Re: ANON: job dissatisfaction

Subject: Re: ANON: job dissatisfaction
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 06:50:07 -0700

A couple of additional thoughts--to follow up to the
other comments posted.

>I've posted previously about job dissatisfaction in my current job and
>previous jobs. I'm getting really frustrated with myself and with the work
>world in general.

Know that this is normal.

> At the next job I got some TW experience and a $5000 raise from my
>previous job. I left that job after I'd had it for 8 months because they
>gave me a promotion with lots more responsibility and no raise. Also
>because I had no official job duites for 6 months and management wasnt all
>that excited about putting any down on paper. I also left because a
>fortune 500 company offered me a job and a $15000 raise.

So, you had about 8 months of partial tech writing experience
and you got a promotion. Not bad. No raise, but that's the breaks.
Without knowing more about the company, it's hard to comment,
but I'd say in general that you quit a job that you could have learned
a lot from for the big name and $15000. Depending on the company,
no official duties and no written job description can be a problem
or a golden opportunity.

>Now I'm at the fortune 500 company and I hate my job. I'm doing lots of
>Web work (which is partly what I want to do), but no technical writing.
>Also the web work I am doing is not exactly the kind of web work I want to

Hmmm. Still not getting exactly what you want. Can you articulate
exactly what you want? Did you do so when you interviewed
for your current job? What did they say? If you're nominally
doing what you said you wanted to do and you're still not happy
with it, you're either hard to please or not articulating what you
want very effectively.

>be doing. Most of all I hate the organization around here. I never know
>what I'm going to be doing when I get to work because they give me bits and
>pieces of work on a daily basis and NEVER give me the big picture. Because
>they don't give me the big picture I often end up redoing things...

..."they don't give me the big picture"...It's rare, as a tech writer,
that you'll be "given" the big picture--you'll have to ferret it out.
It's part of the job.

If you're getting work piecemeal on a daily basis, I'd suppose that
they either don't trust you to manage your own time and projects
or have rapidly changing needs and see you as a versatile and
capable employee who can pitch in and help out anywhere.
You can probably tell which it is.

>I've only been here since August and think I should give this job and this
>organization and myself more time before I call it quits, but I get more
>and more frustrated every single day. When I first got here they weren't
>giving me any work at all and I complained to my manager and now I'm at
>least getting work...

Don't expect that you'll be _given_ work or that anything will
necessarily be structured or organized. You'll have to actively
seek projects, volunteer to do stuff, and get your hands dirty.

>for what I thought would be a better job and I've always received
>significant pay raises in the deal...

What's a "better" job? Are you motivated by money?
Challenges? New stuff to learn? Stability? How do
you generally handle change?

It doesn't always have to be the same answer. We
(Deborah and I) vary a lot on this. Some projects are
purely financial--mercenary, even--while others
(possibly less lucrative) are the satisfying ones. In
some cases, we get both, and in rare ones, we end up
with non-lucrative, non-challenging projects.

Several in this thread have suggested contracting as a possible
route for you. I'd strongly disagree with that. You need to
be a good problem-solver, skillful at inserting yourself
into an existing organizational structure and being effective
there, and able to plunge in and make stuff happen.
Based on this and other anon posts that sound like they're
from you, I'm not sure that's the case.

Feel free to contact me off-line to discuss this further,

Eric J. Ray RayComm, Inc. ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com

*Award-winning author of several popular computer books
*Syndicated columnist: Rays on Computing
*Technology Department Editor, _Technical Communication_

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