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Old 08-05-2008, 08:41 PM   #101
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What feild of Engineering? I'm actually a chemical engineer and looking to jump ship as right now I make plastics for airplane interiors and commercial aviation is starting to take a nose-dive.
I have seen lots of openings for ChE's with oil companies at staggering salaries...
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:50 PM   #102
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Pharmaceuticals are in a bit of a rut right now, but there may be opportunities.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:52 PM   #103
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I'm just having a hard time getting over this. What's so good about work again? Seriously, it is surprising to me that someone (especially on this message board!) feels that way.
Seriously, it's sad to me to see some people act as if work is just a necessary evil on the way to (early) retirement. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through the last 31 years with that outlook. Sure there were years that were much better than others, but when I didn't like the work or the environment I either did something about it or I recognized that people who were making my work life miserable would get their comeuppance sooner or later. And while it took time, the losers all exited in time. I've had a rewarding career that wouldn't have happened if I had quit along the way. YMMV of course. I am sure you know people who enjoy their work.
And I wasn't asking anyone to defend either "side." My question morphed from it's origins a few days ago...
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:56 PM   #104
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Seriously, it's sad to me to see some people act as if work is just a necessary evil on the way to (early) retirement. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through the last 31 years with that outlook. Sure there were years that were much better than others, but when I didn't like the work or the environment I either did something about it or I recognized that people who were making my work life miserable would get their comeuppance sooner or later. And while it took time, the losers all exited in time. I've had a rewarding career that wouldn't have happened if I had quit along the way. YMMV of course. I am sure you know people who enjoy their work.
I did something about it: I took an early retirement and even got to feel virtuous by saving someone else's job.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:57 PM   #105
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In most fields the incompetents are safely into management by the time they have lost it. Isn't there some safe jobs in medicine that people with reduced skills and no judgement can still perform ?
I am not a doctor, but here are some ways that I have seen older doctors stay in medicine during their declining years.

Older doctors can write medical articles or books, or edit medical journals, or teach/mentor younger doctors.

Some older doctors become "company doctors", which probably isn't too challenging, or otherwise limit their practice to the simple and routine.

From what my (seagoing) ex told me, doctors aboard ships are often in their sixties or seventies and enjoy shipboard life. However, a shipboard doctor can be faced with a challenging emergency once in a while, so I guess this wouldn't be ideal for a doc with reduced skills as much as for someone who wanted a less grueling schedule.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:09 PM   #106
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I love what I do. I even like the corporate politics and insanity; sometimes I feel like I'm an anthropologist on some sort of mega-corp safari. The only time it got bad was when I was one of the lead tech dudes on a $100mm train wreck of a project. The months of 110+ hour weeks got to me eventually.

My wife went on a similar burnout trajectory as a database administrator for a large retailer. She was on a great group in a good company but then the leadership in her vertical changed and suddenly it wasn't fun any more.

We're both in positions now where a 40 hour workweek is a given if not a bit on the high side (on average). I put in long hours now and then but only when we really need it. My team right now, in spite of the downsizings and shifts in focus is still one of the best teams I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

I don't bother working on the side unless the work is interesting and the pay is always decent. So, I can ramp up or down the amount of work I do pretty easily.

I've had rewarding careers. I'm well-known and respected in the local job market. I've been published. Still, I can't wait to get to a point where I feel comfortable, truly comfortable, taking a different direction in life. Maybe I'm just a cynical gen X'er, but I don't attach any value at all to what I've done to-date in my career.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:25 PM   #107
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Seriously, it's sad to me to see some people act as if work is just a necessary evil on the way to (early) retirement. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through the last 31 years with that outlook.
You mean work is not a necessary evil? - perhaps driven by the need to earn a living? I think there is a good reason why one gets paid to work when all is said and done.

Audrey
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:16 PM   #108
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Sooo - getting layed off at 49 after 23 years - which mildly pissed me off at the time - in the end made me happy.

Took a while for the part between my ears to morph from unemployed to retired.
Obviously, having saved some money before-hand helped that morphing...

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You mean work is not a necessary evil? - perhaps driven by the need to earn a living? I think there is a good reason why one gets paid to work when all is said and done.
Audrey
Very true, though I had at times enjoyed my work so much that I told myself that they were fools for paying me. I still do, but once in a BIG while now. More often, I told myself and also to console my friends that if it were fun, we would have paid to do it.

Are we asking too much?
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:34 PM   #109
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In most fields the incompetents are safely into management by the time they have lost it. Isn't there some safe jobs in medicine that people with reduced skills and no judgement can still perform ?
There are administrative positions for doctors also, e.g., chief medical officer for a medical device company, medical director, chief of stuff.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:41 PM   #110
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There are administrative positions for doctors also, e.g., chief medical officer for a medical device company, medical director, chief of stuff.
"Urgent Care" is where some retired doctors I know work. They are good at weeding out the simple things and when it seems like it might be serious they punt to the ER.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:51 AM   #111
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I love what I do. I even like the corporate politics and insanity; sometimes I feel like I'm an anthropologist on some sort of mega-corp safari....

I've had rewarding careers. I'm well-known and respected in the local job market. I've been published. Still, I can't wait to get to a point where I feel comfortable, truly comfortable, taking a different direction in life. Maybe I'm just a cynical gen X'er, but I don't attach any value at all to what I've done to-date in my career.
I second the "work anthropology"--one of the things that helps me keep my highly odd world in perspective. I think.

Not that I'm find fault (after all, *I* am a 30 year old contemplating FIRE at 40 ) but how many careers have you had at age 30? Can I ask how many years you've had in the full-time work force?

I just wonder because while I have had significant career success and feel very well-situated, I can't relate to the ability to look back over a long career you seem to have.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:12 AM   #112
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What feild of Engineering? I'm actually a chemical engineer and looking to jump ship as right now I make plastics for airplane interiors and commercial aviation is starting to take a nose-dive.
Ed and I are in the E&C biz for building refining, oil & gas and chemical facilities. There's a pretty high demand for people in this area right now. If you have a chem eng degree with some "project" background, there's probably ways to find an opportunity.

A word of caution is that this has historically been a very cyclic area. I'm not personally worried because if I lose my j*b anytime soon I'll just have more time to visit my FIL in his assisted living facility or to think of reasons to tell DW why I'm not.

Send a PM if you want specific suggestions.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:33 AM   #113
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Seriously, it's sad to me to see some people act as if work is just a necessary evil on the way to (early) retirement. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through the last 31 years with that outlook. Sure there were years that were much better than others, but when I didn't like the work or the environment I either did something about it or I recognized that people who were making my work life miserable would get their comeuppance sooner or later. And while it took time, the losers all exited in time. I've had a rewarding career that wouldn't have happened if I had quit along the way. YMMV of course. I am sure you know people who enjoy their work.
And I wasn't asking anyone to defend either "side." My question morphed from it's origins a few days ago...
Yup, I know a number of people who enjoy/enjoyed their work. I find it easy to envision a set of people who like their work; another set that gets satisfaction if not enjoyment out of it; another set that likes their field but is miserable in their current environment; and so on. Just seemed weird to me that you'd not be able to envision the "don't want any job" set of people.

And yes, it is sad to not enjoy working, but it happens. It causes myself and many others angst.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:08 AM   #114
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If it was fun, they wouldn't call it work...

I've enjoyed some aspects of my current field. But I've been living on someone else's schedule for 37 years. Enough, I say!
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:24 AM   #115
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Seriously, it's sad to me to see some people act as if work is just a necessary evil on the way to (early) retirement. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through the last 31 years with that outlook. ...
Hi Midpack

I've now been on the hamster-wheel for 40 years (I'm 54) and have reached the point where w*rk has passed the point of being relevant to me. By that I don't mean it's not necessary, I'm not quite at the point where I feel I'm confidently FI, but it's no longer so dominant in my life that I now aspire to 'another' way to live.....retired from the w*rkforce. I acknowledge that I also could not have gotten through those 40 years by having the 'necessary evil' outlook to w*rk that you have noted, and until fairly recently I didn't hold that attitude.

But now, at this point in my life and after 40 years; my BS bucket is getting smaller each day; I am really getting to resent the alarm going off each morning; the less 'inclined' I am to having the great majority of my days dictated to and commanded by other's priorities; the realisation that my remaining time on this Earth (however long or short that may be) is limited, is coming sharply into focus.

While you may not see this at the moment, call back in around 9 years time and see how you feel then

Fact is, the older some of us get, the more not w*rking for an existance gains in appeal. It's not about being beaten and defeated, it's about seeing another use for our precious and rapidly diminishing time.

Cheers - Mick
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #116
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Not that I'm find fault (after all, *I* am a 30 year old contemplating FIRE at 40 ) but how many careers have you had at age 30? Can I ask how many years you've had in the full-time work force?
Paper boy at 12 (kept the paper route until 19)

Bag boy at 15

Wal-mart employee at 16

First contract programming job at 16

Student job as a programmer for the college at 17

Co-op and internship at 19 and 20 (kept the student programming job too, worked remote)

First full-time job as a contractor at 21. Helped with internal tech groups, mentoring junior contractors (most of who were older than me), leading other initiatives, etc

Enterprise architect at a Fortune 100 company at 22... Made it there until I was 26. That was probably the biggest growth job for me. Having to tell someone twice your age and higher up on the totem pole that there was no way in hell he was going to waste $10mm on something just because he wanted a new tech toy was an interesting situation.

That entire job was toxic, but I probably didn't realize how bad it was at the time. When I think back to my most memorable moments there they include things like making another man cry and getting in a yelling match with someone else at 2 am because he was being less than cooperative with helping to launch the new project (those incidents were two years apart). In the middle of another 110+ hour week, when the only time I saw my wife was for half an hour over dinner (she worked at the same company so she'd go get chinese for us to eat together), I started having severe chest pains. I figured it was just stress and would go away... I finally went to the ER when my boss and one of my coworkers told me they were taking me if I didn't go on my own. An EKG confirmed that it was just stress and not a stroke, but that helped confirm that it was time to dial it back.

I'm an architect at another company now. I've been there for four years and I have a completely different outlook on life and especially on my career. My view really started to change along the way at the prior employer and it's just solidified here. Politics and infighting are something to be studied and enjoyed without partaking in now. I'm far enough down in the org that I don't need to participate. I've returned to my love of history and anthropology (I was going to be a history professor until I realized my odds of landing that were slim) and started to just get more mellow about everything going on.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:53 AM   #117
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I've had rewarding careers. I'm well-known and respected in the local job market. I've been published. Still, I can't wait to get to a point where I feel comfortable, truly comfortable, taking a different direction in life. Maybe I'm just a cynical gen X'er, but I don't attach any value at all to what I've done to-date in my career.
Ding Ding Ding, Marquette!
I don't have your credentials, but I've had some rewarding jobs. But just like you, I don't attach value to what I've done on the job (heck I can't even bring myself to call it a career). I have a few decent skills, show up on time, and am reliable. That brings me a paycheck. Maybe it is that cynical Gen X'er thing, but what I want to remember and be remembered for in my life are way cooler things than what I did to get paid.
Thanks for giving me some clarity!
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:08 PM   #118
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This is not meant to be provocative as you might think on first read, but I expect I might get blasted anyway.

Why not work as long as possible even after you reach FI to further enhance your security and standard of living in retirement, even if it's 200-300% of what you think FI is?
I enjoy my job and have been successful professionally. All of us are wired a little different and as much as I like work, I love not working. If you asked what I would rather do - implement a new initiative at work or taking a year off, I would choose the year off every time.

Before my current job of 4 years, I routinely took 1-4 year sabbaticals. Security is relative and some of us are risk takers. My lifestyle might bring some financial hardships in the future (41 now ), but I determined the risk pales in comparison to the pleasures of not working.

I'll be leaving the work force in the next few months, and will only have 500k-550k. Am I worried about being poor at 70? A little, but the worry is healthy and will keep me grounded. It took 4 short years to save the money. The meager nest egg should allow me to live the x-pat lifestyle that I want to live.

I wouldn't trade my life for anyone and anticipate it is only getting better when I'm not working.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:39 PM   #119
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There are administrative positions for doctors also, e.g., chief medical officer for a medical device company, medical director, chief of stuff.
Yeah, but they are hard work. And don't you mean "chief of STAFF"?
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:20 PM   #120
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Yeah, but they are hard work. And don't you mean "chief of STAFF"?
Yes, I mean chief of staff. These administrative jobs are tough since they require long hours at work, stress coping skills, and interpersonal communication skills, and political savvy.
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