This month my resolution was to get a new job. It has been going pretty slowly, for a number of reasons.
I’ve been hoping to start a job-search for quite a while now. I’ve been in my current job for two years now, and I feel as though I need a change. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, I don’t make a great deal of money. I make enough to survive on, providing that I’m very frugal. I don’t usually have a lot of money left over for fun stuff, and I’d really like to change that. Also, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about financial security and I’d really like to be earning more so that I can tuck away some money for the future. I’d like to own my own house one day too, so I’d love to be able to save up for that.
Secondly, my current job takes a real toll on me. On the one hand, my job isn’t difficult. I work in retail and the work itself isn’t strictly hard. However, I do find some aspects of my job very challenging. Because I have depression and I struggle with social anxiety, there are times when it is incredibly difficult for me to be face-to-face with people for hours at a time. I find it very tiring to interact with customers all day, particularly when the store is busy or when I have to deal with a lot of difficult customers. When I’ve got a line full of impatient, crabby customers that tension seems to rub off on me. My anxiety spirals up and up until I just want to hide.
On days when my depression is exceptionally bad, I find even the simplest of interactions very difficult. Little things grate on me and I just get this overwhelming desire to be left alone. For example, I can’t tell you how irritating it is to me when an item doesn’t scan and the customer quips “Oh well, it must be free!” When I’m feeling healthy, I can shrug it off easily. However, when my mood is low and my anxiety is itching at me, all I want to do is scream “Do you think I never heard that joke before? Clearly you’re a comedic genius to have thought up such a hilarious line!” Little things like this take a big toll on me, in a way that is difficult to explain. For me, being in a position where I constantly have to interact with customers, and try to keep up a cheerful demeanor when I just want to curl up in a ball and cry is damn exhausting.
So I’d like to find a job where I can use my talents but I don’t have to be constantly face-to-face with a stream of customers.
The month started off well. I began thinking about different jobs that I could apply for and came up with a decent list. I also began thinking about long-term career plans and started to map out a way to achieve them. Things were going very well.
And then, well, my anxiety took over. I began panicking about the possibility of having to transition to a new job. I worried about how I would manage working longer hours. I worried that I wouldn’t have time to do the things that are important to me outside of work. I worried about having to adjust to a new working environment. I became terrified of the possibility that I would get a new job, hate it, and not be able to find an alternative so I’d be stuck there. I’m like Anxiety Girl: able to leap to the worst possible conclusion in a single bound!
I also worry about finding another job that will accommodate my needs. See, my current boss knows about my depression and anxiety and she is incredibly understanding. She checks in on me often to see how I’m managing. She has worked my rosters around my councelling and doctors appointments. She makes sure that I know that I can take time off if I need it and she never makes me feel like I should just suck it up and push through. I feel so supported in my current job and I’m worried that a new boss won’t be as understanding. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that I should get special treatment because of my illness. I work very hard and I am a brilliant employee. But it is so incredibly helpful to feel supported by your boss when you are struggling.
So my worries kind of took over and crippled me a bit this month. I really stalled on my job search and didn’t get a lot done.
But I am proud to say that I’ve made a little progress. Last night I printed off a resume and a cover letter to a place I’d like to work. It’s sitting in an envelope on my bench, and this afternoon I’m going to post it and hope for the best.
Although I haven’t ticked off this resolution, I feel as though I’ve definitely made progress towards it.
It’s good to know that your boss is so considerate and actually caring/helpful – being around other people all day whether customers or an office can be so energetically draining, the fatigue, irritation, frustration and misery can really set in as you know. It’s good that you’re looking for something more suitable for you but it’s true that change can be hopeful as well as daunting – it seems like the transition will take time but you’ve taken a major step in starting to move away mentally and physically and able to both appreciate and criticize the points of your situation.
Thanks. Now that I’ve actually begun to take some steps towards looking for something else (rather than just thinking about it) I feel a bit more excited at the possibilities at hand. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens…
I completely get what you mean about finding the face-to-face hard.
When I went back to work my bosses put me in operating theatre full time for my last 2 weeks on the surgical unit so that I would be in a calm, controlled environment and not on the ward with patients and nurses constantly in my face wanting my attention.
Then I went to the emergency department… There were many shifts where the only reason I made it to work was because my parents drove me to the door and picked me up 10 hours later.
I think you’ve taken a huge step posting that letter.
I can’t imagine what it would be like working in the emergency department. That must have been stressful beyond belief! Well done on getting through it though. You should be very proud of yourself.
That’s really tough. I’m sure you’ll manage to find something new you like! No job is perfect – that’s why it’s called work – but it sounds like you need a change of scenery. I’ve been thinking the same thing now that I only work 3 days a week (not full days at that). Two weekdays at home alone is too much for me. But I have no idea what to do! Good luck for the one you wrote in to 🙂
Thanks so much. I know that I’m never going to find a job that’s totally perfect and awesome all the time. I just hope that if I do find a new job, it’s at least better than my current one. I’ve worked some terrible jobs in the past, so I’m grateful for the one that I’ve got that’s mostly bearable. Like you said, I need a change of scenery.