Determining the difference between self sabotage and glutton for punishment with a job that's great on paper? (Way too much inside.)
Kinda as a follow up to this question
, I stayed in a job that I hate, hoping for the next great perfect thing out there and am actively hunting.
However, this is at least the fourth job in a string of jobs that are awful to me, awesome to other people.
I'm starting to think that I can't be happy careerwise or that I find some way to ruin/bail/destroy jobs the more successful I get. Or maybe this job really sucks.
On the pluses:
- I make a lot of money. More than I ever expected to make, more than my parents combined incomes on their best day, more than I believe I am worth, more than I need
- I am appreciated in general. I've just been appointed director, raise, stock, sent gift baskets from folks, get time with the CEO to talk about my concerns
- I rarely have to work nights or weekends. While there's lots of work, I can freelance out what my team can't do (when they're tangible deliverables, not meetings or politics)
- I have been able to assemble a great team under me -- awesome people, solid skill sets. Every team has its weak links, but we've gotten rid of folks that truly not doing their job, now it's just about getting people to "the next level"
- The boss I had professional (and some personal) concerns about has left the company, partially because of my and my coworkers contributions to his review
- What the company makes is (in general) awesome and they're more morally and environmentally responsible than any other company that makes things that I know of
- Little travel. I've had jobs where I traveled every week to small, crappy airports for 1 day jaunts. When I do travel for work, they're beautiful places, planned a quarter in advance and for a week or so. And they only happen twice a year about.
The minuses (as I perceive them):
- Hostile atmosphere. Everyone is constantly dissatisfied with our larger division in general (although they tend to like my team) mostly over political/territorial issues and it makes getting the simplest things incredibly difficult
- Lack of savvy in my skill set. No one fully "gets" what I do, but they all have control over the final outcome. Everyone thinks they can do my job better than I can, or wants to do the "fun" part of my team's job without the hard work
- Glacial pace. I have to work for a year on something to move it an inch, and chances are, it'll get reverted
- Meetings. I spend 6 or so hours of every day in meetings, with some days with 13 hours.
- Lack of leadership/decisiveness. Everyone's empowered to say no, no one's empowered to say yes and no one but me will make a *final* decision. And mine often gets overridden after I've used my "political capital" to defend something
- Lack of clear roles and responsibilities for what I do. We have set deliverables and we do great with those, but we also end up taking up a lot of clean up and fixes for things that don't seem to belong to anyone. And these are incredibly difficult to staff/resource/budget for or use a freelancer on
- Lack of innovation/response to consumers. We make products for the kind of people who make our products, and that market is shrinking. We say we want to make products for non-engineers, but it's like spray painting a skillsaw pink and saying we make products for women. We're also incredibly outdated internally with the systems and technology we use
- I'm always stressed. Work nightmares, panic attacks, coping behaviors (overeating, drinking)
- Commute. Although, to be frank, I leave so stressed out and frustrated that I need two hours a day to just stare at car bumpers
- I feel like a fraud. Between the pay and the title and the power given to me, I feel like I don't really deserve it. I don't want to fool anyone. I didn't get an MBA. Even if my team likes me, I don't really want to be a full-time manager/meeting goer. When they ask me where I see my career going, everything I want to do doesn't align with what the company needs.
With your fresh and experienced perspective, am I just making my brain think this is bad because I am green to this kind of corporate management and there's some magic way to make it all better and love this job? Or make me think I'm fishing all day?
Or does this sound like a toxic environment that's paying me and spoiling me because it's awful and that's what they need to do to keep me?
Preempting possible questions:
- Most of my experience is not in a large corporate environment
- I've managed before, but 1 or 2 people, not a vast team including people whose jobs I couldn't actually do (technical and project management folks)
- I love all my old jobs in hindsight, but hate them while I'm in them
- My favorite job of all time was a non-food, customer service position that I rocked and I left that for a job that "got me somewhere in my career"
- I am neurotic, overthink everything and no, therapy has not helped
- My skill set for what I want to be doing (not managing) is atrophying, but i don't have energy to freelance on the side