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No satisfaction of accomplishment at the end of the day
Old 06-20-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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No satisfaction of accomplishment at the end of the day

I have a hard time getting a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. Working as an engineer at the Lazy B (Boeing) is very slow moving, and lots of hurdles to jump in order to accomplish anything. I work with many brilliant people that have the same problem.

Boeing is constructing a new building outside our window, and get to watch the construction equipement ripping up the concrete. We envy how nice it would be to run the track hoe, and look back at the end of the day to see how far you got.

Lol, i'm sure that track hoe operator looks at us thinking, gee, how nice would it be to be able come to work in nice clothes, and drink tully's coffee, while surfing the net.

5 years 11 months and 1 day to go.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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I am retired (thankfully), and have no issues in feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

How could this even be possible? Well, it is because in retirement we get to define our own goals, ourselves. In the working world, often one's goals are defined for us. If they are too big, or too small, it is harder to feel a sense of accomplishment IMO.

As an example, having lifted 20.5 tons when weightlifting at the gym on 6/2/2014 was a HUGE accomplishment for me, given that I am recovering from the most sedentary, academic pre-retirement lifestyle imaginable. Libraries, books, and computers were my comfort zone before retiring, and the gym was an completely weird and alien world to me at first. My sense of accomplishment was probably greater than if I had singlehandedly built a skyscraper.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:39 AM   #3
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One thing to consider - have you thought about mentoring others new to the company or less experienced than yourself?

I'm no longer fighting for promotions and not getting a raise doesn't matter at this point. I can find lots of things wrong in some of the projects I'm asked to help with, and could be spending days spinning my wheels. But my main sense of accomplishment at this stage is helping others - either mentoring them through the bureaucracy, or transferring a skill I have to them, or teaching some nuance to others. Those actions are appreciated and still make the job fun.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:15 PM   #4
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I work for an IT company. I just focus tasks at hand and forget about them when I come home. But I know what I do at work matters, and contributes to the internet madness (good or bad). Still, I feel like an ant working for a colony (megacorp), and queen (CEO). One person's sense of accomplishment means nothing to the colony or the queen.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
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You might think your work is not meaningful, but every time I fly on one of your planes I think about the many people who help to design, make and maintain them and wish them (you) a good day at work.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I am retired (thankfully), and have no issues in feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

How could this even be possible? Well, it is because in retirement we get to define our own goals, ourselves. In the working world, often one's goals are defined for us. If they are too big, or too small, it is harder to feel a sense of accomplishment IMO.

As an example, having lifted 20.5 tons when weightlifting at the gym on 6/2/2014 was a HUGE accomplishment for me, given that I am recovering from the most sedentary, academic pre-retirement lifestyle imaginable. Libraries, books, and computers were my comfort zone before retiring, and the gym was an completely weird and alien world to me at first. My sense of accomplishment was probably greater than if I had singlehandedly built a skyscraper.
W2R - having lifted 20.5 tons for anybody would be a huge accomplishment

WTG!!
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
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I work for an IT company. I just focus tasks at hand and forget about them when I come home. But I know what I do at work matters, and contributes to the internet madness (good or bad). Still, I feel like an ant working for a colony (megacorp), and queen (CEO). One person's sense of accomplishment means nothing to the colony or the queen.
In companies as in nature, neither the colony nor the queen survive without good workers.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:30 PM   #8
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W2R - having lifted 20.5 tons for anybody would be a huge accomplishment

WTG!!
Thank you!! It wasn't 20.5 tons all at one time - - it was adding up 2 sets of 10 on each of 20 weight lifting machines. I am very proud, though, coming from my extremely sedentary and unathletic background and upbringing.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:31 PM   #9
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You might think your work is not meaningful, but every time I fly on one of your planes I think about the many people who help to design, make and maintain them and wish them (you) a good day at work.
I flew a 777 a while back and was very impressed by the plane overall. Somebody must be doing something right at Boeing.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:38 PM   #10
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Thank you!! It wasn't 20.5 tons all at one time - - it was adding up 2 sets of 10 on each of 20 weight lifting machines. I am very proud, though, coming from my extremely sedentary and unathletic background and upbringing.

Oh, I see. That is a huge accomplishment.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:42 PM   #11
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I have a hard time getting a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. Working as an engineer at the Lazy B (Boeing) is very slow moving, and lots of hurdles to jump in order to accomplish anything. I work with many brilliant people that have the same problem...
That was how I felt after spending 20 years working at megacorps. Then, for more challenging work I joined force with two different groups of friends in new ventures. I ended up working full-time in one of them. I got more than I asked for: working day and night, doing everything from A to Z. I taught myself so many things and was able to do so many tasks in design and production that I would not have to deal with in my megacorp R&D jobs.

We were OK for a while, but after a few years could not keep up with technology changes and stay competitive with huge companies that had a lot more resources. I and some other founders ended up working with reduced pay, and even going without pay for a few years before throwing the towel.

So, beware that the grass is not really greener on the other side.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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Oh, I see. That is a huge accomplishment.
Thank you. My average weight lifted each time was 102.5 pounds, but that average included some machines that I am not (yet) very good at, like the overhead press where I could only do 35 pounds. At any rate, it was a goal that I had for a long time and after several years of struggling I finally accomplished it. So, that feels good. Maybe some people would rather build bridges or dams....
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:38 PM   #13
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After my last j*b ended in 2008 I filled the need for accomplishment with 40 semester hours of college classes and by the time I finished that, I lost the need for accomplishments.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:45 PM   #14
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This is my 10,106'th post, for an average of 4.64 posts/day. That's an accomplishment, no?
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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I have a hard time getting a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. Working as an engineer at the Lazy B (Boeing) is very slow moving, and lots of hurdles to jump in order to accomplish anything. I work with many brilliant people that have the same problem.

Boeing is constructing a new building outside our window, and get to watch the construction equipement ripping up the concrete. We envy how nice it would be to run the track hoe, and look back at the end of the day to see how far you got.

Lol, i'm sure that track hoe operator looks at us thinking, gee, how nice would it be to be able come to work in nice clothes, and drink tully's coffee, while surfing the net.

5 years 11 months and 1 day to go.
Somehow I don't feel too good right now thinking you are building the planes I fly on....
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:11 PM   #16
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Somehow I don't feel too good right now thinking you are building the planes I fly on....
It's the engineers curse.

Engineers are builders. But these days if you want to work on anything, you get such a small part that you don't get satisfaction anymore from seeing the finished product.

And for legal reasons there are dozens of layers and quality checks. Necessary to a degree, but it sucks the fun out. Thoroughly.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:15 PM   #17
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In the last month Adam Carolla (a trained carpenter) and Mike Rowe had a podcast that talked about this subject. People who work with their hands get a certain sense of satisfaction when a job is done. You get to see what you have built.

I am a professional waiter and I never really get to say my job is over. I just do the same thing every day. I do get some satisfaction from my work but my favorite day is the last day of the month when I add up my income, deduct my expenses and I get to see what is mine to keep.

Maybe we both need hobbies. lol
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:30 PM   #18
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It's the engineers curse.

Engineers are builders. But these days if you want to work on anything, you get such a small part that you don't get satisfaction anymore from seeing the finished product.

And for legal reasons there are dozens of layers and quality checks. Necessary to a degree, but it sucks the fun out. Thoroughly.
I was jacking with him....I know, I am an engineer and have worked in the field 30+ years.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:57 PM   #19
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It's the engineers curse.

Engineers are builders. But these days if you want to work on anything, you get such a small part that you don't get satisfaction anymore from seeing the finished product.

And for legal reasons there are dozens of layers and quality checks. Necessary to a degree, but it sucks the fun out. Thoroughly.
Perfect description of the job. You must sit on the other side of the cube from me. Lol, are you Rob?

No worries about flying any commercial aircraft. Redundancy and safety is top notch and there's tens of thousands of highly qualified to overqualified engineers that make it so.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:46 PM   #20
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Perfect description of the job. You must sit on the other side of the cube from me. Lol, are you Rob?

No worries about flying any commercial aircraft. Redundancy and safety is top notch and there's tens of thousands of highly qualified to overqualified engineers that make it so.
Engineer here too, but I work in the crazy bay area tech world. You can trade the megacorp futility for the high stress chaos of the start-up if that's better for you. I started at GE aviation (very briefly) and much prefer working with the tiny companies that only last a few years on average instead. Engineering is too big of a field not to be able to find something you enjoy doing on the whole. Having the flexibility to enjoy my work (at the BIG risk of layoffs) is why I wanted FI in the first place. Otherwise, why bother? I could have bought so many sailboats instead.
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