Take this job and...keep it?
February 14, 2016 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Should I keep my stable, reasonably paying job with decent work-life balance that I've had for ages but which also makes me kind of sad?

It's Sunday afternoon and the weekly blues have set in. The reason I'm so forlorn is that I feel that I don't fit in well with my coworkers, and that I'm not very good at the work itself. I get almost no direct feedback on my job performance (and it would be very culturally weird to ask for it), but the feeling out of sync with coworkers in particular gets me down.

Here's the catch, though: my coworkers are really, genuinely nice people. They are not "my people," per se, but they are all smart and compassionate. They are probably among the nicest people one is likely to encounter in most professional contexts. There is definitely somewhat of a cliquish culture there, though, and I sometimes find myself in situations that, for me, harken back to that dreadful middle school experience of being excluded. I don't particularly want to share specifics with the internet, but I've shared some of the stories with friends and therapists, and they've agreed as to their crappiness.

But! The job has these things going for it, which are in large part responsible for why I've stayed there for so long:

*Fantastic work-life balance (I literally never work more than 45 hours a week)
*Generous vacation allowance, by US standards
*Health insurance
*A salary that is keeping my little household afloat despite some major financial setbacks

The older I get, the shittier the economy gets, and the more threads like this one I read, in which Mefites share their circumstances of being utterly screwed by horrible employers, the more I appreciate my list above.

I guess this would be your standard "should I trade happiness for security" type question, except I don't really know what job, if any, would make me happy. As my posting history indicates, I'm fairly certain I have Asperger's or something like it, and I have problems fitting in no matter where I go or who I'm with. It would be crummy to leave this job only to find myself in the same situation of feeling like an outsider among my new coworkers...and also having to contend with a lower salary, no retirement, insane hours, etc. I should mention that I have no one professional "passion" or talent that I would love to pursue; the whole "do what you love" thing doesn't work for me in a career context since the things I love are not at all remunerative.

My plan for the last year or so has been to stick it out, try to make headway with a creative pursuit I someday would like to make money from, and pay down debt. I have the vague notion that at some point I will be able to quit this job to work part-time somewhere, and make up the balance of my income from my creative pursuit (which is along the lines of "write romance novels for a living," to give you an idea of how practical it is). But then I lose whole Sundays to feeling dejected about the slog of a week ahead, and my plan seems silly. Why am I not out there looking for a new job? Oh yeah, because most jobs out there really kind of suck. It seems like a lose-lose situation.

I've repeatedly sought therapy for this, but it's never really been helpful.

I'd be particularly interested in hearing any perspectives that can either motivate me to get out there and look for a new job, or else comfort me when I'm feeling depressed about my current situation.
posted by whistle pig to Work & Money (29 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure why the main problem here seems to be whether you should leave your current job, when there is no need to do that while searching for a new job? You wouldn't really be able to do a full analysis of your options untill you go out there and get some more of them. Sure you have nice coworkers and decent pay, but there is no reason you couldn't have the same elsewhere, if you start looking, and maybe find a situation that makes you happy as well. You seem to be feeling some misplaced guilt about being unhappy in your current situation or wanting a change. Recommend keeping your current job and searching for another at the same time. If you keep your current job, you will also be in a better place to negotiate for the same pay/benefits in another stuation.
posted by knownfossils at 11:12 AM on February 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

Should I keep my stable, reasonably paying job with decent work-life balance that I've had for ages but which also makes me kind of sad?

posted by hal_c_on at 11:23 AM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Take my advice with a grain of salt, since I have a job with similar upsides but a much more positive relationship with it than you seem to have: It is really hard to find a job with these upsides, so don't under-value them.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason you should not look for work that interests you more. If your employers are intelligent they assume you're looking anyway. As long as you're reasonably circumspect (ie: don't do it on a work computer; don't talk with your coworkers about it) there is literally no downside to hunting for work you'd like more. And the upside to having your current not-awful job is that you are under no pressure to take the first thing that comes along -- you can be picky and negotiate hard with potential employers since your alternative is "keep doing a thing you dislike but provides a decent standard of living," not "starve."
posted by Alterscape at 11:31 AM on February 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Keep looking for a new job that will fit better and make you happy. Or scare up a side thing, job or hobby, to make it so. I took on a huge self directed undertaking when I was sad about my old job. Got it done, felt accomplished. Still interviewed for 18 months until I got laid off. But that project, and sharing it at the interviews, helped me land a new job I'm both happier at and good at.
posted by tilde at 11:34 AM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I suggest finding activities outside work that you would find fulfilling, whether that is writing romance novels or volunteering or a hobby. If you have other things to look forward to, your job will seem much better.

If you had a really stressful job or awful coworkers or had to put in more hours, I'd agree that looking for something else would be the best use of your time, but you should have enough hours left over in the week to make yourself happy with the one you have. If you spend your time looking for other work, you will not have time to do non-work things that you truly enjoy.
posted by wierdo at 11:38 AM on February 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

"Wherever you go, there you are" applies to jobs as well as travel and relocation. Do you think that your feelings of alienation and depression are caused by your job, or by something else? Do you think that "if only I had a better job, I would be happier" absent something clearly toxic (a bad boss, punishing hours)?

It could be that you are depressed, or not being adequately treated for depression - do you need different medications, or a different dose? Have you been screened for ADHD (especially inattentive ADHD)? How is your sleep, exercise, diet, personal relationships? There may be things to work on that don't have anything to do with your job.

What if you thought of your job as just that - a job - which pays the bills and isn't a source of deep meaning? It sounds like your working conditions are pretty good - especially as far as work-life balance is concerned. Can you find happiness in hobbies and relationships outside of your work?

If you want to change jobs, you are in an ideal position to be picky and take your time looking, because you already have a job. I would highly recommend reading Alison Green's Ask A Manager columns and website, thoroughly, before starting to job-hunt, as she has all kinds of information on how to write a resume, conduct a job search, go on interviews, and - I think very important in your case - look for red flags that indicate a bad fit or toxic environment. You don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire, leaving your "good enough" job for a truly toxic one.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:39 AM on February 14, 2016 [16 favorites]

Should I keep my stable, reasonably paying job with decent work-life balance that I've had for ages but which also makes me kind of sad?

Yes, but only until the point at which you find a better option. When you find that better option, take it and leave this job for someone else. Always be keeping your ear to the ground for something better.
posted by Solomon at 11:42 AM on February 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

To be honest, reading this description -- my first thought was that you have a problem that a new job won't fix.

There's nothing really wrong with your job, and in fact it sounds great; the biggest problem you mention is feeling socially excluded because your coworkers, while nice, aren't "your" people. That's an understandable feeling, but changing jobs won't make you magically fit in.

Your problem seems to be more that you have something else you want to do -- something that is difficult to actually make a living on, at least at first. You also sound like you might be suffering from a more general malaise/depression. In that case, what do you think a new job will fix?

I think you need to sit down and really think about:

(a) What is the actual source of your unhappiness, and whether or not it is actually your job
(b) What are actual realistic steps you can take to address it

In your position, I'd keep the job, and use that nice work-life balance to work on my writing. Sure, you could spend some time looking for a new job, but it seems like you just see a new job as a way out of the way you're feeling right now, when there's no guarantee that would be the case. But if being able to make a (partial) living from writing would make you happy, then you could try to establish yourself now -- to work toward that.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:51 AM on February 14, 2016 [18 favorites]

Should I keep my stable, reasonably paying job with decent work-life balance that I've had for ages but which also makes me kind of sad?

I came here ready to say no, but after reading the whole question I'm not so sure. I think if you can clearly identify some other career you want to go after, definitely go out there and apply and see how it goes! But I wouldn't leave a job I was "meh" about when I also felt meh about all the other options. In this case, maybe it makes sense to work on your happiness as a general thing through therapy, building an awesome life outside of work, etc. And, spend some time researching and thinking about other career possibilities, with the idea that if you can figure out something that does make you feel excited about it, you can aim to make a chance at that point.

Some things to keep in mind:
1. All jobs, even the one you might be amazingly passionate about, have trade-offs. I've lucked into a career that is basically my dream job, and has a ton of great positives, as well as being something I am very passionate about. I still don't love it 100% of the time. The most amazing job in the world can't MAKE you happy, and no job out there is perfect. It sounds like your current career has a lot of really good positives to balance out the negatives, so that's something to keep in mind.
2. There's this huge belief out there that you should always be doing work you love, and your career should be something you're crazy passionate about. That model works for some people, and that's great! Nothing wrong with that for those it works for. But it's also a LOT of pressure to put on a job, and it's not a model that works for everyone. For some people, their job is a way to make money to meet the needs of life, or to support loved ones, or to contribute to the world in some way. That's all fine too. Especially if there's not some other dream job out there that you're feeling sad every day that you're NOT going after, maybe it would be helpful to reframe what your job means to you, be grateful for those good things it DOES provide you even if that is not passion, and work on not letting it invade your Sundays and other hours when you're not working -- fill those hours with what DOES fill you with joy!
posted by rainbowbrite at 11:59 AM on February 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

I don't think that one can realistically expect to have real friends at work.

I know, it sucks, and frankly I spent years too long in a terrible job that set me back in major ways only because it WAS working with real friends whom I enjoyed seeing every day. So I know how important it can seem. But I'm sorry, it just isn't a realistic expectation. Leaving a good stable job just because folks there don't truly get you even though they are decent people isn't a good idea.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:02 PM on February 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

I think you might feel better on Sundays if you had a clear idea of how your current job was helping you get where you want to go in life. in other words, get a lot more serious about pursuing your dreams. Create a very specific roadmap of the steps you are going to take to get there (or at least the next couple of steps which is probably all that is really predictable. In all the arts, the more you do, the better you get. So, if you want to write, start putting more time into writing. Honing your craft improves you skill so you will be able to charge more money for your work later. Also start learning about the business side of your art - if you want to make money doing what you love, you need to understand how to to that - it is a whole separate skills from the doing the work. If you don't know how to get started or want support for the need to ramp up gradually with day job, read Barbara Sher's Wishcraft: How to get what you really want. (Isn't that a great title?)

Second, work really hard at lowering your expenses and raising your savings. If you earn $50k and spend $45k, it will take you 10 years to save up enough to cover one year's worth of expenses. If you earn $50k and spend $30k, it will take just two years to save up enough to cover one year's worth of expenses. The best resource I know for this thinking is Mr. MoneyMustache.
posted by metahawk at 12:10 PM on February 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I don't think a new job will necessarily help you, but even if it does, your first priority should be to learn how to keep your job from affecting the rest of your life. You're losing a third of your weekend to feeling sad about your job, and you're not getting paid for that time!

Different things work for different people, but some possibilities are:

Make plans to do something you really enjoy on Sundays to take your mind off it.
Every time you think about your job/ feel sad about it outside work hours, have a go-to interesting thing to think about instead.
Alternatively, every time you feel bummed about your job, set a timer for four minutes; when it goes off you need to do something more interesting.
Develop a more satisfying life outside of work. The interludes when you need to be working may seem to go by faster when you have something you love to look forward to outside of work.
Find a way to make Monday mornings better. An awesome breakfast? Buying lunch out instead of packing it? Doing your hair and clothes so feel like you rock? Listening to a weekly podcast you save until then?
posted by metasarah at 12:16 PM on February 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

A friend of mine was absolutely miserable, for a year, in a job that was an upgrade and looked great on paper, thanks to wonky social dynamics. She's much happier now that she's working somewhere else (doing the same job). Getting along with people you wouldn't necessarily invite to a cocktail party can be challenging; having to do so indefinitely for survival's sake can be the worst. (I wish HR departments took preventing and dealing with interpersonal issues more seriously.)

I think you should look for a job at an organization that's a better fit for you. Interpersonal dynamics at work are a crapshoot, and you can't know what the deal is going in. But maybe you can help yourself by doing a ton of research (glassdoor.com), keeping your ear to the ground, and throwing yourself into networking.

Sometimes specific organizational or workflow factors make a difference (e.g. big corporate, startup, agency; siloed departments, etc etc); sometimes it's the industry culture, or that the demographic attracted to / cultivated by a particular field is a certain way (insert stereotype); sometimes potentially good workplaces are ruined by a single toxic snowflake. What's going on here, exactly? What's been great for you in the past? Where do other people with your experience who like their jobs work?
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:21 PM on February 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

There is a lot bundled up in your question (at the end of the day, it is hard to know which of these things are your priorities: Salary? Writing? Finding a way to mitigate the ennui with life?)

From the way you present your current situation, I am leaning toward stay in your job until you can carefully define what you want, and if it is truly something in another job, then do a targeted job search.

I'm just suggesting things for you to think about:

-What would a job need to have to make you more satisfied with it? Would it be salary? Or opportunities to learn new material/and be more challenged intellectually? Something else?

-How do the things that you want for a better job balance with your desire to write fiction (ie, if you state "challenged intellectually" and "higher salary" is the most important -- if you end up in a job working 60 hours a week with high stress, how will that impact your writing?) So should things that would be productive to writing go onto your list for an ideal job (ie, limited hours). Contrarily, are there types of jobs that would promote and be more helpful for writing (ie, working in a place where you can observe how books are marketed, etc.)?

-If you do have mental health issues and/or deal poorly with stress, should this be on the list for an ideal job? Because often, new jobs bring change, which leads to anxiety, which can exacerbate health issues.

-Is there a way that you can get the things at your current job by making these requests at your current job? What would you need to get there? (see below)

If what you find is that you might want a new challenge and to learn new skills (and I think that this is healthy), rather than hit the pavement and lose the benefits of your current job, I would look closely at where you are now and what you do. So, for example, pretend your workplace involves painting widgets and making TPS report, but you only paint widgets, what would you need to be able to write a TPS report? Think about it first. Even if it is not in the work culture, you can request a one-on-one with your supervisor (not every week, or month, but very rarely to state what you want and later to check in if it is or is not working) - but at the meeting you can state your desire to learn how to write TPS reports and write them. Are there paid for training opportunities for this? Sometimes this can work out really at your job, and they will give you more things that you need, and you in turn are helping them by being able to do more of the type of work that they do.

I absolutely understand your desire to write fiction and give it a go. I would assess where you are in this area right now (one end of the trajectory being identifying the desire to write, the other end would be either having a published book(s) and/or self-publishing and generating money). A job can give you the underlying structure of a day to still have a productive day with working and writing. If you cut back on your hours eventually, would you use that time toward writing? If it helps, this ask meta, although it was for someone who wants to go into music instead of writing, explores many of the issues that would be related to going into creative endeavors in many of the answers.

When you eventually identify your priorities for a job (salary, time, stress, time for writing, etc.), I think you might be able to more objectively look at your work place. If it already gives you the amt of $ you need, plus balanced time, low stress and you can write - it might be the best case for you write now (and be happy with this and look at other aspects of your life). If you create your list and find you want X and Y in a job, great - go get it - and don't stop until you are there.

On preview, based on metahawk's recommendation for Barbara Sher's book, I found the book for free listed on the author's webpage. Here it is on the web page, here it is in its entirety. Haven't read it yet, but it has been suggested more than once on threads
posted by Wolfster at 12:22 PM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

You want clarity? I'll give you clarity: KEEP YOUR JOB.

You need goals, a schedule filled with little tasks that when accomplished, get you closer to your ultimate life's calling. Nerd out on yourself, nerd out on self improvement. You have everything going for you right now, take this opportunity and make the most of it!!

Number one, make a budget and stick to it. Have weekly meetings with yourself where you go over your spending, saving, and just generally check in with yourself. Use and app or a notebook for this.

After that, list the steps you need to get to where you want to go. Convert this list into goals. Set time limit is for these goals. Be flexible if you miss deadlines, but keeping working on your short term and long term goals.

Start today. You'll succeed if you do this.

You'll also be so busy, you won't care about fitting in at your job. I am specifically tasking you with finding an outside outlet with people you do fit in with. Participate in that community to recharge your batteries.

But no - don't quit your job. Instead, improve yourself and your life.
posted by jbenben at 12:41 PM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've really felt this whole "do what you love" mantra of the last 15 years has set many people up with unreasonable expectations and subsequent disappointment of having an amazing job that pays well, because they didn't find something amazing and uniquely suited to their snowflake selves. Few people find that kind of job, and even then, no job is 100% great all the time. Your job does not have to be your focus in life to find satisfaction and happiness. Sometimes it's just for paying the bills while you pursue more creative endeavours.

Your job sounds like it affords you SO MUCH TIME you could be spending on the creative pursuit... if you only took advantage of that more. Maybe it *could* eventually earn you money, who knows. But instead of worrying about finding another job, if the process of doing this creative thing makes you happy and gives you a sense of satisfaction... work on this instead, consider this your real career.

Next week post a question on moving your creative pursuit forward ;)
posted by lizbunny at 12:44 PM on February 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Thank goodness you don't fit in at your job and no one hassles you there, yet you get a healthy steady paycheck! More mental and emotional space for you to focus on yourself!

This malaise you are feeling is guilt that you are not making practical headway towards things you want. It has nothing to do with your job, and switching to a toxic workplace or a demanding soul crushing role elsewhere will not be any improvement. Thank the heavens for this gig. You're lucky. Again, don't blow this opportunity. Embrace this rare moment. Good luck!
posted by jbenben at 12:46 PM on February 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

A salary that is keeping my little household afloat despite some major financial setbacks

It's easy for loads of people to say "Run free! Find your happiness!" but this is not just about you unfortunately. If you have dependants, it's not as simple as that and other people's security is riding on your choices.

Also I would point out that as was famously once said, it's called "work" because it's not fun. I know that isn't cool or whatever, but that doesn't mean it isn't true for the vast majority of workers.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:07 PM on February 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

You sound depressed rather than having an unbearable job. Does your workplace has EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or something similar? That allows for 8 sessions with a therapist per topic per year for free.
posted by raw sugar at 2:43 PM on February 14, 2016

I think that work should not be a place to find friends. If you click with a particular person, great - but work is not a place to get all of your social and emotional needs met. Relationships with coworkers are, ideally, pleasant and professional. If you are really being ostracized and treated badly (coworkers make a point of talking about social events to which you are not invited, you are always asked to cover phones while they go to lunch in a pack) that is one thing, but think about whether you don't have enough social connections and good friends in your life now, and whether you are looking to fill this void with Instant Friends From Work.

I think we are so lucky to live in an era where potential friends are available via the internet and meet-ups, and you don't have to rely on proximity, kismet, and sheer good luck in order to make friends. If you need more friends in your life, try meet-ups or common interest groups or writing and critiquing fan fiction (no kidding, I met a couple of great friends that way) - anything that lets you meet people you like outside of work.

You mentioned a partner in a couple of previous Asks - is this person a good friend and support to you - in short, are they acting like a partner?

Really, really, stop and think about whether you are displacing dissatisfaction with other areas of your life onto your job, and are expecting Job Charming to come along and fill the void.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:09 PM on February 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had a job very similar to yours - decent pay, flexibility, good coworkers, etc. A lot of job-related happiness comes from liking your coworkers and feeling like you have at least some control over your situation.

For me, I had a long commute, and my job wasn't willing to be more flexible with telework, despite my stellar job record and the ease of doing my job from home. I had a series of bosses that were overbearing. I took on responsibilities I didn't enjoy and I didn't feel a sense of control. I got burned out.

About 8 months ago, I made a 'master' resume I could tailor to openings and started dropping my resume onto jobs that looked interesting. I got followups and now have a new job that's work-from-home!

My advice is to keep the job (at least for now) and fill your time with outside pursuits and/or start looking for another, more-compatible job.
posted by bookdragoness at 3:31 PM on February 14, 2016

I don't know.

Do you think you're realistic about the tradeoffs you are likely to encounter if you take another job? What would you be trying to achieve-- finding people who are more like you? Can you imagine what that would look like? Do you know what kind of job has "your tribe" working there? What downsides would you be willing to accept to work with those folks?

You can always look at other jobs just to see your value on the market. I find this a useful thing to do from time to time anyhow, but from the way you ask the question, you already know the answer as to whether you should leave or not. This doesn't sound like an issue with this job, it sounds like an issue with any job. And, honestly, losing a whole day being depressed about the week ahead isn't an issue with your job-- even if you *hated* your work, it shouldn't cause you to lose a whole day. That sounds much more to me like a depression issue, or even an excuse for not working on your creative idea.

If it were me, I wouldn't change anything until you found a way to be happy in your free time now.
posted by frumiousb at 3:33 PM on February 14, 2016

I think you should view this as an opportunity. You don't have something better lined up, but have some time and security to figure out what would be better for you. Once you have that in mind, you can prepare how you like, and move onto that.

Or, you might chart out your life path towards retirement there, and look towards efforts in other aspects of your life (family, spiritual, hobbies, social groups) that would provide more of what you are looking for.

A job that slowly poisons you isn't good, and it can become a death spiral as you care less and do less work. Having a job while searching, learning, and executing to find your next position can be exciting, the sort of secret double agent life you have to live.
posted by nickggully at 3:45 PM on February 14, 2016

What's the real source of your unhappiness? After a certain point in life (mine was age 40), ambition is overrated. So if you have steady job that pays well and offers work-life balance, well... that's great!

There is no guarantee that your next group of workmates will be any nicer. You have to figure out how to be happy.
posted by My Dad at 10:30 PM on February 14, 2016

Also autistic and I think this sort of... constant feeling of exclusion/not my people is just part of interacting with neurotypicals. It sucks, it's alienating, but I'd say that your gut feeling that it won't get better at another workplace lines up with my own experience (even the kindest workplaces tend to set off my "nobody likes you and you're a total freak" middle school trauma). You already have a plan for an out - by growing your non-work pursuits into something that can hopefully make money - but you're stuck with the incredibly boring and still sucky waiting period. I am in a similar spot.

If I were you I would keep my current job, keep an ear/eye out for jobs that might be a better fit, and pour that restless energy into something that does make me happy and makes me feel included. A job is a job, you do it in exchange for money, which then helps you pay for the things you actually enjoy. It's not what we were promised but it's OK.
posted by buteo at 7:13 AM on February 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

It seems to me that the secret to happiness is not having everything you want, but feeling like you're making progress toward getting what you want. Having something to look forward to.

I think it's a relatively new notion that we should be ecstatic about what we do for a living, and that it should be a total expression of our self-actualized souls.

I would love to have a stable job with hours I could count on, and have ample vacation, AND enough money that it's not a problem to do the things I want to do in life, within reason.

Some people really like not having office friends. Sometimes it's nice to keep you for you and put your energy toward your interests.
posted by Pearl928 at 9:22 AM on February 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would add that you can investigate other ways to improve your mood. You mention that you have worked in therapy over this situation and it hasn't helped yet. I suggest going to a doctor and getting your blood work done. Low iron, or vitamin D or B can affect your mood substantially. Of course, if you are suffering from mild depression, there may be other options for working on that.

And yes, you should be looking for a new job! I work in the government and the best advice I can give anyone is to apply for jobs often. Keep those skills fresh, and widen your network, even if you are happy where you are.
posted by Gor-ella at 12:05 PM on February 15, 2016

TV sure does have a lot of shows that are ensemble pieces set in a workplace. Look at how everyone is friends with each other, look at how they all LOVE each other. Look at them in a group hug as they hobble towards the tissue box because they all got fired.

It's not real life. The older you get, the less you find your friends at work. When I was in my early thirties I worked in an inside sales job. We were all around the same age and it was kind of fun. We went to happy hour, made friends with each other, took vacations together and some people hooked up. There was gossip, and dramaz and fun. This worked for about 18 months tops. Then some shit went down. People left, managers left, the company changed directions, etc.

Work is a weird thing. If you like your job, wait, it will change. If you hate your job, wait, it will change. Entropy is a bitch.

What you should be looking for in an exchange of money for your time and talent. Full stop. Yes, it's much more pleasant when you don't work among Klingons, or have Voldemort for a boss. So congenial coworkers, good money and work/life balance...you have to be able to beat that.

If you're ready to move up and assume a different role, then do that. Hopefully it's for better money, sometimes to gain new experience that will get you better money in the future.

What you do to make money isn't who you are. You spend a lot of time doing it, so it should be pleasant, but it's very rarely fulfilling.

So continue to pursue your hobbies and do things outside of work that you enjoy. If you don't downright hate your job, and it's providing for you properly, you're WAY ahead of the game in a lot of really important ways.

Keep looking for a better job, always. But don't just jump because you're bored with standing still.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:57 PM on February 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

I could have written your question word for word a few years ago. I am still at the same job, but I no longer have that Sunday psychic pain. In my case, many of the coworkers I didn't identify with have moved on, retired, etc. So the workplace environment is quite different. I am still not "besties" with anyone at work, but it is certainly more pleasant.

I've also realized, as I've gotten older, that this career is not that important to me. It wasn't what I wanted to do in life to begin with! I just needed an income. In my case, my child, partner, friends, and my creative pursuit now take top billing. I often spend work breaks jotting notes about creative projects I am working on, and it makes the day bearable. I still keep an eye on job postings, too!

Good luck.
posted by medeine at 1:36 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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