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View Poll Results: Are/Were you happy to go to work each day?
Yes, I like to work and go happily more-or-less each day. 27 32.93%
No, I am staying at my work until I can retire only. 40 48.78%
Meh, I'm neutral. I go each day is all. 15 18.29%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:09 PM   #21
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I'm still w*rking, because I want to, not because I have to. These days, my schedule is pretty much my own; I really enjoy working with younger employees with stars in their eyes just starting their careers. I've helped several of them go from making 30-40K to 100K+ in a couple of years; being able to help develop them professionally and put them in a position to secure their financial futures is very gratifying. My income is declining each year as I pull back from the front lines, but no regrets.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:15 PM   #22
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I enjoyed my work for most of my career . There were very tough times especially when I was on call you would spend the night working only to return the next morning and work again but all in all I think it was a perfect match for me .
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
These days, my schedule is pretty much my own; I really enjoy working with younger employees with stars in their eyes just starting their careers. I've helped several of them go from making 30-40K to 100K+ in a couple of years; being able to help develop them professionally and put them in a position to secure their financial futures is very gratifying.
Mind if I ask what general field those "younger employees" are in to go from <$40K to >$100K in a couple years? Is that normal or 'best case'.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:20 PM   #24
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I almost always enjoy my work, but life is short and there is a tremendous amount of other stuff I need to get done, so I really would like to retire.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:37 PM   #25
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Mind if I ask what general field those "younger employees" are in to go from <$40K to >$100K in a couple years? Is that normal or 'best case'.
Industrial Sales. Several of my employees make ~2X their base salary in commissions in a good year. In an off year, ~1.25X base. In 2010 they boiled their shoes to make soup....
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:38 PM   #26
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I did not have to drag myself to work, but some days were harder than others, especially during the last couple of years when I had my retirement date fixed.
Being retired is much more enjoyable.
Now working about three days a month that seldom interferes with other activities.
Just got a note from a friend today inviting me up for a week at his deer camp.
Ready to go!! Last year I would not have been able to go, being limited to 4 weeks vacation a year and planning future days off way in advance and in detail.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:49 PM   #27
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When I started w*rking over some 25 years ago, I loved my j*b. What? People get paid for this? I was one of the first to arrive and the last to leave. But over the years, I couldn't wait to leave. I've always loved the task of w*rking. But hated the CYA, politics of it. When I'd go to a conference call and inside say "why the heck I'm I on this call?" time and time again. The last catalyst for me was when there was a departmental conference call...and in ten minutes time myself (and several others) got the news...suprise, surprise, we got outsourced. At that point, I knew it was time to hang up my keyboard depending if I was ready to FIRE. Walking out the door my last time was and still is one the happiest days of my life.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:40 PM   #28
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When I first started at MegaMotors, I would have worked for free - it was that much fun. By the time I left I felt like a guy with the runs sprinting for the outhouse.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:47 PM   #29
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Like travelover, when I started working, I would have done it for free if I could have at least made just enough to pay rent and food (which when I began working was just about all my pay covered.) For probably the first 15-20 years of my career, it was thrilling and I felt part of something important (or at the very least, a lot of fun.) For the last few years, it wasn't exciting but I still liked it. If my company hadn't laid me off and gone out of business I'd still be working.

If I do go back to work, it will be to support myself for a bit longer while my investments grow. I don't feel the need to achieve in the workplace anymore, but I do have a few things I'd like to achieve outside the workplace
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:38 AM   #30
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Tough for me to answer the poll because my answer would be different depending on which year I answered the question.

In my first 11 years of working (1985-1996), I worked full-time and pretty happy about it. But starting in late 1996, things began to go downhill for me as it became a struggle to go through the daily grind. It was making me physically sick at times.

In 2001, I was able to switch to working part-time and mostly from home. This enabled me to rid myself of most of the daily grind by buying out of it with about 40% of my pay.

In 2003, I lost the telecommuting part of the part-time deal so I had to make the trip to the office 3 days a week to fulfill my hours. This depressed me a lot and by 2007 the feeling of burnout (and other physical ills) I had while working full-time in the late 1990s had returned.

I further reduced my weekly work hours to 2 days a week with one hour less per day which helped ease the burnout but that, too, was temporary. I was just biding my time (and becoming depressed again) until I could quit the job and become FIREd. Two years ago, at the end of 2008, the pieces finally fell into place and I switched my work schedule to the only one I could really handle well - ZERO hours per week!
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:43 AM   #31
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I still enjoy my job. I've been fortunate to be part of a small work group in a location that is fairly remote. We all work together to keep things running smoothly and consequently receive minimal interference guidance from management. I get paid a good salary to operate some really expensive equipment (electric utility).

That being said, I find myself thinking more and more about ER and am looking forward to unlocking these golden handcuffs and slipping away with DW to a life of travel, enjoying our grand kids and volunteering for causes important to us.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:40 AM   #32
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More often than not it's been great. Sometimes it's been stressful. Occasionally it's been awful. For the last few years it's been mostly boring. Both my previous and my current firms have (on balance) been great places to work, but the challange went out of the job a long time ago and I'm looking forward to the very differnt challenges that early retirement will bring.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:39 AM   #33
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I liked my job. I worked for NASA and was thrilled to be a part of something I felt was important. However, I hated getting up at 5:30 am every weekday. Also, as my career progressed and I was promoted to a position of financial manager of the Hubble Space Telescope project, the stress became difficult to deal with. After four years in that job, trying to maintain the viability of one of the most important scientific instruments every built, despite a 40% budget reduction, I had enough.

Fortunately, I was able to get assigned to the group designing and implementing a common accounting system for the 10 NASA centers. In that position I was not a manager, just one of the team members and I thoroughly enjoyed that job until I hit age 55 and could retire with a very nice pension. I then continued to work on that project as a half-time contractor for two years until DW could retire from her teaching job.

At that point I fully retired - aaah! That was 6 years ago and I haven't missed it for a minute.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:22 AM   #34
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My answer to this question changed as I grew older, so I didn't vote.

In my teens, I thought work was SO grown-up and fabulous. I was thrilled to go to work and I needed the money.

In my 20's, I thought I could change the world. I was thrilled to go to work and I needed the money.

In my 30's, I wanted to improve the future for my family and I wondered what income and career potential I might have and wanted to find out. I was thrilled to go to work and I needed the money.

In my 40's, I thought I could make a big difference in my field of study if I just worked hard enough, and I was fascinated by what I was doing. I was thrilled to go to work and I needed the money.

In my 50's, I finally had the perfect job and felt that at last, I was making a small but positive difference in my field of study. I was suddenly divorced at 50 so I needed to improve my own future and figure out how to retire when the time came. So I did that by changing my career path from research to the perfect job, a job with a great retirement potential in which I managed and directed research and could still keep in touch with it. Soon there was no room to rise further at my workplace without ditching everything and going into management (which held no appeal for me), and this ceiling on my advancement potential was frustrating at times. In my 50's I developed my own retirement plan and was reaching all the goals laid out by that plan. I still enjoyed the "work" part of my job, but the higher I got in the food chain, the worse the office politics were and I have no interest in that foolishness. I began to realize that even the perfect job was just a job. By my late 50's I was becoming more and more tired of the daily grind, but I needed the money.

In my 60's, I was even more tired of going in and finishing a work day was becoming exhausting to me. Why work and put up with the baloney and knock myself out every day if I could afford to retire? I did want to transfer whatever institutional knowledge I had acquired over the years to a younger, up-and-coming scientist, so I did so. Then, knowing that everything was complete and tied up in a neat package, so to speak, I retired on the day after I was first qualified to retire.

That is what it was like to be ready to retire, at least in my life. I would not have wanted to retire in my 20's or 30's, for example, because I would always have wondered what I might have accomplished in the world had I continued to work.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:21 AM   #35
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Industrial Sales. Several of my employees make ~2X their base salary in commissions in a good year. In an off year, ~1.25X base. In 2010 they boiled their shoes to make soup....

Yup, THAT is where the big bucks are in sales in general. Course, you have to have an engineering degree or chemistry degree or some other similar background to even get into industrial sales.

I like your style, tho, and admire that you wanted to help others along. I did the same. It's fun. Wish there were more like you around.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:41 AM   #36
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My answer to this question changed as I grew older, so I didn't vote.
Excellent post!
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #37
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+1 on W2R's post.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:26 PM   #38
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+1 on W2R's post too. Great account of the evolution of a young idealistic scientist!
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:53 PM   #39
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Mostly enjoyed going to work for the first 25 years, but it's been gradually less personally rewarding over the past 9 years (despite peak earnings). Even though I hoped it wouldn't, reaching FI has changed my outlook considerably...
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:06 AM   #40
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I liked my job more or less. In the beginning - more, near the end - less.
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