Dear Papa Bear,
This is Overworked and Stressed Out again, but now I have a different thing worrying me.
Roughly four months ago, I wrote to you about a new full-time job I had acquired at a bank as a teller. At the time I wrote to you, I said that I was enjoying myself at my new job and that I felt I could do it.
Let’s just say it was a one month stand.
Recent weeks haven’t exactly been the best for me at that place. Largely because I feel that every time I walk in, I feel like something doesn’t feel right. Sure, my coworkers are nice, the hours are terrific, and even though the pay could still be better, there’s a little voice in my head telling me that I shouldn’t be here. And trust me it’s getting harder to ignore with each passing day. OK, I’ll be honest, I have a total lack of interest in my job (No pun intended with that remark).
I feel as though I made a horrible mistake in taking this job. Even though I’m great at greeting the customers and processing their transactions, during the downtime I just idle away online. I have absolutely no interest (Again no pun intended there) in expanding my skills in the financial world, I keep messing up my duties, and I just feel like I’m not going to last long at all in this field (One day, when I was still doing both jobs the situation at the bank got so bad I suffered an emotional meltdown). In fact, just the previous week I made a series of slip-ups and near slip-ups that I’m supposed to know by now. As you may or may not know, banking is one of the most highly regulated industries. Well, I wish I knew that going in, because I find it difficult to keep track of all the different regulations the industry has, and has led me to several slip-ups as I have previously mentioned. I’ve been written up for several (in my mind and humble opinion, minor) violations, and my confidence is taking a real beating.
That being said, I want you to know that there is something else that I am interested in, a field that I should’ve spent more time in that I’m now realizing might be my one true calling – Voice Acting. I actually took a voice over class a few years ago (in Spring 2011), and I liked it. While I was a little slow in getting started, I enjoyed the challenge of putting my demo out there and I actually have had some success in that field even going so far as to do this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6AK0Go5MFc
Pretty neat huh? Well, I was so focused on trying to get steady work that I had let this dream of mine get sidetracked, and now I’m looking at restarting it again. A few weeks ago I have started taking a weekly course on voice acting skills and techniques to nail auditions. I’m doing this for three reasons: 1) to refresh my voice acting skills, 2) to gain some contacts in the business (this course is taught by four separate people), and 3) because it’s something I enjoy. When I did my first voice acting job, I didn’t care as to what time it was or how many takes I had to do.
All I knew was it was something I really enjoyed doing. Whereas with my job at the bank, I’m constantly worried over getting something wrong, over having nothing to do (this is particularly true in the middle of the week) and whether I’ll be getting the axe. On top of all that, just today my supervisor kept pointing out mistakes I’ve been making over the course of the month (most of which were generally minor), something that already gives me anxiety overload, and I’ve already gotten written up over mishandling check cashing procedures. To be honest, I feel that this business is WAY too anal retentive.
On the other hand, my instructors at my voice acting class are more than willing to constructively critique me without tearing me down, and just the other day one even said I showed great potential in the sense that I initially come across as shy, but when I start reading my script, I really get into it and all my shyness melts away. Plus, I’m much more interested in this field than with banking. My only problem is I don’t know exactly where to start looking for voice over work.
So yeah, that is my current dilemma with my employment situation. Oh, and I haven’t told my family yet about my recent work struggles, and I don’t know if I want to (or even if I can) tell them that my new job just isn’t working. I mean, they’re so proud of me for finally getting full time work that I don’t want to upset them, but I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I’ve already suffered no less than three emotional meltdowns (breaking down sobbing) in the last two weeks (My recent one was today when I broke down in front of my head teller during our monthly one-on-one review, however she told me that maybe banking just isn’t my niche and seemed genuinely supportive when I told her of my dream career). I just feel like I really screwed up my working life here.
One last confession, Perhaps it was the first thing to come along, but I took this job not only for the money, but because it was full-time. Guess I should choose my next job a little more carefully, huh? I’m just so worried I’ll get fired soon and then who knows what’ll happen.
SMALL UPDATE: I wrote out this letter over the course of several days, but this evening I looked at some articles about new jobs not working out and I realized something…why am I fretting over a job I hate? I know, sounds crazy, but I figured it something to mention.
Overworked and Stressed out and lost and confused and (amazingly) calm and hopeful
P.S. Contrary to your advice in your last letter, I’m still hanging on to my old grocery store job for the moment. I’m just too scared to quit that one with the issues I’m having at my new job.
P.S.S. Maybe quitting my teller job is the right thing to do. God forbid what would happen if I was faced with a robbery.
P.S.S.S. Get well soon Papa Bear!
* * *
I recall your last letter, but for the life of me can’t seem to locate it on my website, hmmm. Anyway, at the time you had just gotten the bank job and were stressed from working that job and the grocery store job, so I advised you to quit the grocery store so that you wouldn’t get exhausted and possibly compromise your health. You are still working that job. Is it at all possible that you are having trouble concentrating on the finer points of banking because you are tired? Just a thought, but if you DID quit the grocery store and got more rest, perhaps you’d be able to think more clearly and not make so many mistakes at the bank. I know that when THIS bear gets tired, it is very difficult for him to think clearly; he also gets grumpy and sometimes overly emotional. Check out this link from WebMD http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss about all the bad stuff that happens to our bodies when we don’t get enough sleep. It includes symptoms you are experiencing right now, from forgetfulness to depression.
If you are not getting 8-9 hours of restful sleep a night, this could be your problem.
So, that is one possibility. The other could be just what you said: that you just aren’t a banker at heart and don’t like the job, period. Voice acting is your dream. That’s swell. Everyone should have a dream, but you must realize that being a voice actor is not easier than being a movie or stage actor. It is very competitive and only the very best survive in the field. It’s not enough to have talent, either. You must have a lot of drive, ambition, and business sense. Here is a good article on the challenges of voice acting from someone in the field: http://iwanttobeavoiceactor.com/get-ready/.
I’m not posting that to discourage you, but, rather, just to make sure you’re grounded and realize the tough road ahead of you should you choose voice acting as a career. There are many opportunities in the field, from cartoons to commercials to video games to business videos and on and on. Many people DO make a career of it, so I’m not saying it isn’t possible.
If you wish to make this career change, go about it carefully and with great planning. I still say that, for the above reason, you should quit the grocery store job. You have a full-time job and income shouldn’t be the issue; you are just clinging to the store job out of fear. What you need is not fear, but more rest. It would also be helpful to combine more rest with regular exercise and a healthy diet, both of which will also help you rest. And make sure that when you go to bed you rest your head in a quiet, dark, comfortable place to assist with a more sound sleep.
After you quit the grocery store (pardons for assuming), go to your supervisor and tell her that you feel you were having trouble in the job because you were working that second job and not getting enough rest. Tell her (even if it’s not completely truthful), that you wish to do well on this job and would like her suggestions on how to improve and do better with the finer points of banking and government regulations.
While you are doing this, continue with your voice acting lessons and try to find work in voice acting without quitting your full-time job (full-time jobs are hard to come by and shouldn’t be lightly dismissed). Should the time come when you are making regular money at voice acting, then quit the regular job.
Another thing you can do is look for another full-time job in another field besides banking. But I advise you strongly not to quit your regular work before having a solid income source from an alternative job.
I hope you will listen to Papabear this time. I think a big part of your problem is that you didn’t listen to his advice in the previous letter. And don’t be afraid! Everything will be okay in the end, and, if it is not okay, then it is not the end. :-)
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