Author Topic: Do you really enjoy going to work?  (Read 5263 times)

11ducks

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Do you really enjoy going to work?
« on: June 01, 2016, 03:32:45 PM »

Hi all,

I'm struggling with work burnout I think, and looking for advice. I've been teaching high school for 7 years now, and while I love some of it (the teaching, working with great kids who want to be there), the rest is mega draining (the behaviour management, the ridiculous expectations from admin, unreasonable parents, forcing kids who don't give a darn over the line). I'm tired of having to 'gird my loins' to go to work, especially days like today, where I have my particularly challenging class and know i'll be dealing with drama and stress and rushing between classes, yard duty, more classes and meetings. I wake up dreading it.

I'm studying at night to change careers (its an additional qualification on top of the math ones I have now, to allow me to work more in the medical stats side. So it too, is contributing to the exhaustion I think, as I go from work, to parenting, to studying until about 11pm most nights. I've stopped exercising (as my schedule is full 6.30am-11pm), and am eating poorly (which doesn't help matters). I never have time to do any of the activities that I love (rock climbing, bushwalking, beach) anymore, due to no childcare/no money (saving)/ no time.

My most sensible option is to wait 1.5 more years, then get a job working in the field for a year, so i'll have some experience before grad. I would leave earlier, but it will mean a big pay drop, and probably less desirable hours with childcare for DS11. I don't know whether my work situation is really bad enough that I can justify the disruption that comes with changing careers earlier, but am also pretty sure its not normal to dread going into work.

So, I guess, I want to know - how do you know whether to stick it out, or move on? Is it okay to wake up wishing you don't have to go to work today?


Choices

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 03:45:02 PM »
It's a common situation. Working part-time or using more of your vacation time can help, but the nicer you make the rest of your life and the less time you spend at work, the more noticeable the crap at work will become. So, take inventory. What bothers you the most about your job and how can you do less of it? On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your job? If it isn't a 1, why not? How can you do more of the things that raise the score?

You're on the right track here finding MMM. Can you lower your expenses and get by on a job you like better while you pursue your new career?

Regardless of what you choose career wise, schedule in some time for things that really matter to you.

If you're burnt out, your health and your mood can suffer, and then your family will suffer too. Your relationships/kids/marriage are worth more than any job, and they need you to care for yourself so you'll be able to care for them.

If you have ideas for another job as backup, you can see how it goes at your current job when you stand up for yourself more and refuse to participate in some of the BS. Choose which goals you feel are worth the effort to meet, and let the rest take care of itself. If they fire you, you'll still have your backup plan. If they don't, life will be much more pleasant.

You can't please everyone all the time, so make your own choices and honor your own values.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 04:48:02 PM by Choices »

StockBeard

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 03:53:42 PM »
I wake up dreading it.
I've been in a similar situation for more than 18 months now, and I intend to keep going for an additional 18 months, mostly because it's my safest path to FIRE at this point and I'm only a couple years away from FIRE (or my personal equivalent which involves getting a big share of my expenses from a side gig, which will then become my "main" gig).

It's had a bad effect generally on how I enjoy life, and is very hard to deal with. I've tried a few things (changing teams) and will try a few more things soon, while staying roughly in the same position, but if I wasn't getting so close to FIRE I would move on right away.

So, my suggestion would be to move on: 1.5 years is a loong time, especially if the thing at the end of the tunnel is another job!

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 03:55:00 PM »
Going to work is awesome!  I ride my bike, so it's fun getting out of bed.  It's the being at work that is a bit of a drag.


My work is like 20% interesting programming and problem solving that requires creative thinking, 40% mindless paperwork, and 40% pretending to work.  I've recently been converting some of the pretending to work stuff into making up my own tasks and projects (optimizing some of our processes, fixing little bugs in the code that nobody has complained about, etc.) and it has made me much happier.

Vacations certainly help.  They really drive home how awesome it will be to not have to work any more.

muckety_muck

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016, 07:35:22 PM »
I love what I *do* at work, the actual job function... I just hate the commuting/getting ready/sitting at my desk part of it. I would love to be out in the sunshine and enjoying being footloose & fancy-free. Hopefully in about 5 years!

I spent many years in a few different jobs that I really really really disliked. That was miserable. I had a few terrible coworkers - you know the type who has to hate *somebody* all the time, and as soon as they get rid of one person they move on to the next... Also had a terrible boss one time. That was super miserable. I should have left those jobs earlier, but was waiting to find something else before I moved on.

If I was faced with the situation you are in, where you are double-booked with work/school on top of being a mom, I would step back and re-evaluate... can you take a semester off of work? Can you take a semester off of school? Alternate semesters? Can you quit the teaching job and move to straight tutoring through Sylvan, etc. Can you be a substitute teacher? Do you have another means of household income (spouse/partner?) who can cover you in the next year or two?

ETBen

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 08:34:19 PM »
As others said, I think you need to build up the rest of your life so that your work dread doesn't carry so much weight. Personally, I love work. I love all my jobs. For about 2 yrs each. Then I can't stand the sight of it and become totally disengaged and find a new one. The hard part for you is you can't totally check out of teaching (mentally) and you can't really half ass it just to get by. Bc it's a stressful job different than others.

lbmustache

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2016, 08:44:20 PM »
You might be burned out. Teaching HS, plus having a kid (kids?), plus studying, plus all other life stuff sounds immensely draining. Do you take summers off? If not, I would do that ASAP. Feeling like you'd rather stay in bed every so often is totally normal.

I have found myself in a similar position two times with two different jobs: very tired, burned out, hard to get of bed, lack of enthusiasm, eating poorly, no time to exercise.

Difference with first job: Office job in a field I didn't really care about (retail). I would absolutely DREAD going to work and would call in sick as much as possible. Showed up late, barely did any work, surly attitude.

Difference with 2nd job: Teaching college in the field I majored in. There are mornings where it's hard to get out of bed, but I still make it to work and can have a reasonably good attitude. More often than not, I feel like my students cheer me up.

I walked out of the 1st job because it made me miserable. The 2nd job just burned me out very quickly - I took a 6 week vacation and felt a lot better for the following semester.

I still enjoy what I do and didn't have that sense of DREAD (aka please kill me I'd rather do anything else) that I did at my other job. I think that's the main difference. That feeling of dread is to me, a sign to get out. Life is short, can't spend it doing something you absolutely hate. FIRE be damned. ;)

tobitonic

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 10:59:22 PM »
I'm a preschool teacher, and yes. However, I don't think I'd say the same if I taught high school...

mxt0133

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 11:39:55 PM »
The hard part for you is you can't totally check out of teaching (mentally) and you can't really half ass it just to get by. Bc it's a stressful job different than others.

You obviously haven't been to my old high school.  I've had teacher just hand out work sheets that wasn't even collected at the end of class and open book tests where one person would write down the answers and pass it around for everyone to copy.  So yes there are teacher that more or should I say less than half ass'd it.

FLBiker

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2016, 08:30:30 AM »
I recently was talking to someone who is going to law school.  I said "Oh, I thought about doing that, sounds interesting." and she said "yeah, but you found something you loved."  I gave her a funny look and said "No, I found something that was OK."

I like my job, most days, some days it's kind of a pain.  But I don't love it, and I don't feel like that's a reasonable expectation.  I love hanging out with my wife and daughter, and that's why nobody has to pay me to do it.

Dread is a strong word, though.  I don't ever dread coming to work.  And I wouldn't be willing to do that for very long.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2016, 08:49:02 AM »
I used to hate the commute (people suck at driving in Houston and the construction and flooding hasn't been helping), but I got a cheap 'Audible' subscription and have been listening to books (most recently 'Farenheit 451', 'The Girl on the Train', 'Finders Keepers', and 'Seveneves').  Now I find myself hoping for more red lights!  I also regularly listen to EconTalk podcasts and various others streamed through my phone over my radio via Bluetooth.

My job is pretty good, so once I'm at work I'm pretty happy.  If I'm ever bored, I learn new things in Excel, talk with coworkers, walk the business campus, check my investments, email, plan vacations, call my spouse...  It's a mindset which my company supports - I want to do a good job but I'm only able to do that if I'm a happy employee.  If my work / life balance ever starts to go south, I'm encouraged to speak up.

I will admit, I had a really crappy job before this one for about 10 years.  I had to gut it out to get to FI, but that has helped me appreciate how good I have it now.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 01:41:11 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

csprof

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2016, 08:55:53 AM »
I do really enjoy going to work.  In fact, I'd probably say I love it.  And after 10 years of teaching (university) without a break, I started to feel really burned out about dealing with administrative crap like grading and handling cheating.  I'm spending a year sabbatical working in the real world as something closer to a software engineer, and it's been absolutely marvelous.  Partly on its own merits, and partly just because of the change.

I think - I hope - that teaching will be fun for another 4-7 years after a year off.  I don't know what your financially reasonable options are for taking a break, but if you have some, even that might be worth exploring.

Good luck with it.  I delayed taking  my sabbatical for 3 years to get synchronized with my wife's sabbatical clock, and I absolutely will NOT delay the next one.  Teaching is awesome, but doing it well takes such a huge time & energy investment that it's easy to get burned out.

WerKater

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2016, 09:21:55 AM »
I do and I don't.

My work consists roughly of

1/3 interesting programming/development problems. I love this. I think I want to continue this forever (but still want to be FI, so I can do it more when I want).

1/3 sysadmin stuff, mostly fairly boring, but OK. With the occasional emergency mixed in.

1/3 dealing with this one incredibly annoying, arrogant customer who wants meetings over meetings over irrelevant bullshit. Who loves to hear himself talk and is probably the biggest control freak I have ever met.
I'm still hoping that this will blow over once we have their system fully up and running. Which would go a hell of a lot faster if I didn't have to spend so much time in fucking meetings.

In conclusion, I'll stick it out for now. I have 3-5 years to go until FI. If things with the asshole customer don't work out, I'll tell my boss he needs to find another project manager for this. I do currently think that I am sufficiently valued to pull this off. If not: I have FU money.

dragoncar

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2016, 11:10:47 AM »
As in this thread, I think most people find something they love about work and something they don't.  There's usually a reason someone went into a specific field.  But there's also a reason they have to pay you to do it.  I think the typical person who really loves their work is a highly successful, high status seeking person who basically goes to work and runs the whole show.  I mean, say you were Steve Jobs (or Warren Buffet or even just a really senior government official).  Of course you're gonna love work because you tell everyone what to do, only hire employees who admire you, and park in the handicapped spots right in front of the door.  Sure, there's stress involved, but that doesn't bother you because you have confidence you can overcome it and get satisfaction from problem solving.  The annoying paperwork can be left to your minions.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2016, 11:59:28 AM »
I hate work. Sometimes I hate it less, but what is getting me out the door is my feelings of responsibility to my colleagues and my projects, not actually enjoying the tasks that I do.

On the other hand, I love the lifestyle that work enables me to have. So the more I'm spending my time both at work and outside of work doing the lifestyle things that I love -- my work-funded classes to improve skills and languages, or getting out into the countryside as a tourist to see and do cool stuff on weekends -- the more I can dial into the parts of work that I really love, versus my general dislike of a lot of my tasks.

It also helps that my work changes dramatically every couple of years, because they move us around so much. So even the parts that I hate aren't forever. It's easy to focus on having a bad day/week/assignment versus having a bad life.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2016, 12:13:32 PM »
I haven't had a single day in my life when I enjoyed going to work.  I seriously doubt I ever will.  Anything I've ever done in my career has been for one simple reason - I like making money.  It's what will allow me to quit and do the things I really want to do.

ETBen

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2016, 01:41:21 PM »
The hard part for you is you can't totally check out of teaching (mentally) and you can't really half ass it just to get by. Bc it's a stressful job different than others.

You obviously haven't been to my old high school.  I've had teacher just hand out work sheets that wasn't even collected at the end of class and open book tests where one person would write down the answers and pass it around for everyone to copy.  So yes there are teacher that more or should I say less than half ass'd it.

Yes but the poster seems conscientious about it. I also think it's really easy to criticize teachers bc the same little amount of checking out for a teacher looks much different than someone in another field.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2016, 02:18:35 PM »
I usually enjoy going TO work, because unless the weather is horrendously bad, I ride my bike to work.  The same for going FROM work.

As for work itself, I enjoy the benefit of a regular check, but I cannot say I enjoy the work itself (in charge of tech support team).  In fact, I have never had the pleasure of truly enjoying my work; I have always just tolerated it.  I have made efforts to improve my situation (certifications, job searches and the like...) and still I can't say I enjoy my work, but it beats unemployment or poverty:)

I am resigned to the fact that my life pleasures are OUTSIDE of work.  Number one pleasure is downhill skiing, number 2 pleasure is cycling. 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2016, 02:32:10 PM »
On most days yes!

I enjoy what I do at work, and I really enjoy learning about the business I am in.

Once it is no longer enjoyable I will find something else to do for a paycheck that I enjoy! The power of FU $$ :)

21runner

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2016, 12:53:20 PM »
I don't enjoy my job, for the most part. I enjoy the people I work with, they're all great. But I greatly dislike the actual type of work that I do. I'm trying to wait it out until a new position opens up that I might can take advantage of.

HappyHoya

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2016, 01:12:08 PM »
Overall, I enjoy going to work. I wouldn't go on very long with wishing you didn't have to go to work everyday. I think everyone has those feelings from time to time, but for me it's been for specific reasons where I took comfort that it was a a tough period of time that wouldn't last forever (a specific project I found draining and miserable, having to work closely with someone who was negative and passive-aggressive, etc).

During tough times I chose to focus on the positive aspects of my job and give myself permission to indulge myself a little bit in enjoying those to their full extent, like spending a little more time chatting with coworkers I get along with who I have common interests with where I wouldn't really get to share that with other people in my life if I didn't go to work. Is there anything like that you enjoy about work?

Trudie

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2016, 02:10:29 PM »
As in this thread, I think most people find something they love about work and something they don't.  There's usually a reason someone went into a specific field.  But there's also a reason they have to pay you to do it.  I think the typical person who really loves their work is a highly successful, high status seeking person who basically goes to work and runs the whole show.  I mean, say you were Steve Jobs (or Warren Buffet or even just a really senior government official).  Of course you're gonna love work because you tell everyone what to do, only hire employees who admire you, and park in the handicapped spots right in front of the door.  Sure, there's stress involved, but that doesn't bother you because you have confidence you can overcome it and get satisfaction from problem solving.  The annoying paperwork can be left to your minions.

+1

I don't "dread" work.  Sometimes I find it boring -- especially on the less busy days.  I use this time to do continuing education online, check my investments, look up new recipes, and plan vacations.  I am also paid to "be available" for problems that come up and need solving, so as long as I'm at the ready to help this does  not bother me.

I think that having interests outside of work and viewing your job (as long as it's not totally soul-crushing and stressful) as a means to an end rather than an ends in and of itself is the key to getting along.  And then, get out as soon as you can.  And, I try very hard to avoid toxic people on the job.  It helps a lot.

chesebert

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Re: Do you really enjoy going to work?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2016, 02:35:16 PM »
Going to work is awesome!  I ride my bike, so it's fun getting out of bed.  It's the being at work that is a bit of a drag.


My work is like 20% interesting programming and problem solving that requires creative thinking, 40% mindless paperwork, and 40% pretending to work.  I've recently been converting some of the pretending to work stuff into making up my own tasks and projects (optimizing some of our processes, fixing little bugs in the code that nobody has complained about, etc.) and it has made me much happier.

Vacations certainly help.  They really drive home how awesome it will be to not have to work any more.
+1

I walk to work. Sometime I sit at the park on my way there and enjoy the water fountain for a bit before moving on. Other times I stop at the bridge crossing the Chicago river and just take in the view for a minute or two. Life is good when you don't have to worry about office hours and just stroll in whenever you arrive.