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Thread: Anxious, plus a question

  1. #1
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    Anxious, plus a question

    Hi, folks: Those of you who are familiar with my "employment odyssey" will know that I am considering looking for another job. I'm currently underemployed and underpaid. I am not sure I really want to go back into the field I was in before (PR/marketing) as it was really a bad experience. I'm not sure if it was the work, me, or what. A former co worker described it as a "toxic workplace," so who knows...

    Anyway...when I sit down and try to apply to another job online, I get anxious. Anxious so that I can't even think straight enough to write a cover letter. Right now, I'm trying to apply somewhere, and I'm kind of a wreck. I *really* can't stand going through the whole interview process, the answering of questions like "why should I hire you?", the scrutiny, the waiting (will they or won't they hire me?). I'm not even enthusiastic about this particular company. It's a dental supply house. Like, whoopee. Plus my friend used to work there and he had all sorts of nasty things to say about it (he may be biased, of course).

    All kinds of things go through my head. Like, what if the new place is worse than where I'm at? What if their health insurance is worse than what I have now?

    It took me two years to find the job I have. It's not *horrible* or anything...but there are a number of reasons why I think it would be best if I leave.

    How do I cope with all this? I actually have chest pains now, after writing this post!

    P.S. Is there any way I can possibly find out what their insurance costs are, before I even apply?

  2. #2
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    I'm currently underemployed and underpaid.
    I hear you

    I am not sure I really want to go back into the field I was in before (PR/marketing) as it was really a bad experience. I'm not sure if it was the work, me, or what. A former co worker described it as a "toxic workplace," so who knows...
    I don't want to do exactly what I did before either and in fact would much rather be somewhat bored at work because I'm underused. I do know what the issue is, it wasn't a bad me or a bad workplace, is was poor fit of the job with certain very basic personality traits (job required me to be really aggressive!). However there are other roles I have done in the past that I would take in a heartbeat (not because they are perfect, but because they aren't all that bad considering that work is probably going to suck a little regardless ).

    Anyway...when I sit down and try to apply to another job online, I get anxious. Anxious so that I can't even think straight enough to write a cover letter.
    I don't think it's many people's idea of fun. It's like "oh joy here comes rejection!" (and rejection is part of most job searches)

    Right now, I'm trying to apply somewhere, and I'm kind of a wreck. I *really* can't stand going through the whole interview process, the answering of questions like "why should I hire you?", the scrutiny, the waiting (will they or won't they hire me?). I'm not even enthusiastic about this particular company. It's a dental supply house. Like, whoopee. Plus my friend used to work there and he had all sorts of nasty things to say about it (he may be biased, of course).
    I don't know, if I start hearing bad in person reports about working for a company - I take that incredibly seriously. Some companies are just nightmares to work for, and the best way to avoid a complete nightmare work situation is to take such warnings to heart (true here it is just one person but ...). Even if your current job is bad is there really that much to be gained by jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Make sure whatever new job you get would actually represent a real improvement.

    All kinds of things go through my head. Like, what if the new place is worse than where I'm at?
    I wouldn't automatically assume that with no information HOWEVER I would start assuming that when I start getting bad reports or if I get bad vibes in the interview etc.. You should also check if there is anything about the company on glassdoor.com. Sure maybe every company has a few grumps, but patterns are to be heeded.

    What if their health insurance is worse than what I have now?
    Then you don't have to take the job. You should absolutely unequivocably ask for and know what the insurance costs are before taking a job. It's basic stuff, like knowing the wage before taking a job and even the vacation policy or 401k etc. benefits. Don't take a job without being aware of this.

    How do I cope with all this? I actually have chest pains now, after writing this post!
    again job searching is something I would happily postpone forever, I don't enjoy it, I'm not good at it, but it is the only way to get a different job :\. Probably all the usual techniques for reducing anxiety apply - breathing etc.. You could apply slightly tipsy, that's one way to reduce anxiety I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not There are job search support groups but I don't find them particularly helpful (full of hopeless people that can't get any jobs - depressing!!! I dont' need to hear that ...). Maybe treating yourself in some form for doing the applying, so you know their is a "reward" waiting (regardless of whether the applying leads anywhere - just for doing the work)?

    P.S. Is there any way I can possibly find out what their insurance costs are, before I even apply?
    Again maybe glassdoor.com
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I think ANM made some very good points. frugalone, you might be lucky enough to have a job drop in your lap. But most of us are not, so we have to put ourselves on the line and apply for them. It is not a fun process. But it should not result in chest pain -- especially for a job of which you're not particularly enamored.

    The bright side is that you have a job and a paycheck. You may not like the job much and the paycheck may be meager, but it is there and it takes a certain amount of pressure off you. I apologize for not remembering the backstory, but have you considered getting some vocational counseling? There are lots of inexpensive books and community-ed classes and county employment boards which will help you examine your skills and interests and how they can fit in various jobs. That might help you find out if your previous PR job was just a bad fit or whether you're fooling yourself to go back to PR at all. You might find out about a different line of work that's more up your alley. If you haven't done this kind of counseling yet, you might want to look into it rather than worry whether the next job will be a repeat of history. Oh, and I definitely would consider the source of any negativism about a workplace, but if it's a person who usually is pretty positive and steady, I'd listen.

    And maybe, since you do have the cushion of a paycheck, you could take a flyer on some of these jobs. Maybe this dental-supply job isn't worth excruciating hours spent filling out applications and sending resumes. Just fill out the app and send it in. You get the interview, you get to learn more about the job. You get the offer, you'll have more information yet to make a decision. If you don't get the interview, you haven't wasted tons of time on a job that really didn't excite you anyway.

    And, finally, maybe a little prep will help. Maybe create a master document that lists previous work history, etc., so all you have to do is cut-and-paste the appropriate info for a particular job? Come up with a couple of career objectives and/or resume types so you can just pick the best one and go? It's essentially preparation. If you know everyone will ask why you want to work at their company, a couple of job-hunting books/sites may have some safe answers you can memorize and just get out of the way. You don't have to be a robot, but if the safe answer provides 80% of what you'd want to say, it makes filling out apps less taxing.

    I hope that helps.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Agree with advice above. Also, one of the best things I've heard is to treat job hunting and interviewing like a game, or even like a play you are acting in, or even a sociological experiment. Just detach yourself emotionally as much as possible.

    "Day one, scene one: frugalone is filling out an application and gets a call for an interview. Scene two, don spiffy clothes and head over to the job site. etc." maybe corny, but it means you're not putting your whole entire self on the line.

    I got my current job years ago because I went to the interview not thinking I would actually get it. So, I was relaxed and even joking. Got a call that afternoon that I'd gotten it, and 18 years later I'm still there. You never know.
    And, when you do get something good, come here to let us know so we can celebrate with some virtual champagne!!

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    Sorry...have not been on here in a few days but am checking in just now!

    I've never really had "formal" vocational counseling. I have done some online testing, which showed my aptitude for things like publishing, editing, public relations--communications-type jobs. However, I think the problem might go deeper than "just the last job." I have a history of being really gung-ho in a new job. Then, it all goes south for me. I am sure a lot of people go through that "honeymoon phase," of course. For me, though, some of my experiences have been very, very negative--resulting in my being "let go." I was never outright fired--just "eliminated" for one reason or another.

    So I'm not sure vocational counseling is all I need.

    StevieinMN--what is a county employment board? I'm not sure what you mean.

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    UPDATE: Was almost done applying for the job, when I encountered their standardized form, full of all kinds of stuff I would rather not disclose, such as every salary at every job for the past 10 years. I don't think that's any of their GD business, frankly. And there was no way around it--the web site would not accept my application w/o it.

    I'm starting to remember why I didn't want to work in corporate America.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    This article asserts you should never disclose previous salaries:
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/...-employer.html

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    Great article, Jane!
    I like the fact that the author suggests not even going through an online application process, but emailing, calling or sending a hard copy of your documents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalone View Post
    Great article, Jane!
    I like the fact that the author suggests not even going through an online application process, but emailing, calling or sending a hard copy of your documents.
    When applying for jobs at larger organizations, that is the fastest way to be "de-considered" -- short of having your name plastered over the evening news for being convicted of crimes against children and animals.

    Large organizations do not want to deal with "creative" exceptions to their processes. At least at the organizations in which I've been involved in hiring, making yourself an outlier by submitting a paper resume, etc., does not at al enhance your ability to get hired. In fact, many times it's viewed as a legal risk, because now you're treating candidates in non-standard ways (Phil filled out the on-line form but frugalone sent a paper resume with additional possibly-unwanted data (and did not provide some wanted data, like previous salaries). I wouldn't do it, myself, if you valued the job.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  10. #10
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I dunno- I work at a Fortune 100 company (actually Fortune 50) and I refused to disclose my salary on the automated application- I think I put in 0 for everything. I've been here 6 months, so this was fairly recent. I don't think its anyone's business either and 1) I was intentionally giving up a manager's position and did not expect to keep a manager's salary and 2) I was going into a slightly different field so I did not have a lot of experience at what I'm doing now with this particular title (although much of the work I've been doing for many years under a different title). I explained to the recruiter when we got to the money part on why I did that, and he was cool with it.

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