Author Topic: Help with work negativity  (Read 2548 times)

samsonator54321

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Help with work negativity
« on: January 10, 2017, 07:37:13 AM »
I am looking for advice on how to deal with feeling of negativity towards work. I think part of my negativity stems from me starting to work from home three years ago, this had coincided with me being assigned to a three year project (most of our projects are 6-12 months).  In the last year most of my project  team has been replaced by contractors who I don't really attempt to create a relationship with.

In the last year I've also found MMM as well as other sources helping me save more and not make work such a big part of my life. This is where I want advice.  For the last year I've seen work more as just a way to get money so I can be free. This is good and bad. It's bad because it now seems like a prison I have to attend for at least 10 years before I retire. I used to be blindly immersed in my work and never had these thoughts. So ultimately I think I'm better off, I try to relish my time away from work and get my fulfillment there.

I feel like the last three years have flown by so much faster than the first three years at this company and when I look back I don't have a lot of fond memories of it. It's kind of just a blur.

Any advice on what I can do to get more out of work? It is 8 hours of my day after all, I think this is what gets me. I spend so much of my time/life doing something that just doesn't really do anything for me anymore. I'm making really good money, only work 40 hours a week, and I get a ton of vacation but I still have this uneasy feeling when I look at the last couple years of work.

As far as demographic information goes I'm 30 married, about to start a family. We make 200k a year before taxes and live off a little less than half of our post tax income. I think we have 8-12 years more of work until we will likely just go to part time work.

-Thanks
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 07:39:39 AM by samsonator54321 »

Cwadda

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 08:02:35 AM »
Attitude and positivity is about your choices and decisions, not about reacting to what happens around you. If your happiness was affected solely by what goes on around you, i.e. your workplace, family, mental health, then it'd be impossible to become happy if those things weren't always right. And you have very little or zero control over all of those things around you.

But that's not the case.

Humans are self-aware and they have the ability to make decisions about their mindset and attitude. That's ultimately the one thing you have control over, right? A person is able to choose his or her mindset, so that they aren't constantly dependent on external sources for their happiness, or at the mercy of those sources when negativity and despair come along.

*  *  *

If you've felt negatively about work in the past few years, then haven't you, consciously or subconsciously, made the choice to feel that way? Well I've got news for you; it's not easy but you can choose to feel otherwise.

Does this help? If yes, I'd be happy to expand for your work situation! :)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 08:04:54 AM by Cwadda »

samsonator54321

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 08:43:32 AM »
Cwadda, although I already knew what you are talking about in theory, I do think expanding on the topic to my specific scenario would help me a great deal. Much appreciated!

ElleFiji

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 08:51:34 AM »
The best solution for me, has been spreading workplace positivity. Sending emails to colleagues, managers, clients etc. Complimenting them on a situation they handled well, or a skill they are better at than you.

Cwadda

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 09:25:32 AM »
Cwadda, although I already knew what you are talking about in theory, I do think expanding on the topic to my specific scenario would help me a great deal. Much appreciated!
Sure, I'll write my thoughts and hope this helps!

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most of my project  team has been replaced by contractors who I don't really attempt to create a relationship with.
Well, playing the devil's advocate here...why haven't you attempted to create a relationship with any of the contractors? You've chosen not to.

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It's bad because it now seems like a prison I have to attend for at least 10 years before I retire.
If you choose to do nothing about this then I can almost guarantee it won't get better on its own. You can't choose to have it continuing being a prison. But you can choose to DO something that might change the situation or otherwise alleviate the feeling.

Looking for new job opportunities. If you find something else, great. If not, then you could end realizing what a great job you have now. Great money, only 40 hours a week, getting to work from home, etc. New baby on the way, getting to raise it yourself. Again, no guarantees on finding anything else. But until you've at least tried to change things, you've already made the decision to accept things how they are.

How about making the choice to feel more job satisfaction? I'm not talking about waking up one day, choosing to say "I love my job!", and now you magically love you job. But choosing to take the steps to help you reach that point. Talking to your boss about switching projects, taking less pay, and doing another task that's more fulfilling? Investing in a therapist? Really, there are so many options. Again, in refusing to act you've made the decision to accept your current situation, which won't change.

I'm sorry if this comes off harsh and hope you don't take these things personally, I'm just a random stranger on the internet ;) But speaking from experience making these kinds of decisions is what's going to make you in full control of not only your work situation, but also the rest of your life.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 09:27:30 AM by Cwadda »

FIer_Fox

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 11:26:18 AM »
The best solution for me, has been spreading workplace positivity. Sending emails to colleagues, managers, clients etc. Complimenting them on a situation they handled well, or a skill they are better at than you.

Yes! I think this type of thing has been super helpful for me when I've been in similar work-negativity ruts. This might go without saying but I think the opposite is true as well, that is: don't play into any workplace negativity being spread by others. As someone who works at home, negative "water cooler talk" may not be a problem for you, but if any of your teammates or the contractors are spreading negativity your way virtually, I'd recommend not engaging.

frugalsurfer

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 08:37:28 PM »
In the last year I've also found MMM as well as other sources helping me save more and not make work such a big part of my life. This is where I want advice.  For the last year I've seen work more as just a way to get money so I can be free. This is good and bad. It's bad because it now seems like a prison I have to attend for at least 10 years before I retire. I used to be blindly immersed in my work and never had these thoughts. So ultimately I think I'm better off, I try to relish my time away from work and get my fulfillment there.

I'm in a very similar boat.. except my 'career' is only in it's early years. Can't imagine having to do this for another 10 years. I want to travel, explore, create, experiment and help the community rather than sitting in a train on long commutes and doing a boring, unfufilling desk job.

The more I focus on ER/FI the more I find that time seems to slow down to a drag and I end up wishing I could just quit and hit the road and some how 'make it' on my own doing my own thing on my own passion.

In reality, we're just whining millenials with first world problems and should just get back to work and not think about these things.

GreenSheep

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 09:46:22 PM »
Try reading "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?" by Ajahn Brahm.

Freedomin5

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 12:15:23 AM »
Might it spur you to increase your savings rate and therefore reach FIRE earlier?

I found MMM a year ago, and have about 1-3 years to go before FIRE (depending on how cushy we want our nest egg to be, and where we live in the world). To make sure I successfully complete the next 1-3 years, I've tried to remember why I took this job in this field in the first place, and continue to look for places to grow and develop myself within my current position. Because I have FU money set aside, I pick and choose projects and tasks at work that are more enjoyable and am free to say no to projects that don't interest me.

SuperMex

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Re: Help with work negativity
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 01:41:00 AM »
My answer may not be helpful to you as I have an odd way of looking at things.

I don't expect work to be fun; in fact I expect it to be bad. When it is pretty darn nice like my current job I am pleasantly surprised. I have three bosses in my food chain above me that are all intelligent, hard working, and use common sense. That has never happened to me in 22 years of working.

I know that at any moment one of them could choose to leave and I could get a micromanaging toxic leader as a boss.

If you are mentally ready for the worst case scenario then anything better than that is gravy.