Job Funk

June 03, 2005

I've been at my current job for almost a year now. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I am getting antsy. It appears that it takes me about a year to get over the "new car smell" of a new position. The bloom is off the rose here, and I am starting to think about how a different job would get me away from this one. In the past, when I have acted while in this state of funk, and changed jobs (at great cost) only to find myself antsy in another year.

The trick, I've discovered is not to switch jobs to get away from a situation, but rather to move towards a situation. Granted this is not always possible, but when you have the luxury of a steady job there is not reason to switch to any situation that is some how less than your current engagement.

What happens to me is that I get depressed thinking about the shortcomings of the current job and I start looking for a new job. As is always the case it takes a while to find a job that really interests me. I might get some rejections, either directly in the form of a "thanks but no thanks" call or letter, or indirectly by never hearing from places where I submit my resume. Not getting responses or getting negative responses adds to my depression. I start to believe that not only does my current situation suck, but that I no longer possess the amalgam of skills, experience, et cetera that the employers are demanding.

Having taken on all this depression I am completely venerable to the first decent offer I receive. I end up taken a job just to prove to myself that I can get one, and not for reasons that will actually benefit me over time. This, of course, leads to a repeating cycle as I rapidly discover the new job isn't "all that" and I am ready to move on in few months or a year.

I am hoping to break this cycle here. I've got a good job that isn't going away, and that has the potential to last a very long time. Sure there are aspects of it that I don't like. But they are not only aspects that are beyond my control, they are aspects that occur (in my humble experience) at all employers. So leaving this place for another isn't going to address them.

And this time I recognize that I have been depressed for a long time. Losing my job in Illinois, having to move, putting up with an incredibly tight budget, have all added to my depression. A better approach would be to try and address as many factors of my depression outside of any job search activities. Not an easy task, but just knowing that I have issues will help me to keep them in mind while evaluating potential positions.

Will I change jobs again? Almost certainly. Will those new jobs have aspects good and bad? Positively. Will I learn to separate issues I need to resolve independently of work from job searching activities? I certainly hope so.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.