The hiring manager seemed to love me. Within two weeks of applying for the job via a cold online application I was in late-stage interviews, presenting a powerpoint I put together in front of 1/3 of their pedigreed team including their CEO. When I asked why I didn’t get the job, she was very nice about it – “culture fit,” she said, adding that based on what I said in the interviews and what my references said I needed more stability to thrive. Maybe that’s true. Or, maybe they just picked someone more junior who was lower risk to the business.
I’m not devastated, as the timing was moving way too fast and I wasn’t ready yet to throw in the towel at my current company – but I did get excited about the opportunity and how FINALLY I could move away from sales-focused marketing roles into something more focused on product. Even my old boss, who I thought didn’t like me, told me over lunch that he thinks I’m great and jumped in to give me a reference that should have sealed the deal. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
The job situation has me in this ongoing funk. I know I’m beyond fortunate to have a job with such a high salary, but I’m so lost. I don’t see a path to any form of long-term success. My boss and I are like oil and vinegar despite trying to pretend we’re peanut butter and jelly. I realize that with all the money I’m making I shouldn’t desire praise but all I want is to feel like I’m doing a good job and to have my boss’s approval. At this stage in my career I know I need to step back and not need this kind of recognition to be motivated, but if anything, I feel like he’s purposefully not recognizing me because 1) he doesn’t think I’m doing a good job and 2) he wants me to leave. He knows what he is doing. Either he is investing energy into keeping you or he isn’t. And in many situations he has recognized all of my peers but chose to leave me out of it – because he doesn’t value what I’m contributing, or, because my contributions aren’t valuable.
I go back and forth on how much I want to stay and for how long. I wanted this to be a longer term job – at least two years – one where I could really sink my teeth in and grow. With my boss seeing me as extremely replaceable, once he can recruit someone with more experience and professional charisma, I’m out. And I know that getting another job isn’t so easy… especially getting another job that I’ll actually be a good fit for. I thought I might be a good fit for this new opportunity, but I wasn’t. I’m back to the drawing board.
At this point, I’m just trying to focus on deliverables and see what I can get out and be proud of before I’m kicked out. If I can hang on until the end of the year AND have a strong portfolio/story to boot I can move on to a place where maybe I will be more appreciated. OR, where I can stop seeking appreciation and just forgo this strong need in lieu of a role that is somehow more stable and that I can deliver on versus constantly wondering if I’m doing ok yet knowing the answer is no.
It’s just that I’m so far along in my career I can’t easily change it without some serious luck and/or training. I’m stuck in a job that I’m not good at, and that I get worse at as I become more and more senior in the field. That’s not a good thing. I’m approaching my motherhood years and I thought I’d be a lot more stable by now. I’m freaking out more than ever and I feel very alone. Sure, I can talk to my therapist or blog about this stuff – but everyone I know says that I shouldn’t worry, that I’m making so much money, that I’ve saved so much for my age (all true) but that doesn’t mean that I can sustain this through my 30s, 40s and beyond. I’m just so worn out and need a change, but how?