Job Hunting, It Defeats Me
July 18, 2012 8:32 AM Subscribe
I really need to find a better job, but I don't know where to start. How do I even figure out what job to look for? It's pretty clear that there is no promotion path for me whatsoever in my current job, and there are rumblings that my entire department is about to get transferred to someplace where I don't want to be. The only reasons I'm still here are inertia, fear of the terrible job market, and the fact that self-promotion makes me queasy.
posted by Karmakaze to Work & Money (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've been a full-time employee here for eight years, after having been a contractor for a few years before that. Management rotates every nine months or so, so I never get a manager who'd be willing to go to bat for me.
My general pattern with work has been to come in well below my competency level as a contractor and then pick up extra job duties as I go until (a) I am buried under a pile of random tasks nobody else knows what to do with and (b) I'm officially placed about two levels below the payscale of the job I'm actually doing. On the positive side, everybody knows I know everything, and if a roadblock issue comes up I can generally figure out how to fix it, get it to the right people to fix it, or come up with a plausible workaround. On the negative side, all of that stuff distracts from the job metrics I actually get measured on. Also, the credit for that comes in the form of co-workers having faith in me, not any kind of credit getting passed up to management. At my current job, I regularly see my managers getting praise for things I got done that I'm not even sure they knew about during the actual crisis.
The whole job hunt thing just defeats me because all of the advice starts with "tailor your resume for the job you want" and I don't don't even know what job I want. Or, rather, I kind of suspect I need to look at other careers, and I don't have the first notion what I can do that matches up with actual work that exists.
My favorite temp jobs were the ones where I came in to a disaster and left smoothly running clockwork when I was done. Maintaining the clockwork doesn't really interest me, but I really like solving problems.
I know I'm not happy and I strongly suspect that I can do better than this, but I don't even know where to start figuring out where to start.