This has been a whirlwind of several months, and I am here to give you the scoop.
Have you been in a position before where you felt like you were drowning? Maybe it was homework, housework, just life altogether, but you felt like no matter what you did, you could not get your head above water.
That was me.
Ladies and gentlemen of the blog, I was in a very bad situation with my job. It pretty much felt like I was being emotionally abused in a way. No one's feelings in my department were being considered. The way that we were treated made it seemed like we were worthless. Even if you are amazing at your job, being treated like that for a year or longer, you will begin to doubt yourself.
When I came into my job, I basically came in and kicked in a door. I kicked ass, I was the best. I did my job, I did it well, and while it wasn't the most technologically stimulating job; it was giving me experience in a large corporate environment.
Until it didn't.
I knew one of two things were going to happen.
1) I would stay there and be miserable and never move up and never grow. I was always at the point where the job was affecting me outside of work. It was straining my relationship with my husband.
2) I would go off the deep end at work, getting fired. And I was very close to this. At one point I sat in a group meeting with the VP of Information Technology, defiant, not paying attention, and reading Supernatural fan fiction (don't judge me).
Before all of this went down, I did do the prudent thing and speak with my director. I told her I was not happy. I explained to her my background, what I came to do, what I was doing, and how I was capable of so much more.
She (attempted) to placate me, stating she was here and wanted to empower women in our department and have us grow.
I later found out this was a sham, and that she truly enjoyed pitting team members against each other, thinking it made them work harder.
How can you pit anyone against someone who has no equal?
In response to our meeting, she ripped what little I enjoyed from my job. She swapped my supervisor, took me from someone who had equal education and experience from me, and placed me with someone who had no education in technology, and boasted frequently that he enjoyed running his group like the correctional facility he was from.
Even after all this I slogged to work, and tried to make it through.
In hindsight, this is hilarious, but my final straw? She took my cube away from me.
In my department, not all cubes have three walls. Some people share a cube. She took away my three walled cube, gave it to someone that was in a different area, but still a direct report to her, and stuck me in a cube with one of the loudest and extremely argumentative people I have ever met in my life. I could no longer speak on the phone while this person was on the phone, as she would over talk me and I couldn't focus on what I was saying, nor what the person I was speaking with on the phone was saying. So let me recap everything that happened in a year.
I lost a supervisor that was on my level technology wise
I lost my ability to be able to do my job without people hovering over me
I lost my ability to collaborate with departments outside my own
I lost my cube
I lost my ability to do my job, as someone was right next to me screaming
I had started looking half heartedly for a new job but stepped up my efforts. I enlisted the aid of a headhunter that seemed eager to help, but never returned my calls, never gave me any feedback on the two interviews they sent me on, and were just useless.
However, after about 3 months of searching, I finally found a position! This time around, I asked many questions, mulled over all of the information they gave me, and finally made a decision. I refused to jump into a new position only to have the same or worse issues.
It has been almost two months, and my anxiety is nearly gone. I rarely feel that panic when someone calls my name in the hall. I've stopped frequently asking if what I do is okay. I get the feeling if I screw things up, I will be corrected and redirected.
My home life, which was in slight shambles, is on the mend.
Guys, know your worth. Know that there is no reason to put up with abuse at work. I don't care if it is physical, emotional, or verbal. Don't put up with it. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.
So that is what has been going on with me. I would love to know what has been going on with you.
I hope to be able to write more now that I am through the fire. You will here more geeky, techie, less serious things from me soon!
Humans are weird creatures. Some of us are loud and combative while some of us are soft spoken and passive. We are all different and that is great. It makes the world a more interesting place to live in. Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with the actions of others or situations that our environment have put us in. Instead of making changes and doing big thangs, a lot of us put our heads in the sand and bemoan our fate. I am guilty of this quite often. There is a saying that is attributed to several different people; Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sometimes it is hard to make that first step to change. This is why I am writing this. A change will do you good, as it sort of did me. Here are the steps I follow and questions I ask myself when I am truly unhappy with something for the examples, I am talking about my former job.
1) What exactly is making me unhappy?
When I first started my old job, I was ecstatic. I had been out of work for two years, and before that, nothing I truly did was IT. This job promised to change that. I learned a lot, and as time went on, things were becoming old hat. By two years in, I had surpassed my current job position. But there was no where for me to go. Remembering the arduous job hunt from two years prior, and how hard it was to get this job, I floundered. I stayed miserable far longer than I should, telling myself that I should be grateful to have a job.
What I didn’t realize was that in two years the game had changed. I was a big fish in a rapidly shrinking pond at my job. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I wasn’t going to be allowed to pursue the career path that I wanted to in IT in this job. Another thing I did not realize was that yes, my job hunt was difficult prior but I had nowhere near the skills or the resume that I did now.
2) Is there anyway I can become happier in my current position (current relationship, etc.)?
The straw that broke the camel’s back as far as my old job went was the very last review I had there. My boss gave me a glowing review. He was happy with all aspects of work that I was doing. During the portion of the review where he asked if I had any questions, I asked “Is there anyway that I could get promoted with job title and pay?” I was straight up told no. My old department ran incredibly lean. There was no place for me to go, and my boss wasn’t even trying to keep me. This was going to continue to be a miserable place for me as long as I stayed there. It was time for me to go.
3) Where to boss?
This is rough. You need to sit down and think what do you want out of your next situation. For me, I wanted a place that once again I would grow with. I learned so much from my old job. It made me more than a tech: I am an IT professional in all aspects of the word. I don’t just look at the problem and figure out how to solve it. I look at all aspects of a situation to prevent the issue from cropping up again. I wanted a place that would help me onto the track that I wanted to be on. I knew my end goal was to become a DBA. I knew I was not at that stage in my career at all. I wanted some place that would put me on the right track.
4) Let’s do this!
I knew what I wanted, I was ready to hunt. Dozens of resumes were sent out, interviews were given. For the first time in my life interviews didn’t phase me. I have all of the soft skills that IT people are always pushing. I have the technical skills as well. Why should I work for you? Tell me about your company. The interviews never felt one sided. We were testing each other out. Are you a good fit for me? I already know I am a great fit for you. Eventually I happened upon a company that is a great fit for me.
So that is where I am at now. The company I am currently at is as enthusiastic about me as I am about them. My department is another story. There is a lot of things going on that make me doubt who I am and what I am trying to become. It is dragging me down quite often. I am not in tears like I was at the end of my last job, but I am slowly losing steam. So I started looking at my list of questions again. I am on question #2. There is a way for me to become happier. and I am working on it. If you have a full time career a lot of your time is going to be spent doing this job. While it should not be the end all be all of your happiness, if you are able to you should at least not want to huddle under your bed crying when it is time to go to work. I recently took a step that should change how I feel about everything and continue me on my path to who and what I want to be.
What do you do when you are unhappy with a current situation? How do you handle it?