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I am in the same boat as you @CharmedPam. I am currently working ay my first "real job" and I have been with this company 4 years. While I really enjoyed what I was doing, the work lately has been sporadic and just not fulfilling.
Background: I started at the front desk and did a lot of odd jobs. This was great as I was learning about the industry and practicing some skills I hadn't used in a while. Plus it was my first Mon-Fri with holidays and good vacation/sick policies. About two years in, a long term field assignment came up and I was super excited to go out. I did that job for a year and half and I. loved. it. I came back into the office about 8 months ago. Since I was gone so long they filled my old position with someone else and "promoted" me to new title. But my work load is not there and besides doing some training and helping with the odd assignment I have too much free time that they just can't fill. Add in that in order for me to work they need to gain contracts that we don't always get and I feel like I've been floating/adrift for a while now.
My manager knows all of this and has been trying hard to keep me busy and updated on any opportunities but I'm getting tired of the whole "we're working on it". He does give me new things to work on and I am building a good diverse background which makes it a bit harder to leave also. Plus the benefit package we have is pretty good (really good medical, decent 401K match, etc), I finally accumulated a ton of vacation time and I don't really want to leave when we are planning to start a family very shortly. Oh well, I do feel better just writing this out and my DH is super supportive of my decision regardless of what I do. I just hope one of the these "we're working on it" sticks soon!
I'm currently at my longest job, 4.5 years. But am getting laid off any day, soooo yeah. Overall, I really like this job. The medical insurance is terrible. But it's a pretty chill and flexible environment. It's been tough lately because I haven't had enough work to do and that drives me nuts and makes me unmotivated.
Although I'm not an engineer, I've been working in the engineering industry for over a decade. But it's mostly contract work and I've been laid off a lot. It's a real downside.
I'm at a place in my life and finances where I would MUCH rather work a job I enjoyed, even if it didn't pay as much, than stay working in a job I don't like.
@CharmedPam, don't sell yourself short! I know how coworkers can sometimes make or break a person's work happiness. It doesn't hurt to check out job listings. Send your resume if you see something that looks especially good. No harm in that. The worst that happens is they don't respond back to you. Which happens a lot, even to super qualified for the positions they apply for.
Since you have a lot of vacation time, another point to consider is will your company pay you out for it, if you leave? Perhaps the job will be more bearable if you start using that vacation time to take a day off more often or go on a longer trip.