Just three months at a new job and I'm miserable. Help me sort out if it just plain ain't right, or it deserves more time and effort.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I’ve worked in my industry, the plant nursery world, for around eight years. In that time, I’ve changed jobs to different concentrations; for example, I went from managing a retail garden center to being a grower in a wholesale greenhouse. Because of the transitions, I feel like I’ve done a lot of “starting over” and while I certainly have transferable skills that have landed me increasing roles of responsibility, I’ve been exhausted by feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like I’ve cultivated being totally average at everything, and good at nothing.
My deepest dream, is to work for myself on a very small scale in this industry. I know I am not capable of doing so right now, and I want to be making smart decisions over the next five/ten years to get me to a point where that dream might become a reality.
Three months ago I landed a good job – a large amount of responsibility, a prestigious name association (when I’m in my work clothes in public I literally get stopped on the street by strangers who tell me how lucky I am to work where I do), and potential for the acquisition of a ton of new knowledge. However - and I feel intensely ungrateful for this – I hate it there. On my end, I’m totally overwhelmed by how completely different my work is from things I’ve previously done. I’m in a totally new climate: I’ve moved, so this is going to be a fixed issue, but this business only works with niche plants, which highly compounds the “previous experience” problem, which wouldn’t be as much of an issue in other places. Furthermore, this is a non-profit, public garden, which a type of work I’ve never done. On my employer’s end, it’s a completely disorganized, critically understaffed, hobby-turned-business disaster. It’s the least professional place I’ve ever worked, with little to no chain of command, and extremely poor delineation between employee responsibilities. Everyone wants to tell everyone else how to do their job. Nothing is organized; there is no standard protocol for anything. I am struggling with the lack of structure, despite knowing how good it would be for me and my career to be successful at this specific job. I dread going to work, and while I DO know with time I won’t feel so overwhelmed by the new plants/climate, I worry the institutional problems will never stop making me miserable.
Compounding this trouble is that the primary responsibility of my job – I manage their retail facility – is a side of this industry I don’t want to be in. I also am not interested in working with these specialty, niche plants long-term despite how prestigious my employer is.
I work extremely hard, am interested in learning everything I can, and most of me is telling me to suck it up, start learning on my own time, let the organization issues roll off my back, and do everything I can to make this damn job work. I am normally a person who loves being an employee, and I love my industry for fulfilling me personally as well as professionally. This job AND my last were really terrible workplaces, and it’s made me question that I’M the problem, and that I am incapable, and inflexible, and it is all my fault. This feeling of not believing in who I am and what I’m doing has been extremely hard for me to deal with. I almost feel like such a huge failure that I should forget it, and work some totally other, entry-level job because I’m too dumb to make it in this industry.
My question is: Do I keep going with this job? I’m not sure what else I could find. I would be very happy even taking a step backwards in terms of responsibility, if it meant being closer to my ultimate professional goals (being a grower, working with different plants). However, I’m mindful not to start over AGAIN, doing something a different, and losing again the opportunity to do one thing, and do it well, even if it’s not what I want to be doing.
I’m so unhappy, but a job is a job. Do I start looking and try to move on, or give this job even more of my heart and muscle to see if I can make it?