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What to do when you hate your j*b - find a new one or tough it out?
Old 07-20-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
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What to do when you hate your j*b - find a new one or tough it out?

I've been working for 6 years at a pretty good company, with what used to be a pretty good job for me. For a couple years it was great - a software development job where I could get my hands dirty, work on the things I enjoyed without having to manage other people, and make decent money doing it.

Of course, over time came the opportunity for a promotion. At first I thought "sure, why not?" So I took a lead developer job where I was responsible for a team - and found out that I mostly hated the new responsibilities. The pay was better (10% or so), but the new job left me mentally exhausted day in and day out. Managing and planning what others do was just something I didn't enjoy and leads to a lot of stress. The brain surgery I had and resulting memory problems certainly don't help either.

So after a while I asked to be put in my old position. However, I was informed that lead developer positions are my only option, as all the lower-level positions have been filled. I gave up trying to get my old job back and have managed to stick with the lead position for few years now.

I've grown so sick of the stress that it actually led me to find this forum. In a way this might be a good thing, since as a result I have been saving as much money as I possibly so I can retire as soon as possible. But I'm in my low 30s and realistically still have 10-15 years left if all goes well before I'll have enough to retire.

So that leads me to the question - would you stick with a well-paying job with good benefits and a pension that you hate in order to retire early, or would you try to find a more enjoyable job and risk pushing back retirement a few years?
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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10 to 15 years in a job you hate is way too much. I'd do it for a year or two max, but only if the compensation was huge. No way I'd spend 10 to 15 years doing it. Whatever money I gained wouldn't be worth the loss of mental, emotional, and physical health.

Find a job you can be reasonably comfortable with.

Your administration is telling you there aren't any open lower-level positions. What if one of the lower-level guys on your team (or another's team) wanted to move into your position? If so, maybe administration could be persuaded to switch you and the other fellow. Otherwise they're going to lose you entirely.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:45 PM   #3
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Going to a job everyday that you hate is not worth it. If you have to do it for another 6 months maybe suck it up but another 10-15 years! Start looking. You can take your time to find something that is worth moving on to. You might find something better and might not even delay your retirement. You never know unless you look.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:46 AM   #4
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I'd ask again, and be specific about why. If you really had brain surgery you should be able to appeal to them for medical reasons that the stress isn't healthy. I'm never sure whether threatening to leave is a good move or not because they may just bounce you out before you have another job lined up, or cut you out of raises and bonuses until you leave, but sometimes that gets the message across. Maybe negotiate to finish your current project and switch back after that, which would give them a chance to move someone else up. Did you just go to your immediate manager? If so, go over his head. Often it is the next level manager that makes personnel decisions like that.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:09 AM   #5
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I agree with RunningBum, appeal again for change explaining reason, maybe with doctor's recommendation. I suggest you approach boss, boss's boss and HR explaining the circumstances and your need. In the discussions recognize management's difficulty in replacing you in lead role, express working with them thru transition. Once they understand they risk losing you all together it's a better business decision to keep you In the role you desire, but again I'd stress working with them on the transition.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:25 AM   #6
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Like the others, I can see sticking with a job that's not a good fit (there are few if any bad jobs, usually just a bad fit) for a few years IF the next opportunity is desirable, but that's about it. I stuck with an asshat for a boss for three years during my 35 year career, and I am glad I did as my career played out well before and after him.

Life's too short to consciously settle for being unhappy for 10-15 years.

I applaud the OP for taking the supervisory position, at least he/she now knows it's not for him/her. That's much better than not trying, not knowing.

If you stick with a bad situation with no better opportunity in mind, it's your own fault, not the job/company - and complaining is tiresome. YMMV
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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Another factor to consider is how tough it may or may not be to even find another job in your field, in this economy.

Also there is always at least some possibility that the new job may be worse vs better than this one.

If you decide to leave this job, I would suggest doing it on your terms and doing it very, very cautiously.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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Find another job. I've been at my current job for almost the same amount of years and I'm sick of the politics , changes, and forces I can't control at my workplace. Things may not be better on the other side of the fence , but at least I'll meet new people and hopefully after all these decades, I'll finally find a work environment I'll be happy in. LoL. I do want to stay with the same company , I just want to transfer elsewhere.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
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I'd have to agree with a lot of the comments mentioned above. You should really talk to your boss about the reasons why you want to be moved to your old job. If the boss still doesn't listen then carry on with your job, but start looking for other options. You shouldn't be stuck in a job that makes you miserable, there is a whole lot more to life than work...
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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When openings come up, it is probably a lot easier to find people for OP's original position than it would be to find someone to replace him in his newer one, so mgmt doesn't want to move him back (also maybe the dynamics of the existing group might be affected).

I think you need to find a new job but need to be ready to address why you want "less" than the one you are leaving if it comes up. And with a new job lined up, you might find your current company, rather than lose you, will miraculously be able to either move you back down or come up with some help or more money to keep you. Then you can decide what to do.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:00 PM   #11
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Also there is always at least some possibility that the new job may be worse vs better than this one.
+100!

During college, I interned for my family's construction company. Did exceptionally well at it, and just kind of defaulted to it after school. Lasted 7 years before a 2 year long, major capstone project made me realize that there were just too many factors that would let me last with the family business (family issues as well as others).

However, when I landed my next career in my first non-family business role, I realized that EVERY business has politics/annoying co-workers/pain-in-the-ass clients....the list can go on and on and on.

It's not a matter of finding the perfect job - it's a matter of finding an environment for a career that you can live with!

Everyone has their own list of things they can tolerate and what they can't stand. Don't delude yourself into thinking there's a 'perfect situation' out there. A 'dream job' will quickly become a nightmare with the right boss/customer/supplier.

You need to take a long hard look at what it is that is so mind-numbingly revolting in this career, because you WILL come across the same/other items in ANY other career/occupation/employer, and ask yourself if perhaps a different perspective can make things more tolerable, or perhaps just learning to not take things so personally and not let the stress or comments get to you and eat you up.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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However, when I landed my next career in my first non-family business role, I realized that EVERY business has politics/annoying co-workers/pain-in-the-ass clients....the list can go on and on and on.

It's not a matter of finding the perfect job - it's a matter of finding an environment for a career that you can live with!

Everyone has their own list of things they can tolerate and what they can't stand. Don't delude yourself into thinking there's a 'perfect situation' out there. A 'dream job'
I job hop and jump off the frying pan when it gets too hot knowing the next frying pan or wok is going to be sizzling sooner or later. LOL.
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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I job hop and jump off the frying pan when it gets too hot knowing the next frying pan or wok is going to be sizzling sooner or later. LOL.
I have done the same. Sometimes the new challenges overwhelm the bullcrap for a while. Sometimes it just helps that the bullcrap tastes a little different.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #14
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I'm in a similar situation as the OP, though I'm about 15 years older.

My job pays well, but I don't like it and the thought of sticking it out for ~10 years seems unbearable. I'm approaching this problem from a couple of angles:

1. I'm looking, but I'm looking for something that I think I really could do, and enjoy doing, for 10 years. I'm not willing to take an enormous pay cut, but a pay cut would be acceptable so long as the job and the conditions (telecommute would be a huge plus) are right.
2. I'm actively trying to manage my current job environment - taking a hard look at the things I don't like and trying to figure out if there are ways I can change them, or at least minimize them. In the past I've had more of an attitude of "if it gets too bad I'm outta here." Now I'm going to try to make changes from within and see if that goes any better.

To some extent I'm like you though zesty in that I've worked my way up into a management position and have realized I don't really like babysitting, er, managing.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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You will be quite employable; start looking. I have 2 sons who are developers. One has been a manager for years, and enjoys it very much. The other just wants to write code, and let that be enough. Both their paths have worked well, although the one who accepts managerial promotions makes much more money. Software pays well enough that you don't have to be a manager.

Ha
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:18 PM   #16
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I'd ask again, and be specific about why. If you really had brain surgery you should be able to appeal to them for medical reasons that the stress isn't healthy. I'm never sure whether threatening to leave is a good move or not because they may just bounce you out before you have another job lined up, or cut you out of raises and bonuses until you leave, but sometimes that gets the message across. Maybe negotiate to finish your current project and switch back after that, which would give them a chance to move someone else up. Did you just go to your immediate manager? If so, go over his head. Often it is the next level manager that makes personnel decisions like that.
Thanks, going to the next level of manager is an interesting thought, I will consider that. I did express my feelings somewhat to him a while back - a few of us were talking about "rating the day", scoring your enjoyment of a work day on a scale of 1-10. I said mine are about 4/10 on average and he seemed pretty surprised, haha.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:23 PM   #17
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Sometimes the new challenges overwhelm the bullcrap for a while. Sometimes it just helps that the bullcrap tastes a little different.
That's what I was hoping - I know that almost no job is going to be great, but at least there will be some different problems for a change. Plus if I'm lucky, I'll get a break-in period where I won't be the Guy Who's Supposed To Remember Everything for a little while!
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:35 PM   #18
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Another factor to consider is how tough it may or may not be to even find another job in your field, in this economy.

Also there is always at least some possibility that the new job may be worse vs better than this one.

If you decide to leave this job, I would suggest doing it on your terms and doing it very, very cautiously.
That's a legit concern. In my area there are quite a few applicable job openings (20-30 at any given time within driving distance), but it could certainly still take me a while to find one, which is a requirement before I would make the switch.

And you're right - the new one could always be worse. I actually like my company, just not the job they've decided I belong in. I'm just not cut out to remember what everyone on a team is doing and plan their work out months in advance, in addition to getting my own work done. I wish I was, it was always what I imagined I would do. But after getting headaches on a daily basis trying to keep everything straight, it gets to the point where it feels like it's not worth the extra money.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:41 PM   #19
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I'm actively trying to manage my current job environment - taking a hard look at the things I don't like and trying to figure out if there are ways I can change them, or at least minimize them. In the past I've had more of an attitude of "if it gets too bad I'm outta here." Now I'm going to try to make changes from within and see if that goes any better.
That's a good idea, I will give that a try. Have tried delegating more things with some success, but team size has been reduced substantially which makes it harder to do.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:59 PM   #20
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I have been at my job for over 22 years. Most of the time I have loved it, but there was a rough patch way back, about 19 or 20 years ago. For the first 2 years my DW had worked at the same private, not for profit community center as me. Her and the boss had some conflict and she went on to another job. Since I worked nights, I saw the boss a lot less, so there was less conflict.

But there was a problem with a wedding we had done. I told her some hard truths about the people involved, who worked for her husband's company. From then on she went out of her way to ride my ass. It got to the point I dreaded going to work.

The town we lived in is a small one, so we saw the boss and her family socially. One night when we were at the same function, my wife told her that I was looking for a different job. I hadn't really started looking, but I was thinking about it. The work related stress dropped off right away. She left me alone to do my job.

As for the funny way the world turns, my boss lost her job in 2000, while I am still here all these years later. I really love my job these days. My current boss and I get along well. I only see her for a half hour on the weekday nights that I work. That is not enough time to get on each others nerves.

And looking back, I brought the problems on myself. While what I told her was the truth, I should have never talked about folks she was so fond of.

As for the OP, quietly look around, but don't slam any doors. Things could turn around, and the years of work at your job just fly by. I know that has been the case with me.
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