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Old 05-29-2010, 03:06 PM   #21
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I had a high school friend whose Dad was a radiologist. I went over to their house a lot, but the father never remembered who I as. My friend told me his Dad would know me if he could see my chest x-ray.

This really stuck in my mind. Talk about job defining you.

Ha
Could have been worse. Imagine if he was an OB/GYN.

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Old 05-29-2010, 06:17 PM   #22
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I have this theory that, no matter what your "profession" or job title, your real job is dealing with difficult people. I've had enough of it.
Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones but my "profession" was professor at a university with very bright, well-disciplined, achievement-oriented students. and with wonderful, congenial faculty and staff colleagues. Yes, I had to deal with difficult students--mainly those who thought they deserved a higher grade in my chemistry classes, but that was limited to one or two students at the end of each semester. I felt my real job was indeed teaching and research. I loved it.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:01 PM   #23
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Could have been worse. Imagine if he was an OB/GYN.



.....now we know there's another person besides the hairdresser that knows for sure....
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:25 PM   #24
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For all you folks who hated the way you chose to support yourselves, why did you stick with it voluntarily when you could have done something else to provide life's necessities? Why did you voluntarily keep doing something that you now regret having spent your lives doing? Seems so sad.........
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:48 PM   #25
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For all you folks who hated the way you chose to support yourselves, why did you stick with it voluntarily when you could have done something else to provide life's necessities? Why did you voluntarily keep doing something that you now regret having spent your lives doing? Seems so sad.........
In my case, it was sort of like what REWahoo said. I have never found anything I'm passionate about (other than ER), and I had a good paying j*b with decent benefits. Plus I had a wife and daughter that I was responsible for. I didn't hate my j*b, but I certainly hated some aspects of it, sometimes for years at a time. If I had had a dream to follow (w*rk-wise) I probably would have tried it. But to interrupt that with a career change to something else with no guarantee of it being better didn't seem like a good option. So I stuck it out, through good times and bad, and made i through to the relative paradise of FIRE. It was worth it, as long as I don't die in the next couple of years. My only real regret not kicking one particular ex-boss' @ss. And since he got fired for misappropriation of funds a few years later, it all worked out for the best.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:06 PM   #26
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For all you folks who hated the way you chose to support yourselves, why did you stick with it voluntarily when you could have done something else to provide life's necessities? Why did you voluntarily keep doing something that you now regret having spent your lives doing? Seems so sad.........
*Ahem*:
Military retention considerations: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" (very long post)
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:30 PM   #27
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But harley and Nords, it doesn't seem like either of you "hated" your jobs. At least not from the dozens (hundreds?) of your posts I've read over the years.

In my own case, I can't say that everyday I spent earning a living was a good time, but I really have few regrets over how I spent my working years. Maybe it's just a mindset, or maybe I'm just too dumb to realize when I should be unhappy, but I just don't see the point of continuing to spend your time in unhappy ways...... with the exception of a situation where you're responsible for others and doing whatever it takes to fulfill that responsibility.

Didn't mean to hijack the thread......
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:49 PM   #28
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...but I just don't see the point of continuing to spend your time in unhappy ways......
One obvious reason pops up when thinking of military and other government jobs- that pension amd healthcare really appeals to a certain kind of person who is often willing to grin and bear it for the additional 8 or 10 or more years needed to get the gold. And realistically, it is quite valuable.

Ha
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:58 PM   #29
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I enjoy my profession, not necessarily my jobs (I have been a contractor for maybe 12 years now). So far I have remained technical and have dodged being forced into management. Not to my taste. Besides, if I wanted to be a manager, I would have my own company. (Maybe one day, but not today.) From what I have seen of management, I could eat most of them alive. Most of them are folks that have been promoted beyond their ability. Many of them are not smart enough or experienced enough to realize that. Sad, but not my problem.

On a side note, it has been astounding to see the waste of capital I have seen due to stupid management at all levels. (Why I will not buy Shell stock.)
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #30
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Exactly right. As a manager, I quickly found out that technical competence was easy to find, but the real jewels were people that got things done, which usually meant getting around difficult people.
And the act of getting around those people can be very detrimental to your career in some places. I work in a place that wants top notch performance, but is not results oriented. They value process and when you abandon that process to enhance performance you get labeled. The stress that generates is significant.

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For all you folks who hated the way you chose to support yourselves, why did you stick with it voluntarily when you could have done something else to provide life's necessities? Why did you voluntarily keep doing something that you now regret having spent your lives doing? Seems so sad.........
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I enjoy my profession, not necessarily my jobs
I made a choice to stay where I was 20 years ago and I liked my job most of the time. However, things change. My job got more political, my boss that I liked was promoted and replaced with another guy that was a real jerk. Then I was absorbed into another division, all my projects taken away and my new boss was a the king of all micro-managers. Leaving would have been retirement suicide and changing jobs was difficult due to the narrow job classifications and lack of consideration of similar experience. In other words, an engineer couldn't become an architect without starting all over even if they had similar jobs. I chose to be there, and it's almost over. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't, but what did I know when I was 23?
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:58 AM   #31
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I have many friends whose self image and personal identity seem to be tied up with their profession...

So, are we on this forum a different breed? Are we defined by what we do when we are not w*rking? Or were we just not into your w*rk that much? What is our motivation for wanting (or having wanted) to ER?
My motivation for wanting to ER was to be free to do whatever work most interested me, whether it paid money or not, or to do absolutely nothing -- complete freedom to follow my interests wherever they led.

My self-image and personal identity incorporate the work that I've done -- both successes and failures -- but rise above them. My experiences have made me who I am, but when the experiences pass, I motor on to the next thing. I am perfectly happy being a "former" this and that. My permanent identities are learner, wanderer, adventurer...
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:02 AM   #32
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Even now I am not sure what I would have liked to have done work-wise. Thank God -and knock on wood- that I don´t have to work anymore for I wouldn´t know what job I would change and move into with any sort of guarantees as to my liking it for any significant period of time
So to me the question "If I had to start all over again, I would like to work as a ...." is a terrible question- it somehow reminds me of that other one: "What would you like to eat for dinner all your life? One menu only, please"

Anyway, I think the problem resides in the concept of "work" ordinary people have.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:03 AM   #33
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I loved all my jobs and all but two of my 30 bosses (one was fired and the other died of a heart attack). I went through several phases in my career, from working engineer to CEO.

I decided that ER was a natural evolution and one that I embraced with enthusiasm. I never even found this forum until one year before ER.

So I think the notion of w*rking while waiting for the day to FI is a little overblown. It might represent the plurality but not the majority of people here.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:12 AM   #34
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Anyway, I think the problem resides in the concept of "work" ordinary people have.
I agree completely. Too many young people are shuttled too quickly from Kindergarten to high school to a college education and choosing a job or career based on hardly any self-knowledge let alone knowledge of the wide variety of careers and lifestyles that are available. Too few people ever get the experience of doing work they find meaningful.

How, then, can we make good choices? (Or help our children make good choices?) Not just about how much to pay for our education or what job to pursue, but how much car and house and other possessions we really need? Too many people are on the big conveyor belt of life, not even realizing there are other options.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:13 AM   #35
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For the most part I liked my job but it all depended on who the site commander was. Micro-managers were the worst, but in my 30 years there were only 3 or 4 of them. I was at what was considered a CONUS isolated site so the USAF people were only there 24 months if accompanied and 15 if unaccompanied so never had to put up with bad managers for very long. We did have a couple of commanders that appeared hell bent on destroying their careers. One came in just after the unit had been rated excellent by an IG inspection and proceeded to put his stamp on everything the unit did. the next IG inspection was rated marginal.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:23 AM   #36
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For the most part I liked my job but it all depended on who the site commander was. Micro-managers were the worst, but in my 30 years there were only 3 or 4 of them. I was at what was considered a CONUS isolated site so the USAF people were only there 24 months if accompanied and 15 if unaccompanied so never had to put up with bad managers for very long. We did have a couple of commanders that appeared hell bent on destroying their careers. One came in just after the unit had been rated excellent by an IG inspection and proceeded to put his stamp on everything the unit did. the next IG inspection was rated marginal.
Some of those 'retired officer now civilian supervisors' didn't have a clue.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:21 PM   #37
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But harley and Nords, it doesn't seem like either of you "hated" your jobs. At least not from the dozens (hundreds?) of your posts I've read over the years.
The first 10 years were great, and that's where most of the stories come from. I don't have any great stories about being on an admiral's staff, and most of my great training command stories come from the firefighting & damage control trainers.

My issues that eventually became career-limiting were co-location with spouse, and later starting a family. Add in fear of losing the paycheck (however temporarily) and not enough time/energy to explore the alternatives. One day at a time, you "choose by default" to stay in a miserable job.

Eventually something happens outside your control (layoff, health crisis) or you finally have the epiphany.

As REWahoo says, I've always envied those who've been able to love their careers. These days I haven't been attracted by anything enough to overcome the dissatisfiers of commuting, work attire, and department meetings. I'm not much of a fan of deadlines or interruptions, either-- especially when the surf is up.

I've certainly enjoyed the last eight years of ER, and if I'd realized in high school how much fun ER is then I would have ER'd as soon as I graduated...
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:50 PM   #38
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I don't agree with everything this guy says, but find it extremely interesting. Apologies if this is veering off topic.
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:07 PM   #39
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Some of those 'retired officer now civilian supervisors' didn't have a clue.
Some of them are aggressively stupid, several people, including me, tied to explain to that one commander that he was screwing things up. His only response was "I'm the commander and it will be done my way". All you can do is sit back and watch the train wreck.
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:26 PM   #40
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When I used to w*rk, for about the first 10 years my j*b defined who I was. I loved my j*b, was one of the first to arrive and last to leave. But then I realized that having the j*b defind who I was, in my opinion, was a bad place to be. There is so much to a person than their j*b.
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