re: Where do I go from here? VIEW POST

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re: I wonder if you can make some kind of transition to make life easier for yourself within the company you currently work for. I'm thinking of things...
 

Currently I work in a small research lab at a university and there isn't really any mobility in terms of job role. This was a job I took specifically to get away from the stresses of working for corporate/commercial software, where the only lateral moves were into project management, which I don't have the brain for.

 

Would teaching be a viable option? Maybe you could replace some of your current work hours with time as an instructor, teaching assistant, something like that...

Unfortunately, I only have a small amount of teaching experience, and bigger the issue with fibromyalgia is that it does its own thing on its own schedule; I can't predict when I'm going to be in too much pain to get out of bed.

I understand. Hopefully you can talk to your employer and get some reduction in your work hours so that you can have time to recuperate. It may be worth considering asking to do some work from home as well if that is possible. That way, if you're not feeling well, you can stop. But if you feel up to putting in an hour or two, you can do that, and then go back to resting some more. I hope that you will have some relief and that things will get a bit easier for you.

Thanks. The thing is, I'm already being very well-accommodated at the current job, but I'm just not happy with the work I'm supposed to be doing. But there's this gigantic barrier to me finding another job I'd rather be doing, because of my constraints.

In that case, my sense is that staying at this current job is the right call to make, at least for the time being. Even if you're not terribly fond of the work, it's work.

I realize it's a bit of a silly analogy, but I really dislike certain chores like folding laundry. I've found it helpful to take a patient attitude toward it of folding one item at a time and not worrying about how long the whole process takes. Hopefully you can take the same approach - just do one task at a time. Focus on getting the work done rather than whether it is deeply enjoyable or satisfying. Try to get the satisfaction from the effort and time you put into it, rather than whether it is inherently fun or interesting.

If/when you're able to, go out into the world and spend a bit of time doing other things you enjoy outside of work - it doesn't have to require a huge commitment. Maybe take a class, like a yoga/meditation class, or do some meetups related to technology when you can, that sort of thing. If you're able to do some things like that, I hope it can make up a bit for the lack of engagement at work...

If you're able to stabilize your health situation, then you can start to think about getting a different job as well.

It's not just a lack of engagement or a mild dislike for the work, it's that it's stuff that I don't have any competency in and, due to the brain fog due to being in constant pain, I am unable to focus enough to learn what I need to learn.

If I had this workload at a job where I already knew what I was doing, I'd agree with you, but I'm out of my depth and I feel like I'm just wasting everyone's time.

That's a tough one. If you haven't already, and you think it won't be used against you, it may be worth talking to your boss about the situation. Maybe they can adjust the kind of work they ask you to do so it's a bit easier for you to handle.

It also may be worthwhile to start looking around for other opportunities while you still have this job. They say it's easier to get a job when you already have one. Maybe you'll find something that's more in line with things you already know and they might also be willing to accommodate your health issues.

Yes. But what jobs might those be? That was entirely the question I was asking by making the original post.

I apologize for misunderstanding your original post. I guess that was a lot of "sound and fury, signifying nothing" :)

My thoughts turn to doing the same things anyone would normally do looking for a job: Check the most popular job boards for postings in your area. Also, do searches for companies in your area that you think you may enjoy working for and see if you can contact them directly somehow (via email, linkedin, whatever the case may be). Possibly get in touch with some headhunters to see if they can bring opportunities to you.

Given your situation, I'd try to apply for jobs where I think I already know how to do stuff quite well, to reduce the learning curve. The idea is to leverage the knowledge and experience you already have as much as possible.

If you get to a point where they are interested in you, I think that is the time to mention your health issues and see if they can help and support you to work around them. I wouldn't bring it up right away - I think it's better to raise it once you already have their interest and attention as a stand-out candidate.

I don't know this for certain, but it may be worth looking into government or non-profits, with the idea being that they may pay less, but perhaps they'd be more flexible in accommodating you.

Searching for a job may be taxing on its own, so make sure to space this out and not do too much at a time.

Of course, this is all stuff you may have considered already. I don't have any really unusual or original ideas that come to mind.

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