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Old 01-15-2014, 05:42 AM   #21
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Why do you think they call it "work?" The all-satisfying, fabulous, engaging job does not exist. You are unicorn hunting. You will be more or less miserable your whole career. Make sure you get paid extremely well for it and make damn sure you keep every possible penny to be invested.
Unlike a unicorn, all satisfying seems to exist. It is just very hard to come by. MOST of the people I see around the office fall into three categories. Those that hop jobs every ~2 years to move onto new projects. Those that find a job that they find meaningful a day or two a week (20-40% of the time) long term and accept that rest of the work goes along with the meaningful work in their position. Those people who are miserable or don't give a damn about their work.

I personally decided I'm the second type. What's your type?
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:27 AM   #22
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Technically, the glass is always full -- some portion with liquid H2O and the balance with a gaseous mixture of N, O, CO2 and various trace gases.
Sounds like you're full (of it) to me.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:23 AM   #23
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Unlike a unicorn, all satisfying seems to exist. It is just very hard to come by. MOST of the people I see around the office fall into three categories. Those that hop jobs every ~2 years to move onto new projects. Those that find a job that they find meaningful a day or two a week (20-40% of the time) long term and accept that rest of the work goes along with the meaningful work in their position. Those people who are miserable or don't give a damn about their work.

I personally decided I'm the second type. What's your type?
Don't buy it. I see three types. There are those good at deluding themselves. Then we have those that will bitch and complain but never do anything to improve their lot. Finally you have mercenaries who deal with the suffering to get what they want.

I was a mercenary. Now I am retired.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:17 PM   #24
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There is no correct answer. There are many paths you can take in life.

1) Some people have work just for work, to make money to fund their other interests, family, church, travel, music, etc., etc. They leave their work at work, and forget it when they get home.

2) To others, their work is their passion. They have a job that never leaves their mind, constantly thinking about new ideas, new things to try, etc. They never leave work at work, always live it. It is their passion, or one of them.

2) There is a third type too, they never have any passions at all, just go through life complaining, weary, and unhappy.

It doesn't matter which of the first two you choose, just don't be one of those in the third type. In my experience, most of the people in this latter category are always trying to meet someone else's expectations, usually without even realizing it. There is never any joy in that.

For me, I have always been in the second category. I never thought much about making a lot of money, but rather doing something useful and interesting and exciting. I got a low level job at one of the top scientific institutions I was passionate about before finishing college, and after college, worked my way up to really interesting things.

Later I got involved with microcomputers when they were first coming out and started my consulting business. I used to do my own projects, and was amazed that I could get paid doing this.

In any job there are hours, days or even weeks of pure drudgery. Even when we are following our passion.

But one problem for me is that I was never away from work. And that brought stress. I have known others in the first category who seemed amazingly happy with life.

And others who were never happy whatever they did.

You are 24! Just go live your life. Make mistakes. Take chances. Have fun. That is the only way you will find your passions. Yes, save, live below your means, but don't miss the opportunity to be young. Opportunities narrow as you get older. And whatever you do, never take into account anyone else's expectations.

Go for it!
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:31 PM   #25
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But I find myself frustrated at work because I don't take anything away from it. I just crunch numbers in a cube all day. I often think about how much more exciting and engaging my life would be in other careers such as teaching, nursing, owning a business, or even other analytical type-office roles that require more engagement with others and persuasion.
Nursing? I have had a few coworkers whose wives got burned out from their nursing job that they had to retire early.

Analytical job? My engineering work had been heavy on the analytical side that my title was occasionally "scientist". This meant I wanted to be left alone for days, if not weeks, to analyze data and solve some tough problems that others had failed at. It is not at all about going to meetings all day like some non-producers that I had to deal with. Just leave me alone, and I will find a solution. And I liked my work that way, and they paid me well for that. I don't think you are the type for this kind of work.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:46 PM   #26
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Nursing? I have had a few coworkers whose wives got burned out from their nursing job that they had to retire early.

Analytical job? My engineering work had been heavy on the analytical side that my title was occasionally "scientist". This meant I wanted to be left alone for days, if not weeks, to analyze data and solve some tough problems that others had failed at. It is not at all about going to meetings all day like some non-producers that I had to deal with. Just leave me alone, and I will find a solution. And I liked my work that way, and they paid me well for that. I don't think you are the type for this kind of work.
younginvestor2013:
"or even other analytical type-office roles that require more engagement with others and persuasion"

I agree with NW-Bound, avoiding meetings and disengagement are much more productive that seeking more engagement. There are a lot of people who love to go to meetings to show off how much they are doing. (That is doing, not getting done) But in the end, it is the analytical guy, who finds ways to avoid these time wasting shows, and actually solves problems, who wins in the end, and actually gets the most enjoyment from his work.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #27
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But in the end, it is the analytical guy, who finds ways to avoid these time wasting shows, and actually solves problems, who wins in the end, and actually gets the most enjoyment from his work.
Or at least he would be, if they could just stop taking up so much of his time in these damn pointless mettings.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #28
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At about age 24 I switched from a software engineer to a marketing career. I liked it because: there was more variety; less need to burn the midnight (literally) oil, I got to see a bigger picture, and there were girls in marketing.

It is worth checking out a book like What Color is your Parachute. I am sure there are more modern books, but you have to do some of the exercises in the book for it to be helpful.

One important question to ask yourself is does your boss or your bosses job interest you. If the answers not at all than you really need to find a new field or new company.

I think it is entirely possible to find a job you love (although I suspect unless you are working for yourself) probably not one for your entire career. Personally there were two years I would have worked for free at Intel, and two other years at Intel and one year at startup that I really enjoyed going to work. Pretty good ratio for a short 18 year career.

I think if you are very lucky you can find a job you love.
If you have the right attitude you can make most job into something you like 2 days a week, tolerate 2 days a week, and hate one day a week.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:57 PM   #29
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Great advice so far. I quit my corporate job at 27 and started a business cause I was bored with corporate life. Eventually I realized I get bored every 3-5 years no matter how awesome my job is. And I've really enjoyed my jobs!

To borrow Brewer's metaphor, there are plenty of unicorns, but after you ride them for a while you realize they are all basically pretty horses and it is still work to ride them.

Certainly explore changes if you like, but consider this bit of hard won perspective: fulfillment rarely exists at the end of some corporate ladder. Great jobs (and your deal sounds pretty sweet) will almost always lose their luster. So you can chase fulfillment by jumping around, or you can find it in other ways.

1. Quality time with friends and family.
2. Being proud of your work.
3. Developing quirky and fun hobbies.
4. Volunteering
5. Writing a book
6. Being a mentor
7. ?

My advice is to find happiness where you are. This doesn't prevent you from moving to a better gig when it makes sense to do so.

Good luck!

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:20 AM   #30
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I found many years of my career in journalism quite rewarding, but it's a tough row to hoe right now because of the revenue squeeze from the Internet.

OP mentioned nursing, which can be a demanding field with long hours and weird work schedules (like some newspaper gigs I've had). Plus, the pay isn't all that great (also like those news jobs). But there are other pursuits in health care. I have a friend who is a cardiac physician's assistant involved in genomic research. A PA requires an advanced degree but nothing like the hoops a doctor has to jump through.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:51 PM   #31
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To reference Jim Collins sounds you need to save up some F You money and pursue another job.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:19 AM   #32
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With all due respect, this is pure, unadulterated bullshit and always has been.

There was a recent Yahoo! (or other online) article with some survey that about 1 in 6 people 'enjoy' their jobs. There are undoubtedly many more people who enjoy most of the tasks they do on a typical day....but you have to be clear in if you are referring to the "work" vs the "job".

The "job" one has involves the work they do day in and day out...but also involves their co-workers, boss, boss' boss, HR department, corporate policies, customers, other consultants, suppliers, the building they work in, the industry, etc. When you take the "work" you do (which quite a few people probably enjoy to some small degree) and add in the 10+ other variables, it's pretty much almost impossible to end up with a "job" that you actually love, because there will be at least one (often many) variable that makes your job something you tolerate at best, or dread/can't stand/count down the days to retirement/flat out up and quit out of the blue at the worst.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:59 AM   #33
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Technically, the glass is always full -- some portion with liquid H2O and the balance with a gaseous mixture of N, O, CO2 and various trace gases.
Actually, there is also some water vapor in there.
xkcd: Actually
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:01 AM   #34
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Actually, there is also some water vapor in there.
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That too.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:20 PM   #35
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Are you comfortable saying what your job title or industry is? Crunching numbers in a cube all day, with little to no interaction with people doesn't sound fun at all (although as others have mentioned, there are days I wish everyone would leave me alone so I can just crunch numbers for the day). You've only been at the company and this career for 3 years. Your current job might be skills that can be built on to go into other areas of the company. I know a lot of accounting analysts that move into IT system development or implementation that have been very successful. They don't need any additional degrees.

Also, almost every job in Manufacturing Operations is high interaction. Things like demand planning & sales analyst lend themselves to organized number crunchers, but they are are also much more demanding on hours spent working. Most often I see these roles covering international markets, so have to be on early morning & late night calls.

I think potential alternatives could be offered if you can give some additional info on at least the industry you are in & your top skills.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:55 AM   #36
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I believe in unicorns. My wife found one! She w*rks even though she doesn't have to. She just created a j*b in line with her passions and it happens to pay. Although she did w*rk very hard through ups and downs to afford the opportunity of being able to do what she now does.
I had similar thoughts at the OP's age. I checked other options but ultimately stuck with my well compensated, albeit not so satisfying j*b. Good decision in my case as it was critical in getting FI by 42. Now I continue my unicorn hunt....when I feel like it and without the undo stress. I usually look for them on the golf course or near the river.

The world is full of options, but here are a couple of them. Find your passion and love it but you may need to plan on doing it for 40+ years. Or, stick with a good, stable j*b that will allow you to have options after 20 years. It's really up to each individual to decide.
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