I’ve been up since 4:30 am, which, if you knew me, is highly unusual. I’m the type of person who reluctantly crawls out of bed every morning at 6:30 (maybe 6:45) and sulkily goes about my morning routine. I’m NOT a morning person. But today, I’m wide awake and ready to go. Blame it on the stress.
And stressed I am! Work has been hell for the last month. The person who took over my position when I was promoted has left the company. In the long-term, it’s a good thing; She was a terrible fit for the job, and creating more issues than she was solving. In the short-term, it’s been a very, very bad thing for me. I’ve been doing the job of two people, and at a very busy time of year to boot. I’ve been close to tears on more than a few days. And I’m back to having nightmares about forgetting to accrue something in the system, which makes total sense in my dreams, but I can’t put my finger on once I’m awake. So then it bugs me all day long.
I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to figure out how to handle the situation. Yes, being short a team member is a temporary issue. But what lead to being in this position is not. I haven’t been happy for some time with my position (or the position I held before this). Would demanding more money help? Should I start looking for something else?
This weekend, Bryan and I finally had a serious conversation about what was going on, what our goals were, and how we should handle the situation. Yes, I’m stressed out. Yes, I hate my job. But, I need to be honest about who I am, what my (our) goals are, and what I want.
One thing I’ve realized over the past year is that I only have a “shelf-life” of about 2 years at most jobs. I start a job, and everything is fabulous. About one year in, I start becoming disgruntled. And at the two year mark? I’m pretty much done. Sure, I stick it out longer. Sometimes for many years longer. But I’m miserable.
It isn’t that I’m a bad employee. And I’m definitely not lazy. I just get very wrapped up in what I’m doing, and very frustrated with how things are being run. I’m more than willing to dedicate myself to my job, and working for what’s in the best interest of growing the company. I think I just become too emotionally invested in what I’m doing. That quality makes it difficult to work in a corporate structure. But it’s an ideal quality for a freelancer, or someone running a small business.
So the discussion this weekend was about how to proceed. Do I look for another job, knowing it isn’t going to last more than a few years? Or, do I stick it out where I’m at? We’ve discussed our future career plans, but always in somewhat vague terms. But when you’re reaching the end of your rope, you need a concrete plan to hold onto, not vague ideas.
In the end, we decided my best course of action was to stick with this job for one more year. If things continue to go as planned, I’ll have my car loan paid off by Spring of 2016. From there, my expenses decrease considerably, and I should be able to start socking away some cash. Once the Winter weather hits, things will slow down at work, and I’ll have some breathing room. Not only will I be able to catch up and de-stress, but I’ll also be able to use up some of the vacation time I’ve been socking away. I’ll start to have a little more free time to be able to work on my plans for the future.
By the end of this year, Bryan should have a better idea of what his future holds. He’s not sold on what he wants to do career wise; Stick with his union job as long as possible, or retire into a business of his own. Sticking with my current job for another year gives him a chance to consider his options. He’s really liking the idea of moving to another state. In a year, we may be in a position to take the plunge.
So, I went into work this week with an end in sight. And you know what? It really did make things better. I was still overwhelmed and working long hours, but I no longer had the same sense of frustration and defeat. All of this was temporary. I just have to stick with the financial plan, and start working towards my future. The current job is just a means to an end.
And I can do anything temporarily.
- Cindy W.