What would you do? (A job related question)

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by LookingCurious, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. LookingCurious

    LookingCurious New Member

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    First of all, let me say that it feels really weird asking for job-related advice on a site about penises. But I figure this site is as good as any if I want advice from a random group of strangers on the internet. Plus, you guys seem fairly mature, intelligent and level-headed, generally speaking, especially compared to other internet forums that I frequent.

    Also, I will warn you that much of what you're about to read is my ranting. It's probably more appropriate for a blog than for this forum. I really haven't had any other outlet to express these issues with anyone else and I don't have a blog or diary or anything so I'll force it on you guys (sorry!).

    So here's the problem: It has come time for me to take my career a little more seriously. I've finished school and am looking for opportunities within my discipline.

    The current job that I am on is by every definition of the phrase, a dead-end job. There is really no potential for upward-mobility from where I am now. So I know I have to leave the job. The question is how and when.

    The problem is, the owners have been fairly decent to me thus far. They hired me without any experience (though, to be fair, the position I was hired for didn't really need as much experience as they expected when they were hiring) and have been really accommodating while I was in school. They quite literally worked the entire company's employee scheduling around my school schedule to ensure that I could work when I wanted.

    I've quickly risen through the ranks and am essentially the "general manager" at the company (we don't have formal titles so I'm not sure what the appropriate one to match my job description would be). If nothing else, its been a great learning/character-building (lol) experience. I'm now convinced that I could honestly run my own business, which is essentially what I have been doing for them for the last year.

    That being said, I don't really like my job at all.

    First of all, the pay is horrible, especially for what I do. At even the worst performing of our competitors, I would be getting paid 2 or 3 times what I am getting paid now. Much likely even more than that. I've always been somewhat dissatisfied with my pay but that dissatisfaction was compounded by a recent discovery. Going through some paperwork and tax documentation in the office, I discovered that the owners literally take home more pay than every other employee within the company....COMBINED!!! Yet they pinch pennies (at the expense of the employees and customers, of course) and constantly complain that we aren't making them enough money. At first it was simply annoying, but now its down-right insulting.

    Secondly, despite the fact that I essentially run the business and they do nothing at all, they are quite antagonistic to most of the business suggestions that I offer. They are true back-seat drivers. Yelling in my ear through a megaphone. I have offered them several suggestions (for instance, revamping our pricing strategy and renegotiating a few contracts we have with suppliers) that I'm fairly certain would improve business and they flat-out rejected them. And its not like this would benefit me in any way, it would only fatten their pockets. I feel completely useless as management if I'm not allowed to manage. I feel like I'm becoming less of a manager and more of a supervisor (aka babysitter/house-sitter).

    Third, one owner within the ownership team is beyond disrespectful. He is openly disrespectful of myself, my co-workers and even (believe it or not) our customers. Its really disgusting. In his defense, though, myself and my co-workers hypothesize that he is not intentionally a dick, but that he may, in fact, just be a natural-born asshole. He can't help it, really.

    That being said, why is this even a question?

    Well here are a few issues:

    1. I'm really the only one within the organization capable of running the company. They have really made no attempt to allow another person to become familiarized with how the company runs. I suggested to them that I train another person to do my job, just in case I'm ever unable to do it, and they pretty much dismissed the idea. My predecessors have all left so I'm pretty much the only one with the know-how. I'm the only one with any relationship with the suppliers/venders, any financial knowledge of the company etc. All the owners know is that "revenues minus expenses equals the down-payment on their new condo."
    2. I've grown very close with some of my coworkers. They're good guys. Most of them dislike the job, too. Some of them have already told me they intend to leave soon and many of them (most of the workforce) have openly told me that if I leave, they probably would not stay around. The unfortunate thing is that I actually believe them. I'm quite sure many of them would leave, because they dislike the situation as much as I do. We all kinda stay for each other. However, while I have other employment opportunities, many of them don't. I would feel bad if they were left without a job because of me.
    3. My immediate predecessor, who is no longer with the business, has a fairly close relationship with the owners. His family, and the family of the owners have shared a really closed friendship/relationship for, quite literally, almost 150 years. They owners have helped him financially in the past and he is quite loyal to them. If I were to leave, they would ask (make) him come back and work for them. And he would hate it. Just like he hated it then. But he would do it out of loyalty; that's just the kind of person he was. He's a fairly good friend of mine and I would hate to put him in that position.
    I'm really concerned that if I were to leave (and for some reason my predecessor did not return) the company would not survive much longer. (and I seriously don't mean to think too highly of myself, its more a reflection of the ineptness of ownership more than my ability).

    Its odd listening to the owners talk about the future of the company and they almost always include me in those plans. While at any other job, it would seem flattering that they value you enough to include you in future plans. But for some reason it feels the exact opposite in this situation. Its like they value me so little as to take for granted that I will be here for the long haul. As if this is my only option. I probably shouldn't, but I feel almost insulted.

    For whatever crazy illogical reason, I really don't want to see the company fail, despite the fact that I have no financial stake in its success. Maybe its just that I've invested a considerable part of my very short adult life here. On the other hand, it just feels like I'm in one of those bad relationships where, despite some of the reasons for staying, I kinda just know there's no future in it.

    So what would you do in the situation?
    Staying is not an option. What would be the responsible way of exiting the situation amicably? I really don't wanna leave like, "F U Guys, I'm out of here!" HAHA. I want to leave in a way that causes the least amount of damage, especially when it comes to my coworkers.
    I've thought about sticking around long enough to train someone to take my place. But that could be months. I don't know if I could take it that much longer. I'm really becoming miserable here.
     
  2. GayFrog

    GayFrog Member

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    It is obviously time to move on. You are in no way indebted to your co-workers or your employer and should not allow their situations to influence your decision. As harsh as it may sound thirty days after you are gone you will be forgotten. Further you are not obligated in any way to train your replacement. Most employers frown on this practice.

    Simply write a letter of resignation. Do not elaborate just state you are leaving the company on such and such date, it is most appropriate to give two weeks notice, anything more than that is unnecessary.
     
  3. gballs

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    two weeks. not a day more or a day less.

    too short and you are not fulfilling your professional obligations. too long and it simply becomes awkward and unnecessary. while there probably will be some significant bumps in the road, most likely the company will survive and your colleagues will keep their jobs.

    people tend to be lazy and often manipulative and your bosses sound like they have used you to do the job they should have been doing. your departure may be exactly what is required to prompt them to get off their asses and lead the company as they should have been. people need to have confidence in their leaders. I have hired many, fired a few, and seen many more move on to other companies and I never had hard feelings for anyone who stuck around for only two weeks.
     
  4. canuck_pa

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    You are in a shitty situation but your needs should always come first. You don't owe the owners anything. They arranged the schedule not for you but because it was good for them. There is no such thing as employer loyalty these days. If the company was in financial trouble they wouldn't think twice about laying you or any other employee off. That's not to say you shouldn't be loyal to your employer while they are paying you.

    Here's what I would do and have done. Find another job. But don't tell anyone your plans. You would be surprised how many employees would tell hoping to encure favour with the employer. One that fits with your career aspirations and goals. In the meantime if you have any personal files on your computer get rid of them. If there are any files that you want to take with you (as long as you're not taking any propriatory information) do it before you resign. Make sure you remove any emails or correspondences relating to your applying for a new position. Once you've secured a new more suitable position including a letter from the new employer outlining the position, salary and benefits, submit a letter of resignation. Offer to help train your replacement. Your letter should be kept to a minimum such as.. Dear_____ Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from_____ effective (date)... Thank them for the time you have been there. Even complement them on teaching you while you were there. You do not have to tell them where you are going. Tell them your new employer would like it to remain confidential until you start. Who knows, if they are real assholes they could call your new employer and bad mouth you. Once you've given your notice tell your fellow workers where you are going. If the new job is in the same industry some of them will ask you if there are any other openings there. Tell them if they are interested to call you at the new place. They have to take the initiative otherwise it could be considered raiding which will not sit well with the owners. Remember they probably know other people in the same industry and if you leave on bad terms they could hurt your reputation and future opportunities just by bad mouthing you.

    Keep the quality and quantity of your work up so they can't accuse you of slacking off. Do not extend you stay and if they offer you a raise or other benefits, thank them but don't take them. If they can give you more now, they could have given you more earlier on and in a few short days they will do exactly what they have been doing to you.

    As far as your predecessor goes, that's not something you need to worry about. Its up to him.

    Good luck. I hope everything turns out well for you. I've been in the same position as you. If it hasn't started now it will soon wear away at your confidence.
     
  5. AlteredEgo

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    Two weeks notice. Any more, and they may terminate you sooner than you'd like. Any less, and you'd be a douche. Definitely move on though. Try to remember that it is every individual's duty to succeed financially, or not. It is not up to your bosses to make sure that you are gettin gthe experience and compensation you require. It is YOUR job to get yourself those things. (Your employers, the owners are certainly seeing to it they get what they want!) Good luck!
     
    #5 AlteredEgo, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  6. Drifterwood

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    People from the UK tend to find a new job before leaving their current one.

    When seeking a new job, don't bitch about the last one and the owners. That doesn't go down well with any business owner. Always say the you are looking for new challenges, better reward for your proven ability etc etc.
     
  7. CUBE

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    I agree with Canuck 100%
     
  8. Jason

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    Don't leave without a job to go to! You only need a few weeks out of work to look very unemployed, and it is just a step from looking unemployed to being unemployable.

    It would be useful to apply for some jobs. Find out what is out there. Are you as good as you think you are? - ie do they call you to interview? And what are the salaries? Remember to take into account issues around relocation.

    Once you have a firm job offer you do have the option of renegotiating with your present employer. You pay me X, other employer will pay me Y, will you match?
     
  9. ColoradoGuy

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    Agreed. The only advice about job-hunting that I've found universally useful are these:

    1. It's easier to get a job when you're employed. 'Unemployed' carries an often unfair but palpable stigma when a potential employer sees it on a resume. And, as Jason points out: unemployed eventually looks like unemployable.
    2. You never burn a bridge when you do leave. You never know where you're going to end up, so keep it professional, keep it friendly and keep it honest. (Even in less-than-perfect circumstances.)
     
  10. LookingCurious

    LookingCurious New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys.
    I think more than anything I just needed a chance and venue to vent my frustration. Its just been bottle up for so long and not something I would feel comfortable discussing with most people. Its easier to vent anonymously online, I guess.

    Yeah, I would never do that. To be honest, I don't think they're bad people at all, for the most part. They're likeable, personable people who I'm sure I would enjoy in any other environment, just not as my employers.

    Yeah, I've been kinda testing the waters of the job market for the last few weeks and have some pretty solid leads that I've found through college professors and recruiters and such. Most of them would require relocation and I'm completely fine with that. But as you said, I don't think I would leave my current job without a pretty firm offer on the table (except if I were to go into business myself, which is something I've been discussing more seriously with my family as of late).

    Even with a new offer, I probably wouldn't try to renegotiate with my current employer. After thinking about it, my grievances run much deeper than pay. I don't think a raise would change my mind (though, I guess you never know...)

    I definitely agree with both of these points. And thanks for the advice. :smile:


    Again, thanks for the responses guys. Even if this thread was probably a bit inappropriate for this forum. It probably would have been better for a blog or something. :redface:
     
  11. Rikter8

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    Agree - 2 weeks notice Once you've found something solid.
    I have to disagree with re-negotiating - you need to find something more solid than Mom/Pop business. Profit will be their most concern, which means less pay and poor working conditions no matter what.

    Your a manager - period. Many companies are looking for highly skilled and talented individuals like yourself.

    Keep quiet, search for a job with benefits that suit you - and move on.
    When they ask where your going - Do not tell them, just say - a company outside of this one. If they pry - tell them it's none of their business.
    Say Zero to your co-workers even the most fond of.

    Leave on a positive note, and you will always make more friends at the new company.
    Plus...there's nothing that says you can't keep in touch with the old, just get settled and secured before you disclose any information to them.

    I work in a very vendictive, cut throat company where only the most crooked - least educated, related/friends of type people get raises or get ahead.
    MANY times I have seen people have their potential jobs taken away from them by a simple phone call of your current employer to keep that employee with them.

    Don't get caught in the trap. Move onto something bigger and better.
     
    #11 Rikter8, Jun 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  12. helgaleena

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    It's called a lateral move-- start submitting resumes to potential employers and going on interviews, then give your notice once you have found the new slot. I suspect you do not have a nest egg if your pay is too low. So it's better to have the leap lined up before you sever ties.

    Question: if the owners suddenly decide to pay you at the level they pay themselves, would you stay? Could it happen?

    And if the 'natural asshole' is as slimy as the ones Rikter tells of, keep very private about your intentions.
     
  13. august86

    august86 Member

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    Very good advice coming from Jason and Colorado. :cool:

    It's never wise to leave a job without having secured an alternative. In fact, most people don't have the luxury of lead times between jobs.
    In my country, the norm is 1 month's notice for termination of employment, but as Colorado has mentioned, when you are ready to move on, be professional yet honest. You'll never know when your paths might cross again (you might even need their help next time), so it's always good to end things professionally.
     
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