Why I don’t like my job

I don’t like my job very much. I’ve tried for the past two years to make the best of it, but I’m finding the “pros” heavily outweigh the “cons”, and the ratio between the two categories consistently continues to get worse. This is extremely unfortunate, since I moved my entire family to (in part) accept the position, and I really have done all I can think of to improve the situation. But the truth “is what it is”.

(Note: this post was written over two years ago and relates to an employer other than the one for which I now work. While I still stand by my thoughts and statements, they no longer apply to my current situation. And that’s a good thing!)

Our workloads have increased two- or three-fold since I came aboard two years ago. Our course development process, which used to be a few pages long, has since been blown out to multiple documents, and the process is still not completely documented and complete (I’ve actually been involved in the effort to update this documentation, but my suggestions to centralize the processes and tool guides into a single, easy-to-access resource have been rejected). Our department is constantly burdened with additional tasks from other departments, which have little to do with our main goal as “instructional designers” (to design instructional content). As our workload and output has increased, the perceived appreciation from middle- and upper-management for what we do and our hard work has decreased proportionally.I constantly strive to improve our processes and tools, changing what I can myself, but more often making suggestions for improvement or change. Sometimes, people in other groups help make the changes happen; often, these suggestions are ignored completely.In the two years I’ve been here, there have been a handful of weeks during which I worked only 40 hours or less; the norm is over 40 hours, and I have put in a few 60+ hour weeks. This is not because I am inept at my job and need extra time to meet my scheduled deadlines; in fact, the hours are so low only because I’m lucky enough not to be inept and to be able to do my work quickly. It’s often because I am asked (or expected) to go above and beyond the norm, sometimes even doing someone else’s job for them. In fact, I once tallied all the hours allocated to me in a single project, and the total was 78 hours of scheduled work in one week. And that’s on a single project; I’m often working on three or more projects at a time. This is not unique to my situation, and it’s not unusual for many of my coworkers to do the same.

In the same two years, while the cost of living increased (locally and nationally) by 7-8 percent each year, I received zero raise in salary my first year, and a 2% “merit” increase the second year, with no “cost of living” consideration either year.

I was offered a content management position recently, but the salary increase that was offered totalled about 3% (which, at my salary, isn’t very much), and my offer to renegotiate was refused.

In fact, I’ve received more accolades and awards from my peers than I have from my managers. It’s nice to be respected by your peers, but not quite as nice to feel unappreciated by your superiors.

In response to a query from management on how to boost “morale” within the group, I submitted a three-page document full of points for discussion. That was over two months ago. I haven’t heard a thing about it since.

I don’t expect things will change anytime soon, unless I make the change myself. Don’t be surprised if that happens.