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16% of workers "enjoy what they do"
Old 01-15-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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16% of workers "enjoy what they do"

I'd never seen anyone report an actual number, 16% is higher than I might have guessed - but it's not zero as stated here sometimes. So if you don't enjoy what you're doing, maybe there's something that would suit you better, but it won't be easy to find. And this 2012 source say enjoying your work ranges from 10-26% by age group - note who they say the 26% group is.

But if you don't enjoy your work you're not alone. Your chances of finding work you enjoy are only about 1 in 6 based on this survey at least. One data point...FWIW

Odds are more than 84% of members here will (strongly) disagree...

http://www.transamericacenter.org/do...efiningret.pdf
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:54 PM   #2
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I think that a lot of people like what they do. It is all the stuff that goes with it like the cow-orkers who don't do their part, the HR stuff, the CEO and their strategy du jour. All the stuff in the bad bucket.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:59 PM   #3
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In other news, 16% of workers are full of crap.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:02 PM   #4
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I think that a lot of people like what they do. It is all the stuff that goes with it like the cow-orkers who don't do their part, the HR stuff, the CEO and their strategy du jour. All the stuff in the bad bucket.
For me it was a delicate balance between the commute which I hated and the work which I liked, at least a lot of the time. Over time, I hated the commute more and more while how much I liked the work was pretty much flat. When those two lines crossed in an unfavorable manner, my ER planning went up. Then I quit the job and ERed.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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In other news, 16% of workers are full of crap.
Man you are way too cynical. I lost count of the number of people I meet in Silicon Valley who thought they were going to changing the world. A surprising number really did. The world is a different place without an Apple, Google, Cisco, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel and host of smaller companies also. If you were an early employee, senior manager, or key engineer you probably made a real difference. Being part of something bigger than yourself can be very rewarding.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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I think that a lot of people like what they do. It is all the stuff that goes with it like the cow-orkers who don't do their part, the HR stuff, the CEO and their strategy du jour. All the stuff in the bad bucket.
I see that a lot with others here saying they generally liked or even enjoyed their jobs but they retired or are actively planning to because of all that stuff.

For me it was frustration with bureaucracy and traffic. I actually liked the work.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:46 PM   #7
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If you were an early employee, senior manager, or key engineer you probably made a real difference. Being part of something bigger than yourself can be very rewarding.
So a couple hundred people made it big. Small consolation to the hundreds of thousands of drones stuck in their cube-prison bureaucracy.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:57 PM   #8
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I guess I knew...
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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To me, "liking" something means you would do it without pay. After all, you like it.

Defined that way, I'd bet there have been only a handful of people in human history who have liked their jobs. I certainly have never known one.

And those who "make it big" are sometimes the most spiritually deficient people of all.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled optimism.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:06 PM   #10
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For me it was a delicate balance between the commute which I hated and the work which I liked, at least a lot of the time. Over time, I hated the commute more and more while how much I liked the work was pretty much flat. When those two lines crossed in an unfavorable manner, my ER planning went up. Then I quit the job and ERed.
That sounds pretty similar to my experience. I generally enjoyed my positions very much, but that commute to LA just plain sucked. I still have nightmares just thinking about it. Sometimes it added as much as five hours to my day. That's almost like a whole extra job in itself.

If we ever invent the bullet train to LA that gets me there in 15 minutes, I just may reconsider all of this.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:10 PM   #11
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To me, "liking" something means you would do it without pay. After all, you like it.

Defined that way, I'd bet there have been only a handful of people in human history who have liked their jobs. I certainly have never known one.

And those who "make it big" are sometimes the most spiritually deficient people of all.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled optimism.
I'm going to be spending a lot of my time helping the maintenance crew at a kid's camp. So this means I'm going to like cleaning the toilets
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:16 PM   #12
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To me, "liking" something means you would do it without pay. After all, you like it.

Defined that way, I'd bet there have been only a handful of people in human history who have liked their jobs. I certainly have never known one.

And those who "make it big" are sometimes the most spiritually deficient people of all.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled optimism.
I know hundreds of people who love what they do in one of my lines of work. The vast majority like to work and I know I'd do it for free, and I'm consistently told by other people they would too. I get to go to exclusive and fun events, get paid to travel, and my job consists almost completely of dancing or giving things away.

All of the red tape mentioned earlier doesn't really play a part because the longest I've ever worked with someone other than my boyfriend at once is a couple of months, with new bosses and coworkers constantly. One day we might be giving away ice cream in California with three people, the next we're selling software in New York with 30 others.

But all of those things above, which make me love it, made other people hate it. They hate meeting new people, and spending days or weeks on the road, and always having to learn about new brands.

It's definitely very hard to find something you'd do for free, but I'm still always surprised to go to work with people who love it, and then come back and read this forum, it's an interesting dichotomy
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #13
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I can believe 16% (or more) like the actual work they do. I don't believe that 16% like the office politics, the gossip, the backstabbing, the slave-driver bosses, corporate nonsense and other things tangential to the work itself that fills the BS bucket.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:37 PM   #14
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In other news, 16% of workers are full of crap.
I think it more likely that they are simply deceiving themselves and/or their interlocutors. The interviewer asks "Will you continue to work after retirement?*. You say "Yes, I will." The interviewer asks "why?" At that point a fairly large number will say "Because I'll need the money." But there are certainly still a substantial number (perhaps even 16%) who will be embarrassed to admit that they have not saved sufficiently and will need the money. So they say "Oh, I want to stay connected" or "I enjoy what I do." It's simple human nature.

* (yes, I am well aware of the non-sequitur)
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:49 PM   #15
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I think 16% of the time I liked my j*b. Those rare times when someone kept the id10ts away. Leadership that created positive environments. Those times were great. Working for political morons that needed a gps to find their office, not so great.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:54 PM   #16
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I think it more likely that they are simply deceiving themselves and/or their interlocutors. The interviewer asks "Will you continue to work after retirement?*. You say "Yes, I will." The interviewer asks "why?" At that point a fairly large number will say "Because I'll need the money." But there are certainly still a substantial number (perhaps even 16%) who will be embarrassed to admit that they have not saved sufficiently and will need the money. So they say "Oh, I want to stay connected" or "I enjoy what I do." It's simple human nature.

* (yes, I am well aware of the non-sequitur)

Sounds like "full of crap" covers it.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:11 PM   #17
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By and large I have enjoyed my job the majority of the time. I design and plan building systems and get the satisfaction of seeing beautiful buildings built by my design teams over and over throughout my career. A small handful of people can be annoying every once in awhile, but they have no direct control over me so they are easily dealt with. I rarely work over 40 a week anymore, and I am self motivated and work fairly autonomously 95% of the time and can telecommute several times per month at will. All that and I can still count on a sizable bonus too.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:15 PM   #18
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But make no mistake..... I have another 2-3 years until my retirement date and nothing is as satisfying to me than having to not show up anywhere at an agreed upon time on a regular basis. I crave having no paid responsibility or schedule more than anything on this planet.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:15 PM   #19
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It's definitely very hard to find something you'd do for free, but I'm still always surprised to go to work with people who love it, and then come back and read this forum, it's an interesting dichotomy
Yabbut......we're just a bunch of old pharts here. When you get to be our age............
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:24 PM   #20
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Yabbut......we're just a bunch of old pharts here. When you get to be our age............
Now I'd only believe that if I didn't work with people 60+ regularly. You guys here just find other ways to have fun! I imagine some people here wouldn't like my job.

The feeling I've gotten from this board so far seems to be that it's not working that's bad, it's the fact that someone else is making you do it that gets the mood down, even if you'd choose to do the same thing they'd make you do.

Which is basically why I love finances and FIRE so much even though I love what I do

EDIT: Although I have noticed the job gets worse if you move up the ranks. I have met more than a few older people who eventually moved up and got more money for booking and planning events instead of working them, but came back down to the street team level because it just wasn't worth it when sitting behind the desk and staying with one company.
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