Thinking about leaving my job

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tartyron

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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.

Pro:

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.

Cons:

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.

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RobertForster

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#2  Edited By RobertForster

If I couldn’t move up in my job, and I had to rely on overtime, which can be cut at anytime (It happened to father, who worked for customs, in 1992), I would look elsewhere sooner rather than later.

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Kyary

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#3  Edited By Kyary

I had a whole thing written out and deleted it (tl;dr don't work for 70 hours a week unless it's for yourself, or you're making lamborghini money, and don't make a career out of it)

It sounds like you're ready to leave but are worried about giving up a pension and union. Completely understandable, those are valuable - I wish I had them! I would maybe try figuring out what those are actually worth to you (is the security of your union and pension worth sticking at a job you hate for 30 years?) Then figure out what decent health insurance costs and figure that into your pay, and look for stuff around what you're making plus those extras.

Dunno what the market is like where you are but in general the job market is pretty strong right now, so it's not a bad time to quit. If I were you I'd start looking for stuff, and leave once you get an offer that's better than what you have now. OT is a nice bonus for now so I wouldn't be running for the door, but definitely start walking.

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ajamafalous

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Personally, I have turned down job offers and promotions that seemed like they would make me miserable. I probably wouldn't leave with nothing else lined up, but it can't hurt to start looking elsewhere while you're still there.

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tartyron

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@kyary: I do wish to again reiterate that I don’t hate my job. I’m burnt out on it. They are different things to me. Providing support for folks in need is very satisfying to me, even if I’m only a cog in the machine. The problem is the specific actions I take, which are extremely repetitive and don’t really engage much beyond basic knowledge of the unemployment system and applying established solutions to it instead of mentally engaging problem solving, and the positions where that engagement would exist are outside the union.

Also, the 70 hour work weeks are entirely voluntary, I’m doing that to myself to buy a house, it’s just that the goalpost for a house got moved due to the skyrocketing market. I have no intention of staying on this much OT, nor expect it to continue past next year unless there are more lockdowns (when jobs shut down, we get more busy.)

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prolurker

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Working 70 hours is rough, do you have a degree? You could try Teach for America, just know what you're signing up for. Or else get your associates and try a career change. It all depends on what you want, maybe try to meet up with a career coach who can help you decide. Good luck.

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tartyron

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@prolurker: I appreciate the recommendation for TFA, but I’m in my late 30’s, that is a young man’s game. I do have a bachelors, though I don’t need it for my current job. If I go back to teaching, it’ll be for adults because teaching kids took too much out of me. And probably I won’t teach anymore anyway, I burnt out on that pretty hard and nearly had a mental breakdown about 6 years ago. It’s why I moved back to the US and took these jobs.

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AndersWarming

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#8  Edited By AndersWarming

Yeah, I don't have much to add other then what @kyary already mentioned. You're in a fine position. You don't really wanna stay. So start looking. You got the best platform for doing so right now, without stress and worry. Best of luck to ya :)

Edit. I can add that I'm in much of the same situation. And just the act of looking actively made it very clear for me what I needed to do. That said, some days you'll find postings that doesn't wanna make you leave - so be ready for that. Just keep looking, they are out there. The nice ones.

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prolurker

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@tartyron: I'm younger than you are, but I also got burnt out on teaching younger kids. I hear good things about teaching high schoolers, but it all depends on the school, of course. I'm currently going to school for programming and teaching on the side. Anyway, hope all goes well!

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UltimAXE

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What I would do in your specific situation is scale back the overtime. You might just need a break from that ridiculous amount of work and perhaps that will reinvigorate you. It doesn't necessarily sound like it's time to look for a different job. For my money, that time comes when you dread the thought of going into the "office" and you're miserable the entire time that you're there.

I worked voluntary OT at my very unfulfilling job for two years because there were some things that I needed to do. I also wanted to stow away a nice little nest egg. I kept doing the OT far beyond what I "needed," and once I began to feel burnt out, I went back to a normal 40 hour week and the burn out generally faded away.

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noboners

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In my experience, the moment you start thinking you might want to leave your job you should find a way to leave your job.

I don't think you should allow yourself to get to that point of misery because once you're there, it's even harder to feel motivated to find something else. So if you're not there yet, and you have this sort of buffer, start looking to see if there's something better for you. That way you still have time to look for something better as opposed to just taking something to just get you out of where you are.

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Shindig

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Yeah, there's no harm in looking. I like hitting the overtime but not for 69 hours a week. Could you possibly carry the pension to your next employer? That'd solve one problem.

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development

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#13  Edited By development

I generally consider consulting work to be the trade of blood sucking opportunists, but if it means just trying to get by in this hellscape we live in, then I fully support someone taking a less-than-noble profession that pays REALLY well, especially when you've already done your time and worked years of your life away to hold up the tangled decaying lattice of government bureaucracy.

So, look up relevant consulting work now that you have tons of customer service experience in a specific field.

https://www.engagepeo.com/unemployment-claims-consultant

Not fully sure how awful and exploitative a job like that would be, but I can tell you it probably pays like $50-$80k starting. At worst, you take a job like that for a year or two and then leapfrog into a less horrible profession, maybe use your extra downtime to study something else, etc.

Use LinkedIn to find people who went to your high school/college that might work for consulting firms, and directly reach out to them on there. It's standard practice and everyone is super helpful, because good deeds always come back around, and the bigger their network the more jobs they have access to.

If you decide the consultant route isn't for you, do the above with LinkedIn, but in a profession you'd feel better about.

Good luck.

edit: that job takes blood sucking to a new level

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tartyron

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@shindig: It's the state government, so yes, if I take another job with another state agency, I can stay in the same union with the same pension and benefits. I have been looking at one of the naturals paths of getting into social worker positions as the dept of human services, but that gets pretty hardcore. Where I am now I deal with folks losing work, there it's like addition and mental health issues, some hardcore darkness. I mean, it would be good that I'm helping with it, but it tends to take a toll of folks I've seen in those positions. Also, I'm kind of maybe looking to move to another stat. It depends on where opportunities may take me. The pension is mine so long as I get 'vetted' meaning work for 5 total years with the state, then when I'm 65 I can claim it for whatever it would have been, so 5 years would get me 7.5% of my last pay with the state (so next to nothing but still better than nothing, considering it's until you die), otherwise I can only pull my personal contribution to the pension fund.



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tartyron

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@development: Florida? Nope. Also, it's pretty team evil, considering the only possible reason this position exists is to get people denied their unemployed so the businesses can keep a tax rate 0.0001% lower than otherwise. I appreciate letting me know, however, this is a fascinating job post that I'm gonna share with some of my work buddies.

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development

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@tartyron: Oh damn that's pretty fucked. Yeah don't apply to that job, haha. You get the gist of what I'm saying tho.

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styx971

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my first instinct was to tell you 50k is nice , twice what i've mostly ever made in factories in my area so don't take what you have for granted. that said ... if the cost of living is so high in your area that straight time hours are bearly enough to be affordable then yeah why not keep your options open and look , it can't hurt too much , if you leave on good terms theres usually a chance to return too. thats said as someone who has has been fighting with their local unemployment (NH) for 10 months trying to get back benefits cause they were forced out of their job i have nothing against you but frankly unemployment places suck so i can see why ppl wouldn't like it as a job in the long run. ( this is obviously in regards to your co-workers)

either way you honestly have to at the end of the day do whats best for you.

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#18 sweep  Moderator

Maybe rather than just throw in the towel, dial back on the overtime and use the time you free up to hunt for work elsewhere. If something catches your eye then you can bail, but if you shop around and there's nothing out there then you can at least stick with your current job knowing that you're in a comfortable position for the time being, and maybe you can look again in a few months.

It sounds like you already know you should leave and this is just a matter of managing the transition.

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SethMode

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@tartyronI don't have anything new to add that others haven't already said, but I would like to say good luck! This shit is always a difficult choice to make, especially when you consider how things are going in the US and not really knowing if the economy is going to nose dive again at any moment. My biggest advice based on previous mistakes I've made is to not quit unless you have something else. Even if it means sort of reevaluating your head space and telling yourself you don't care anymore, it's better than falling into a situation where you aren't sure where your next paycheck is coming from, or worse yet, insurance. Anyway, I'm also curious whereabouts you taught in Asia (because I'm in my 3rd year in Korea right now)! 7 years is a REALLY long time. I'd like to stay longer, but my wife has been patient enough on the tiny little rural island we live on and is ready to get back to a place where she can order a sandwich that isn't weirdly sweet or a slice of pizza without random corn on it!

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Shindig

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@tartyron said:

@shindig: It's the state government, so yes, if I take another job with another state agency, I can stay in the same union with the same pension and benefits. I have been looking at one of the naturals paths of getting into social worker positions as the dept of human services, but that gets pretty hardcore. Where I am now I deal with folks losing work, there it's like addition and mental health issues, some hardcore darkness. I mean, it would be good that I'm helping with it, but it tends to take a toll of folks I've seen in those positions. Also, I'm kind of maybe looking to move to another stat. It depends on where opportunities may take me. The pension is mine so long as I get 'vetted' meaning work for 5 total years with the state, then when I'm 65 I can claim it for whatever it would have been, so 5 years would get me 7.5% of my last pay with the state (so next to nothing but still better than nothing, considering it's until you die), otherwise I can only pull my personal contribution to the pension fund.

Damn. That's a bit more rigid than I'd like. I'm on the other side of the Atlantic doing a government job and we can increase contributions once a year. Our employer matches it and I can take that pension with me to whatever my next job is.

I would definitely consider scaling back the overtime whilst you look. The last thing you want is to burnt out even more in a job you might end up staying at.

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Davidrichard

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#21  Edited By Davidrichard

Your Job is really tough and you work hard from the day one.

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Brendan

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Sucks that you don't like who you work for otherwise your perspective may be different but if you can voluntarily walk back over time then you should definitely do that to spend some time exploring your options or desires (if you're lucky enough to figure that out). Even doing that I have to give props to you. I was laid off for a a few months at the start of covid and tried looking around for what I wanted to do with my career and never got much of anywhere so it still takes a lot of mental effort to work 40 hours and spend time exploring big decisions.

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tartyron

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@styx971: I’m really sorry to hear that. I’m not working for NH, but lots of folks are pretty angry at us in my state (I’m being cagey mentioning which one because I have gotten death threats on dating apps back when I just said where I work out loud at the big inning of the pandemic.)

I can’t speak for NH, but where I am fell so far behind and our phone systems. Have been overwhelmed since last March. Even hiring up over 12x the staff only made a small dent, which is one of the reasons I ended up doing so much overtime. A lot of the fumbles in helping folks can be laid at the feet of upper management blindly trying to follow standard procedure in a 100% non-standard situation. The federal government being so haphazard on covid relief funding is also to blame.

Finally, all those new hires got maybe a few hours training before they were stuck on the phones. In the before times, I got 6 weeks trading before my first call, and it was needed, we are supposed to have laws memorized, go through threat and suicide sensitivity training, learn what we can and can’t do and how the investigators go about their job, and know the claimants rights so we can advocate for them.

The old timers hate this because the get jaded and think claimants are spoiled and entitled (some are, most are not) and the new folks don’t have the training so the promise the moon and what we actually have to give them is more like rent and not much else. But for the most part, at least in my experience, people are able to get what they need and stay calm through it. Like I said, I am good at this job even if I’m tired of it. And then I am able to get someone their back pay, I love calling them up and telling them I am sending them $10k, like Oprah.

I will say that whoever you talk to at unemployment is never the person preventing you from getting paid. The people that stop payments don’t speak to the public, they are usually in their own office at the Capitol and just see you as a number. So again, I am very sorry you have had such a bad time of it. My best advise is to not give up. If NH is anything like my state, even if you got denied regular, the PUA program might still cover you, it’s not just for self employed folks.

*p.s. I do ask everyone to not make this an AMA for unemployment, I’m happy to hello but what is true for my state might be totally wrong for yours. I advise folks watch the episode of Last Week Tonight on Unemployment.

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tartyron

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@tartyron: @styx971: I’m really sorry to hear that. I’m not working for NH, but lots of folks are pretty angry at us in my state (I’m being cagey mentioning which one because I have gotten death threats on dating apps back when I just said where I work out loud at the big inning of the pandemic.)

I can’t speak for NH, but where I am fell so far behind and our phone systems. Have been overwhelmed since last March. Even hiring up over 12x the staff only made a small dent, which is one of the reasons I ended up doing so much overtime. A lot of the fumbles in helping folks can be laid at the feet of upper management blindly trying to follow standard procedure in a 100% non-standard situation. The federal government being so haphazard on covid relief funding is also to blame.

Finally, all those new hires got maybe a few hours training before they were stuck on the phones. In the before times, I got 6 weeks trading before my first call, and it was needed, we are supposed to have laws memorized, go through threat and suicide sensitivity training, learn what we can and can’t do and how the investigators go about their job, and know the claimants rights so we can advocate for them.

The old timers hate this because the get jaded and think claimants are spoiled and entitled (some are, most are not) and the new folks don’t have the training so the promise the moon and what we actually have to give them is more like rent and not much else. But for the most part, at least in my experience, people are able to get what they need and stay calm through it. Like I said, I am good at this job even if I’m tired of it. And then I am able to get someone their back pay, I love calling them up and telling them I am sending them $10k, like Oprah.

I will say that whoever you talk to at unemployment is never the person preventing you from getting paid. The people that stop payments don’t speak to the public, they are usually in their own office at the Capitol and just see you as a number. So again, I am very sorry you have had such a bad time of it. My best advise is to not give up. If NH is anything like my state, even if you got denied regular, the PUA program might still cover you, it’s not just for self employed folks.

*p.s. I do ask everyone to not make this an AMA for unemployment, I’m happy to help but what is true for my state might be totally wrong for yours. I advise folks watch the episode of Last Week Tonight on Unemployment.

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clagnaught

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This all sounds like a recipe to move on and find a different job. For a lot of reasons, I left a job without another one lined up and kinda regretted it. Having money is always better than not having a paycheck. COBRA, for just myself as I had no dependents, was expensive. Then for some reason, the cost went up about $200 a month, which made it even more ridiculous.

On the other hand, working overtime and all that will make it harder to have the energy to look for jobs, interview, and all that. If you don’t have a job, you can make that you’re full time job.

When I’ve been without a job, the time it took me to find some varied wildly. The shortest I’ve been between jobs was about a month, while the longest was 9 months. At the same time, your place really dropped the ball on COVID if the CDC got involved twice.

I don’t know. I have both quit a job in pursuit of something different and everything worked itself out, while also been between jobs where it took significantly longer to find something and I burned through savings in the process. So I can make the argument for and against leaving a job without having something lined up.

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styx971

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@tartyron:o don't get me wrong i know what you mean , i have nothing again those who i talk to generally , it has to be a shitshow anywhere , i can't wear a mask due to a motor tic that i've had since i was 9 getting triggered and have doc notes (or technically lack of) saying they can't help me due to administrative red tape so my case is a mess and they want me to pay back over 17k (plus interest) ...and i still can't work in my field and a home job where even if i was willing to do it i have to worry about my fiancee's sleeping, my pc is in the bedroom and he works nights and sleeps in 'normal' business hours , couple that with hating phones , having horrible ppl skills and a crummy internet connection i doubt i would last more than a week for most work from home things. and now that they did away with giving the federal stuff (i think) in my state i get denied for not job hunting which ..if i cant take the job due to the mandates and above then why waste other ppl's time ya know. its a mess. but like you said most of the ppl calling the shiots are at the top and we're just a number to them. its sad . i mostly only mentioned it tho cause i'm sure thats in part why your co-workers might feel the way they seem to . its really shitty you get that type of response on a dating site , i mean at the end of the day a job is a job :/

either way tho if you like your job and find it ok for the money without OT stick with it n cut back on hours , if not i'd look for something else , just me personally.

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Shindig

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Yeah, those stories are all too familiar to me. I can deal with someone going off on me because of their claim. I've got nothing to do with it but I'll be the brick wall for that moment. Suicide calls are just horrific to deal with. Thankfully, it's rare as fuck as our suicidal claimants would more likely not pick up the phone in the first place.

The training situation sounds a bit manic. You need the knowledge so that call is smooth. One hour's just going to lead to more people on hold or supervisors getting involved.

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paulwgraham

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@tartyron: Don't let temporary duldrums drive permanent decisions. More than anything you sound like someone that needs a vacation.

There are plenty of reasons to make a change but changing jobs should be the result of a long well thought out process where you are clearly going towards a goal.

So you should examine a little deeper why it is your moral is so low. Humans are social creatures and lots of people are having problems adjusting to the challenges created by the pandemic.

Are you less happy in this job now then before you started working from home? If so it behoves you to think about why.

You don't want to go from one work from home job to another and find out you're just as miserable.

What I suggest is that you make sure you are devoting enough time to self care (sleep, exercise, diet, sex, hobbies, etc) then once you create a little distance and get some perspective reexamine the job question.

You may find that you have gained some insight into what it is you want from your career and how your current job fits into that.

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spartica

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Life is too short to not do something that gives you fulfillment. I'm in a fine job, but deeply unfulfilled. I just took a leap and accepted a job in a completely different area of mental health and it completely changed my attitude. Sounds like a refreshing change is in order.

Unemployment/ social services is tough work. I know. I'm in that field. In reading your post it sounds like you are really leaning toward finding new work.

Spruce up your linkedin account and let people know you're looking. Try something different. Take a leap.

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enthalpy

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#33  Edited By enthalpy

I think you should consider looking for an entry level IT support center job, preferably at a higher ed institution, preferably at an R1. Pick up a couple of certs that you can study for in your off time if they seem to show up in a lot of jobs that you see. Your experience as a teacher and as someone who has dealt with people in crisis will help come in handy and should help you see great customer sat numbers and move up quickly, which may mean moving out to another gig and then back into the university system if you like it. The service desk can (but is not always) a step into another area, and the market for service desk folks is exceptionally hot in a lot of larger cities right now and seeing a pay jump that it hasn't seen in 10 years or so according to the professional services firms that we've talked to.

It's also increasingly remote work, though you'll be paid more if you're willing to be on-prem. Higher ed benefits tend to be very good, especially if the org is attached to a university health system. You will be working for an organization that is presumably doing a lot of good, and you will be working for a stable organization if you land at either a land grant state school or a large private. Mid-tier private institutions are in a bit of a financial crisis now, as are state schools in the states that have recently defunded ed, but support experience at any higher ed school will help you get in the door at another.

I don't check this site much, but PM me with any questions and I will eventually see it. If you're willing to share your location, I may be able to point you to some local orgs to try.

edit: entry level where I'm at starts at about $48k/yr if you're an FTE, similar without benefits if you start with a firm. Contract to hire is not a bad idea for someone who has the patience/people experience that you have because that's the hardest part to learn and you'll pick up the technical stuff fast if you can follow processes.

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sombre

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Did you quit in the end? What's the story

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eddiephlash

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Looking for a new job, applying, etc sucks. It is the worst. Demoralizing, fake, not fun, yuck.
That said, it is much MUCH easier to casually apply for new things when you have a safe secure job, rather than frantically applying to every last thing that comes across your searches.

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terryfloat88

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My main rule in life is to constantly listen to my inner feelings. If you constantly need to persuade yourself of something, this is definitely a sign that you are doing something wrong.

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Jorbit

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#41  Edited By Jorbit

I quit my job for a better job just a few months ago. I made the decision purely for my mental health. I even took a small pay-cut to do it. I haven't regretted it even for a second.

At the end of the day, our jobs are a huge part of our lives. If you can make your daily life better by leaving your job then I say do it.

Also if you ever consider changing careers to software dev, PM me and I can help. It's a good space to get into nowadays. That said, it's not unionized at all so you'd be leaving that behind. I bring it up because it's a common thing these days for people to career switch. EDIT: This offer is for anybody, I'm happy to help people switch careers into software dev.

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ripelivejam

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Used to work 70 hrsish a week voluntarily for about over a year and now have fuck all to show for it. That is all.

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sombre

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@tartyron said:

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.

Did you quit or not? I need closure

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#46  Edited By tartyron

@sombre: I stayed, but I reduced my hours down to 40 like a normal human again. It’s been better. Losing union membership during this economic bubble (because I truly believe we are in for a very bad job market by the end of next year) just didn’t seem like the right move, and then also I got kidney stones and found myself grateful for both the insurance and the paid time off, where other jobs would just fire me for taking a week off to recover.

It’s not that I’m shutting down the idea of moving on, but I found a better life balance. I joined an improv class, I got my first open mic tonight, I got something other than work in my life again. That all helped me realize I’m in a really good spot even if it’s not what I necessarily dreamed of doing.

Edit: also while I’m not exactly rich, my overtime blitz did put me in a spot where I might actually be able to buy a house if the market stabilizes a bit, (Portland is a little nuts on that like the whole west coast is) and ideally if I do find something else to do for work, I can also have a home I own very shortly afterwards and/or if I stay long term, turtle up and line my perimeter with Tesla Coils. Another union benefit I have is free financial advisors and it turns out it’s a little more possible than I previously though, just not quite ready to pull the trigger on.

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Reusable-Box

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I think its pretty obvious that you should look for something that is a better fit for you or potentially a step up as far as pay/title are concerned. Your co-workers might all be miserable, but it doesn't seem like it bothers you as much as it bothers them. I've been in similar positions before where the management side bullshit (Mandatory call review with supervisor who doesn't actually know or understand the product/service tries to find some way to critique a call with no issues where everyone ended the interaction satisfied to satisfy a spreadsheet column) was annoying but I enjoyed the work I was doing generally and felt like I was helping people. Eventually in that position the management micromanagement/bullshit got way worse and I did leave, but at the time it well within tolerable limits and everything else was fine.

But there is no real shame in staying at the job as long as you're finding things overall to be fine and they sure seem to be. No need to force an issue. Keep your eyes peeled and carry on!

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Lego_My_Eggo

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@jorbit: Im actually doing freecodecamp.org right now for web development. Still learning the basics, but figured id at least leave a message here if you can offer any good advice.

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@lego_my_eggo Sure thing! I looked at their curriculum and it looks good. They seem to be covering the most-used technologies in the space.

I would recommend reviewing jobs in your area (or the area you want to work in if you plan to move) and find out what technologies they are using. For example, I'm from the Kansas City area and most companies around here use Microsoft technologies (.NET server code, SQL database, and React/Angular for front-end UI). On the west coast you are probably more likely to find technologies like Ruby on Rails, Java, etc. So it would be good to familiarize yourself with what your area companies are looking for. This also is starting to matter less and less as a lot of companies are hiring remote workers.

It is also a good idea to get at least a basic understanding of one of the big 3 cloud providers: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. AWS is used the most, followed by Google and then Microsoft. It is worth noting, however, that all of these platforms are similar and if you learn 1 then it won't take long to learn the other. All three of them should have some free trials that let you play around with them and learn them.

Feel free to PM me with any questions or other advice as you are making progress. I'm happy to help. Also let me know if you want to do something on Github; companies love it when you can point to a github repo and say "I'm a big contributor of this project."