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Vesta-Venus

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Choices [May. 4th, 2004|03:16 pm]
Vesta-Venus
I have been offered the opportunity to do a project at work. Actually, they are strongly requesting that I do this project.

The subject matter does not interest me. I started it in 2000 and I was unsupported in it then and they (management) did nothing with the work I did in the intervening 3.5 years.

On one hand, it would be a challenge. I am constantly bored at work. (Thus explaining why I check my LJ 4 times a day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.)

On the other hand, it would be more work for the same pay. I have already watch not only everyone I started working with get promoted (or offered a better job elsewhere), but I am reporting to someone whose group I helped train. Why should I work my tail off for the same pay? If I am so skilled and special that they haven't found anyone else to do this project since they asked me to do it last summer, why can't I be paid the same as my peers?

So - which is better, 1) a boring job that leaves me unmotivated to do it or show up on time in the morning, or 2) a frustrating project that I have no interest in doing, but would be be a change of pace?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cynicallynaive
2004-05-04 12:41 pm (UTC)

Opt for (2), and....

be actively looking for an employer that can more effectively use your talents. Why would you want to stay somewhere that doesn't push you to do your best work?
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[User Picture]From: vesta_venus
2004-05-04 07:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Opt for (2), and....

In Ottawa, the federal government is the largest employer. One thing it has going for it that compared to private industry is the concept of permanent employees(actually the jargon term is "indeterminate"). Once, you are indeterminate, you cannot be fired. Even if they eliminate your position, the government must find and offer you a job at your level. This security in a world where high-tech layoffs are all to common is irresistible. That, coupled with sick leave, vacation leave, medical plan, dental plan, pension plan etc. keeps people here.

The sad thing is that you see many people who hate their job, but would never quit and go to a private company because they have only 9 or 7 more years to their pension. Disgruntled civil servant is as cliche in Ottawa as "disgruntled postal worker" is in the U.S. (Except we, thankfully, have gun control here.) :)

Now, that is what keeps me working for the government. What keeps me from looking for a new job within the government is my own cynicism.
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[User Picture]From: cynicallynaive
2004-05-04 07:59 pm (UTC)

Aha!

Sorry for opening my mouth without knowing the background, but i appreciate the explanation.

I know government jobs are also seen as far more secure here in the US, but i don't think there are the same statutory obligations. Personally i probably couldn't do something i hated for very long regardless of the pension, but ultimately only you can decide what's important in your own value structure.
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[User Picture]From: vesta_venus
2004-05-04 08:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Aha!

Your comments were good. And it's nice to hear from someone who has had his own internal conflicts about his job and his own discernment process. (Advice always seems more relevant coming from someone who has actually been there.)

But everyone is right about why am I not looking for other jobs.

I once had a supervisor who told me about his previous job. It was during the 80's when there was less computer literacy. He figured out how to use his computer and automate his job so that he was done his daily work by noon. He joined a local gym, lost 50 pounds, and did personal things at work. And after 6-8 months, he applied for other jobs. I was 22 when he told me that story and at the time I thought "Why would anyone give up a job like that? Only having to work a half-day." Now I know. I need some kind of challenge to thrive and more importantly, I need to feel passionate about what I'm doing.

I guess I've been unhappy here for so long (1998-2001, and 2003-present) that it's almost like "learned helplessness". Some times other people are great at pointing out the obvious that we can't see in ourselves despite how much contemplation we do!
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-05-04 02:02 pm (UTC)

Choose Door #1

Yow - not appealing choices, either of them!

Ideally, a job should give you some satisfaction beyond a simple paycheque. Otherwise you'll very soon see it through a veil of contempt and have no motivation to do it well. That attitude will show to your boss, your colleagues, your clients and eventually will result in bad reviews, emotional stress, even less motivation to go to work, etc. You don't need that kind of grief in your life - nobody does!

It looks to me from what you've said over the months that there's no future for good job opportunities or advancement where you are. Maybe it's time to cut your losses and try somewhere else. I don't know how tied to the government you are (the private sector isn't as universally friendly towards part-time arrangements, which are important to you right now, so that may be a factor), but if you are, there are still possibilities. Have you thought about transferring to another department, either by winning a competition (yes, jobs are still being filled - check the PSC website) or as a secondment?

If I had to make a choice from the two you mentioned, I think I'd choose door #1. At least that allows you the time to get yourself prepared to go elsewhere (job searching on the net, resume prep, interviews, etc). The other project sounds like it would just take up your time, while still not providing any job satisfaction.

............ Isabella.
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[User Picture]From: vesta_venus
2004-05-04 08:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Choose Door #1

Yow - not appealing choices, either of them!

My sentiments exactly!

Ideally, a job should give you some satisfaction beyond a simple paycheque. Otherwise you'll very soon see it through a veil of contempt and have no motivation to do it well.

Already there. I remember once reading a book on Myers-Briggs personality types and work. (I only read INFJ and INTP - so don't ask me about any other types.)

For me, it said that I need to feel like my job was almost a "divine calling". (Their term.) It said that if I was passionate about my job, I could work longer and harder than most people. But if I didn't believe in my job, then I would struggle for basic competency.

At the time, I laughed because this is so true. Last summer, my Vacation Bible School week was the week of the Ontario/New York/upper U.S. blackout. Everyone I knew was off work. Meanwhile, I put in a 46 hour week. (Not bad for a 20 hour a week part-time job.) I ran into 2 people I knew while running errends and one describing me as "glowing". So I am not afriad or incapable of hard work. Yet, at the government, I do the minimum I need to to get by. I have 7 years of unniversity and people who have a high school education and worked their way up from being clerks out-perform me in terms of out-put. I go to work, check my LJ, go to exercise classes, occasionally go shooping with Hunter at lunch, make personal calls, and check my LJ in the afternoon. I occasionally write letters when I feel guilty enough and think that I need to do some real work. :) (This is your tax dollars at work here people!!)

That attitude will show to your boss, your colleagues, your clients and eventually will result in bad reviews, emotional stress, even less motivation to go to work, etc. You don't need that kind of grief in your life - nobody does!

We don't get reviews. I got one in 1998 when I'd been here 4 months. The emotional stress thing is bang on. I was off on stress related sick leave in both the summer of 2000 and 2001.

It looks to me from what you've said over the months that there's no future for good job opportunities or advancement where you are. Maybe it's time to cut your losses and try somewhere else.

Everyone is saying this and it has finally sunk in.

The other project sounds like it would just take up your time, while still not providing any job satisfaction.

It would certainly reduce my LJ writing and surfing the web. :)
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From: fairydarkfire
2004-05-04 04:45 pm (UTC)
I tend to agree with Cynicallynaive. I think you should look for a job that will appreciate you. In the meantime only you can decide which of the two options are best for you. :)
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[User Picture]From: vesta_venus
2004-05-04 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks sweetie!
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