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ER, a humbling experience
Old 03-01-2015, 04:23 PM   #1
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ER, a humbling experience

I recently did free work for a friend that involved using some of the skills from the corporate career I left six months ago. This is work that I know I do well and thought I might enjoy doing as a freelancer or volunteer after ER. But – surprise, surprise -- I hated it. I started to again feel a bit of the old work-related stress, which had dropped off completely in ER.

I realized that what eliminated such a tremendous amount of stress after ER is that for the first time in my life I didn't have any expectations placed on me (by others or myself). There’s no more need to keep up in my field or prove myself. The price is giving up any attachment to my previous career identity and achievements. It means being truly humble in any new endeavors. That’s fine with me.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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Helping a friend is usually worth a little stress, good karma
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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I think I know how the OP feels.

I'm keeping my continuing professional development up to date, maintaining my professional designation as a hedge in case this ER thing doesn't work out as swell as I expect it to.

But... I have no wish to see the inside of an office ever again. It took 5-6 weeks after pulling the plug to de-stress enough to be able to sleep through the night. Now, seven months in, I'm finally just about done with recovery and looking forward to doing a few bucket list things.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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+1
I find I can do about 5 days of 'previous type work' before the old familiar feelings start to rise up. Not all are bad, but all are stressful.
Thinking becomes "Get this done, do this, next will be, watch out for, what is forgotten, etc" .
Compare that to ER, when to the doc last week, blood pressure is 115/76 .
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:07 PM   #5
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I can relate. I have been cleaning out some boxes of professional papers, news clippings etc. The stuff is so dated that it went instantly into the trash. I'm trying to decide what to do with a "professional designation" that is expiring this month. I'm tempted to let it go. At this point the I am the only one who wants to utilize those skills. I can't imagine going back to the stress of having to prove myself in an office.


I did have to take a moment of pause yesterday 2/28, because that was the day in the past that the annual bonuses were paid. I realized that my bonus of peace for the last nine months since ER couldn't make up for the cash.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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I was encouraged to renew my PE which is expiring at the end of March by my son. I did but am now wondering why and if I would ever use it. Since I've not been retired one workday, I can't say but over the weekend I seem to have successfully reduced my professional career to whatever I've manage to save in cold, hard cash. Nothing else seems to really matter.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:16 AM   #7
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I renewed my professional designation for the first two year cycle after I retired "just in case" but suspect I'll let it go I inactive this year as I don't ever see myself returning to work.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:20 AM   #8
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I had a similar experience. Shortly after I retired a former employee hired me to do some projects for her firm. It was work I had done decades before and was good at. I found the work interesting and was pleased to find that I wa still good at it. But I didn't like being responsility. In short it was work and I realized I was done with that.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:00 AM   #9
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I let all my professional designations go one by one as they came up for renewal during the year I was coasting down hill. I thought I would feel a wrench when I let the PE go and in point of fact all I felt was blessed relief. Never going to be my fault again.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:18 AM   #10
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My professional society keeps me on for free as long as I'm not getting any substantial income (defined as over $30K/year) from actuarial work. I'm happy with that; almost all their communication is electronic so it doesn't cost them that much unless I want to attend a meeting, in which case registration (which can run $1,000+ for a 3-day event with some meals and events thrown in) is free. I still listen to an insurance news podcast. It's interesting business and it provided me with a great career.


The last couple of weeks I've been tiling the floors in 2 bathrooms. It was unfamiliar work, there are plenty of ways to do it wrong, and I needed to have the plumber put toilets back in before DS and his family arrive tomorrow night. (Both bathrooms are upstairs and one is off the guest room.) It was interesting: I found myself using all my old skills in setting priorities, figuring out what's on the critical path, setting goals, etc. On one hand it felt good (and I'm very happy with the results); but I had quite a few nights when I woke up worrying about one aspect or other of the work.


I'm glad that type of pressure is no longer part of my daily life.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:07 AM   #11
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I retired in December 2014 but agreed to work nearly a full load until my replacement started in March. Today is my last official duty, and I will clear my cases tomorrow and really be retired. I'm amazed at the stress I've felt the last couple of weeks, and the urge to be free of the job. I'd contemplated trying to work part-time in my field, but I think I've come to the realization that I just don't want the responsibility and the associated stress anymore.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focus View Post
...
I realized that what eliminated such a tremendous amount of stress after ER is that for the first time in my life I didn't have any expectations placed on me (by others or myself). Thereís no more need to keep up in my field or prove myself. The price is giving up any attachment to my previous career identity and achievements. It means being truly humble in any new endeavors. Thatís fine with me.
For me and perhaps for you, the reduced anxiety (caused by the competition) is what I find key to my happiness.

Nowadays I find many of my activities are best at the non-competitive level. For instance, I like to run and was in a runners club. But some people took it seriously and races were somewhat competitive. To be honest I took it a bit too seriously. There was a pecking order to which is weird when you think about it. Now I just run for myself in the park and tell myself to ease up if another runner passes me.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:34 PM   #13
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For me and perhaps for you, the reduced anxiety (caused by the competition) is what I find key to my happiness.

Nowadays I find many of my activities are best at the non-competitive level. For instance, I like to run and was in a runners club. But some people took it seriously and races were somewhat competitive. To be honest I took it a bit too seriously. There was a pecking order to which is weird when you think about it. Now I just run for myself in the park and tell myself to ease up if another runner passes me.
+1

When I played tennis earlier in my working days I played in competitive leagues that kept scores, standings and distributed winners awards. Also in the summers I played in competitive USTA leagues. Things have drastically changed in the last couple of years where I now play in leagues that compete just for the night and no longer play competitive USTA in the summer and I'm so much happier.
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