Author Topic: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)  (Read 5811 times)

Counting_Down

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TL;DR I work in a high stress, high pay, moderately unfulfilling role in an industry that is in the shitter right now.  Iím early in my career (~3 years) but approximately halfway to FI.  I was laid off early this year and moved to a different city soon after for a new job.  I hate it here and want to move home where house, SO, Family, and friends remain, but that would result in an unstable financial situation for me and SO and could compromise FI plans.  What would you do?

The background I liked my major in college, have been feeling unfulfilled working in the real world with little data, lots of pressure, constant disorganization and fire drills, and high pressure energetic A types.  I always joke Iím a scientist, not an engineer Ė I want to understand prior to execution.  I was feeling pretty unhappy with my prior job but had been performing well and was being recognized for that.  Layoffs came down day after year end performance review that was glowing and had some talk of a big bonus.  Learned later my direct boss wasnít even informed of the layoffs, and the manager above fought like hell for me.  Line on a spreadsheet, lesson 1 learned.  Wasnít sure if Iíd stay in industry.  Planned to take time off to think.  But colleagues rallied for me (which meant a lot to me), and I had recruiters swarming me next day.  Got caught up in dealing with that and essentially acquiesced to staying in current industry.  Said I was willing to wait to stay in current city but was terrified I wouldnít find something.  First job that came along seemed to have a lot of positives for career growth and mentorship, and even though I knew I didnít want to move, I told myself I could do anything for a little while and took it. Took less than a month to find something, and after accepting got some good leads for opportunities in home city, but felt pressure that Iíd already accepted an offer to fully vet them.  Lesson 2 learned.

The current job Job is interesting and has somewhat renewed my passion for my work, however my boss is a terrible micro-manager and I noticed the only days I enjoy work are days when that person is not in the office.  It is a great opportunity (for long term career growth into a high powered position but I'm not planning on being around long enough for that to matter), but it isnít the right environment for me and itís impacting my emotional state.  I knew going in that I was relocating to a more conservative city, but I didnít think much of it.  I look around and see a figurative foreign country of people with really strange priorities to an extreme I've never seen before, showy consumerism to the MAX is the standard here.  The office culture is stifling and repressive, autocratic (talk about stupid work rules, my lunch hour is fixed). Some of it has to be due to conservative city, some of it is management.  Recurring meetings are scheduled outside office hours to squeeze some extra time out of us Ė I work in a demanding field, and know I rarely get to work a standard 40 hr week, so the need to build in extra hours in the week seems on purpose with the intention of taking advantage, to me.  Comments have been made (not to me) about getting people cheap and working them hard, so itís definitely the MO around here. Iíve also been seeing some things that give me pause on a moral note here Ė treatment of others, abuse of power (think 1960ís type office environment Ė personal errands, treatment that people are servants or personal secretariesÖincluding one specific thing that Iím pretty sure is actually illegal on a small scale Ė no sexual harassment though so at least thereís that).  Iíve been pretty exempt from what Iíve seen, itís a bully mentality though - it wouldnít work with me so they donít try. Iím an outspoken person and would like to tell everyone to go to hell and that I think theyíre all horrible people, but of course there are a number of reasons why that is a bad idea; but being in a situation I canít stand up for what is right is a compromise that is killing me.
 
The Complications SO doesnít have a stable full time job. He is in same industry but graduated with an advanced degree (career switch) at the bottom of the market and has only been able to find contract work.  They love him, and keep keeping him on for new projects - heís made theme a TON of money - but they make no promises about it being permanent.  Due to on-off nature of work is getting paid ~65% of full time, and he recently described his feelings of that situation as akin to being a ďmistressĒ Ė good enough to keep around but not enough to commit to.  His odds of finding full time work in our city of choice (or any for that matter) is less than mine at this point. I have been looking, but no luck yet.
I get paid a lot of money to do what I do.  Itís not harder or more valuable than other things, but it is a market rate.  I feel guilty for taking advantage of that to fund my pursuit of FI, but I remind myself that I did really like this at one time, and that in the right situation I would like this again.
I own a house.  It is a small and mustachian house in a great area that I bought last summer when our rent was getting bumped and we couldnít find a reasonable apartment in the city that we were willing to pay for.  It doesnít hit all the metrics, but it is an anchor of home for me.  Should be able to rent it out for ~$1000/month more than mortgage payment, which was the plan when I took the job out of state and the SO would join me Ė before I realized that I donít want to stay in the new city.  Have been Airbnb-ing second room to help with expenses while SO still lives there.  If I quit and his contract work dries up, we could keep things afloat for a while, but it is a big risk in my mind.

You hear stories of people all the time, making the tough decision, putting it all on the line and making a change.  But, I have made a lot of sacrifices of myself to get to the position Iím in, and itís hard for me to consider effectively throwing it all away to quit without a job lined up just to be able to go home.  But then again, itís getting ever harder for me to stay here.  I sound like a whiney millennial.  I know life is hard.  I also know that Iím making myself miserable.  I know that 3 years is not a long time to keep plugging along, but I also know that the thought of another week seems like a lifetime these days.  Not to be dramatic, but I think all this negativity is going to manifest as cancer in my body one of these days.  What would you do? 

These are the options as SO and I have discussed (he is pushing for option 2 or 3 and has committed to doing whatever it takes to support us in the meantime but I'm not comfortable sacrificing him in lieu of myself).  There are more options and Iíd love to hear what the collective thinks:
  • Option 1) Tough it out with current job and keep looking for a new job in home city.  This could take a LONG time given current industry environment, and itís harder to be keyed into networking and personal relationship heavy environment from long distance.
  • Option 2) Quit.  Move home, pursue other interests (would like to get a certification that would allow me to pursuer a different career after FIÖwould likely not make a living wage), and keep my fingers on the pulse and ears open for new opportunities to rejoin current industry.  Be prepared to wait for a LONG time.
  • Option 3) Quit.  Leave industry entirely and be prepared to have a much longer trek to FI.
  • Option 4) Commit to being here and in this job for a year (so Iím not constantly thinking about moving home).  Hopefully industry has recovered some by then and then proceed with either Option 1 or Option 2. Or Option 3.
  • Option 5) Commit to being here for the remainder of journey to FI.  That timeframe would allow SO move out and take first industry job, stick it out until heís marketable for second job (he plans to work after we hit FI for a little while) and we relocate home.  Continue wasting enormous amounts of money to fly home on weekends regularly in the interim.

PS: On a positive note, Iíve been biking to work daily in new city.  Quite a feat given new city is bike unfriendly to say the least.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 11:43:13 AM by Counting_Down »

MDM

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 11:29:47 AM »
  • Option 1) Tough it out with current job and keep looking for a new job in home city.  This could take a LONG time given current industry environment, and itís harder to be keyed into networking and personal relationship heavy environment from long distance.
  • Option 4) Commit to being here and in this job for a yearsome time (so Iím not constantly thinking about moving home).  Hopefully industry has recovered some by then and then proceed with either Option 1 or Option 2. Or Option 3.
  • Option 5) Commit to being here for the remainder of journey to FIsome time.  That timeframe would allow SO move out and take first industry job, stick it out until heís marketable for second job (he plans to work after we hit FI for a little while) and we relocate home.  Continue wasting enormous amounts ofspending some money to fly home on weekends regularlyoccasion in the interim.

Counting_Down, welcome to the forum.

With slight editing (see above), there's not much difference among options 1, 4 and 5.

Big question: how serious is SO (and you) about getting married?  E.g., wedding date picked?

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 11:32:49 AM »
Took less than a month to find something, and after accepting got some good leads for opportunities in home city, but felt pressure that Iíd already accepted an offer to fully vet them.  Lesson 2 learned.

How would you of *today* act differently having learned a lesson here?   One way might be to have continued the job search as if you never accepted the job in the new city.  If you found something in "less than a month", and got good leads for opportunities in home city after accepting the offer less than 1 month after a stressful layoff.   
Keep in mind:  Those of us still working are *ALWAYS* between jobs - right up until we reach FI.  (Because who knows how long our current job will last, and we'll need to find another gig?)

One thing those of us who've been in the industry a while have learned [especially us "company men" types, who get hired for a great company, and work our butts off for them, see the result in the stock price & the bottom-line profits, and become 'rah-rah-hype-men' for the company as being a Utopia of the Corporate World] is that companies don't give a damn about people.  They're interested in the bottom-line, and if they find a better cheaper way to get the same (or similar) work from a cheaper resource (i.e. off-shoring), they'll do it in a heartbeat. 

You owe companies NOTHING.  You do NOT have to love your job - that's why THEY PAY YOU to work for them
Q: Should you tell "Company B" that you've already accepted an offer for "Company A" (in a town that you're dreading moving to)? 
A:  Tell "Company B" you're interested, and want to pursue the position.  Interview, and find out what they have to offer.  It may not be as good a deal as Company A, but you'll have alternatives.    So my response would be:

Option 6:  keep working in current job, but pursue the 'good leads' in original city as if you're still between jobs.
And keep your sanity about it - game theory would suggest treating this as "a game".  Play the companies, and their offers off against each other.  You have nothing to lose, because it sounds like you're miserable in your current gig.  You might also research some techniques for avoiding the micro-manager's constant oversight.

Counting_Down

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 12:25:27 PM »
Big question: how serious is SO (and you) about getting married?  E.g., wedding date picked?

Hi MDM, thanks for the response.  You are right that the options I presented are pretty similar, and your edits are on point for exemplifying that.  I wonder if I'm making my fear of staying down here into a hydra of options.

SO and I are as serious as it gets for us, all has been discussed and we're on the same page with goals.  We have already been together for many years at this point.  We'll be getting married, but not until we've both quit after FI (honestly, for the tax implications - I've already been condemned for this - but it could (him=FT job) cost another 7+k between us in taxes per year and it'll impact my ability to start a Roth conversion ladder while he is still working).  Certainly before kids come into the picture. We trust eachother fully and have the same FI goals in mind.  House is in my name and finances are separate, but I've been known to help him finish funding an IRA for the year, and was the safety net while he was in grad school and paying off pre-existing debt. Next house is in his name (rental) ;)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 11:47:43 AM by Counting_Down »

Counting_Down

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 12:53:03 PM »

How would you of *today* act differently having learned a lesson here?   

Hi Mother Fussbudget, thanks for your response! If I could go back in time I would have enjoyed the spring without worrying about work or money and hit the job search hard this summer or have come up with a better option, ie career switch, in the meantime.  However, my fear is that the market has tightened since even then, and now I'll have a questionable line item on my resume that'll require explanation. Not sure if that is worse than leaving it off completely and having to explain a the gaping hole in my resume. It's also a small industry, and everyone knows everyone some way or anther.  I'm honestly a bit afraid of retaliation because they've already shown such weird behavior.  I'll also feel obligated to pay back employer $4,500 in moving costs.  Not required by contract, but would be good thing to do for keeping the peace.

Option 6:  keep working in current job, but pursue the 'good leads' in original city as if you're still between jobs.
And keep your sanity about it - game theory would suggest treating this as "a game".  Play the companies, and their offers off against each other.  You have nothing to lose, because it sounds like you're miserable in your current gig.  You might also research some techniques for avoiding the micro-manager's constant oversight.

Appreciate your take on business and responsibility to self.  I'm not very good at the game aspect, I know it's something I need to work on.  You know when two people do the same thing, but one person does it with ease and it seems ok, and the other does something so awkwardly that it makes everyone in the room uncomfortable?  That second person is me, negotiating.  Your're right though, this could be an opportunity to practice.  As I mentioned above though, my industry as a whole is small, and even smaller in my target market.  The same small groups of people are reinventing under new company names all the time.  There is a core of people who want to live in my home area and work in this field do so ferverently and often at the cost of their career development, so the odds of running into the same people over and over again is high.  Don't want to make a fool of myself because the impression will last.  I wanted to mention also that a big holdup for me in continuing to look for jobs while staying at current company is two fold. 1) the oppressive environment here doesn't leave me a lot of room to take calls or answer emails of that nature.  I'm sure they count how many times I use the restroom each day, and there is nowhere private really to talk in the building.  I've found recruiters to be pretty pushy and want nearly instantaneous responses. 2) I have tried somewhat already and found it hard to juggle the stress of searching for a new job with my current responsibilities.  Even taking time on the forum now is stressing me out because my boss could pop in at any moment and want a detailed account of my day in 5 minute intervals.  I'm not a very good liar and I think already they suspect something.  I will definitely research tips on how to deal with micromanaging boss though.  Hadn't thought of that, great idea!

h2ogal

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 01:16:15 PM »
Hello and Welcome!

With a good work ethic, good references and credentials, finding a new job where you have flexible hours and are treated with respect is absolutely possible. 

Personally, unless already totally financially independent, I would NEVER quit a job until I had a new, written job offer with a start date lined up.

So thats my 2 cents from a stranger for what its worth.   

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 01:51:03 PM »
As for the $4,500 moving costs, it seems to me the company has breached their contract with you having a hostile workplace environment.

Counting_Down

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 04:59:41 PM »
Hi h2ogal.  I have always subscribed to your thinking re: job in hand before quitting current position.  Have you stuck that through a truly terrible work situation?  How did you do it?

Mother Fussbudget - I 100% agree with you....in theory but again am concerned about the small world phenomenon in my industry. If I leave, new job or not, I don't think it would be wise for me to explain why I'm leaving...necessitating the "thank you so much for the opportunity but I don't think this is right for me" crap and an awkward silence when it comes to the "we paid to move you out here and now you are just leaving?!".  This is a small company, with limited funds.  How would you handle it? Would you think proposing a 50/50 split would be more insulting than helpful?  I mean, its a big commitment on the side of the employee, and perhaps some of the monetary risk should be borne by the company...

mozar

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2015, 05:33:27 PM »
I work in a small industry where many people know each other, and I'm surprised what I've been able to get away with. I'm convinced that the whole burning bridges issue is a line employers use to try to keep employees in line. If you give 2 weeks notice, and offer to pay the 4.5k back (on a payment plan), you're golden. People do much much worse things.

I've stuck through bad jobs and I was glad I waited so that I didn't have another gap on my resume ( I already have 2, including quitting with no job lined up and taking a break for 6 months, I tell employers I was "freelancing"). If people are trying to recruit you, you shouldn't worry about how you come off. If recruiters cared about that, they wouldn't be trying to recruit you. Just be honest with everyone. You made a mistake and now its time to move on. People also expect young people to move around a lot.

john c

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 11:10:11 PM »
It seems like fear is driving a lot of your decisions and inertia.  It also seems like you're following the "rules" that aren't really rules, but your employer and your superego want you to think are true.  Your employer benefits from this, at your expense.

My guess is that your old employer also had you play by the "rules", and it didn't pan out for you.

What general parts of the country are you in?  What general industry?

It also sounds like you and your SO would be much better off if he quit his gig and came to live with you, rather than you going back to live with him.  If your current city is a better spot, career-wise, maybe he could get contract gigs there?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:07:33 AM by john c »

FrugalRubles

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2015, 10:34:07 AM »
You seem like an intelligent, hard-working employee, but I think you are making a less-than-ideal situation into more than it is. Eliminating some of that fear / paralysis by analysis would be beneficial. If you are in your mid to late 20's with 3 years to FIRE, pat yourself on the back. You have put yourself in tremendous shape for the remainder of your life and should be thinking positively and viewing these difficulties simply as speed bumps.

I would agree that seeking out employment in your boyfriend's area (if that is where you prefer to be) is the best option, but I can understand that it sounds difficult and can be stressful and time-consuming. As John C posted, if you can provide more info on parts of the country / industry, you will probably get a little more specific feedback (ie if you are in biotech and now live in SD vs. Chicago, etc).


Counting_Down

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2015, 12:36:27 PM »
Hi John C and FrugalRubles, thanks for taking the time to respond with some advice for my situation.  You are right about fear as a key factor in my decisions, same about following the rules, all of it in fact.  I was raised cautious - watching one parent do it to the detriment of his dreams and his health, and I do think a fair bit is innate.  That is why the goal of FI has become so important to me - to me it symbolizes the point where I don't have to be afraid that making the "wrong" decision will ruin me.  I'm secretly and artist type who works as an engineer, and I think that strain causes a lot of my concern that you're reading about and in general.  Maybe I just feel like I'm walking a tightrope where one misstep and my house of cards will fall down.  I'm in my head a lot these days, so I think you are right there is definitely over analysis.  Not a lot to do in this new city except spend money on going out to eat, so I don't get out much.

I'm really hesitant to define things too much, because defining one of either location or industry would likely define the other. And in certain ways it could get us off topic.  Its a narrow form of engineering, and both cities are in central-ish US. A two hour flight gets me home.  I know of acquaintances who troll this forum, and it wouldn't take much for them to figure me out.

To clarify the SO's work situation - his contract gig developed out of a personal relationship.  His experience in "years on paper" is the main factor prohibiting him landing a full time job (entry level is usually exclusively hired out of internship pools), and there isn't a big market for contractors unless highly specialized in this field, specialized meaning years of experience.  Since he missed the boat on an entry level job, our concern is that he needs to keep this contract gig afloat until he could look reasonably attractive as a hire outside of the limiting system that tends to dominate.  Maybe 1 year could do it with some damn hard work and some luck, on his part and with market recovery.  He's nearing on that timeframe, so we're keeping our fingers crossed it can hold out until then.  SO getting a job in my current city would be difficult, lots of small private equity shops here that require a personal connection and/or some nepotism to get into.  I am not going to ask current employers to help, which would be only way we see it at current market.  He has been trying but is still to green for recruiters to touch so that makes things harder.

Based on the feedback I've been getting, which I appreciate so much, is effectively 'keep your head down and keep looking for a way out'.  Some of you have noticed how fear plays a role in my situation.  To me FI is being able to dissociate from fear to do what I truly want.  Is there room to think the situation I've put myself in (regarding FI progress thus far and a sizeable safety net) has also given me some ability to define what I will and will not put up with?  At what point do you/can you/could you/should you say "ENOUGH" I can't/don't want to/will not do this anymore.  I guess I'd like to know y'alls thoughts on letting go of some of the fear - given if I do quit it might suck, but we will likely be ok.  I'm halfway there, I could get a minimum wage job and let it build for 10 or 15 years and still be there earlier than most.  I've worked hard to put myself in a good position, but if it is truly killing me, does it matter?  ....But as FrugalRubles commented, maybe I'm making this out to more than it is.  How do you know if all you have is an echochamber?  Like it would be awesome if someone said, "you're right, they're awful people, you should leave" or, "you are being a whiney millenial! - get over it".  But perhaps this has been said in so many words with "head down, make it work until you find a way out".

lhamo

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2015, 01:00:37 PM »
I know you are concerned about burning bridges at your current place, but I think the fact that your SO still lives in the other city is a great excuse -- most people would be understanding/tolerant if you said to them "hey, we thought we could cope with the long distance thing for awhile but it just isn't working out so I need to move back to [other city] for the sake of my relationship."

Worst that happens?  They offer your SO a job to try to keep you.  But doesn't sound like that is going to happen.  And you can still always decline based on the argument that your family is there, want to move back to be closer to them, etc.

Not that I'm saying you should quit, but I don't think anyone is going to hold it against you in a major way. 

Dee18

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2015, 01:14:15 PM »
You could try a minimum wage part time job now and see how you feel about it.  Every once in a while I do volunteer work that is like a minimum wage job (work a ticket office for a film festival, cook at a homeless shelter, help at a charity sale...). It is fun for about 3 hours and then I think how happy I am that I don't have to do it the nest day.  But you may prefer it over your present situation.  There can be a fine line between being fearful and being realistic.

john c

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2015, 03:27:11 PM »
The thing about fear is that it's not "about" something.  It's inside you and it attaches to something.  Once you work to get rid of that something, it attaches itself to another.  Eventually, you'll probably have kids, and there is a lot constant, reasonable way to worry about them, forever.

Seriously consider getting some help for your anxiety.  Seriously.  It will change your life.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works great for analytical types.  There are good books on it, but I recommend a class.  It will cost some money, but it will allow you to live a much better, freer life.


FLBiker

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2015, 03:32:41 PM »
I agree w/ John C.  If I want, I can always find SOMETHING to worry about.

Meditation has really helped me.

bobechs

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »
So, other then that how are you liking Midland?

mozar

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2015, 08:04:23 PM »
Quote
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I recommend the book "Feeling Good, the new mood therapy"

cripes7

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2015, 09:05:11 PM »
I'm pretty new to this forum, but not new to life. In your post, I see you're lonely, your job has renewed some of what you like in your field, but you aren't doing much in the area you're living in other than eating out. 

What have you tried to do to meet people? Tried a class, or a gym, or anything where you are outside your house, outside the negative thoughts in your head, and not alone? Everything seems magnified when all you are doing is working and missing your SO. I think it's hard to truly evaluate anything, especially a new job, when you're not engaged in a significant way outside the job. I'd choose the option of staying in your job while keeping your sights open for an opportunity, while finding enjoyable activities where you are living now. 


Noodle

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2015, 07:00:39 AM »
I see on this forum all the time people who are in problematic job situations and don't want to leave because they are concerned about "burning bridges." While I don't want to speak for every industry in the world, I think that overall this tends to be exaggerated. The same "it's work not friendship" principle that applies to layoffs also applies to people coming and going from jobs. People care much less than you think they do, as long as you act like a professional and give notice/assist with a transition/leave good notes behind etc. And here's the thing...if you are not happy and productive in your job, your colleagues are likely noticing (even if you think you are hiding it). If your industry is as small as you say, you are as likely to do yourself damage by forcing yourself to stay while unhappy as you are leaving after a short-ish time.

And I agree with the encouragement to enjoy your present home as much as you can while you are here. That time is going to pass, whether you are happy or miserable. As a Mustachian, you understand not wasting the finite resource of money. Time is even more finite. I have never lived anywhere that had NOTHING to redeem it. I learned a valuable lesson years ago when we were doing a little get-to-know you exercise at church and everyone had to name the favorite place they had lived. One person mentioned a city that has a terrible international reputation as a dirty, crime-ridden poverty-stricken pit. Why did she like it? Reason 1, 2, 3. If she could enjoy that city, trust me you can find something to like about your current home.

h2ogal

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Re: Enough is Enough? Crowdsourcing life advice (Warning: long post)
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2015, 11:19:43 AM »
Quote
Hi h2ogal.  I have always subscribed to your thinking re: job in hand before quitting current position.  Have you stuck that through a truly terrible work situation?  How did you do it?

Sorry took so long to reply!  Fun summer busy-ness kept me offline!!  I definitely have stuck through truly terrible work situations:

1. My first job after college was supervising at a paper mill in upstate ny.  If temps of +120 degrees, sulpher smells, eardrum breaking noise, climbing over equipment in dark, dripping basements, rotating day/night/evening shifts, 7 days on/2days off is not a HELL of a job, then I challenge anyone to share something worse!  But even worse than the physical situation was the acrimonious atmosphere between mgmt and the union.  As a front line manager I was stuck in the middle.  At one point the union president threatened to throw someone into a machine!! (hmmm, come to think of it probably I was high on his list). If I was a little less stubborn, or a little less young and fearless I surely would have quit!  But I stuck with that company for 9 years.  Eventually that company promoted me, transferred me to a much newer and nicer facility in a really great city, AND paid for my MBA and gave me paid time off to go to classes.  On top of all that, when I eventually retire, I will get a small pension from this job for the 9 years I worked there.  Was it worth it - YES!

2. Before the 2009 banking/housing crisis, I was working in IT in Banking.  ALL the jobs, projects and spending dried up!!  Everyone was in a panic.  I took a job that was a 2 hour drive from home, but stayed employed thru the situation.  It was also was not a fun atmosphere.  My boss was a pakistani man, and while he was personally polite and professional with me, culturally it was never a good fit.  I stuck it out for 3 years, and ended up getting a really great job offer only 7 miles from home, which I am still in.

The "Current Me" is sincerely grateful to the "Past Me" for sticking out those tough situations and doing the responsible thing.   Sticking out a tough situation gave me so much confidence in myself and much pride and respect from my family.   

My main tactic for bearing up in these nasty situations was to focus on the positive aspects of the situation.  I had to drive 4 hours a day, but at least once a week DH and I would say how thankful we were that least our home and family were financially secure, while so many we knew were impacted.  We felt lucky.  And while I was driving I read a lot of audio books and practiced my French. 

Working in the nasty paper mill, it helped to have a sense of humor and find co-workers to laugh with about the more absurd situations.  Keep looking for an "out" or a better pathway, and to look at the long term goal.   As long as you are taking real action to find a better path, and making even slight progress (getting a few interviews, increasing your network, building your credentials) you can get through it.   

Best of Luck!