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Sick of your career?
Old 10-31-2008, 08:07 PM   #1
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Sick of your career?

Just curious - is there anyone else on here currently who like me is just plain sick of their career.

I've held four very different positions in my organization, all of which many people would consider an interesting job - but I'm just sick of it all. I'm not even interested in pursuing a 5th "change of pace" position for a few more years. I just want out.

Fortunately when I have 25 years next year I'll have a COLA'd pension, health insurance benefits, a tidy sum tucked away in my TSP (in G-fund Treasuries right now). I'll be 49 & still will get SS at 62.

Most folks think I'm nuts to leave at this point as I'm at a pretty high-point salary-wise & I could continue to build up my investments. But I've run the numbers & can be done - I just won't be able to save as much after retiring & I'm still pretty young.

I just don't think it's good for my health (mental or otherwise) to stay on.

Anybody else been there (or there now)?
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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feeling that way alot lately at 49 as well. no pension or health ins, need to\ want/to do it all on my own, will do it in 3 years or so if I can, thats the plan, take time off then look for something to do with no travel involved, have to travel now, past hating it, it makes me physicaly ill.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:30 PM   #3
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Not sure what to say. Is there anyway to take a break. Like a year off? Might have to step down in pay or position, and I am not even sure it is possible in government work. However, if you are really good at what you do, and it is in a field that is needed, it may be possible to retire, and come back in a year or so if you think you want to.

As to being in the same situation. Yes, however, I was older than you, and closer to SS. When I realized I was FI, it was over for me, Going on 4 years now and I the thought of going back to work is not one I seriously consider.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:49 PM   #4
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Not sure what to say. Is there anyway to take a break. Like a year off? Might have to step down in pay or position, and I am not even sure it is possible in government work. However, if you are really good at what you do, and it is in a field that is needed, it may be possible to retire, and come back in a year or so if you think you want to.

As to being in the same situation. Yes, however, I was older than you, and closer to SS. When I realized I was FI, it was over for me, Going on 4 years now and I the thought of going back to work is not one I seriously consider.
I'm good at what I do - just have lost interest. (I know that sound "whiny")

Not possible to take a year off & come back. Doesn't translate too well to private sector & wouldn't want to if it did. There's some lucrative contract work overseas, but they are not in any "garden spots" & DW & DD would have a BIG problem with it.

Planning to start fresh with something totally new & part-time till late 50's - just don't know what yet - will probably have to try a few different things - get a plaid jacket & sell used cars maybe - fortunately I won't have to make a lot.

I've always been blessed with excellent health, but have a sneaking suspicion that could change if I continue on with this career that has become (to me) depressing - esp when I don't "have to" anymore.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:12 PM   #5
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If you retire with pension and medical benefits, you can always work at some other job that you like better, if you feel like it, and just let the money in your TSP grow.

If it was me, I'd leave in a heartbeat! But then, I'm 60 and you're 49.

I think I know what you mean. I am good at what I do (an understatement if I am to believe my performance evaluation received today). I have been successful in my career. My job is a dream job for me. I just want to retire and do what I want to do with the rest of my time.

It's not the KIND of job or career - - I just don't want a job any more.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:52 PM   #6
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Yeah, tiring of the travel, tiring of feeling like the peanut butter in a PB panini...all squished out by opposing pressures, tired of being responsible for the welfare of so many people, who all think that my goal in life is no more than to use them as a doormat (yes, I'm sr mgmt)...trying to figure out how to save their bonuses and their jobs, when any chance for my own incentives is completely gone. Yeah, you could say I'm tired of it. But, I'm not tired of making sure my DW and kids are sheltered and fed...so I keep plugging away at it. Will be 50 in 3 yrs, hopefully by then...

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Old 10-31-2008, 11:05 PM   #7
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Anybody think continuing in their career is affecting (or affected) their health?
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:49 PM   #8
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Definitely. Have rarely been sick with a cold before the last 18 months...then bleeding gastritis, then ulcers, then tinnitus, then diverticulitis, and the doc saying "if you don't lose weight you may not see your daughter graduate from HS"...she's got 7 months to go (he is overdoing it a little, all my numbers are good except for my weight, bordering on obese...don't drink, don't smoke, but didn't exercise much either, until shocked into action). Add to that what seems to be the beginnings of arthritis in the wrists, and all within a period of less than 18 months.

Doc says that all of the above except perhaps arthritis are affected by stress, but not necessarily caused by it. Would have liked to go when DS graduates but still need a few more points on my scorecard....but physically ill? Yes. And sometimes getting to work on monday would not be possible if I did not go to the gym first and get an endorphin rush first. Glad the doc got me going there even if by shock tactics.

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Old 11-01-2008, 05:23 AM   #9
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Totally been there and very recently. Retired with a COLAed military pension then went back to Govt work. Incredible benefits, ridiculous amount of leave, high pay, not much supervision.

But after the military, having to work 8 to 5 was a total blow (yes this sounds ridiculous to most, but the cube farm after military life is painful.) It was ruining my health too, and don't let the doc tell you that certain types of arthritis aren't stress related either.

So I resigned. The response from coworkers was incredible, as every single one of them said they wished they could do the same. Even the military retirees who seemingly could, just couldn't push themselves to make the escape. The most poignant ones were those who couldn't escape and stayed for the pay/bennies.

I'm about your age and did it, you can too.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:50 AM   #10
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Planning to start fresh with something totally new & part-time till late 50's - just don't know what yet - will probably have to try a few different things - get a plaid jacket & sell used cars maybe - fortunately I won't have to make a lot.
Buddy of mine did this. Had traditional pension with medical as a "backstop".

He loves it. He goes to small companies - tells them he does not need benefits - they're interested in him because of his "low overhead" - and he's had a bunch of interesting jobs - with "breaks" inbetween for travel.

The jobs don't pay what he used to make - but with the pension - he doesn't care.

I'm planning same after I get a few more years under my "pension belt".
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:02 AM   #11
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I'm 47, pretty tired of my day job and hope to be ER sometime soon. (But 'sometime' has been a very moving target for me). I've been in the IT industry for 25 years and worked in 3 very different areas in that time - like you, I have no interest in exploring a 4th 'career change' within IT. The job has changed so much over the years, I really don't like it any more, and with recent rounds of outsourcing, my coworkers describe the current atmosphere at work as 'toxic'. But I tend to roll with the punches and unlike you, I don't think that the job is affecting my health, mentally or physically.

So I'm nearly 48, will get a pretty decent pension at 55, some company sponsored health insurance at 55 (but from what I hear, I might do better getting insurance on my own), Firecalc says I'm in very good shape if I were to retire now, but the recent financial crisis is just one more reason I'm delaying - I feel that I'm borderline FI and maybe working another year or so would be smart for me.

I have a pretty good idea what I'll be doing after I retire from the day job - I'm an artist and really look forward to having more time to devote to that, instead of just squeezing it in weekends and weeknights. I think that having this sideline right now, and looking forward to spending more time on it after ER is what helps keep me sane in the toxic atmosphere of my day job. Sounds like you're lacking a really strong outside interest right now? Would exploring some outside interests while keeping your job a while longer make it more bearable for you? Or... what am I saying?... if your current job is affecting your health, and you're confident that you can FIRE, it sounds like you should take the leap! (Hopefully I won't be too far behind you.)
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:48 AM   #12
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Anybody think continuing in their career is affecting (or affected) their health?
Definitely. I enjoy my work most of the time, but it's quite stressful and will definitely shorten my lifespan. The trick is to find the sweet spot to ER while I have enough time to enjoy it while not running out of money!
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:06 AM   #13
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Anybody think continuing in their career is affecting (or affected) their health?
ABSOLUTELY!!

My body doesn't react to stress well. I doubt if anyone else's does, either. My job can be quite stressful at times, and my response is often stress eating and insomnia. My resistance to disease seems lowered.

Just last week I set a goal for myself. My goal is to lose 20 pounds before I retire (in a year), stress or not. Don't know if I can do it, but I'll try. I hope and suspect that like Khan, I will find myself shedding pounds very easily during the first year or two after ER.

I catch a lot of colds/viruses/bugs at work. People come to work sick because they think that somehow makes them seem more dedicated to work or virtuous. What it really does is spread their illness among everyone in the workplace.

Edited to add: Then there is the $%)(*& travel. You spend hours sitting in airports and airplanes with the coughing, sick masses, get to your destination and then work 16 hour days with unhealthy food brought in and no healthy choices available, and little time to exercise even if the hotel does have a decent gym (and most seem pretty pitiful to me). In the process, you get exposed to a multitude of minor pathogens from locations all over the world where the other participants live. Then you come home 10 pounds heavier and they give you comp time (no OT allowed for scientists at my agency), most of which you really need just to catch up on sleep, but you don't really GET the comp time until about a month later. THANK GOODNESS my obligatory work-related travel seems to have been cut down significantly since I have revealed at work that I am planning to retire next year, and that I despise work travel.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:28 AM   #14
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...all squished out by opposing pressures, tired of being responsible for the welfare of so many people, who all think that my goal in life is no more than to use them as a doormat (yes, I'm sr mgmt)...trying to figure out how to save their bonuses and their jobs, when any chance for my own incentives is completely gone. Yeah, you could say I'm tired of it. But, I'm not tired of making sure my DW and kids are sheltered and fed...so I keep plugging away at it.

R
Wow, exactly where I am at. I'm 54, but I will stick it out until age 56 at least despite the unpleasant present**. At some point I will quit this and go on to something else, sure would like a career in "green" industry - but that's terribly insecure now too. Having a paying job is meaningful to me, I don't want to quit work to 'do my thing' full time until I can't work any more, YMMV...

**I just cut the hours (and therefore base pay) of my hourly workforce by 10-20%, as did all our plant locations. I realize how difficult this will be for them (even though I'm sr mgmt and they insist 'I don't understand'). And after 06 was our best year ever, our earnings have fallen to zip and none of us will get bonuses, impacting hourly and salary (increasingly higher 'pay at risk' for the latter). My pay will drop far more in $ or % than anyone else, but I have no illusions that any will see us as 'spreading the pain.' Our competitors have all layed off people and are closing plants. Right or wrong, we believe in the future and we are resisting closing plants or laying off anyone. Time will tell, but for now I am the head demon (some days I'm paid too much, some days it's not enough)...
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
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Anybody else been there (or there now)?

I'm there now. 22nd yr in the Army, 8 months to retirement. Ready to go. Not that I don't give the organization 100% every day. I still find myself taking the least path of resistance a lot of time rather than dealing w/ problems head on. I'm sure my colleagues sense it.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:39 AM   #16
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Anybody think continuing in their career is affecting (or affected) their health?
Absolutely. Just told a colleague (a physician, btw) that I can tell when my blood pressure is up - and nowadays that seems to be all day long.

I have a very poor diet - working through lunch or grabbing something quickly -

Little time for exercise - at the end of each day I can feel my shoulders slumping -

First yr of retirement (from July 2009), plan on trying to undo all the ills of work with a consistent work out/exercise program.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:45 AM   #17
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Planning to start fresh with something totally new & part-time till late 50's - just don't know what yet - will probably have to try a few different things - get a plaid jacket & sell used cars maybe - fortunately I won't have to make a lot.
I tried that (selling cars) and hated it. But at least I learned that I hate selling, which I didn't know before.

I've been there, done that, with the career that you're "tired of" and just don't want to do anymore.

But the pension pays the everyday bills, so I took a couple of years basically doing nothing to decompress then started looking around for something to do. Even thought of going to truck-driving school but talked to some truck drivers and they told me what it's really like. Yuck.

So now I'm doing basically nothing, have a 3.4 mile commute doing security work. Not exactly challenging, but for now I don't want challenging. Been challenged, now I want something easy. Found it.

So it's something to do, meet some people, and the extra income will buy toys like a new motorcycle.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:09 PM   #18
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ABSOLUTELY!!

My body doesn't react to stress well. I doubt if anyone else's does, either. My job can be quite stressful at times, and my response is often stress eating and insomnia. My resistance to disease seems lowered.

Just last week I set a goal for myself. My goal is to lose 20 pounds before I retire (in a year), stress or not. Don't know if I can do it, but I'll try. I hope and suspect that like Khan, I will find myself shedding pounds very easily during the first year or two after ER.
It went away on its own (totally unexpected by the way).

Quote:
I catch a lot of colds/viruses/bugs at work. People come to work sick because they think that somehow makes them seem more dedicated to work or virtuous. What it really does is spread their illness among everyone in the workplace.
So true; I've had one mild cold since I retired.

Quote:
Edited to add: Then there is the $%)(*& travel. You spend hours sitting in airports and airplanes with the coughing, sick masses, get to your destination and then work 16 hour days with unhealthy food brought in and no healthy choices available, and little time to exercise even if the hotel does have a decent gym (and most seem pretty pitiful to me). In the process, you get exposed to a multitude of minor pathogens from locations all over the world where the other participants live. Then you come home 10 pounds heavier and they give you comp time (no OT allowed for scientists at my agency), most of which you really need just to catch up on sleep, but you don't really GET the comp time until about a month later. THANK GOODNESS my obligatory work-related travel seems to have been cut down significantly since I have revealed at work that I am planning to retire next year, and that I despise work travel.
Crap I hated business travel. I caught some sort of cold after every flight. We had to share cars and everyone else wanted to eat junk food. After a couple days of junk food, extra stress, and exposure to all sorts of new germs; my face would break out. Nothing like acne on a 40 something.
------------------------
Concerning arthritis and stress: the chronic knee pain went away before I started losing weight.
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:18 PM   #19
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I have been there and yes, I strongly believe that the stress of work affected my health. 5 years at age 49 I did start looking for a new, totally different, job but right at that time my megacorp started a big re-org, and I got asked to be a part of it.

I was absolutely ready for the change and although I was not required to re-locate I wanted to - DW was able to ESR which she loves.

3 years in the new job and I was back to being stressed out and burnt out. 2 years before being eligible for pension and health benefits it really made sense to try and hang on. I applied for another job within megacorp and moved again.

Now just over a year to go and this particular job is much like that of a consultant (no direct reports) and travel is at an absolute minimum.

If I were in OP's position with a pension available at 49 then I would leave, take a break, and then look for something completely different.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:18 PM   #20
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I was extremely burnt out on my career and have been in semi-retirement for a couple of years. That means I only work if/when I feel like it. Lately I haven't been feeling like working. I'm a computer programmer and do contract work when I'm up to working. My last job ended in June '08. On my last job I found myself extremely bored and that led to frustration. There were days that I would say to myself "I don't care about this job!". At times I felt like my chest was going to explode....not a good feeling. The fact that I take pride in my work and always want to give a good effort made this even worse. Luckily I have been saving for ER since my 20's and firecalc says I'm fine for that (even with the latest downturn in the market). Your situation sounds similar to mine and I can relate to how you feel. I'd say, if you can afford it, retire. You can always go back to work in a similar job or try something completely different. Or you can just retire and enjoy life. FYI. I'm 52 yo and have no pension.
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