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My job is getting the better of me

  • 13-10-2018 10:48am
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Moderators - I'd rather go anonymous for this thread please.

    To give some background I work in Financial Services for almost 15 years and 11 years in the current multi-national company in which I currently work. for the first 6 years in this company I worked in Fund Administration and almost 5 years ago I moved into another group, who primarily support the Fund Administration business in the company as well as supporting a few other functions.

    Its a fast paced job with ongoing deadlines on foot of requests received in. Two years ago I was offered promotion to a senior level by my boss and took it even though I was apprehensive as thought I had not gained enough experience in the group. Doesn't look good turning down a promotion too.

    The job did not change dramatically for me at first but gradually I moved more to project type work rather than daily production BAU. Some of this is okay and straight forward but some of it is pretty taxing and thankless. For some of these initiatives a "Subject Matter Expert" would be assigned to work with from the Fund Administration side of the business. However, reality of the matter is that they are not really a "Subject Matter Expert" at all, its just that a Fund they work on holds some of the instruments in question and get the impression it is foisted on them by Management in their section and they half-heartedly accept without having the required knowledge or time to commit. Then if the procedure is firmed up and signed off on by the "Subject Matter Expert" I would need to reach out to Management in all global Fund Administration areas requesting their sign-off. This can be thankless and can go on for months without a response. Meanwhile the Manager who originally requested the change hopping of you asking when can it be put into place.

    Some time back the Company acquired the Fund Administration leg of another business. In a nutshell this has led to a dramatic rethink in the way things are done within Fund Administration, not only to allow for the new Administrator to be on-boarded but for legacy Funds already in the company. A sort of step back and scrutinise to the nth degree the way everything is done, can it be done more efficiently, can things be automated etc.

    This for me has become horrendous. There are various work streams involved in this initiative but it has become extremely disconnected. To the point where I don't have a clue who I'm dealing with or who's doing what. Every second day I have somebody new popping up on my PC with a IM (no introduction whatsoever to say you will be working with this person) asking very tough questions I am unable to answer quite a lot of the time. On quite a few occasions a very similar question may have being asked by someone else but often when you ask the new person have they worked with the previous requester they may only know of that person at best. A lot of the problem is that the procedures we work with only tell you to do x without providing the background of why you do x. In these asks I am often being asked why you do x and often more complex questions besides.

    There is also what needs to be immediately done to allow for the acquired administrator to be on-boarded. A lot of this relates to the work in my Team that I would not have previously completed to any great extent but as and aside there are certain tools and applications that are used to allow for certain checks to be completed which I am not familiar with. There is an experienced colleague in the UK I am working with this and she is to be showing me how to use these tools and write the SQL language required etc. This has being very slow, I've only seen snipets at best. She works peculiar hours, often North America hours as she is on a Global Team and her Manager work in North America. This coupled with her attendance being pretty poor means she is very difficult to get hold off, especially when you just need her. Her overviews through screen-share are generally very fast paced too. Called me old fashioned if you will but I learn better when I am there in person with the person providing the training and have them there after for some time when I'm completing the process as then questions arise. Nature of the work means that if you go wrong in one step you cant complete to the next step or if you can then the rest of what you do will be incorrect in account of your error. It is all very frustrating.

    Then there is my own Manager. Although I know in the back of my mind she is not responsible for all of my problems I do blame her for a lot of them. It seems to be push push push all with the goal of making a mark for herself and progressing her career. Her attendance is appalling. Most weeks she misses a few days and she often would be out of the office for weeks on end. I feel that the lack of support is taking its really taking its toll. I would be asked to join important decision making calls with Senior Mangers in other locations when my boss is out of the office. Granted I acknowledge that it will be inevitable on occasion but the extent to which is happening over the past few weeks in particular is immense. I feel very out of my depth on these calls and I have no doubt that it shows in my voice. She makes all the right sound bites - would come back into the office to say ye played a blinder when I was out etc. Fair to say there has being no serious error made yet but the way things are I feel that it is imminent. I called it out to her in 1 to 1 meetings on more than one occasion that I feel totally out of my depth. Her typical standard response is that I'm flying it, everybody is finding it tough to get to grips with what is going on, and all without acknowledging the actual extent to which I feel out of my depth. There is no doubt that she is capable and very good at her job when she is in the office - problem is she is out of the office as often as she is in. She is extremely good at playing the game - making all the right sound bites to our Global Manager. On a 1 to 1 call I called out her poor attendance to our Global Manager last year when she was out for a very long bout but he just looked at it from a very practical point of view - what can be done to get through the next while when she is still out, asked me to send on very pressing issues to him if need be - all without really addressing the elephant in the room. I think once he does not hear of any serious problems or errors he is happy - out of sight out of mind and ultimately there are a few hundred people under him between all Global Teams that report into him.

    The past few months in particular have being really tough for me. Lots of sleepless nights and very anxious and on edge all the time. It is really taking its toll. This is the first week in a while that I have managed to get s few half decent nights sleep, most likely the exhaustion and burn out catching up. Working long hours and no better ahead for it. Eating dinner away too late as a result. Also, am really questioning my abilities and even more basic tasks feel like they are becoming difficult. It feels like it is having a compounding affect. The amount of mails I try and read and decipher and am as wise as ever after - much of the new language and abbreviations may as well be double dutch to me.

    I'm in my late 30's (feel as if I've aged greatly over the past year if I'm honest). Have lost my get up and go. I just want to quit but you sort of need to have a job to get a job. I am lucky in that I do not have any kids or anyone depending on me and own my own house on which I do not have a mortgage. Have applied for a few jobs but no joy as of yet. I would have an interest in Qualified Financial Advisor but if to go back to education could realistically only do that for so long without an income. I just have my Degree in Accounting and Finance without any additional qualifications. Being in a country area jobs are not overly plentiful in the somewhat specialist area I have being in. I do have family commitments that would make travel somewhat difficult. The company I work for have almost got a monopoly on the jobs market for the specific sector.

    Really I suppose to put my problems in writing and get other peoples take on it? Anybody being in a similar situation before and how did things work out in the end?

    Thanks for taking the time to read


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭OMM 0000

    It's really hard to read all that. Is there any chance of writing a summary?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,183 ✭✭✭99nsr125

    Your experiences are typical of the fund accounting world

    It seems to be normal practise at this stage

    Your managers shift the work onto you because they are incapable of doing it

    Salary is nice but the workload and respective hours completely undermine it, drain on your soul, change you into an unhappy person damaging your relationships and making you the snappy instead of loving parent

    Of all the other accountants I know the only one who is happy moved sideways into special projects

  • Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭rosmoke

    No doubt you're going through a stressful situation and I understand it is hard.
    What I often say, try and turn this bad situation into something positive.
    Try and don't allocate more time than you should, to this job.
    Go, do the best you can, get out and live.
    I understand your boss takes a few days off, try and do the same, for your own health ... money is not everything.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf

    Really I suppose to put my problems in writing and get other peoples take on it? Anybody being in a similar situation before and how did things work out in the end?...

    Never been in quite that position. But the only vaguely similar situations I can think of, I either solved the problem myself. Wrote my own tools, to give me the information I needed faster than I could do it myself.

    Or I switched to a different team or company where they weren't tying themselves up in knots, and moved away from people who don't listen.