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Struggling with Jobs

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #298325

    Sisi
    Participant

    Hello!

    I am a 19 year old college student, just trying to figure out what is wrong with me.

    I had my first job in 2017, and I kept it for a year and a half. It was McDonalds, and I felt as if I was ready to explore other job options, and I was excited too, as well. I liked the job, but it became very boring and I wasn’t feeling It anymore. First, I got a job at a retail store while still working at McDonalds, but after my first shift, I didn’t like it (or the manager), so I left (stupid, I know). Then a few weeks later, I found a job at a party store. I started it and I absolutely loved it! I left McDonalds and started working full time there. But after a month, all my favourite coworkers we’re leaving, and I didn’t like my boss. I toughed it out as long as I could, until I started to get work anxiety. I’m normally not an anxiety ridden person, but I felt a pit in my stomach and cried when I went in, so I quit and I felt a lot better (still, that was stupid of me). Since I left that job, I have been struggling to love a job. I try one out and then I don’t like it. I’m stressed about finding a job that I like, so when one small thing goes wrong, I panic and immediately wanna leave. But I am also stressed because I am desperate for any job that I don’t think twice about what kind of job it is an realize it’s not for me when it’s a little too late.

    So now, I have a job as a waitress. I never really wanted to be a waitress, but I needed the money. And no, I don’t get tips at this waitressing job, sadly. I was super excited to start working at this golf course, but quickly, I realized the work environment is not for someone like me. I expressed this to my friends and family, and they said that the way the management treats their employees, the scheduling/hours and the environment are terrible. But of course, that’s what I wanted to hear.

    All this to say, I blame myself. Every job you get, you will run into some mishaps. And I should know this, in fact I do. But I still keep quitting or disliking jobs really quickly. I have a shift in an hour, actually. I’m just ridden with anxiety and nerves, I didn’t sleep last night and I kept dreaming about work. My eyes are constantly on the verge of tears. It’s been ONE WEEK since I had this job. I know I’m being dramatic. I know all these feelings of resenting work and quitting is immature, and can be easily changed with a shift of mentality, but I can’t shake it.

    I have been looking for other jobs, a little more simple and mindless jobs that I know I won’t be in a stressed environment. I won’t leave this job until I find another one, but should I even leave it at all? Its a summer job, so I should suck it up. But last summer I worked at a job that I hated and it ruined all my 4 months, and I don’t want to go through that again. Should I just suck it up and deal with the stress, or trust what my gut is telling me?

    This post is messy and full of excuses, but I do just really want a job that I like, so when I do run into mishaps, I’ll be able to deal with them without feeling anxiety. All my friends have jobs that they LOVE, and it took a few job hops here and there to find them, but I don’t wanna be a job hopper.

    Please help me figure this out. I honestly just want to be happy and feel settled somewhere.

    Thank you,

    Sisi

    #298331

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sisi:

    Welcome back. A couple of questions:

    1. What jobs do your friends have that “they LOVE”?

    2. You wrote: “… so I left (stupid, I know)….I quit and I felt a lot better (still, that was stupid of me)… Every job you get, you will run into some mishaps. And I should know this… I know all these feelings of resenting work and quitting is immature… I should suck it up…This post is messy and full of excuses”-

    – who told you, or keeps telling you these things in real life (besides the voice in your head), something like: Sisi, you are stupid, you do stupid things! you should know better!  You are immature! Suck it up! Clean your mess, no more excuses!?

    anita

    #298397

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Sisi,

    So, first up – changing jobs a lot as a student is not exactly unusual – it’s a time of trying things out, seeing what works/what doesn’t. So try to stop beating yourself up about that so much, it’s not going to have any affect on your career post college, if that’s one of your concerns. There’s absolutely no problem in changing jobs for good reasons – the trick is to work through understanding if the reasons are good for you.

    It sounds like your first job at McDonalds you handled just fine until it became too boring for you, very understandable. And you sought out something new which worked really well to start with. So far so good, right. So was it the new co-workers or the boss that was the bigger reason why you stopped enjoying it so much? I ask since it was a job you say you loved, so it’d be worth understanding what became tough about it for you, tough enough that you didn’t want to overcome the problems. Did you dislike your new co-workers or do you struggle with some types of bosses?

    Yeah, a lot of summer jobs suck and the need for money, especially in your early days, will often see you toughing it out – if you know it’s what you want to do. Not worth toughing it out for something you don’t want anyway. I had some great summer jobs and some were much more in the dull camp for sure, all are what you make of them and mostly a means to an end at that point in your life. Figuring out what causes your work stress triggers will help a lot in identifying what kind of roles and working environment you are likely to enjoy, both now and in the future post college. What are you studying, what are you hoping to get into when you finish – sometimes it is possible to get your summer job in the industry you are interested in, try it out so to speak.  Else just knowing what kind of environment/people are best for you and then look for those. It’s also worth being aware that dealing with difficult people and situations is a just another basic life-skill you get tend to get better with as you get more experience. Dealing with bad bosses and situations/stress can be done, have had many both good and bad – you just develop different skills for dealing with them which means you then only leave your job when you want to – not when you feel you have to because you can’t cope.

    Hope helps.

    #298401

    Sisi
    Participant

    Hello Anita

     

    I guess it would mostly be me and my mother who bring me down , if that makes sense. My mom really dislikes when I leave a job, which I understand cause I need money and it’s kind of reckless to leave a job all because there’s something you don’t like there. And I’m the second person who gets me down about jobs, I guess after speaking to my mom I started feeling guilty about disliking jobs.

    I understand her point of view, because she now has a job that she really dislikes but she’s still sticking through, and if she can do that job I should be able to do mine.

    Sisi

     

    #298403

    Sisi
    Participant

    Hey Michelle

    McDonalds was a good job but yes I did want to move on. So when I found the other job, what made me feel stressed and anxiety was my coworkers  and managers (very stern and passive aggressive) and my boss (who was pregnant, but very catty and rude). I’ve never had to deal with that type of angry boss before, because at McDonald’s the bosses spoke kindly and made it clear of what they wanted without making you feel terrible. So, I just never felt settled at that job. I felt like an outcast slightly cause most of the employees were there for some time and I was new. And also, my management was very disorganized with schedules, and that’s another thing that set me off. I sound really picky, cause I know most jobs have inconsistent scheduling.

    Aso for this job now, I got some angry coworker and negative environment vibes that I had at the last job. And I also really don’t like how my schedule isn’t accurate, because instead of doing a 6 hour shift I could be doing at 10+ hour shift, but I would only find out when I get to my shift and they tell me to stay. A lot of my coworkers deal with it though, and I know I can as well.

    I guess I have to go through both the good and the bad to grow and learn. I can’t just leave after something is bad.

    But I would really enjoy a job that had to do with languages and arts, since that’s what I study in school and would help me out a lot for my future career. I just can’t seem to find much of those student jobs anywhere.

     

    thank you,

    sisi

     

    #298429

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Sisi,

    Well – actually you can just leave after something is bad if you want to – and often that’s the sensible thing to do. I understand your Mum has set a strong example for you that you should tough it out like her, but honestly, it all depends on why you think should tough it out.  If it was a job in an industry you really wanted to be in and that would be a stepping stone to a role in the company you did actually want, then maybe, yes, stick it out – for you have a goal in mind that you have decided is worth the short-term pain to you. But if it’s simply a summer job to earn some cash – why would you choose to stick it out, especially if other jobs are available which they usually are.

    Yeah, learning to deal with negative vibes and unreasonable requests is part of learning how to navigate work for sure (sadly!) – but when you have options, why wouldn’t you take them?  I suspect your Mum gets mad at you partly because you are doing what she is scared to do, leave and find something better.  You know you can stick at a job when you want to, you were at MD’s long enough even when it was boring after all. The smart thing is knowing when it’s good for you to stick it out and when it isn’t.

    If languages and arts are your thing – it’s worth asking around your local theatres, schools, tourist industry, galleries etc etc. You might just turn up at the right time, leave your details and they’ll think of you when something opens up.  Print yourself some detail cards to leave with them etc.

    In the meantime, if you really need the money, sure, stick it out whilst you look for something else but protect yourself from the negative vibe. What happens if you say no to the extra time at work – are you contractually obliged?? I can entirely understand it if you are expecting to work 6 hours and it turns into 10, unreasonable. Your choice to say no, I can’t do that, I have another commitment. The consequence may well be losing your job but that’s not the end of the world for you, right?

    #298457

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sisi:

    No doubt almost every job gets boring or distressing soon enough. So yes, we have to endure boredom and distress anywhere, including in love relationships that… we may hope would be exciting and wonderful at all times.

    Here are the reasons you disliked or quit jobs so far: “it became very boring and I wasn’t feeling It anymore.. I didn’t like it (or the manager).. my favorite workers were leaving, and I didn’t like my boss”-

    the things you mentioned here, boredom, “not feeling It”, not liking a manager, and co workers leaving, these read to me like things you should endure, invalid reasons to quit.

    “the scheduling/hours… instead of doing a 6 hour shift I could be doing a 10+ hour shift, but I would only find out when I get my shift”- that reads to me like a valid reason to quit unless you have nothing to do after work, after the expected 6 hours and you absolutely enjoy the work.

    “my co workers and managers (very stern and passive aggressive.. rude.. angry boss… angry co workers and negative environment vibes”- these reasons may be valid or not, depending  on what you perceive to be passive-aggressive, rude, angry and negative. If the manager yells at you, that is clearly unacceptable. But if the manager’s tone of voice at times sounds angry, that is not a valid reason to quit because everyone gets angry at times and everyone’s tone of voice automatically changes.

    If a negative work environment means that coworkers don’t take their time to say good morning to you or don’t smile at you a lot, that is not a valid reason to quit. But if coworkers bully you, as in making fun of you, pointing the finger at you and criticizing the way you look, for example, that is unacceptable.

    Regarding your mother, you wrote: “my mother who brings me down… My mom really dislikes when I leave a job… after speaking to my mom I started feeling guilty about disliking jobs”-

    – you are not guilty for disliking jobs. No one is guilty for liking or disliking anything. We don’t choose how we feel, it just happens. So we are not guilty for how we feel.

    Let’s say you are at work and your manager looks angry and says something angrily to you, for example: will you hurry up? Don’t you see the customer is waiting??

    Naturally, you want to quit the job (or express your own anger at that manager). Next thing though, is you feel guilty for wanting to quit the job, not wanting to displease your mother. This very guilt adds to your bad experience. Without this guilt you wouldn’t feel… as badly.

    I wish your mother brought you up, not down. If she did, you would be stronger and better able to endure jobs when the reasons for quitting are not valid.

    Let me know what you think about what I wrote to you, will you?

    anita

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #298499

    Sisi
    Participant

    Hello Anita

    I agree with the things you said. None of the work conditions I’m dealing with are unbearable. Not ideal- maybe. But I can deal with them. People are rude at work, but it’s not to be taken personally and I know that. So I agree that these reasons are invalid for quitting, I guess I’m trying to find a way out of a somewhat stressful situation.

    I do wish my mother understood my sensitivity at times, but I know I have to toughen up in many situations. She does support me and she’s happy that I’m working and trying, but I guess she hates quitters, which I understand completely.

    Honestly I agree with your point of view! Maybe if you have any advice on dealing with anxiety (when your stomach has that huge pit in it, and when your heart races extremely fast) would you give me some? I’m normally I person who doesn’t deal with anxiety (I like to stay calm) so I don’t know what to do with that feeling.

     

    thank you,

    Sisi

     

    #298513

    Sisi
    Participant

    Hey Michelle,

    I actually am looking now! I wouldn’t quit unless I found something that interests me. I’d really would love to step into the work of languages as a job and media as well. If I do find something better, I’d leave. I technically don’t have an obligation. I just don’t want to get into the habit of leaving jobs, you know? Although I’m nowhere near working at my career job, I feel like I’d be building bad habits at a young age by leaving fast.

    But I do agree that I need to evaluate when I should stick it out and when I shouldn’t. I technically should have the right to know my scheduling, but many jobs are dishonest in that sense so I guess I’ll have to deal until I find a better place!

    I appreciate your point of view and opinion!

     

    Thanks,

    sisi

    #298519

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sisi:

    You are welcome. “None of the work conditions I’m dealing with are unbearable”- notice this sad fact: people do bear abuse, so if your work conditions include a boss or co workers, or even customers yelling at you, calling you names, making fun of you, any such thing, that is abuse, and you should not bear that!

    If you are not sure if a particular behavior at work is abusive, please bring it up here and we can look at it.

    When you feel anxious at work, your stomach has a huge pit in it, or your heart races extremely fast, once you notice these physical sensations, then say to yourself something like this: I am feeling fear. This feels very unpleasant, very uncomfortable. I don’t like it. So I will calm down as soon as I can.

    Take a moment right there and there, or walk elsewhere more private and sit or stand against the wall, feeling the wall behind your back and head, and take a few slow, deep breaths, slow. Focus on your breath, let your attention be there.

    This will cause your heart to slow down and your stomach to feel okay again.

    If you want to practice doing this you can download a short guided meditations from an online source(I don’t have recommendations) and practice the breathing at home.

    anita

    #298589

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Sisi, no problem – glad it helped. Anita is expert on helping people through dealing with anxiety, among many other things so I’ll leave you in her capable hands there and will stop posting here to let the two of you work through it. Let me know if at some point you want some more practical job-related help, been there for sure!

    #298751

    Sisi
    Participant

    Hey,

    thank you! I will definitely try these things at work when things get too hectic! I appreciate it your advice and I’ll make sure to come to you for any other advice!

    thank you,

    sisi

    #298753

    Sisi
    Participant

    Yes thank you Michelle!

    I’ll be sure to let you know about work related things and problems!

     

    thank u,

    sisi

    #298785

    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Sisi, I am looking forward to you posting again, whenever you need to

    -and thank you, Michelle, you are very kind.

    anita

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