Job troubles

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles J P, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I have never posted this kind of thread here, although I have never condemned those who do, and certainly cant now that I am about to. I dont think the after hours lounge is a therapy chat room, but every now and then we all just need a little advice and encouragement.
    I HATE my job. It is not what I ever intended to do while I was earning my degree, but job offers were not abundant and I took what I thought was the best at the time. I do client service work related to IT, and I really dont feel comfortable being any more specific than that. My schedule is very volitile. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to do, and other times the work load is so heavy that I would rather quit on the spot than face having to finish what I'm working on. A lot of times, the heavier the workload gets the less productive I get. I have a TON of stuff to do now, and have done very little this morning becuase I am too overwhelmed and depressed.
    I also have to travel for work sometimes, and that is even worse. While traveling, we typically have to spend 12-13 hours a day at the client, with only a 15-30 minute lunch, usually eaten in the conference room we are set up in. Then we leave, and stop for a quick dinner or take it back to the hotel room and eat and then work some more.
    Also, I dont work in a very well respected field in general, so working with the clients is rarely fun or rewarding. When I did my internship in college, I worked under some network administrators. I loved it, because I was usually providing end user support which meant I was helping people. I have tried to find a similar job, but the skill requirements for mid-level IT personnel right now is insane. Jobs that pay what I need to meet my financial obligations require more experience than what would earn you $80, $90 $100K + a few years ago. And now they pay half as much.
    My coworkers make matters worse. They glorify everything that I hate about the job. I really dont know if they are serious or if they are just trying to delude themselves. They laugh at the clients that work 8 or 9 hour days. They take pride in the fact that they are ruthless and I have been told that I am too nice to the client and too trusting. In general, they are constantly making fun of clients that are perfectly hard working people. They feel so self important. One bit of consolation is the fact that I know I'm not the only one in this situation. In the specific are of the industry that I work in, the average tenure of people hired at the staff level has dropped to 1 year! Its burn-out city. Of course that doesnt help the fact that I cant get out. Our department is only 11 people now and in the past year and a half, 5 have left. Plus there are three people including myself that are considering leaving in the next year. Turnover is insane.
    I have listed with a couple head hunters and have come up empty handed so far. The more I try to find something else and fail, the more depressed I get. I also have a fear of even applying for jobs in case my employer finds out, and due to the industry I work in, I am limited to where I can apply.
    I dont know what to do any more. I cant talk to my boss, because my complaints cannot be "fixed". Its the nature of the business. Also, they are notoriously hard on complainers. I cannot quit and look full time, because my wife and I have two car payments and a house payment (living the american dream [​IMG] ) I almost wish I would get fired, but I know that would actually not help in the long run. My situation is becoming a burden on all my relationships. It is always on my mind. I had fridays because I know the weekend will be to short, I hate saturdays because I know the next day is sunday and thats the last day of the weekend. I hat sundays of course because I have to go back to work. How messed up is that. I feel like that guy on office space. Every day is worse than the one before, so every day is the worst day of my life. [​IMG] I have a lot of good things going for me and should feel lucky, but they are eclipsed by my misery.
    Oh well, thanks for listening.
     
  2. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    This is not to belittle your statements in any way, trust me.

    Welcome to working in the IT Field, and Office Live/Real Life in general.

    Like I said, this is not an attempt to make light of what you say, but most everyone I know who works in this field has these problems.
     
  3. Mike__D

    Mike__D Supporting Actor

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    Well,

    I work in the IT field as well. And like you, there are REALLY slow times, and other times I'm swamped w/ work. Right now all I've been doing is surfing the net, so I haven't been very busy.

    I know you'd rather not, but can you explain a bit more on what you actually do in IT. It's such a diverse field with many opportunities, and I'm curious as to what you do.

    Maybe it's something deeper than your job? I'm certainly no therapist, but you seem deeply depressed. If you are sure it is the job that is causing you all this grief, get out of it and do it now.

    I know, it's easier said than done. Maybe find a part time job or two until you find a job you REALLY want. Also, talking to a few headhunters is not enough. You should use a more direct approach. Check the want ads, apply for positions you want. Update your resume, change it's style... make it more flashy so it stands out. Send a cover letter and try and get in touch with the person who is hiring for a given position.

    Once again, it's easy for anyone to say this, but takes much courage to actually do it. Seriously consider it if your job affects you this much.

    Sometimes taking a paycut at a different job is the best thing. I know I can certainly make more money than I do now working elsewhere, but the people I work with, and the freedom I'm given keeps me here. I have not a worry in the world except I can make more elsewhere... but you have to weigh in the price of making more money.

    Hope some of this helps and good luck with whatever you do!

    Mike D.
     
  4. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I'm sure its my job, since I'm happy with other aspects of my life. Since the chances of someone from work actually seeing this are pretty much nil... I actually work as an IT auditor for a Big 5 (Big 4?) accounting firm, which is what I meant about not being in a very well respected job right now. The Big 5 is notorious for burning people out. Your pretty much a temporary resource to be used up and then you leave.

    I have applied directly to some companies. Working at a Big 5 firm, I'm subject to SEC regulations, and firm policies derived from them. I'm not allowed to apply at any clients I'm working on without telling the partner above my area, which in that case you might as well just quit. If you apply at a client your not servicing, you run the risk of them telling their contact at the firm for whatever reason. My firm has a very large percentage of the market here, so that doesnt help.

    I feel like I did not get the skills necessary to do technical IT work in college. I dont know UNIX, AS400, Mainframe or anything outside of Windows networking. I have recently applied for some internal audit and IT Analyst type positions, which I hope pan out. I just dread every weekday, and find that the longer I stay here, the worse my work ethic gets.
     
  5. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    I also work in the IT field and what you are describing Charles is what my job is all about. [​IMG]
    Granted I do have days where I almost just zone out because I dont know where to start and others I have nothing to do but surf the web. I never thought that I would say this either but there have been times where I have also thought about getting out of this field. When I work at home on my yard the day just flies by but when I am surfing the web (like now) it just takes forever for work to end. Heck I would love it if I was busy all of the time but not over worked. The days would fly by and I would be enjoying work a lot more. Maybe you should look at taking a pay cut and re-training or going into another IT area. Probably to do this you would need to sell one of your cars but then you could just buy a small cheap heap that gets you where you need to go (just not in style). [​IMG]
    Best of luck and dont let it get you down too much.
    KyleS
     
  6. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Woops Double post
     
  7. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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  8. Mike__D

    Mike__D Supporting Actor

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    I agree with KyleS, maybe some re-training. When I got out of college, my first job was IT support for Windows PC's. well, my college was ALL Mac at the time so I had limited knowledge, but I learned. And my current job has me doing everything from VB programming, to website design & maintenace, to Win2K administration (well, as soon as I get the server built). I've never programmed in VB before, but I learned. You just need to convince others you are a fast learner and prove yourself.

    That's the beauty of IT... there are so many areas in it, so if you get bored with one area, move onto another, even if it's a step down. Eventually your resume will look great with all the diverse jobs in IT. This is my long term plan to get a mangement position eventually... but I'm in no hurry.
     
  9. TimDoss

    TimDoss Second Unit

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    If your job is depressing you that much you need to get out before it ends whatever good you have in your life... like
    your marriage. No it's not easy, but that's life. Plus if
    your work ethics continue to degrade, how long before your
    fired for that, and then how much harder will it be to find another job? If you have a degree, doesn't matter for what,
    that will open a lot of doors for you, even in fields that the
    degree doesn't cover... it shows the employer that you have
    drive, that you want things and you will finish whatever you
    have to do to get them. Try for other fields if you're stuck, even at a pay cut, your happiness is worth so much more
    than your car payments. It can be done.... and you, your
    family and your friends will all be much better off. Do something before it affects you irreversibly.
     
  10. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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  11. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Peter:
     
  12. Mike__D

    Mike__D Supporting Actor

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  13. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    I was in your same position about 8-12 months ago. Working as a consultant in the IT industry and getting more and more depressed each day. My co-workers were being let go left and right, clients were drying up and I never knew from day to day if I would have a position to report to. It got so bad that I was looking at jobs that paid $30-40k less a year just to get somewhere I could feel "safe" again.

    If you are really that unhappy with how the job is, you have to take a more aggresive stance to make changes. Sending out your resume to headhunters is no where near enough, espicially today with how the market is. Talk to some of the clients you trust that you have been working over time with and find away to casually bring up the fact that you are not satisfied in your current role and that you have begun to give thoughts to leaving. This is what I did and I was amazed at the number of clients I had worked with that didn't want to lose my services and were interested in talking off-line about how to bring me in the door. It's a slippery slope, having these types of conversations due to contract concerns, but if a company really wants you, they will find ways to make it work.

    That's the route I took and even though I wasn't supposed to have those conversations, a client decided to approach the company I worked for and offer to buy me out of the contract. Of course, my company didn't like it because it meant they would lose my revenue. The client said, "well, you have a choice. Either accept our offer of $xx,xxx for the contract or we will terminate it entirely and you will get nothing." It worked pretty well.

    I say don't look for headhunters or other firms to find you, you have to get out and market, network and sell yourself on your own. It is tough but it will pay off in the long run. It took me 7 months and now I've been in my new role almost 2 months and the change in attitude and outlook is amazing! I'm sleeping again, meeting real co-workers instead of clients and enjoying time with friends and family so much more.

    Good luck!
     
  14. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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  15. TimDoss

    TimDoss Second Unit

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    "I feel like I cant ruin my wife's life because of my problems."

    That's a troubling statement. The two of you share a life. And how would you prefer to ruin her life? By maybe giving up some material possessions, or by having her live with
    someone who is depressed and unhappy all the time? I'm guessing that the material possessions, even in her eyes,
    would take a backseat to having back the man she married.
    Make a change. The longer you wait the harder it will be.
     

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