View Full Version : Level of Challenge at Your Job

3-30-11, 7:59pm
Would you say the challenges in your job are A) too much and you're overwhelmed B) just right or C) not enough and you're bored out of your skull?

3-30-11, 8:07pm
90% of the time I am bored out of my mind. The other 10% - crazy busy and overwhelmed. There is no happy medium, unfortunately. I truly despise my job and dread going there every day. My salary, pension and benefits, however, are just too good to give up at this point. Maybe when the house is paid for and I don't need much money....

3-30-11, 8:08pm
I would say B-1/2. ;) I recently took on some new responsibilities so I'm a bit out of my comfort zone at the moment but I am adapting.

3-30-11, 8:24pm
I'm just part time now, so I don't have really difficult tasks, so it's C - bored. But it pays super well for part time. If I went back to full time, it would probably change to A - overwhelmed since I'd have to do many different hard things. It seems the number of hours put in affects how I feel as much as the actual job.

3-30-11, 9:22pm
Right now, A. Usually, B. Not sure why this is. I am going to drop a committee after this year so that will help a little. But I am nervous that they are going to assign me a different program on top of the one I have. Not sure if I like that, and I like the uncertainty less. If that comes to pass, I think something else will have to go, like my Spanish Club or chairing Tech Committee. I don't think I can learn a new program and still do my old one justice as well as do those other two things.

3-31-11, 12:10am
Wow, the timing on this question... I had a horrible day at work today. I work for a director who is conflict avoidant, inexperienced as a non-profit ED (he had an academic career, so despite his PhD and being a really nice guy, as well as a good program director, does not get how to be an ED), and is now openly disputing the best practices in my profession. I am at a freakin' loss - no idea why he hired me, and am at the point of sucking it up and moving forward on his ideas of how to fundraise (bad ones) and seeing the lack of cash flow into the org. Do I look for another job now, or wait till the red ink is overwhelming us all?

So that would be door A, though not because I cannot be a fundraiser - just that I prefer to not be a bad one.

3-31-11, 5:25am
Wow Redfox, sorry! I am C.

3-31-11, 6:02am
redfox, I'm really sorry you are dealing with this situation, too. I had to work for a horrible ED who didn't know what he was doing and it was awful. He wasn't even a nice person -- quite vicious, actually. Do you have a board you can turn to, or even a board member who understands fundraising who you can get to back you up? Or professional references/materials you can point to that show his approach is not going to work? YOu shouldn't have to do it, but it might help to win him over to reason if you can show him cold hard facts -- preferably in the form of organizations that have lost funding and died because they adopted the approach he is advocating.

At the moment I am coming down from an A(+) to a B+. I had a really busy/hectic few weeks from late Feb until earlier this week. Lots of important stuff to do and deadlines I couldn't put off, plus two weeks work related travel, plus CEO and key funder visiting. I averaged 9+ hours/day of work and my work day is supposed to be 7 hours (don't count the unpaid lunch hour). I had several stretches where I was working 10-12 hour days in succession. I was pretty stressed, but made it through. I still have a lot to do in the coming weeks, but only a few things that are really urgent and time sensitive, and the rest I should be able to space out to make sure the days don't get too crazy busy. I actually find I am happiest when I am at about a B+ level -- enough to keep me busy and engaged, and not feeling like I am spinning my wheels or wasting time. I do try to make sure I take my full lunch hour each day, and use that for "me" time on the computer. That helps to break things up. I work 7-3, so by the time I finish lunch at 1 it isn't that hard to find things to keep me going through the last two hours of the day, but I try to get most of the "heavy lifting" done in the morning, since that is when I am most focused and have the most energy.


Float On
3-31-11, 7:13am
B. On my part time job and off the charts on our business.

3-31-11, 7:26am
B. I love my job.

3-31-11, 8:02am
I am kinda like Simplicity...bored to death most of the time but when we do get going I want to scream sometimes because it is non-stop. I wish there was a happy medium so it would all even out but not so far. But like you said...the pay and benefits are just too good to leave although I would love to.

3-31-11, 8:43am
redfox - I feel for you. When people who have no clue how to raise money start tossing out ideas and controlling the professional fundraisers, there's a HUGE problem. Nothing is more frustrating.

My job is a C. I'm bored out of my mind most of the time. I work in an odd place - taking initiative and being a problem-solver is cause for punishment. My boss is a workaholic control-freak who wants us to run every single thing by her. I've never worked somewhere before this where getting something done without asking for help is seen as an HR problem. I can't make any decision (even the smallest) for myself, nor can anyone know that I work here. Everything goes out under my boss's name. It's just a bizarre workplace.

3-31-11, 12:20pm
My full time job is B most of the time, sometimes veering into A territory. This works very well for me since my brain needs to stay challenged or I get bored. I have had C jobs and hope to never again.

My part time job as a catering server has all 3 levels, but it's in short ~8 hour stints 2x a month, so it's easier to go with the flow and not mind some C time mixed in with the A and B.


3-31-11, 12:32pm
Would you say the challenges in your job are A) too much and you're overwhelmed B) just right or C) not enough and you're bored out of your skull?

both A and C. Challenges that I wasn't sure how to resolve frankly. And unresolvable challenges are actually boring in a way, and really they did border on totally unresolvable (yes how I wish for black and white challenges sometimes). Guess it's why I welcome unemployment, and haven't the slightest idea what to do with of course.

3-31-11, 4:53pm
Usually B.

But lately (past 2-3 months) A. I have had 15-20 OT on each paycheck for the last 2-3 months. We are short-staffed and it's not going to get better soon. 2 weeks ago I worked at 15 hour day w/ a back injury, and the only reason it wasn't 18 hours was that a collegue took pity on me and drove to an on-call visit 1 hour away for me. (Thanks, Deb)

I just keep telling myself that all the OT money is going into the bank to pay for college, and when college is paid for, I am going back to very part-time, like 20 hours/week.

3-31-11, 5:24pm
Funny you should ask...since being moved to a new office and missing out on interaction and goings-on, definitely a C. I spend a lot of time these days learning via the web about the things I really love - plants, gardening, etc but like so many others, I stay for the benefits and salary. Quickly reaching a time though when I will have to jump to save my sanity.

3-31-11, 6:12pm
Great question! I'm getting more and more toward C. I've been in the same job for ~17 years and, while I occasionally have a challenge, I'm pretty much on automatic pilot here. Funny how that can be stressful!

I'm thinking about changing jobs/careers, but the people I work with are great, the money is good, and the hours work for me - and it's not too long till I get my pension...but if it were a full-time job, I would quit (or go crazy).


4-1-11, 9:27am
C. I am doing a job that I am overqualified for (but in the right field, so it's good experience), since there are no professional posts available in my area right now :(. I do enjoy it, but spending 90% of my time booking people onto computers and printing students' work out when the printers are broken is not really what I went to university for!

4-1-11, 9:35am
It varies from day to day but lots of A, with a few A-/B+ days thrown in. I work well at a B+ level, but I hate when I feel guilty for not working on the weekend or staying late etc which happens more and more (or I am working late and/or weekend). Flexibility is a plus but has the potential to become a monster.

As for jumping ship vs staying for the meltdown, RedFox, I'd start looking if I were you. If you do work stuff out with your boss, what have you lost by fishing around? If, OTOH, the ship starts clearly sinking and you haven't been looking it may be much more stressful.

San Onofre Guy
4-1-11, 4:33pm
Interesting answers, especially a job that is 7-3 with a full hour for lunch! My typical day is 7-6 and I get perhaps 40 minutes at lunch on a good day. I also carry a Blackberry and need to respond after hours. I have 330 vacation hours on the books because it is tough to take time off. In fact I am going skiing Monday, but I have to take a break at 3:00 for a conference call. My desk is always overflowing with deadlines to put aside as someone else has a fire, sometimes literally that takes precedence. I've also taken a pay cut due to the budget problem.

Having said the above I really like my job and get a lot of satisfaction from it. I'd say a B but most would probably say A.

OH by the way, I'm one of those lazy government workers people complain about!

Part of the sheer volume of work is due to a lot of turnover in the past few years of older employees who didn't need help. The younger employee in my organization either doesn't know how to figure things out, is lazy and won't try, doesn't think that they are empowered to make a decision, or wants to blame the slowness in getting things done by saying "I'm waiting for a response from X" There are energetic young people, but they are not mentored anymore

4-2-11, 3:13am
As for jumping ship vs staying for the meltdown, RedFox, I'd start looking if I were you. If you do work stuff out with your boss, what have you lost by fishing around? If, OTOH, the ship starts clearly sinking and you haven't been looking it may be much more stressful.

Sent in a resume today, & I've alerted my network, so suggestions are coming in. And, things feel a bit better at work. Next week, boss on vaca. Week after, me on vaca. Two weeks w/no boss around!

4-2-11, 4:31pm
I've only been in my current job about 3 months, and am already looking for a new job due to boredom and frustration. My boss is a nice guy and well-meaning, but has limited experience with the functions we are supposed to be performing. He's close to retirement and kind of burnt out. So, we're just going through the motions. There's not enough work for me to do, and the work he does give me is pointless and far below my skill level. I was so bored, and asked if I could work part time. He agreed, so that's cool. Now I'm looking for another job (part time) where I feel like I'm contributing to something a little more meaningful. In the meantime, I'm grateful to have a paycheck and I love working only 3 days per week, and spending the 2 extra days outside in my garden or walking my dog!

4-2-11, 5:54pm
Would you say the challenges in your job are A) too much and you're overwhelmed B) just right or C) not enough and you're bored out of your skull?

A = 80% of the time.
the rest is B

I'm a nurse manager. I get bored easily. So A is good if it's about 50% of the time. Lately it has been a little much ....

4-3-11, 8:24am
Reading through some of these actually makes me very appreciative of my job, even though it doesn't really allow me to exercise my brain! We are well staffed and the managers allow a lot of flexibility in terms of leave and that kind of thing. It is certainly the first job I've had where managers seriously take into account the fact that we have a life outside of our jobs and where profit isn't the only goal.