I'm so annoyed with this job, please need advice!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2014
I'm so annoyed with this job, please need advice!
Fri, 07-25-2014 - 11:24am

I've been working as a freelance for over 2 years and was quite enjoying it being my own boss and have lots of flexibility. But since the beginning of the year and because I lost a big client, things started to be a bit difficult on the financial side and me and my husband decided for me to look for a full-time job, although I'm not that good with 9-5 office jobs and my work can be done virtually from anywhere (I'm a graphic designer).

Well, I was approached by a client that has a real estate company and since he was very happy with my work, he invited me to start a graphic design company with him, as a director at the company. I was really excited with the opportunity because it is not a merely 9-5 job, but something exciting and challenging.

I've started working 3 weeks ago but due to the way he's doing things I'm started to become really frustrated and annoyed. Since I'm a director, I'm doing ALL the work and I also brought him 2 clients to his new company, I thought I would be more than just an employee.

Well, basically I have a fixed working hours 5 days per week at the office and I'm basically just an employee just like any other employee he has on his other companies (he has several).

But I got really annoyed this week because there's lot of noise in the office (we're using his real estate office at the moment to start this new company) and I need peace and quiet in order to work. So I asked him if I could work from home one day of the week, so I can have at least one day of peace and quiet to work. And also, because I'm a very creative person and I don't function well being constrained between office walls, it's like it kills my creativity!

Well, he basically said no to my request. His argument is that he doesn't want to open a precedent at the office and then have everyone else there asking to work from home too. Well, this doesn't make sense since I don't work for the real estate company, I work for a different company, in a completely different sector and we're just using that office temporarily. So I believe the real reason is that he's a control freak and wants everyone to be at the office available when he needs them. But what really annoys me is that he doesn't have fixed working hours and he comes and leaves at his own wish. Shouldn't he be giving the example!? And also, he even asked me to create the business plan for the company! So if I'm just a regular employee, why do I have to do the business plan, why doesn't he do it since he's the owner?? So for some things, I'm the director and all, for other things I'm just an employee...

Well, this wasn't the way I was thinking I was gonna work with him, especially when it's me doing all the work, I'm the director of the company and I even brought 2 clients with me! And also, I'm having a salary much lower than I should! I'm just starting to think that if it is to work as a normal employee with fixed working hours and no flexibility, then I would be better working for a stablished company where my salary would be much higher than it is! 

Well, I'm missing a lot the flexibility I once had working as a freelancer, I'm struggling with having to be so many hours in the office, I feel exhausted just after 3 weeks and I'm really annoyed. And I don't feel the motivation I felt in the beginning either. Shouldn't he understand my request and make it easier for me since I am the one doing all the work? I'm starting to feel that he's taking advantage of me and I don't even know if one day I would have some parnership in the company I'm building!

Sorry for the long story and thank you for reading. I just can't afford to go to freelance now, but if I could I would do it tomorrow! Please give me some sound advice! Thank you in advance.

Avatar for ubergeek
Community Leader
Registered: 09-23-2010

I agree that there seems to be some communication issues going on. A director is still an employee, not a business partner. However, the business plan should be coming from him. I think you do need to sit down and discuss what is and isn't expected of you and your position. With that said, would you have such issues if you were in your own office? Maybe the noise is just grating on your nerves, making everything else seem worse than it is? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002

Hrm, don't know if I have any advice, just questions.  When you discussed working for this client, did you set any ground rules from the very beginning regarding your hours and salary, or did you leave it up to him to determine it?  It sounds to me like you signed on as an employee of his without really understanding what that meant.  You also mentioned that the office you are working out of is temporary, so does that mean you will be moving to your own space at some point?  Is the problem not having enough peace and quiet in which to work, or is it a combination of things that you have no control over?  I don't know that you can put all the blame on him if you did not have any kind of agreement with him...if you did, and things are not as you agreed, then that is a valid concern.  It's very different when you go from being the boss to having one as there will always be certain expectations. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

I fail to see why you are upset that you are doing "all the work".  You are a graphic designer.  He is a "money guy" who owns SEVERAL businesses. He doesn't know how to do graphic design.  What, exactly, do you want him to do?

You were HIRED (yes, HIRED.  you did not pony up any money;  you are not a partner)  to start up a new graphic design company for him.   He takes the risk.  75% of all start-ups fail within the first year.  Those that do survive, take 3-5 years to become profitable.  During that unprofitable time, he pays your salary, the rent on the space, the light, the heat, the air conditioning, buys the supplies, etc.

So why are you upset that he comes and goes as he pleases?  HE is the OWNER.  He can do as he pleases.  He hires people to develop the businesses, and do the work.    I assume he did not "make you an offer you couldn't refuse" , and that you did not accept the job without knowing the pay you would get.  So now, if you don't like the pay, or the amoount of work you have to do, whose fault is that?

He is not taking advantage of you.  You were short-sighted then, and are unrealistic now.  If you think you are such a desirable commodity, go find that  " stablished company where my salary would be much higher than it is!   

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Here's my two cents:

1)Stop whining like a 2-year-old. It's not going to solve your "problem." It's only going to make it harder for you.

2)You sound perfectly capable of writing a business plan, selling your services (getting clients), and doing the work. So why are you trying to work for someone else?

3)Go do what you do only do it on your terms. (Less whining that way.), i.e. stop waiting for someone else to make it happen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2014

Thank you all for your responses and for the reality check!

I guess what I'm struggling is indeed not being able to do all in my terms, ie, I always struggled with having bosses and was always very independent in my work and have an entrepreneurial spirit, never really fitted in any 9-5 job I've had. I thought about continuing working as a freelance and getting more clients, the thing is I have a 2 year old daughter that used to be at the nursery 3 days per week, and I used those days to work. It was enough to do the work but not enough to do marketing for myself and get more clients. And because as a freelancer money is an issue (not having a fixed salary) me and my husband could not afford to have our daughter 5 days at the nursery, so I would have more time for work.

And because we were struggling financially, we decided for me to look for a full-time position. Yes, the owner of my company told me the employment terms beforehand and I signed a contract, but I though (wrongly) that I would have more flexibility. Yes, he's the owner and has the money, but I have the expertise and do the work. I guess one doesn't function without the other!?

Well, one thing I also love doing is writing, I have been doing copywriting for several years too and I'm keeping a copywriting freelance work on the side, maybe one day it can turn into my own business, work for myself and not have to put up with other's terms. For me writing is a passion and be able to write from anywhere and being paid to write would really be a dream come true.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007

After talking all that out...:)..it seems like you have to ride this contract out...go with the flow (his flow) and then find a way to do what you LOVE>