Hello everyone. I just need to get your advice on what I’m experiencing in my career. I am drained and no longer feeling the joy I once did for graphic design as a result of the environment I’m working in. I will set the stage a little and then you can tell me if this is how it is, or if I am insane for putting up with this.
I work in communications which involves a few other tasks aside from graphic design. In the past 15 years I’ve worked for this company I have had 7 managers. All have been fired. With this constant change, it makes it really hard to get any momentum going since they all come in and want to make their mark. I also find that they tend to have huge ideas but no plan on how to actually implement them in a practical way.
Most recently my former coworker’s job (admin, social media, event planning, promo item inventory) was amalgamated into my job, which was predominantly graphic design until this new manager came along 4 months ago. I thought I was just temporarily covering these tasks until they hired a replacement but they are not hiring. There was no consultation on this and no increase in pay - it just all got plunked onto my role.
With my new manager coming on board, I’ve tried keeping an open mind once again and adjust to a new leadership style, but how she reviews my projects is driving me up the wall. She thinks that the best way to review my work is to come and sit beside me as I design, telling me to move something here or try that there. I do not work this way.
Even though I’ve asked for the content to be reviewed prior to putting it in the design layout, that doesn’t happen so there are edits upon edits upon edits. I might add that these edits are mainly just wordsmithing, which can go on for eternity, and are not actually correcting any errors. There are also multiple people reviewing the documents which is always the problem of too many cooks in the kitchen. This often leads to my whole initial design having to be reworked so I’m essentially designing the same document more than once which I feel is highly inefficient.
Since she started, all of the projects have been last minute which has put a huge stress on me to finish in time and get it to the printing company to meet the deadline. I realize that sometimes things come up last minute, and I am always able to accommodate this, but that is not what this is. She has known these things were coming up and just doesn’t get to it in good time.
This last project we did, the manager, myself and our assistant had a brainstorming meeting. It was just a gong show and the whiteboard looked like a football play with arrows and symbols and abbreviations all over the place. She sat at the back of the room and each time she had a brainwave, walked the length of the room around the tables and chairs then back to her laptop. This must had happened 25 times. Then instead of just telling me to print on 11x17, single page, booklet style, she actually drew an 11x17 piece of paper, with measurements that each side is letter-size and numbered the pages 1-4. I walked out of there in a state of bewilderment. By some miracle, I pulled content together and the resulting infographic conveyed the necessary information, but holy man, was that ever painful.
I don’t know how much longer I can survive this. Is this how it is or is this just an exceptionally dysfunctional work environment?