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Old 05-15-2019, 09:00 AM
 
780 posts, read 203,923 times
Reputation: 1134

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I accepted a financial/actuarial analytics position about a year ago at a employee benefits consulting/brokerage firm. I thought it would an excellent opportunity to segue into a more technical actuarial role down the road. There are some things I like about the job, but there are things that I increasingly don't like, and I'm torn about my long term commitment here.

First off, things I like.

My Manager

She's very sweet and compassionate. She's always willing to talk through things when I need to. She's very low key and let's you do your thing without being completely up in your business.

Location

The job is only about 7.5 miles away from home, and about a 15-20 minute commute.

Pay/Benefits/Flexibility

Good pay (not great as far as consulting goes), good enough benefits, and good flexibility. Working from home or anywhere else is generally not an issue.

The Type of Work

As I mentioned in my initial paragraph, I generally like the type of work and plan on using it to segue into a more technical role down the road.


Now, the things I don't like.

The Culture

I'm iffy about the culture. There are some things I'm okay with, but what I don't like is that it's a very fly by the seat of your pants type environment. It's very client driven. And since companies in our industry are a dime a dozen, we're always doing back flips and rolling on our backs for client demands because it's so easy for them to fire us and move on. It's very start-uppy feeling, if you know what I mean.

(Some of) The People

I generally get along with everyone, because I'm pretty low key and even keel. But it's clear that the stressors of our work environment get at certain people, and, as a result, they lash out and take it out on some of us. And I am apparently an easy target, because there are a few people who have lashed out at me multiple times and generally don't appear to respect or appreciate me. I don't see this sort of treatment towards most of my other co-workers. One of my former co-workers who started after me has already quit, indicating that the main factor was that it's "not a very safe learning environment". I feel similarly.

We Bit of More Than We Could Chew?

I think my manager was overly eager to hire her first analytics person on the team, and I of course was eager to jump into a more technical, complex role to build on for my future. However, my manager overestimated the availability of people to assist me in getting established in the new role. I've mostly been on my own over the last year to figure things out, and it's been trial by fire. Meanwhile, I think some of this ties into how some of my co-workers treat me. I think some of them don't respect me or find me useful, because I am not a subject matter expert yet on all things pertaining to the role. I also thought I'd be more comfortable learning such a role, but I don't feel comfortable learning in this particular type of environment where so much is on the line, and some of my peers are impatient with my training and development. They finally brought in a senior level analyst with more experience, but it might be a little bit too late for me. It'd have been much wiser, IMO, to bring him in first, and then build a team around him; it seems to me they went about building this team backwards.


So I've been here for my first year, I'm not sure I want to stay long term, and I don't know how to bring this up with my manager, whom I greatly respect and appreciate. Ironically enough, she has explained to me how other analysts that worked for her have told her how they wanted to quit due to the chaotic work environment they've had to deal with. She's also insisted that I let her know if I am ever considering leaving so they can hopefully work things out. It seems that this has been a persistent issue for this group, and they haven't quite figured out a solution yet.

Any thoughts or insights about how to navigate this?

Last edited by Sir Quotes A Lot; 05-15-2019 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:12 AM
 
2,784 posts, read 2,021,022 times
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I do not have any thoughts or insights on how to navigate your situation, but I was in your shoes back in 2011.

I was working in the parking industry at that time, and I was working at a client site.

My former employer was also client driven, and the manager I reported to also had to do back flips and roll on his back for the client demands.

The client also took out their stress on me, which I did not like.

I was not happy working there.

That client ended the contract my former employer had with them in 2012.

Hopefully you find a much better working situation.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:18 AM
 
603 posts, read 204,864 times
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Sounds like almost every other consulting company. Yes, your time is billed, so you learn on-the-job so that you can charge to projects... very much trial by fire. Yes, you will always do back-flips for clients. There will be some annoying coworkers anywhere you go.

Maybe consulting just isn't for you.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:20 AM
 
780 posts, read 203,923 times
Reputation: 1134
Quote:
Originally Posted by snugglegirl05 View Post
I do not have any thoughts or insights on how to navigate your situation, but I was in your shoes back in 2011.

I was working in the parking industry at that time, and I was working at a client site.

My former employer was also client driven, and the manager I reported to also had to do back flips and roll on his back for the client demands.

The client also took out their stress on me, which I did not like.

I was not happy working there.

That client ended the contract my former employer had with them in 2012.

Hopefully you find a much better working situation.
Thanks, snugglegirl! I appreciate hearing your similar story. There's comfort in camaraderie.

I think a big question on my mind is how long should I give it? Been here a year, should I stay another? Try to stick it out for three? I want to go out on my terms, but I want to be fair to my manager.

Bottom line is that I don't believe that I'll ever enjoy working in this type of environment, trained or not. Obviously the fact that I have come in with limited experience in the field serves to compound my stress and frustration; but I'm not positive that will be alleviated over time.

Last edited by Sir Quotes A Lot; 05-15-2019 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:22 AM
 
780 posts, read 203,923 times
Reputation: 1134
Quote:
Originally Posted by gus2 View Post
Sounds like almost every other consulting company. Yes, your time is billed, so you learn on-the-job so that you can charge to projects... very much trial by fire. Yes, you will always do back-flips for clients. There will be some annoying coworkers anywhere you go.

Maybe consulting just isn't for you.
At this particular firm, our individual time is not billed out to each client project. If it were, some of these issues might not be so prevalent, in that management could easily detect which clients demand more time than others.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:21 PM
 
1,369 posts, read 1,113,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Quotes A Lot View Post
Thanks, snugglegirl! I appreciate hearing your similar story. There's comfort in camaraderie.

I think a big question on my mind is how long should I give it? Been here a year, should I stay another? Try to stick it out for three? I want to go out on my terms, but I want to be fair to my manager.

Bottom line is that I don't believe that I'll ever enjoy working in this type of environment, trained or not. Obviously the fact that I have come in with limited experience in the field serves to compound my stress and frustration; but I'm not positive that will be alleviated over time.
Why stick it out another year? What's likely to change in that time?
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:29 PM
 
2,784 posts, read 2,021,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovely40 View Post
Why stick it out another year? What's likely to change in that time?
From my own personal experience, it does not get better.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:14 PM
 
780 posts, read 203,923 times
Reputation: 1134
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovely40 View Post
Why stick it out another year? What's likely to change in that time?
The reason this is of any concern to me is that I want to be respectful of my manager. I really appreciate her, and would like to use her as a reference later on, but I know that the role may be difficult to fill. I guess I just want her to feel like she got something out of this transaction, and doesn't hold anything against me for leaving 'too soon'.

At the end of the day, I'm not leaving due to her management style or due to the role (I like both), I just don't think I'm a good fit for the culture at this particular company (run and gun; start-uppy). I don't like performing, in this particular type of role where attention to detail and analytical thought is of the utmost importance, in a run and gun culture.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:27 PM
 
2,211 posts, read 541,738 times
Reputation: 3835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Quotes A Lot View Post
However, my manager overestimated the availability of people to assist me in getting established in the new role. I've mostly been on my own over the last year to figure things out, and it's been trial by fire.
Have you accumulated more human capital over the last year? Are you closer to your end-goal today than you were a year ago? If nothing changes work-wise, will you be even closer a year from now - or have you sort of plateaued given the state of things?

If it were me, I'd talk to my manager about this. Something like

a) I like it here
b) I'm capable of contributing more, and I'd like to do that
c) In order to contribute more, I need more of other people to help me get established in this role. Specifically, I need X, Y, and Z.

Or something sort of like the above.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:34 PM
 
7,411 posts, read 2,932,536 times
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You're lucky you have the type of manager you do. That makes all the difference.
Can you hang out with that senior level analyst who has more experience? Your manager asked you to let her know if you think of quitting, so she can try to work things out. Ask her if there's a scenario where you can work with the senior level analyst, that you'd feel more confident that you were being as productive as possible for the company. Who could say no to that?

If you work as a team, and let him/her know how much you appreciate the "education" he's more likely to have your back. So many undesirable situations at work involve office politics. The sooner you become confident in your abilities, the less having the respect of those others will matter. Sure it's nice, but if you're doing your job well, you'll assume respect instead of wondering about it.
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