Author Topic: I think I don't like working, help?  (Read 2247 times)

moustacheverte

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I think I don't like working, help?
« on: January 29, 2016, 06:15:44 PM »
I've come to that realization... I enjoy doing what I do (software engineer) when working on personal projects but I don't enjoy doing it for a company. I recently took half a year off, during which I read a ton of technical resources, coded for my own projects etc so I can confidently say that software engineering in itself isn't the problem; I enjoy it. I've only worked in the field for a couple of years.

I don't think that what the companies I've worked at do is great nor does it have any positive impact on the world (it doesn't actively destroy it either!). It's just something I do for money until I can afford not to do it anymore. My employers haven't been particularly bad, they're not great either but I haven't got much to complain; the salary is market rate, the hours are ok, location is great...

Has anyone been in that situation? How do you cope? Is there a solution or do you just suck it up for 10-15 years and then RE? Or maybe there is something I am missing and I don't interview my employers well enough? Curious to hear other mustachians' perspective.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 08:15:45 PM by moustacheverte »

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: I think I don't like working, help?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 06:25:47 PM »
In this exact situation myself so I certainly understand where you're coming from.

A few questions for you:
  • If you could do anything you wanted regardless of income potential what would that be?
  • Does the previous answer have any income potential?
  • If not, would you be happier working for yourself doing something similar to what you're doing now?

dilinger

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Re: I think I don't like working, help?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 06:44:43 PM »
I was in your situation for a while.  I love writing code, but I hate working for a company.  The meetings, spending months (or years) working on a project only to have it canceled, having to be at the office at a certain time, having to wait until 5pm to leave (despite having my work done)...

Here's what I did: I worked for a non-profit for a while.  The pay was not great, but it was good enough to pay off a significant part of my mortgage and also save some money.  I was writing Free Software for the non-profit, and upstreaming lots of code, which helped my career.  I did have to deal with meetings and office culture, but the fact that I didn't feel like I was wasting my time helped me deal with that.

After a few years of that, I quit and started freelancing.  This allowed me to charge a lot, while keeping both my living expenses and business expenses to a very mustachian level* (for example, I'd never buy a new laptop; I'd get an old thinkpad off of ebay for $300).  Because my name was already out there in a bunch of git repositories, I had clients finding me (including the old non-profit, who hired me for another few projects after I had left).  I worked from home, and kept meetings to a minimum.  It was a much better way to work.

When my son was born, I finished up the remaining contracts and retired.  It was about 7 years from when I realized that I was miserable working to when I retired.  I also had 3-4 years before that of working from when I actually thought I enjoyed it.  All told, an 11 year career.

 * Note: this was all before I discovered MMM.  I already lived frugally, and I actually retired before discovering MMM.  However, MMM helped me figure out how to properly retire.  The 4% rule, how to properly invest (it's kind of embarrassing how much money I had in cash, with a mindset of "I'll just retire and live off this for the next 20+ years until it runs out, and then... who knows!), and so on.

Retire-Canada

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Re: I think I don't like working, help?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 06:48:50 PM »
Has anyone been in that situation? How do you cope? Is there a solution or do you just suck it up for 10-15 years and then RE? Or maybe there is something I am missing and I don't interview my employers well enough? Curious to hear other mustachians' perspective.

I've never loved anything I did for work. That said I have made a solid $/hr and I need to earn a living so I keep on trucking.

I have made sure to carve out lots of personal time for my interests and I am looking forward to downshifting to part-time then FIREing.


formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: I think I don't like working, help?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2016, 07:58:54 PM »
In your shoes I took a small pay cut and went to work for a hospital.  I'm still programming, but I can actually see the value in what I am doing.  That has made a HUGE difference in my outlook on working.*


*I still wish I could retire soon, but most of the time I'm not actively miserable, so that is an improvement :)

mozar

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Re: I think I don't like working, help?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2016, 09:17:16 PM »
I did the opposite of some folks here. I decided to see if I could make more money so I can knock off a couple years to RE. I have raised my salary by 30% over the past two years, job hopping.