It wasn’t until about 30 or so years ago when Gen X started hitting the work force did there start to be this idea of changing jobs. But now a days changing jobs is the norm. It is said that many people change jobs about every 3 to 4 years.
I was at my last job for almost 7 years and then about 2 1/2 years ago I took the plunge and changed jobs. Granted I was returning to a company I had worked for about 10 years prior to this time with them. It was still a transition and by far not an overall easy one. I went from working at a place that was like a second family to a place that does not have that family feel to it.
With this new job I had to change my mindset a lot. I went from a place where everyone felt like family to a place that seemed to have cliques and either you fit or you didn’t. The place is still like that but it is something I have adjusted to. I stuck by my belief to not change who I am or how I am. My co-workers are gossipers and they love to talk about other co-workers in these little groups and as soon as 1 or 2 are not there they are busy talking about those ones.
I at first went and ate lunch with many of my co-workers as we can eat for free at my work to in the last year and a half I have not ate with them. Those lunches became draining on me. I felt like I was back in high school with the backstabbing gossip. Now instead I go home or out to eat lunch with my husband or by myself. I have taken to walking around the park at lunch. I have done this to clear the mind and to recharge myself. I have came to see how this is my job and I cannot let my co-workers define who I am.
This lack of camaraderie really messed with me as I had been so use to knowing my co-workers had my back and we could rely on each other to one where they were nice to your face but once your back was turned it was all over. I have just finally started to really manage the stress that comes from working in this kind of environment. Being in the corrections field already has its own great deal of stress but to add on to it not having the feeling of not trusting your co-workers can easily add to that stress and anxiety.
The ways I have learned to deal with this is by exercising more hence walking at lunch time. It gives me that time to clear my mind and to just process whatever has been going on that day. I have found ways at home to decompress from the day and I don’t talk about my day at home. I do my best to leave it at the office. Now my husband likes to talk about the day but he has gotten better about not asking me what happened at work and just let me lead that if I want to talk about it.
I made my office my space. I put up artwork by my kids. I put up inspirational quotes that I felt fit me and might brighten another person’s day. I put up any certificate I got through my work. I brought things from home to brighten my office and to make it all the more personal.