I am changing jobs, finally.
I started my job as a Civil Servant in 1998, as an entry level clerk and have been in one office for the better part of my fifteen years since (with two short term moves to other offices as I was working my way up the promotional track.) I have managed to earn four promotions and have tripled my salary. I make a decent salary with great benefits. I loved my job. I loved the people I worked with and for. I loved where my office was. I loved my short and easy commute. I was grateful for having a job I enjoyed and could do extremely well. I enjoyed the respect, admiration and appreciation of my peers and my supervisors. Despite a few rough patches here and there, I can honestly say, as long as I HAD to go to work every day, I was glad I had the job I did. I had hoped to stay in my current office, possibly promoting one more time, and then finish out my career here until retirement.
Alas, that was not meant to be.
Massive changes started happening 5 years ago, when our very successful, well-liked, respected Director was unceremoniously removed from his position due to ideological differences. (He had ethics and principals, stood by and defended his people, and refused to do the wrong thing to please the right people.) That started a tidal wave of crap that continued to gain moment over the past 5 years. In five years, we have had 4 different directors, each with their own management styles, and before we could fully adapt to the expectations and governance of one, they were replaced by another. The mood in the office grew dark, the morale plummeted, and the office politics became bloody. With the sweeping changes, the next level of my promotional track was essentially erased so I was now stuck at my level with no hope for promotion. I also began to butt heads with the administration, something I had never done before, as they began to try to push agendas and policies that I believed were in violation of our agency policies and contracts. It turned out I was right, and they were slapped, but that made me a black sheep and I would never again know a moment’s peace for daring to question authority and then to also be right. My schedule was fucked with, previously approved time was retroactively denied, and a new time policy was put in place that directly affected me, almost solely.
As if this this was not disappointing enough, our office was moved from it’s fantastic location in a bustling downtown location with lots to offer and enjoy, to a horrible, gritty unsafe nearby city, into a sterile building and an office space that I will affectionately refer to as “the meat locker” due to, at times, it’s almost unbearable frigid temperatures. My commute increased from 15 minutes to 55 minutes (sometimes an hour plus on bad traffic days). Concerns I brought to the administration involving my work, that I was once lauded for, (because, you know, I’m all professional and want to do a good job and care about my work and believe problems should be solved and stuff) fell on deaf ears.
Quite frankly, there was not one remaining aspect of my job I liked, I had lost all respect for my administration and I very much wanted out. Also, the stress from all these negative changes wreaked havoc on my health and psyche. I was miserable.
Because of all of this, I have spent the better part of the last 3 years applying for jobs almost anywhere doing almost anything for almost any amount of money, just to get out. I even had serious talks with the hubby about just quitting and figuring it all out later, because I didn’t know how long I could keep going back.
Then, when I had almost given up hope, I received a phone call on Wednesday, and I was offered a job I had previously applied and interviewed for in a different part of my agency. I submitted my two weeks’ notice and I start in my new office on December 5th.
It isn’t the sweeping change I hoped for. It is still in the same agency I work for, and it is still in the awful building and location I currently work in. But there are some positives that made taking the job worth it, (although, honestly, I had pretty much developed an “anywhere but here” attitude about my current office.) I will be working in a different area of my agency with all new people and administration. I will be moving from an office of 60 people to an office of 8. I will be the only one in my title at my level, whereas I currently work with 7 other same-professional-level peers. Perhaps the biggest positive is that there is promotional potential there, whereas there is none in my current office. As I have at LEAST 15 more years before I can even consider retirement, I am not content to end my promotional track at this level. Oh, and the office is 1 floor down and doesn’t have the frigid temp issues my current office does.
So there it is…a little change is better than no change at all, right?
I am hoping that the minor change in location, but major change in environment, staff, and job responsibility will make a big difference and impact on my work experience and attitude. I just want to stop being miserable coming to work every day. I want to stop working with people I seriously dislike and have no respect for. And I want the chance to re-establish myself as a hardworking, professional, ambitious, motivated, respectable employee.