Insight from a NSCN Job Seeker: Experiences in New Working Environments

We received an email from a NSCN Job Seeker who shared her insight into the issues that newly employed members may experience as they re-enter the workforce.

Even though I am used to starting and stopping jobs in many industries, I was shocked how different my work was at my last contract. This was my sixth time working for the same large insurance company, and it literally bore no resemblance to the other contracts even though I had the same title. The work had changed in so many ways that I never got used to the new structure even though I was there for 1 1/2 years. I think this may be what your members are encountering.

Some examples:
  • The work had totally changed. So much of the actual work is being done off shore that I could spend an entire day on conference calls to discuss what was being done. Conference calls now make up the bulk of my work instead of actually doing the work.
  • New regulations now limit what I have access to. In the past, as a Business System Analyst I worked next to the developers, had access to both Test and Production regions, and was able to physically develop the tests and do the testing to compare the requirements I prepared to the finished product. Now I have no access to the systems or databases I'm supposed to be "working on" and have to rely on India to send me the output from testing (could be hundreds of pages) where they highlight in yellow what they want me to see. I never get to see what they don't want me to see.
  • Companies have jumped on all these new methodologies that create the need to prepare a myriad of documents that need sign offs from 15+ people. It's being done for the purpose of being prepared for an audit. The problem is it takes so much time to prepare and get sign offs on the documents that the actual quality of the work suffers because no one has the time to go through 400 pages of test results. Often you're given less that a day to review and sign off on a project. The stress this induces is ridiculous and to top it all off you can't even stand behind your work.
  • The physical work space changes are more than bizarre. In the not-so-distant past, you could expect to have a work home. You had a cube or an office that you sat in everyday. Now many people don't have the "luxury" of having a desk, a cube, or even an assigned seat to go to. There is no room for you to have a bag of necessities with you since often times there are no drawers. There's a move to having no paper at your job. I don't find using a computer to review spreadsheets or documents very comfortable or effective. I will always catch more mistakes or issues on a printed copy. You are often expected to sit with 16 people at long tables elbow to elbow. You can imagine how great this is when many of you have to be on different conference calls at the same time. There's no room for concentration, which for someone like me is paramount. Oh and there is a move there to remove all the business phones and have you only use your computer. Not that I have any issue with VOIP (voice over internet) but this means that if your computer isn't on or the network is down, you're not getting any business calls.
Thanks for your insight!