Have you ever been so unhappy at work that it started to impact every aspect of your life? We received this anonymous story from a courageous follower that chose to brave the unknown in an effort to recover the things she values most.
At the end of last year, I was feeling incredibly burned out at work. I was being given the work of two people. For months I had brought this up to my manager, even suggesting that my position be split into two positions, but it was going nowhere and I kept getting more work piled on top of an already ridiculous workload. I had been promised a raise for 6 months, but it kept being delayed for “unknown reasons.” I loved the people I worked with, but felt I deserved better treatment and more respect for the amount of work they gave me.
As many of us have, I had reached the point where I would lie in bed in the morning trying to muster the motivation to get up and go to work. I would start to panic and cry at the thought of going in and doing it for one more day. I had been with the company for many years and it was becoming what you guys would call a monster.
If it was taking such a physical and mental toll on me was it worth it? Was I giving away my power and my value if I let my employer take advantage of me like that? Since they were giving me the work of two people, would they ever give that up and let me go for a promotion somewhere else? Did I want to keep working sometimes ridiculous hours that required me to drive all over the state? What kind of example was I setting for my family?
I realized that I needed to value my happiness and mental health over the safety and comfort of a job I’m familiar with. With the encouragement of my husband, I started the ever-dreaded job hunt.
It had been years since I had searched for external jobs. When applying for jobs within my company, I had my reputation to rely on. I had worked with most other departments so they were familiar with what I had to offer and how well I consistently did my job. I was a known commodity and that worked in my favor.
When applying for jobs outside the company, none of that applied. I had to rely solely on my resume to get interviews. Self-doubt reared its ugly head something fierce. Where I was once very confident in my education and skills, I was afraid that it wouldn’t be good enough anymore and I would be stuck in a job I hated. I had a few interviews and second interviews that got my hopes up, only to not pan out. My self-esteem suffered greatly.
Finally I had an interview at a new company that I was really excited about. I liked the people I interviewed with, I was familiar with the field, and I had a good feeling about it. I left the interview feeling like I nailed it. However, the more I thought about it after the fact, the more I started doubting myself again, and wondering if the good experience I had in the interview was one-sided. Would anyone ever like me enough to hire me? Thankfully, I received THE call a couple weeks later. I was offered the job.
I spent the two weeks leading up to starting my new position in a state of excitement, feeling at peace. The night before my first day, all the insecurities hit. I started wondering what in the world I was doing. Would I be able to learn quickly and get my feet under me? I don’t like not knowing what I’m doing and having a firm grasp on things.
The first week was very overwhelming. I was being taught a lot of new concepts. There was so much to learn that I wondered if I could really do this job. Slowly but surely, I started to get at least a small handle on things little by little.
A month into the new job, COVID hit. We were pulled into a conference room and told that when we went home for the day we would not be coming back. The rest of the day was spent packing up my things and gathering the equipment needed to work from home. My manager helped me take everything out to my car and I haven’t seen her or any of my new coworkers since. It’s kind of hard to establish relationships with them that way.
The first couple of days trying to set up my computer and get logged into all the programs were rough. Thank heavens for my husband who helped with 90% of it! As a newbie working at home, I was not at all confident in what I was doing. I was IM-ing my manager and/or coworkers multiple times a day with questions that came up. I was worried that they would think I was incompetent or bothersome. It was super frustrating to try to get settled in a new job without colleagues nearby to help me. I also felt like an outsider because I didn’t know any of them well enough to send personal or random chats to like everyone else.
Soon after that, my husband was laid off due to the effects COVID had on his company. Another monster! My just-soothed anxiety skyrocketed right back up. I started worrying about how we would be able to make ends meet and pay the bills. The stress became really high as I knew that now we only had one income to rely on, and if I couldn’t figure this new job out we were in big trouble.
My husband is still unemployed six months later, but we are figuring things out. Like you guys, I’m learning that life is full of monsters. The “monster” I faced in switching jobs only caused more monsters: insecurity, anxiety and fear to name a few.
Now that I’m 8 months into my job, I am more satisfied at work then I have been in years. I’m glad I dug deep and found the courage to put myself in a new situation that would make me happier in the long run.