Author Topic: The sad reality that work simply sucks?  (Read 4388 times)

teltic

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The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« on: May 28, 2019, 01:40:23 PM »
Hello!  I've been in corporate finance for 5 years.  I just jumped from one company to another: See post below

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/boss-said-he'll-match-any-offer-we-get!-what-would-you-do/?topicseen

^^ TL:DR: Went from $65k in a boring job, to $85k + 15% bonus.  The honey moon phase is now over for this new job, and it is... Boring as well.

I'm finding roughly the same pattern as my previous job.  First 2 weeks: busy, send excel reports to upper management... Last 2 weeks: nothing to do.

Is this.... it? Does work simply just suck overall?  I absolutely hate having down time.  I am 5 years away from FI....

1.Do I just chug away and grind it out to FI? 
2. Do I get a second job to accelerate that FI date (I loved serving tables back in the day, I love that fast pace environment, it helped me dating life too)
3.  Jump in a new career? Software seems challenging?  Or is it boring as hell as well?  New career will most likely mean paycut...
4. Buy a bunch of rental properties and FI now (although valuations are outrageous currently...)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 01:42:55 PM by teltic »

bacchi

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 01:57:09 PM »
The vast majority of software, like any other job, is not challenging. It pays well but it's just as boring and often fits into the BS job category. There's a reason that Valve Software pays an incentive for many of their projects (they have a "choose-your-own-task" policy and of course everyone wants to work on the fun projects).

A corporate job doesn't exist for you but for the business owners. It's gonna suck.

DadJokes

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 04:03:47 PM »
I think any job that involves sitting in front of a computer screen all day is going to suck. I derive no sense of purpose from my desk job. However, I don't mind sitting in front of a computer for my small business (at least not yet), so maybe you could look into something where you work for yourself.

I wouldn't want to do anything to extend that FI date though, because five years away would be so tough to turn away from.

Telecaster

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 04:07:03 PM »
That's why they call it "work."  If it was fun, you'd have to pay them. 

Freedomin5

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 04:09:24 PM »
Is there a way to make the last two weeks of the month more interesting? Ask for more work? Learn something on your own? Start an online business? Are you allowed to work on your own stuff when you have downtime? Or identify a gap at work and create a solution for it, thereby creating work for yourself and making yourself more valuable to the company, thereby setting yourself up for a more interesting and better paying position?

There is so much you could doing with all that “boring” time!

Freedomin5

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 04:14:19 PM »
That's why they call it "work."  If it was fun, you'd have to pay them.

My work has several fun elements to it. I actually really enjoy my work. And the pay is not too shabby too. But I can see how some jobs can be mind-numbing.

Telecaster

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 04:25:30 PM »
That's why they call it "work."  If it was fun, you'd have to pay them.

My work has several fun elements to it. I actually really enjoy my work. And the pay is not too shabby too. But I can see how some jobs can be mind-numbing.

I bet you wouldn't do it if they didn't pay you. 

teltic

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 04:29:15 PM »
I think the best answer is to grind it out.  I am the new guy too, so it understandably takes time to get to a full time workout (been here for only 2 months).

I see no other career path that gets me to FI sooner.  Going from $100k to a entry level software (google tells me that is $70k), doesn't make sense.  Unless I truly loved software and was okay sacrificing time to get to FI.  I think software is just something different, so it's intriguing... But I bet I'd get to the same "this is boring" point.

Bahh. I'll keep hustling to get out of the rat race.

bacchi

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 04:36:22 PM »
That's why they call it "work."  If it was fun, you'd have to pay them.

My work has several fun elements to it. I actually really enjoy my work. And the pay is not too shabby too. But I can see how some jobs can be mind-numbing.

I bet you wouldn't do it if they didn't pay you.

https://xkcd.com/2154/

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 04:58:52 PM »

 Does work simply just suck overall? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

When first I read   "Night Shift" I was struck by the poem's final words, "Tending, without stop, the blunt Indefatigable fact."

 I interpreted them to mean that the drudgery and unpleasantness of work are intrinsic aspects of the human condition and therefore  inescapable.

I think that for too many, too often the answer to your question is "Yes."

Alas!



Night Shift by Sylvia Plath

It was not a heart, beating.
 That muted boom, that clangor
 Far off, not blood in the ears
 Drumming up and fever

 To impose on the evening.
 The noise came from outside:
 A metal detonating
 Native, evidently, to

 These stilled suburbs nobody
 Startled at it, though the sound
 Shook the ground with its pounding.
 It took a root at my coming

 Till the thudding source, exposed,
 Confounded in wept guesswork:
 Framed in windows of Main Street's
 Silver factory, immense
  Hammers hoisted, wheels turning,


 Stalled, let fall their vertical
 Tonnage of metal and wood;
 Stunned in marrow. Men in white

 Undershirts circled, tending
 Without stop those greased machines,
 Tending, without stop, the blunt
 Indefatigable fact.

SwordGuy

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2019, 08:32:21 PM »
What do you want to do in 5 years after you FIRE?

What skills do you want to have when you reach FIRE?

Once you know those two things, which of those skills would also benefit your employer?

Because once you know that, you've got a job that pays you to learn those skills at least 2 weeks out of every month.  Glory! 

Is this a great country or what?!


If you're not sure about what you want or what skills you need, check out the book Initiative by Joshua Spodek.

OurFirstFire

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2019, 09:47:38 PM »
After FI I moved from petroleum engineering to software as a consultant. I feel like I've landed a lucrative contract to solve Sudoku puzzles all day.  I have to tear myself away to get to dinner with the family, and often get wistful about the contrast of enjoyment to my former career.  Being a consultant means if they don't have enough for me to do I won't get paid for being bored at my desk, which is fine for this point in my life.  Mostly I worry if work runs dry that I won't have such fun challenges to tackle.

What I did, and recommend you consider, is use your down time at work to integrate programming into your job.  I'm sure you have a lot of spreadsheets.  Learn VBA and python and optimize your workflows.  Instead of browsing at work use that internet time reading about different programming patterns and frameworks.  Maybe you'll get an idea of it really excites you.  I know not everyone feels the way about software that I do, but it's also a pretty common feeling.  The open source projects out there attest to the fact that software really is something people love enough to do for free.

iluvzbeach

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2019, 10:33:12 PM »
What do you want to do in 5 years after you FIRE?

What skills do you want to have when you reach FIRE?

Once you know those two things, which of those skills would also benefit your employer?

Because once you know that, you've got a job that pays you to learn those skills at least 2 weeks out of every month.  Glory! 

Is this a great country or what?!


If you're not sure about what you want or what skills you need, check out the book Initiative by Joshua Spodek.

@teltic - The book and author noted above @JoshuaSpodek is on these very forums and offered to share a portion of his book with anyone who asked him for it. If this is of interest to you, send him a PM.

Imma

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 02:09:32 AM »
My job is the same (busy or boring, never normal) and as my employer is aware of this, we have agreed that I can study at work. I'm in grad school and working on a professional certificate. They pay for the certificate and I do coursework for both in the office. Both qualifications are relevant to my current job but the certificate will also allow me to charge more money in my side hustle.

Linea_Norway

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 02:40:13 AM »
Some people say they love their job. I presume what they then mean is that they love the most interesting tasks of their jobs and that the annoying tasks don't dominate their job.

I think for many others, the annoying tasks dominate the job. Like for myself, I have tasks that I don't mind doing. And some other tasks that I absolutely hate to do. But it is part of the deal: I spend 32 hours a week at a desk, working on a computer and I get paid to do so. I even have some down time, which I use to either surf the web and learn about new subjects (whatever occupies me at that moment). I also track my finances at work, which is a bit of a job now that my bank doesn't do it automatically. I currently work 80% to make the grinding a bit easier.

You could look around, job hopping to see if you can find another job that where the interesting tasks outway the annoying tasks. And it will give you a new honeymoon period every now and then. That could be a way to have 2 new jobs in 5 years.

Or go the way of consulting for yourself. If you need to work overtime, at least it will go right into your own pocket. You will also have your fair portion of annoying tasks, like accounting, marketing and taxes. But maybe it is more acceptable if you do those for yourself. You will have less security of a fixed income. OTOH, if American companies only have a 2 weeks notice to fire you, is then any corporate job really secure? Maybe being an independent consultant is more secure.

Yes, you should in same way grind out those 5 years, but you don't need to continue doing it in the present form. Optimize your life and your work life whereever you can, so that it doesn't feel that much like grinding.

Malkynn

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2019, 05:40:16 AM »
Do you guys really have that hard a time finding challenging and exciting work to do??

That's not a sarcastic or judgemental question, I'm genuinely curious why the conventional wisdom here seems to be to grind and escape instead of finding something more interesting to do.

No matter what the industry, I've always managed to worm my way into interesting work or generate new projects for myself.

Maybe it's just me and I abnormally enjoy work, as whenever someone throws out a "would you do it if you weren't paid?", I laugh because half of the work I do is already unpaid.

I fundamentally see the world as packed with opportunities to do amazing work, and once I started defending against work I didn't want to do, my career got infinitely better.

Maybe that's just me, maybe I'm a weirdo who genuinely loved work, but I come from a family packed with weirdos who have all bailed on normal careers and spent their entire lives doing crazy cool projects, well into their retirement years.

Ducknald Don

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2019, 06:05:20 AM »
Do you guys really have that hard a time finding challenging and exciting work to do??

What's challenging and exciting today will become mundane and ordinary tomorrow. This isn't always a problem, if you have some autonomy and a sense of purpose to what you are doing then that can carry you a long way. In my experience that is quite rare.

Linea_Norway

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2019, 06:09:42 AM »
Do you guys really have that hard a time finding challenging and exciting work to do??

That's not a sarcastic or judgemental question, I'm genuinely curious why the conventional wisdom here seems to be to grind and escape instead of finding something more interesting to do.

No matter what the industry, I've always managed to worm my way into interesting work or generate new projects for myself.

Maybe it's just me and I abnormally enjoy work, as whenever someone throws out a "would you do it if you weren't paid?", I laugh because half of the work I do is already unpaid.

I fundamentally see the world as packed with opportunities to do amazing work, and once I started defending against work I didn't want to do, my career got infinitely better.

Maybe that's just me, maybe I'm a weirdo who genuinely loved work, but I come from a family packed with weirdos who have all bailed on normal careers and spent their entire lives doing crazy cool projects, well into their retirement years.

You would be surprised of how many companies ignore your wishes after you express what you want to work with. Like in one of my earlier jobs, I told my boss several times that I wanted to work as a project leader. It took years before I was given the chance do to that. He could have understood that it would have been motivating for me to get that kind of function much earlier.

But yes, it is important that you yourself grab the opportunities that come along. I am currently working on a new mega project, but only as the assistant for a tool they use. That is what I currently want, as the rest of the project is too much stress and hassle.

mistymoney

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2019, 06:35:29 AM »
I enjoy my line of work and frequently find it fun/challenging/exhilarating.

But - moving slowly this AM!

Éowynd

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2019, 06:37:49 AM »
What are your options for when you are at work but don't have anything that needs to be done?

Can you go for a walk outside?  Can you do a 10 min stretch routine?  Can you start a loose leaf tea drinking habit?  Do you like to draw pictures/comics? (Just for your own entertainment; you don't have to show them to anyone.)  Can you do internet research to learn about your favorite hobby?

Sitting at a desk all day with nothing to do really sucks.  I survived a year+ of it by avoiding staring at the computer screen as much as possible.  Eventually, I got moved to a team where I have a lab to work in.  That cut my computer time by about 50%.

Malkynn

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2019, 06:40:42 AM »
Do you guys really have that hard a time finding challenging and exciting work to do??

What's challenging and exciting today will become mundane and ordinary tomorrow. This isn't always a problem, if you have some autonomy and a sense of purpose to what you are doing then that can carry you a long way. In my experience that is quite rare.

I do have enormous sense of purpose and near total autonomy in what I do, but that's by design. I put a lot of energy into generating projects that fit that description and aggressively avoid work that doesn't.

I have 3 more projects in the pipeline, but I'm not positive that the organizations will give me the autonomy that I need, so I'm keeping them in a holding pattern and doing smaller projects here and there to demonstrate my usefulness until they hopefully decide that letting me do what I want to do is the best path forward in a relationship with me.

It may happen, it may not, it may take years. That's cool. I have plenty to do in the meantime and I'm learning A LOT and making incredible connections.

I use to LOVE my work but hated my job until I found MMM. I used to feel like I was lucky to love it as much as I did and felt that the obligations, the tedium, the shitty management, the hours, the stress, etc, were all just part of the package of accepting a paycheque.

Then it hit me that Pete was actually more financially successful once he dropped all that shit, focused only on passion projects, and let his freak flag fly.

So I did that instead.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2019, 07:36:07 AM »
Do you guys really have that hard a time finding challenging and exciting work to do??

That's not a sarcastic or judgemental question, I'm genuinely curious why the conventional wisdom here seems to be to grind and escape instead of finding something more interesting to do.

No matter what the industry, I've always managed to worm my way into interesting work or generate new projects for myself.

Maybe it's just me and I abnormally enjoy work, as whenever someone throws out a "would you do it if you weren't paid?", I laugh because half of the work I do is already unpaid.

I fundamentally see the world as packed with opportunities to do amazing work, and once I started defending against work I didn't want to do, my career got infinitely better.

Maybe that's just me, maybe I'm a weirdo who genuinely loved work, but I come from a family packed with weirdos who have all bailed on normal careers and spent their entire lives doing crazy cool projects, well into their retirement years.

I agree with this sentiment.  I'm not going to be crazy gung-ho and scream "find your passion" and all that jazz; but generally, there is no reason to toil away at a job that you hate doing.

If you have skipped from job to job and don't like what you do, then maybe you need to look at your skills and experience from 5,000 feet and pick a different role to chase for, or you need to think a career shift.

Life is short. You should not toil away for decades doing anything you hate doing.

JLee

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2019, 07:43:27 AM »
Can you get an online degree in your downtime? That's what I'm doing, and my employer pays for most of it.

GuitarStv

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2019, 07:46:04 AM »
That's why they call it "work."  If it was fun, you'd have to pay them.

My work has several fun elements to it. I actually really enjoy my work. And the pay is not too shabby too. But I can see how some jobs can be mind-numbing.

I bet you wouldn't do it if they didn't pay you.

https://xkcd.com/2154/

I was laid off and looking for a job for six months a few years back.  The first three months I was reveling in the fact that I didn't have to sit in front of a computer screen all day.  The next three months I started programming a computer game . . . both because it was a way to learn some new stuff that I'd always been interested in and because it was fun.

The work that I do is great!  What sometimes robs the enjoyment out of it is that it's not on your own terms . . . you have to show up every day, you have to work on stuff that you think is stupid, etc.  That really grinds away at you over time.  If you truly hate what you're doing, you need to find a new job.

reeshau

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2019, 07:50:56 AM »
What I did, and recommend you consider, is use your down time at work to integrate programming into your job.  I'm sure you have a lot of spreadsheets.  Learn VBA and python and optimize your workflows.  Instead of browsing at work use that internet time reading about different programming patterns and frameworks.  Maybe you'll get an idea of it really excites you.  I know not everyone feels the way about software that I do, but it's also a pretty common feeling.  The open source projects out there attest to the fact that software really is something people love enough to do for free.

I think this is excellent advice.  Ideally, you could see work / value to do in your downtime, and either volunteer or collaborate with others to do it to build your reputation at the new gig and have other opportunities open up for you.  But at a minimum, see what you can do to help yourself to make the busy weeks go smoother.  If it's really that repetitive, it should be able to be automated to a degree.

lexde

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2019, 09:13:48 AM »
How much down time in a day do you get? Could you work a second job (at work)? Something like proofreading, grading or writing papers, or online resale? Of course, this may violate your terms of employment...

Bring books to work? Or PDFs to be more discrete? Online courses? Obtain additional certifications to be better qualified at your job?

mozar

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2019, 11:08:25 AM »
Would you mind sharing more information about your journey @Malkynn ? I was told growing up that life/work is a grind and to not expect anything more. So imagining a different life is out of my wheel house. Any information/anecdotes are appreciated.

teltic

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2019, 11:38:47 AM »
What do you want to do in 5 years after you FIRE?

What skills do you want to have when you reach FIRE?

This was a fun exercise.  It started out as skills I want to acquire, then ended with a bucket list of things I want to do.

Learning to program / earning my CPA are the 2 things that will help work.  CPA isn't high on the list, but I enjoy learning overall so if I have nothing else to do, I may as well...

Could you work a second job (at work)?

Bring books to work? Or PDFs to be more discrete? Online courses? Obtain additional certifications to be better qualified at your job?

An online second job may be too hard to do.  I have started buying and selling things online to make some side money... I started back up on the credit card churning.  I may churn a few banks too.

Work will pay $5k in tuition.  I have to wait until November to start.  I've been looking heavily into WGU to take online courses while here at work.

Can you go for a walk outside?  Can you do a 10 min stretch routine?  Can you start a loose leaf tea drinking habit?  Do you like to draw pictures/comics? (Just for your own entertainment; you don't have to show them to anyone.)  Can you do internet research to learn about your favorite hobby?

I just went on a 20 minute walk after reading your reply!  I should walk more often.  We have free snacks/drinks at work, so I'm always looking for things to eat!  Lots of my web surfing is during work (like right now...).

Or go the way of consulting for yourself. If you need to work overtime, at least it will go right into your own pocket. You will also have your fair portion of annoying tasks, like accounting, marketing and taxes. But maybe it is more acceptable if you do those for yourself. You will have less security of a fixed income. OTOH, if American companies only have a 2 weeks notice to fire you, is then any corporate job really secure? Maybe being an independent consultant is more secure.

Yes, you should in same way grind out those 5 years, but you don't need to continue doing it in the present form. Optimize your life and your work life whereever you can, so that it doesn't feel that much like grinding.

Consulting is intriguing to me.  Even if it slowed my FI date, to be able to only work when I have work, and if there's no work... I simply don't work... Sounds pretty good!  Being 50% FI, I wouldn't worry too much about not having work for a couple weeks/months.. Hmm... I'll have to look more into this.

bacchi

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2019, 11:50:03 AM »
Life is short. You should not toil away for decades doing anything you hate doing.

That's the beautiful thing about saving >60%. You only need to toil away for a little over 10 years.

As we know, though, most people don't hate everything about their job.

It's the bullshit, the meetings, the skipping over elegance because a product needs to go out the door; it's the 9am butt-in-the-seat or the fly-out-at-5am-Monday-morning policy; and it's the boredom, the wasting away, the missing out on a beautiful day because there's an "urgent" task to be done and it's due at 6pm (and if it's not finished, the entire team is sticking around until it's finished). Most importantly, for a lot of people, it's the inability to take off for 6 weeks at a time to do a cross country tour (backpacking, cycling, or driving) or care for an ailing family member or friend.

There are 3 aspects to a job worth having: mastery, purpose, and autonomy. Autonomy is probably the most difficult to achieve.

Malkynn

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2019, 12:22:55 PM »
Would you mind sharing more information about your journey @Malkynn ? I was told growing up that life/work is a grind and to not expect anything more. So imagining a different life is out of my wheel house. Any information/anecdotes are appreciated.

I don't share a lot of personal details, but I basically did it by accident.

I cut back my day job due to brutal burnout from working like a mad dog and good little soldier for a company that convinced me that it valued my sacrifices, but it really didn't.

From that point on, I basically just stopped being willing to do work I don't want to do and have dedicated an enormous amount of energy towards building projects that I want to work on.

It takes a whole paradigm shift where I took the focus off of getting any direct benefit for my work and instead trying to just do my best work, whether paid or not.

Basically, a bunch of my post-FIRE dreams involved projects, many of which were likely to be profitable, so I just started doing them right away instead of waiting for FIRE.

Yes, if you want to secure a predictable paycheque and are never willing to risk that and don't want to ever do work that you aren't directly and proportionately paid for, then yes, work will always be a grind.

Overall though, it's not nearly as hard as people seem to think it is, it's just a lot less predictable.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2019, 04:07:11 PM »
I used to have a job where at times I was unoccupied well over 50% of the time.  At first, I wasted that time surfing the web, or whatever.  I still completed my required tasks above and beyond expected levels.  On the advice of a relative ("Invest in yourself!") I started learning some unrelated skills that were more interesting to me.  Eventually, I got sick enough of my old job, and competent enough in my new skills, that I was able to jump ship to a new job that was more engaging.

So I'll repeat the advice I got: Invest in yourself.  Develop skills and attributes that will make you a better employee, either at your current job or at another.

caleb

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2019, 10:46:19 AM »
@teltic I don't think work simply sucks.  It's tough to say what's going on without knowing a lot more about you, but I'll throw something out there and you can see if it sticks.

As others have said, one of the primary characteristics of jobs people tend to enjoy is autonomy of the sort that lets you pick your projects, set your direction, and also probably set your own schedule to a degree.

If you have less than twenty years of experience or super-scarce skills, autonomy is often going to be exchanged for some salary.  It's going to be awfully rare that maximizing across both salary and quality of work-life are going to produce an identical result, if you know what I mean.  There are tradeoffs.  (I think this is less true for people who are very senior, but that's a different question.)

If you want a job you enjoy, then go looking for a job you think you can make enjoyable.  One good candidate is to take your skillset to a cool smallish business where you're a "department" of one.  You do your own thing without interference because nobody really has the skillset to manage you on a daily basis.  You probably won't get paid quite like you would as a specialized, micromanaged cog in a big machine, but it'll likely be way more fulfilling.

Personally, I love my job.  I have about one face-to-face meeting a month with collaborators to set the agenda and address administrative questions, but about 2/3 of my workload is entirely of my choosing.  The broad outlines of how I get my work done, like time, location, et cetera, are also discretionary.  The issue is that I get paid about 2/3 of what I would if I worked for the highest bidder.  To me, that's a compromise well worth making in order to look forward to my work.

NorCal

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2019, 11:48:26 AM »
Fellow corporate finance dweller here.

Having jumped between multiple finance jobs over the last decade, I can affimitavely say they all suck. 

In my case, the costs of switching were too high.  Maybe it would work for you, but I don't recommend it in general.

What has worked for me is changing jobs every 2-4 years.  Each job sucks in its own unique way.  But the change of pace is good.  A few jobs have been boring.  Most have been overly busy and stressful.  You can absolutely find that in finance, if it's what you actually want.

I'm currently in my most interesting job to-date.  I've turned corporate finance experience into a job implementing financial systems.  This might be something you could look into.  It's a combination of finance work and database work.  It's somewhat interesting, and I can avoid most of the corporate BS.  The downside is that I'm measured in billable hours, and about 20% of my clients suck. 

teltic

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2019, 01:25:42 PM »
Fellow corporate finance dweller here.

Having jumped between multiple finance jobs over the last decade, I can affimitavely say they all suck. 

In my case, the costs of switching were too high.  Maybe it would work for you, but I don't recommend it in general.

What has worked for me is changing jobs every 2-4 years.  Each job sucks in its own unique way.  But the change of pace is good.  A few jobs have been boring.  Most have been overly busy and stressful.  You can absolutely find that in finance, if it's what you actually want.

I'm currently in my most interesting job to-date.  I've turned corporate finance experience into a job implementing financial systems.  This might be something you could look into.  It's a combination of finance work and database work.  It's somewhat interesting, and I can avoid most of the corporate BS.  The downside is that I'm measured in billable hours, and about 20% of my clients suck.

Interesting... With each job change, what % salary bump do you usually expect?  I got a 30% bump going from Career job #2 to #3... Can I expect this to continue?

NorCal

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2019, 03:13:54 PM »
It has varied dramatically job to job.  Here's the rough progression of salaries.  The amounts listed below are how much I was making when I left the company.  I was in the Bay Area for the majority of this.

1. Financial Analyst at a startup in the middle of the great recession: $75K (3yrs)
2. Sr. Financial Analyst at Megacorp: $105K +10% bonus (3 positions at this company, spread over 4 years)
3. VP of Finance at a tiny & shitty startup: $130K (6 months)
4. Manager of FP&A at a late-stage startup: $135K +10% bonus (2.5 years)
5. Senior Consultant at a boutique consulting firm: $142K (current)

That being said, I think my earnings as a consultant are about maxed out.  I'd have to go back and find some Director or VP role in order to increase my salary from here.  I'm also lucky enough to be making a Bay Area salary while in Denver (I work from home).  Finding a local job would probably cut my salary back to the $110K - $120K range.

Take a look at Glassdoor salaries for your region.  Both career experience and roles held play a big part in compensation.  If you show strong career progression, salary will increase.  Salary won't change much if you keep doing the same thing year after year. 

I roughly group senior finance people into two categories:
1. People with 10+ years of experience.
2. People with 1 year of experience, ten times over.

People in category #2 don't go very far.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2019, 04:20:19 PM »
Would you mind sharing more information about your journey @Malkynn ? I was told growing up that life/work is a grind and to not expect anything more. So imagining a different life is out of my wheel house. Any information/anecdotes are appreciated.



I cut back my day job due to brutal burnout from working like a mad dog and good little soldier for a company that convinced me that it valued my sacrifices, but it really didn't.





"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." Ayn Rand

frugaldrummer

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2019, 06:45:58 PM »
The fact that you look back fondly on your days as a server tells me you are probably an extrovert. Is it possible that your problem with this job is that you're too isolated? Is there a way to change that?

Malkynn

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2019, 07:43:01 PM »
Would you mind sharing more information about your journey @Malkynn ? I was told growing up that life/work is a grind and to not expect anything more. So imagining a different life is out of my wheel house. Any information/anecdotes are appreciated.



I cut back my day job due to brutal burnout from working like a mad dog and good little soldier for a company that convinced me that it valued my sacrifices, but it really didn't.





"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." Ayn Rand

I'm really not getting the relevance of this quote to my situation, which I admittedly drastically oversimplified for the sake of the narrative.

ender

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2019, 07:45:00 PM »
I do have enormous sense of purpose and near total autonomy in what I do, but that's by design. I put a lot of energy into generating projects that fit that description and aggressively avoid work that doesn't.

I have 3 more projects in the pipeline, but I'm not positive that the organizations will give me the autonomy that I need, so I'm keeping them in a holding pattern and doing smaller projects here and there to demonstrate my usefulness until they hopefully decide that letting me do what I want to do is the best path forward in a relationship with me.

It may happen, it may not, it may take years. That's cool. I have plenty to do in the meantime and I'm learning A LOT and making incredible connections.

I use to LOVE my work but hated my job until I found MMM. I used to feel like I was lucky to love it as much as I did and felt that the obligations, the tedium, the shitty management, the hours, the stress, etc, were all just part of the package of accepting a paycheque.

Then it hit me that Pete was actually more financially successful once he dropped all that shit, focused only on passion projects, and let his freak flag fly.

So I did that instead.

+1

By proactively suggesting projects to do, I basically am able to work on whatever I want at this point.

DaMa

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2019, 08:05:24 PM »

use your down time at work to integrate programming into your job.  I'm sure you have a lot of spreadsheets.  Learn VBA and python and optimize your workflows.  Instead of browsing at work use that internet time reading about different programming patterns and frameworks. 

I second OurFirstFire on this. VBA is an easy starting point, because it's in Excel.  Automate a spreadsheet you already know. 

SQL is another very useful tool to know.

teltic

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2019, 10:34:07 AM »
1. Financial Analyst at a startup in the middle of the great recession: $75K (3yrs)
2. Sr. Financial Analyst at Megacorp: $105K +10% bonus (3 positions at this company, spread over 4 years)
3. VP of Finance at a tiny & shitty startup: $130K (6 months)
4. Manager of FP&A at a late-stage startup: $135K +10% bonus (2.5 years)
5. Senior Consultant at a boutique consulting firm: $142K (current)

I roughly group senior finance people into two categories:
1. People with 10+ years of experience.
2. People with 1 year of experience, ten times over.

People in category #2 don't go very far.

Thanks for sharing @NorCal .  Cool to see numbers so I can set realistic expectations and goals.  Cool to see you've jumped every ~3ish years.  I just started job #3 in year 5, and people are already sweating I'm jumping too much (job 1 = 2 years, job 2 = 3 years).  I feel like my next job needs to land in some sort of management position.  Again thanks.


use your down time at work to integrate programming into your job.  I'm sure you have a lot of spreadsheets.  Learn VBA and python and optimize your workflows.  Instead of browsing at work use that internet time reading about different programming patterns and frameworks. 

I second OurFirstFire on this. VBA is an easy starting point, because it's in Excel.  Automate a spreadsheet you already know. 

SQL is another very useful tool to know.

I snagged a SQL certificate on sololearn.com before getting my current job.  They don't use SQL here... Sad.  I've enjoyed making VBA, but there's a push to get away from manual excel reports and using other analytical programs (host analytics plug in for excel).  So while I used it in my previous job, I don't see much potential here.

With tuition reimbursement starting in November for me.  I'm thinking heavily of getting a Masters in Data Analytics (SQL, Python, etc).  With the idea that management should be my next move... Maybe an MBA is smarter?  Although I already have a masters in finance....


Thank you everyone!

Imma

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2019, 10:49:50 AM »
I do have enormous sense of purpose and near total autonomy in what I do, but that's by design. I put a lot of energy into generating projects that fit that description and aggressively avoid work that doesn't.

I have 3 more projects in the pipeline, but I'm not positive that the organizations will give me the autonomy that I need, so I'm keeping them in a holding pattern and doing smaller projects here and there to demonstrate my usefulness until they hopefully decide that letting me do what I want to do is the best path forward in a relationship with me.

It may happen, it may not, it may take years. That's cool. I have plenty to do in the meantime and I'm learning A LOT and making incredible connections.

I use to LOVE my work but hated my job until I found MMM. I used to feel like I was lucky to love it as much as I did and felt that the obligations, the tedium, the shitty management, the hours, the stress, etc, were all just part of the package of accepting a paycheque.

Then it hit me that Pete was actually more financially successful once he dropped all that shit, focused only on passion projects, and let his freak flag fly.

So I did that instead.

+1

By proactively suggesting projects to do, I basically am able to work on whatever I want at this point.

I am still working for an employer 3 days a week (2 days on my side hustle) and in a business it's often very difficult to proactively suggest stuff to do. Ask me how I know. I've quit more than 1 job because of it. In a small business, often the owner is only interested in doing the Same Exact Thing for years and years and any kind of change is frowned upon, because we've always done things this way and it has always worked, why would we change? I'm in Megacorp right now and while my job actually involves coming up with changes and rolling them out, that means stepping on everyone's toes all the time. Even when I've got the support of my manager that's a difficult thing to do and involves a lot of office politics which I hate. In my experience many people are very resistant to change.

In my current role I've been able to join quite a few projects that really interest me, and I put a lot of effort in them, but all in all this still doesn't always fill my days. My Megacorp is overstaffed because if you let people go, you can't say yes whenever HQ throws a big project our way. We are wasting tons of money this way, but if we let people go we won't have the manpower to say yes to opportunities. I'm lucky I can get a lot of certifications this way (paid for by them) that are also very useful for my side hustle.

DadJokes

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2019, 11:18:42 AM »

I snagged a SQL certificate on sololearn.com before getting my current job.  They don't use SQL here... Sad.  I've enjoyed making VBA, but there's a push to get away from manual excel reports and using other analytical programs (host analytics plug in for excel).  So while I used it in my previous job, I don't see much potential here.


Thank you so much for posting this! I have been going through Youtube tutorials without gaining much traction. This looks a bit more promising, at least as a check on knowledge.

NorCal

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2019, 11:34:53 AM »

Quote

I snagged a SQL certificate on sololearn.com before getting my current job.  They don't use SQL here... Sad.  I've enjoyed making VBA, but there's a push to get away from manual excel reports and using other analytical programs (host analytics plug in for excel).  So while I used it in my previous job, I don't see much potential here.

With tuition reimbursement starting in November for me.  I'm thinking heavily of getting a Masters in Data Analytics (SQL, Python, etc).  With the idea that management should be my next move... Maybe an MBA is smarter?  Although I already have a masters in finance....


Thank you everyone!

Good to see another Host Analytics user here!  My consulting work is actually doing Host Analytics implementations.  There is absolutely work in the HA implementations world if you can become a subject matter expert.  My firm just hired a bunch of people, and I could see us adding headcount if we keep growing our business the way we have been.  Feel free to PM me if it's something you'd like to connect about.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2019, 07:39:10 AM »
What do you want to do in 5 years after you FIRE?

What skills do you want to have when you reach FIRE?

Once you know those two things, which of those skills would also benefit your employer?

Because once you know that, you've got a job that pays you to learn those skills at least 2 weeks out of every month.  Glory! 

Is this a great country or what?!


If you're not sure about what you want or what skills you need, check out the book Initiative by Joshua Spodek.

@teltic - The book and author noted above @JoshuaSpodek is on these very forums and offered to share a portion of his book with anyone who asked him for it. If this is of interest to you, send him a PM.

The preface is a free download from the book page http://joshuaspodek.com/initiative, which also has videos of people who did the exercises. If anyone from this community wants to read more, let me know. I've been reading and posting here for years. The community has supported me and I like to support it back if I can.

Regarding this thread's original post, if all you know you want is money, then people with money will control you. You want other things -- maybe challenge or more responsibility. Until you act on what you want, you won't get it. In my experience, only taking initiative reveals what you want and enables you to get it, hence the book. Waiting for a manager to figure it out for you and give it to you . . . you'll probably wait a long time.

use2betrix

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2019, 10:56:31 AM »
I would like to hear more about your job and your position that you can’t find any way to be proactive and add value during those other two weeks each month. I understand the position of being able to “get by” with doing next to nothing, however I have often found that if I really wanted to, I could go above and beyond.

At my current position, which I’ve been at the last year, I have nearly complete autonomy. When I was hired I was never really given a job description (moreso a title in management) and it was basically my job to decide how I could add value to a project with my given expertise. In the last year, I’ve received very little direction and after 6 months, I received over a $40k/yr raise without asking or hinting about it. I was content with my previous salary.

I have earned this autonomy, and salary, by being proactive, thorough, and identifying places where I can add value. I currently split my time between 3 projects, and just a couple weeks ago one project manager told me, “1/3 of me is worth more to him than 70% of the rest of the team.” I just continually dig my claws into every single thing I can find, evaluate, review, inspect, and see how I can reduce rework, save money, improve the schedule, etc.

I would be very hard pressed to believe there is literally “nothing” you can do to add value those next couple weeks.

I wish I could say my reasoning for my work ethic and thoroughness was just being a good employee or wanting to do the right thing, but much of it stems from a weird sort of prideful/anxiety feeling of always making sure I do the best I can so that the fingers won’t be pointed at me when issues arise.. I wish there was a more “comfortable” way to go about it..

Lastly - even with all the seemingly greatness of my position, I’m still stuck living in a part of the country I don’t like, working a lot of hours (even though I’m compensated for it) and doing stuff I’m really not overly passionate about.. I don’t think that many people have jobs they enjoy so much, they would continue doing it even after FIRE. I’m sure there are certain jobs that some people would, however.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 10:58:06 AM by use2betrix »

bacchi

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2019, 12:17:48 PM »
An economist's take on why so many jobs simply suck:

http://heteconomist.com/why-so-many-jobs-are-crappy/

It's a short, tongue-slightly-in-cheek, read.

Quote from: heteconomist.com
So, next time we hear people complaining about the crappiness of their jobs, we can sooth them with the knowledge that it is better for the bosses that we all remain unchallenged and expendable.

NorCal

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2019, 01:23:26 PM »
Someone even wrote a book on the topic.  I haven't read it yet, but I probably will at some point.  It seems more fun than serious, but I think that's part of the appeal.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075RWG7YM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

moosejaw

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2019, 01:49:15 PM »
You know you're almost 35-40 when you come to this realization.

The selling off of your fleeting time for money is daunting.  That's why some people end up finding a job they are passionate about(even if it doesn't pay much), or invest into a hobby that is fulfilling for them.

If you have a decent paying job in a field you studied and are qualified for but find it boring I would suggest these things:

1. Change your mindset and realize you DO NOT NEED to be there and are choosing to be there.  This simple shift can make you a bit more passionate about what you are doing since you know you can elave at any time.  There may be some consequence to this but working at something you find boring, or selling of your time for $$$ is something that is a choice.  It is not being done to you.


2. Pick up a brand new hobby you suck at.  I took up jiu jitsu in my late 30's.  Sure I could have played hockey and been awesome and looked up to in every beer league I played in, but that was so boring I needed to suck at something that was difficult.  Jiu jitsu fit the bill.

Even though I love/like my job and am passionate about it, I spend about 50% of my time through the week thinking and daydreaming about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  I also spend time with people at BJJ that have lesser paying or NO job.  They beat the crap out of me despite our pay discrepency and I end up with appreciation of just how good I have it.  I can afford lessons, I can buy beers for my buddies after, and the BJJ gi they can't afford I can buy whenever I want.  I have bought plenty of them with the money I make at my job and given away most to those who don't have one.

Win Win Win.


« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 01:51:09 PM by moosejaw »

worms

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Re: The sad reality that work simply sucks?
« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2019, 02:56:23 AM »
Is all this not simply a mind-set issue?  I’ve always looked on work as a trade-off between me offering my skills/time to an employer and them wanting to pay me for it. If they no longer need me, they stop paying...if it’s no longer fun, I move on.  I’ve had a long and varied career, perhaps I’ve never earned the top rates, but every job that I have done has had frequent occasions when I have been struck by these “Wow! I’m being paid for this!” moments.

If I were the OP, I’d move on...but then I probably wouldn’t have been in corporate finance in the first place! :)