30 year old Kenyan lady: Career growth & job fatigue
I have been working for the last 8 years and 3 months at the same employer but not the same job role. 3 months as an intern and exactly 8 years on full time employment contract/agreement. Assigned to the different roles has been quite a roller coaster until I was 6 years in. Here is by very honest account of what I have felt for the last two years of employment.
I started working as a diploma holder eager to just earn a salary, pay bills and be relevant and dependable at work. I went back to school after year 4 for my Bachelors in Marketing undergraduate degree. Over time, I had identified that I no longer wanted to be a journalist as per my initial academic qualifications. Started during the second year but peaked after my graduation. Two years ago, I did graduate and it was not just about taking on every job but also working on aspects that I wanted to grow my career. For 2019, which was the first year of job fatigue, I started to notice how I had so many roles that I ran solo. Team work was near non existent and ABSOLUTELY no one responded to an input requesting email I would share. It started being clear that over time, my colleagues worked based on incentives which is the opposite of my work mantra as I work for excellence and results. I like being pace setter, goal achiever and solution provider.
I remember that for the first time during appraisal, I told my manager that I was not cut to exclusively deal with data analytics which was a role I had been assigned for the department. She is understanding and I was moved to corporate communication for a few months. I really enjoyed every day I worked there. It is during this time that it became apparent that my broadcast writing is not something really cut out for print and picked it up as an area I needed to work on. I enrolled for a professional marketing course partly to boost my career and also have something I loved going on.
Come late 2019, there was a Quality Assurance officer vacancy and I applied for; solely because of money because I had worked for a long time at the bottom most grade. Heck I had at one point been in charge of the department and even inducted some of my seniors but did not have academic papers for a promotion. Thank God , I got the job. I got the pay rise and you would guess I would be over the moon. Yes and no. Yes because I could afford to start paying off some of my debts and save a little more. No because I was still job fatigued. It is depressing to work in environment where the people I am to work with or have them shadow me are barely interested or must be incentivized to work. The workload increased and support decreased. There is this one time while working from home because of COVID-19, I finished a meeting, sat on the floor and bawled my heart and eyes out for almost an hour. I was so tired, lacked support, empty and just done. That very day, I did a whole chapter of my marketing course assignment that came back with minimum changes.
It is 2021. This is my 5th day at work after holidays break. I am trying to go back the basics. Hoping that other young employees will take some extra duties of my plate so that I can just start. I would want to start enjoying new assignments again and it would be a blessing to be in an environment where colleagues would actually open, interrogate and give feedback to a document shared. That when running projects, I wouldn’t have to make decisions on a solo perspective because no one is willing to spare an extra minute outside their employment terms to learn a new thing or to give feedback. I want to work 14 hours hours and feel dead tired but satisfied and not just six and be dead inside. In terms of movement, depending on what the future holds, I am very open to sticking at my role longer, moving internally and also getting an opportunity outside the current organization. I am working with a therapist and another person who I hope will be my mentor. I am also in a women’s group that I could swear has given me professional sanity. Until next time, I can only hope for a better tomorrow.