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Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 05:37 AM   #1
 
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Friends who love their work

I have 3 good friends (my age or older) who really seem to love their work.

The first I have known all my life (also age 60). He started out in manufacturing and switched to farming many years ago.
He and his spouse also buy and sell on ebay which they
love and supposedly make a lot of money doing.

The second is about my age and worked many years as an attorney.
He quit practicing law about 15 years ago and now runs 3 small companies from his former law offices.

The 3rd is about 67, spent many years in manufacturing
and then went into real estate sales after he lost his job about 1990.

What these guys have in common is they all made a major career change in middle age, really love their work, and (as far as I can tell) have absolutely no
plans to retire. Or, if they do they have not shared them with me and I have asked. I am a bit envious. Not that I want to work again, but because they
found work they love to do.
I enjoyed a lot of my working life, but I never reached
their level of satisfaction. I am happy for them.

JG
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 07:05 AM   #2
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

Quote:
I have 3 good friends (my age or older) who really seem to love their work....

What these guys have in common is they all made a major career change in middle age, really love their work, and (as far as I can tell) have absolutely no
plans to retire.
JG
Do they all work for themselves now? That could be another common theme.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 07:17 AM   #3
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

Hello parnass! Yes, that is another common thread.
They all work for themselves. Good point.

JG
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 07:29 AM   #4
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

Hey! parnass sparked another thought. I have 3 other good friends that I did not mention before (same age group).
I did not mention them as they do not seem quite as
enthused about their work as the group in my opening post. Not
unhappy with their work, just don't seem quite as exited
about it. Anyway, to my knowledge none of them have any real retirement plans either, and they all work for themselves.
Maybe we are onto something here.

JG
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 10:14 AM   #5
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Re: Friends who love their work

My sister's brother-in-law really likes his work. He is a driver for UPS. He says he loves delivering packages. It is a very low stress job. He only sees his boss once in while. The only stress is having to deliver the packages allocated to you in one day even if it takes more than 8 hours. However, he gets overtime if that is the case.

My borther-in-law loves his job as a IT manager for the county governemt because of flexible hours and "no deadline" schedule. He has plenty of time to read newspaper or workout (or whatever other than work) during working hours.

My nephew loves his work as a civil enginner for a county givernment in Southern Cal. He also have flexible hours and schedule.

The common thread: low-stress and attractive pension.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 10:53 AM   #6
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

I can't think of anyone who really loves their work, but plenty who tolerate their jobs.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Friends who love their work

Most of the people I worked with liked the actual work just fine, but most hated the job. Much of the dissatisfaction could be traced to an incompetent, dim-bulb management team and their fumbling, bumbling interference with the work. The people who were recognized as being the very best by their peers tended to be the ones who had the lowest tolerance for all the nonsense on the job. This created an opportunity for the mediocre staff to "shine" by telling the bosses what they wanted to hear. These mediocre suck-ups were promoted, and the downward spiral accelerated. It all took about 8 years. Productivity plummeted, not because the employees "burned out" or reduced their efforts, but because of all the harebrained schemes and systems managers foisted on them in an effort to "improve". This is a long way of saying that workplace politics can destroy an otherwise decent job, and that it's almost never the work itself, it's the working conditions that usually poison the well.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 02:25 PM   #8
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

Hello John Blake! The people I described to start this
thread really do "love" their jobs. Also, I can relate as
I have been there but was unable to sustain it (for a bunch of reasons). Anyway, I know it can be done. Finding something you love and making money doing it is pretty tough to beat. In my case, and many others, the main requirement is working for yourself
and calling the shots. At its best it is pretty good.

JG
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Friends who love their work

I think the key point here is "love their work". If anyone of us loved our work would we want to retire early? Most likely no. If you go by the addage that you should retire early when work gets in the way of the things you want to/like to/love to do then you should retire. Well if you love the work you do then no need to retire.

One of the keys to loving what you do is to match what you do with your abilities. If you have an ability to do something you will be successful doing it. If you are successful then you will be happy.

One of the best lines I read about working was in the book "What Color Is Your Parachutte?" It was: "Who would take career advise from an 18 year old. But, that is what the vast majority of people do. When they are 18 they decide what university they will go to, what they will study and what field they will go into."

So we may say that the die was cast a long time ago as to why we want to retire early. We chose a field that did not match our abilities and we were not happy. The reality of the world is that not everyone can match their abilities with all the other aspects of work (money, prestiege, advancement, etc). So the salve may be to find a match to your abilities outside of the workplace. Or in other words find your passion outside of the workplace.

Below is a link to the Johnson O'connor Institue - I would recomed it to those of you that have children

http://members.aol.com/jocrf19/
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
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Re: Friends who love their work

Quote:
Most of the people I worked with liked the actual work just fine, but most hated the job. Much of the dissatisfaction could be traced to an incompetent, dim-bulb management team and their fumbling, bumbling interference with the work.
Bob is correct. The work is fine and interesting, but people and politics make the job unbearable.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-01-2005, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: Friends who love their work

I really loved my work -- and my job -- for several years. I couldn't wait to get into the office in the morning and worked most evenings till I had to get sleep. But eventually I developed broader interests and experienced really awful management.

But I still like certain parts of RF device engineering enough that I've gone back to work almost 1/4-time. I don't need the paycheck, but I enjoy helping some colleagues with a start-up company. I can and have made a significant contribution toward their success and they are very appreciative. I'll quit doing this the day it stops being fun, but so far it is fun for me.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-02-2005, 03:15 AM   #12
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

Glad I started this thread. "People and politics"
can indeed make the job "unbearable". Also, I have
read 'What Color is Your Parachute?" Several times.
A good book. I drifted into my primary occupation
(accounting) at age
18, right out of high school. It was all by chance. I was
good at it and rose quickly, but there was never any
decision based on what I was best suited for. I was
very successful by most standards. I kept making more
money and getting more prestigious jobs, so I stayed
with it. Years later (before the ER bug bit) I thought of
jumping ship into other work that I had dabbled in for years, but decided to just quit instead. Back to people and
politics. I recall a great sense of relief when I no longer
had any employees, and I liked my employees
A common trait shared by all 6 of my friends mentioned
in my previous posts on this thread.................... They all own their
own business and they all have very few (or zero)
employees. Thus, not only do they run the show, but a
whole collection of troubles are eliminated. Taking this a step further, my other close friends who are retired
either worked for someone else, or if they owned the
business they had employees. However, before we
make the logical leap to a conclusion, in some ways
it is more
difficult to quit when you own a one-man operation.
What do you do with it? Try to sell it? Difficult.
Shut it down? Wasteful unless you are consistently
losing money. Having spent many years both employed
and self-employed, I think the main factor is they found
what they liked and made a living doing it. Thus, the
siren's song of possible ER bliss falls on deaf ears.

JG
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-02-2005, 05:39 AM   #13
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Re: Friends who love their work

Quote:
Most of the people I worked with liked the actual work just fine, but most hated the job. Much of the dissatisfaction could be traced to an incompetent, dim-bulb management team and their fumbling, bumbling interference with the work. The people who were recognized as being the very best by their peers tended to be the ones who had the lowest tolerance for all the nonsense on the job. This created an opportunity for the mediocre staff to "shine" by telling the bosses what they wanted to hear. These mediocre suck-ups were promoted, and the downward spiral accelerated. It all took about 8 years. Productivity plummeted, not because the employees "burned out" or reduced their efforts, but because of all the harebrained schemes and systems managers foisted on them in an effort to "improve". This is a long way of saying that workplace politics can destroy an otherwise decent job, and that it's almost never the work itself, it's the working conditions that usually poison the well.
I was going to quote only the salient points but....they're all salient! My God, you must have worked where I do! I love helping those little babies come into the world, it's all the other BS that absolutely drives me crazy. Sometimes it seems as if we never left kindergarten.

Judy
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-02-2005, 10:49 AM   #14
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Re: Friends who love their work

Most of the people I worked with liked the actual work just fine, but most hated the job.

I second that emotion.
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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-02-2005, 12:46 PM   #15
 
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Re: Friends who love their work

Quote:
Hello John Blake! The people I described to start this
thread really do "love" their jobs. Also, I can relate as
I have been there but was unable to sustain it (for a bunch of reasons). Anyway, I know it can be done. Finding something you love and making money doing it is pretty tough to beat. In my case, and many others, the main requirement is working for yourself
and calling the shots. At its best it is pretty good.
JG
I don't dispute that these people really live their jobs. I just don't have friends or family that do.

I enjoyed my work, found it challenging and rewarding. If I earned the same income at 1/3 the hours I might have even loved it!!

The problem I had with hi-tech work is that it's fun, challenging, and rewarding. But putting in 40-50 hours a week gets old fast and leaves little room for hobbies and activities that are even more fun. I think this happens with many jobs and careers. People like the work, but not enough to have it dominate their lives.

--JB

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Re: Friends who love their work
Old 01-04-2005, 07:31 AM   #16
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Re: Friends who love their work

Quote:
I was going to quote only the salient points but....they're all salient! *My God, you must have worked where I do! *I love helping those little babies come into the world, it's all the other BS that absolutely drives me crazy. *Sometimes it seems as if we never left kindergarten.

Judy
Heheh! The kindergarten comment is very apt. My job would be a lot more interesting and fulfilling if management didn't treat us like a special needs kindergarten class. I and my colleagues have master's degrees, actuarial designations, CPAs, CFAs, etc., yet somehow we are deemed to require remedial, mandatory trainings, step by step instructions on how do do basic stuff, etc.
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