This is a disaster!

The company I work for is relocating to an office that is 35-45 minutes away. It is a very small company (2 owners and myself) and they live in a town in that area. The office is currently located in my town and the commute time is 5 minutes, so I can go home for lunch etc... I make a very low wage so this will mean a lot more money for gas and more mileage on my car.

I asked if I could work a few days from home and commute a few days, or work at home full time. But the guy said neither of them really wanted me to do that. It was either I work at home full time or work at the office full time. And if I wanted to do it from home he would want to pay me once/month for completing the magazine. I can only imagine what amount they would want to pay. They briefly discussed trying to provide me with a gas card or a raise but couldn't afford it.

I would gladly commute if it was a job I enjoyed and was getting paid a reasonable amount of money, but neither of those qualities apply to this job. My sole responsibility is to put together a magazine and I can't work on anything until one of the owners provides me with things to insert into the magazine. This usually doesn't happen until the week before the magazine is due. I would ask for other things to do, but both of these people have started working part time, and don't come to the office when they are supposed to, so a majority of the time I am sitting in an office by myself browsing the net. When they did come to the office and I asked for things to do it usually resulted in a 5 minute task. This makes me feel guilty because I'm getting paid and should be working but there is honestly nothing to do.

I think that I didn't see this job for what it really was and I took it because I was desperate to leave my old job. It took me 1.5 years of being at my old job to find this job. So I guess I'm going to be forced to commute and have even less money. Because its not like I have any jobs lined up. I could possibly find another low paying, entry level job somewhere, but then I'd feel that I was giving up my career dreams. But I'm waiting for a job to pop up that doesn't exist because all the jobs I am interested in are populated in cities and I don't live in or near a city.

Why is it that life just seems to fall into place for some people? And others lead a disastrous life? Sometimes I feel so hopeless and that perhaps I should jump off a bridge or something. I won't really do that, but it is a very attractive option. I have no clue what to do.

*More info for those who care: This co. was originally started by 2 guys (one of the guys own the building the company is currently housed in). Then the 2 people I deal with bought into the company later on. Well the first two are no longer making any contributions to the co. and so they decided to dissolve it. The other 2 have created their own co. I saw a paper saying that the old company has no assetts and $40k in debt so I don't feel that this is a secure job, or that the company will last very long. The guy who owns the building is jacking up the rent so they are forced to move the company.
I think this is a big clue that this job is not the one for you. Sometimes life seems to give you clues like that.

I don't know if life just comes together for anyone..or for most people. The thing is we don't often hear about the struggles that others who are more successful than us went through or how many times they fell down and got back up.

I think you focusing on what other people have or have had to go through is a waste of your time and energy though. You have to decide what you want and be willing to go after it with the attitude that you cannot fail.

If that means taking a 2nd job or a job that not in your career path right now, then maybe that's what you have to do. And that's okay as long as you have a plan on how to get where you want to go.

I remember some things that you posted a few weeks ago about how difficult your area is for finding a graphic artist position. I think my advise to you then was to try and move to an area where you will be able to increase your skills and move up instead of stagnation. If I were you I would seriously consider moving to NYC. You seem young. If you don't have any children or other responsibilities. What have you got to lose?

I'd secure an internship (preferably paid or entry level position)somewhere where I knew I was going to get tons of experience even if the pay was low and work on getting my skills and technical expertise in this field up to a really high level.

Even if this means that you take a 2nd evening and weekend job like waitressing or whatever for a year, 2, or 3....I would do that.

You have to do something DIFFERENT and take a risk here because it seems like you are just spinning your wheels. Good luck.
If there were more people on earth who desired their own happiness more than the unhappiness of others we would have a paradise ~ Bertrand Russell
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
Very good advice, KCL.
Why is it that life just seems to fall into place for some people? And others lead a disastrous life? Sometimes I feel so hopeless and that perhaps I should jump off a bridge or something. I won't really do that, but it is a very attractive option. I have no clue what to do.
Originally Posted by tgreyz
Honestly, those are the people who make things work for themselves. There are choices in every situation, and the people whose lives just fall into place are the ones who make the hard choices and sacrifices.

I would suggest you work at home full time, and demand a paycheck at least close to what you were making, even if it's only paid once a month. Then go out and find another full time job or 2 part time jobs to do on top of that (since you've siad yourself you were wasting a lot of the time in the office). This sounds ideal to me: it sounds like you're the person who's life is falling into place if you just work this situation in your favor. You can continue to get your paycheck, get another paycheck on the side, and get additional experience!
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years tgreyz? Have you asked anyone in your industry how you might go about getting there? Maybe this industry isn't for you?
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years tgreyz? Have you asked anyone in your industry how you might go about getting there? Maybe this industry isn't for you?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I hope to be further along in my career path and making a decent salary at a job I don't loathe. But I have no idea what career path and the longer I just sit around I'll most likely be in the same situation and a lot more unhappy.

I barely know anyone not to mention anyone in the design industry so there is no one to ask. My portfolio is mediocre and I can't draw so even if I moved I doubt anyone would hire me. I have thought that possibly this industry isn't for me, but I don't know what else to do. The only other two career paths I find interesting are a buyer for a clothing store or an interior designer. It would be the same thing with interior design and I don't have an education in fashion merchandising.
tgreyz, I've posted before about networking and I've copied below one of my posts to you. Stop letting your life happen to you and start living your life. If you take this job and work from home you could freelance for other people and make more money. Check on Craigslist for your area. I've found my husband and one of my clients (both graphics designers) work on there. Sometimes it's small and not much money and sometimes it's a big job that leads to other jobs. What do you have to lose?

Forget about getting a job, start managing your career and your life. In order to manage your career, you need to network, network, network! I wrote that three times to emphasize the amount of time and energy you will have to invest in networking to build a successful network. I am now working in my own accounting practice but before this my last two jobs were never advertised in the paper. I will probably need to hire someone within the year and will not advertise in the paper. My husband just got a lead for a position with an amazing company and the position has not been advertised in the paper. Chances are the job you want will not be advertised.

Find out about the Chamber of Commerce in your town and possibly the neighboring town. Attend a few meetings. Find a Women's Business Group. Find a group of professionals in your field.

Many colleges do not prepare graduates to network in a professional environment. If you are unsure about networking, there are some excellent books available. One that I really like is The Networking Survival Guide by Diane Darling.

Another thing that I've found is that if you want people to think of you and pay you like a professional then you need to act like one. That means dressing the part and acting the part, which to me includes no whining, backstabbing, gossiping, wasting time,etc. Don't just make yourself presentable, be resplendent. I find so many people today want to know what clothing they can get away with in the work place. Donít do that, dress so it is never an issue.

Iím sorry I didnít answer your original query. I think you need to see from another perspective and you will probably feel differently. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and for years I struggled with who I was or could be and one day I just decided to go for it. Iíve achieved all of my career goals and made great money. Iíve now relocated to a new city on the other side of the country decided to set some new career goals. Iíve started my own firm which I would never have had the guts to do without my knowledge of networking and my professional confidence in myself. Decide what you want, start getting out there and meeting people, once you get connected make sure those people know what youíre looking for and hold on because it can be a wild ride to get what you ask for in life. And never forget that networking isnít just about getting, the giving part is equally or more important.
You seem very sweet but you appear to be in victim mode. Remember you choose how you live. You put energy out there and it will determine what comes back to you. Change what you're putting out. Live with an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings. Write them down. Write down your goals, your dreams, your wildest desires and focus on them. Pump yourself up. I would recommend watching the Secret. You can watch a copy online for under $10 at thesecret.tv.

And don't forget this is your life, not a dress rehearsal!
I barely know anyone not to mention anyone in the design industry so there is no one to ask. My portfolio is mediocre and I can't draw so even if I moved I doubt anyone would hire me. I have thought that possibly this industry isn't for me, but I don't know what else to do. The only other two career paths I find interesting are a buyer for a clothing store or an interior designer. It would be the same thing with interior design and I don't have an education in fashion merchandising.
Originally Posted by tgreyz
I know someone who works as a buyer for a company that designs packaging for major corporations (like the holiday packaging for Starbucks, a lot of the department store cosmetic gift sets, etc.) She has a background in graphic design (some college, but no degree), but her actual job involves buying the blank packages to print the company's designs on. I think she started out at a fairly low salary, but she makes a good salary now and loves her job.

Anyway, I would imagine that there are several companies like hers that are in the design industry but don't just hire graphic designers. I would imagine that you wouldn't need to have great drawing skills to be a buyer, but your background might really help. Anyway, could you check out some design firms and see if they might be hiring for buyer/merchandiser/etc. positions?
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Don't you make one of these sob, why me, I hate my job posts every 2 or 3 months? How about this, you can continue what you're doing now and be miserable or go out and make something happen. Sure it's not that easy but at least make a serious effort and you might see some results.
Don't you make one of these sob, why me, I hate my job posts every 2 or 3 months? How about this, you can continue what you're doing now and be miserable or go out and make something happen. Sure it's not that easy but at least make a serious effort and you might see some results.
Originally Posted by RichardHead
You're right, I do, I'll stop doing that. I'm glad you are perfect and you can find a new job with a snap of your fingers. I'm asking about whether to make the commute. There is no guarantee that they will agree to let me do the work at home. That was casually thrown out there and from what he said it sounds like the other girl would prefer to have me in the office.

So I either suck up the loss of money and make the commute.

Or I don't commute and have no job until I can find something else.

Or they agree to let me work at home and pay me an undetermined amount once a month.

He said they will be leaving at the latest the second week of January. But it sounds like if they get a good price they could move the office immediately.
If you work from home as a contractor, you can deduct things like your computer and internet access as business expenses. I would do that.
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Don't listen to ****head.

I think that it is great that this happened, because it will force you to get out of a situation you don't like...that isn't getting you anywhere. Now, you can't really make a lot of excuses to convince yourself to stay.
You probably don't see it this way, but you have a couple of opportunities here amidst your problems.

1) they are willing to let you work from home/telecommute? That is fabulous. That means you control your time and the time you formerly spent wasting and waiting for content you can now use on another endeavor! I would not accept lower payment for working from home. You are doing them a favor because if you left they would have to find someone else, and that costs money.

2) "My sole responsibility is to put together a magazine and I can't work on anything until one of the owners provides me with things to insert into the magazine. This usually doesn't happen until the week before the magazine is due." This sounds like they could possibly use editorial help, not just production help. If you think you have the aptitude, skills and interest, this could be additional responsibility (pay) for you.

3) If you haven't job searched in more than 1.5 years, things may have changed. I would say they definitely have changed. Get out there an look again.

4) Do an activity that will help you bring more passion into your profession. You don't sound very enthused and that is what people look for. Writing, acting, dance class -- whatever -- to get your energy level up.

ETA 5) If you don't know what career path to take, take advantage of this time! this is the perfect no-risk opportunity to try to attain new skills. You're not in any big spotlight so if you f-ck up, no one will know

6) I barely know anyone not to mention anyone in the design industry so there is no one to ask. My portfolio is mediocre and I can't draw so even if I moved I doubt anyone would hire me.
I'm assuming you got a degree or some sort of certification in your field, but it sounds like you need to re-energize there too. Take another course; school is a great place to network. Do you beloing to any professional associations, like an Art Directors or Designers Club? Join the nearest one.

I'm going to be brutally frank. The design world is extremely competitive. I used to be one; when I lost interest, it showed in my work, and I got out and did something else. This may be a stepping-stone for you to somewhere else, but if you don't look out for your own opportunities
you are going to be bowled over and left behind by more motivated designers (notice I didn't say more talented ones).

Finally, if this funk you're in is affecting other areas of your life, let your primary care doctor know and ask for a recommendation to a good therapist. This will not take the place of doing the above stuff; it's just another way to help youself.
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