Stuck at a boring job

Need a job? Hate the idea of a job? Want some ideas for alternative ways of earning a living? This is your forum.

Moderators: BarbaraSher, Tituba

Stuck at a boring job

Postby smlee4 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:55 pm

Hi guys,

I am at my wits' end now. I should sound better than this but I don't have much time somehow. A few weeks ago, I managed to read “Refuse to Choose” and finally realised I am a Scanner, and my hopping traits finally made sense. I thought I can take time to find my own passion and move on to it, but I am somehow troubled and end up feeling trapped. I hope I can find some advice about my next step.

Let me start with some history, which could be really long.

I have a degree in programming. And I have been doing coding for the past 8 years. Sounds impressive, but being a Scanner, only my 2nd and 3rd job lasted slightly more than a year. Within these 8 years, I have worked for 9 different companies where I was salaried. I also tried being a financial adviser for a short 3 months before realising it did not suit me. And for the 9 companies, I stayed between 2 months to 15 months. I'm now working for the 10th company.

I changed jobs at will. I was never dismissed. But due to the short periods in every company, I never managed to progress in my career. Every change was a lateral move.

In the 9th company, a long-time friend realised that I have a medical condition called Asperger's Syndrome, and suggested that I try out testing role. I did give it a shot and realised I did enjoy doing it. I was so thrilled to find this newfound interest/passion that I decided not to continue in the 9th company, and was very determined to follow this passion.

I did manage to get a job in testing, and accepted a 25% pay cut in order to join this 10th company I am now in. I did not think much about it, other than it's a new start for me and that it could jolly well be THE career for me. In the first 2 months, I enjoyed every scope of the work I was assigned and thought “Yes, I love it!”. Then, I was transferred to another project to help out. In the new project, some scope of work (mainly manual and mundane editing of text files) got me extremely bored. The idea of switching job again flashed past my mind. I then wanted to find out why did I always move on easily.

It was then I read the book “Refuse to Choose”. And finally understood why I did what I had been doing.

Not being able to perform well in that new project, I was moved back to the previous one. I was supposed to be thrilled as I enjoyed myself in this project. But no. When I got back, the passion simmered a big deal and I began doubting why did I get into this job, my capabilities, and my future. Coincidentally, these days, I have been underperforming so much that my boss hinted at this too, saying if I do not buck up, I need to figure out whether I really suited the job.

I am already 34 this year. I have only managed to save some 20k of cash. Half of it is meant for rainy day fund. The rest is to act as spare cash.

I heard that those who can't stay in a job for long usually end up setting up their own company. But having such little cash, and never realising I would need to start a company myself, I did not know what kind of company I can start. I have followed the book's instructions to find out what I realised about myself over the years. I am mainly creative. I then googled for jobs that value creativity and events management came up. I then sent out resumes to events companies, asking if they have openings for events planner, and even considered setting up a company to handle it. But somehow, I was very afraid to venture on the events company, although I planned out how I could go about doing it and coordinating all parties. The fear could be due to pressures of wanting to make it perfect.

Worried, I did think of quitting the job and figuring out what exactly I wanted. But I am not sure if I can get a proper paying job if I were to quit now. Although my savings can last me for a maximum of 9 months, going by a frugal lifestyle.

And it was by chance that I saw another thread “Burned out, need a new lifestyle” here. It recommended that I should just quit the job, take a Scanner holiday and figure out myself and explore once again what is interesting to me. Could this be the way out?

As a matter of fact,being 34 already and not having enough savings that a 34-yo should have, I thought of various alternatives, such as making my own drinks and selling them in the streets in order to strike out on my own. But I'm frankly not sure if these are viable alternatives, as selling drinks may not make me good money.

That aside, in the same thread, it mentioned the job could have really bored me out (probably, as I was braindead for the 2nd half of the work day today). It then mentioned I can take a break and see what interest me at this point of time. For now, I can only think of photography or image editing.

Any advice from you guys out there?

Kevin
smlee4
New Poster
New Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 am

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby Knight » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:29 pm

Lets start with the basics.

Make ten lists. At the top of each name a job you have done. Then in two columns write what you liked and didn't like about that job. Try to focus not so much on what you did (editing text files) but on how you felt. Then, after you have completed your lists (resist the urge to edit or review before you are done), review them and look for patterns.

For example, I like having a positive impact on people's lives. So I get more enjoyment out of helping somebody than I get from going the exact same task in a setting where nobody notices. It is neither a good or bad thing, but it is something I need to be aware of if I am going to keep myself happy.
Looking for informal success team in Louisville KY
User avatar
Knight
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:16 am
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby smlee4 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Hey,

Thanks for the quick response.

The list sounds like what was taught in the book? If it is, I have done that and come up with the following.

1) i have very strong ego and pride

2) i want more (CHALLENGING) tasks to do. i get bored VERY EASILY

3) friendly colleagues

4) i like to do things that interest me

5) more freedom and control of things.

6) if i am good at what i am doing, i will like it a lot as i will be treated as an expert.

Is this what you are asking?

Kevin
smlee4
New Poster
New Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 am

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby Knight » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:25 pm

Can you expand a bit on 4 and 5 and possibly add some examples?
Looking for informal success team in Louisville KY
User avatar
Knight
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:16 am
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby smlee4 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:09 pm

4) things that interest me.
Personally:
Nothing exact comes to mind now. It can be photography, which i started picking up about 10 years ago. After a while, i took a break but i continued last year. I even picked up image editing skills on my own while editing those photos.
Then i had a flair for languages, and i took a 10 lesson French course.but i attended a couple of lessons and stopped going.
Next, i signed on a boxing class but due to career woes, i only attended 2 or 3 lessons.

At work:
When i am given a new task, i will get e jitters and wonder if i can do it. But once i am started on it, i will see that it is completed. I will even get a sense of satisfaction from it!

5) more freedom and control.
Personally:
I prefer taking things into my own hands, in a way. I probably like a space where there is little or no restrictions.
For eg, in photography, i like to take photos based on how i see things. it can be of a different view or angle from others. almost as though it is a brainstorm session.

At work:
I was very preoccupied with a task, and my boss wanted me to work faster on another task. I did not like that.
Same boss. I had been doing coding. i then asked my boss if i can switch to sales instead. He agreed at first. but later he said i was not up to it yet.
I did not like it.

Above are examples that just flashed past my mind. Hope it helps.
smlee4
New Poster
New Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 am

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:56 am

HI,
I'm not a scanner, but I have two comments.

20K is a nice start to a savings account. Keep on saving, but don't feel bad that you have "only" 20K.

I had a job once where most of what I did was enter data into a computer. I could only stand to sit in front of the computer for two hours. After that my brain felt "yucky". Fortunately, I could find some other things to do and give myself breaks from the computer work. And I'm not a scanner. Maybe it's just me, but I wonder if getting up and moving would make you feel a little happier.
By the way, I kept that job for about 10 months and moved from there to an almost perfect job which I kept for twenty years and which gave me a good retirement fund.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2349
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby SquarePeg » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:54 pm

First an aside that seems pertinent...

The latest research suggests that sitting more than 20 minutes at a time can be detrimental to your health.

OK, Kevin I think you're still thinking too broadly in terms of interests. What is it about photography that you like? And what do you like to photograph? Note that photography can be solitary unless you're doing portraits for individuals or families. Is it the process of taking the pictures that you like (figuring out ISO, aperture, composing the shot, communing Zen-like with your subject)? Or is it the result that stimulates you?
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby SquarePeg » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:02 pm

Have you figured out your Myer-Briggs type? Ennagram? That might give you insight into how you best function. There's also the John Holland inventory, for which I actually have a link:

http://square--peg.blogspot.com/2013/11 ... areer.html

Ok, I decided to link to a post on my blog about choosing a career. But I have links to other resources in that post.
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby smlee4 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:09 pm

Thanks for the questions.

I like to photograph anything that looks interesting to me. Individuals are included. I have also tried doing studio shoots for individuals. But as I was not good at ISO and apertures, editing the photos gave me some pride as I thought they looked different and stunning.

I don't think I have figured out my Myer-Briggs type. As, it costs money :P

I went to your blog page and saw 2 links. The first survey is payable so I skipped that. I did the second test, and my code is SAE. It's cool that you managed to have the bar graph on your page. I can't find a way to do that though. But I have done a screenshot of the bar graph. My graph is almost like the 4 fingers of a hand, with none being too outstanding.

I also went to see the list of occupations for SAE. w w w. onetonline. o r g/ explore/ interests/ Social/ Artistic/ Enterprising/. It is pretty interesting to see such occupations though. Some surveys I tried mainly listed my previous jobs (doing coding) as still the biggest and best career I can do. So what can / should I do with new list?
smlee4
New Poster
New Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 am

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby Knight » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:24 pm

smlee4 wrote: In the 9th company, a long-time friend realised that I have a medical condition called Asperger's Syndrome, and suggested that I try out testing role. I did give it a shot and realised I did enjoy doing it. I was so thrilled to find this newfound interest/passion that I decided not to continue in the 9th company, and was very determined to follow this passion.

I did manage to get a job in testing, and accepted a 25% pay cut in order to join this 10th company I am now in. I did not think much about it, other than it's a new start for me and that it could jolly well be THE career for me. In the first 2 months, I enjoyed every scope of the work I was assigned and thought “Yes, I love it!”. Then, I was transferred to another project to help out. In the new project, some scope of work (mainly manual and mundane editing of text files) got me extremely bored. The idea of switching job again flashed past my mind. I then wanted to find out why did I always move on easily.

... Not being able to perform well in that new project, I was moved back to the previous one. I was supposed to be thrilled as I enjoyed myself in this project. But no. When I got back, the passion simmered a big deal and I began doubting why did I get into this job, my capabilities, and my future.


I'm guessing the project was the same when you said "yes, I love it!" and when you simmered the second time doing it. So if the job didn't change, you did. Change is good. You just need to look at yourself and figure out what the job gave you the first time that it couldn't give you the second time. How did you change?
Looking for informal success team in Louisville KY
User avatar
Knight
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:16 am
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby smlee4 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:54 pm

thanks for following up. and yes, your assumptions were correct.

internally, i felt i should be tasked with something more challenging. i don't know. i'm not sure if my words make sense. i felt i have completed the challenge of learning the baby steps and should be given new and more challenging tasks. doing it again when i got back seems to have made it a boring job to me.

not to mention, the conversation i had with the team lead when i was sent to the new project. she commented that, as long as the details are given in the document, anyone can do the job. i was perhaps affected by this remark also, feeling that it's a kind of admin duty.
smlee4
New Poster
New Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 am

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby Knight » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:37 pm

Do you have any way to measure the quality of your work other than the opinion of others?
Looking for informal success team in Louisville KY
User avatar
Knight
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:16 am
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Stuck at a boring job

Postby smlee4 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:39 pm

Thank you so much for asking the details!

Speaking about the quality of work, I recently did another series of self-analysis.

I realised the following:
When computers came out, I fell in love with it, and used the internet all day long, and fell in love with my first coding language. I did exceptionally well in that. But as time went by, as I hopped to other jobs, I realised I had to brush up on my technical skills and did a quick read up on the technologies I had used so far in order to pass the interviews. But besides that, I have no other tendency or inclination to really understand and see how it can be used. It seems more like a tool for me to continue in the job. When new technologies came up, I did not wish to pick it up. I took it that my prime time had gone.

As for quality of work, I will want to ensure it is working flawlessly.

Now, in my testing role, when I first started, I found an excitement in it. As I was in a team, I felt accomplished, 'cos after I joined, we finished earlier than planned, and I was very pro-active in seeking answers. However, just before I switched to the next project, I was given a different task: Designing. I have not much idea how to do it, but managed to convince myself to finish it still.

And, yesterday, I was very troubled and stressed still, about my next career path, that I took the plunge and paid to take SDS survey. Amazingly, it quoted me to be ASE. The free one was SAE. "S" and "A" switched positions while "E" remained where it was. And the coding job I did all along turned out to be ICR. Not in any way related to the 2 survey results. It made me wonder if I took the wrong path right from the start, as I used to spend lots of time procrastinating and ensuring a piece of code was perfect, and became a slow coach as a result.

"A" referred to being artistic. It immediately led me to think of occupations such as visual artist and stage acting. And visions of my past and childhood came up. In my childhood, I was usually cooped up at home and imagined and role-played a lot. I also watched a lot of TV dramas. Then, there was once, my brother's girlfriend came out of his room, managed her hair and went to the living. I saw it. Then when my family were discussing about her, I imitated her moves and my sister remarked my imitation was impressive! She was not laughing but looked stunned and amazed.

I wonder if this could be my next path.
smlee4
New Poster
New Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 am


Return to Jobs & Income Streams

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests