Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I want to quit

Have you ever wanted to quit your job? Not cause you hate it, but because you don't love it anymore? AND, no matter what you do, you can make yourself love it. You know you're not giving it 150% anymore and people expect that. They can't perceive of what 100% looks like or what it looks like when you finally decide that you are not killing yourself 12 hours a day or more, to make it happen.

I knew I had burn out last year. I contemplated quitting then, but they convinced me to stay (that, and my debt). Now, I'm still in debt, I have a house that needs basic repairs and taxes to pay, but I still don't love my job. Not even for the money.

What would you do?

Why am I asking?

I'm a big chicken. I am afraid what there is or isn't out there for me and at what dollar figure. I am at a point where I can't make less unless I trade the truck in for something smaller. Even that won't help but alleviate a couple hundred bucks which won't save me in a severe downsizing of cash flow.

Am I making excuses? I know when I'm not performing to my own standards and nothing is making me do it. I know people are having problems all over the place and I don't want to be the perpetually unemployed.

I'm a chicken, I like my money, I don't love my job anymore. I really hate when I know I am underperforming and if I was my own boss, I'd have written me up a long time ago.

I'm not sure I'm expecting a response or validation. Maybe I hear from others what I've told myself. I am indecisive here.

I tell myself to buck up and stop being a ninny, it's one of the best jobs I've ever had.

I tell myself I'll be screwed if I go out and try to do something after seven years and probably not get the kind of references I would have gotten last year.

I am driving myself to insomnia over it.

I have stress zits. I'm way past the age of acne.

On the other hand, I'm a coward for not seeking other opportunities and letting this go this far where I perform under my own expectations, if not those of the people around me.

I should quit while the going isn't so damned bad.

I used to love this job.

I used to live for this job.

I don't feel like either anymore and there is no one to tell, but you all.

There is my cry in the wilderness.

What the h-e-l-l am I supposed to do?

If nothing else, the blog is a sympathetic ear. The family thinks I'm crazy. The money you know.

I prefer job satisfaction, but sometimes, money is necessary to live in this world.

Calgon, take me away.


Kender said...

No one ever died wishing they had spent another day at a job they hate.....follow your heart. When I find the words I have written about thi subject I will send them along.

Barb said...

Kat - I can understand the reluctance to relinquish a job that pays well. I think you need to ask whether the job can ever excite that passion you had for it ever again. If not - you should consider planning for something else - the stress and lack of reward are Not Worth It!

Jim said...

I really think it depends on specifically what it is you don't like, and why. In other words, are you tired of, say, making widgets to earn a living, or are you tired of making widgets for XYX Widget Company and would prefer to make widgets for someone else? A career change, as in the former case in my example, seems pretty scary after you reach a certain point in one career; pretty hard to step into something completely different at a comparable level, I think. That's the type of move that might require some serious thinking and reshuffling of priorities. If we're talking simply changing employers, heck, that's a no-brainer, particularly if they're like my employer. Which is to say, crappy and getting worse. All you need here is the right job opening. A job really is a relationship, and if you're not happy with the way the other party is behaving, you're not under any obligation to behave better towards them than they are to you.

Kat said...

I did think of complete career change. i mean, I could still do analysis, but I was thinking something that I might feel rewarding. Like homeland security or some other part of the financial/business world.

But, my concern is translating my abilities to that sort of career. I do need to think about it, but most of my thinking has been "do I do this or not" not even down to the logistics.

And, the performance thing is two way. I know I'm not giving and it's not fair. On the other hand, they ask more than I think is their right. I keep telling myself it was paying dues for the next level, but it doesn't feel like it. It feels like used and abused.

I may have set myself up for it with my overzealous, over achieving nature. That bothers me as well. What if I do it again?

I am so screwed up over this right now, it's making me miserable.

Jim said...

I've tried that "paying dues for the next level" thing before, and I've decided that at some point it becomes a lot less about ability and a lot more about ass-kissing.

I don't do ass-kissing.

Barb said...

BTW - The Calgon option is a good immediate relief - but don't use it to think about the problem. Use it for pure stress relief - then you can think on the problem afterwards ...

Michael_the_Archangel said...

Okay, first the obvious - don't quit until you've got another job lined up - I'm sure it goes without saying, but I'm saying it.

Second, ya know, no matter how much another place looks attractive, sometimes you find that you've jumped from the pan into the fire. A new place to work is often a super gamble, you could be rolling a 7 or you could be rolling 'snake eyes'.

Third, a small suggestion and a small investment of time and money MIGHT help you. Go to http://www.48days.com/

For $20 you will get a course that will help you understand what you really love to do and help you develop a plan on doing it. It's a 48 day plan but if you do two 'lessons' per day you can do it in 24 days. It will help you find a vocation, rather than a job. I plan on having both my daughters go over it this summer to help them as they look beyond high school.

Fourth, until you decide on a career change, look in the mirror everyday and say to yourself, "By the grace of God, I'm not in Michael_the_Archangel's shoes." Then smile at yourself, take a deep breath and go make the best of your day.

BTW - things are looking up for me, but not the way I had hoped/figured them to be. Let's hope my life continues down this new and improved road.

Kathy K said...

Listen to Michael's first sentence. Then listen again. Because it doesn't go without saying.

If you are that unhappy with your job, you might well think you should just leave. Do Not Do That... it's much easier to get a job when you have one. You won't have that tinge of desperation that attracts bad employers (and repels good ones).

Collin said...

Understanding the Bushian Hubris-Nemesis Complex – a tribute to MR461

George W. Bush has claimed that Almighty God has personally instructed him to strike down those evildoers who dare disobey him. Using the White House as a flag-ensconced high temple pulpit in a rabid cult of infinite retribution, he mesmerizes the scared and confused American masses like a messianic preacher, whipping them up into a screaming bloodthirsty patriotic fervor. To reach the climax of his orgiastic celebration of violence, Aluminum birds streak overhead, unleashing bombs from the skies to explosively ravage disobedient distant lands while he excitedly tells the world that a great cleansing fire is coming to burn through all corners of the planet.

Imagine all the foreign populations crying out with outstretched arms to the skies above, begging the Bushian God Savior to fly above on an Icarian chariot to burn them into pure believers. Would they pray, "Oh, George the Great, Holy Planetarchis and Master of Fire, we beseech thee to bomb us into peace and love in thy grace."

Such wild, delusional and punishment-mongering thinking has no place in the Executive Branch, the forefront of our government or any other Westphalian creation.

As our paranoid, hallucinating leader rages on, reifying new fantasy enemies from the dust and striking them down in oversea bloodbaths using the bodies and broken minds of our indentured sons and daughters, we in the "rational technician class" must rise up from our prostrated amoral obedience and call for an end to his reign of nation-destroying madness.

Have a read of MR461 yourself at: www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR461/MR461.pdf

Tammi said...

Ohhh Kat, I soooo know what you mean. And you know what...you gave it all you got, while you had it. But...we all change. Our priorities change. Our needs/desires change. That's ok.

And, to me anyway, it's about balance and joy. I realized I had to step away from the money to gain joy, peace of mind and balance.

Of course as of Thursday I don't have a job. The upside? I can't believe the variety of inquiries I'm getting and the fact that the money I need is being agreed upon. By taking the jump - realizing what I need to do to be happy (or at least look myself in the mirror without guilt) - I'm actually lloking at the real possibility of having it all....

Sorry to hear you're in this spot. It sucks.

Roberto said...

Hi Kat...I read a book a long time ago...I Ain´t Much Baby, but I am all I have...by Jess Lair.

I remember a promice he made to himself when he was between life and death after suffering a massive heart attack..."If I live through this I will never again work at a job that I do not truly believe in."

It is a terrible way to die, in an emotional sense.

Anonymous said...

Kat, I thnk you're being waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy to hard on yourself here.
At some point jobs stop being passions or fun, and well, become jobs. They cease being something that defines our self-identities and become something we do.

Have you considered that you gave far too much of yourself in the past? 150%?! That's frickin' unsustainable. There's busting your hump to do a good job, and then there's killing yourself. Sounds like you were doing the latter to me given the description you provided. Maybe you're finding yourself having the internal dialogue where you start realizing that you can't keep up the throttle wide freakin' open all the time, and feeling guitly about it. Don't be. Your employer proll'y hasn't said anything becuase they understood how much you were OVERPERFORMING and not seeing the draw back as you begining to underperform.

I wouldn't worry about being permenantly unemployed. With your ethic it shouldn't be that long between jobs. The economy is doing so-so, and so it shouldn't be all that tough.
Like I said above, sometimes you don't have to love your job. At somepoint the intellectual interest that drove you into the field and you used to define yourself in some manner ceases to be a definition of self. You've grown bigger than it, and found more definitions of yourself(family, etc.). It's nothing to feel guilty over.
Sometimes it's the challenge you crave. No challenge. No fun. Maybe you've slain all the dragons at your job. Why go seek more trouble, 'ya know?
My advice is to stay. You don't need to 'live FOR this job.' That's just an unreasonable expectation of yourself.
Is the job still somewhat enjoyable or intellectually involving? Do you enjoy being around your co-workers? IF so then maybe you should question whether it's a desire for excitement that's driving this and not a real lack of enjoying your job.

Kat said...

I did crash and burn. That's a fact. I was doing insane things like traveling from Monday thru friday. I said it was unsustainable and they let me cut back. I thought I'd feel better, but it didn't help. I think I had hit the wall and went through it already.

Now that I'm not traveling as much they want me to go down to the main office more. Probably not an unreasonable expectation, but I really did think I should be able to work from home considering I have no real reason to be there except that some folks feel more "comfort" if I'm around where they can see me. even if they don't need me, but "just in case".

Interestingly, I am asked more questions than when I was only available by phone. On the other hand, interestingly, the questions are things that people were already doing, they just get some "comfort" from the validation.

I did solve two problems that were haunting people for a while, but I really could have resolved them over the phone given enough information. No one wanted to call me, I guess.

anyway, now I'm past the wall and trying to re-align one more time to see if Ry is right: is it because I killed myself and now I'm feeling belated rebellion? It's not as exciting as when I travelled?

My job is turning into some sort of support role instead of direct interaction with the facilities and their daily struggles to turn it around. That could be part of it.

We have slayed major dragons and are now on to the little annoying ones like controlling every single little cost and bringing one or two back into alignment, but it is not about major reconstruction like we were doing.

Plus, I'm worried that, as much as we've done, we've only improved the bottom line by 5%. That ain't much when we started at 2% and now at 7% when we need to hit 20%. Makes me worried. Been worried for a year.

I think it just hit me because I had major words with my boss two times and got a pissy little message from the VP of sales when I was trying to build their presentation to corporate. Wanted to know what was taking me so long and said, "if you can't do it, send it to me and I will". I did take that very badly.

Part of me wanted to throw it at them with my resignation and tell them to figure it out for themselves.

Then, sanity kicked in and I worked until 2 AM the night before to get it done.

No thanks, just a complaint that it had spelling errors on two slides.

So, sue me.

I'm going to keep at it a little more.

I do need to do something else this year. Go fishing, go biking, something. Last year and the year before didn't leave much time or space for it. This year, I'm insisting on it.

My time is my time.

thanks for all the advise. I'll keep you posted.