I started a new full-time job in February of this year. Before this, I had stopped working full time 16 years ago when I was laid off during my first pregnancy. I decided to stay home and raise my kids.
Before staying home with my kids, I had worked several years in a management capacity. I have a Master’s degree, as well. And during the time I was home with my kids I wrote a couple of books, wrote several blogs, started a small business where I sold my products at events, ran an Amazon shop – basically I worked for myself, kept my skills fresh, and remained relevant. I also worked part time at a school.
Yet despite my very full resume, I had difficulty finding full time work after the 16- year hiatus.
Eventually I had to take a position with the only company that offered me a job despite the red flags during the interview and extremely low pay. (I am recently divorced and just bought a new house.) What were the red flags? Well, during the interview I was told by the manager that she hated Millenials and it worked in my benefit that I was older, and that I would be replacing a person who didn’t know she was going to be fired. Also, they would only take me on as an hourly employee and wouldn’t give me a salary until after my first 90 days. Also, they were working on the employee handbook, so they couldn’t tell me about benefits or PTO until it was completed.
Still, I accepted the job. And they were (and still are) very happy with me. Yet, the red flags persist. Here are just a few:
• The company is very small consisting of the owner, a manager, and 3 employees. Since I’ve worked there 2 people have been fired for the same position (Millenials, btw.) After the second firing I’ve been given the responsibilities of that position along with my own.
• After only two weeks of working at the company, management announced that paid lunch was no longer a thing and that we were expected to work an extra ½ hour a day.
• When the employee handbook eventually came out, the PTO was pathetic and I probably wouldn’t have accepted the job if I knew how miserable the benefits were.
• We aren’t allowed to use our phones (I’m a single mom and have two teenagers who need to be able to get in touch with me), we have to ask for permission to make personal calls, and I’ve been spoken to about the appropriate times to take bathroom breaks.
• Even though I was given a salary after 3 months, I haven’t been given my review because we were working from home during COVID and the owner wanted to push it back another three months. And since I’ve been given a salary, I’m now expected to work late.
• The owner is never there despite being an integral part of the team – he is solely responsible for sales and no projects can move forward without his approval. Yet he comes in 2 times a week and makes no bones about the fact that he’s at the beach or out with his friends/family. In the meantime, I have only gotten one paid day off in 6 months and will only accrue 3 more before the end of the year. Next year I’ll only get 5 vacation days.
• The owner only employs women it seems, and he calls us “the girls.” (I’m older than him.) He has cameras everywhere in the office and can watch what we are doing even from home.
I really could go on, but I’ll get to the point: Is it too soon to start looking for a new job? I’ve only been there since February and this is my first full time gig in a long time. I feel that I experienced age discrimination when I was looking before I got this job, but I also don’t feel I should just settle on this position because it’s “as good as it gets.” I know I have a lot to offer, but should I hold my nose and stay until I hit the one-year mark?
I look forward to any insight you can give me.