Job Decision

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about bad job choices:

My problem at the moment is that I have a permanent job in Gov. Admin. I left that job to do a temporary job in another area for 6 months. When I left my previous job, my Business Manager told me that I would not be released again once I return. I have been waiting to get this new job permanently as they had just received a go-ahead to advertise it. I have been active in looking elsewhere for another job rather than going back where I would be kept down or not released again.

This job I’m in now has been advertised and the manager had made it clear he wanted me in the job, but this week I went for an interview to get some confidence in the process as I have problems with that and he was aware of it. Since the interview, he has been cold with me. The job I went for has asked for referee reports which are a good sign that I will be successful, except he is my line manager and they have asked him to provide a reference. He was annoyed because he was going on leave. He told me to answer the reference myself and he would sign it. I did not do that as I did not think it was appropriate. Now I am left in doubt whether I will get either job or end up back in the one where I will never be released. I feel like a piece of elastic at the moment plus on top of that my mother is dying, and I had to take half a day off due to being upset. He was not very concerned about that. It has left me thinking I will not be in a very good position soon. What should I do?

Signed, Pulled This Way and That

Dear Pulled This Way and That:

I’ve read and reread your question three times and made some minor corrections. I trust these have not changed what you meant to say. If I understand, what you are saying is that you have taken leave from a government job that you don’t much want to return to. And you are applying for what is a temporary job to be permanent and you are stressed because your current boss, who encouraged you to apply for it, now that you’ve interviewed for it, seems cold to you. Add to this, your mother is dying. I think this adds up to a case of anxiety and that is natural when you feel you have little control about the future.

From this distance and not knowing the full context of your situation, I hope my suggestions don’t add to your worries. Here are some options before you:

1. List the factors going for you; those that impel you toward this permanent position and opposite this the restraining and constraining that work against you. Think creatively how to enhance the driving forces and reduce or circumvent the restraining.

2. Request an informal evaluation of your current performance and get straight talk from your boss. You did not follow his request that you write up your own referee report with the understanding he will sign it. That was not unethical so much as it was a way for him to see how you make a case for yourself, so might you not belatedly do that? 3. Do some backup planning for what you might do if this permanent job does not come through. You are fortunate to have the fall back job. I realize that you are uneasy about the understanding that you could not take another leave. But these days having a job that is stable is something that many people would like to have. And if you did go back, after a while you still might be able to land a permanent job elsewhere. 4. Is not this a time to think career and not just a job? Most of us learn where we fit and come close to a work we love by trial and error; a process of elimination. You have had some different jobs under your belt and should be able to know the kind of work that you can tolerate and would like to have. So work toward that. Get the credentials needed. Build a network of contacts by becoming active in a professional association. Set your goals and work toward them. Accept the ups and downs that career paths can have. 5. Think about the organization you are in and its potentials.

Rather than me, me, me think we, we, we. What might you do if you were in a position to make it efficient, effective and employee friendly? How would you cut waste; wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy and wasted money. This is a stressful time for you but you will survive and learn from it. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, my signature sentence, suggests that what happens to us is not just what others do to us; it’s also how we shape our path. If we focus on others, we all are better for that.

Follow Up: Thank you so much for your reply, it all makes perfect sense, I feel much better now.

Regards Reply: As you ponder what is best for you, feel free to update me on your progress. I can tell that you are a perceptive and thoughtful soul as you shape your way in work and life. Thanks for letting me know that some of my thoughts speak to your good sense. Update- I want to update you on my initial workplace issues.

All of my worries were unfounded and I over-thought everything, driving myself mad. I got an interview for the job I am in. Leading up to the interview I was so anxious and stressed out I could hardly concentrate. Despite all that I was helped along in the interview by the boss that I thought had changed his mind in having me in the job.What I think I have learned from this whole process is to relax a bit more and not to over-think things as it was a waste of time and my energy. I am so grateful not to have to go back to the old job. It has been such a relief.Thank you for your words of wisdom. Regards

William Gorden