Post # 1
Two months ago I made a career move into a new position with a big firm (leaving a high stress position with a small non-profit). I gave myself a $13K increase in annual salary by doing so. Since starting my new position I feel very lonely (my co-workers all work remotely) and have very little work to keep me busy. I pretty much sit in a small office all day with little no in person interaction. I’ve asked my supervisor for more work several times and keep getting told that I should just enjoy the down time. I’m starting to wonder if I made the wrong career move but the increased salary is such a boost that I try not to complain that I’m getting paid way more to do way less. I’m worried that my boredom at work is going to really start dragging me down mentally (aka I already dread coming into work knowing I’ll be bored in my office most of the day). I’m also worried that if anyone in the firm finds out how little work I’m doing that I could be laid off.
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
What is the industry? I know for my line of work there are definitely slow times where I do almost no realy work (like now) and other times where 40 hours of constant stress/work is the bare minimum anyone puts in. It’s just a matter of finding the balance.
Also, how long have you been at the new position? Like any big change, there’s bound to be an adjustment period.
ETA: Just saw the pole– I’m not going to cast a vote because I don’t believe it can be as simple as that. There are a lot of other factors that will come into play in the long term that matter more.
Post # 4
Hang out on the Bee?
Kidding… sort of.
Find things to keep yourself busy. It sounds like you’re a lawyer – can you do CLEs while you’re at work (my state has a ton of online telecasts you can watch for credit). Heck, see if they have a tuition reimbursement program and get another degree or certificate on them that you could work on it there.
Post # 5
How are you asking for more work? Is there anything you could do that would be proactive? What is the profession?
Post # 6
@abbie017: That is funny because I’ve been spending TONS of time online doing personal things. I’m getting married in a month so I’ve used alot of my spare time doing wedding planning at work (which I feel horribly guilty about but….). This morning I started messaging a co-worker who works remotely at 9:00 a.m. for some help with a task and she told me she needed to go shower and get coffee so I should just relax until she was back (which was 45 minutes later!)….maybe I just need to learn to relax lol?
Post # 7
I chose career, not money. I place a lot of importance on the mental stimulation and satisfaction I get from working, so I think I understand your frustration. My current job doesn’t challenge me enough and I’m looking for something else. 13K is a hell of an increase, though…
Post # 8
Honestly, I’m I’m the same boat that you are – work remotely, lots of downtime, etc. I wasn’t used to this pace (I’m accustomed to fast paced environments with lots of fires to put out) but after about four months I started to enjoy it.
My advice would be to structure your day even if it’s just around sometching un-work related like taking a walk at lunch. It really helps me to block out specific times on my calendar then check off a to-do lost when I’m done.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
In my line of work it is feast or famine. There are times when I have more work than one person can handle, and there are times when we’re stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for the green light to move forward on projects. Right now is a famine period, and will be that way for months. It was hard for me to adjust to this pattern at first, but I eventually learned to just go with the flow. There’s no sense in fighting things that are beyond my control, ya know?
Post # 10
It sounds to me like you feel guilty for the amount of work you are doing, not necessarily like you don’t enjoy the job. In my opinion if you have your brain to keep you company you should never be bored. If you do not have anything you are supposed to be doing, read a book/journal/blog that might make you better or more informed about your career. Just because you do not have something you should actively be doing, does not mean that you can’t do your job.
Post # 11
@sal5011: When I read your post, I felt like it could be written by me a while ago. I was/am in a very similar position to you, except for the isolation part as I ended up switching desks/building to where my team is, and I completely understand. It was tough working in a small non-profit and having to be a Jill of all trades and never having enough time/resources to do everything that needed to be done. I think it is this environment that causes you to feel inadequate and bored at work. Initially when I transitioned to a for-profit environment, I never understood downtime and I always thought this meant my team wouldn’t need me or my position because I had downtime. However, now I realize that, at least with my employer, everyone has their designated roles and there is enough budget, unlike a non-profit, to hire more people and get more resources to get things done. This was hard for me to figure out and hard for me to understand the whole “that’s not your job” mentality.
So initially, I was bored coming into work all the time and would take on any number of random projects just to keep myself occupied like the way I was at the non-profit. I think once I figured out my role here and got into the groove, it has been much better. I now value an environment where I can take time off, walk around the block, take a little longer lunch once in a while, and go to doctor’s appointments without feeling unproductive. Eventually, I created new job responsibilities and challenges for myself in addition to what I was hired to do. I’m by no means as overworked and stressed like I was at a non-profit and I would never go back to that environment.
Post # 12
For me, liking the time I spend at work 40+ hours a week is WAY more important than the money.
I left a job that I hated and was bored at that paid $60K (salaried) to go to a job that I love that pays $33K (hourly pay at 40 hours a week). My quality of life is SOOOO much better. The first job had made me so depressed and the effects of my time at work were leaking into all other aspects of my life.
Post # 13
@lilbluebird: Thank you so much for your post. It is extremely encouraging as I can relate so much to what you posted.
Post # 14
I’m totally going through the same thing right now, almost to a tee! I went from an environment where I was constantly working and practically being watched under a microscope to a corporate environment where I have literally gone days on end with nothing to do. I think the thing that kills me most about it is guilt. I want to feel like I’m earning my money and I want to know that they find me valuable. At my old job, I didn’t make as much money but I felt irreplaceable. Right now, they could get rid of me tomorrow and not really be any worse off, and that terrifies me. Like you, I’ve been doing a lot of wedding stuff at work because I literally have nothing else to do, even when I ask for more work. It’s encouraging just to know that I’m not the only one going through that!
Post # 15
@Mrs.Beeloney: I’m so glad to hear someone else is in the same boat. Since I posted things have still not picked up. Right now it is noon and I’m trying to figure out how to occupy myself for the next 5 hours until I can call it a day.
Post # 16
@sal5011: Oh wow and here I was thinking it was just me!!… I too moved jobs (but mine was due to a relocation) however, the old job was sooo busy and stressful and this one I am sitting doing NOTHING for the majority of the week… I used to feel soo guilty for sitting here, but I have asked my boss so many times for more work that I gave up asking! I look for wanything that needs done then just ‘roam’ the internet for the rest of the time.. not always very exciting, but the lack of office inter action is very hard for me as I am quite social and am so use to being around alot of people when at work.
I am actually in the situation of having to relocate again! due to FI having taken a position across country and I find myself questioning this time about taking a job that leaves me bored OR to take a job in an old profession of mine that pays wayyyyy less but that I know I would never find myself in this position! Actually I would love to just find a company out there that will interview me without me having to give up my job here first!