Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Work Stress/Changes

In March 2002 I was laid off from a company and it took until July 2002 for a company I was a vendor for to clear the red tape and hire me. Pure nepotism, I lucked out and a client offered me a job.

The company I've been working for has been shrinking. There's been layoffs, encouraged retirements and other outright reductions for employees. Since February 2002 I've not been around an environment that doesn't have some kind of downsizing going on. My manager and the director of our team have been trying to get me a promotion, even just in title alone, to recognize the work I've been doing for 4 years. Nothing.

It has been utterly exhausting to be working in this kind of environment. On top of that - a lot of the work I've been doing has become increasingly frustrating, increasingly tiring, and pretty demoralizing. I've been feeling increasingly down about myself and my abilities at work for months now.

And then we get the announcement that our overall department is being dismantled. It is baffling in some ways since we have one of the most highly engaged, award-winning, and revenue-generating teams. Why take us apart!? Our executive retiring. The director of my team retiring. A manager for a team I worked with is leaving. I'm fearful my manager might end up being downsized. There has even been talk of moving my team into IT - where we'd probably end up being downsized from in the first few months of 2010.

I've polished up my resume over the last week or so and have started to look around town at postings. I feel really anxious about it, about even considering leaving all the comforts I have of working from home, liking the people I work with, having lots of flexible time to go to appointments and volunteer. It has reached the point where all those financially intangible things that have made the rest of the stuff bearable aren't helping as much anymore.

In all my disaster planning I'm also trying to hold onto the idea that it might go really well. I might get to stop doing all the programming and systems work to just focus on the stuff I'm both good at and enjoy - writing things like requirements, documentation and test cases. Yeah, maybe I'd still be fighting that uphill battle for the promotion, but the work would at least be more satisfying, less frustrating, than it is now and those intangibles would mean something again.

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