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Conversationalist
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-14-2016

Re: Stuck at work, scared of the future - where to go from here?

Message 1 of 5 (4,882 Views)

Nope, none of them are unionized. I don't even know if there is a union for clerical workers, Administrative Assistants, or that type of thing. If there isn't, there certainly should be!

caircair
Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,203
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Stuck at work, scared of the future - where to go from here?

Message 2 of 5 (4,891 Views)

At least you're taking the right steps! I guess none of these companies were unionized, where they'd have to justify which positions were being eliminated, and couldn't do it based on friendship?


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Conversationalist
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-14-2016

Re: Stuck at work, scared of the future - where to go from here?

Message 3 of 5 (4,897 Views)

I guess you'd just call it bad luck.

 

1st longtime job was just under 5 years. The company was sold, and the office and major employees were all moved to another state. As a "Secretary" I wasn't offered the chance to move on.

 

2nd longtime job, around 5 years. This was a weird situation - I worked in the Management office for a local shopping center. The company that owned us also ran, but did not own, another center one town over. They lost the contract to run that center. The manager there had worked with our company for many years, when they lost the contract they moved him into our center as manager, and laid off the manager I worked for. After a month, my position was eliminated - which should read as "MY position was eliminated." New manager wanted to bring over his secretary, so I was let go.

 

3rd longtime job, Credit Union, just over five years. I worked in the load department disbursing funds along with five other people. After a major software change, my job changed to allocating loans among our loan writers. Six months later, there was a major layoff - we lost 1/3 of our workforce at the same time the workload increased by half. After three months, another layoff and since my position was a singular one it was decided to allocate my duties among the remaining staff and I was let go. (That was the last longterm job I had. During the three months of reduced work staff, we were not allowed to work overtime without permission. We were expected to complete our work by the end of the shift - not possible due to increasted workload. As a result, those who left at the end of their assigned shift were penalized. Those who stayed but worked off the clock were allowed to stay on. I was never so happy to be let go as I was from that situation!

 

So, I guess it's just been a run of bad luck. I've never had any issues with my work, especially my work ethic. This is one of the reasons I'm seeing the counselor, to see if there's something off-putting about me that is affecting my job prospects.

caircair
Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,203
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Stuck at work, scared of the future - where to go from here?

Message 4 of 5 (4,903 Views)

You sound like you're burned out with what you're doing, and the company/industry itself! It's good that you're already taking action, working with a career counsellor. Most of what you described, is what a lot of people are feeling about their jobs & companies, but your last paragraph may be the most important one:

 

"I've done this all my working life - worked at a place for 4-5 years, been laid off legitimately, spent months looking for work and working temporary jobs, finally find another good job, then lather, rinse, repeat."

 

Is that pattern of being laid off every 4 or 5 years common with the sort of work you do? Is discussing your past history, and perhaps a self-defeating pattern, within the scope of your career counselling?  If not, it might be worth some short-term therapy, to find out why it's happening to you .. if it's not connected to the work/industry you're in.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
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Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-14-2016

Stuck at work, scared of the future - where to go from here?

Message 5 of 5 (4,916 Views)

I currently work from home on the phone, enrolling people into various health programs. I've been at this job for over 7 years. Earlier this year, I switched from taking incoming calls to making outgoing calls. After three months I was succeeding in all aspects except one: my conversion rate (number of calls made vs. number of people enrolled) was not high enough. The minimum rate was 75%, my highest was 72%. As a result, I was put back onto incoming calls. However, since then I have not passed a single evaluated call, and each failure was for something basic: I forgot to spell back a street name when it had been corrected (I did spell the original information back), I didn't read a piece of language that popped up (I have not been reading that language for the past seven years, it was just lately I was dinged for it), and so on. I've recently been put into an escalated evaluation status - I must pass four calls and then I will be back to normal. I've failed two of those last four calls for the reasons mentioned above, I have one more call to pass. My supervisor keeps telling me "I'm sure it's just a glitch, I know you're capable and otherwise all your stats are great!"

 

However, I'm not so sure. Part of me feels like I'm being set up - up until I switched over, all my calls were scored above average. Part of me feels the problem is that I'm sick of the job - it's boring, brain numbing, and dealing with the general public is sapping my energy and will. When I first started, I really felt I was helping people to make positive changes and live better. Now, I find myself resenting having to try to help people who clearly don't want to be helped - they want the magic pill that will make the problem disappear without them having to do any work themselves. And part of the problem is that the company I work for was bought out - twice! - each time by an even bigger company. As a result, the focus is less and less on people and more on profit. Employees are no longer being treated as people, but as income-producing machines. The latest example: prior to the last buyout, Monday holidays were worked on a volunteer basis, with volunteers being offered the option to take another day off (unpaid) to make up for the extra hours worked. NOW, all holidays are treated as regular working days but with extra pay. If you want to take time off, you must request it ahead of time. There is no more being allowed to volunteer to work on the holiday if you want the $$, no more being allowed to not volunteer if you wanted the holiday off.

 

So as it stands now: I'm disgusted by the working environment, demoralized as far as my own belief in my abilities, scared to death of being fired/laid off, not sure what to do next. My skills are all administrative - for years I was a Secretary/Receptionist, and as we all know, that kind of job is scarse as hen's teeth and rapidly becoming extinct.

 

Other mitigating factors: I have depression. It's gotten much worse, and my doctor and I are trying to recalibrate my medication, but so far it's less than optimal. My husband is wheelchair bound and epileptic, but is actually very independent - he just needs help on and off the toilet and into and out of bed. We do have a caregiver for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week to help him and to do some of the household stuff, but I'm concerned about what would happen if I have to work outside the home. Also, I don't drive (we live in a city with a very good public transit system).

 

Minor considerations: I will be 55 in January. I'm not young, pretty, or slender - I say I look a great deal like Kathy Bates - generally not the look employers go for when they're hiring for front desk positions.

 

On the positive side: I've met twice so far with a career counselor so I am preparing for the axe to drop. I'm going to have him help me set up a new resume, give me assessment tests (as many as he has) and help me get started on a job search routine I have decided I will not quit my job, they have to be the one to get rid of me so I can get severence pay, etc.

 

It's the interim that terrifies me. I've done this all my working life - worked at a place for 4-5 years, been laid off legitimately, spent months looking for work and working temporary jobs, finally find another good job, then lather, rinse, repeat.

caircair