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  • Job Advice

    This is totally unrelated to health, but I really need some advice/a mood boost. I'm sitting here at work and I just feel so totally hopeless. I'm 31 years old and for the past 10 years I've worked in the financial industry in compliance. It wasn't a very conscious choice to go into this; I was offered a compliance auditor position out of college and I took it. From there I took a compliance officer job and now 3 jobs later I'm a senior compliance officer for a private wealth manager. I am so bored I could cry. In fact, I do cry at work because I am so incredibly unhappy here. My work performance is not where it once was and it isn't where it should be, but I just can't make myself care about this anymore.

    I've been seeing a career counselor. It's sort of helpful; when I'm there I feel really positive that I'm going to figure something out. Then I leave and start looking at job ads and I'm depressed again. What I have learned is that I need a job that has me interacting with people. I am alone at least 95% of the time right now and my only interaction is over the phone/email. I often go weeks without speaking to a single person. I also just really hate sitting at a desk all day. I never realized how unhappy sitting here makes me until recently, but I realized that on my days off I'm never just sitting. I move around doing things all day.

    My counselor said to look for jobs in event planning and recruiting. I've done that and the pay in both fields really sucks. I'm making almost six-figures currently and I cannot take a pay cut to $30,000. I just am not in the position to cut my pay by that much. My husband and I recently bought a house and when I'm home I LOVE it. I love to decorate (and I'm good at it) and I guess my house is how I express myself. Unfortunately it's an expensive hobby but I just cannot imagine giving it up because it's one of the things I enjoy most about my life.

    I would actually like a job in retail management, I think. I loved working at the chocolate shop when I was in college and at the furniture store post-college. The problem is that I cannot afford to work my way up to manager from cashier right now. I've managed groups of auditors and nonsense like that, but I can't seem to get companies to take me seriously. I'm a smart person and a fast learner. I'm confident I could handle a manager or district manager job, but I don't know how to get employers to see that.

    Are there any other possible careers out there for me? I would love interior design but I cannot afford the schooling both time and money-wise. I need to get out of my current job NOW not in 4 years. I've got maybe 3months left before I'm going to be on disability for depression. I'm that unhappy. I just need to feel like there is hope. Right now I feel like I'm going to be stuck in this career forever and my only hope is to play the lottery.

  • #2
    Here is something else to consider: could you find a 50% or 75% in the job that makes money, leaving 25% to do your own thing?

    I quit my job one year ago to start my own business, and this is sort of how I've gone. I got a GOOD business coach (there are a lot of people who have no clue that call themselves "business coaches"... How I knew mine was good was she asked me questions that terrified me because I didn't know the answer). I cannot say how much having a business coach and other support groups of entrepreneurs has helped me.

    There are so many different models to get what you want. A department store near me has a professional who works nights to interact with people in retail. She has a great day job so she doesn't need the money- she donates all the money from the second job to charities that help battered women because her sister was killed by her husband. So there's another model.
    “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
    Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by loafingcactus View Post
      Here is something else to consider: could you find a 50% or 75% in the job that makes money, leaving 25% to do your own thing?

      I quit my job one year ago to start my own business, and this is sort of how I've gone. I got a GOOD business coach (there are a lot of people who have no clue that call themselves "business coaches"... How I knew mine was good was she asked me questions that terrified me because I didn't know the answer). I cannot say how much having a business coach and other support groups of entrepreneurs has helped me.

      There are so many different models to get what you want. A department store near me has a professional who works nights to interact with people in retail. She has a great day job so she doesn't need the money- she donates all the money from the second job to charities that help battered women because her sister was killed by her husband. So there's another model.
      I would be much happier if I could find a part time job doing compliance for money and a second job for fun. I actually had a part time job at a furniture store awhle back that was just for fun. Back then I was not nearly as depressed. Now I really don't have the energy to do anything after work, I'm just so drained emotionally and mentally that I don't think I could do it.

      I'm starting to wonder if my career coach really is all that good. Seeing her is quite expensive, that's for sure. I would love to start my own business. Actually, I already have a real estate brokerage, so I guess I have my own business. But, real estate is very fickle and income is so unreliable that I don't want that as my primary job. I currently use it to help friends and family only and it works for that.

      I can't even think of a business to start, honestly. No one would hire a decorator when they could get a full out licencsed designer for the same price. Interior design is like nutrition where they make it difficult to get into the field without going to school specifically for that purpose. I've looked into both but I just can't stomach taking on so much debt to go to school. Nevermind that I have no idea how we'd pay our bills for years while I did that.

      I wish I could open a bar or something, but I have no experience in food service (aside from the year I worked at McDonalds back in 1997).

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      • #4
        I absolutely understand the issue with energy and transitions. This year I have had to switch gears several times after exhausting myself jamming my nose into dead ends and that is HARD.

        Could you take a sabbatical of a month or so? And then get a job at a bar. ;-)
        “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
        Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

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        • #5
          Is there any chance for movement within your company? Or a shift in some responsibilities that has you interacting with people more?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Goldie View Post
            Is there any chance for movement within your company? Or a shift in some responsibilities that has you interacting with people more?
            I wish a sabbatical or transition was an option. My company is being sold right now which really took things from bad to worse for me personally. They have offered me a serious bonus if I stay on to the close date later this year. That's nice and all, but until that happens there's no room for time off and zero chance they will let me transition to another role. My department is severly under-staffed. When I started in 2010 we had 5 people. Now we have 2. Add to that that after the sale we're somehow expected to do what our parent company does currently (about 20 people do work for us that the 2 of us left will somehow have to handle). The situation here is plain crappy.

            On one hand, if I were offered a job right now I would really want to quit. On the other it seems like a really dumb idea to leave thousands of dollars on the table. My only hope is in figuring out a plan so I know what kind of jobs to look for in the next couple months so I can quit right after the sale. I just have no idea what kind of jobs to look for and/or what kind of business I could start.

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            • #7
              If you haven't given your company an answer yet on that signing bonus to stay until the end of the sale, do you think you have ANY negotiating room?

              You are in a big city. And you say you have little energy or zest after the job day ends. But I'm wondering if you are valuable enough to them to suggest one day a week you get out a little early from work, if you sign.

              Because while going back to school is time and cash expensive, have you considered offering your hands and time to a stager? By that I mean folks in the real estate sales industry who stage houses for sale? Would give you a creative outlet, exposure to what happens in that industry of design and decoration, contact w/ people and might even give you the contact leads you need to make a leap to a new job post-sale. W/o having to invest in school degree.

              p.s. I feel your pain. Desperately searching for my next role. Frequently find myself thinking "where are my people?!

              “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

              Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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              • #8
                I work in Life Insurance Accounting so I can relate to trudging through the day at a boring job. Luckily, for me, I work with people I like and we spend a lot of time chatting and laughing while working. It makes a huge difference.

                You say you're interested in a job where you can interact with others. Have you considered Health or Life Insurance sales? You have a financial industry background and the coursework required to get your agents' license is minimal. Much like studying for the realtors' exam. In insurance sales, you can work as a rep for the actual insurance company, or you can work as independent agent or broker. The first couple of years would be challenging as you learn the industry and build your client base, but the earning potential is greater than what you're making now. And you build your career by forging relationships with others.

                Anyways, just a thought.

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                • #9
                  Work as a satellite installer and make 45-85k a year

                  Plenty of sun and you'll feel productive
                  Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
                  Starting Weight: 294 pounds
                  Current Weight: 235 pounds
                  Goal Weight: 195 pounds

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                  • #10
                    It really sucks to be in that position. I have been in a similar position over the last few years, and the first time I was in that trap of hate my job but need that level of income to pay my bills, and my other options don't pay enough I was actually laid off. I had to take a similar position which required me to re-locate. I left that job after two years with a promise of a similar position but less travel, and stress that was a lie, so I left that after 3 months. I made a small career change, and was relatively happy for most of the last 2 1/2 years I have been where I am. Last year about 6 months after starting to take better care of my self my wife, and I finally took a proper vacation that we have been dreaming about for as long as we can remember. Our perspectives changed a bit from that trip. When you are out of your routine, and away from the job you hate for a while you can really take a look at your whole life. Where you are, where you are going, what are your long term plans, and how do those compare to what you want from your life. We even talked about where we live, and why we are living there, are there better, cheaper, nicer etc places to live where we can improve our quality of life and work the same, or less.

                    We made the decision to move. We are staying in Canada, but moving to the west coast. Sometimes a change in scenery is what is needed, sometimes a change of pace is needed, sometimes you just have to take some time, and really look at your life, take stock, and see if you are living in a way that makes you happy.

                    Also as a step towards our goal of moving my wife was able to cut her work week to 4 days so that on Fridays she can get the house all clean, and relax before the weekend so that we can get more out of our weekends.

                    I hope that some of this helps, and that you find something to make you happy!!!

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                    • #11
                      You know what? You can always make money. So if you decide to leave some on the table, then that's ok. You can let it go. Look at it as the same as letting go of having not won the lottery or similar. Perhaps you can see it as "not your money."

                      From there, I would look at your assets -- savings, retirement, and investments. Compare with Mr Money Mustache. He's all about getting the financial independence that you need so that you don't have to work.

                      I find that, for myself, an outside project is really important. My business -- where I was intensely learning to work a budget -- inspired me to get my house in order. I had a very basic budget, but nothing like that I actually *needed* to have. I learned on You Need a Budget a great way to budget, and I learned from MMM what I actually needed to do in terms of certain goals (or at least, he gave me some good ideas and areas to start looking).

                      As such, our entire ship just tightened up -- both business and home. My money worked for me before, but now it REALLY works for me. And, we are on track to reach several of our goals in the next 7 years (it's different when you *aren't* earning 6-figure incomes!).

                      This research and process might help you get through your job until you get to the bonus, or it might help you feel at peace about taking a job that is, say, $60 or $75k rather than $100+k. Because if your expenses are low (we dropped ours from an average of $45k to an average of $32k just through the budget process), then any money that you make over that is money to put into investments that will, in turn, support you so that you can do what you are passionate about -- work wise or otherwise -- down the track.

                      Having those clear financial goals in mind can make a BIG difference in terms of how you look at work and how you find the kind of work that you want to do. And then ultimately gives you the freedom to do the work that you want to do.

                      Good luck!

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                      • #12
                        I would think if you have a background in finance you could start a business.

                        I do understand how you feel. I often go a whole week without saying a word to another human being. I have gone MONTHS with nothing at all to do. I honestly don't know why I am here sometimes. I think it's probably one of those things where if you keep spending the budget you can keep getting the same amount of money year after year for the department's budget. I'm like insurance for the budget.

                        The weird thing is that always happens. I thought this career had you be busy all the time but this is my 4th job in this career and it's been this way at all 4 places.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                          I would think if you have a background in finance you could start a business.

                          I do understand how you feel. I often go a whole week without saying a word to another human being. I have gone MONTHS with nothing at all to do. I honestly don't know why I am here sometimes. I think it's probably one of those things where if you keep spending the budget you can keep getting the same amount of money year after year for the department's budget. I'm like insurance for the budget.

                          The weird thing is that always happens. I thought this career had you be busy all the time but this is my 4th job in this career and it's been this way at all 4 places.
                          Seriously! I don't understand how I keep finding jobs where I have so little to do. Either the people I have replaced worked REALLY slow or they somehow had friends in the office the would talk to all day. It's strange. I'm an extrovert and I love talking to people, but I just never seem to have anything in common with the people I work with. I make small talk about the weather with the receptionist and a couple people if I happen to pass them in the hall, but it is always short. I have an office in the corner of the building with no one else nearby. Offices on both sides of me are empty. I hate it because it keeps me isolated socially, but I like it because that isolation means leaving early and coming in late go unnoticed.

                          I'm going to look into finding a financial planner and trying to stick to a better budget. My husband and I are not short on money and as a result we don't have to consider every purchase like we did 5 years ago. We buy stuff we don't need, that's for sure. I just wish I could pay off the house because then I'd be free...

                          Anyway, thank you everyone for the advice. If there's more, keep it coming. I feel a little better today than I did yesterday. Maybe the sale of my company will turn out to be a good thing because it will definitely increase my workload. Considering I played The Sims on my phone for like 5 hours yesterday I certainly have the time to do more work and maybe feeling more productive will leave me feeling more positive in general. I think that's why I like retail jobs; there is always something to do. Plus you're on your feet and talking to people. I'm still going to apply for those jobs and maybe someday I'll format my cover letter just right and get an interview.

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                          • #14
                            I completely understand the dillema of the OP. I, too, am horribly bored with my job. It's not the right field for me. I don't enjoy it, and I don't do it well because I don't enjoy it. My employer finds me to be indispensable, but that's primarily because what takes me 2 hours to do takes them all day to do, because I have fairly good computer skills and they don't. So in a 5 day workweek, I do about 1 day worth of work. The rest I spend on the internet, surfing and learning, which might sound great to be doing and drawing a paycheck but I'd rather be doing something productive. I feel lazy and I feel like I'm not earning my paycheck.

                            I'm in the same boat as the OP, in that I make a really good paycheck and to switch to something that actually interests me would require me to take a massive paycut that I couldn't live on. So I'm stuck.

                            My suggestion to the OP: if you truly are stuck where you're at for work, make every effort to improve your life outside of work. Take a real vacation and go somewhere you want to go. Cultivate hobbies. Do things with friends. If you have a dream job- could you start it as a home business and grow it from there, perhaps quitting your current job later when your home business gets going? If you love doing a certain activity, make sure you do it often in your off-work hours. Ensure your home life is going well. I'm a firm believer that you can't be unhappy at home and unhappy at work and be happy at all. Something has to give.
                            High Weight: 225
                            Weight at start of Primal: 189
                            Current Weight: 174
                            Goal Weight: 130

                            Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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                            • #15
                              Or you could tough it out for a few years and retire.

                              Mr. Money Mustache | Early Retirement through Badassity
                              The above should be viewed as complete and utter nonsense.

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