General Question

the_overthinker's avatar

Should I tell my employer that I am unhappy with my job?

Asked by the_overthinker (1527points) September 20th, 2015

Hi fellow jellies,

I am feeling a bit down and confused. Will you listen and give me your comments, or maybe some words of wisdom from your experiences?

I am happy with the company that I am with, and with the people, but I have discovered that I am unhappy with my job/position.

A little background – I work at a small organization, with under 14 people. I have been there for almost a year now. I also just finished my university with a degree in Business/ Commerce. My position relates to my studies, and I have felt very fortunate to have this job. It pays very well, especially for a recent graduate from university. A lot of my friends are not as fortunate as myself, but instead are left with large student debts, feeling lost, and struggling to find a job.

At work, I love the people, and the organizational culture.. but the thing is, I do not love my job, or at least, certain aspects of it. When I first accepted the job, I was extremely excited. It paid well, and seemed like my dream job. Also, I wanted and needed experience in the workforce.. I wasn’t exactly sure what the job entailed, but I was ready to challenge myself. It’s been almost a year working there now and, I have learned a lot about myself and what I want in a job, and in an employer.

I am more introverted than extroverted, and although in the beginning, I was eager to challenge myself and I was self motivated to do all aspects of my job, I realize now that I cannot see myself doing this in the long term (3+ years). My position requires me to travel, to be out of the office, and to do public speaking. Though I can perform all aspects of my job, I do not enjoy these parts. There are aspects of my job that I enjoy. These parts include the portion where I am at my desk, and not out.

In the beginning, travelling was exciting! I could stay in hotels, and go to different places.. but now this has become utterly dreadful. I was also OK with public speaking and presentations. But now, I realize that I want an office job that doesn’t include being outside of the office, travelling, or public speaking, etc. I wasn’t informed of what percentage of my time would be spent on public speaking. Now every time a presentation is scheduled, I dread it and become stressed, and unhappy. I have to exert a lot of energy in order to do this, and it is really draining.

The outcome I hope to achieve from voicing my unhappiness, is that I hope my supervisor can maximize my strengths, and change up my job description so that I am doing more of what I enjoy about my job, and less or none of what I do not enjoy (maximize the other colleagues’ strengths as well – some love public speaking, and presenting, etc). With it being such a small organization, I hope that my job/position could be altered in such a way that I could be happy, and not have to do the things that I feel is insurmountable for me, as an introvert.

But, perhaps I am just being too hopeful. Should I just stick it out, and perform the aspects of my job that leaves me unhappy? I’m afraid to leave this job. What if my next job is even more dissatisfying? What if I cannot find another organization where I love the people, or its culture?

I do not want to quit, or be fired for voicing my unhappiness about my position. I do not want to leave the company, but I do not want to keep my job the way it is. What do you think? Would I be fired for being unhappy about my position? Would there be repercussions with voicing this? (damaging my professional career, or limiting my career options within the organization)? Should I speak up, or just stick through it because it pays well, and because I’m fortunate to have a job right out of school?

I feel uncertain and confused about what to do. But another part of me tells me I should just feel fortunate for having this job, and keep it for at least 3 years for experience. What should I do?

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19 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

No. With the economy tanking you should be lucky that you have a job. You could share your angst with a therapist for $150 an hour.

janbb's avatar

I think it is worth having the discussion with your supervisor but it is all in how you approach it and frame it. He or she may not care at all whether you are unhappy with your job, that is not their primary focus. However, if you can say what you said here and put it in a very positive light, you may be able to change the job. You might say that while you are successful at the public speaking and sales part of the job, you do not feel it utilizes your skills optimally and suggest ways in which changing your position would add to the effectiveness of the company. Emphasize what you like abut the place and how you hope to continue to grow with them. Be positive and be prepared to accept a “no.” If you get one, you can decide whether you should stay longer in this job for the income and the experience or whether you are so unhappy, you must leave. But – don’t leave until you have another job!

talljasperman's avatar

@the_overthinker No one likes their job. If you liked it than you wouldn’t get paid for it.

rojo's avatar

I saw something relevant the other day, it said:

“Don’t like your job? There is a support group for that. It is called Everyone Else. (We meet evenings in the bar).”

But seriously, it seems you reached burn-out pretty quickly, less than a year. Did you have any indications while in school that maybe this was not the profession for you? You seem to enjoy your fellow wage slaves. Is it the actual work or is it the lack of observable results (I know in my case that is a big part of job satisfaction)? It does not sound like you would be happier doing the same thing somewhere else so maybe, with all the good points, it would be best to see what you can do where you are.

Talk to your supervisor, explain what is happening. Tell she/he what you like and what you don’t feel is going well. Be sure to put a lot of emphasis on the positive aspects. Tell them you want to do a good job so that both you and the company benefit. See if there is any way to modify your job description. I can tell you from experience that it will not get better and that your work will suffer and your mental health will suffer if you do nothing. If your work becomes, and it will, sub-par they will call you in for the talk if you are lucky and just fire you if you are not so maybe heading it off at the pass is the better option.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction, it is A JOB (Just Over Broke endeavor), if you are working for someone else, you are literally a ”wage slave” bartering your soul to the behest of someone else for a hourly amount you can tolerate. There are many facets about jobs no one likes.

However, I would not express that I did not like the work, prideful supers might resent it and look for ways to terminate you. They might not be able to just fire you and not have egg on their face, but they can keenly look for opportunities, a minute late coming from lunch, wait until your performance review come up and say you are not up to company par and can you. I would go to the power that be and express that you would like to make a lateral move to one where there is not as much travel at first possible opportunity. I don’t know your situation but I am sure you can manufacture a need for working with less travel, etc.

marinelife's avatar

You should talk to your supervisor and explain to them what you have to us: That you are at heart an introvert and you don’t like traveling or public speaking. That when you took the job, you did not realize how much of that the job would entail.

Tell the supervisor that you love the company and the culture and you want to remain part of the organization, but you are wondering if any adjustment can be made in your position.

The best case is they will accommodate you. The likely case is they may be able to make some adjustment. It is highly unlikely that you will be fired. So you will have to see if however much they can change things is enough for you.

If it is not, start looking for another job. You don’t have to switch until you find something that fits you better and pays the same or more.

Cruiser's avatar

Have you had a review yet? Usually in a year you would have one and that would be the best time to discuss your strengths and concerns. Let your supervisor present their views on how you are doing. I would not yet seek out your supervisor to articulate your concerns over the public speaking part as Bosses/supervisors do not like to hear employees express reservations about executing the tasks they are expected to do. That said….I would expect a supervisor/boss would approach you to discuss their dissatisfaction with your public speaking. Public speaking roles for any company are some of the most important activities that a company needs to promote their brand/image/product or service. If they have not complained or critiqued you yet then you are probably doing a better job at it than your nerves and self image are allowing you to experience. And the fact it is such a small company there may be little room to take you off the front lines from public speaking gigs and to approach your supervisor about this may put them in a tough spot that may end up costing you your great opportunity there.

You do describe a great job with a great opportunity and if the public speaking is the only part that has you on edge….there are paths of action you can take to bolster your public speaking skills. Perhaps take some night courses in public speaking or join the Optimist Club or Toastmasters as being at the podium to express yourself is what they both are about and you can rub elbows with some of the best of the best in your area.

josie's avatar

Sounds like a decent job.
I would not gripe to the boss unless you are so valuable that they are willing to redesign your position to keep you. Only you know that.
You could always try to find another job. It might work out.
But you can’t have it two ways.
See @Cruiser
If the only problem is public speaking, you can easily become more comfortable with it with experience and coaching. Optimists, Toastmasters, and my favorite, the Dale Carnegie course. They are sort of fun and at the same time very helpful.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s a risk.

The boss may not care. Or the boss may care, but his/her own hands are tied. Or there may be nothing that can be done, no one who can replace you.

So going to the boss has three potential outcomes:

1 – he/she listens to you and is able to change things around so you are happier.

2 – nothing happens. for whatever reason, nothing happens.

3 – you get fired (let go) because the boss figures you’re unhappy and will wordless communicate that to the customers/clients.

There’s a 66% chance that things will not improve, and may get worse. Is it worth the risk?

Side question – have you started working on locating a new job? Before you do anything, get your resume up to date and start looking. Just in case.

jaytkay's avatar

I would only do so if you have a practical alternative, for examples:
– Changing your duties
– Moving to a different position in the company
– “I have a new job, thanks for everything”

the_overthinker's avatar

Thank you all. I find all of these points to be valid.

I agree, and I realize, that not everyone will like every aspect of their job.

After some more reflection, I have decided that I will stay with the organization, and I will indeed speak with my supervisor. I do agree that it will depend on how I approach this, and how I portray myself. Thank you for helping me decide.

kritiper's avatar

No. Start looking for a new job if you don’t like that one.

chinchin31's avatar

no just get a new one.. they don’t really give a sh… deep down inside

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@the_overthinker You should realize most people don’t like the public speaking or the smozzing with the public. But if you relax and work at it, it’s not so bad. Experience is the best teacher. And don’t be afraid to crash land at times. It happens to us all. I never thought I could do it, but I’ve spoken to groups of over 250 and nailed it. It just takes practice and learning to relax.

jca's avatar

@the_overthinker: I can tell you I’m an introvert at heart although you’d often never guess it. When it comes to schmoozing, it helps to smile a lot and just act cheery. Fortunately for me, I have a big smile and it does wonders.

Cupcake's avatar

It sounds like a very small company… so make sure when you talk to your boss, you have an idea of how you would restructure your (and someone else’s) time that wouldn’t cost them any more money than they are already spending. Present your plan succinctly and be detached from the outcome. Small companies don’t often have the cushion of allowing their employees to change the majority of their job responsibilities… and you may be let go after expressing that you are not the best fit for the travel/public speaking. Or you may get your responsibilities shifted in a way that suits your needs. No way of knowing until you have that conversation.

jca's avatar

@the_overthinker: When you do your public speaking, do you read from a script or speak off the cuff?

the_overthinker's avatar

@jca ; I can say that I present comfortably, so long as I am prepared. I can go without notes, and I have a loud clear voice.

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