Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What I'm doing


It's been almost a month - just a day shy - since I moved from the job I held for seven years to another position at the same organization. My former department was shut down, and I was offered the job of someone who retired. It's time to reflect on the change, think about how I'm adapting to it, and think about my future goals.

First - how does the new job compare with the old?
  • Compensation - The new job pays about 30% less than the old job
  • Benefits - the benefits are the same
  • Responsiblity - I have a lot less responsiblity in the new job than the old job
What's the environment like?
  • Colleagues - my new colleagues are nice, supportive and a little remote still, although welcoming. People at my old workplace shared more of their personal feelings, and we had shared experiences on the job. At that workplace, our group represented a broad range of education and culture - some blue collar, some white collar, some college educated and others barely literate. Here, almost everyone has about the same level of education - some college.
  • Space - at my old workplace, I had a cubicle. Here I have an office - with a DOOR! I work in a park-like setting with nice places to walk. The sounds of children playing are outside my window. At my old workplace, homeless people camped out in the bushes beneath my window. Even so, there, I was a two block walk to the beach. So here it's nice, but not as interesting.
  • Convenience - My commute is just a mile or so longer, but still pretty easy. There are nice places within walking distance for lunch. Pretty similar to the old workplace, although there I had access to shopping, too.
What's the day-to-day like?
  • Type of work - at my old workplace, I had a lot of different tasks. Sales - pitching to potential customers and trying to close a deal. Financial accounting and calculations. Helping walk-up customers. I worked with a lot of specialized software systems from webpage editing to financial data bases. Here, I do one thing, and do it repeatedly all day long. All my work is performed using email or word processing software.  
  • Amount of work - at my old workplace the pace of the day could vary from one day to the next. You could be swamped one day and have nothing to do the next. Here, the workload is steady, consistent, and manageable. It never ends, but I never (so far) get overloaded.
  • Difficulty/ease of work - At my old workplace, sometimes I'd be challenged by something, especially the complex financial stuff. Negotiations with customers could be tricky; I did a lot of problem-solving. Here, it's very detail oriented but not difficult. I have to master a body of very complicated rules and regulations and apply them to projects, and I have to document almost everything I do. Both jobs require a lot of paper-pushing, but this one is paper-pushing to the extreme.
How does it make me feel?
  • Stress levels - That's easy to answer - my old job was quite stressful. Whether it was monitoring conflicts between other staff, dealing with difficult customers, or responding to last minute demands from upper management, there were some very tough days. Here? so far, no problems. I expect that I'll eventually learn the subtler office politics here, but right now, there's nothing to make me sweat. And when I close the door behind me at the end of the day, I don't think about the job until I return.
  • Creativity - Very little, but that was true in the other job too. There is some creativity in looking at the way tasks are performed and thinking of ways to improve them.
  • Career development - None, really. It's a backward step.
  • Satisfaction - am I doing something good? Yes, I'm providing a service to the public. Is it very important? Not really.
And that's my wrap-up. I'm in a nice place with nice people, and my benefits are intact. I get paid a lot less, and it's kind of boring. 

So - what are my goals for the next six months? What would yours be?


4 comments:

Kizz said...

So interested to hear what your goals are going forward. I would add that the one major benefit of this job is to give you some stability while you make your five year plan.

(Notice how I deftly avoided sharing my goals? I just got back from BlogHer. I have ALL of the goals. Too many.)

smalltownme said...

I can't imagine a 30% pay cut, but keeping the benefits is a big plus.

Aunt Snow said...

The pay cut sucks, but here's the deal - if I stay in my organization, my retirement benefits are based on my highest salary - which means the pay I made before the 30% cut. That's enough to make me stay with the organization.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

The benefits are definitely a huge plus. I confess I would prefer the park-like setting, although I see some interesting things out my work window and I probably thrive on the abrupt changes in demands. I can't leave work in the office (nor does it allow me to keep it totally separate -- it's the nature of what I do and where I do it).

I hope you find many creative outlets and I am confident that as your co-workers get to know you, there will be some good comraderie.

Work for me has kept me from reading and commenting. I miss you! (That's not weird, is it?)