Author Topic: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?  (Read 5173 times)

EscapeVelocity2020

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Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« on: March 29, 2017, 09:11:49 PM »
This has been a frequent question on my mind a lot lately.  Maybe, in a way, Mustachianism is the quest for finding work you love (blogging, building stuff and being your brother's groupie, soap-making on Etsy...). 

I have a fairly traditional American 40-ish hr/wk job for a Norwegian company that I mostly enjoy.  It's a second-career that I didn't need for bare-bones FI, but I'm finding it to be fulfilling and particularly hard to pull away from due to the income and opportunities associated with the respect / seniority.

Oh well, I'll leave it at that.  I'm 43, so no-one expects me to retire anytime soon, although I could have years ago.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 09:13:25 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

englishteacheralex

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 09:20:12 PM »
I'll bite.

My (unorthodox) feeling is that it's actually horrible to hate your work so much that you live a Mustachian lifestyle just to be able to stop. If that's you, in my opinion, you should try to find work that you love enough to do for the rest of your life, and live a Mustachian lifestyle because that way it doesn't matter what that work is.

I'm a teacher and I'm planning on working until I'm no longer physically able. I love working. Teaching is awesome, but I've loved plenty of other jobs, too. Dishwashing at a restaurant and housekeeping at a resort hotel were two of my favorites ever.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 09:26:01 PM »
That was so unexpected, and I loved it!  My posting was brought on by a little article in TBP about John J. Uhran Jr. (1963 graduate) - 'Uhran is a much loved figure in the halls of Notre Dame and his students have certainly not forgotten him.'

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 10:10:05 PM »
OK, indulge me one last mini-rant after catching up a bit on Rb40, RootOfGood, GoCurryCracker,  Mr.TakoEscapes, and 1500days - They all tout the awesomeness of near or recent early retirement (in an ever upward market).  Sure, I get that.  If the 4% rule actually meant your assets would appreciate exactly 4% inflation-adjusted every day and you could spend exactly that or less, and that other things like taxes and health insurance didn't matter so much, then I'd get their complacency.  But these here are tumultuous times.  They don't bother me much because I'm in Trump's favored zone, paying too much in taxes - my industry has been overly sandbagged by government,  and I'm penalized for helping my fellow man.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 04:15:29 AM »
A lot of this is driven by personality.

I have recently done a lot of thinking and come to the conclusion that I will ALWAYS resent my work. It's just my makeup and I've shown no signs of changing. As soon as something is an obligation, I push against it. As soon as I have to fill out a timesheet, even if it is for something I would do for free, you can forget it. I've changed roles a few times looking for that magical role where I love my work and it just doesn't exist for me. My role now is great, but I still resent that I'm obligated to do it. Even if my job was taste-testing marshmallows and peeling the lint out of a dryer I'd resent it pretty quickly, and I LOVE marshmallows.

If you love your work then more power to you, I'm envious in a way, but I will never be you. Don't try to change me and I won't try to change you.


Mezzie

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 04:49:39 AM »
I love my work. I think I'll love it even more when I don't have to do it. Like the teacher above, I plan to keep on teaching for as long as I'm able. My problem is that my health is unpredictable, so I have to prepare for that.

Cranky

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 04:55:46 AM »
I do love my work, which I took up after an extended period as an at-home parent. We don't need the money and once I finished paying the kids' college, all but $10/week of my paycheck goes into my investment account. But I dreamed that I had to quit and I woke up so sad! My knee will eventually force me to retire, though.

chasesfish

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 05:08:01 AM »
OK, indulge me one last mini-rant after catching up a bit on Rb40, RootOfGood, GoCurryCracker,  Mr.TakoEscapes, and 1500days - They all tout the awesomeness of near or recent early retirement (in an ever upward market).  Sure, I get that.  If the 4% rule actually meant your assets would appreciate exactly 4% inflation-adjusted every day and you could spend exactly that or less, and that other things like taxes and health insurance didn't matter so much, then I'd get their complacency.  But these here are tumultuous times.  They don't bother me much because I'm in Trump's favored zone, paying too much in taxes - my industry has been overly sandbagged by government,  and I'm penalized for helping my fellow man.

My career falls into the category above too.  I'm enjoying it a lot more post-election, even if I disagree with Trump about a LOT.

I enjoy most parts of my job, but only having 4-5 weeks of vacation and no real work-remote ability will cause me to retire.  Once you move past Financial Independence to financial abundance, you have to decide would you go in and do this every week even if they paid you nothing.

Case

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 05:47:39 AM »
This has been a frequent question on my mind a lot lately.  Maybe, in a way, Mustachianism is the quest for finding work you love (blogging, building stuff and being your brother's groupie, soap-making on Etsy...). 

I have a fairly traditional American 40-ish hr/wk job for a Norwegian company that I mostly enjoy.  It's a second-career that I didn't need for bare-bones FI, but I'm finding it to be fulfilling and particularly hard to pull away from due to the income and opportunities associated with the respect / seniority.

Oh well, I'll leave it at that.  I'm 43, so no-one expects me to retire anytime soon, although I could have years ago.

Well, it sounds like you DON'T love your job but rather that you like the money and perks of seniority.  Your post as is does not express profound feelings of the job being awesome.

To this end, is this how you want to spend the rest of your life?  Will you look back and be filled with feelings of fulfillment from having worked there?  Not a trick question.

If you manage to find the job that gives you these feelings or whatever makes it worth it for you, then great!  You've found your perfect match; you do what you love and get paid bank for it!

But, a lot of people on this forum don't feel that way. A lot of people on the forum are very successful, make tons of money, have reached career milestones, etc... all of the things that are considered in the modern world of meaning they have a great job.  But ultimately, they don't receive great satisfaction in life, or it's too stressful, etc...  So you end up fooling yourself.  You think you are doing it all right, but eventually realize you've had a rather vapid existence. 

It's a personal question and one only you can answer.  Just because the people here don't want to work forever doesn' tmean it is the right viewpoint for all people/jobs.  Good luck!  Just be honest with yourself.

marielle

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 07:24:24 AM »
I just started my career so things could change, but no matter how much I love a job there are still things I would hate about any of them. For example, only getting 8 days of vacation after working a full year. That's just not enough.

I can't think of a job I would love anyway, maybe something animal rescue related but that is usually unpaid work and has absolutely nothing to do with my degree.

So I guess I'm one of those people that is frugal because I hate my job. Maybe not hate, but feelings of boredom, lack of fulfillment, and annoyance at the stupidity of people "above" me. I don't really see it changing anytime soon.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 07:53:44 AM »
Well, it sounds like you DON'T love your job but rather that you like the money and perks of seniority.  Your post as is does not express profound feelings of the job being awesome.

That's fine that you challenge the idea of me loving my work.  I think I used to be like 'Playing with Fire' in my first job, so I know what that's like.  But as I was reading RootofGood bask in the glow of only spending 10k on his upcoming trip to Europe, I'm thinking in the back of my mind that I just got paid extra to fly all expense paid business class to Singapore, China, and South Korea.  Sure, it wasn't a vacation with my family - but it was an awesome experience working with a team to bid out a billion dollar scope of work.  My initial post was a lot longer, but it felt too much like bragging.  I'm currently on a higher high than usual with my job, so I deleted all of that and replaced with 'I'll leave it at that'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm also looking forward to a satisfying retirement with social security above and beyond my ample savings, and Medicare taking care of me in my old age.  But I'm not in any rush.

FLBiker

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 08:04:26 AM »
I have a good job.  I work 8-5, hour lunch.  I'm not micromanaged (by any stretch) and no one really pays attention to my comings and goings.  I almost never check work email outside of work hours.  It's low stress, with good benefits.  My work is fairly interesting (process development, enrollment projections, database development, management).  Sometimes I feel like I get paid to play sudoku -- not because that's what I do, but because it kind of scratches that same part of my brain.  I have no trouble meeting deadlines because 1) I'm good at what I do and 2) no one else really understands what I do, so I can set my own deadlines. :)  I'm in ed admin.  My salary is good (80K) and I'm 40.  I've been here 8 years, and I'm one of the senior folks.  I've got my own office, which is nice because I keep my work clothes in it which makes it easy to bike to work.  My boss was recently promoted, and I didn't try to get his position (I almost certainly could have) because his job is MUCH more stressful than mine, requires a ton of travel, has high expectations of constant email / text contact, etc.  I could have made a lot more money, though (maybe $110K-$120K).

All that being said, I would never say I love my job.  I would say I like it.  I love spending time with my family.  I love being outside.  I love going on meditation retreats.  I love singing.  I love wandering around interesting places looking at stuff (ie traveling, museums, hiking).  In some ways, my job facilitates that (by enabling me to support my family, giving me ~6 weeks of vacation time) but it other ways (by having me in an office 8-5, M-F, it doesn't).

There's certainly nothing horrible with loving your work, but it's hard for me personally to imagine feeling that way about ANY job that required me to be in an office (or, anywhere, really) for 40 - 50 hours a week.  Maybe I'll feel differently when my daughter is older (she's 2).  I'm not sure, though.  I spent my 20's working like 20 - 25 hours a week (as an English teacher overseas) and that number always felt about right to me. :)

dougules

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 11:07:40 AM »
It's wonderful that you are making good money doing what you would do even if money were no object.  You should count yourself lucky because I think most people couldn't earn a living if they were living their ideal life.   Most people are making at least a little compromise to pay the bills.   

neo von retorch

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2017, 11:19:02 AM »
I enjoy my work. I don't particularly enjoy my job.

My work is in software. That's true at my job (most of the time) or when I'm doing freelance projects (all of the time.)

I agree with englishteacheralex that you shouldn't hate your work (and hopefully you don't hate your job or your manager.) But it's OK to not love your job. It's OK to love it, too, if you're so lucky!

The main thing I do not like is scrambling each morning to make it to a brief meeting at 9AM where we quickly talk about what we did the day before, and what we're about to do. I still haven't figured out who does anything useful with that information, or why it's any better than what we do on Friday, which is the same thing but via email (where it's a hell of a lot easier to spend time on the useful, ignore that not-so-useful, and if a manager needed to compile a report... it's already typed up!)

This is mainly an issue for me personally because my brain usually doesn't turn on until about 10AM. In the morning, I make messes, spill coffee grounds and grumble. I'm fortunate that I can drive reasonably well (but I enjoy driving, so I'm pretty engaged.)

So I long for the future where I generally set my own schedule, and that includes at what time I have to start functioning in the mornings.

Case

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 11:21:01 AM »
Well, it sounds like you DON'T love your job but rather that you like the money and perks of seniority.  Your post as is does not express profound feelings of the job being awesome.

That's fine that you challenge the idea of me loving my work.  I think I used to be like 'Playing with Fire' in my first job, so I know what that's like.  But as I was reading RootofGood bask in the glow of only spending 10k on his upcoming trip to Europe, I'm thinking in the back of my mind that I just got paid extra to fly all expense paid business class to Singapore, China, and South Korea.  Sure, it wasn't a vacation with my family - but it was an awesome experience working with a team to bid out a billion dollar scope of work.  My initial post was a lot longer, but it felt too much like bragging.  I'm currently on a higher high than usual with my job, so I deleted all of that and replaced with 'I'll leave it at that'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm also looking forward to a satisfying retirement with social security above and beyond my ample savings, and Medicare taking care of me in my old age.  But I'm not in any rush.

If you really love your job, that's awesome.  There are lots of jobs out there, lots of types of people out there.

I work in the chemical industry, working on front-end R&D that develops the materials that end up in all of the products that everyone uses.  It's cool in that regards.  Impactful, intellectual, fun.  Occasionally get a business trip abroad.  These things are nice.

The thing is, if I'm at my death bed and that had been the majority of my life (as it will be if I work the majority of my life) I would ultimately be depressed.  I would feel that I hadn't lived life to the fullest, that I hadn't done everything I want to do or experience.  In my job, I'm not pursuing the things I would be pursuing if money was no object.  I'm instead working at my job.  This is are the core of why a lot of people here go this route:  they want to optimize their life with the goal of being happiest, which involves living your life for yourself rather than for someone who pays you do live it for them.  If you can coallign the optimization of your happiness with your employers goals, then you have the perfect situation.  But most people will never achieve this.

So in response to your original question:  No, loving your work if it is legitimate is totally awesome.  But it is rare.

I feel that some people try to make up for not living life as they might by saying "I'll work hard and play hard too, so I can get those other experiences as well".  If that works for them, great.  But it's really just working yourself in overdrive to fit as much as possible into a finite space of time.  I don't want work to always be my number 1 focus (and I would argue it always will be, given the time commitment and the need to sleep) in my life.  I want to put other things there, maybe have a 'job' as a number 2 or 3 (or 10).

Mr. Green

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2017, 12:19:41 PM »
Totally depends on the person. Some would love to spend 40-50 hours a week doing what they love and getting paid for it. Others might only want to spending 20 hours a week "working." Others still might balk at any work if they have the means to be retired. It's a personal decision. The great part is that being free means it's whatever answer you want it to be because you control your time.

I intend to start out FIRE with no work, but I really enjoy making/building things. I could see myself getting into "business" part-time building patios, stone walkways, or ponds for residences. It's a combination of physical labor and creativity, which checks all the boxes for me. Maybe I'd love it and it would become a full-time thing. If I enjoy it and I control my time I can just let it go where it goes.

dividendman

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2017, 02:13:05 PM »
My problem with all jobs is that it's all artificial.

What do I mean by artificial? Fake. It's all fake. All the deadlines, and "having" to get crap done by a certain date, status reporting and all the other bogus crap is just fake nonsense. The fake urgency, it's all just fake. The people are all fake. Everyone is there because they're paid to be there and that's it. You're paid to be a fake. I tell people I work with that it's just a game. And it is a game, it's just not a fun one.

Now, if you can deal with everything being fake and think it's just wonderful, that's fine. I couldn't deal with it forever.

I think if they started every day at every company by saying "This is a game we are playing to make as much money as possible given these constraints. And we understand that nobody would be here except that we're paying you" just putting it out on the table, would make it much better. But nope, we have to fake like it's not fake, and that's the worst part.


Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2017, 12:15:51 AM »
My problem with all jobs is that it's all artificial.

What do I mean by artificial? Fake. It's all fake. All the deadlines, and "having" to get crap done by a certain date, status reporting and all the other bogus crap is just fake nonsense. The fake urgency, it's all just fake. The people are all fake. Everyone is there because they're paid to be there and that's it. You're paid to be a fake. I tell people I work with that it's just a game. And it is a game, it's just not a fun one.

Now, if you can deal with everything being fake and think it's just wonderful, that's fine. I couldn't deal with it forever.

I think if they started every day at every company by saying "This is a game we are playing to make as much money as possible given these constraints. And we understand that nobody would be here except that we're paying you" just putting it out on the table, would make it much better. But nope, we have to fake like it's not fake, and that's the worst part.

I like this very much. I think I may say this to myself every morning, and before meetings I consider pointless. Maybe I need a scorecard of some sort... How much XP does a strategy meeting get me?

cerat0n1a

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2017, 01:52:07 AM »
My problem with all jobs is that it's all artificial.

What do I mean by artificial? Fake. It's all fake. All the deadlines, and "having" to get crap done by a certain date, status reporting and all the other bogus crap is just fake nonsense. The fake urgency, it's all just fake. The people are all fake. Everyone is there because they're paid to be there and that's it.

I can think of plenty of jobs that are not like that. You're describing a very particular kind of "work" in a corporate setting, one that is unfortunately becoming more and more common.

My wife has two part-time paid jobs. One is at a hostel for homeless people. Her pay for a day is lower than what I earn in an hour, and we are FI. Her other job is with a charity where she is paid for work that she did for free for several years - government rule changes meant that she had to be paid.

I joined my current employer twenty years ago. It was a small start-up which has become a large, global company with billions in revenue. The engineers who were there at the start are multi-millionaires and many of them still work here. Not because they've wasted the money, but because they are genuinely passionate about (or at least very interested in) the technical work we do, they like working with other very smart people and because the company tries very hard to keep people happy on work/life balance and not imposing stupid bureaucracy and so forth. Nevertheless, I think FLBiker and Case have it right, even if you like your job, it doesn't mean that you want to spend all of your time doing it.

bugbaby

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2017, 04:43:38 AM »
It's the phenomenon of 'bullshit jobs'  ... a term described by Graeber:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/08/labour-markets-0

Sorry I can't find the original article.

But it's exactly how I feel about my job as a doc. I spend 80% of the time doing meaningless tasks created by regulations, liability and just a giant bureaucracy.  The rest of the time I love my job.
 
Why commute an hour to do 2 hours of meaningful work and 6 hours of BS, except for the paycheck??

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Linea_Norway

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2017, 05:32:25 AM »
It's the phenomenon of 'bullshit jobs'  ... a term described by Graeber:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/08/labour-markets-0

Sorry I can't find the original article.

But it's exactly how I feel about my job as a doc. I spend 80% of the time doing meaningless tasks created by regulations, liability and just a giant bureaucracy.  The rest of the time I love my job.
 
Why commute an hour to do 2 hours of meaningful work and 6 hours of BS, except for the paycheck??

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Exactly, my job is partly nice, when I work with something that is directly useful for the customers. I also like the part with the customer contact. But all the bureaucracy in the rest of the job is mentally killing me. Somehow, my department likes to document everything many times doubled, just to show that we are doing a good job. I hope to get a new software tool next week, which should help me automating A LOT of this required documentation. Because of bureaucracy and depending on a procrastinating person, it took 2 years to get this tool. Depressing...

matchewed

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2017, 05:55:24 AM »
No it's not horrible to love your work. I hope for a day where everyone does.

BeanCounter

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2017, 06:52:43 AM »
I'll bite.

My (unorthodox) feeling is that it's actually horrible to hate your work so much that you live a Mustachian lifestyle just to be able to stop. If that's you, in my opinion, you should try to find work that you love enough to do for the rest of your life, and live a Mustachian lifestyle because that way it doesn't matter what that work is.

I'm a teacher and I'm planning on working until I'm no longer physically able. I love working. Teaching is awesome, but I've loved plenty of other jobs, too. Dishwashing at a restaurant and housekeeping at a resort hotel were two of my favorites ever.
Good thread. Haven't read the whole thing yet, I had to stop at the above quote. I've been reading MMM for several (too many) years now, and I've always had mixed feelings about it. I think the (bolded) statement above frames it up nicely.
I enjoy working. Yes, there are parts I don't enjoy. And sometimes the general schedule of going into the office 40 hours a week gets annoying. But why MMM is important is because it gives me the stash to make changes in any direction if I need to.

ringer707

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2017, 06:54:18 AM »
I truly love my job, my work, and the people I work with. I am very fortunate. I found MMM while I was in a job I absolutely hated and was fortunate enough to get out about 5 months later and start my new position. While I've only been here 10 months, I truly enjoy coming into work every day and don't see that changing any time soon. Sure, there are rainy mornings when I'd rather just stay in bed; but overall, I have no problem getting up and coming in here and seeing all the people I work with and collaborating with them. It's the type of job and work I hope to stay in until I retire, no matter when that may be.

BeanCounter

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2017, 07:23:56 AM »
What I wish is that more higher level jobs would be available part time. I really, really want to go part time. But I would like to keep my hourly rate and not try to cram full time responsibilities into a part time job, or be passed over for cool projects because I'm part time.

As far as meaningless work and paper pushing, I encourage people in my organization to stand up to that. If you're doing something and you don't understand why it is valuable, ask the question. And don't be afraid to propose another way, or a reason for not doing it at all. I've done labor planning for years and believe me we need to be questioning these things to gain true efficiencies.

mjdh1957

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2017, 07:37:24 AM »
I liked my job. I was self-employed, worked at my own pace in my own hours and had no office politics to deal with.

I love being retired more. I don't miss work at all.

bacchi

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2017, 08:24:31 AM »
I enjoy my work. I don't particularly enjoy my job.

My work is in software. That's true at my job (most of the time) or when I'm doing freelance projects (all of the time.)

Yes, exactly. Taking the work you want ("Hell yeah! That sounds fun.") and turning down the work that sounds boring ("No, I'm too busy [moving dirt back and forth in the backyard]." makes a huge difference. Add in some flexibility in hours and vacations and work location and work can become interesting again.

Quote from: Playing with Fire UK
I have recently done a lot of thinking and come to the conclusion that I will ALWAYS resent my work. It's just my makeup and I've shown no signs of changing.

It took years to admit that me and full-time jobs just don't mix. I'd struggle to make it past the 1 year anniversary, start to get burned out at 18 months, and crash before 24 months, leaving coworkers and mentors and friends disappointed. A lot of bridges were burned.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2017, 09:48:03 AM »
I'm pleased it isn't just me Bacchi! I've been much happier since I've accepted this about myself.

neo von retorch

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2017, 09:56:01 AM »
It took years to admit that me and full-time jobs just don't mix. I'd struggle to make it past the 1 year anniversary, start to get burned out at 18 months, and crash before 24 months, leaving coworkers and mentors and friends disappointed. A lot of bridges were burned.

There are definitely times this sounds like me. I'm 15 months into this job. My last one lasted 15 months. There was a 3-4 month one, but that one ended because I moved (but then again, it also sucked.) The one before that lasted... 15 months. The one before that... 5 months. Before that? Only about 11 months... Of course, before that, I was spoiled, not by pay, but by a really flexible, friendly, fun work environment. Great socializing at work, great (and frequent) work events, flexible schedule, reasonably private / sized cubicle. Pretty much since then, I've been in blander corporate environments, half-height cubicles or open spaces... (that job lasted about 5.5 years, and I finally moved on for a big jump in pay... but was it worth it.. ?)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 10:02:19 AM by neo von retorch »

ketchup

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2017, 09:59:45 AM »
My GF and I are also in the seemingly-common "love your work, but maybe not always love how/why/with-who/when you do it" boat.  For her at least, she's self-employed and in the future could very easily scale way down and be more selective, and that is the plan.

Mel70

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2017, 10:06:17 AM »
Loving your job is the ideal situation. I have been in situations where I love the job, but changes in management, policy, or staff restructuring have made the job unbearable. That is when FU money comes in so handy! I hope to work for as long as I can. Right now, my job gives me free time to pursue my hobbies, take care of family, and take lengthy vacations. However, I know that circumstances can change in a minute. I would enjoy the freedom FI would give me to just leave whenever I want and find a better situation.

acroy

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2017, 10:09:20 AM »
But it's exactly how I feel about my job as a doc. I spend 80% of the time doing meaningless tasks created by regulations, liability and just a giant bureaucracy.  The rest of the time I love my job.
 
Why commute an hour to do 2 hours of meaningful work and 6 hours of BS, except for the paycheck??

Thanks for your input
grrr... Few people except those inside know how much BS bureaucracy there is inside the healthcare system. Horrific waste of time/talent.

Mine:
FU but not yet FI. Largely enjoy the work. Multiple cultures, customers, interesting technology.

As an example: Meeting in Singapore last week and spent time with a cross section of sales/marketing & technical types from across the globe. Cross culture, function. And got to see Singapore. There was some internal BS but largely good stuff.

Another: currently have a manager I'm struggling to 'read'; frustration on both sides, but due to language/expectations. Stressful but learning a lot.

Get the good stuff out of it and enjoy it!!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2017, 10:44:43 AM »
It took years to admit that me and full-time jobs just don't mix. I'd struggle to make it past the 1 year anniversary, start to get burned out at 18 months, and crash before 24 months, leaving coworkers and mentors and friends disappointed. A lot of bridges were burned.

There are definitely times this sounds like me. I'm 15 months into this job. My last one lasted 15 months. There was a 3-4 month one, but that one ended because I moved (but then again, it also sucked.) The one before that lasted... 15 months. The one before that... 5 months. Before that? Only about 11 months... Of course, before that, I was spoiled, not by pay, but by a really flexible, friendly, fun work environment. Great socializing at work, great (and frequent) work events, flexible schedule, reasonably private / sized cubicle. Pretty much since then, I've been in blander corporate environments, half-height cubicles or open spaces... (that job lasted about 5.5 years, and I finally moved on for a big jump in pay... but was it worth it.. ?)

Some people return to their old job. You are avery good candidate, because they know you and you know the subject well.

neo von retorch

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2017, 11:20:23 AM »
Some people return to their old job. You are avery good candidate, because they know you and you know the subject well.

Yes - normally a valid point :) Have since moved too far away for it to be a viable option, though.

arebelspy

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2017, 08:46:11 AM »
"Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?"

I feel like we've discussed this question a lot, EV.  Not just "we" in general, here on the forums (which the royal "we" have), but you and I, specifically.  It's odd that you haven't come to a conclusion about the question, by now.  Or maybe you have, and this thread is yet another way to try and convince others of your decision?  Or maybe you haven't, but are still trying to convince yourself?  I'm not sure, at this point.

So I'll attempt to answer it, once again.  :)

Of course it's not horrible to love your work!

I think life is too short to do work you hate, in fact. 

Ideally you'd love your work, but at least you should be able to not dread going to it.

The wife and I loved our work.  I loved teaching, it was fulfilling, made an impact on students lives (who still reach out to me to thank me, as many of them are now graduating high school and heading to college--I taught 4th/5th grade).  It was truly much more that I could have asked for in a job, and I'd have been happy doing it forever.

But you know what?  I STILL think most people who love their work, like I did, have good reason to quit.

Not all, mind you, but just because you love your work doesn't mean you shouldn't quit.

How does that make sense to quit something you love?  The simple explanation is that it likely isn't the only thing you love.  In fact, it's extremely UNlikely that this is the only thing you love.  So once you do it for, say, a decade or so, you can ER and do the many other things you love.  You may be able to do them all, simultaneously, and maybe not.  If it is hindering other things you'd like to do (travel, spend more time raising kids, spend more time with friends or family, pursue more education, pursue other hobbies, learn, grow, etc.), it may be time to quit that thing you love to focus on other things you love.

There's an SMBC comic that I use that explains this much better than I ever could, and how you can essentially "live other lives."

Read the comic linked here (you can scroll past the boring, irrelevant text of the post itself):
http://www.adventuringalong.com/2015/09/15/why-quit-if-you-love-your-job/

ER lets you easily live these other lives.  You should definitely love your first lives, growing up (and maybe college), and your first "adult" life, where you have a career that launches you to FI.  Absolutely love it.  That's the simple answer to the question in the title.

But that doesn't mean you make it your only life, and do it for 50 years.

Definitely love your work.  But it's okay to quit, and love other things, too.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Mezzie

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2017, 10:59:23 AM »
I agree with you that people should feel free to quit even jobs they love, but with teaching...man. The second decade is so much better than the first! From what I hear from colleagues, the third decade is even betterstill. There are certainly stresses I would gladly do without, but my time in my classroom is my absolute favorite part of every day. There are other things I love, and I'm sure when I'm done teaching I will enjoy pursuing them with more vigor, but I really don't think anything else comes close.

sparkytheop

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2017, 11:39:21 AM »
Two years ago, I had my calendar marked with days until I was eligible for early retirement (FERS, so it would have had to be offered to get full pension/immediate access to TSP/health insurance benefits, but still, I hated every second of every working hour, along with the seconds of my commute).  I was trying to figure out any way to get out before then where I would be financially stable (I'm a single mom, son was in high school at the time, so no backup for me).  My real job had been taken away from me and I had been plopped into a cubicle, through no fault of my own (I turned in my boss for sexual harassment, with text messages, emails, and a 3" binder full of proof, and they were trying to retaliate and punish me instead.)  Anyway...

Two years later, it's like a switch has been flipped.  I'm in a new location (less that 10 minutes door-to-door from my house), I love the schedule (work mostly nights and weekends, where there is minimal crew and minimal management), and the job itself is pretty ok.  It has so many periods of downtime that I have a lot of time for hobbies-- reading, crochet, quilting...  If it is portable and legal at work (no firearms, and I can't run a side business, so no selling the stuff I make) I can probably work on it.  There are times when I might have to sit in a shack and wait for half an hour before I can do anything job related.  Then I do a couple minutes of work, wait another half hour, do a couple minutes, etc.  So, I take my hobby with me and I kill the down time that way (cannot leave my post). 

On top of this great hobby time, my schedule gives me 16 days off in a row, every ten weeks (so five times a year), while only using 80 hours of my vacation time a year, leaving me with 120 hours of use-or-lose still.  I also have chunks of 4 and 6 days off in a row (no leave required) in the same 10 week period. 

I no longer mind working and if things stay as they are, I am perfectly happy to stay here for 19 years (my minimum age retirement for full pension and benefits).  It's not that I love the job duties, it's that I am really happy with the income and time-off/life balance.  I'm not stressed about work.  I can take random days off without fear that work will pile up on me.  I can take or leave overtime, it's not required (we do have to cover shifts, but there is pretty much always someone willing to pick up the OT if you don't).

I can continue to work, saving money, and cash flowing vacations, etc, without feeling like I have to give up my life to hold a job.  I'm using my job, and the income it provides, to enjoy my life even more right now.

That said, being able to FIRE provides a lot of options that I may need in the future.  Another bad boss?  A new schedule I don't like?  Change in policies/procedures I don't want to have to follow?  Tired of international travel and I just want to get a dog and camper travel?  Well, I'd have the option to quit.

There are many things I enjoy doing (cooking, baking, preserving foods, building my own stuff), but I'm also lazy.  I don't want to *have* to do those things because I *have* to make sacrifices to be frugal and get out earlier.  I do what I do because I enjoy it (or hate spending the money more).  My income/job/life balance gives me the freedom to not have to sacrifice where I don't want to.  I'm no longer in a bad work situation where the sacrifice of being frugal and getting out early outweighs the benefits of a nice income.

I have an obligation to be at work approximately 150 days a year (scheduled work days - vacation time - holidays- a couple sick days a year).  Most of those days I can fit in some hobby time.  I'm good with that.  If I was on my old 4 10 schedule, even without the bad boss?  I'd still be trying all I could to get out early.

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2017, 01:34:30 PM »
I love my job. But I was an employment lawyer prior to my current non-legal job and I know you can never count on your Employer to have your back. The conditions of your job can change on a dime. New boss hates you. Old boss has a personality change. Colleague retires and is not replaced and now you are doing the job of two. So on and so forth. FI for me is as a buffer to all the BS that can happen in your work. In the meantime I keep loving my work, and hope that continues.

Eric

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2017, 03:36:56 PM »
Read the comic linked here (you can scroll past the boring, irrelevant text of the post itself):
http://www.adventuringalong.com/2015/09/15/why-quit-if-you-love-your-job/


Your self-promotion could use some work.  :)

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2017, 03:44:45 PM »
Who ever said it's horrible to love your work?

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2017, 05:25:35 PM »
I think everyone needs purpose in life - some will find it in work, others will find it in family, volunteering, religion, education, being creative, etc. Whatever works for you... and it might change over time too. I do find that the more I save, the less annoyed I am about the stupid parts of work. I know I'm not going to be dependent on that forever. And I'm also more free to find a new job/ask for changes at my current job if I don't like it.

Brother Esau

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2017, 05:37:58 PM »
I'm a Civil Engineer and do truly enjoy my work. Just looking forward to doing it part time and not having to hear that damn alarm clock at 6:30am 5 days a week.

GuitarStv

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Re: Is It So Horrible to Love Your Work?
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2017, 05:50:19 PM »
It's certainly not horrible to love your work.

I'm not entirely sure that loving your work is possible for the vast majority of people in this day and age though, for two reasons:

1.  Most jobs will eventually require that you become a specialist and do roughly the same thing day after day (with some minor level of variation).  This makes sense.  A specialist is more efficient at their specialized work, so you improve productivity this way.  The vast majority of people I know aren't designed for this though . . . they are happiest when they can be generalists - learn a new task, spend a period of time getting good at it, then getting bored and doing something else.  Few are built to just keep doing the same thing.

2.  Doing something because you have to rather than because you choose to erodes enjoyment of a task.  Take any pleasurable task, and then force a person to do it five days a week for fifty years . . . with useless meetings, set hours, a dress code, and evaluations by other people of how well you're doing it . . . and you'll make it no fun eventually.

If you love your job - cool!  But it's always a good idea to prepare in case you fall out of love with it at some point in the future.  I currently enjoy my work.  I'm not hoping for financial independence because I'm miserable but because there are so many different, interesting things other that I want to do.  I want to have the time to do them, and I want to be able to do them in my own way on my own schedule.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 05:52:06 PM by GuitarStv »