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Need career advice : quit 9 month job

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Old 08-05-2019, 08:29 PM
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Default Need career advice : quit 9 month job

Hello i need career advice. I just graduated last year from local uni with 2nd lower honors in political science. I joined the civil service last year august. For the first few months of my job, i was posted to an 'attachment'. The attachment is usually to a less desirable job, either public facing and/or bad hours(shift pattern). I think its supposed to see if you can tolerate the worst jobs the organization has to offer. After my attachment of 7 months, I was posted to my current job.

Background about current job
My current job is desk bound in office, with a location about ten minutes by public transport from my house. I work 8 and a half hours everyday, though almost everyday i am forced to stay back about 45 mins to an hour(not that i really mind). The pay is not too bad either, slightly above market rate i think. My job does not offer/require specialized knowledge, only very generic skills. I basically do stuff like send emails everyday, review plans, write NOMs/MAs, stuff that i would term administrative. My current organization is also really small, with very limited career advancement/progression. The only movement usually is horizontally, where you get posted to a different posting.

Issues with my current job

I have been at my current location for about 2-3 months. While the skills required is considered generic, there are still certain knowledge that is required. For example, it can be a certain way my organization does things, or knowledge about the job. I have no background knowledge or experience and my previous attachment has no relation with the current job.
As such I have to rely on my colleague to teach me. Note that he is the only one in my department that is doing the same job as me, so i have no one else to approach. This colleague is making things very difficult for me, and refusing to teach properly. Instead of teaching/coaching properly, he would send an email with very vague instructions. Whenever i attempt to clarify or ask questions, I would either get a very passive aggressive or sarcastic answer. I am also pretty sure that he has been sabotaging my work. As he is my 'teacher' I sometimes send my work for him to view first before sending it to my superiors. Previously I trusted him and did not think he would sabotage me, so i did not check when he send back to me for submission to bosses.
As a result, I have made several errors and mistakes. While I have apologized to my superior and taken personal responsibility for the mistakes, I think my superior is starting to think that i am incompetent, which i am pretty sure is my colleague's objective.
To illustrate, my superior has told me to clarify when in doubt. However, when i attempt to clarify with my colleague, he would give unhelpful/unnecessary comments. He also has this ability to make me feel like its my fault, that I am incompetent, whenever something goes wrong, or when i make a mistake.
I think that I am unable to seek assistance from my superiors as they seem to like him quite alot.
Effect on me
This past 2-3 months have had a negative effect on my mental health. I have been getting anxiety attacks, stress rash, and have even considering hurting myself just so I can avoid seeing her. I have totally lost my appetite to the degree that I can just eat 2 pieces of bread in the morning and not feel hungry for the rest of the day. I feel hopeless and miserable, and I cant even picture myself next week. I have to take everyday, day by day and hope I don't lose it/break down. Everyday I just tell myself to hold on to the end of the day, just survive.
This has got to the point that I decided to go see a counselor. I am worried i get diagnosed with depression. I started 2 weeks ago and seen him twice, but today is especially bad so i am writing to ask for help.

As a result, I have totally lost interest in my job. I no longer feel the drive to excel, I just want to survive the day and get out of the office.


Advice needed
I think I would like to quit this job. I have already identified a few jobs that I am actually interested in and would like to apply for. However I am worried that employers would ask about this job and why I left in less than a year. What should I tell them? Should I even quit?
I have sought advice from my mother who mentioned that I shouldn't quit, that I should tough it out and that I would meet these kind of people everywhere. She says I should just bootlick my colleague until he leaves me alone. I think I am physically unable to do it. I am at a loss. I fear for my mental health.

And to those people who feel compelled to point it out, yes i am aware that i am letting this colleague get to me, and that there are plenty of people who are in worse circumstances than me. The thoughts that I am a loser, a coward have all occurred to me, so you could probably save your time.

TLDR:
I want to quit my first job(after graduation) of 9 months because toxic colleague is causing mental health issues. Need advice.

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Old 08-05-2019, 09:00 PM
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Hi I think I can really relate to what you are going through now. Something similar happened to me in the not so distant past. My situation was way worse than you though. I work till 11pm on average and my boss is always very critical about my work. What is worse is that it was a small startup so I had no peers or anybody to turn to. Everyday I just look forward to the weekends - literally counting down to the end of the week. And when Sunday comes along, i would be struck with anxiety the night before and not be able to sleep at all. Iím happy to say however that I have since left the organisation and found for myself a way better job. I too lasted about 9 months in that terrible job. If I were to offer my 2 cents, no job is worth damaging your mental health. It is more common than you think for people to leave their first jobs after just a (relatively) short period of time. This is especially true with millennials these days as I have come to learnt. Ideally though, try to find a job before you quit if possible.

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Old 08-05-2019, 09:17 PM
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hi voskesbun,

I think you should find a different job or transfer to a different team. Work can be alot more fun when the team is supportive of you actions and have your back when you have doubt. A good senior is almost as valuable as the job itself. They will groom you to be as good or better then them to handle more difficult projects in the future. Try to get yourself into such a team and work will be alot better.

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Old 08-05-2019, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
hi voskesbun,

I think you should find a different job or transfer to a different team. Work can be alot more fun when the team is supportive of you actions and have your back when you have doubt. A good senior is almost as valuable as the job itself. They will groom you to be as good or better then them to handle more difficult projects in the future. Try to get yourself into such a team and work will be alot better.
Thank you for your reply anon. I have thought about asking for a transfer. Though I am not sure whether it will be allowed. I have heard that the senior management doesnt allow it. Should i go to my direct superior(which seems to like my toxic colleage alot) or HR?
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voskesbun View Post
Thank you for your reply anon. I have thought about asking for a transfer. Though I am not sure whether it will be allowed. I have heard that the senior management doesnt allow it. Should i go to my direct superior(which seems to like my toxic colleage alot) or HR?
Having work in civil sector before, I do not think you are able to suka suka apply for transfer.

I think your mom is right. There are such ppl like him around in every company. You can run but you can't hide. What if next job you meet such colleague again? Are you going to quit again?

Since you are consider a fresh graduate I think you are quite fortunate to get into civil sector whereas other grads might still be looking for jobs.

I think you should try to face your fears to be honest.

Just a question though, is it a Male or female colleague? Because you mention "him" and "she" in your post.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:22 AM
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Do not think you should go down without a fight. Seek out allies in the company or find ways to get key management personnel on your side. Your mother is right - there are people like that in every company and every industry.

Quitting because of your direct boss is a whole other thing altogether as they determine your job appraisal / performance. But if this is just a colleague / senior playing politics you should stand up and fight for yourself.

Personally have been through situations where other colleagues have tried to get me fired and i went through this whole avoidance phase but at the end i decided to fight back and they got fired instead. But of course, morals come into play and at the end of the day it depends on how much you are willing to do to survive.

All the best!
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:00 AM
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I take a different view from the posters above. Just quit - you don't need to waste energy and emotions fighting with people like that. Believe me, there are dozens of jobs out there waiting for you right now. If you stay, you are going to spend at least another year fighting this emotional battle and from what I am reading, you are not going to be able to cope well.

Colleagues like that are not 'everywhere'. I bet you that in your new job you will not be in the same situation, having to deal with that single colleague who has much sway over you and who is an asshole. There will at least be other colleagues in your new job who you can turn to. Don't imagine that the same situation would be everywhere.

Consider the reasons why you would want to stay. Quitting after 9 months is fine, nobody will think you are a 'job hopper' just because of that especially since this is your first job and 9 months is pretty long. It doesn't matter.

If you are able to find other job opportunities, just jump (maybe ask for a pay raise with your jump as well).

The world is your oyster.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I take a different view from the posters above. Just quit - you don't need to waste energy and emotions fighting with people like that. Believe me, there are dozens of jobs out there waiting for you right now. If you stay, you are going to spend at least another year fighting this emotional battle and from what I am reading, you are not going to be able to cope well.

Colleagues like that are not 'everywhere'. I bet you that in your new job you will not be in the same situation, having to deal with that single colleague who has much sway over you and who is an asshole. There will at least be other colleagues in your new job who you can turn to. Don't imagine that the same situation would be everywhere.

Consider the reasons why you would want to stay. Quitting after 9 months is fine, nobody will think you are a 'job hopper' just because of that especially since this is your first job and 9 months is pretty long. It doesn't matter.

If you are able to find other job opportunities, just jump (maybe ask for a pay raise with your jump as well).

The world is your oyster.
Just to add: I mean no offense to you, but as an outsider I really want to tell your mum to f*** off with her wimpy attitude. What bootlick colleague to get into his/her good books? Screw that. You should f*** your colleague instead and show that you are able to just jump elsewhere while he/she has to be stuck in that small no-progression department.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:50 AM
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Thank you for your replies. I have actually located quite a few jobs in the govt that I might be interested in. I know that I shouldnt quit before locating a new job.

The thing is, how should i explain that i left my job after less than 1 year during the interview? Should i even include it in my resume?

Also I have to say that my current job, I accepted the moment they offered because I was worried I couldnt get a job, not because of interest. Which is partly why I am in this mess i suppose
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voskesbun View Post
Thank you for your replies. I have actually located quite a few jobs in the govt that I might be interested in. I know that I shouldnt quit before locating a new job.

The thing is, how should i explain that i left my job after less than 1 year during the interview? Should i even include it in my resume?

Also I have to say that my current job, I accepted the moment they offered because I was worried I couldnt get a job, not because of interest. Which is partly why I am in this mess i suppose
You should include it in your resume since it is working experience, otherwise they will ask you what you spent your 9 months doing anyway.

You can always think of some random reason (just need to be convincing), for example that you prefer the new job's job scope because more chance to do policy work / analysis work, or new job involves more international elements which you are keen to build on for your long term career. Make it sound like you are a long term visionary looking to build a career for 10-20 years down the road.

All the best! I have a few friends who were really depressed in their previous jobs like you, e.g. because of a bad boss or crazy workload, and they are all in a much better place now after they moved. Never stick to a job or workplace you hate just because you think other places won't be better.
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