Sunday, September 20, 2015

Job (Dis)satisfaction

Sometimes I hate my job.

I used to love it. It started out great and was pretty close to what I expected. Of course, there were a few surprises and challenges. But with a little bit of research and extra effort, things got back on track quickly.

After several years, the “other duties as needed” portion of my job soon overtook the responsibilities I’d expected. The goals were the same, but the ways in which to accomplish them changed dramatically.

A New Paradigm
Now, it starts too early in the morning. It ends too late at night. And those are the easiest changes to deal with.

The biggest frustration is that I’m constantly having to sell my ideas – ideas and expectations that have been in place for years – and am constantly met with resistance and rudeness.

My greatest ally in the day-to-day activities spends a significant amount of time with his own responsibilities. He has his hands full with unrealistic deadlines, a huge workload and business travel. While he is my biggest cheerleader, he has a lot on his plate and I don’t want to add to his burden.

Support Becomes Rivalry
In earlier years, I had a strong support system of other women who held similar positions. We’d get together and encourage one another with the evolving challenges of our new roles. We’d share ideas of what worked – and what didn’t.

But over the years, these connections became more competitive. They were having great success and weren’t shy about sharing it – especially on social media where they mastered the art of the “humblebrag.” At times they’d point out to me – sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly – how my charges weren’t faring as well as theirs. It was beyond hurtful.

On My Own
So I began to retreat into my own cocoon and avoid those relationships. I hunkered down to make sure I was doing everything I could to generate a positive outcome.

Yet, I continued to be met with resistance. Resistance that has turned into insubordination. I sought answers with professionals who offered wonderful suggestions and tools – yet they’ve only been mildly effective.

But I’ll hang in there. Sometimes feeling as if I’ve had a small – and potentially meaningful – success. Sometimes gritting my teeth just to make it to the end of the day. Simply trying my best to put one foot in front of the other.

It’s my job. I am a mom.