You’ve all been in an employment situation that was not right for you. You stick with it because you’re in a comfort zone, even though you despise working there. You might have an employee or two that you get along with, but the job itself is wrong for you.
She Wants to Leave – But Doesn’t
A few days ago, I had a conversation with Debra. She has an MBA and excellent organizational skills. However, she works in a dead-end job, and has done so for more than five years.
DEBRA: Hey, Jimmie … how are you doing?
ME: Like normal! There is so much to do. I try to get ahead on the weekends and evenings, but time flies. I can’t believe we are nearly approaching the middle of the year.
DEBRA: I know! Summer time is right around my corner. I’m not sure how I will keep my kids busy. You know my husband has that crazy travel schedule, and he’s not home much. I need to start planning!
ME: I understand. Summer can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. By the way, how’s your work at the medical clinic coming along?
DEBRA: You had to ask! You know that I don’t like what I do. I’ve been in the Billing Office for several years. I’m so tired on getting on the phone all day long talking with insurance companies. I can almost do it in my sleep. You know … we aren’t recognized around here. I don’t think they care what I do. My manager tells me that she’s happy with me, but I’m not sure what she’s happy about. There used to be days that I went through the motions. Now, I go through the motions for weeks. It’s scary!
ME: That’s pretty rough! Why don’t you just leave? I’m sure you can find somewhere else to work, right?
DEBRA: You know … I’ve thought about that, but we all have our reasons. While I don’t particularly like this place, I do know it well. I now get four weeks of vacation, and 10 days of sick leave. From what I hear, not many other places offer this much time away. The kids have school events, and they get sick, so that flexibility makes a difference.
ME: I agree. However, you tell me that the work is monotonous. You have an MBA, which means that you probably like challenging work.
DEBRA: I do like challenging work, and it seems like my brain cells are going unused. For what I do right now, there is no thinking involved. You’ll probably laugh, but I do the same work that I did when I started in this department. I was trained over two weeks, and nothing has changed. It’s so redundant. I sometimes get upset that I’m still paying for my MBA even though I’m not using it.
ME: I hope that you finally make the decision to find something that you like. It’s out there, but you’ll have to take a chance.
DATE: I wish they would make it easy on me … and fire me!
Debra is stuck between a rock and a hard place. While she wants a new opportunity, she is unwilling to assume that risk. At this point, her employer is controlling the situation, which is unfortunate for Debra and her career.