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The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #1
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The bane of my existence

A really persistent problem for me in my career thus far (coming up on 10 years) is boredom. The corporate world seems to be happy leaving people in little boxes for years at a time, essentially doing the same thing. At least for me, this gets old really quick. I have been bored at my current gig for at least a year. Its hard to have any enthusiasm for doing the smae monkey work for the thousandth time, which is probably why I spend so much time goofing off here and at yetisports.org. Not sure what the answer is, but yee gods I would dpo almost anything not to have to deal with drudgery for years to come.

Boredom is probably the leading reason why I am so eager for FIRE.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: The bane of my existence

The corporate world seems to be happy leaving people in little boxes for years at a time, essentially doing the same thing.

You and me are pretty much on the same page on this one, Brewer12345.

I got a lot of good things from the corporations that employed me. In the early days, I learned things that I don't think I could have as easily have picked up on my own. But I reached a point where I was no longer improving my skill set. I was being paid well, which was nice. I generally liked the people I worked with. The benefits were a plus. But there came a point where all that was not enough.

My sense is that there are a lot of people in this sort of boat. Sometimes it helps to change jobs, but sometimes it doesn't. I think that winning your financial freedom is the best long-term solution. Then, if you still enjoy your corporate employment and all the bennies that go with it, fine. If not, you have a way out.

Your accumulation of capital gives you the ability to call the shots. That why they call it financial independence, you know?
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 01:20 PM   #3
 
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Re: The bane of my existence

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A really persistent problem for me in my career thus far (coming up on 10 years) is boredom. ...

Boredom is probably the leading reason why I am so eager for FIRE.
I know what you mean. Looking back at my employment history, boredom was a major problem at times. Sometimes, I sought a new job assignment when I became bored. (I should have done that more often.) Other times, I fought boredom by learning a new technology and using what I learned to solve problems in new ways.

Then, there were the times I didn't use the time constructively and failed to take countermeasures.

Idle hands breed mischief and discontent. Boredom can have a "thermal runaway" effect. If you don't find a way to become motivated, the boredom can get worse and taint other areas of your job or life.

By the way, you should continue to be vigilant about boredom. You can become bored after you retire or change jobs, too.
Seek ways to "psyche" yourself and become engaged. It's not always easy, but it's worth the effort.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: The bane of my existence

The one big upside to my career is no boredom. There is always something new to do and new to learn.

The downside is the stress of it all.

Brewer, maybe the oportunity for working with the start up is just what you need. It likely won't be boring.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: The bane of my existence

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A really persistent problem for me in my career thus far (coming up on 10 years) is boredom.
My daughter says the same thing. In fact we were just talking about it today. I think it's comes with being very bright. She will never be content with a job that doesn't give her the opportunity to use her creativity and her smarts. It's like torture for her. I can tell from your posts that you are an extremely bright guy.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 01:57 PM   #6
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Re: The bane of my existence

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Not sure what the answer is, but ye gods I would do almost anything not to have to deal with drudgery for years to come.
Is it time to volunteer to be your department's fire marshal or 401(k) coordinator? (Just kidding.)

But maybe it's time to get a trip to a professional development conference or to start testing a bunch of new office-productivity software. You may not be happy but at least the boredom will be gone...
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 02:55 PM   #7
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Re: The bane of my existence

I know what you mean. I have tended to change positions every 3-5 years, and after 3 1/2 years in this position I'm really itching to change jobs again.

I only recently recognized this pattern as it seemed like there were honest life changes and/or opportunities at those times, but now I'm leaning towards the belief that I subconciously made those changes and opportunities when I got bored and restless. So from now on I'm going to keep it in mind that I'll probably be moving on to something new after 3 or so years in a job.

A very quirky thing about myself is that I have handled change very well but handle uncertainty very poorly. I start going nuts when I know I want to move on but haven't made up my mind where and am not sure when to pull the trigger. But I'm sure once I make the move I'll make it work. Or at least I always have before. Maybe the nuttiness is my way of weaning myself off of the comfort, familiarity and other golden handcuffs of my job.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-10-2004, 04:25 PM   #8
 
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Re: The bane of my existence

I was meant to be an entreprenuer, but it took me
a long time to see it. My record for working in one place
was 8 years, 1965 to 1973. After that, it was 3, 3, 3,
5, and after that I went out on my own. I got bored
or restless, or I got crossways with my partners and quit
or got fired.

JG
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-13-2004, 09:59 AM   #9
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Re: The bane of my existence

Quote:
A really persistent problem for me in my career thus far (coming up on 10 years) is boredom... Boredom is probably the leading reason why I am so eager for FIRE.
I totally agree. I just wish I could figure out what floats my boat, and what I want to do when I grow up.

Maybe Martha is right, and that startup gig is the refreshing start you need.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-13-2004, 12:47 PM   #10
 
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Re: The bane of my existence

Well... on the plus side, all you bored folks have jobs! That gives you the means to save some cash and make a change, if you choose.

I changed gears about 10 years ago, went back to school and completely changed career tracks. I now do what I love- am challenged by work, work with interesting and creative people, and am paid reasonably well. 10 years ago, I was in my early 20s and had $30K saved and was contemplating how I could save as much as possible through working so that I could ER. Now I am looking forward to staying active in my field until I am senile. It's good to do something you enjoy.
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-13-2004, 12:54 PM   #11
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Re: The bane of my existence

I fought the boredom of working for Uncle Sam by changing jobs every 3 years or so. During my 32 year federal career I held the following job titles: management intern, computer programmer, computer systems analyst, administrative officer, budget analyst, program analyst, financial manager, financial systems analyst, subject matter expert. Each job change required mastering a new skill set. Along the way I completed a Master's degree. Even within a particular job title I often held the same title on two or more very different types of projects. For example, I was the financial manager on a multi-spacecraft research project (Global Geospace Science) conducted jointly with the European Space Agency. I then became financial manager for the Hubble Space Telescope. That was the longest gig of my career (4 years). Those two jobs were completely different even though the title was the same.

I never understood how some of my coworkers could stand being in the exact same job for 10 or even 20 years.

When things got boring for me, I was able to move on to something new. I guess I was lucky.

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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-13-2004, 02:18 PM   #12
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Re: The bane of my existence

Shanna,
I love hearing about work that people love to do. What is your new field or avocation?

If everyone could find their way to this, maybe we wouldn't need to ER at all!

In my early semi-retirement, I am using the available time and FI to find my way to work that I can happily do part-time 'forever'. Not easy, not traditional, but I hold onto the belief that it is possible.

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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-14-2004, 07:42 AM   #13
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Re: The bane of my existence

It's nice to know that I am not just a strange malcontent, and that others feel the same way. I guess misery really does love company!

I haven't ever stayed for more than three years in one job, and now that I am on the verge of my three year anniversary in my current gig, I am absolutely dying of boredom. I guess I really do need a change. Unfortunately, I sometimes worry that the patchwork my resume is becoming will be a turn-off to a potential employer.

Shanna, I find my field in general to be interesting and stimulating. What I struggle with is the way that employers seem to want to use my skills. Doing the same thing over and over again is not goin to work for long, even if it is something that I initially find very stimulating (my current job is a case in point). Not sure what the solution is, but I guess that's one of the mysteries of life. What I like about the idea of FIRE is that I am not beholden to an employer and would be free to do whatever pleases me (subject to spousal limitations, of course).
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Spin that resume.
Old 12-14-2004, 07:59 AM   #14
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Spin that resume.

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Unfortunately, I sometimes worry that the patchwork my resume is becoming will be a turn-off to a potential employer.
Would you work for a company that only wanted employees to repeat the same routine ad infinitum ad nauseum?

Perhaps you couldmake it a positive attribute. Point out that you combat boredom by seeking out new challenges and broadening your skills in a fast-changing field. Or weave the disparate resume bullets into a long-range personal training program for a big objective like "CFO" or "CEO". (I doubt that "FIRE" is what the company is looking for.) I'm sure that the people you'll be working for have equally "short" attention spans...
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Re: The bane of my existence
Old 12-14-2004, 08:23 AM   #15
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Re: The bane of my existence

I hear you loud and clear Brewer. As Martha can probably attest, being a lawyer can be the epitome of boredom unless you move up in responsibility or get deeper into a particular area of expertise.
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Re: Spin that resume.
Old 12-14-2004, 10:34 AM   #16
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Re: Spin that resume.

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Would you work for a company that only wanted employees to repeat the same routine ad infinitum ad nauseum?

Can and have. As a matter of fact, just about every job I have had fit that description to a greater or lesser extent.

I've no problem wielding the golden shovel when it comes to resumes and interviews. After all, my wife is a professional career counselor...
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Re: Spin that resume.
Old 12-14-2004, 10:53 AM   #17
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Re: Spin that resume.

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As a matter of fact, just about every job I have had fit that description to a greater or lesser extent.
No wonder you're bored!

I think we've come full circle, and you've just laid your finger on a primary ER motivation...
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Re: Spin that resume.
Old 12-14-2004, 02:58 PM   #18
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Re: Spin that resume.

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Perhaps you couldmake it a positive attribute. *Point out that you combat boredom by seeking out new challenges and broadening your skills in a fast-changing field.
Not a bad way to look at things, but there needs to be a clear and consistent trend of upward responsibility in order to pull it off successfully. *

What Brewer undergoes every 3-5 years seems to be the same thing that many start-up founders do. *They start a company, pour 80-100 hour weeks into it over 3-5 years, then look to cash out. *After a 3-6 month "recovery period", wherein they become bored with the slow pace of "retirement", the cycle begins all over again. *I'm sure that the resume of many start-up founders wouldn't play well in Fortune 500 land, but most certainly would play well among VCs looking to invest in successful ventures. *Perhaps start-ups would be the most understanding of Brewer's boredom.
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Re: Spin that resume.
Old 12-15-2004, 07:19 PM   #19
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Re: Spin that resume.

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*I'm sure that the resume of many start-up founders wouldn't play well in Fortune 500 land, but most certainly would play well among VCs looking to invest in successful ventures. *Perhaps start-ups would be the most understanding of Brewer's boredom.
I agree. *Brewer, have you ever considered working for a startup? *Sounds like you need lots more challenge than your big safe employers are able to throw at you. *Startups are more like driving a sports car. *They know all about easily-bored people -- the founders are largely all wired up that way themselves.

Plus, if the startup is successful, you power up your Portfolio big time. It's always a roll of the dice, but it's worked for a whole lot of folks. (Self included)
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Re: Spin that resume.
Old 12-17-2004, 05:59 AM   #20
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Re: Spin that resume.

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I agree. *Brewer, have you ever considered working for a startup? *Sounds like you need lots more challenge than your big safe employers are able to throw at you. *Startups are more like driving a sports car. *They know all about easily-bored people -- the founders are largely all wired up that way themselves.

Plus, if the startup is successful, you power up your Portfolio big time. *It's always a roll of the dice, but it's worked for a whole lot of folks. *(Self included)
Yes, I have a potential opportunity at a start-up that I may well accept if we can come to terms. Time for me to try something new.
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