This post turned out really long so I broke it up into segments for easier consumption.
I'm currently working in a big company and quite unsatisfied with my job. The position itself is actually not that bad. The boss is very laid back and accessible, the colleagues are cool, the things we work on are very interesting and relevant, pay and benefits are great. Unfortunately, the job doesn't fit me and is driving me to the brink of a burnout.
I don't fit the required skillset, I don't fit into the department socially (not the right personallity type) and I have a knack for always getting the tasks that no one wants anything to do with. It's frustrating, to say the least. Yes, I've tried talking to my boss, several times. It's complicated. Let's just say I don't see much hope for me in my current department. For more infos, see the background section below.
Going to a different company sounds like a bad idea right now (see background section) so I would like to change jobs within this company.
The problem is that the type of work I'm most qualified for (again, see background section - it's a bit complicated) is usually outsourced. There must be some niches in this company for me but how do I find them?
This company is so huge (10 000 people in R&D alone) that I wouldn't even really know where to start looking. I suck at networking so I'm not well connected enough to just ask around. I already talked to my boss, who is open to the topic of job changes within the company, but he doesn't know anything suitable. Neither do the colleagues I asked. There is of course the company directory but it's hard to find accurate descriptions of what a department does in there.
I know two people who might know something. Neither of them work close by, neither of them work with me and I'm not friends with either of them so I really have no way whatsoever to just walk by and ask casually. If I where to ask them it would have to be very explicit. I don't really want to write an e-mail since that would leave a record of my job search - though I'm not sure if I'm being paranoid here. I don't wanna call since I don't want my colleagues to overhead that I'm looking for a new job. And, well, I hate talking on the phone. I could set up a meeting but that would be very inconvenient (long way to get there) and overblown for what is essentially a five-minute-conversation, if not even shorter.
Do you have any idea on what I could do short of writing awkward e-mails to people I have never met based on the company directory and wild guesses?
I've been working in this position for over four years now and my condition keeps getting worse. I just don't fit the required skill profile and try as I might I don't think I ever will. The job requires things that I'm bad at and the things that I'm good at are not required. This is my first job out of university, so I chalk it up to lack of experience. I thought I would do better.
The job turned out to require above average social skills. Lots of things are accomplished through politics, i.e. meetings, talks, phone calls and e-mails. We work a lot with partners outside of the company. Many projects are handled with only loose and informal collaborations within the company. If you want to get something done you have to talk to people, make them like you and make them do what you want without pressuring them. My social skills are severely lacking. I've tried hard over the last years to bring them up to scratch but my success has been painfully limited. This constant fight is draining me badly.
The reason I can't handle the social part is that I have Aspergers Syndrome. I didn't know that at the time I got the job. I thought I was simply lacking practice and that I would learn if I tried hard enough. I didn't. What I got instead was serious depressions, half a burnout and a diagnosis for Aspergers. I can communicate fine on a technical level, but the politics and manipulation and mind reading that are required in the office every day suck the last bit of life out of me. I know the theory. I've been to seminars. I've read tutorials. I talked to people. My brain just can't handle the level of social finesse that are required.
My employee doesn't know about my Aspergers and I intend to keep it that way. I don't think anybody would really understand, so I don't see the benefit in disclosing it.
My strength lies in software development, algorithms and datastructures. However, this type of work is very rare around here and mostly outsourced. I talked to my boss about this and it doesn't look like I could get a job like this in my current department.
Another problem is that I always end up with tasks that nobody wants anything to do with. Those tasks are not unimportant, actually my boss(es) assure me they are very important - and I sort of agree - but none of my colleagues actually see it that way and apparently can't be convinced. It's not that they are actively sabotaging or mobbing me. Nothing I would go to my boss about. It's just that they don't want anything to do with my topics. Wherever I have contact with their work - which is often - it's like swimming against the stream. There's always resistance, most people are grumpy about having to put up with my efforts, I have pretty much no one who I'm actually working together with (just alongside). I constantly have to convince people to help me, or even take me seriously. I can't do this any more. I want a job where my contribution is valued by the team, not where the team is annoyed by it.
Additionally I don't fit the department culture. Most people here are really similar so they get along great. Many of them meet up after work or even go on vacation together. I don't. I'm too introverted, too reclusive, too geeky, too unathletic. I don't do subtle interaction well. I don't do small talk. I don't get their jokes. I can't participate in the witty banter. I don't care about the topics my colleagues like to talk about. To make it short: I'm always on the outside, never fitting in.
Going to a different company in this area would be a severe downgrade in almost every way since we're not in or near a major city and every company around here is working for my current company in one way or another. I'd be moving down the foodchain, which is never pleasant. Especially socially it would be a massive downgrade. Considering that my wife is working at the same company as I that would make things at home rather awkward as well.
Moving to a different place is also not really an option for family-related reasons.
To be clear: I do consider both alternatives (different company and different town) but only as a very last resort.