Diving into discussion boards and getting the support I neededFeatured

Have you ever had the feeling of drowning in your struggling career?

‘I need help! Help from someone who’s had this experience before.’

Are you unable to get the support you need from within the workplace, but friends and family are ‘too close’ to you to be helpful?

‘I need honest opinions from someone outside my immediate circle. From someone who cares and can be objective.’

I’ve been there! And here’s where I found help.

Picture this: a toxic work environment, people leaving the company faster than they can be replaced, and you, burnt out and drowning, looking but not finding another job. The only reason you haven’t quit is because of a particular benefit, and now it feels like even that benefit isn’t worth the extra work, low pay, stress, and mental health damage.

That was me in March. I was on Elpha looking at the job opportunities and browsing the discussion boards. The very first category? Advice.

It’s what I needed. But I’m new-ish to Elpha, I’ve only written a few responses to blog posts and they were simple, unproblematic. Why would I (or more accurately, why should I) waste space and people’s time on my problems? Certainly, others are more worthy of advice.

But, wait – you can post anonymously! And I thought: oh thank goodness, I can post something, ask my question, and no one will know it’s me. No one can judge me if it’s not linked to me!

So I did it! I made an anonymous public post ‘Jumping Ship,’ which was exactly what several coworkers had done. I outlined my situation. I mentioned no names and didn’t go into details. The only reason I was still at that job was for the health insurance, and I was weighing the idea of leaving without another employment opportunity. I needed to know others had done this and been okay.

I was - and still am - blown away by the responses I received. In addition to the sympathies, I had responses from women who had been in similar environments and left, and women who had to stay. They helped point out pros and cons, gave me suggestions on how to survive, and several offered extra resources. I received lists of questions to help me determine what could be my next move as well as to evaluate how I was actually feeling, despair aside.

Everyone was so kind, even to an anonymous poster. To reach out to someone they didn’t know, who they likely would never know, and offer support without anything in return!

I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude to them.

I am happy to report that, in part due to the support and wisdom I found here, I did quit my job. In a dark time in my life, this community brought me hope and kindness. I realized that, even though I was a stranger to these people, they cared enough to respond. They cared enough to tell me that I wasn’t alone.

I don’t want anyone to be in a similar situation as I was, but I know it’s relatively common. My hope with this article is to encourage you to explore Elpha’s communities - the Questions of the Week community is an excellent and entertaining read!

And if you have something specific weighing on your mind, don’t be shy to make your own post! Anonymously or not, you’re here, and we’re here with you. We’re all unique, but we’re not alone.

I just wish these toxic experiences were not so common. Sadly, there isn't enough workers rights and protections.
I absolutely agree Sara! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!