[-$24,206] Buckle Up! Here We Go!

Newish Leader is back again!

About a week ago, my Manager got chewed out admonished, again, by Newish Leader for my team’s output not being of high enough quality for Newish Leader.  In recent weeks, Newish Leader has been putting extra big-time pressure on Manager to ‘raise the bar’ for our team and to do it NOW.

I don’t know if this was triggered by one (me?) or two of us on the team whose work Newish Leader saw recently and didn’t like, or if it really is the whole team. I know Newish Leader likes some people on the team more than others, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it were the former.       


Our team is now being subject to more oversight by Newish Leader and we have additional hoops of scrutiny to jump through. I think this also makes it easier for Newish Leader to build a case for dismissal against anyone not wanted. I don’t know for certain if that’s the immediate plan or not, but the pathway is clearer for that to happen. (Sorry guys. I’m having to leave a bunch of things out of this post, for obvious reasons.)

In a recent meeting, I got a lot of feedback from Newish Leader regarding a project I’m on in terms of all the things that I wasn’t doing properly, or should have psychically known to do despite never being told about it. Newish Leader promptly relayed all this to my Manager afterward, of course. The next day, I had a very candid conversation with my Manager about Newish Leader and all the changes and improvements that are being mandated of our team in such a short time frame and all the pressure that Manager is under. I  asked, point blank, about our team’s job security. Manager frankly confirmed that it is not high right now, even moreso for Manager! Ohhh boyyy…

My Manager likes me has been shielding me (and all of us on the team, really) from Newish Leader, who I’ve always known doesn’t like me at all. It’s possible that Newish Leader has become impatient and wants to clean house and install a new team. If Manager gets the boot, then I know I’m at the top of Newish Leader’s list to get the boot too.

All of this, understandably, makes me very, very nervous. I need to make contingency plans in case I don’t make it to the end of the year with this job, which is looking more and more possible.

Get another job in my current field?

Here we go! I’ve applied for 5 jobs already since this all started going downhill again. So far, I have one immediate rejection, two phone screens scheduled, and the other two have not responded yet. I’m trying to find places that aren’t using this new workstyle that I despise, but it’s nearly impossible. That’s one reason why I haven’t put in more applications.

The other reason is that I’m completely burned out with this career. I just can’t fake enthusiasm that doesn’t exist in interviews, and it shows, apparently. Getting another full-time job in this field will be difficult for all the same reasons I failed on the job market last time, including out-of-date and atrophied skills, and general dislike of my career.  But I have to try. I would only have to work the new job for 1 year. That would let me pay off my loans, and pay for career transition classes, and save cash.

Get another job in a different field?

I’ve looked, but it’s not possible to get even an entry-level job in the other career I’m thinking of pursuing, or any other, really, without education and experience. I have to make a certain level of income to pay these loans and my bills, so this is currently not an option.

Go back to school?

This will be mandatory for a career change. I can’t afford to go to school full-time.  I can take classes part-time through a skills bootcamp of some sort, but I would likely need to cash-flow it, and that would impact my current debt payoff.

What about my student loans?

I may go ahead and refinance (most) of my loans now to get access to career counseling from the new servicer.  If I take classes in order to career switch, I will not be able to pay off my student loans this year, period. That’s disheartening, but at the rate things are going I may not have a choice.

What Now?

The writing is on the wall with my current job.

The most sensible scenario is that I find another job in my field (somehow!) with similar compensation (crosses fingers) and pay off my current student loan debt, cash-flow classes that I take in evenings and weekends, and build up some cash savings until I can transition to a new career.

Gah!! I’m only like 8 months away from having this debt paid off. Why do these things have to keep happening?!


Has your job gone to the dogs?  What happened?

dog sitting in office chair in office


“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)


  1. Maria · April 21, 2019


    Fingers crossed you can find a similar job elsewhere. For now, at least, you have the advantage of being employed while looking. Like you say, it only has to be for a year, maybe some kind of year long engagement is easier to get? And you may even end up getting to keep your current job.

    Do you have a plan for what you’ll do if you do lose your job but can’t get another one in your field? Take any kind of job and pay off debt and cash flow classes, but at a (much) lower pace?

    Refinancing and career coaching sounds like a good idea to me! And please remember that you are in a MUCH better position to deal with whatever happens now than a couple of years ago.

    Rooting for you!


    • Double Debt Single Woman · April 21, 2019

      Yeah, I’m keeping an eye out for short term and temporary jobs. I’ve seen a couple, but the pay is shite. I’m holding off on those as a last resort or until I see something good.

      If I lose my job and can’t find another one in my field? I expect I will be on unemployment benefits, which should be just enough to pay my rent, food and student loan payments. I actually looked at my state’s unemployment site. I’m hoping the refinance goes through so I can get that minimum payment lower. Actually, I think the new servicer will pause payments while unemployed, so that would help even more.

      During that time I’ll apply for jobs, as is mandated. But I’ll use all my free time to take classes to re-skill faster into another field.


  2. Anonymess · April 21, 2019

    Oh, crap. I’m so sorry, DD. It’s a terrible feeling to know that someone with the power to affect your life, career, and security doesn’t like you or your work.

    I’m in a parallel situation now on my latest contract. The first 80% I could figure out on my own, but the tools in this last 20% are really complicated and context-dependent, and I can’t seem to get the organization to either schedule time with me to go over the context and nuances, or make someone available to me to explain them. As a result I’ve gone from being their star contractor for the handful I work closely with to being someone whose eye they have trouble meeting. At least I know my contract ends in a few months — you’re just left dangling.

    I hope your situation improves soon — in whatever way/direction is most useful to you.


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 4, 2019

      Thanks, Anonymess, for the commiseration.

      Yeah, I’ve learned that not all jobs, in fact most jobs, in our area of skill aren’t the best fit for us. And even the jobs that are a good fit, may not continue to be a good fit over the years. Jobs change, leadership changes, managers change / leave, and we change. This job and its leadership has changed. It’s no longer a good fit for the skills I’m good at. I will need to find something new. Simple as that.


  3. czanclus · April 23, 2019

    Argh… it just infuriates me to hear about good people and hard, quality workers being driven to humiliation by close scrutiny, threatening remarks, demoralization of their quality, and the like just because some arbitrator decided they don’t like them… and on the other end being witness to slackers, suck-ups, and big self-promoting cheer leaders being given a pass just because they managed to become ‘buddies’ with the boss. If ever ~god~ awakens me in a reality of being any kind of a superior, I will make it my career life’s mission to ensure that good people get the deserving credit, and the suck-ups get snubbed for their empty charades.

    My job (a series of hustles) is (practically by definition) fairly secure (because no one wants these jobs unless desperate or has a spouse to pick up other benefits), but my daughter’s dad (on whose check I depend monthly to clear the budget including extra debt payments, not to mention about whose well being I care just on general premises) told me this weekend that his team is being bought out by a different company, and things regarding his position/pay/work schedule may change – not for the better. The timing for that curveball, needless to say, sucks… just as I am sure the timing in your case – for writing on the wall of a possible chopping block – could have been better postponed another 12 months from last week.

    Really sorry to hear. The universe owes you big time – even though we all know the universe doesn’t operate like that. 😦 Nonetheless, you *will* get through this – the worst case scenario of your stated fear – if so things play out. At this point, I think it would be wise to refinance the remainder of your student loan debt if possible, to allow yourself the option of being current on your loans without dropping prohibitively large monthly payments if funds are better used elsewhere. I still hope though, that the Newish Dictator will go easier on your team for at least a few more months.


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 4, 2019

      “Newish Dictator”! Ha! I like it.
      I know right?! It seems like just when things are finally getting at least somewhat on track financially, something comes up to cause disruption. 😦
      You’re right. I WILL get through this. Thanks for the encouragement, Czanclus. 🙂


  4. C@thesingledollar · April 23, 2019


    (yeah, go for the refinance. Lower the required payment, get the career counseling, get it done now just in case you don’t have the same income to show them in a month or two. And in the mean time, just remember you can literally count the days at this job. Either they fire you and you get severance/unemployment or you’re gone once the debt is paid off. Just take it one day at a time.)


  5. Frugal To FI · April 23, 2019

    I swear we work at the same place! But you are under the other team – the one with Newish Leader cleaning house. (I know we don’t work at the same place, but our work situations are parallel in many ways). When your manager starts having HR involved in their consecutive mtgs with Newish Leader, tell manager to watch out. I used to think it was because it was the ‘youngins’ coming into to lead, but style has me thinking this is normal corporate?

    My area is still somewhat safe, but none the less does not feel like I will be working it for the long term. I can’t find another place with similar pay and/or the former work style (that was much enjoyed, family style despite its size). Least I am aware of the base pay I can receive if I really need to jump ship and its workable. And I may be able to do it telecommuting. which I would gladly except right now.

    But I am taking coursera.com courses online. Same field with a slight move into a different direction. Might as well take all the transition benefits I can right now while the experience and funds are available to me.

    Best to you. I do hope you will not need to leave before the debt is done. Then again, I understand sanity. Oh ya, I hear you on the lack of enthusiasm in interviewing to. I suck at it. It’s a weird space, needing to change or redesign life at this age. I have a better understanding why its imperative to have the financial ducks in a row. Note to self: Save more funds to bridge a possible change.


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 4, 2019

      Wow! Our situations really are parallel in a lot of ways. It is simultaneously comforting and sad to know that I’m not alone in this.
      Are you taking Coursera classes at work? I wish I could do that. I’m trying to study in the evenings and weekends, but it’s so hard when my job drains me of all energy and leaves me mentally and physically exhausted every day.

      I’m hoping for a positive change soon. And best of luck to your own career transition.


  6. DY · April 24, 2019

    Check out Ken Coleman and research the proximity principle for both current job search and getting into the new line of business you want to be in.


  7. Cynthia · April 30, 2019

    Could you reach out to someone you admire in the career that you want to pursue and ask for an informational interview or to buy them coffee and a chat? That might be a way to start opening doors without spending money. Also, you would gain insights to see if it is really the direction that you want to go in. Better to be sure you really will like it before you sink any hard-earned cash into it.


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 4, 2019

      Yes, I’m planning to do this. I’m planning to start with online forums for people practicing in the careers of interest to me, so I can crowdsource responses across employers, industries, geographic region etc.


  8. Dolores Gonzalez · May 4, 2019

    I’m so so sorry you’re going through this. I can read the stress and anxiety in your words! I hope that you come out of this on a brighter side than you ever imagined was possible. I think this environment has been toxic for you for a while. I hope wherever you end up, you’re going to be so happy!

    I have some pretty crazy things going on with my position, too but on the other end of the spectrum. My former manager was demoted last year which landed me a promotion and a 20% raise. She quit in early March so I’ve taken on all her job duties and I’m in line to take over her position with another raise.

    Last year I went from 30k to 40k. I really wanted to make 60k in this new position (glassdoor reports the national average at 75k, but my employers are balking at giving me a 50% raise). They think it will be $50k. We will see…


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 4, 2019

      Thank you!

      Congrats, Dolores!
      They should give you at or near what they paid your former manager. If you can do the job just as well as she can, you should get paid what she used to.
      You can always use your new title and job duties to look for a higher paying job elsewhere if they won’t budge.


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