Life is not good right now

This time it’s work. My boss’s boss isn’t happy with me and I’m not sure that it’s possible to fix the situation.

I’ve been here 16 years. My pension is vested. When I joined this company, it was the kind of place where people came to stay for their lives. Five years ago, the employee-owners took a ig chunk of money to sell out to a corporate giant that has destroyed everything and is very likely to eventually just dissolve.

I know i need to get another job. But I’m paralyzed. In the last couple of years, I’ve applied for a couple of jobs that seemed perfect for me and they didn’t work out. Each time, the rejection was devastating.

I feel like I don’t have any skills that anyone wants, or the kind of personality that anyone wants. I’m introverted and fat, and I’ve spent my life creating content, but content creators are no longer valued.

I’m a failure at adulthood. A failure at life. Piled on top of everything else that’s happening in the world, I just want to crawl into a hole.

What kind of content do you create? Just start creating some and see where that takes you.

I understand the feeling. But, as far as you can, please don’t get discouraged or take those “rejections” personally. There are lots of reasons why you might not get a particular job that have nothing to do with your value as a person or an employee.

I’m also a worker who’s company was bought out by a global corporation a few years ago. They don’t see value in their worker’s knowledge and experience, they just look at the bottom line. Most of the people I worked with for years have been laid off to be replaced by (fewer) temp workers.
My attitude now is that as long as they keep giving me a paycheck I’ll keep showing up.

Remind us how old you are? Because if you’re nearing retirement, you could just take the ‘whatever’ line. You’re doing a job and getting a paycheck for that job. And if things go wrong, well, you were going to be retiring soon anyway.

On the applications and rejection front, check out askamanager.com
She has lots of good advice for people who are job-hunting, and the commentariat are very helpful - every Friday is an ‘open advice’ thread where people ask about stuff they need help with and others contribute advice or links or info that might help.

On the curl up and die front, if you have a GP or family doctor, please ask for a screening for depression. Job insecurity KILLS men, all the time, because the whole ‘be successful and be a provider and don’t be a leech’ mentality keeps them from asking for help until they either have a stress-related stroke or heart attack, or they kill themselves because they’ve felt like shit for so long it feels unfixable. I’ve been depressed and anxious my whole life, and your OP just screams depression. Therapy and/or drugs can get you stable emotionally so you can job hunt successfully, so you can move on (and maybe even up) to a new stable happy job.

Good luck. You’re not crazy for feeling like crap - rejection is awful, and rejection when your future security is at stake is even more so. But there are tools and ways to mitigate that. You owe it to your happy (content? secure?) self to look into them.

Content creators are NOT going away. It’s really the center of the internet economy. You might need to pivot, but your skills are definitely still needed.

You are right that job hunting SUCKS. Really, really SUCKS. I hate it. I fully endorse everything you’ve said. It’s hard, it feels terrible and it can take a long time.

The advice I was given was to find a head hunter who works for you. Not one who works for a company, but one who works for you. This person will advise you on your resume. They will do mock interviews with you, which really helps. They will prep you before each meeting you have. They will help you be your best self.

Let’s face it. Finding a job is a skill. Interviewing well is a skill. We are not all extroverts who look like movie stars. You do have marketable skills and talents. Find someone who can teach you to make the most of those and you will find another job.

You can do this. It’s hard, but it sounds like it’s time. Make the commitment to yourself and start prioritizing your needs. Find some help and it will happen.

The advice about depression up thread is worth checking out as well. If you don’t have to feel like you’re carrying a 2 ton boulder while you’re doing this really hard thing, why should you? Talk to your doctor. If that’s too hard a first step, take an online depression assessment and see for yourself how things line up.

I’m sorry you’re going through a rough patch. On the upside, it’s a job-hunter’s economy right now. Employment (depending on where you live) is very high, and you might be surprised at how many positions there are for you out there once you start hunting.

Best of luck to you.

If you are a content creator can you create content on the internet, sell advertising (via Google Adsense…)

Ascenray, I’ve been where you’re at and I know how awful it feels. The world feels very heavy and it can be a struggle to even get out of bed.

I can tell you that things do get better, at least they have for me. I walked off of my last job without another job lined up because I just felt as though I couldn’t do it another day. I got a much better job the very next day and it came about in an unexpected way.

I hope things change for the better for you soon.

Hang in there.

I hear you. I really do.

And I hear this, too.

Maybe “adulthood” is what’s changed, and we need to redefine it for ourselves so that what’s important to us is what makes us happy… or at least able to greet each new day.

Hang in there. You’re not alone; a lot of us are isolated and continually lapped with feelings that we’re outmoded, useless… unwanted. All I can add is my favorite quote from George Alec Effinger:
“I looked in the mirror. I looked awful, but then, I always looked awful. I kept going with the belief that my real face was much better looking.”

Please let me add my wishes for an improved future. Good for you – you took a first step by reaching out here for support and ideas.

Another vote that you take Lasciel’s excellent advice to seek medical assistance for your sense of worthlessness and feelings of crushing depression. You may even learn there is a medical basis for some of it and get instant treatment that will help. Hypothyroidism comes to mind.

As for overcoming the feelings of rejection in the job search process, I can offer a small bit of advice. It’s hard, but it works. Start applying for every single job for which you are remotely qualified. You’ll be invited to interview for some. Use these as opportunities to practice your interviewing skills, and think of them in only that way. After awhile, you’ll be able to finesse your way through any interview and not care too much about the outcome.

Eventually you’ll start getting offers for jobs you don’t even want. (I once did this for a 911 dispatcher position that required shift work I knew I didn’t want to do, ran through the entire very thorough interview process including extensive background checks, then declined the position when it was offered. They were not happy with me, but I was so curious about what a background check was like!)

And you never know when this practice will yield fruit. The best job I ever had working for someone else was obtained through an interview I’d done a year before but came in second to someone who had actual, unique experience for this particular job. Just as I had resolved to find something new from my present employer, the interviewers made an offer out of the blue because another position had opened up. The timing was perfect and I didn’t even know it was coming my way.

Best to you. Please keep us posted!

There’s a lot of useful and heartfelt advice there, Acsenray. It can be really, really hard to act on any of it, and just try to. Try one thing. One thing, and then maybe another. It’ll all feel paralysingly terrifying - it is - and don’t let it stop you. Remember the hundreds of frightening things in life that you’ve managed to get through - gawd, birth for starters - and keep in mind that fear is just a sensation. That’s all it is. A sensation. Curiously, (and annoyingly) it’s only a degree or two from excitement and anticipation.

I really feel for you, everyone does; and realise that when you’re going through hell, just keep going. Don’t stop. One foot in front of the other will get you out of there.

Pull up that monkey mind that’s not being useful. If you were your own best friend, would you believe the shit it’s telling you? You have talents. You’re intelligent. So what if you’re introverted and fat - it’s not the whole of you. If nothing else, you have the power to have people in cyberspace care about you, and want to help. That’s no mean feat.

Since it’s possible that you have a distorted view of situations at the moment, is it worth expressing how it is that you think the issue at work is irreparable? Maybe it isn’t. Maybe the solution to all this is there.

Acsenray, whether the relationship between you and your boss is repairable or not, keep in mind that all you’re having to consider at this point in time is Step 1. Just Step 1. That’s it. The rest comes after that.

Best wishes, Ascenray.

I didn’t sleep well. I’m very tense and feeling shaky about going to work today.

I really appreciate all your kind words and encouragement.

I will think about finding a counselor. But when I have tried in the past, the process for just finding someone and getting an appointment is so difficult and exhausting that I’ve given up.

Sorry you had a bad night. Hope you have better luck with finding a counsellor this time. Try to keep just the basics in hand at the moment: decent food, decent sleep. Even if you have to get something OTC for the short term to help you do that.

All the best at work today Acsenray. You never know, it may not be as bad a day as you expect.

I’d like to add another vote to “consider medical help if you are depressed.” I was in a bad situation, birth professionally and personally, and the crushing depression sapped my energy to search for something better. I ended up on Prozac, which kinda of freaked me out. But it gave me the energy to find a new job. Things are much better now, and I’m no longer on medicine for depression.

I’m just going to join the chorus.

Not only do I know where you’re at, but I’ve been there MULTIPLE times in the past year or two. I’ve long said that full-time job hunting (When you don’t have anything else) is literally the hardest thing a person can do. There is not one redeeming quality about it. But you have to just keep doing what you can and power through.

I don’t know if it helps, but if something terrible does happen to your job, you could always just full-time retail it. And if you find the right job (Grocery stores/Target/Wal-Mart) the near-constant movement you make all day walking the floor, returning items, stocking shelves, you lose weight pretty fast. My last Target stint, I lost about 8 pounds in the first 2 weeks!

As a fellow introverted fat person with depression, I urge you to please do yourself a favor and get some exercise. I know that having depression makes it that much harder to get up and get moving but I promise you it will help alleviate some of that depression and help you sleep. It will also give you a sense of being in control of something at a time when you feel there are things you can’t control.

I’m not saying counseling is shit but the one time I went to a counselor she spent the whole session telling me my problems were petty and if I would only exercise more I’d feel better. She was a shit counselor but she was right in that aspect (I was the one saying I needed to exercise more, not like she came up with it).

Exercise probably isn’t going to make you thin and it’s not going to fix your job problem but I promise it will never be a bad idea.

Good luck, keep checking in here. People have a lot of good advice and general sympathy to give.

Had my formal annual review today. Officially, all it’s for is to tell me the amount of my bonus and if it is low then in what way I failed to meet the standards and goals set for last year. The review itself was completely ordinary, and if you read it you might consider it just fine, or even good. I showed it to my union steward and he said that the comments and the final rating were even above average.

But then my boss and his boss said—okay, so now what we’re going to tell you is that this is all fine, but we don’t consider it good enough for someone at your level. And they pulled out a set of criticisms/goals/procedures and said that this is an informal process to give you 30 days to “wow” us by meeting these goals. If I fail to “wow” them, then they will get together and decide whether it’s time for “a more formal conversation,” which I understood to mean a formal H.R.-driven disciplinary policy, starting with a monitored 30-day performance improvement plan.

After the meeting, I had a one-on-one with just my boss and he basically said that his boss and her boss are behind this. He was very certain that I would be able to meet the requirements, but he also stressed that he wanted me to know that it was “serious,” and even if I did meet the 30-day “wow” standard, that I would be required to maintain that standard, and if I made it to the next year, to set an even higher standard.

I don’t know for sure whether he is being completely straight with me as to whether I can realistically meet the “wow” standard, because while in some ways the things he told me are very specific, in other ways, they are very slippery. And he said that the expectation here is that I would have to prove that I could do all these things independently with minimal ongoing assistance from him.

So I am pretty sure I’m fucked. And my wife is not happy and about to throw up her hands. And I haven’t yet found a counselor but I don’t think I can do counseling and also try to meet this 30-day “wow” standard. Plus do all this and look for another job—I’m pretty sure I won’t get paid at this level anywhere else, and as my original post says, I have a lot of concerns about my appeal to new employers.

So there’s that. And again I’m sorry to dump this on all of you.