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Old 01-28-2008, 10:49 AM   #21
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xtradoe:

If it is just the reports thing....definitely find a VA....you can look on craigslist or post your own request under admin/office.
See if you can also have a mini-sabbatical.....a month or two to re-charge and think about what you want to do.
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Payin-the-Toll View Post
To Xtradoe: I was 51. I'm 58 now, we're not living off the fat of the land, but we're making it and loving it. Priorities have changed.
Payin-the-Toll, Glad to hear that you are making it work and enjoying it, good for you! trust me I certainly think about doing what you did, but I hear a little voice on my shoulder saying....no co. insurance,no Co. 401K match, no co. car, will you find another Decent job? etc,etc!

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xtradoe:
If it is just the reports thing....definitely find a VA....you can look on craigslist or post your own request under admin/office.
See if you can also have a mini-sabbatical.....a month or two to re-charge and think about what you want to do.
citrine, mini sabbactical (basically a short leave of absense) would be out, a couple others have tried that with no luck. I am sure I could take some vacation time, but I did just take two weeks vacation the end of December, that might throw up a red flag if I took another few weeks off?
thanx.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:03 PM   #23
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I took a page from What Color is Your Parachute? and got my employer to create the job I wanted from scratch. It took about three years but the change was sweet. For the first time in a long time I looked forward to going to work, and that lasted for about eight years.

Then the money for keeping it going got hard to get, I have little patience with government bureaucracy, and the traffic where we lived made going anywhere an ordeal. So we pulled the plug.

As others have suggested, for you the answer might be to delegate the part that you dislike the most. This is also one of the options discussed in What Color.... Even if you had to pay for it yourself, keeping the job you otherwise seem to like might make it worthwhile if the numbers work.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:10 PM   #24
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If the trigger for the burnout is the reports, then I like the VA idea (and wished I'd thought of it). If the issue is the company changes in attitude that make them want all these reports and treat longtime sales reps as interchangeable parts, then there may be less chance to improve your situation. In any case, VA may just buy some time to see if the new changes in workplace stick or get replaced by something more palatable.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:16 PM   #25
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Just put the words virtual assistant into Google for lots of sources.

I once posted a proposal for work at International Virtual Assistants Association and got several responses. I then narrowed it down to the final candidate and had her do some samples of work.

For info on hiring a virtual assistant for less money (out of say, India) read the outsourcing chapter in the Timothy Ferriss book titled "The 4-Hour Work Week".

I know an author/freelancer in Maryland who has had a virtual assistant in Florida for years.

Not only will you probably like having the help on the reports, just making this move may help you feel more empowered and in control. It will also rescue some brainwaves needed to reflect on your situation.

FWIW

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Old 01-28-2008, 10:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by spncity View Post
Just put the words virtual assistant into Google for lots of sources.

I once posted a proposal for work at International Virtual Assistants Association and got several responses. I then narrowed it down to the final candidate and had her do some samples of work.

For info on hiring a virtual assistant for less money (out of say, India) read the outsourcing chapter in the Timothy Ferriss book titled "The 4-Hour Work Week".

I know an author/freelancer in Maryland who has had a virtual assistant in Florida for years.

Not only will you probably like having the help on the reports, just making this move may help you feel more empowered and in control. It will also rescue some brainwaves needed to reflect on your situation.

FWIW

spncity
spincity, Thanx for the info and website, I will certainly check this out regardless what I do, this could be helpfull in about any situation or job/business.

The plot thickens with this work situation though, more BS stuff to do as of tonite, geez!
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:50 PM   #27
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Me too...

I reached job burnout in Manufacturing a few years ago and it's really gotten awful lately. It's a good company/job/pay/bennies and I am lucky to have the job - but I've been doing it long enough that there is no challenge left and it's mind-numbingly boring. I've been approached about moving up to VP but I don't want any part of that --- most of them have lots of money and perks (and travel) but they don't have lives from what I can tell, no thanks. So I am networking with my Sales contacts and thinking seriously about finishing my career there to hold on to pay (or close enough), bennies and vacation in an industry that I already know well. Are there other career paths at your current company that might revive you? However, I am FI and only intend to work 5-8 more years, not your 20.

FWIW, nothing wrong with asking others what they think. But where I used to ask such questions thinking someone else would have the holy grail answer, I've concluded no one can answer for you, only you can know when it's right for you - all things considered. If you're burned out and don't make a change, it means you weren't satisfied it was time. When it is, you will jump without someone having to push you. Note the quote below, something I think of often...good luck.
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I reached job burnout in Manufacturing a few years ago and it's really gotten awful lately. It's a good company/job/pay/bennies and I am lucky to have the job - but I've been doing it long enough that there is no challenge left and it's mind-numbingly boring. I've been approached about moving up to VP but I don't want any part of that --- most of them have lots of money and perks (and travel) but they don't have lives from what I can tell, no thanks. So I am networking with my Sales contacts and thinking seriously about finishing my career there to hold on to pay (or close enough), bennies and vacation in an industry that I already know well. Are there other career paths at your current company that might revive you? However, I am FI and only intend to work 5-8 more years, not your 20.

FWIW, nothing wrong with asking others what they think. But where I used to ask such questions thinking someone else would have the holy grail answer, I've concluded no one can answer for you, only you can know when it's right for you - all things considered. If you're burned out and don't make a change, it means you weren't satisfied it was time. When it is, you will jump without someone having to push you. Note the quote below, something I think of often...good luck.
midpack, yes it is a tough decision and only I can really make it, I do seem numb with the job and that should be telling me something!

I often think (specially lately) I am flat out scared to pull the trigger.... there I said it! .... and yes I seen your sig ... you only live once.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:20 AM   #29
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Xtradoe,

Your issues are not unique. Many of us worked in industries that mandated extensive reporting at all levels of the organization. Hundreds of them a year and many of them to governmental agencies. So I feel your pain.

I think you have to understand why you are dreading your job beyond the reports. I sense you fear where you company is headed and that adds to your anxiety. Been there done that, have the scars to prove it.

Burnout is a dangerous thing for some folks. It can make you do things you might not do otherwise. It makes your life look dull and grey but it is an illusion. I have worked two very high stress jobs at the some time and I was already "crispy" with burnout long before that happened. I was already FI but I chose to stick it out for personal reasons. Be careful in your decisions. Make sure you do things for the right reason.

If you employeer is really headed for the trash heap than get out now. If not, you have some time to find what you really want to do; stay or go. If you stay you need to find a way to redirect your negative feelings into creating a fire in your belly. You need to want to do some aspect of your job that brings you some kind of personal gratification. Without it you will be very unhappy and your home life will reflect it. If you can't change the job then change how you do it. Get the VP, find ways to expand your job into areas you enjoy. That will help you endure the stuff you don't like i.e., reports.

Not having a degree would have been the kiss of death in my former industry. Not sure what impact is has in yours but if it prevents you from leaving then maybe it is time to get that degree. I had several folks working for me that were working full time and taking classes towards their degree. It is done all the time and the long term benefits to you could be very great.

There is no magic wand to make you like all part of your job. Sometimes we just have to find ways to prevent burnout. Nobody is making you burnout but yourself. Take action now or the next 20 years are going to seem like tortue.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:27 AM   #30
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Xtradoe, in my experience, sales orgs increase the reporting and weekly (daily) reviews when sales are not what they should be (by whoever, and whatever criteria they are using, usually quota or revenue). The guys on top start to inspect everything and that 'rolls down hill'. In todays economy (although I am a little bit dated, having been out of it for 7 months now), this is not unusual.

I was fortunate in that I had at least 5 distinct 'careers' at megacorp. Each one was different enough and challenging enough so that I never got bored or burnt out. I did get stressed a lot though. I had 5 weeks of vacation for the last 10 years and actually took it all in the final 5 years (those of you w*rkaholics at megacorps can surely relate to this).

I found that taking a 3 or 4 week vacation helped me chill down enough to get back into the fray. You may want to see if you can take a long vacation and just chill. See if that helps put your head back in the game. If not, see the next two ideas. Hopefully this one does it.

An alternative is to see if you can get into another part of the business. This way you can use your knowledge of the company and it's products, ...etc. to help in other areas. The new job learning curve should help you get over burnout.

Finally, if you want to stay in sales, you can always leverage your success so far and get a new job at a new company ... the change could be what you need. However, be aware, that the same reporting and sales reviews will probably be in the new place too.

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:43 AM   #31
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It appears to me that I am suffering from job burnout, some of it is because the last couple yrs. they have required us to do about seven different reports every quarter that range from a points system report on what we sold to what they call a individual learning plan, now I am not saying these are not good, but I just plain dread alot of reports, we are sales reps, not reporting junkies! we also have weekly call reports due every week and expense reports (I totally understand the expense report and have no problem with that one)
My hobbies are cars, trucks, anything with a motor or anything that goes with the car and motorcycle culture, etc.
The way things are going you arent going to make 20 more years.My cousin was in a similar situation as you,working for a big Company (Air Canada)in some managerial capacity and after 20yrs he hated it and realized he would be burned out if he continued for another 20yrs,like you he was into bikes and trucks so at 40yrs old he resigned from the company and bought a Harley and enrolled in a truck driving course,its now 10yrs later and he's been driving big trucks all over North America for quite some time and he is very happy with his life.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #32
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if you still like sales in general, consider transfering your sales expertise to another industry/company.

I would also suggest getting a degree. The local community college, while maybe not quite as flexible as online programs, is a good, relatively inexpensive way to start. They may also be able to give you credit for certain life experiences - moving the whole process along.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:53 AM   #33
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A lifetime of stress and depression in this job are not going to be conducive to future good health,you need to start working on a plan-b.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:32 PM   #34
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A lifetime of stress and depression in this job are not going to be conducive to future good health,you need to start working on a plan-b.
Great point! I think I hear sabbactical calling louder & louder! shhhh do you hear it??
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Thanks all!
Old 02-01-2008, 07:36 PM   #35
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Thanks all!

Just wanted to say thanks for the good feedback!
Not sure what the final decision will be, but I will keep you posted.
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mini-sabbatical
Old 02-01-2008, 10:02 PM   #36
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mini-sabbatical

Sorry for the late response -- just saw this post. I definitely second the "mini-sabbatical" idea. I was close to being burned out last year, so I took three weeks off in Dec/January to go to Central America and study Spanish. (between that and Christmas, I basically was off for 4 weeks)

I can't tell you how much it changed my attitude. Things that used to bother me now seem so trivial that I don't even care. The trip showed me so much about the rest of the world that I now feel much more satisfied with my life. Perhaps it's passive, but I've recognized that 20% of my job is going to be terrible no matter what, so when things are bad, I write it off as those 20% and put it behind me.

I've also come to realize that if I can take a trip like this to "recharge" and try on a different perspective every winter, I can last many years longer in my current job than I previously thought. It turned a crisis situation into a (hopefully) sustainable one. The only thing I would change is to make it longer -- I think 4-8 weeks would be great. If you can pull it off, even if it is leave without pay, it is worth it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:57 PM   #37
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Sorry for the late response -- just saw this post. I definitely second the "mini-sabbatical" idea. I was close to being burned out last year, so I took three weeks off in Dec/January to go to Central America and study Spanish. (between that and Christmas, I basically was off for 4 weeks)

I can't tell you how much it changed my attitude. Things that used to bother me now seem so trivial that I don't even care. The trip showed me so much about the rest of the world that I now feel much more satisfied with my life. Perhaps it's passive, but I've recognized that 20% of my job is going to be terrible no matter what, so when things are bad, I write it off as those 20% and put it behind me.

I've also come to realize that if I can take a trip like this to "recharge" and try on a different perspective every winter, I can last many years longer in my current job than I previously thought. It turned a crisis situation into a (hopefully) sustainable one. The only thing I would change is to make it longer -- I think 4-8 weeks would be great. If you can pull it off, even if it is leave without pay, it is worth it.
Pretty sure as I stated earlier I doubt I can take a sabbactical without leaving, now I could use my vacation up possibly but that would throw up red flags ..... but if I end up leaving what would it matter?

I think I am beyond a short leave, I think I am tired and really tired of the internal politics and B.S that seems never ending.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:23 AM   #38
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xtradoe, if you're an experienced sales guy, you don't need a college degree, just a different place to practice your craft. Sales is the most results oriented job you could have, and any company that relies on outside sales would be fortunate to have you. Also, sales is sales (to paraphrase a chicken parts commercial). If you're good, you can do it at A as easily as B.

Some companies end up overmanaging their sales force with endless reports and checkups. They are not needed. If you're the best sales guy they have, and your numbers are consistently over the top and very profitable, they shouldn't care if you spend half your day at Starbucks.

The downside of this is that you must perform. A company that doesn't micromanage the sales force trims the deadwood rentlessley. If you can survive and thrive in that environment, you can be very, very financially successful.

I went from a farmer teetering on the brink of bankruptcy at 40 to FIRE at 64 next year. ( How's THAT for a carreer change?) It was hard work, but I made myself the best sales rep in the company, and even though I do have to do a few reports, they pretty much leave me alone. A year and a half of college, but no degree.

They subscribe to the theory that you can't overpay a sales rep, as the more you pay him, the more he's making the company.

So, again, in my opinion you don't need a degree, just a different employer......
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:38 AM   #39
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So, again, in my opinion you don't need a degree, just a different employer......
Puzzley, I think you hit the nail dead center, specifically the last 2 words.
Nice to hear you made a successful transition back in your 40's, what type of business/sales are you in and what geographic area? .... Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:28 AM   #40
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xtradoe:

I totally understand where you are coming from. I myself am tired of the megacorp bs and am the low person on the totem pole....I cannot imagine being in mangement here!
I would say taht you start nurturing your personal life and start spending some time on your hobbies and such....outsource the mundane assignments to a virtual assistant---those two things will give you a bounce in your step.
Try this for 3 months and see if you feel better....if not, then you know that you need to find greener pastures.

I am doing this myself right now......
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