Hey there, fair warning, this is an off topic personal post just looking for general advice on career moves from the public, not games or GB.
So, about 2016 I started working at the unemployment office. It was a simple phone center job, far beneath what I had done before, which was teach English in Asia for nearly 7 years, but it was a solid paycheck and I enjoyed the part where I helped folks out in need. Plus, it was union, which meant it was the best medical benefits I’d ever had. I had coworkers I really loved and was quite happy.
In 2018 I go laid off, I was always technically a temporary employee without full union protections, but it still came as a huge shock which put me into a depression. There is something very embarrassing about having to report to former coworkers for an unemployment check. I wasn’t able to find work again for 9 months, during which I moved to another state.
There (here) I found work again, doing the same thing but for a different state. And this time it was for higher pay, and even better benefits but my coworkers here were all miserable, and I couldn’t figure out why, it was exactly the same job as all my happy coworkers and I had where I used to live.
In a nutshell, for those of you that had to do it, my job is to answer the phone when you file for unemployment, set up the claim with you, read the disclaimers, untangle problems you might be having and answer what questions I can. I’m good at it, my teaching background helps a lot and even during the pandemic I had a knack for keeping all heads cool and getting people paid.
So why did everyone hate this job?
I think I see it now: this job never stops, never changes, and the management is oddly corporately structured for a government agency. This leads to endless micromanagement regarding abstract production numbers that don’t account for results at all compared to volume. In addition to this, through the first 8 months of the pandemic, we were still forced to go into the office, which resulted in so many infections the building had to be shut down by the cdc twice before management allowed remote work, something that once they decided to do it, was done and dusted in two week (meaning there was no reason at all that couldn’t have done it sooner.)
Once I started working from home, I decided to volunteer for overtime, which has become almost an addition as I work 69(nice) hours a week. I’ve done this since January now, and While my savings account looks nice, I’m starting to lose focus as the thing I was saving for, a house, seems completely unrealistic to purchase in this market. This amount of hours, this management, this repetition, the fact that I’ve done more challenging and rewarding work that this before, and have been doing this call center job for nearly 5 years now, is all starting to hit critical mass burnout for me.
So here is the question: should I stay or should I go? I would not quit without a job lined up, the nature of what I do here makes me wise to how bad that can go. It’s more a question of value. Let me lists the pros and cons.
I pay 1% medical premium and $20 copays for the best insurance in the state. Essentially, it’s $10 a month.
There is a pension. Not a good one, but more than nothing, it’s 1.5% final pay per year of service.
Unlike my last position, I made sure I’m a permanent employee with full union protections. I’m one of the hardest people to lay off in this place, with hundreds of temp employees on the block before me for reductions in force.
I make a living wage, about $50k. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to pay rent and bills and still have a few hundred for savings.
The OT is not normal, but the pandemic is a mess we will be cleaning up for at least another year, meaning I can effectively double my pay, (technically if I stay on track with OT this year, I’ll have grossed the same as the governor.)
I actually do help people for a living. Bad management aside, I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.
I’ve done the same thing every ten minutes every work day for most of 5 years.
I have lost a lot of my passion and energy for this job, and find myself incongruous closer and closer to my miserable coworkers attitudes
My base pay without OT is barely enough to get by in the city I’m in, and they do not intend to keep remote work going much longer, so I cannot move to a cheaper area and keep the job.
I’m capable of more which I knew because I’ve done more.
Before anyone asks, moving up in the same spot is not an option. That means joining management, as in giving up the union, and the benefits and security it brings, for not nearly good enough a pay bump. In addition to that, I’m so Union I’m practically Soviet. Joining team evil isn’t my jam. If I leave, it would be to a totally different organization.
Anyway, if you read this entirely to long post, thank you. I’m not going to make decision based on opinions here, more just curious about what others would do in my spot, or if they are also thinking about making changes. Now seems to be the time to do it if you can, but on the other hand also feels super risky.