Starting Over and Over Vs. Paying Dreadful Dues

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Q: I recently started a job with the promise of substantive work. However, I am doing mostly very low-level administrative work. This would be fine if I were a year out of college, but I graduated more than 10 years ago! I broached the subject with my supervisor, who said I would need to prove myself for a year before being given additional responsibility. The thought of filing and taking phone messages for the next year fills me with dread. Should I try to pay my dues here, or look for something else and chalk this up to a bad fit?

A: It depends on what the "something else" looks like. Is this the norm for your field? I'd hate to see you leave this job after a few months, just to start the clock over on spending a year "paying your dues."

I am working full time and getting my master's part time. On a whim, I applied for a part-time job that will count as my internship requirement for the master's degree. I had planned to work full time through the summer to save money before going to school full time and interning in the fall for my final semester, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. I was offered the part-time job on Friday and a promotion at my current company. The promotion, like my current job, is not related to my field of study. I feel so guilty leaving, partly because my boss is on maternity leave. I am going to take the part-time job, but please help assuage my guilt. Any tips on how to resign to someone on maternity leave would also be much appreciated.

You have my blessing to leave.

Now, as for actually resigning: It really depends on your boss. How long has she been out? Has she been in touch with the office yet? If she just had her baby a week ago, handle it in-house, making your resignation officially to the person filling in for her and cc'ing her on the news by e-mail. If she's been out for a few months, feel free to give her a call. The idea is to keep her informed without adding any new outside stress to her sleep-deprived life.

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