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  1. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #1

    Exclamation I'm going mentally insane...help

    I need the advice of my fellow peers in the IT field to help me get through this crossroad in my life.

    Let me start off with my credentials and work experience.

    - Recent graduate with B.S degree in I.T
    - 3 Year work experience at 10,000+ global firm as a helpdesk / level 1 support specialist
    - I currently have A+ Cert and MCTS:AD Cert

    My job is no longer challenging and there's nothing I can't handle, i'm often bored as I resolve problems in no time, I have no one to talk to, haven't made any friends since i've been here, no one is even near my age group theres often a 15 to 20 year gap. I go to lunch alone, I work alone in and office by myself its very quiet all day long. I work in a group of 10-15 IT peers scattered across the state and contact is very limited. I'm often the mentor for individuals as I really love the IT field and I try to stay in tune with the latest technology and I really enjoy the challenge when something comes up I dive right in.


    I've put my resume together, but lets face it, the pay here isn't bad...around 20$/hour for a new graduate I guess thats not bad? But i'm not happy and its getting worse everyday and actually putting a strain on my relationship new marriage. The benefits are impecible, Health, Dental, 401k, Vision everything for very cheap.

    Ideally...I'd like a job as a Jr. Sys Admin I want to move up I need a challenge, more responsibilities....I want a mentor, a Sr. member just as enthusiastic as me in the field to learn from and work under...I need to move up I need a challenge...and i'm just stuck and very unhappy in a bad enviornment and work situation....there's no room for advancement here....all Admin jobs are locked up at corporate in another state....i'm so tired of doing basic troubleshooting....and as I am typing this yet another person comes in my office asking for personal home computer advice on how to speed up his computer...drives me nuts....

    I'm really trying to advance myself with certifications to give me a better opportunity to land a Jr. Sys Admin job but honestly the market seems to only be offering Contract positions with limited benefits...thats unacceptable to me....

    Anyway...my work hours are basically 6AM - 6PM by the time I get home I just mentally exhausted and distrought all I want to do is relax...not study for my MCITP...

    I went 4 months of going to work, studying at lunch break then studying when I got home...after I passed my MCTs I nearly had a nervous breakdown and a horrible panic attack...it was not fun...after a long talk with my wife and seeing a thearpist....i've managed to get these panic attacks under control...I try to do breathing exercises and not to push myself so hard and just to "enjoy the ride"

    I can go on and on...I just need some advice from my peers in here what do you guys think? Am I asking too much? Balancing life after college is very stressful and I push myself very hard and have high expectations....but I feel like i'm well past this type of work, i'm trying to stay humble but I dont know how much longer I can go doing desktop support....this job has great benefits, its stable and pay is great but i'm not advancing as I'd like to....and there's no one here to learn from or mentor me and I feel like thats important.
    Last edited by ViLeNT; 05-06-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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    #2
    You need a different job. Get your resume together and start applying. I'd take the Security+ and finish the MCITP:SA (I'm guessing that you took the 70-640 for the MCTS:AD). If anything just use everything as the modivation to get out of that job.
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  4. Senior Member phantasm's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by eansdad View Post
    You need a different job. Get your resume together and start applying. I'd take the Security+ and finish the MCITP:SA (I'm guessing that you took the 70-640 for the MCTS:AD). If anything just use everything as the modivation to get out of that job.
    This. Put your resume together, do the Sec+ and go from there. I'm in a similar boat. I've been in the NOC since 2009 and it bores me to death. Every call is the same and I rarely engage my brain anymore. It's mostly auto-pilot. It sucks. I'm over it. But I need my CCNP to move to an Engineering position, so we'll see how long that takes.
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    #4
    Sounds like you should change jobs, but if that doesn't seem feasible......

    Does your job keep you very busy, or do you find yourself with idle time/doing busy work? Try reaching out to people more on the internet (while you're at work). You say you don't have anyone to talk to there....can you post to TE from work? I know several people that work in I.T. that get on IRC while they're at work. If you can get on irc.freenode.net and join one of the technical channels you have an interest in. You'll find yourself being entertained and answering questions, or maybe asking questions. I'm usually in #cisco. This can make your day go by faster and help take your mind off of what is causing your stress.

    I'm sorry you feel your sanity is at risk and hope you find a workable solution soon.
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  6. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #5
    You need a different job. Get your resume together and start applying. I'd take the Security+ and finish the MCITP:SA (I'm guessing that you took the 70-640 for the MCTS:AD). If anything just use everything as the modivation to get out of that job.
    My BS Degree had a concentration in Computer Security Administration, most of the topics in Sec+ I probably already know so that wouldn't be too tough. I am going for the MCITP:SA thats correct but its very tough to find the time and the energy currently...very tough. I just need to be patient and not kill myself this go around maybe 6 months rather then 4. I am def. staying motivated in getting certs. but at the same time, its hard getting a "chance" at other jobs since my experience so far although GOOD for a new grad is still rather limited I feel atleast to take that next step. I feel like I just need a chance and a mentor and I feel like I can succeed during difficult technical tasks.

    This. Put your resume together, do the Sec+ and go from there. I'm in a similar boat. I've been in the NOC since 2009 and it bores me to death. Every call is the same and I rarely engage my brain anymore. It's mostly auto-pilot. It sucks. I'm over it. But I need my CCNP to move to an Engineering position, so we'll see how long that takes.
    Exactly man, well put, thats how I feel, I'm so bored and I feel like now that i'm out of school my brain is whithering away and i'm getting more dumb day by day as my brain is getting no stimulation or challenge. I'm def on auto pilot.

    Sounds like you should change jobs, but if that doesn't seem feasible......

    Does your job keep you very busy, or do you find yourself with idle time/doing busy work? Try reaching out to people more on the internet (while you're at work). You say you don't have anyone to talk to there....can you post to TE from work? I know several people that work in I.T. that get on IRC while they're at work. If you can get on irc.freenode.net and join one of the technical channels you have an interest in. You'll find yourself being entertained and answering questions, or maybe asking questions. I'm usually in #cisco. This can make your day go by faster and help take your mind off of what is causing your stress.

    I'm sorry you feel your sanity is at risk and hope you find a workable solution soon.
    My job is hit or miss, some days or times during the quarters are busy, some are VERY slow. Somedays go by fast, some days I have maybe 1 or 2 tickets to handle all day the rest is free time. I can post on TechExams, maybe I should become more active thats great advice. Are there any IRC web interfaces that I an use rather then downloading mIRC I could probably get away with that.

    I appreciate all the advice guys, i'm really trying hard to pull through but I need to make some life changes and put more effort into being happy in a career field that I love but this job is just ruining it for me. There's actually corporate opportunities available, and I applied for one about a month ago but never heard back, it was a position for a Systems Configuration Engineer, the description was very cool, and I met maybe 50% of the work experience criteria, I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that I get this job with the company I am currently at but I wont hold my breath...
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  7. Senior Member knownhero's Avatar
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    #6
    Im kind of in the same boat. Been working NOC since 2007 and I am so far past the bored and not caring phase its unreal! I've finally got my MCSA: 2k3 but I cant use it as the tech team here wont let you touch JACK ALL!

    The worst part is when you get a call from someone who is a the main IT guy for a customer of yours and he doesn't even know how to ping a machine.... and you think to yourself how the hell does he have that amazing job and cant even ping a machine, while I'm stuck in this brain dead job doing the same thing day in day out.

    (And by the way the above is a true story we did have a laugh about that)

    But like others have said just get your CV up to date and focus on exams. That's what I have done, just about to start studying exchange 2010 so I can try looking for a Jr Sys Admin job after I have completed it.

    Just a tip that gets me through the day...... I count myself lucky to have a job at the moment.

    Good Luck!
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  8. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by knownhero View Post
    Im kind of in the same boat. Been working NOC since 2007 and I am so far past the bored and not caring phase its unreal! I've finally got my MCSA: 2k3 but I cant use it as the tech team here wont let you touch JACK ALL!

    The worst part is when you get a call from someone who is a the main IT guy for a customer of yours and he doesn't even know how to ping a machine.... and you think to yourself how the hell does he have that amazing job and cant even ping a machine, while I'm stuck in this brain dead job doing the same thing day in day out.

    (And by the way the above is a true story we did have a laugh about that)

    But like others have said just get your CV up to date and focus on exams. That's what I have done, just about to start studying exchange 2010 so I can try looking for a Jr Sys Admin job after I have completed it.

    Just a tip that gets me through the day...... I count myself lucky to have a job at the moment.

    Good Luck!
    Can't ping a machine? haha thats hilarious. I'm glad to hear i'm not the only one alone feeling like this, I hope for all of our sake we eventually get the shots we deserve. At the end of the day I really do have to stop and reflect and be very thankful that I even have a job making decent money for my age and status....but....we Americans are greedy and always want more
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ViLeNT View Post
    Can't ping a machine? haha thats hilarious. I'm glad to hear i'm not the only one alone feeling like this, I hope for all of our sake we eventually get the shots we deserve. At the end of the day I really do have to stop and reflect and be very thankful that I even have a job making decent money for my age and status....but....we Americans are greedy and always want more
    Interesting thread, I'm on the other side of the fence. In my day job I have full reign for and need to support everything.

    Two man shop, 6 buildings- setup/support servers, firewall, content filtering proxy, switches, routers, multiple campus full wireless planning and implementation on my own, creating and support of absence/substitute/bus driver database, the list just goes on. Tons of time spent on phone with vendors and support.

    This summer we're migrating from novell/zenworks/groupwise to microsoft server/ZCM/exchange.. a nightmare project

    In my second job I am IT. Flying solo pay-per-hour admin for a small private K-8 school corp. Ordering server hardware, migration P2V services, image creation/deployment, wireless deployment, researching and implementing everything for a near nonexistant budget where licensing is almost all my budget.

    It's definitely something new everyday and exciting but the reason I say I'm on the other side of the fence.. I make nothing. $20 an hour? - I wish.

    I don't make anything near that. I work for barely more than peanuts and along with school and two jobs with contract work on the side to stay afloat I'm in constant mental drain trying to not burn out.

    I really want to move to a job where I get paid but it's hard because I truly love my job however benefits suck hard and my compensation is pitiful. Raises are like 1% a year and it's impossible to ask for a real raise because I'd have an entire school board laughing at me.
    Courses Left for WGU BS - IT: NA:
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  10. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #9
    At the end of the day I really do have to stop and reflect and be very thankful that I even have a job making decent money for my age and status....but....we Americans are greedy and always want more
    There's a difference between wanting to feel content and taking for granted your position. From what you explained, it seems the former applies to you. I've been where you are on a couple occasions and honestly, your feelings are likely not going to get better without some sort of change. It seems you've identified what that change needs to be...so while you're polishing your resume and skillset, use your downtime to learn things that will help you move on to whatever job you're wanting to pursue.
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  11. Custom User Title Hypntick's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by knownhero View Post
    The worst part is when you get a call from someone who is a the main IT guy for a customer of yours and he doesn't even know how to ping a machine.... and you think to yourself how the hell does he have that amazing job and cant even ping a machine, while I'm stuck in this brain dead job doing the same thing day in day out.

    (And by the way the above is a true story we did have a laugh about that)
    I can attest to the validity of statements like this one. I work for a MSP and we offer support for a variety of different companies, some with their own in house IT folks. Some of them are quite sharp and very knowledgeable, they just need more than 1 person to help. On the other side of the coin however, you have people who maybe they just liked computers and got roped into the gig because they were the "computer person" at their job. We also get people who have just enough knowledge to be dangerous and maybe not enough sense to question if they should do something.

    If you can land a job at a MSP, you'll never be bored that's for sure.
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  12. Senior Member WillTech105's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by eansdad View Post
    You need a different job. Get your resume together and start applying. I'd take the Security+ and finish the MCITP:SA (I'm guessing that you took the 70-640 for the MCTS:AD). If anything just use everything as the modivation to get out of that job.
    I ditto on this. A job should make you happy and enjoyable -- you work there at least 40 hours as week it might as well be as pleasnt as possible. I've been in these kind of situations before and its not worth it, get another job.

    I lost a fiancee due to work -- I will never let that happen again. Work now comes 2nd in my life. Even if a job pays me little less I will take it over a good pay w/ benefits and a crappy work life.

    Life is too short -- only gofor the best!
    Last edited by WillTech105; 04-21-2011 at 03:39 PM. Reason: typos
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Pishof View Post
    I really want to move to a job where I get paid but it's hard because I truly love my job however benefits suck hard and my compensation is pitiful. Raises are like 1% a year and it's impossible to ask for a real raise because I'd have an entire school board laughing at me.
    My advice to you:
    1. Post your resume
    2. Get certified on all of these technologies that you work with (at the least, the ones you enjoy the most.)
    3. Update your resume on each cert that you have
    4. After you get certed up (already have the exp) go to another job that will pay you what you're worth

    Part of job satisfaction is in being paid what you're worth. If you are not getting that, you will be disappointed every time you receive your check.
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    #13

    Default dead end job

    This may sound corny, but - knowledge is power. If you want out - then you have to dig down and find the energy/motivation to make it happen. I'm not imply that changing your situation will be easy - although maybe it will, or maybe it won't. My point is - if you think your job sucks and there is no hope to ever get out of the rut you feel like you are in: Your right. If you think you are in charge of your life/career and if you try/study/work hard enough you can overcome any situation: Your also right.
    I don't want to come across like some corny self-help guru, but your attitude and belief in the fact that as long as you keep trying and working hard eventually there will be a light at the end of the tunnel is critical. You may try and fail but if you don't accept failure eventually the law of averages will catch up and your effort will be rewarded. Unfortunately we can never guarantee success - but we can definitely guarantee failure.
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  15. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Pishof View Post
    Interesting thread, I'm on the other side of the fence. In my day job I have full reign for and need to support everything.

    Two man shop, 6 buildings- setup/support servers, firewall, content filtering proxy, switches, routers, multiple campus full wireless planning and implementation on my own, creating and support of absence/substitute/bus driver database, the list just goes on. Tons of time spent on phone with vendors and support.

    This summer we're migrating from novell/zenworks/groupwise to microsoft server/ZCM/exchange.. a nightmare project

    In my second job I am IT. Flying solo pay-per-hour admin for a small private K-8 school corp. Ordering server hardware, migration P2V services, image creation/deployment, wireless deployment, researching and implementing everything for a near nonexistant budget where licensing is almost all my budget.

    It's definitely something new everyday and exciting but the reason I say I'm on the other side of the fence.. I make nothing. $20 an hour? - I wish.

    I don't make anything near that. I work for barely more than peanuts and along with school and two jobs with contract work on the side to stay afloat I'm in constant mental drain trying to not burn out.

    I really want to move to a job where I get paid but it's hard because I truly love my job however benefits suck hard and my compensation is pitiful. Raises are like 1% a year and it's impossible to ask for a real raise because I'd have an entire school board laughing at me.
    Wow...you clearly have a great skill set and a great amount of experience, I'm not doing nearly anything close to the things you mentioned. It sounds like the company you work for has no idea what your worth man. If you werent there and they had to replace you, during the hiring process if they asked someone to perform these tasks for 12$/hour or whatever they are paying you, the person on the other end of the table with laugh. It sounds like you are getting and have great experience, something I am currently lacking so in that regard, that experience is priceless, now I would work towards getting compensated for what you're worth. How do to that is up to you. You say people are going to be laughing at you? Look up salaries of sys admins and network admins that are doing that type of work and show them what you're worth. If you polished your resume and put all those skills on there I can bet you'd be getting some phoen calls. I don't see how your not burned out with that kind of schedule.

    use your downtime to learn things that will help you move on to whatever job you're wanting to pursue.
    Truly fantastic advice man, I am def trying to do that. My problem is really pinpointing a niche. IT is such a huge field with so many sub-branches, I really need to find out what i'm interested in and pursue that niche, its very tough.

    I lost a fiancee due to work -- I will never let that happen again. Work now comes 2nd in my life. Even if a job pays me little less I will take it over a good pay w/ benefits and a crappy work life.

    Life is too short -- only gofor the best!
    I'm sorry to hear this man, very good advice, family and personal life first over your work I think thats really important. Back when I was studying for my MCTS, it consumed my life for months, my Fiance was so aggrevated, and felt so ignored, and she bottled it all up and exploded one day it was not a good time, but I know better now...its really about finding a balance, which is easier said then done.

    You may try and fail but if you don't accept failure eventually the law of averages will catch up and your effort will be rewarded. Unfortunately we can never guarantee success - but we can definitely guarantee failure.
    Very wise words, finding the energy is tough but I think this is a more physical problem, I think motivation and energy levels would increase if I found time to excercise...boy is that hard. I'm always so tired, I need a good kick in the ass.
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  16. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #15
    My problem is really pinpointing a niche. IT is such a huge field with so many sub-branches, I really need to find out what i'm interested in and pursue that niche, its very tough.
    As you naturally move through jobs, this will likely change and become more focused over time. Don't get too hung up on it right now...just pick something interesting that you believe could feasibly help you land a job role that would be needed around your area.
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  17. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #16
    Interviewed for an internal position last week...went okay but I wasnt offered the position...oh well....Curious....is studying (watching CBT Nuggets at work okay?) I get all my job tasks done and I sometimes have a lot of down time...its either browse around and find things to keep me busy or atleast learn some stuff...and study for certs...

    Job offers certification training, i'm taking on the Security+ next month and finishing my MCITP:SA
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ViLeNT View Post
    Interviewed for an internal position last week...went okay but I wasnt offered the position...oh well....Curious....is studying (watching CBT Nuggets at work okay?) I get all my job tasks done and I sometimes have a lot of down time...its either browse around and find things to keep me busy or atleast learn some stuff...and study for certs...

    Job offers certification training, i'm taking on the Security+ next month and finishing my MCITP:SA
    My job doesn't care if I watch training videos but they think it's strange.
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    #18
    Ill be your friend! Any openings? lol

    Well you say you have down time, can you not use that time to study and get certed? Most of my workday includes Techexams, N+ study, and the oatmeal or YT... I cant see how training yourself could ever be viewed as strange.
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  20. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by nimrod.sixty9 View Post
    Ill be your friend! Any openings? lol

    Well you say you have down time, can you not use that time to study and get certed? Most of my workday includes Techexams, N+ study, and the oatmeal or YT... I cant see how training yourself could ever be viewed as strange.
    Haha you are in Florida...we could be friends I guess thats just what i'll do then, in my down time i'll make the best of it and study certs. No openings man Sorry they were actually talking about down sizing lately...but I know I wont be the first to go! I'm too good at what I do and they need me! I can think of a few people that would be on the chopping block though
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    #20
    Cool I was going to say do you hava nay Friends that you've met in the three years tgat youve been doing helpdesk that may have moved on that could help you get into their new company, but youve said you have been alone so. Just keep applying and you will find something, and try to network as much as you can in your current place of employment.
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  22. Random Member docrice's Avatar
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    #21
    If your environment isn't challenging you, twist it around and see if you can make it more challenging. Scripting is the first thing to come to mind. Given the number of issues you work on, do you see a general commonality which you can create automation methods for and save the company time (which might get you noticed by your peers)? This can be in simple batch script form all the way up to VBScript / PowerShell.
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  23. Stuck in a padded room... ITVince's Avatar
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    #22

    Default Update

    Def search for another job.
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  24. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #23

    Default Update

    Well folks a few months have passed and some things have changed for the good while other things have continued to be the same or even progress and get worse.

    'The Good'
    - Obtained my Security+ Certification
    - I joined a Level 2 Support Group for Document Management Applications and I support not only my state but nationally.
    - I joined a Level 2 Support group for Desktop Support, mainly do GPO stuff and help other Level 1 guys solve problems
    - I was offered a possible raise/promotion to system administrator in the near future. However this requires me to move and thats not really an option at this point for a number of reasons. I let me boss know this and he said we will discuss terms and can negotiate when this becomes more of a reality. I want to see if I can get the promotion/raise without have to move. I can travel to the new office in 3 hrs, and i'm almost sure I can handle 90% of things remotely, for those that require hands on I'm sure I can travel twice a month and stay there a few days and get work done. If I can negoiate that...that would be great....

    'The Bad'

    - Panic attacks and anxiety are worse then ever
    - When people ask me to do horrible level 1 tasks I can feel my blood pressure rise
    - I handle / am responsible for handing a high work load while many others slack
    - Still can't seem to shake this 'being alone' 9 hrs a day thing. Everyone around my office has been pretty much 'let go' (sub contractors for our company that worked in our building, the company itself is doing very well) I was thinking about asking to be relocated to an area in the office thats more populated with more activity...I need some human contact before I go insane....

    I think regardless of whether or not this promotion goes through and I still want to ask for about an 18.66% raise due to all of the additional responsibilities i've gained and automation and projects ive done to help the company in just this year alone.

    If no raise...and nothings changes at work...I think im going to do my best to wait this out for 1 more year, as I am currently saving for my wedding.
    Last edited by ViLeNT; 08-17-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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  25. Senior Member Devilry's Avatar
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    #24
    What is your personal life like?

    It sounds like your work all day, every day. Sounds like you need to add some things into your lifestyle to relax and reduce stress, trust me its big time important.


    If your personal life is good, you seriously need to get out of there.
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  26. Member ViLeNT's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilry View Post
    What is your personal life like?

    It sounds like your work all day, every day. Sounds like you need to add some things into your lifestyle to relax and reduce stress, trust me its big time important.


    If your personal life is good, you seriously need to get out of there.
    I spoke with a counselor a few months ago when I wrote this initial post, to try and relieve the panic attacks and anxiety. After speaking with her she got a sense of "perfectionism and work-o-holic" which is a good analysis of me....you're right...maybe its not my job I need to worry so much about but my personal life....
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