connect with. I’m also dealing with tons of anxiety over coronavirus, as we all are, but every time I jump on a conference call, someone is complaining about how “annoying” this all is. I’m over here like hey, sure, it’s annoying, also I’m immunocompromised and crazy anxious about the state of the country/world/my elderly parents, can we PLEASE stop worrying for one second about how much money this giant corporation might need to shift into another quarter?
So yeah, that was a lot, I know, and I apologize for the length and whining, I’m just bummed. I start [virtual] therapy again tonight though, so I’m very much looking forward to that. I guess my questions for all of you smart people are: Where is the damned humanity??! Also, should I start looking for a new job so early on? What if I get caught in another crap situation if I do? Thanks in advance.March 25, 2020 at 3:46 pm #878497
Ok so that sounds crappy, but probably not all that uncommon. My best advice is to start looking around, but probably wait until the Coronavirus crisis passes before you really get serious about it. Meanwhile, lower your expectations. Honestly, work is not supposed to be wonderful and fulfilling and cover your social connection needs (especially as you get older). It’s a job. It’s a paycheck. Large corporations have issues, small companies have issues. It’s normal. What I do is just recognize it for what it is, NOT expect anything to change, and then figure out how to work within that system so that my own personal experience is as painless as possible. I don’t complain. I don’t tell my boss how I think it should be. I just work within the confines of whatever the shit-uation is. I know some ppl can’t do that. My mom was always one to try and change things and make them better. But she also came home ranting a lot. She let it get to her. My dad and I are like, ok, whatever, this place is fucked, that’s fine, not my problem, how can I get my job done anyway?
Hope that helps at all.
Oh and read askamanager archives for how to explain why you’re looking for a new job so soon.March 25, 2020 at 3:51 pm #878498
Actually, the one time I did complain… after my company had been acquired and I was on a new team with a new boss, and I opened my fucking mouth, I got put on a lay-off list. After meeting my sales goal!
What I try to do instead now is not be a diva and make my boss’s job easier however I can.March 25, 2020 at 4:05 pm #878500the_optimistParticipant
Thanks Kate. I think part of my problem is I definitely let it get to me. Also, much as I like my boss, I wish they wouldn’t TELL me that people don’t like me/think my job is useful, you know? But you’re right, it’s a job, we’re not all meant to be buddies, I just wish there was SOMETHING I enjoyed or even tolerated about this job. It doesn’t help that my responsibilities aren’t what I was told they’d be, the hours are terrible, and I’m basically trying to learn everything as I go and stitch together a position for myself. But, yes, I’ve been looking through ask a manager like crazy as well and it’s been very helpful. Thanks again for your help!March 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm #878502AngeGuest
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking your boss to keep the demoralising chatter to himself, or at least frame it in a constructive way that might help you navigate antagonistic team members. Nobody likes a shit stirrer after all.March 25, 2020 at 4:19 pm #878503
Personally I think I’d appreciate my boss telling me what’s really going on, because information is power. Their sharing that info with you helps you realize you need to get out of there. A boss who lies to you is not any better.March 25, 2020 at 7:12 pm #878507BittergaymarkGuest
I agree with Kate’s last point. I was once lied to — along with my coworkers — about how all our jobs were safe and blah blah blah. Talk about blindsided.
Knowledge is power. Use it.March 25, 2020 at 7:20 pm #878510ronGuest
A lot of people are getting fired in the current environment, not very many are hiring. I’d keep my head down and hang on as long as possible if I were you. You want to qualify for unemployment and not leave voluntarily.March 25, 2020 at 7:27 pm #878512
“I just wish there was SOMETHING I enjoyed or even tolerated about this job.”
I mean, the paycheck, for one thing, right? Money in the bank every 2 weeks? And you wouldn’t have been hired if you didn’t have the skills to do the job, so it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. I think while you’re there, you should actively try to make something you can enjoy or tolerate, even if it’s a small part of the bigger picture. Some of this is in your control.March 25, 2020 at 10:05 pm #878516FYIGuest
Sorry, but you do sound rather glass-half-full. It’s only been two months really (not counting March because of COVID), and you’re unhappy that you haven’t made deep connections? Can’t speak for everyone of course, but I don’t look for that at work.
You seem to think they withheld information from you at hiring, but sometimes things just change. “I lack support and guidance” is never really going to go over well if you’re over 25. The professional thing to do is figure it out. Take the challenge.
You do have some control over your situation, mainly your attitude. Many, many, many thousands of people would love to have a job right now. Try to be grateful and — as cheesy as it sounds — look for what you can contribute rather than what they owe you. It’ll be a lot more fun for you that way.March 26, 2020 at 5:17 am #878530
Another thing to like about your job is it gives you something to do right now and keeps you busy. I have been kept busy on a workstream where we’re gauging market sentiment (people’s feelings) about the outbreak and the market volatility, and focusing on work for 8 hrs a day keeps me sane. If I had been laid off or furloughed, I’d be going nuts. Even just sticking to a regular schedule, getting dressed, and being on Zoom video calls does so much.March 26, 2020 at 6:22 am #878536LisforLeslieGuest
Your job is to make your boss look good. Seriously – that is the best piece of advice I can give anyone.
So if you are given different work – OK, what can you learn by doing this other thing? How can you expand your skills? How can you put your own stamp on this work? If you think things could be done differently, schedule a short call with your manager to ask if that is possible – don’t assume it can, because there may be extenuating circumstances or regulations or requirements. But… if you can find ways to improve a process or a spreadsheet or a file, schedule time with your manager to suggest an improvement. If you can make those things more efficient – you can ask to take on the things that you wanted to do when you took the job.
It takes a few months to really get comfortable in a new role and COVID makes that a hell of a lot harder.