I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Should I start looking for another job?

I am not satisfied with my job. Wait, let me say that better - I am satisfied with the actual position, it is perfect for me. I never thought that the title of researcher would fit me so well but it does encompass almost all of my favorite hobbies. My dissatisfaction stems from a vague feeling or the effects of a bad environment. However, I have two concrete reasons to fear for my safety.

First, my company has a contract on which my employment resides. I service this contract specifically. It takes up 85% of my work day. The other twenty percent is doing the company newsletter and other random projects. The contract is due to expire soon. It is time to rebid the contract and we may not win. I walked in on my boss applying for other positions. Should I be doing the same? I can't imagine how the company would be able to fold me into their other operations.

Second is the fact that like in every work environment I am uncomfortable with some of my co-workers. No one wants to work with people who exhibit a negative attitude all the time. Or walk into a small business and there are already cliques formed; it is too reminiscent of elementary school. Of course, these cliques aren't friendly or welcoming. I don't want to be subjected to having to work directly with these women if the contract is not renewed.

I know realistically I should be searching and searching hard for a new position. I made a commitment to myself to try and stay with this company for at least 18 months to two years. This is for a couple of reasons - I want to show that I can stick with a company. Right now my resume looks like I am a perennial job hopper. Second I wanted to use this two year time as a growth period focusing on learning as much as I can, working on my education and polishing my professional development plans. I hate to resume a long term job search again. I know that it will be even harder now to find a position than it was five months ago.

Are you concerned about your job situation and environment? Are you job searching now?


  1. I don't think that you necessarily need to worry if your boss is looking for another job. That's his business, and could be for a variety of reasons.

    However, I'm going to say the downer, that you should face the fact that you MAY be laid off. I'd recommend looking for jobs within and without your company.

    With regards to cliques, I totally agree that they are very frustrating. However, you are there to do a job, and it's more important to act with professionalism than get caught up with trying to fit in or feeling hurt if you don't. Even if you are friendly with people at work, they probably aren't people that you'll form close lasting frienships with. Just don't spend the effort worrying about it.

    I would also say that if you are in fear of losing your job, the two proative things that you can do are 1) channel as much money as you can into your layoff fund and 2) look for a new job. Even if you don't get laid off or find a job, I find it to be helpful from an emotional perspective.

  2. Crud - my long reply got lost in the login process. Short version is:

    1) don't worry about your boss. Let your boss worry about your boss.

    2) assume that you may lose your job, and start looking for a new one, inside the company and outside.

    3) don't get wrapped up in cliques. it's just not worth the effort. Act professionally, and feel good about the fact that you are providing good work.

    4) if you can, channel whatever you can save into a layoff fund, in case you do lose your job. While you can't do a lot about whether or not you will lose your job, knowing that you are adding to your fund and looking for a new job are powerful boosts to your mood. Even if it's just saving change at the end of the day, it's doing something positive.

    5) let your friends/family know what's going on. Ask them to keep you in mind if they see any job postings at their work. it can't hurt.

    6) take a bubble bath in the evening. that always helps, even if just for a short period of time!