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Hating my "great job" and not wanting to go back after my next maternity leave

(21 Posts)
Claphammama Sun 28-Apr-13 13:34:11

Hi All. I need some reassurance I guess... I have what on paper is an amazing job paying great money. The problem is that while my company is really amazing, my team and my day to day work are not... and I absolutely hate it. I've been with the company for over 6 years and things have changed a lot in my team over the last years. We now have a lot of very political and ruthlessly ambitious people from political background, who enjoy playing games, promote and hire their friends etc... I no longer feel part of this team and I am depressed every day because of my job. I am also incredibly bored... I've been like this for over 2 years but we knew we wanted a second child (I'm pregnant now) so I decided to last in this job to get another great maternity leave. I thought I would take a year off and then decide what I wanted to do. However, I feel that I have now come to the end of the road. I can no longer pretend and hide that I hate it. My partners is on good money and wants me to stop once DC2 is born. I want to be a SAHM for 2-3 years and then do something I really love, even if it pays a quarter of what I get now. I feel I am wasting my life doing something everyone thinks is amazing but I hate. I realise that I am in a very privileged position and I should be grateful. Most people don't have this luxury to be able to choose. And I didn't have it until now. I come from having very little money in my childhood and I've worked very hard for many years to get where I am in my career. Most of my friends think I have the most amazing job ever and would be crazy to give it up. But I don't want it anymore... even if it means less money and more mundane jobs in the future... Am I being ungrateful and naive? Has anyone else had to make a similar choice and was in a similar position?

EasyToEatTiger Sun 28-Apr-13 13:49:15

I left a job I loathed, just before I became pg. It wasn't very sensible really and I lost out on mat leave and other bits & pieces. Being a SAHM can be pretty dull and depressing even with the most wonderful children. If your boss is crap and the office politics are too much, is there another way to deal with it? Can you talk to your boss or someone in HR? The Best Job in the World is no good unless the person doing it wants to be there. It's not the best job in the world at all then. It's just a job.
It may be easy to feel disillusioned with your working life. I would try to look at it from another angle before you decide to ditch it, then you can be confident in your decision.

youmaycallmeSSP Sun 28-Apr-13 13:51:17

Snap. I'm on maternity leave now from a job that was fantastic until an out and out psychopath was hired to head up the department. I know that I will never find a job like this again - part-time, extremely well paid and local - in my very niche field but I have absolutely no intention of going back.

amessagetoyouYoni Sun 28-Apr-13 13:53:20

No you arent being ungrateful and naive. If you have the choice, make the most of it, because not everyne does.

I gave up a well paid, glamorous, 'great' career and was a SAHM for a couple of years, then retrained and now work in a less well paid, definitely not glam, but much more rewardng and family-friendly role. Have never looked back and my life is much happier now as a result.

Life is too short to be miserable if you have options.

Claphammama Sun 28-Apr-13 14:05:17

Thanks so much!! It's so good to know that I'm not the only one... I'm lucky that my DP is so supportive and I'm planning to use my break wisely, to retrain and decide what I really want to do for the next 30 years. Yes, I know that being a SAHM is not always as lovely as I may now think it might be. A few friends who are tried to open my eyes. But I think it might be good for me for a couple of years or so. I've worked so intensively for the last 15 years that I feel burnt out... nothing left inside.
Yoni this is exactly how I feel - life is too short and money is not everything. Do you now do something radically different from your original job? Or is it more of a step sideways?
Tiger I'm trying to bite my tongue and last until my maternity leave to get all my benefits. I'm 15 weeks now so still a few months to go. Two holidays planned to break it up though.
SSP - yes... amazing how a couple of wrong people can completely change a place...

MoanyYoni Sun 28-Apr-13 14:24:10

There's nothing more soul destroying than being in a full-time job that you hate. I was in a similar position when pregnant with my first DC. I hadn't been in the job long either but, to me, it was just the worst place in the world..full of people playing games rather than focussing on the actual business. When my beautiful baby came along, I couldn't think of anything worse than being so contented in my home life and then going back to that hell-hole! I lost out a bit on maternity pay too, but to me there were more important things to consider.

I agree with the posters above - life's too short!

youmaycallmeSSP Sun 28-Apr-13 14:37:30

Hang on for that maternity leave!

CornishYarg Sun 28-Apr-13 14:46:07

YANBU. You are in the fortunate position of being able to change what you don't like about your life so there's no need to suffer a job you hate.

Before DS was born, I worked for the same company for nearly 11 years. It was well paid, the company was good and I'd passed a number of exams to qualify in my field. But I hated it. The job had evolved and I was doing very little of the aspects I enjoyed and instead, had to do lots of sales and managerial things which I hated.

Like you, my DH earned enough for me to be a SAHM to DS. It wasn't easy to decide to leave, especially because of the study I had put in and because I sometimes found (and still find!) it tough being a SAHM. But I'm 100% happy that it was the right decision. It's corny, but I feel like I appreciate the little things in life more. I used to get worked up and angry about minor things, because I was so stressed about work, but now I'm a lot calmer.

DS is 19 months and my plan is to look for work locally when he starts pre-school, probably in a different area completely.

Snog Sun 28-Apr-13 15:07:33

Don't sell your soul.
Leaving this job will lead to a happier life and who knows what future opportunities may present themselves?

quesadilla Sun 28-Apr-13 15:23:30

I don't think you are being ungrateful or naive: a job which you hate corrodes your soul and there's nothing wrong with being honest with yourself about this - what a job is like "on paper" and how it makes you feel are two totally different things.
On the other hand I wouldn't chuck it in to become a sahm until you have thought quite hard about your escape route, so to speak. It sounds like you are - or have been - quite an ambitious and driven person and you don't know whether being a sahm will suit you or not. You may adore it, or it may drive you crazy with boredom.
I wasn't quite clear from your post whether you are essentially debating whether to stay until you get past your second mat leave or whether to chuck it in before you get pregnant? It sounds like you are not under serious financial pressure so there's nothing to stop you chucking it in. But when you say you want to be a sahm for 2-3 years and go back to something you enjoy, you need to be a bit careful how you approach this. The job market at the moment is ruthlessly tough. I am in a well paid and reasonably prestigious job at the moment, have been looking for another job for a year and am not even getting interviews. Changing careers is harder now than ever. If you do want to retrain or just downshift, you may find two or three years off the job market will amplify this. I am not saying don't do it if your heart is set on this but you shouldn't be under any illusions that its going to happen easily: it could actually be more like four, five or six years before you are actually working properly again.
Just give it a lot of consideration.

Claphammama Sun 28-Apr-13 16:17:17

so good to hear all your thoughts!

quesadilla I'm already 15 weeks pregnant and planning to stick it out to the end as I get 6 months full pay maternity leave but NOT considering going back. I worry it will be hard to change my career, as you say things are not great out there at the moment, but there is nothing I want more so willing to risk and give it a try!

As one of you said, the same is happening to me - I feel like I'm not a nice person anymore. Always stressed, angry and everything / everyone winds me up. I don't sleep well, was drinking far too much wine before I got pregnant. Want to be back to my old self!

thanks for all your support. I appreciate it so much!

Fairyliz Sun 28-Apr-13 16:48:03

As other posters have said think very very carefully before you give it all up. Its incredibly difficult to change careers at the moment especially if you have young children and may be looking for part time or a job that does not require you to work overtime. Most mums I know who have had a few years off have ended up a lot further down the career chain, e.g. ex laywer now working part-time in a fairly basic admin job.

DeepRedBetty Sun 28-Apr-13 16:55:40

My reading of your situation is that you don't HAVE to tell work anything right now. You know you've only got a few month before maternity leave, and that's going to be broken up nicely by a couple of holidays.

I went self employed after my stint as SAHM, it's taken a while but I now earn reasonably well and more importantly I don't have office politics corroding my daily life any more. I've been through it too and you've described the symptoms perfectly.

You're in a pretty good place to be able to make this choice, best wishes.

thebody Sun 28-Apr-13 17:00:40

I was a SAHM for years while my kids were littke. Left a good career to do so. Wouldn't change it for the world.

My oldest Dcs now in 20s reminisce about long summer picnics and cheap family hols in Wales.

If you can afford it go for it. Trust me they fly the nest in the blink of an eye.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 28-Apr-13 17:05:21

Definitely hang on for maternity leave but check you won't have to pay your enhanced maternity package back if you don't go back - most places have conditions on it.

And who knows the annoying people could leave in the next 18 months so worth keeping options open

BearsInMotion Sun 28-Apr-13 17:06:28

Bear in mind that you might need to go back for a set period to keep your maternity benefits, I had to go back for 6 months, otherwise the company could reclaim my maternity pay.

Having said that I was in a very similar position to you, my boss is a duplicitous, manipulative empire builder who would sell her own grandmother to advance her career. I will have been back at work for six months to the day tomorrow (having spent six weeks of that on annual leave) and it will be my last day at the company. On Wednesday I start an almost identical job in a similar company, on a higher salary, working for someone I know and respect grin.

I agree with others that you shouldn't sell your soul to be in a job you hate, but don't burn your bridges yet (to mix metaphors), you have time to check out your options, you don't need to make a decision now.

BearsInMotion Sun 28-Apr-13 17:07:08

X-post MrsCB!

OddBoots Sun 28-Apr-13 17:18:45

I'm guessing there is no possibility of changing team in the same company at the end of your mat leave?

maddening Sun 28-Apr-13 18:31:19

You might have to go back after ml if you don't want to pay back your enhanced package - I would take the year off and go back for the required time and see how it is then - you could force a change of teams or departments by making a request for part time or flexible hours.

Claphammama Sun 28-Apr-13 19:52:03

I don't have to go back to get my full maternity package. Can just give a months notice at any time. So that's good.

Over the last year have looked into changing teams but the problem is that most roles in my company are quite specialised and there are very few options open to me. So changing is super difficult and very unlikely. I'm also quite senior which makes it more difficult. No one would want to hire me for more junior but different roles to train me (this was my lesson!) And I find that the more senior you get the more difficult it is to move around internally... as I would be expected to have different skills for other senior roles. A vicious circle...

And you are right - I don't have to make any decisions yet or communicate anything yet. I only feel that I need to make a decision in my head to get some distance and mental space to think seriously about something new.

And you are right - some people or things may change in 18 months... always possible...

Claphammama Sun 28-Apr-13 20:04:18

And the bottom line is that I'm really tired of American corporate culture... and my line of work in general. I've been ambiguous about it since the beginning but now feel that I need a radical change... over the last few months I've been jealous of shop assistants, people serving me coffee or my cleaner. Stupid I know... but made me realise that something is very wrong

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