Job satisfaction

Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is job satisfaction. I moved into this role and company (as a long-term temp – a 6 month contract that hopefully will be renewed in June) in October.

I was hoping for a new challenge, a change of scenery. A fresh start.

I got a change of scenery and I suppose a fresh start (although I have noticed that old problems can follow you because you are still the same person and people still have the same prejudices), but the challenge has just not been there. Don’t get me wrong there has still been a bit of a learning curve. I was being trained up in particular systems and spreadsheets.

I moved from a PA type role into a role as project management administrator. I was made redundant from my last role and the company I was at for 5 years and while I wasn’t out of work for long (I got a decent pay off AND gardening leave so I had a fab summer with the kids – which I will always be grateful for and have lovely memories of) I was starting to panic as I was eating into my savings and I was really being ground down by the rejections slowly dripping in. I didn’t have a problem getting interviews. It turns out I look quite good on paper. But either I wasn’t right for the place or I said something I shouldn’t have (alluded to self esteem issues) or they just preferred someone else over me. When I first started looking I was trying to aim for PM related stuff (project management) as I’ve always loved organising and co-ordinating and hubby thinks I’d make quite a good project manager. I do too actually. But as the rejections started coming in slowly but surely, I started to apply for everything and anything. I didn’t want to be a PA anymore but at least I knew I could do it. But even those jobs I didn’t get. I was really starting to lose hope and feel pretty desolate.

I remember the day that I got the call to say that I had this job. I think the kids were at childcare. It was a Tuesday. I was in the bath. I love baths. But I’d got to the point where I wasn’t really enjoying anything. I was just having a bath for a lack of anything else to do and I could be alone. And I cried. I was wallowing in my self-pity when my phone rang. I picked up, expecting another agency offering me more commiserations cos I didn’t get the job, when I was most surprised and shocked to be offered the job here. I told them the money that I wanted (the top of the range advertised – it was more than I had earnt before but the extra accounted for the travel costs I would have to pay). They said that was fine (they may have had to check and ring back). And I had a job. I didn’t really know what to feel at that point. I was relieved. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh or scream or shout. I feel like that phone call saved me. Lying in that bath I’d been imagining all sorts of dark escapes – even though I’d never carry out any of them. It took me a few days to get used to the idea. I was to start the following Monday. I had the rest of the week to relax. To NOT spend a large part of the day ringing agencies and searching job sites. It was a wonderful feeling. Such relief.

However, since starting this job, it has not been what I imagined. I had imagined I would be busy. Once I got into the swing of things, I’d be too busy to think. Its not. I’m not busy at all. To give you an example, today, out of the 8 hours I will have been here, I’ve probably spent an hour, an hour and a half at the VERY most, working. The stuff that I do do is very basic. Glorified data entry. Being a PA was harder and I could do that with my eyes closed. I’ve gone beyond the point of boredom. I’m not sure exactly what is beyond boredom. Probably mindless apathy.

So I’m not really very happy. Its a long journey to arrive and then have to count the minutes until you can go home again, feeling exhausted from constantly trying to think of things to keep you occupied and incredibly dissatisfied. I don’t feel valued, or like I do a good job (because there isn’t enough of a job for me to be doing it well), or useful. I know I’m capable of and willing to give a lot more.

Management are aware that the department (consisting of 3 of us) are not busy – except one of them is as she has a specific project that she looks after which keeps her very much occupied. The other one and myself are twiddling our thumbs the rest of the day. Our manager says that she has a plan to get us involved in more, busier and also with a more interesting workload but nothing has happened yet.

I have thought about looking for something else but to get 9 months or so of this on my CV will look good (experience in a project management office). I am also going to study Prince2 (Project Management certification) and have been reading some documents on this in my spare time but today I’ve struggled to concentrate on it as have almost had tears in my eyes from sheer boredom (and tiredness – late night last night with Lala).

One day I want to be a project manager. I want to be able to work from home (most of the time if not all). I want to manage my own work, and not be waiting for someone to pass me something to do. I want to be at home more for the kids, to have flexible hours but still a good salary. Why shouldn’t I get those things? I’m going to work for them and earn them.

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