My dream job is making me depressed

I've always had a passion for technology, but breaking into the tech industry from a background in sales and customer service seemed daunting. Determined to pursue my dream, I began honing my technical skills and decided to dive into Salesforce in May 2022.

My first step into the tech world came in April 2023 when I landed an entry-level customer success role at a startup. Although it was a glorified customer service position, it marked my transition into the tech sphere, and I was thrilled. I dedicated the next year and a half to studying for the Salesforce Admin exam, facing multiple setbacks before finally passing in August 2023. With my certification in hand, I set out to find a non-client-facing role where I could leverage my new skills.

I sought out new opportunities and landed my current role within a month. It was a hybrid position at a small nonprofit, offering a significant wage increase but requiring me to step away from remote work after seven years.

In my current role as a Salesforce Analyst, I'm tasked with untangling a complex organizational mess left behind by my predecessor. However, I've found myself isolated within the organization, placed on a team that doesn't even use Salesforce and largely left to work independently. I'm on an island by myself.

Adding to the challenge, my manager's sudden change in demeanor and lack of support has strained our relationship. What initially seemed like a promising opportunity has become a source of frustration and disillusionment. Despite my initial optimism, the reality of my role has left me feeling stagnant and unfulfilled.

Now, six months into the role, I find myself yearning for a new opportunity where I can make a meaningful impact and continue to grow professionally. However, navigating the job market has proven challenging, with potential employers hesitant to overlook my short tenure and diverse work experience.

How do I navigate this situation and find a new job that aligns with my goals and aspirations?

Should I try talking to my manager? What do I say?

Hello OP! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Congrats on all your career milestones to date, much to be proud of! Hm this is really a tough situation. I guess I have a few questions (not sure you have all the answers yet since you've been there for 6 months and I guess also still learning about the place etc)1- When you say a complex organisational mess left by your predecessor: was that something that was flagged by the team upon bringing you on? Like was the person before let go because of that lack of performance and the expectation was that you were supposed to sort them out? Would be great to understand the kind of expectations they had for you, what your metrics for success are and the KPis you're being evaluated on. And most importantly, do you feel aligned there?2- Work on the team: has it always been like this or you've noticed that change of dynamic recently? ie. were people always working fairly independently? And does your work require much collaboration eg some work are mostly IC and others more managerial, where do you sit? Sounds like this is a team dynamic to me and there's possibly a misfit but doesn't always mean it's doomed?3- Manager's change in demeanour: this one is tough - do you perceive it as a change towards you or a change towards everyone on the team/at the company? Not getting the support you need to thrive is tough and I am wondering if this is the only manager you can work under ie. how big is this org for a move? or are you feeling like you're totally done with the org itself?I asked all these questions because there are ways to address this IMO1- on the content of your work: it might be worth level setting expectations a little, if you feel like the amount of work is too much for you, then see if you can get some help either from someone on the team or someone to work you on a project basis (if theres no budget for a new FT hire)OR it could be that the learning curve is steep in which case, the goals need to be stretched out more OR the worst case is you just don't love the job anymore and yes you'd need to start putting feelers out with the knowledge that it might take you some time 2- on the teamwork: it would be interesting to better understand if this is how this team has always operated and what has your role been within? ie. are you in a managerial role or more IC, because that can generally inform you on what you might want to focus your work AND if you can then change teams within the org. As for the team dynamic, if it was not always like this, why has there been a sudden change? 3- Manager's sudden change of behaviour: I think if you've noticed it to you only, it might be interesting to ask them for feedback, you're six months in, perfect time to do a mini informal performance review when you can bring up some of the things in point 1). You should definitely put feelers out, see what's out there for you etc. but yes understand that it might take you longer than it used to, to get a job.
I find it interesting you describe this as your "dream job" when it doesn't sound like you're enjoying this. You've made great progress towards what you want -- which is awesome and wonderful! -- but it turns out this wasn't it. It might be worthwhile for you to take a moment to write out what you like about your current role and what you don't like (the work, the people, the environment, the perks, etc). This could help you decide if it's a good idea to stay in this role but advocate for some improvements. Or help you decide it's a good idea to stay with the company but in a new role. Could you transfer to a different team? Or maybe you decide this just isn't for you, at least you'll have a head start on understanding what you do want out of your role and will have that to guide you to something new.I was once in a similar situation where a potentially great job fell far short of my expectations and needs. I realized within 6-months that it was not a good fit but was nervous about having a short tenure and convinced you needed to stay anywhere for at least one year. I used the next 6 months to think about what I wanted, what skills I wanted to grow and develop, what I wanted my day-to-day to look like, and to network. I was able to land a great position at the 13-month mark and never looked back.
"I find it interesting you describe this as your "dream job" when it doesn't sound like you're enjoying this." --> I totally agree with you and had the same thought but the way I read it is that "what was initially a dream/had the potential to be a dream job is making me depressed".
Hi OP - It’s unfortunate that this job isn’t feeling good, and you are right to question it. Working in a silo stinks, and having a difficult boss only makes it worse. I think it’s safe to say that, while you had high hopes for the role, this is not your dream. Don’t let the “But I've only been here for 6 months” thinking get in your way. Tons of people, especially in tech, move on to other roles even 6-7 months in. It’s how many folks level up their skills and salaries quickly, and with layoffs being SO common these days, it’s perfectly okay to look out for YOU. We only get 1 life, and it’s your duty to enjoy it. That said, I can recommend a few things: 1) Get more clarity. Someone mentioned writing out your likes, must haves, must nots, etc. It really helps! 2) Join Never Search Alone… it’s a group on LI and you can find more info at Get the book, join a JSC- these are fast and slow job seekers groups and it’s free. Both of these things will help you gain clarity and connect with other folks in your shoes. 3) Network like crazy! Curious about a company, industry, or type of role? Find people in those places (via LinkedIn, Elpha, etc.), and try to set up a meeting or call to learn from them. Not to get a job - just to learn about their path/company/role, and maybe get their perspective on your career goals. This will help you gain even more clarity AND build up your network - AND your confidence!Good luck, and remember that obstacles like this are just detours in the right direction!
Take your time and try to take the emotion out of your thinking. Step back, consider the pros and cons of your current situation, and really try to visualize your future in this role with this company. Do you see a career path that is worth the effort?What are the odds that you'll be able to move into a different position that is more enjoyable and/or a step up, and how long will that take? Are you learning anything that is transferable to another non-profit and can you tough it out for another 6 to 12 months to enhance your resume before you start a job search?You already put in the hard work to acquire a highly desirable skill set. The big question now is how much is your time worth to you? Are you willing to invest time to see if this gets better, or to gain a better understanding of what you think the job should be so you can take that knowledge to your next position? If the answer is no, there's no downside to putting your resume out there, a job search can be long so you might as well get a jump on it. In the meantime, think about how best to use the job you've already got to help you get the one you really want and turn it into a tactical problem to be solved, not a personal disappointment.Re what to say to your manager, the best advice I can offer is stick to the facts. Keep good notes about what you're being asked to do vs. what the job description said you'd be doing. Do you have the all the tools you need to get your work done? Do you have all the information and access to the people you need to collaborate with to be successful? Keep track of suggestions you've made or problems you've tried to address, and the results of those efforts. Try not to complain, just keep a record of your actions that shows what you've been trying to do and how your contributions have been received (or not.) Best of luck, hope it works out for you!
Hi, thanks for sharing your story and current concern about your situation. There are many instances in our career when we are in roles or projects that do not fully align with our aspirations or interest. Please know that all jobs have their highs and lows. While you may continue looking for a new role, it will be good to speak with your manager. My suggestion would be to consider the following for the discussion:- Think of 2-3 main issues that you have regarding the role which you believe are most important to convey to your manager. Also, think through constructive ideas for addressing those issues and share with your manager. If there is something that can be incorporated easily by you and your manager, put that suggestion forward. Talk through how your suggestions can help the team or department.- Share positives about what you are learning from this role, and how you and building your competence. Then share what makes you disengaged. - Keep the conversation positive and solution oriented. Ask how you both can connect regularly to review the project.Job search can be a long process, wish you the best for that.
You are so brave to open up and share. I totally understand what you're going through. It's so isolating and frustrating to be good at a job that you get no recognition or support for. There's two routes you can take from here:1. you can speak to your manager and have a vulnerable and honest conversation about what you're feeling AND present them with solutions you'd like to see. What would an ideal outcome be for you? Think about it, write it out, and present it so that you're not just coming with complaints, you're coming with solutions for how your needs can be met. 2. if you know that you're already over it and just want to move on, then approach it from a lens of excitement for a new opportunity. if you go into it worried, then that's what the entire process is going to be like for you. What would you do if you weren't afraid? What if your future employer actually appreciates your short tenure and diverse work experience? Are you clear on your goals and aspirations? Maybe now is the most aligned time for you to reflect and reassess. Let me know how that's landing for you and if you'd like to speak more about it, I'm here for you!