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Natural to hate your job?
Old 09-04-2007, 03:49 PM   #1
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Natural to hate your job?

Did many of you start off your career liking what you do and, after years, just ended up hating it? Is this a natural progression?

I ask because I'm in my late 20s and I like my job. Right now, I can see myself working well into my 60s or 70s if possible because this is what I like to do. I think this was possible because I try to have low expectation about my job. As long as it pays enough to cover necessities and gives me mental challenge, I'm happy. Also, I take job as a learning experience and, if it doesn't give me challenge anymore, I just move on to another company. Because of this approach, I really don't have a negative attitude about my job. In fact, I tell my co-workers/bosses and friends that it's going to be ok and that it'll get better. I really do mean it when I say this. If work really really gets bad, then who cares, I'll just quit. With the skills I've learned, I know I can find another job. Plus, I'm making much more money than what I need for my necessities so losing a job doesn't really concern me.

I'm currently managing about 6 people in our department. I had to deal with a lot of BS, one of them which includes discrimination and possible lawsuit. I worked with incompetent people, bad bosses, 2 hrs/day commute, 60hr/work week (sometimes). Even with all this, I like what I do.

It seems like general concensus on this board is that job sucks. Maybe I'm being na´ve as a young worker who hasn't experienced life but is it just natural that people just hate their job as they get older? Of course there is a question of would you work for free. I believe that even if you're totally passionate about your job and truly love what you do, nobody would work for free.
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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I never cared for being shackled to my desk/cube and dealing with corporate overlords and BS, from day one. I now have the most interesting and remunerative job I have ever had and I'd still prefer to amuse myself than commute, deal with stress, and grind out 60+ hour workweeks.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:03 PM   #3
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When you think of it as a "job," it's almost a foregone conclusion you're going to hate it eventually, or at least aspects of it.

Almost no one likes the kind of "corporate overhead" that goes into a job -- staff meetings, weekly status reports, timekeeping, that sort of thing. Sometimes this stuff becomes so much that you spend more time as an administrator and a paper pusher than the skill you've trained and gone to school to use.

And then when you do get to do your job, even you enjoy the actual work you are doing, you may have micromanagers looking over your shoulder, unreasonable deadlines requiring you to work insane hours, including many nights and weekends, and personality conflicts with colleagues and (sometimes) bosses.

Plus there's the general feeling of loss of control of your life when you NEED the job. As long as you NEED the job and can't live reasonably without its income, they've got you. They have you fearing layoffs, fearing that other team members may be better (or more politically connected) than you, and even if you'd rather be without the work, you need it, so you stress. And that allows them to keep turning the screws on you.

I suppose if there was a "job" out there where you didn't have to deal with office politics, time cards, status reports or any of that, where you got to choose your hours (and the number of hours) you worked, and you enjoyed the activity you were being paid to do, I can see liking the "job." But that kind of job only exists in fantasyland.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:43 PM   #4
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When I'm hungry and am on my way into a restaurant, the aroma wafting from the kitchen makes my mouth water. Having eaten and walking out the door, the same smell makes me want to gag.

Work is like that.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:48 PM   #5
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Although I almost always liked my job up through retirement last year at 48
as a peon-level programmer, I always viewed it as a way to finance my actual
life rather than the central point of it. I strived to maintain this by turning down
all promotions, never working un-compensated overtime, doing my work very
quickly, and trying to keep a low profile. This led to a very low-stress career.
With the exception of a 1-year boss from hell, I actually enjoyed work - just
never as much as I enjoyed the other parts of my life.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:30 PM   #6
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It's natural for the honeymoon to wear off, after you have had a job for a few years. I have come to expect that by now. Since you have been moving from company to company, and since you are still relatively young, you probably are just bouncing from one honeymoon to another.

At some point, you may decide to stay longer at a job so that your resume shows some stability. If you do, it may be more difficult to like your job though you may still tolerate it.

A job is a JOB, no matter how much you may like it initially. I have probably the best job that I can imagine, and I would still rather be doing something else. After ER, I will.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
When I'm hungry and am on my way into a restaurant, the aroma wafting from the kitchen makes my mouth water. Having eaten and walking out the door, the same smell makes me want to gag.

Work is like that.
Well put!
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:49 PM   #8
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I think you have the right attitude about your job. In response to your comment about people in the forum disliking their jobs, keep in mind that this forum can have a bias to it at times. Generally, the people who dream about retiring are not necessarily 100% content with their current jobs, or they wouldn't spend time in this forum discussing retirement.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
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When I first started working I loved my job .OR nurse .The excitement , saving lives ,rushing in at midnight for a bad accident .Fast forward thirty years and that gets old and tiring .It's not that I hated it it was just time for another part of life .
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:10 PM   #10
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Like my daddy used to say "If it was a party, everyone would want to be there". Work ties me down and makes me tired so that when I finally get a few minutes to myself, I just feel drained. I ran into someone yesterday (retired about a year) who told me that being tied to the routine of a job all those years hindered her creativity. I didn't really understand that, but I think she was referring to the "sameness" for years and years..... I don't dislike work; I dislike being tied down to a boss, routine, corporate bs, etc. At this point, its all about a paycheck and that's it.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:25 PM   #11
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Agree with everyone else, but I dont think that I ever thought in my 20s that I ever wanted to retire early...There is enough "newness" with a decent job when you are younger (challenges and what seems like opportunity)....
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:28 PM   #12
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If you like your job then stick with it and enjoy the good attitude. However, keep working on the FI part and you can decide about the RE part later.

There is a lot to be said for saving early and having a pile of money in addition to a job you like. If you like the job and have a good attitude you will get ahead because they will like you better.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:11 AM   #13
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Just remember that you are on the job because that's where you choose to be. You're not there because 'the boss" is making you do it or because "Mega-corp" is forcing you. You're there because YOU are choosing to be there. When you whine about a job, remember that you're whining about a situation you're voluntarily subjecting yourself to.

FIRE - it's great!
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:57 AM   #14
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Yeah, I don't know... I still like my job most of the time. I'm 30 and have been at the same job for six years. Prior to that, I went to college for a degree in the field I'm working in. Prior to that I did summer internship for 3 summers at the same employer (different than the one I'm currently at). So, I've been at this awhile and it still have a positive attitude to come to work 90% of the time.

I figure as soon as this changes, I'll move on if it seems like good timing relative to the rest of my life. Wife, kid(s), finances, etc.

I suppose when I lose this "freedom" or this job is unable to satisfy me, then that would start to suck.

Same thing as 'youbet' said, I guess. 'joesxm' has advice that is in line with my views as well.

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Old 09-05-2007, 10:14 AM   #15
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A lot of people like their jobs. It is a great attitude to have since you are going to have to work anyway. Many people on this board liked their jobs - I did for most of my career. But I knew there would come a time well before my 60s or 70s when I would not like working any longer so I LBYMed in order to be FI when the time came. Lo and behold the time came at age 56. When it arrived it arrived big time - I definitely did not want to work anymore.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:28 PM   #16
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Thanks for the great feedback everyone.

I try to have a positive attitude about this but I guess it's pretty difficult when all around it's just people complaining about their job. Thanks for the encouragement though.

I was just afraid that job hating becomes natural after you hit a certain age. I'm still long ways ahead so I'm not going to think about all the negativity and go at it day by day.

I started this career about 4 yrs ago and I've been to 4 different companies since. I've been to a stable company where most people have been there for 10+ yrs. I've also been to a company where it grew from 30 to 500+ employees in just 3 yrs. Overall, like you guys said, I think it's the constant honeymoon stage that's keeping my job interesting. I've stayed in my current company the longest but they're giving me a lot of opportunites and it's keeping my job interesting. I'm hoping to become a CFO one day not because of money or title but just because I want that challenge. I guess that's the ultimate learning experience for someone in this field. And then, if I'm bored by that, maybe I'll start a consulting firm and maybe that'll continue the honeymoon stage. Well, who knows where I'm going to be... I think enjoying the ride along the way is much more important than the destination.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:35 PM   #17
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I'm currently managing about 6 people in our department. I had to deal with a lot of BS, one of them which includes discrimination and possible lawsuit. I worked with incompetent people, bad bosses, 2 hrs/day commute, 60hr/work week (sometimes). Even with all this, I like what I do.
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The managing 6 people might be it! Managing can be rewarding but also a friggin pain

People want to be managers because it's a "step up" but talk to anyone who's had to do it and most would rather not...
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:22 PM   #18
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As long as you NEED the job and can't live reasonably without its income, they've got you. They have you fearing layoffs, fearing that other team members may be better (or more politically connected) than you, and even if you'd rather be without the work, you need it, so you stress. And that allows them to keep turning the screws on you.
I agree with this completely.

I once worked for a crazed CEO who made people stand on a chair and sing if they were late for his meetings. And... they DID it. There's nothing quite like watching the VP of Marketing (seasoned professional, late 50's, 5'3"), singing "I'm a little teapot" in front of his reports. You just can't figure out where to look.

These were folks with kids in school and mortgages and car payments... "the full catastrophe," to quote Zorba. They were well into their 40s and 50s, in a down employment market, and unlikely to be hired right off the bat if they walked out.

I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that you'll hate your job someday, just as you may never need insurance, or that bike helmet, or any of the other things we protect ourselves with. But it might be wise to plan as though you will.

It might be one of those ironies -- the more you're prepared to leave the job, the better you'll like it since you won't feel trapped by it.

Just my idle musings...
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