Disclaimer: I probably say a lot of things I’m not “supposed to” say in the words that follow. Well, screw the rules.
I think it’s about time I get really clear about my job situation.
I can’t take it much longer. I’ve been there for 2 and a half years. I’ve changed so dramatically over the past two and a half years and my job has changed this much: not at all. So I was happy there at first. I took copious notes. I pitched in as much as I could. I read everything I could get my hands on. I was doing things I’d never done before like training people 30 years my senior, navigating cubicle world rules, and learning how to make and take phone calls with important, busy people (yes–I used to be shy). Everything was shiny and new. Most of my coworkers were different from me, but I respected them and tried to get to know them. My immediate project team was an awesome bunch to work with. We communicated often: stopping by each other’s cubes, emailing, IMing, picking up the telephone, etc.
The part where I whine a little.
The honeymoon phase ended and corporate bru-haha got really complicated. New bosses. More rules. No more telecommuting. Backstabbing coworkers responsible for a lack of raise. Flexibility? zilch. They even moved me to a new office away from any of my immediate project team members and the only friend I’d made so my supervisor could see me from his office. One of my coworkers actually contrived an illness from “sick building” syndrome so that she could get moved out of our building entirely so that, as she said, “Daddy can’t watch over me anymore.” I started getting yelled at on a daily basis for being late. I got kicked off the social committee.
Meanwhile the project work stayed the same. Communication between my project team decreased significantly. I guess everything became second nature, or something. I started going weeks without ever talking to anyone on my team and only had human interaction between November and March, the high season of incoming calls to the hotline number. Summers were so slow that if I did anything of importance I surely can’t recall what it was. Come into the office by nine. Get yelled at for not coming in at 8:15. Do your work. Leave by 5. Repeat.
I still enjoyed the time I did spend with team and for the most part felt a sense of pride for the work that I was helping to produce. But I knew I couldn’t stay too much longer. The administrative crap was weighing too heavily on my mental (and at times, physical) health. So seven or so months ago I decided to drop my hours to part-time. I would only come into the office three days per week and management let me (sort of) choose which 20 hours those were. Knowing that “being late” was a constant fight between my supervisor and I and knowing that I could manage coming into the office by 9am every day, I’ve officially been on a MWF 9am-4pm schedule since then.
Then LOTS of stuff happened.
PechaKucha Night Raleigh blew up. SPARKcon happened. I got on NPR. My sister moved to NYC and got an amazing job with an amazing group (yes, that affected me because the New York Post wrote an article on us). I was freelance writing. I got a social media marketing internship. I met Penelope Trunk. People I didn’t know started recognizing my name for the first time in my life. A brand in the making.
So exciting, yet still so disappointed.
Six months of all that and somehow the day job just started to feel like a prison. Like there are bigger, better things out there for me to be doing. Having just started the 3rd survey cycle season last month, I realized that the only “challenge” ahead of me was getting through each day. Not in the good way. Getting through the repetitive movements: check email, reply with stock answer, copy/paste from one document to another, sort data this way and that, avoid questions about my personal life on conference calls, then put conference call on mute for 45 minutes, and occasionally answer the hotline (the most fun I have all day–talking to strangers!).
In plain English: I’m bored to death. It’s the same old routine I’ve gotten so good at the past 2 years. I’m still in the same position I was when I took this job straight out of college. I’m at the bottom of the rung, with no opportunity for growth. I relish in every writing and project management position I can get into, which really isn’t much. I can’t find any pride in the work I still do. Actually, I feel worse because I know there’s so much untapped potential. I feel in-genuine for staying at a job I resent. I actually feel awful for not [wanting to] pour my heart into my work.
Meanwhile, outside of this job I’m sort of a rockstar. I handle complex details of event management (very akin to project management, ya know), social media strategy, and writing this blog among much else (all things that I love and would do for free). The Communications department at my company knows more about who I am, my skills, and my outside work than the team I’ve work with for over 2 years. They sought me out and held an hour-long meeting with their entire department just to hear my opinions on the company’s social media strategies. For the first time at my company I felt like I was genuinely being listened to, that I was part of a team, and I knew I was adding true value. Thank god for them. They made my day and reinforced what I should be doing.
I can do better.
I want to feel better about myself.
It is time to move on.
Now I just need to find one job, one project, or one team that can use my skills full-time.
Where are you?
In participation with #reverb10.