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June Gloom

June 16, 2009

June gloom isn’t just applying to the weather this year. I should already be in my morning commute, but instead, I’m still in bed with wet hair, dreading it.  Now I’ll have to stay later, but at least the sun sets late and I can still go for a run for stress relief.

Work has gotten to the point where I’ve contemplated asking for an unpaid leave of absense until they get stuff for my next assignment sorted out.  Of course, I wouldn’t really do this (and I’m not sure they would let me anyway), and for all I know it could be several months until everything is processed.   I couldn’t take that financial hit if I want to have a wedding.

I am grateful to have a job.  I am grateful to have my job.  I am.  IThere are good things ahead for me — my new position is (I think) exactly what I wanted to be doing all along and lines up with my grad classes perfectly.  It also is (I think) a fairly secure position, but that’s relative to the program I’ve been on, which was (obviously) not so secure.

So good things are ahead, I’m convinced of this.  But I’ve never been this unsatisfied with my job, on a day to day basis.  If I had to give myself advice, I’d say to stay positive, keep on pushing until the end, pretend that people actually care about the results of the next couple weeks.  They don’t — managers have ceased attending our status meetings, so it is just whoever is left (we’ve shrunk by at least half) telling each other our own status.  It’s ridiculous.

And it is so so hard to stay positive.  I think this is one thing I like about being in classes — when work is unchallenging and lame, I could at least focus on my studies and be challenged.

I feel like I’ve been treading in my career — I spent 1.5 years at my first job, and just when I was getting compliments and felt valued, I decided to move to California.  Now, I spent 1.5 years on this job and… well to be honest, the whole time the assignment wasn’t the best fit, though I learned a lot.  I just can’t wait to get into a position and just STAY for a little while.  Long enough to develop, to become valued, to contribute in meaningful ways.

Enough whining.  Have you ever felt like this?  Did you discover any magic remedies to make it better?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Bonnie permalink
    June 16, 2009 8:35 am

    You could start sending out resumes, or even just looking at job listings. Even if you don’t really plan on leaving, it might make you feel better just to know that theroetically, there are opportunities out there and you’re doing something proactive about it. My only other advice is to wait it out. I was totally miserable at my job last year. I applied for tons of things; nothing worked out. I dreaded going into work like you. What changed it for me was I finally firmly asked for a promotion and raise and received it. Also, when the economy really went south, I just starting feeling a bit more grateful, I guess. But if I were in your situation, I’m sure I would be feeling the same way again.

    OT: Do you (or anyone) know why LA Daze’s blog suddenly went password-protected with no warning? I’m a regular reader and would like to keep reading, but I don’t know how to reach her.

  2. SP permalink*
    June 16, 2009 9:02 am

    @bonnie – Before next position was lined up, I did send a couple resumes out and got invited for an interview… but I declined because i do want to stay. I just have to, as you said, wait it out.

    Yes, she’s having issues with someone (i think ex-bf) reading her stuff without permission. I don’t think anyone is allowed to read it right now. 😦

  3. June 16, 2009 10:18 am

    I have been feeling that way for nearly 4 years, so I am totally with you! If the new job is as good as you think, it’s worth it to stick it out.

    If it’s just that you don’t have enough to do? Or is there a lot of work but it’s totally meaningless? If it’s the former, I would make sure you have some way to kill time. I brought in a notebook and wrote or drew, I would do homework during the day, and I created an elaborate eating schedule. None of which is very good, but it will take your mind of the boredom (which can completely deflate you & tire you out!).

    Things will get better, and I think you know that the key is to keep your spirits up. This job doesn’t reflect the future of your career or your worth as an employee. It’s just a brief pause.

  4. June 16, 2009 10:56 am

    Oh yes, been feeling like that to some degree for that past 18 months. About 12 months ago I decided that I’d had enough of trying to stay positive and stiff upper lipping it, but unfortunately that coincided with the tanking of the economy.

    One of my [bad!] coping techniques has been to spend a lot of time online [Gchat, twitter, uh, shopping] to look busy and distract myself from the highly negative environment. Things got so bad that I couldn’t WAIT to get my layoff papers. Now I’m just passing time until we’re out, and trying to negotiate a temporary contract that I’m not sure I want thanks to all the negative associations. Bleh.

    This’ll pass. It just takes some time, and steering when the opportunity arises.

  5. SP permalink*
    June 16, 2009 11:24 am

    It was fun for a period, but it has been going downhill for months, accelerating the past 2 months into THIS.

    Thanks for the sympathy. I do have some work, it is just totally unmeaningful right now. But I’ll do it anyway. With a frown on my face.

    Sometimes I worry that it is ruining me, and once I do actually get meaningful challenging work, I will not remember how to be a good worker!

  6. June 16, 2009 11:48 am

    You know, I totally relate to your position. I too am totally bored at work (combination of fewer assignments and stupid work). The weeks when I have something to do are okay, then there are weeks like the current one when i literally get depressed over the week from doing nothing! 😦 All that hard work in school for this…feels like such a waste of life and education.

    The weird thing is your post is the first time I heard someone else echo the same kinda feelings I have been having about my work. I am a little relieved that I am not the only bored working girl in the country. 🙂

  7. June 16, 2009 6:07 pm

    Unmeaningful work sucks. I hope things pick up soon! Just remember that every job has its ups and downs, and try to think of all the positive things at work. Do you like your co-workers? Do you like the general scope of work?

    I haven’t had one job long enough to really feel like i’m a valuable contributor and part of the team. First job out of college lasted 10 months, because I had to leave the US since my student visa expired. Just when I started to make an impact. When I returned, my boss was more than happy to take me back, but I wanted to do something else. While in Singapore, I had a job for a month. I hated working for the company I was working for, and quit. I’ve been at my current job since October 2008, and I hope to stay for a while. I’m really enjoying it.

    Bonnie – i’m trying to figure out a way to invite people to read my blog – I need to look into it. My ex is going through my stuff and bothering me with annoying emails and text messages. Totally do not want to deal with it right now. You can follow me on twitter though!

  8. June 17, 2009 4:12 pm

    This post made me think of our respective work situations.

  9. SP permalink*
    June 17, 2009 10:11 pm

    @TD – I think it is sort of normal to not be fully challenged at work — especially not ALL the time

    @LA daze – my coworkers are fine, but none I really click with, and now it is just me and one other older guy on this part. I do like the gen scope, and this current project is ending very soon. I did like my job for awhile, just note lately. And I hope to again soon!

    @revanche – haha, thanks for sharing. Certainly much better than KFC (liked her point about the split shifts — those were so annoying!)

  10. Bonnie permalink
    June 18, 2009 7:55 am

    LA Daze–I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you find a way to get your blog up and running again and that all of us are invited. Your ex is so wrong to be acting that way. I’m not on Twitter or even Facebook yet. Maybe eventually I will join the 21st century! I had some bad experieces back in the day with Friendster and so have been reluctant to join any of the newer social-networking sites.

    SP, hang in there!

  11. June 21, 2009 1:07 am

    Well, I can’t commiserate about the career thing. (I’m on disability.) But I can commiserate with feeling like life has stagnated a bit.

    The only real help I can offer is how I deal with it. First, I do that annoyingly optimistic BS about counting my blessings. But I’m hugely jaded so that doesn’t really solve the whole problem. (Though it does put things into perspective.)

    Then I sit down and try to figure out what I’m upset about. Usually, it’s debt. We can only throw a little money at it each month. But let’s pretend it’s career, since that’s yours.

    I would sit down and try to think of all options I had. Even the ones you wouldn’t dream of taking.

    1. I could quit. Try to find a better job.
    2. I could try to find a better job without quitting. (probably saner)
    3. I could change fields entirely.
    4. I could go back to school.
    5. I could try to find ways to make my value known in the hopes of a raise or promotion.
    6. I could get a second, part-time job doing something utterly outside my usual field. (Movie theater for the free flicks or something else not too hard.)
    7. I could talk to a good friend, a priest/preacher/minister or a therapist and see if it was really the job that I was dissatisfied with or something else that I’m projecting onto my career.
    8. I could accept that jobs aren’t really the be-all and end-all and find something meaningful to do with my free time: volunteering or something.
    9. Accept that jobs don’t have to be fulfilling but just a way to make money, and find other ways to be happy, like hobbies: yoga, knitting group, book club, gardening or whatever brings me joy.
    10. I could run away and join the circus. (It just seemed like something good to end on.)

    So there are some options. Most you probably wouldn’t take. And that’s probably not an exhaustive list. There are probably more options. I haven’t had to think about careers for awhile, though I am doing some small amounts of contract work.

    But I think a few are worth investigating. I think our generation tends to forget that it’s only a recent idea that our jobs should be fulfilling and a deep source of happiness or at least satisfaction. Sometimes you just work to pay the bills and you do the meaningful stuff in your off time, ya know?

  12. June 21, 2009 12:01 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement abigail! I don’t expect my job to be a source of happiness/joy (see this:

    But it is hard when it is soul sucking. I don’t think it should be soul sucking. Even in jobs that are meaningless, you can have a non-miserable time if you have good coworkers.

    Anyway, it might get worse, but it also should get better within a few months.

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