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Hello everyone,

So I recently joined a new job, about 4 months ago - and it's been extremely stressful. I'm a research associate. My boss micromanages and I've come to realize that the position I joined is not at all the way I want my career to proceed. I don't want to spend my life crouching in front of a biosafety hood. I want to make a change of direction in that I want to get into project management.

Now I work in a start-up, so it isn't hard for them to switch me into this role. But I feel like I have resistance towards this where I feel like I need to work here longer and prove myself before that can happen. I know it isn't necessary and that I can easily make the change if I communicate it to my boss during the next performance review and stop tripping myself up. I somehow am feeling a bit disillusioned and very overworked. I don't mind working hard, but 50+ hours a week AND working weekends is taking its toll. Not to mention about 4 hours of commuting everyday.

I've also come to realize that I am probably better at abstract management and organizational skills than at everyday pipetting and dexterity. I feel like I don't have the same enthusiasm I used to about science that I had during my studies. I think it's a combination - a reflection of the work environment, I've outgrown it and because the pay really is shitty in science for a newcomer (who has two MS degrees too).

In my head, I know I can make this switch. Make it quick, make it easy and make it smooth. I've been taking online courses to get a feel for things and I love it. I just feel like I need a bit of help in changing my mindset and feeling more positive about this. I would also greatly appreciate any suggestions for activities and processes that can help me envision and really believe in the life I want to lead. The daily grind is wearing me down a bit, and I think the stress is making it very hard for me to feel better about this.

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I completely feel for you, I am going through something similar. I was hired by a start up 9 months ago for a marketing position. The job was supposed to be entry level/internship yet I never received training. After a couple of months my boss started saying that by now I should have become an end-to-end marketer and my performance is unacceptable for 2 months in. Anyways I continued trying and with a lot of ups and downs I did make some progress. But in November my boss started involving me in the business development process as well, which meant half the time for my marketing tasks. I found business development a little more interesting and felt like I was better at it. I hoped that after some time I would be able to negotiate my position and switch to bus. dev. permanently. But the company hired another person full time for that role and they keep comparing my results with hers. Yet she has had full training (she has a different boss than me) and has full time to dedicate into becoming better at it. Go figure. Anyway, I have seen however that other people in the company have gradually moved to different roles. Yet it took months (even years) to re-define their role. I think they slowly started putting a little more effort into their new role and showed solid results, so after some time they got promoted/switched to the new role. I don't think this however is possible in all cases, sometimes the timing is not right and maybe you also have some resistance towards you boss as well? 

Thank you so much, Marianna. You are right. I do have a certain amount of resistance towards my boss as my training under him was pretty stressful. I think in many ways they are happy with me, and really like having me around. Our current project manager left 2 months ago, but they still haven't hired anyone new. Just making do with the people already there. The timing is right because I know they want someone in that role, and they would rather have someone they know in the role. I guess it's just my resistance that is preventing me from seeing it as a concrete reality. I'm looking for ways to make this more believable to me, to make it more tangible on a daily basis and really feel like I'm headed towards that project management profile.

In some ways, I've also managed to make my workplace environment less stressful by focusing fully on the task at hand. Disconnecting from the constant tension and giving my full attention to the present task even if it's the simplest thing somehow helped. Over time, my boss started handing over my training and discussion of day to day tasks over to another colleague, one whom I get along better with. This is heartening, and makes me feel like it's a concrete change that I brought about by taking away my attention from what I didn't like.

I guess I want to feel a bit more confident about achieving the things I really want. And manifesting that change in career direction, so that I can start doing something I am more interested in.
This job sounds horrendous and if you keep working at it you will be exhausted. Fortunately, there is a higher power available to help you. For whatever reason (I don't know) you find yourself in this job, but the higher power is more than capable of helping you if you ask it to. It knows the right job for you as you are now, and knows how to get you there. Ask it to intervene and help you to move forwards in your life. It won't do this until you ask it to because it doesn't want to impinge upon your free will. But if you do ask it to, it will get to work straight away, and send all sorts of Angel help and assistance your way.

Hi Sir Neil, I took your advice and started changing my mindset to align with other, more viable opportunities. It seems like a lot of doors are opening up. I do have visa restrictions and will only be able to switch over to another job after 6-8 months. But there's a lot of promising things lining up, and I need to be patient until then.

But you're right. A little bit of introspection had me decide that this is not where I want to be, or how I want my everyday work-life to look, not how I want my relationship with my boss to be. The constant anxiety and tension gets to me. The disorganization, the day-to-day changes, the hourly changes, no intimation of plans until 6 p.m. and no weekly planning of my schedule (which is highly dependent on other people), it's all too much stress. I don't see the point of waiting 2-3 years to get to a better place when I can make that change sooner. I guess I was just a bit scared to even consider the thought of finding a job, going through the whole hassle again. But it's really much easier this time around.

Thank you for being so frank with me.


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