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Leaving a job without a new one lined up

(16 Posts)
Notsogoodhousekeeping Tue 04-Sep-12 20:25:42

I'm thinking (whinging?) out loud here, really, but if anyone's got any thoughts I'd appreciate them.

I've been in my current job for 18 months, having retrained a few years ago. I knew when I took the job it wasn't going to be anything more than a stepping stone and good on my CV, but the reality has turned out to be pretty unbearable.

We don't get any training (other than that which is legally required eg first aid) or appraisals. There is no scope for progression or pay rises. My boss is frequently manic; the rest of the time she's texting or chatting. She talks constantly of her own plans to leave, but there is no set date and so I feel completely at sea. She's spent nearly five of the past 10 months away on sabbatical or on holiday for extended periods, all of which was agreed by management; we were just expected to cope. She is disorganised and refuses to take responsibility when things go wrong, instead choosing to blame me or my other colleague (often within earshot). If I'm at fault I'll happily put my hands up if only to solve the problem and move on, but this is just building resentment. She is often rude to visitors.

Our main manager is rarely seen, preferring to hide away in an office. I feel totally alone, and like I'm going backwards rather than learning anything new. It has got to the point where I really dread going into work and it is starting to make me feel quite stressed out.

My industry is very seasonal and now is a really bad time to be looking for a job. However I would be more than happy to do any old job to keep a wage coming in (it's just me, no kids or mortgage or anything so am free to go wherever I want) but I am worried that a prospective employer is going to wonder why I left this job, as it's with a nationally recognised company. I do have freelance options, but not enough to keep me going for more than a month or two.

I've nearly been in tears on several occasions. There is no point discussing it with her as she will immediately take offence and refuse to see the bigger picture - I've seen it happen with other colleagues; she simply cannot see when she's in the wrong. I just don't know what to do.

Numberlock Wed 05-Sep-12 16:11:25

It sounds like a horrible situation but I really would be tempted to stick it out until I have another job to go to. The immediate relief at being rid of this job would seen be overshadowed by financial problems and of course you can't claim JSA if you voluntarily leave your job. Not to mention having to explain to future employers the gap on your CV and the reasons why you decided to leave.

Are you putting lots of effort into finding a new job (it's good that you say you are willing to do anything)? What kind of responses are you getting to applications? Have you had any interviews?

Focus your effort into this, knowing that each day you go into work is one day nearer to your goal of leaving.

ekidna Wed 05-Sep-12 19:26:02

I left a job without another job. I wish I had left much, much earlier before my confidence eroded to the point it did. The only thing that kept me there was people saying "its easier to find a job when you're in a job". I was so down that I couldn't find another job whilst I was in the job because I'd got to the point where I felt like a skill-less piece of shit. What helped I think on my CV was that a couple of months before resigning I started volunteering in a field I wanted to move into. This made sure there was no big gap on my CV.

Only one prospective agency asked me the reason for my last job and I said that I'd wanted to move into a different field and saved up some money so I could resign and put my all into cracking into the new field. I got a job within about 4 weeks of looking.

I think if you are prepared to work as anything in the meantime, don't live in the back end of nowhere where there are no jobs, have a PMA and a brief, non-emotional, not-blaming-the boss explanation as to why you resigned.

I've found it very empowering actually and am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy now. Don't let the fuckers get you down. If you can apply for other jobs before quitting its best, but if the spirit has been kicked out of you
but you know you are resourceful enough to get a job quickly GO FOR IT

Notsogoodhousekeeping Wed 05-Sep-12 19:57:48

Thanks both, some really useful input there.

Unfortunately I do live in the back end of nowhere where there are no jobs! I am just worried that even an interim I'll-take-anything job would look bad on my CV given that I work in quite a specialist industry. I could be worrying for nothing but given I am trying to forge a career rather than just paying the bills, I worry that it would look crap.

Over the past few days I decided to look into doing relevant internships abroad, and there are some, but it's the cost of it all that puts me off. I have some savings but don't really want to use them all! But surely better to spend them doing something relevant to my career (maybe look on it as training of sorts) for a few months before the jobs market fires up again early next year?

I've got my CV registered with the top agencies in the field, plus I am checking the two main industry jobsites daily, plus indeed.co.uk, which seems like a fab resource. Oh and the JC website too. Plus all the relevant big employers' websites. But as I say, without giving too much away it's very seasonal work, so now is a really bad time to be looking. There are jobs out there, but I would definitely have to move, and I am loath to move somewhere for a job that isn't right, and possibly find myself in the same situation.

ekidna Wed 05-Sep-12 20:40:01

are you registered with the agencies or is just your CV registered?

what I mean is have you been able to make connections with the consultants in the agencies or are you just leaving it to them plucking you out of their registered online pool?

get as proactive and enthusiastic in their faces as you can. ask the recruitment consultants in an open, friendly way for their feedback on your CV and experience and what other people have in terms of training that might be good for you to get (including internships abroad) book a day off work and book appointments to see the recruitment consultants. buy a book on how to write FANTASTIC cover letters and make your own approaches to employers.

ships in harbour are safe but thats not what they're made for :-)

ekidna Wed 05-Sep-12 20:42:14

and make links on linkedin with the recruiters names on the jobs advertised on indeed.co.uk. I have found that for my industry there are hundreds of applications made to each job on indeed and direct gov but I was able to use the information on them to google contacts and forge relationships which were more personal and fruitful.

Notsogoodhousekeeping Wed 05-Sep-12 21:00:29

I like the ships one, that's a good analogy!

Very good point about the agencies - I am rubbish about chasing anything up, don't want to put people's noses out of joint by being annoying, iyswim, even though it would probably make them desperate to find me a job just to get me off their case.

I shall out myself a little bit and say that I work a gardener, which is why it is a little bit more difficult - a lot of jobs aren't advertised so I will be doing some speculative applications this weekend. It's highly unlikely that anyone I work with is on here but I am still very wary as it's quite a small world. I also work in a fairly remote part of the UK and hence it is very difficult (and expensive) to get to job interviews.

I know for sure that there is one bit of training that, while not essential, would be a big door-opener for me. It costs £400 but I am looking into getting some funding to help with that.

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond! smile

Notsogoodhousekeeping Wed 05-Sep-12 21:01:20

It also doesn't help that I don't really know what job I do want to do confused

Numberlock Thu 06-Sep-12 09:32:57

It also doesn't help that I don't really know what job I do want to do

Are you thinking of having a career change or do you mean which particular aspect of gardening work you want to specialise in?

Notsogoodhousekeeping Fri 07-Sep-12 13:24:28

Which aspect of gardening - horticulture is definitely the right industry for me and there are so many options, which is why it's difficult to know which way to go.

I hate feeling trapped like this, and things really aren't good at work. We are all assigned to a particular area, and each team is pretty much left to our own devices, which is part of the problem. Nobody else really sees what goes on, although my boss is renowned for being a constant source of crises.

She told me I was chaotic in my working patterns yesterday - I think she meant it in a sort-of nice way, but I had to bite my tongue because I don't think I've ever met anyone more chaotic than her. Me occasionally leaving a spade in the wrong place hardly causes massive upset in the team, unlike her constant "I'm leaving! No I'm not! Yes I am! No I'm not!".

It's got to the point where I just can't bear it any more, and that has stopped me from being able to distance myself from it. It's also very hard to distance yourself when you spent 8 hours a day with that person.

Notsogoodhousekeeping Mon 10-Sep-12 22:11:08

I bit the bullet today and asked if I could be transferred to another area of the garden. Not a definite yes or no, but it has given me some hope at least. And if not, I have my back-up plan of going abroad for a while until the job market picks up in the spring.

Numberlock Tue 11-Sep-12 10:31:40

Sounds positive, notsogood.

Whereabouts abroad are you thinking of going to?

Notsogoodhousekeeping Tue 11-Sep-12 23:37:55

Not sure yet, but basically anywhere warm! And where I can get some relevant voluntary work experience.

I spoke to my supervisor this morning and told her that I had asked to move areas. To her credit she said she'd noticed I wasn't happy and asked if she was the problem. I didn't have a chance to respond as we have had a manic day at work but I think it's only fair to her if I try to gently say that things haven't been easy recently, and that she really needs to decide if she's going to leave or going to stay. It's not fair on us to feel like everything's constantly up in the air; we can't plan for anything.

Notsogoodhousekeeping Wed 24-Oct-12 21:33:55

An update: I quit today :/

After I asked to move areas (and gave reasons why, including positive ones such as wanting to gain new skills) I was told yes, fine, we'll move you next month. All was going to plan until my boss put a spanner in the works because there would be nobody to replace me (to be fair, my promised replacement's boss had said no to her moving into my area, even temporarily).

So all change, just a few days before I was due to change over. I had been feeling like there was light at the end of the tunnel, but nope. Then I hear that my boss has been offered a plum job created 'just for her' because of all her threats to leave. I was to move areas after all, but when nobody could say. Meanwhile boss continues to threaten to leave, everything is up in the air and our manager still failed to grow a spine and tell her to shit or get off the pot.

I'd been feeling more and more depressed, and increasingly miserable about going to work each day, and so this morning I told my boss I was handing in my notice - ironically she says it has spurred her on to hand in her notice! I then told our manager, who said he was disappointed and not surprised, and that I should keep in touch (ie the door is open should I want to come back).

Not surprised? Not fucking surprised?? So anyway, I'm off on my travels and to get as much experience as I can volunteering while I'm away.

janey68 Wed 24-Oct-12 21:38:41

Good for you- you're being proactive and moving forward; that's always so much better than remaining in a situation that's making you unhappy

Notsogoodhousekeeping Wed 24-Oct-12 21:50:07

Thanks smile

I said to my boss that I felt I wasn't giving my all to the job and so it wasn't fair to stay. There is a mass exodus at work at the moment but management don't seem to think it's an issue - it saves them from having to make redundancies in the new year :/

They just don't get that you have to invest in your staff to get the best out of them. They don't seem to realise that the public visit us because of the quality of the gardens, not for the tearooms, and if the gardens decline any more people will stop coming. We joked the other day that it's like the horticultural equivalent of Fawlty Towers.

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