Last straw

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Anonymous Barbie, Aug 4, 2019.

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Should I quit my job without the prospect of a higher paying job immediately?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Other (comments)

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  1. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2019

    Hi there. This is a long one, but I am in crisis mode, and I would so appreciate some thoughts.

    Some background before I get into the thick of it: I have a Master's in Education, and taught a core subject for 3 years in another state before relocating for my husband's job. We moved from a very suburban place where jobs in my subject were fairly easy to come by, to a place where I have only seen one position in my subject open up in the last 3 years. I was up for that position 2 years ago, and did not get that job. (I suspect because I am not a coach, they went with someone who could coach.)

    I had worked for a year in this school district subbing, making fairly decent pay for a sub. I was highly sought after as a sub, and was never hurting for assignments. Maybe that also contributed to why they hired another candidate? I've heard it can happen.

    After that opportunity was lost, I found a position at another "school". It's not a public school, or even a parochial school, but a non-profit school that teaches natural resources classes to visiting schools. I am actually the only certified teacher there. Basically it's a field trip destination, but one that is nationally accredited.

    At first that job was part time, and then later in moved to a full time position. Despite taking a $6k pay cut from my last job, I enjoyed the work. I was teaching outdoors, taking kids snowshoeing, hiking, cross country skiing, canoeing, all while teaching. Albeit I am teaching outside of my subject area, but I've grown into the curriculum since then, and feel comfortable enough in it. I could deal with the pay cut, because I enjoyed work. I liked my coworkers. I could even deal with the fact that I often have to work a noon to 8pm shift because we are catering to overnight groups (we don't stay the night on campus, just the visiting school).

    But lately the environment at work has been toxic. My immediate manager was fired 8 months ago, without warning or the chance to improve their performance. It has made me fearful that they could be building a case against me only to ambush me later. I had reached a point I felt okay in my position, but recently I was hit with some personal tragedies and health issues that have made me call in sick from work, or take personal time (best friend's suicide, my mother being in a crippling car crash that almost killed her, and flares of my chronic illness). I thought they were fairly understanding that I've had a bad couple of months, but I was meeting with my manager to disclose my chronic illness, when they told me that they wanted to talk to me anyway about my absences. Essentially, they had text message screen shots showing how many times I'd been ill, left work, or had to call in from work. I have never gone over my allotted sick time, or personal time. Essentially from the meeting I got a few things: come in to work if it's a bad cold (I am one of those who doesn't want to get others sick, call me crazy). Your chronic illness is legitimate, so we can't expect you to teach when you're having a flare, but you are responsible for covering your illness (ie asking a coworker to cover). And for the one week of the year we are expected to do this one physical activity my doctor says I shouldn't do, I need a doctor's note.

    More and more, I am feeling like the pay is not worth the things I have to put up with. I do the tasks and have the responsibilities of two full time employees for barely a livable wage (if I weren't married, I couldn't live off what I make). My job is incredibly physically demanding (cross country skiing in -20ºF temps, snowshoeing with a 25lb pack on, hauling 12 canoes off trailers, etc). My hours have put a distance between me and my husband, since I often don't get home until 8pm-10pm depending on the season, and I have to work Saturdays and Sundays. I feel like my every move is scrutinized at work. I had to get my CDL bus driver's license, and am expected to drive buses that are rusted out and barely pass inspection. I teach lessons, I write curriculum, I schedule the groups coming in, I act as customer service rep to rude visiting schools and vacationers, bending over backward to make people happy, and I take care of our animals in our care. All for $30k.

    All of this alone is enough to make me quit. I have been doing this for 2 years, and the thought of quitting makes me so happy. But with how things were 2 years ago, trying to find a job, I'm looking at the prospect of subbing again until something opens up in my subject area, at one of the schools in a 35 minute drive. It's a rural area, and most of the teaching staff up here are in their 30s and 40s. It might be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    My husband brought up the fact that if I take the time to sub, I could have more days off to study for a Praxis exam to add other certifications to my license, and really apply myself to that task, opening up possible job opportunities. I also have a side hustle that makes me more than a little bit of money, and with more days free, I could create a greater body of work to sell (I always find that time is a factor in how successful I am with it). I could accept or leave as many assignments as I want, and not look like a flake for taking care of my body on bad days. And though the pay isn't amazing, I'd still be taking a pay cut. We don't rely on my salary, but of course being a two-income household is better than being a one-income.

    Would you quit this toxic work environment without promise of a new job coming available even in the next year or so?
     
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  3. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Aug 4, 2019

    Yes, I would leave that position based on your explanation. Your husband makes some valid points. I would tell you that there is no amount of money worth being unhappy all day. Your health will remain with you whether or not you keep that job. Take time to heal from the suicide and the trauma of your mom's accident, both of which are traumatic. Just my two cents. :)
     
  4. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2019

    Thanks. I've always said that if I were paid $10k more, I could deal with the amount of malarkey I'm faced with each day, but for some reason I've compromised and have been okay for the past 2 years being undervalued and overworked.
    Now comes the hard part... working up the courage to quit.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 4, 2019

    I would sit down and really look through your finances and figure out what a subbing salary would mean for you. At least around here, even if you managed to sub every single day that school was in session, your gross pay would be around 16K per year with no benefits. I would really figure out if you can afford that. It's one thing if this cut means less vacations or less frivolous/"fun" money and you've decided it's worth the sacrifice. It's another if it means struggling to keep up and pay for basics. If you're planning on taking a lot of days off, that's even less money. I'd personally rather deal with the stressful job than have to stress about money.

    Did you enjoy subbing when you did it the first time? I've always hated the thought of subbing- the entire idea of it seems horrible to me! I moved across the country right out of college so I could get a FT job right away and not have to sub. If you haven't seen any jobs come up in whatever your certification is other than one job in several years, I certainly wouldn't hold your breath on that one. You could try getting other certifications, especially if all you have to do in your state is Praxis. However, I'd consider that if you're thinking of getting certified in some sort of high needs area, make sure you actually want to teach whatever subject/area that is. For example, I've seen people get a sped certification planning to just use it as a "foot in the door" with no actual interest in teaching sped- and then of course they crash and burn.

    I would also consider that this FT teaching job will likely look better on a resume than day to day subbing. Will this company give you a good reference if you quit abruptly? Obviously you need to figure out what works best for you, but personally I'd probably stay at the job while ramping up my efforts to get a FT teaching job elsewhere- including getting certifications for other positions I'd be willing to teach. It may be more time consuming for a bit (studying and working), but consider the outcome you're working towards and it will be worth putting in a little extra time now.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 5, 2019

    If you can live without the income, I’d quit. Go back to subbing or even find an office job of some kind. It’s not worth putting your mental health on the line in a place like that if you don’t need to.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 5, 2019

    I wouldn't quit until the sub position is lined up, and you are approved since you said that more pay would make you stay even with all of your complaints.

    If it was really your health and you couldn't keep up with the job, no money in the world would make the job workable.

    If you are fine with another pay cut while you study for additional certs, go for it, but line up that job first. That is if you are in a state where you can quit with little to no notice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  8. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2019

    First of all, I am very sorry for the illness and tragedy you have dealt with lately.
    Personally, I'd quit. You deserve something better than to be in a toxic dump.
    The job has changed so much that it is no longer fun. They do not pay you enough to do 2 jobs that are not fun. You have your husband's backing to quit.
    Quitting would give you a way to start spending more time with your family too.
    The thought of quitting makes you happy.
    Since you do not need the income, I am not sure what is holding you there.
     
    bella84 and swansong1 like this.
  9. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2019

    I had pumped myself up last night into sticking with the job. I said "I can apply myself, study for the Praxis after hours, and just squirrel away my earnings." And I was saying "I'm going to show them how good I can be."

    And then the first thing out of my manager's mouth was "hey, can we talk a minute?"

    They came into my office to tell me about a complaint that came in from a participant on the day that, you guessed it, we had our ambush meeting, where I cried and disclosed to them a highly embarrassing chronic illness that was affecting me. I apologized for the way I handled things, but mentioned that I was still rather upset from our meeting. They said that "that was hours before that", like I could just turn off my emotions and move on.

    They said it was a verbal warning this time, and next time it would be written.

    For them to tear me down on Thursday, giving me a 3 day weekend to recover, rebuild my self esteem, pep myself up... to turn around to tear me down on Monday is just rotten. I can't seem to do anything right. I am so beaten down spiritually and mentally by that place. The reasons to stay are dwindling. Right now, it's just the pay, and even then, it's just... not good enough.

    I have drafted a resignation letter, and I am petrified. But I can't stand the thought of working there more than two more weeks.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 5, 2019

    Talk it over with your husband again first, but, if he is on board, I don’t see any reason not to quit. Don’t resign in an emotional state, but if you are calm and have considered your plan for moving forward, you should feel confident doing what is best for you. Based on what you’ve shared, staying there doesn’t seem to be what is best for you. Good luck.
     
  11. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2019

    His attitude after today is... forget 'em. He's so supportive. He's on board with my plan of studying for the praxis while working a flexible schedule. Doing my side hustle a little more seriously.

    It's just hard. I've never quit under negative circumstances. Just because of moving. I'm gonna try to pull from that bravery a little bit. People have overcome way worse.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 6, 2019

    You don’t have to let it be known that you are quitting due to the negative circumstances. You can spin it to sound like you even decided that it’s in the best interest of everyone. Tell them that your health condition has made it difficult for you to do the job and that you’ve decided it’s best for your family for you to be home more. Give your two week notice and do what you can to make the transition as easy as possible for them.That way they can still serve as a posit I’ve reference if needed, and you won’t be leaving on entirely bad terms.

    I’ve quit for negative reasons just about every time I’ve quit a job in my adult life, but I’ve always spun it so that my employers wouldn’t necessarily know that’s the case. Just be as professional and pleasant as you can be until the last time you walk out the door.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 6, 2019

    But you aren't quitting under negative circumstances. You are quitting to take a different path in your life! You are focusing on your side hustle and focusing your career to one that doesn't align with what you are currently doing. Always make it a positive spin.

    I hate leaving, but I need to take this current opportunity when I can because it may not come again. This is a great place to work, and I will miss it. yada yada yada
     
    bella84 likes this.

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