Nearly everything I liked about my current job has evaporated, and I am left with stress and anxiety. In addition, I've always been indecisive about what my career should be. At this point should I try to build a career at my current company or leave and try something else?
I've been a part of my company for over 5 years and a part of the IT department for the last 3. I've been in the same position in IT (help desk), and I'm tired of it. Throughout the last few months I've tried to reignite interest in my work by trying harder, taking more ownership for my assignments and applying for new positions, but nothing seems to stick. The same typical boom-bust cycle develops:
- I tell myself to do better and focus on one or two aspects of the job. For example, I tell myself to improve the way I talk to people on the phone, or I try to keep up to date on emails, or I try to track tickets better.
- I work on this for a couple of weeks to a month and manage to catch up or even get ahead.
- I face a small setback. Either I slip up and/or my boss calls me on it, and I get a bit anxious about what I'm doing.
- I slack off/disengage, get behind, and just call it a good day if I can sit still and take the calls I need to take.
And the cycle repeats. And this rut seems to be the result of a few different problems all happening around the same time. The first is that the job is getting more difficult. A lot of things are changing in our department and we're being asked to do more with about the same pay.
The second is I don't like the people I work with anymore. A big reason I decided to work in IT was because I enjoyed the people I work with. In fact, sometimes I think they don't like me at all or think I'm weird, which feeds into the feeling that I'm never going to get promoted. My opinion of my supervisor has especially changed this year. He now sends out frequent emails criticizing people for their work. There are no names mentioned, but it doesn't feel good to be the example he uses. Sometimes I feel he throws people under the bus. Other times I feel that I'm being overly defensive and petty, that I should be able to take this criticism.
I'm starting to show signs of stress including gnashing my teeth in my sleep and just staying up late browsing the Internet. It's only recently that I've actually started admitting that there is something wrong with me (either stress, anxiety, or maybe even depression) and I hope to get help for it from the company's employee assistance program. I also have been dieting and exercising for the last couple of weeks with some modest success. For this year I've tried to apply for a couple of positions in my company, but was not successful. I took the Johnson O'Connor test
, and found out I had tested well in a few aptitudes (divergent thinking, convergent thinking, spatial, numerical, memory, finger dexterity, vocabulary) but nothing seemed to jump out at me. I was studying for a basic IT certification exam in May pretty intensely, but lost motivation and have delayed the test repeatedly.
The big thing is I still don't know what I want to do with my life. This company was the first to offer me a job and I joined five years ago because it was a bad economy and I felt I was lucky to have a job. Not knowing what to do with my life has kept me on the merry-go-round decision of whether I should double down in this job in order to get promoted into something I probably won't like OR if I should just get out and get another job. I've been passive with my career since graduation, thinking that something will come along. But it hasn't and now I feel stuck and very vulnerable.
The thing is I don't need the money from work. I have enough saved to remain unemployed for a long time, and I make peanuts anyways. A part of me would be hugely relieved to quit and not have to deal with the constant barrage of problems, emails, and co-workers. But a part of me wants to tough it out and prove it to myself and my coworkers that I still got it. I mean, there are annoyances with all jobs and by just getting another one doesn't mean I wouldn't have to deal with email for example. Maybe, like this Study Hacks article
is saying, I'm approaching things with the wrong mindset. I don't know what I'm doing, so I'm not sure I would be able to find a better job for myself.
For these last couple of weeks I've been in a better mood than I have been in a long time. I want to ask this question before I lose my nerve or I enter a bad mood. Thanks for AskMe for providing this place, and I will be grateful to anyone that even reads this.
Throwaway email account would be firstname.lastname@example.org