Hi Blmoon, need some insight & advice
I spoke to my boss regarding my contract renewal today. Normally, with each renewal, you would get an increment. Most companies also give a completion bonus to encourage retention. Some even give performance bonus. I'm only getting an increment with each renewal and it's a pitiful amount. There's really no incentive to be here, save for flexi work arrangements which I do need.
For the renewal, she wants to skip the increment and give a performance bonus instead. She tried to butter me up a bit and make it look like a recognition thing at first. But when I bristled, she said it's difficult to justify an increment because of my work arrangements. I know it's tough being in her position. But let's face it, she doesn't value me quite in the way she thinks. How can she justify it to others if she herself believes that my flexi work arrangements diminish my contributions (even though she is well aware of the quality of my work)? It's not cool to insinuate that I'm undeserving of an increment.
I'm the only contractor who's remained a contractor for years - they've converted everyone else to a headcount employee within a year or so or didn't renew them. And yet she's found a way to justify keeping me as a contractor perpetually on minimal benefits. They have regional staff who are headcount part-timers - yet they couldn't find a way to do it for me.
I know that I've done well here all things considered. So when she did her usual value-devalue routine, I called her out on it - just enough to poke holes in her argument, and to show I'm aware of my value even if I don't seek out recognition. I told her what I preferred and left it up to her. I can't do anything more, since I need the job.
Obviously, they can choose not to renew me. If she were being honest to herself, she really should get someone else. Giving concessions and then kicking people about it, is not cool. She's just afraid of starting over with someone new. And she knows that although my role is easily replaceable, it would be harder to find someone who can meet her high expectations and handle the workload, the lack of support & manpower and the total disarray in the company.
The workload and stress is from both this job and the caregiving is really tough. I've asked to be a part-timer but she won't allow it. I would have left the job a long time ago - were it not for the need for a flexi work arrangement. There's just no viable alternatives. I am worried about the outcome - I do need the income - but I'm really proud that I stood up for myself.
Could you provide some insight into how this will play out?
I think my connudrum is that i feel i should leave. We're not on the same page. I need reduced hours and they need a full timer. I have good work ethic but their measurement of doing enough is if you're consistently overloaded & don't fall behind. They gave me flexibility but now I'm now being penalized for it. If they dont budge on this increment issue, what kind of message does it send if I remain there?
The job market is weak. I have a dependant and I can't afford to experience unemployment again. Flexi work options are rare. But I've always felt out of sync with this job and company. And the feeling has become more acute even as I've become better about depersonalizing the situation. So that's active dissonance - split energy. I'm starting to wonder if remaining here - IS what is keeping opportunities away? Am I meant to leave first and relinquish that financial security (borne of duress) - and trust that a more suitable (and thus far elusive) job option - will then manifest? Sorry if it sounds ludicrous...
This is not funny! This is a very common problem for many hired employees. If your manager does not listen to you most likely, I would advise you to change jobs. Try to save money and prepare the ground for finding a new job. At such moments it is very important to feel the support of loved ones and not stand still. Move it!
Writer at Essay Today
Sorry....I just now saw this post. You are at the cliff and I know that feeling. When a situation seems fixed and we start feeling trapped it does call for change. Our lives are made up of earth changes and spiritual changes. The wheel of life is supposed to keep rolling....we are on top...but then we are on bottom. A spiritual life calls for lessons and many obstacles are an opportunity to change. In a perfect world employers would all be fair and pay a person what they are worth. But that is not the nature of business. A small business allows for management to be closer to employees and there is a personal connection. A big company has so many tiers of power between you and the true decision makers. I worked in a situation where I started ground up and watched and felt sadly the changes that come at a cost to employees.when a business gets so big the employee gets smaller. That saying "it's not personal it's just business" .....that is where you are at earth wise. The reality of the system. On a spiritual level you are still trying to empower yourself. You are learning to know your self worth and you have made progress there...now you are being tested to learn how to project that energy at all times so by law of energy you will find yourself in a position to do what you do best and feel appreciated. I too had to have a flexible job schedule. Eventually, my employer picked up I could be persuaded to lower my expectations because I needed that flexibility. That's the difference between friends and just business. In other words, convincing your reviewer your self worth is valuable is good for your spirit involvement but it means nothing to your bosses. The one reviewing , also has a bean counter reviewing them and it's about money. You are loyal and a hard worker. You have a work ethic Some folks...under paid and overworked, just figure out a way not to work more than THEY are paid for. They are taking advantage of your work ethic....with your permission. I have the same wound but in my awareness I make better choices. For awhile I ignored the distance between friend to boss and looked for spiritual blessings within my job and found people and situations I could heal and be of service to and fill my Spirit. In that energy I was receiving satisfaction for being of service. This is important to me. I think it is important to you as well. To be of service is a gift. Think of Saint Michael. Always of service and carrying that big heavy sword! People who serve are drawn to need and there are sharks who sniff that like blood in the water. This next road of your journey is all about SELF WORTH, BOUNDARIES AND VISUALIZING HEART'S DESIRE. I can give you more but have to stop here. BLESSINGS!
Having to defend my boundaries in employment situations has happened a lot. And I've been pushed out of jobs before, because I refused to capitulate to unfair situations, and in some cases, I fought against things and won. After the initial shock of losing my job, I always understood that the Universe was actually getting me out of situations I didn't want to be in. I get a feeling I'm meant to do the leaving this time. And I want to have that option. I just don't know how to satisfy both voices - the one that wants to honor the spiritual self, and the one that is honoring the practical foundations that support the spiritual self.
That gap between spiritual leanings and 'earthly' decisions/goings-on feels very disconcerting. If I take a birds eye view of all the challenges I've had, especially in the last few years, I understand them to be all part of the experience. We're here to experience life in all its facets. Knowing that has helped alleviate some anxiety, and aided in depersonalizing situations, but increased the confusion about decision-making.
I know that my manager is just part of the messed up system. I feel obliged to stay because of the income and flexi work arrangement (both of which are because I have a dependent). I have tried to find alternative employment for 1-2 years. it's not been forthcoming. From a practical standpoint, it is correct to stay. I will only mess up my situation and energy if I end up in protracted unemployment and deplete hard earned savings. But continuing to stay in a situation which feels misaligned - even while being better at depersonalizing and understanding the others' circumstances - does not feel correct either. Maybe I could reconcile it at my last renewal. But the dissonance and the voice is just getting louder. Perhaps because it knows I am not getting off scot free - I am being tainted by staying here.
I can tell myself that I'm grateful for the arrangement and income - it is true. I see my worth and I take pride in what i do, but I cannot find worth in my role, when the whole structure is messed up. I'm getting taken advantage of - no matter how well I control my reactions and emotions - and by remaining here, it's taking place with my permission (as you said). It's increasingly not mattering as much that I can 'switch off' and just focus on work tasks to get through each day. I'm losing interest so rapidly that it's affecting my work quality as well.
There is an underlying want (need) to put myself first, an unwillingness to subjugate my own needs (while simultaneously being cognizant that the caregiving situation affects employment options decisions). Being jobless and worrying about money does not meet my needs, but letting go of a situation that is terribly misaligned with me, does fulfill it.
I was thinking about what you said about being of service. I'm not sure that's where I'm coming from. Or maybe I confuse it with servitude. Is it the same thing? I get a sense that, for me, the motivation to help comes from wanting to even the odds for myself and others, to protect those in need/in harm's way, to empower. I'm now the one in that predicament - the one who needs the help. I want to be my own champion. Why is it so 'inconvenient' for me to do so? I cannot meet their expectations, and they don't meet mine. It should be cut and dried. But I'm in such a pickle, because I have a responsibility to another, and a responsibility to myself, not to get into a worse situation.
I would so appreciate if you have more to share.
There's been an interesting development.
They're floating the idea of hiring a new person to take over my role and then having me finish out the projects only. This would be for a few months, possibly till the end of the year. It addresses what I've been struggling with all along - which is being overloaded with both projects and daily transactions, until 'things are starting to give'. From their perspective, it's a neater way of transitioning me out of the company, instead of me just resigning and leaving a backlog/black-hole. They will need to flesh out the details, but this is something I can consider.
Since your last reply, I'd been thinking about what i wanted, and one of the options was to refuse the renewal and offer to stay part-time for a few months, while they searched for a new person. It would give me time to find a new job too. And then Boom! this came out of left field. I really wasn't expecting them to suggest a similar concept. I must have been thinking really loud...
I am feeling a little bummed out though, that I didn't get to say it first - because I had come to the conclusion that I need to leave soon. There was a moment of recognition in that earlier conversation with her - when I realized that struggling to remain here is pointless; the switch just flipped in my head and I knew I had to stop - no matter how difficult it will be to find another job. I wanted to be the one to say it. There is some fear with the finality of it - somehow it feels less empowering when the decision is made by someone else. But I'm kinda happy for my boss that she is making a good decision for herself.
I will keep my eyes open for other opportunities, as nothing is decided yet. They are known to flip flop on decisions, so I have to keep my fingers crossed that this arrangement comes through. I think I will need to be discerning and also assertive about the terms. I mentioned going part-time for this, and I worry that they will try to get me to clear off the backlog anyway (full time load at part-time payment).
Do you think it's worth it to take this up, or just try something else entirely? Any other thoughts?