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Need to Vent about my Day Job & Considering my Options

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I have a well-paying completely amazing very low stress day job that I love. The problem is the # of hours is not garunteed & I either get too many or not enough. ie I've worked every Tuesday for months & now all of a sudden they are giving some Tuesdays to other staff. Unfortunately there is no such thing as senority & ALL the staff having the same problem that I am. It's incredibly frustrating but everytime I look at other options literally nothing compares in pay or flexibility.

I'm really torn. I plan to keep my eyes open for other opportunities but then I wonder if I should try to amp up my art/illustration/writing to cover the loss. Although it's soooo hard to plan. The last time I really got short-changed on shifts I signed up to teach some art classes but then was given so many shifts I was overwhelmed. Part of the problem is that art classes etc, are planned well in advance but my day job only assigns shifts a few weeks out.


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#1 - February 13, 2020, 07:31 AM
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It seems like there's always a trade off, no? My husband's job is like that (except his is even less regulated), and during quiet times, he stresses because nothing seems to be happening (and he wonders if he should look for something else); then during busy times, he's stressed because it's sooooo busy.

I tend to go with my instincts, if that's any help. I generally believe that things tend to work out just like they should, so when something comes up that really speaks to me (such as substitute teaching for my kids' high school last fall), I follow through. I actually thought about getting another part-time job this winter, but then, as I was hesitating because it didn't feel exactly right, I ended up with another class (I teach writing online) which definitely made up for any missing money (and time).

:hug I know it's tricky, and I hope you find the path that works best for you!
#2 - February 13, 2020, 09:42 AM
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That's so frustrating Marla. Since there is discontent about the scheduling with the other employees, maybe take it to the manager so that you all can plan your other commitments better? Esp. since this is a job you love. Wishing you all the best with it.

ps: I'm also a person who goes a lot by her gut and things always work out.
#3 - February 13, 2020, 10:32 AM
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I think you're right - things have a tendancy to work out. I'm feeling anxious about $$. Although I actually appreciate fewer shifts because of other projects that are keeping me very busy.
#4 - February 13, 2020, 10:47 AM
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That's frustrating. 

As for finding yourself more freelance work, is amping up you art/illustration/writing to pick up the slack feasible?  Are you at the point where you're already rejecting inquiries due to time constraints?  Do you have an art rep or agent that has more work to send you?  Or are you just predicting that more promos and queries, and maybe a social media flurry, will surely bring in more work?  I totally don't want to be discouraging you, but at the same time I'd hate for you to count on your freelancing bringing in more work and then have it fall through and leave you in a lurch without enough to pay your bills.  Although I like the idea of assuming everything will will work out, I'm actually very risk adverse.  For me, that's leaving things too much to chance unless I knew I had a solid fallback plan.  (Which I do, for my own freelance work.) 

So, yeah, I'm going to be the downer that warns you to be cautious because things don't always work out.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. 

I think the Art Classes sound like they may be a safer approach.   At least they're regularly scheduled and you know with a good amount of lead time when they're scheduled.  Perhaps you can talk to your manager about intentionally scheduling you lighter on weeks when you have classes scheduled?  Or is there enough interest in the classes to move over to doing that full-time?   Perhaps investigate offering the classes through other organizations, like your local parks & rec, local library, local galleries, youth organizations, or senior centers? 

Despite the gloomy warning, I still absolutely wish good luck to you.  I hope everything works out.
#5 - February 13, 2020, 12:42 PM
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 12:44 PM by karen-b-jones »
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Is trading allowed? If you are overwhelmed with shifts and someone else is not, can you give away a few, and vice-versa? If you work directly with one or more co-working "partners" on an ongoing basis, can you arrange amongst your group to cover all the shifts and that way it's not a pain for management?

But it sounds like you don't want to work all the time, or your other projects would be crowded out. It's not easy to do, but as far as you can control things you may want to work toward a balance that gives you as much $ as possible while still letting you write and illustrate. If you work so much that you don't have time for creative work, you might lose your love for the job, and then you'd be unhappy in both areas.
#6 - February 13, 2020, 12:49 PM
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you may want to work toward a balance that gives you as much $ as possible while still letting you write and illustrate. If you work so much that you don't have time for creative work, you might lose your love for the job, and then you'd be unhappy in both areas.

I think this is very important to consider.
#7 - February 13, 2020, 03:13 PM
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How frustrating for you. I have a similar kind of job, although less extreme. I do have "boom and bust" times though, which I can usually work around as my writing often lacks deadlines, and I know the situation will change to the other end of the range within a few months. I can't really suggest anything you haven't already considered. Just letting you know you are not alone. Best wishes with whatever you decide to do, or not do.
#8 - February 13, 2020, 06:40 PM
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I was able to pick up a shift from a co-worker who ended up with too many shifts in one week. I just worry about ending up with no shifts at all. The amount of work available never changes... but I know it's complicated & stressful for those doing the scheduling too. I've heard they're trying to figure out how to come up with a plan that works for everyone.
#9 - February 13, 2020, 06:57 PM
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I was able to pick up a shift from a co-worker who ended up with too many shifts in one week. I just worry about ending up with no shifts at all. The amount of work available never changes... but I know it's complicated & stressful for those doing the scheduling too. I've heard they're trying to figure out how to come up with a plan that works for everyone.

Are they asking for input from the employees? Sometimes the folks on the front lines have an idea that the back office never considers. But anyway, if this is true, you may want to wait it out. Of course, if this is something you've been hearing for a long time, then more time may not be the answer.

Have they explained why they changed your days? Perhaps, ask. Maybe there is more going on than meets the eye.

I fall between the trust your gut and plan for the worst categories. You have a "bird in the hand" here. The rest is uncertain. So I'd be keeping my eyes open, even actively looking, for something more stable. But I'd also know exactly how much $/hr I could give up for that in a trade off. Never leave a job unless you have another lined up.

Good luck.
#10 - February 13, 2020, 09:45 PM
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