Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-26-2008, 06:25 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
always liked the job (engineering), just not the places i worked.
__________________

__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-26-2008, 10:48 PM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 463
Milton,

I haven't listened to the audiobook, but on my first read through the books I was often thinking, "yeah, right! (heavy sarcasm here)" But the more I think about their models, the more they seem to offer usable techniques. I have to go back and re-read often, and that's not something I'm used to doing. JMO, but I think listening wouldn't be as useful as reading these...

Now, certainly I'm not saying that they're the be-all-end-all of conflict resolution; just that I find them valuable. Reasonable minds can differ on this.
__________________

__________________
TickTock Rule Of Finance - heavily discount any promises of money/benefits to be paid to you in the future

"I've traded love for pennies, sold my soul for less" -Jim Croce, Age
TickTock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008, 10:23 AM   #23
Full time employment: Posting here.
Kronk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philly 'burbs
Posts: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
What are you doing to get to the job that would make you happy?
Firstly, trying to figure out what it is that might make me happy. My wife went through a bunch of soul-searching last year with career counseling types of books. So I read most of those books myself. She got a career path out of it, I just got cynical. ;-)

CCdaCE, I have spent a lot of time doing personality-typing things. It was a very good suggestion and I went back and re-read stuff about myself. Unfortunately, the outlook isn't brilliant for me and my INTP personality (from INTP FAQ):

Quote:
Unfortunately, in the conventional world of work most of an INTP's
personality traits are seen not as assets but as liabilities, and many
INTPs appear to have difficulty finding compatible employment. Numerous
INTPs on the list report "job-hopping" from one position or career to
another as their interests change, or in pursuit of "something" they
want or like to do. Some attain satisfaction in this way, but not all
INTPs can make repetitive job changes. To earn a living in a society
which is predominantly SJ, INTPs often need to assume foreign personas
for at least part of their work day. Sometimes this is done at great
psychological cost.
Quote:
Still, there are INTPs who have found occupational happiness. Many
INTPs enjoy working with computers, and a great number of subscribers to
the list are programmers, analysts, system administrators, or computer
consultants.
I'm a computer programming consultant, and I have a whole lot of autonomy. In those respects I'm already doing the thing that supposedly fits me the best.

Quote:
It would seem that there is no "best" career or job for INTPs, and few
that are even reasonably suited. Perhaps the best advice is from Joseph
Campbell: "Follow your bliss." An INTP should not avoid a job he or
she might like simply because it seems unsuitable from a type
standpoint. Yet, neither should he/she expect to be able to exercise
all her/his gifts and to find complete fulfillment in only a
conventional occupation.
Yoikes.
__________________
Kronk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #24
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 306
all this time I thought I was and INTJ.. after reading about INTP, it sounds a lot more like me. very interesting.
__________________
-----------------------------------------------------
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
mickj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008, 12:32 PM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,031
Reading these threads makes me feel so lucky . My job ( nursing ) was a perfect fit . I enjoyed the job especially the co workers . Maybe it is working in an enviorment were you see truly awful things happening to people on a daily basis that makes you appreciate your job and your life . I would hate to have to work for thirty years in a job I disliked .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008, 01:00 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,164
I don't know if this applies, but here's how I overcame it without switching careers.

I've had a stretch early in my career where I hated my job. Mostly I think it was because I wasn't that good at it. A lot of new technology, and it wasn't sinking in. I was doing a lot of clock watching.

I decided to focus more and get better at it. I had a specific assignment and I read everything related to it over and over until it sunk in. Once I understood that piece, as I was getting it done, I started branching out to learn other parts of the project. Eventually I was the overall expert on the whole thing. It got to be a lot more fun to be able to solve problems rather than stare at them blankly and wish for them to go away.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008, 02:25 PM   #27
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 147
I have great coworkers, benefits, and work conditions with lots of flexibility. But the work (software) is technical, complex, frustrating, ever-changing. It's gotten harder and harder to learn new stuff over the years. It was fun reading dozens of technical manuals and staying up all night in my 20's. Now in my 40's that's an impossibility. I still have some tolerance for complexity if the domain interests me -- like investing. But my work domain feels excruciating: like being forced to earn an advanced degree. Maybe I should be tougher, but I'd say that no amount of pleasant conditions and great benefits is a substitute for simply being interested in the work, and feeling competent at it.....
__________________
headingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 12:01 AM   #28
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 77
Kronk, I kind of feel like I might not be cut out for any job, either. I don't exactly dislike my work, but there are so many other more interesting things I'd rather be doing. And I hate having to be somewhere at a specific time every day, which is a feature of most jobs...What's working for me right now is spending 4-6 hours a day working intently, then letting myself do what I want to do as much as possible during the rest of the time.

Are there any particular factors that bug you about your job/jobs you've had in the past? Is there any way to reduce them? You may not have found "your bliss" yet, but you can at least work on making your current situation as painless as possible.
__________________
I like my job, but I'll like FIRE more.

aworkingrachel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 03:48 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by aworkingrachel View Post
Kronk, I kind of feel like I might not be cut out for any job, either. I don't exactly dislike my work, but there are so many other more interesting things I'd rather be doing. And I hate having to be somewhere at a specific time every day, which is a feature of most jobs.
You've described my situation pretty well, too.

I would assume that this is fairly common to most contributors to this forum. After all, if someone was completely head-over-heels in love with their job, early retirement would probably be unthinkable.
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 04:00 PM   #30
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 595
Someone once asked me what would truly make me happy in a work envoronment. I thought about it for a long time, and it really boiled down to just three things. I have RARELY ever had all three on a project. My envoronment is engineering, and yours may differ a bit.

1. A clearly defined goal, or task.
2. The right tools to get the job done. (Do not give me a wrench when I need a hammer)
3. A reasonable amount of time to get the job done.
__________________
armor99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 04:04 PM   #31
Dryer sheet aficionado
tikitoast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 48
I think it's mostly about control. If you have a reasonable degree of control over your work, both the daily minutiae and the big-picture stuff, you're bound to be pretty happy in your job. (For some this would only happen if they owned their own venture; for others, having an okay job and a lenient, cheerful, marginally competent boss who wasn't a micromanager would do the trick.)

If, on the other hand, you've got a narcisisstic, self-loving, thumb-sucking, emperor-has-no-clothes jackass for a boss who routinely withholds vital information as a way of entrenching his own power, then you're bound to be miserable. The fallacy at the heart of advice like, "It's so simple, just do what you love," is that it ain't that simple. Our lives, and in particular our working lives, in this society tend to be regulated by other, not-so-sympathetic people. The more I think about it, the more I think two main categories of experience are bringing me down in a powerful way:

1) other people's massive incompetence
2) other people's massive indifference

If I can do my thing and work around these folks, I'm okay. If they're part of my process, I'm not.
__________________
tikitoast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 04:28 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,065
Pop psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi has written widely about 'flow' experiences, which typically involve most or all of the following elements:

(1) Clear goals (expectations and rules are readily discernible);

(2) The goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skills and abilities (not too difficult, not too easy);

(3) Direct and immediate feedback is provided;

(4) A person engaged in the activity has the opportunity to concentrate and focus on the tasks at hand.

Experiencing flow means "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost." See further Csíkszentmihályi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990).

As discussed generally in The Art of Work | Fast Company, if you can find a job that has all the necessary elements, you should be set!
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 08:15 PM   #33
Full time employment: Posting here.
Kronk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philly 'burbs
Posts: 547
That was a good article on "flow". See, that's the thing, I have no flow. Sometimes I might work for 20 seconds and then flop back to an internet browser to look up something that flitted across my brain. Sometimes I'll make it as long as a couple of minutes before that happens.

Many people are mentioning environmental factors to jobs -- goals, management, autonomy. To me, those things are fine. But you could have all that environmental good stuff, and still be shoveling manure. I've shoveled manure, and it isn't much fun. In my personal situation, I have a large degree of autonomy. Management doesn't get in my way. Goals are fine and well-defined. I have the time I need to do what I need to do. Stress is low. I set my own hours.

See, the key problem is that while I have the "opportunity" to concentrate and focus on my tasks, I completely lack the desire to do so. My brain is rarely involved in my work (which is computer programming). I'm good at it and get paid well (a good chunk past the dollar-a-minute-mark). My environmental factors are decent, though there is plenty of the same type of grousing you'll hear in most places.

I have been in the flow several times as a computer programmer (though I don't think in the last couple of years). I'm usually there when I'm doing martial arts, and sometimes there when I'm playing piano. I'd love to find a job where I could find that sort of flow. But I find that I'm almost always in the polar opposite state (would that be "wolf"?) at work.
__________________
Kronk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 10:28 PM   #34
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by aworkingrachel View Post
You may not have found "your bliss" yet, but you can at least work on making your current situation as painless as possible.
I follow the 20/80 rule: I work on the 20% of my assignments that make 80% of the difference and table the rest. I'm not looking for promotions or advancement, just want to get the job done and get out, survive until FIRE. I don't volunteer for stuff or do extra work, I ignore a lot of e-mail -- but I work to maintain good relationships and try to be highly responsive when individuals ask for something specific. The work itself is complex, sometimes approaching impossible: If I've reached a reasonable daily goal I quit, and otherwise I work 4-6 focused hours, then do something else more interesting.
__________________
headingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 10:33 PM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronk View Post
That was a good article on "flow". See, that's the thing, I have no flow. Sometimes I might work for 20 seconds and then flop back to an internet browser to look up something that flitted across my brain. Sometimes I'll make it as long as a couple of minutes before that happens.

I'd love to find a job where I could find that sort of flow. But I find that I'm almost always in the polar opposite state (would that be "wolf"?) at work.
20 seconds or a couple minutes before you get distracted is a pretty extreme "wolf" state. If you can program without being connected to the Internet, I'd say you really need to unplug the Internet connection for half an hour a few times a day so you can actually get some work done. Some bigger lifestyle changes might be in order, too...if you're distracting yourself every minute or so for about eight hours a day, especially if you've been living like that most of your working life, it's probably creating a whole clurmp of information-overload and attention-related issues.
__________________
I like my job, but I'll like FIRE more.

aworkingrachel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2008, 01:21 PM   #36
Full time employment: Posting here.
Kronk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philly 'burbs
Posts: 547
aworkingrachel, you're right, I'm very easily distracted when at work, which is kind of the point. Not sure I'd be willing to take on that suggestion of disconnecting from the internet for a chunk of time. Frankly, most days it seems that the internet is the only thing that keeps me from going hopping mad.

I work quickly (when I am doing work), so I tend to be able to get away with lack of focus. I also run into issues where launching the program in the debugger takes 30 seconds each time I run it. Rather than staring at a blank screen, I'll read a few posts from here. Or whatever.

I'm not sure if my scattershot approach to work affects the rest of my life. I tend to think not; I've never been especially single-minded, which seems to be related to my personality type.

I suppose the biggest underlying factor in my case is that I don't find my job at all challenging. I figure that means I should try a new job in the same field before really exploring different fields, but some of the aforementioned environmental issues are actually pretty good where I am. I'm trying to make my job less painful, primarily by taking more days off. I think right now we're spending around $40k per year, and will be saving around $60k per year, so I can definitely afford some additional time off.
__________________

__________________
Kronk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Great Find Here newguy88 Hi, I am... 4 11-30-2007 11:40 AM
How to Find a Subject? packrat44 FIRE and Money 13 06-25-2007 12:06 PM
How do I find a broker? accountingsucks FIRE and Money 8 03-19-2006 10:58 AM
How Did You Find Out About ER Forum Danny Other topics 12 02-15-2006 12:32 PM
How many mistakes can YOU find? retire@40 FIRE and Money 5 07-17-2005 07:41 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:47 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.