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You Asked: Do I Stay or Do I Go?

Dear Sugar--

Weeks after finishing college I landed a job for one of the world's biggest companies. It was incredible and 8 months on, I'm still pinching myself. However, the transition from the breezy student life, to the grueling work days where I get home well after 7:30 pm are starting to take their toll.

On top of this I have a boss who can't deal with stress and as a result takes it out on me. He expects so much of me and treats me in a way that makes me feel about 2 feet tall. I'm now dreading coming to work every morning and feeling miserable (which is having an affect on my

This is my first REAL job, so I don't know if I'm just being oversensitive. Is this normal? This is a HUGE opportunity, but the job itself isn't where I imagined myself. But I'm still so young and have a lot to learn. Do I stay or do I go?

--Overworked Olivia

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Overworked Olivia--

They don't call it "work" for nothing. Jobs can definitely be challenging, frustrating, time-consuming, and stressful at times, but if you are feeling miserable the entire time, something has to change. Hating your job and dreading going everyday isn't healthy for your soul. You can't live like this forever, even if it is "the opportunity of a lifetime."

Try to pin down what you can live with, and what you can't. If the long days are too much, is it possible to cut back on your hours, or do some work at home? If it's your stressed-out, inconsiderate boss that's putting you over the edge, do you think you could have a talk with him or possibly switch departments? Even though he is your boss, you've got to stand up for yourself. No one should be speaking to you disrespectfully, no matter how high up on the corporate ladder he or she is.

If everything combined is the problem, and you never imagined yourself at this kind of job anyway, why not take a leap toward the field you intended on? Trying out different jobs will give you varied skills, and will get you closer to figuring out what it is you really want to do. Good luck Olivia!


Join The Conversation
PinkNC PinkNC 9 years
You have to love where you are working, if you have the opportunity. But give this job a full year and try new habits to get through your days. Maybe new habits will make work easier and you can learn to deal with your boss like the other employees.
paulinhadrp paulinhadrp 9 years
I agree with Dear Sugar. Working where you don't feel passionate is just terrible.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I don't think it is dumb to leave a job before you have another one as long as financially your able to take care of things. It has been my experience that it is easier to find a job when you have a job.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
I agree. Going from an easy breezy student life to the real working job is not going to be easy. And for your first job, of course you feel like you are going around and around. There are thousands of people out there that don't come home until dark. I do. I leave the house at 6:50 am and I don't return until about 8 pm that evening. Of course it takes a toll on your personal life and relationships, but eventually you will learn to find a balance between each world. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD.
marthalilian126 marthalilian126 9 years
I was recently in a similar situation. I was a senior in college, about a month away from graduation, when I was offered a job with one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. Now, I'm not an attorney, I have no intention of going to law school, but I took a finance/accounting related position that I thought would be related to my field. It definitely was not related, as I found out after just a few months because it was a great name on my resume. Things got worse and worse (professionally and personally) until finally, I cracked. My question to myself was -- In 15 years, do I want to be doing what my boss is doing? And the answer was a resounding no. A lot of people think I was dumb to have left a job without another one waiting for me, but I think it was the best move I ever made. My full-time job is now to find a new job that I will love or at least a job that will lead me to where I want to be.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I can say from experience that the people you tend to learn the most from are the ones that are the toughest to work for. It is hard to say if you are being oversensitive without specific examples we have all felt about 2 feet tall at work at time or another. Working for a large, global company isn't all glamour and I think that is your problem you were just looking at the glamour and prestige not what the company really offered or what the expectations truly were. Sit down with your boss and really take the time to learn from him also take that opportunity to let him know that you don't like the way he makes you feel even let him help you set some career goals and figure out a path you would like your career to take. One of my rules is I work my butt off Monday - Thursday when Friday rolls around that is my day to get my desk cleared and out of the office early I have been in the apparel/footwear/fashion industry since I left college in the early 90's and it always amazes me how many people think you don't actually do any work and all you do is play with clothes all day and how great it must be to work for some of the companies I have worked for. What they fail to realize is at the end of the day it is just my job.
dior_show dior_show 9 years
I completely understand your long hours. Although I am still in school I have had internships in firms that have had several people, especially the younger (along with several friends who have experienced this) employees working from 6am-10pm, only to be called into work again at 5am. They would work anywhre from 70-90 hour weeks! and several of them had contracts. So don't worry, you aren't alone. I would suggest staying for 2 years, after you have been there for a year your boss may be able to begin considering you as an actual employee not just a college grad and things may change. Working for a big company is really exciting and can usually really jump start your career. Just make sure if you leave you leave on good terms, because if not, you wont get a good rec from the company, and it could be a waste (minus the salary which will really help you get on your feet). good luck!
dice dice 9 years
Just like everything in life, it takes time to get used to new things. I think you need to at least put in your "due-time" and soon enough you will reap the benefits & rewards from the experience. Just stick with it...
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
i completely disagree with Dearsugar here. There is a disconnect between what your expectations are when you graduate and what actually happens in a real work environment. I went through the same thing...except in my case, the boss wasn't taking it out on me, he was acting like i didn't exsist because he thought I wouldn't know how to do he gave me stupid admin stuff to do instead of real work. I have been at my job a year and a half now...and know what to expect. First off, you need to talk to someone about your bosses actions...preferably your boss. tell him, in a very diplomatic way, that he has been treating you badly (i.e. tell him you feel like you ahve done something to set him off since he has been acting short with you lately, etc) he may not know he is not handling his stress well, and maybe no one has told him. if that doesn't work, go to HR and file a complaint. It is unacceptable, and he should be reprimanded....anyone at the manager level and above should know how to control their emotions. Secondly, stick with it a little longer. Or let the company know, after talking to HR (if it comes tot that) you will leave unless they change your situation. They won't want to let you go, esp if it is a lengthy hiring process, etc. Good Luck. I recently became quite disenfranchised with my employer. I am going to stick with it at least through the 2 year mark, and give them a chance to make it better though (in my field, it is good to stay with a company at lest 2 years)
mlen mlen 9 years
the problem is a lot of large companies expect just that out of their college recruits- they work them to death until they leave, and then they just replace them with new recruits. ever notice how some departments there doesn't seem to be a person over age 27? that's just the turnover rate. its reality! i'd say suck it up for at least the year- as stated above, its good for the resume. and after that- try applying internally for new positions, if you like the company well enough. most big companies after a year will let you move internally-- so that way you'll get to stay with the good company but get a change of scene and bosses and job!
trendyindc trendyindc 9 years
Okay so maybe I'm being captain obvious here but if it's such a large company why not transfer locations?!?! Chances are they have your department in another office located halfway across the country from this jerk! If that's not an option go to HR and talk to them first and start sending out your resume since it could take a bit to find a new job. Also, maybe you could work one day from home or a compressed work week so you have one free day and relax. Good luck
clarapl clarapl 9 years
I was in a similar situation, with an abusive boss who took everything out on her employees, but I stuck it out for three miserable years--until the day I snapped and walked out. Actually, I was the THIRD employee to do so--but it was NOT a good solution to my problem. (No reference, obviously--after three years!) So, I would try to stick it out the full year--that's good advice--but in the meantime, start looking for another job if you are truly miserable. You are human, and can only take so much. Don't stay until you reach your breaking point like I did.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I really think she should wait and give it 2 years. She is probably not yet accustomed to the schedule. leaving after a year means this great employer -- no matter how many notice she gave them -- only hired her to train her and got nothing out of her. Trust me, no matter how great she is she may burn bridges. I work HR/Law for a top Company as well and there is nothing that we hate most than having new people come and run out after we train them-- only to most times get less prestigious and good jobs and want to run back because "I did not know it was like that everywhere" Just sayin'
Marci Marci 9 years
I agree about staying for a year before making a move. That's critical with your first job. The hours sound crazy; I've been there. I'm not really sure why everyone needs to work those long hours. If there's that much to be done, why don't they hire another person so everyone can go home and have a life, and come back in the morning ready to go. Makes sense to me.
rubialala rubialala 9 years
I think staying for a year to build up your resume is a good idea. Also, no job will ever be perfect, and unless you are the boss, there will always be yucky bosses out there, that may be something you have to deal with where ever you go. And I think it would be good to find another job before you quit this one.
junebrug junebrug 9 years
Though it wasn't the dream job you speak of, nor did I get paid very much, I can completely relate to your problem. I had a job once in which I got sick to my stomach every morning going to work because I knew I would be nervous about my boss treating me badly and concentrating on being nervous, I would make mistakes, and then my boss would treat me worse, and round and round it went. I finally had to realize no job was worth my sanity. I understand what the ladies are saying about staying at a least a year, but if your paycheck is going to Maalox, it's time to send out that resume.
Spicyeggplant Spicyeggplant 9 years
It is horrible to dread going into work and even worse having a supervisor that abuses their position by taking out their frustrations on their employees. Horrible as it is, this is one of those life lessons - deciding what you can put up with and what you can't, what is important to you and what you can do without. Whatever you do, make sure to take extra good care of yourself during off work hours and let your family and friends know how difficult a time you are having so they can circle the wagons.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I'm confused. You are working for one of the world's biggest companies, and 8 months in you are still pinching yourself - so to me that sounds like you like it. But you hate it? Do you just like the idea of it but not the reality? Frankly, I think that's pretty common. It sounds glamorous to be working for a big company but the reality is often far from perception. Dealing with stress and a lot of work is part of the package of working a prestigious job. A lot of people get into consulting jobs or investment banking right out of college and burn out quickly. I personally would not quit right now. Whether you know it or not, you are learning valuable lessons from this job that aren't even related to the actual work. There is something to be said for toughing things out and working through problems. However, that's not to say you should stay forever. But it seems important to last at least one year. By the way, being one of the world's biggest companies isn't a selling point for a job, at least in my world. It sounds like you got really caught up in the idea of something instead of the reality. Like that having a job with this company made you successful or something. If having a breezy lifestyle and not working hard is important to you, look for a job that accommodates that.
fancybeth fancybeth 9 years
I'd say stay at least a year, no matter how horrible it is, just so you can build your resume and have a chance at getting a better job. I know how it is though since I was completely demoralized by a nasty superior at my last job, and it really affected my relationship. Thankfully I was going back to school so I didn't have to stay, but I really think you should pull this one out for at least a year-- you're already 8 months in. Do you have a neutral HR person at your office to talk with?
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