Should I stay or should I go?

So… yeah. Remember what I wrote about changing my employer as part of a big bang last year, and how excited I was about going to work in a B2C company? Turns out it only goes well for merely half a year.

I’m now six months into my new job, yet I’m already looking for another. I have been actively applying for new jobs since two weeks ago.

“But why do you want to switch jobs, Crystal?”

Good question. Here is my answers rant about my current job, and why I want to find a new one. I also want to ask you, my readers, a question: are these things normal? Should I stick around for at least a year or should I just bid adieu as soon as possible?

Different daily job compared to what was advertised

When I applied for this company, basically they told me that I only had to write and boost our brand organically. Long story short, I went on several interviews, I got the offer, and I moved to this company.

However, after moving here and after a few months, actually I don’t get to write as much as I wanted to. Yes, I get to write things such as e-mail marketing texts, renew some landing pages, and optimize our company websites according to SEO best practices… but that’s pretty much it. To make things worse, I feel like these are entry-level jobs.

Being a data-driven company, they also wanted me to be able to read, make reports, and analyze data based on Google Analytics or Google Search Console. This is something that I am still struggling with, even after six months of working here. I mean, I can analyze texts and data that have been processed but dealing with raw graphs, trends, and tables is my weakness. And they still want me to present these things in a biweekly report.

Can’t a girl just write? Of course, I understand that before writing you need to do keyword research and check the monthly search volume for your topic, but I only want to deal with that kind of data. I don’t want to also be the person to deal with raw data like the number of this week’s sessions or analyzing why our website gets a high bounce rate this week. Just because it’s a data-driven company, doesn’t mean that everyone has to be able to process raw data into something presentable.

They promise too much

I remember that one of the reasons why I decided to take their offer was because they claimed to be “big on trainings”. During our bonus interview, even the big boss told me this, “If you want to learn things by joining training or courses, we’ll pay for it!”

Well, it was quite clear that they were quite a big mouth on that one.

Since a couple of months ago, I have been quite active in a big project involving content marketing and migrating to a new CMS platform. CMS stands for Content Management System, a place where you build your website and store content for your websites like images or videos. WordPress is one example of a simple CMS. Since my background is in copywriting and design, I volunteered to have a bigger role in microcopy and UX writing.

However, I am still feeling not that confident because I am not professionally trained in UX writing. Therefore, I asked my manager if it was OK for me to get a paid UX writing course. In my defense, my interest aligns well with the company’s project, so it’s only fair for them to facilitate this training. Not only will it boost my portfolio, but it will also benefit the company in the longer term.

My request was plainly rejected. At first, she commended me on “being curious” and said, “I like that you want to learn new things”. However, she continued by saying something like “As you know, our Q2 sales did not go well. For now, the management prefers to take short-term quick wins to get more money instead of long-term investment. Seeing that this training is a long-term investment, I’m afraid I have to say no.”

Two questions that I had in mind upon hearing that as an answer:

  1. So… does that mean that the employee development budget only relies on how much money we make in a quarter?
  2. But you and your boss promised me that I would get my courses paid. Is this just an empty promise?

Flexibility… but on the company’s term

After the COVID-19 pandemic, I know that my true calling is working from home (or hybrid working but with more work-from-home days). When I applied for this company, they also told me, “Oh yeah, we’re also big on flexibility, you can work 50:50 from the office and from home!”

I don’t like that “flexibility, but…” mindset. It’s 2022, we live in a world that is more engaged in hybrid work, and I think the “flexibility, but…” mindset is just a shallow way of saying to the employees, “We’re big on flexibility but only if it benefits us!”.

Last month I silently tried a “flexibility, but on my term” working style. For a few weeks, I went only twice a week to the office, instead of three days a week as usual. At the end of the month, my manager picked up this anomaly and told me, “I notice that you’ve been working more from home rather than from the office. That’s not what we want. Last week, E (the CEO) addressed the importance of being engaged and communal so I encourage you to show up here for at least three days a week”. She also added, “It’s also nice for me to see more people showing up at work.” (My brain said, “Yeeee… itu kan preferensi lu, bukan preferensi gue. Not my problem lah!”)

I know that I can perform just as much, even better, when I have more work-from-home days. Why do they make it hard for the employees to decide upon themselves how they want to show up to work?

Colleagues who expect too much, and colleagues who normalize “abnormal” practices in the office

I have a colleague who works in tandem with me. We are usually on good terms but sometimes I find him expecting too much from me. In this case, he expects too much that I can analyze raw data. (Again. Why do people expect that I can be good at data-related skills?)

During our meeting yesterday, he was talking about something related to “finding how big a keyword search in a country if you do crosscheck the monthly search volume of a keyword and the average percentage of internet users in that country”. Sounds boring and a mouthful? Indeed it was. At the end of his long speech, he saw that I looked somehow unfocused. He then asked me, “Did you catch that one?” To which I answered, “No. They all sound like they’re above my head now.” I really didn’t catch his point and I was too tired to pretend like I understand his idea.

I also have a colleague who understands that something is not right in the office but doesn’t want to do something about it. In Indonesian we call this trait “pasrah” or in slang terms, “ya udah lah…”. In the Netherlands, employees are entitled to holiday money (vakantiegeld) that is usually cashed out at the end of May. This year, the HR department sent us a mass e-mail right after cashing out our June salary. The e-mail stated that we would get our holiday money by July 15th. I talked to my colleague about this, explaining how abnormal this was. She replied by saying, “Well, that’s how it works in this company, it’s normal in this company”. It left me somehow baffled because she knew it was her right, she knew it was wrong, yet she condoned it by saying that this practice was normal.

I think I have ranted enough. Bottom line, I am so looking forward to resigning from this position. Wish me luck so I can find a better job that ticks all the boxes. Thanks for reading!

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