Do you like your job/career ?
This interests me.....
I always assumed most people hated their jobs. I've never found a job I liked.
Some have been better than others and some are fine for a while.
BUT !!! As the majority of people actually spend most of their waking lives at work, isn't it more important that you actually spend that time not wanting to jump out of the top window ?
Is this why more and more people are throwing it all in, jumping on the bike and heading around the world ?
Discuss ! :smartass:
OK, Ted, I'll chime in here.
The answer is a qualified 'yes'. I say qualified because I work part time for about 8 months a year, four days per week when I do work. In addition, I had to travel far away from the UK to enjoy the same job - I now work mostly in Canada and occasionally elsewhere like the Far East.
The extra time off is for travel; the job pays the bills, but I still enjoy it, largely 'cos I have time off to recuperate between intensive spells of work - the median time to burn out in my line of work is 9 years if one does it full time. Fcuk that.
I worked extremely hard for 24 years to get to this point, but it was worth it because I am happy with the work I do and the time off I have. In addition, en route, I saw pretty much the whole world, worked on most continents and did and saw things that most people only read books about or see on TV.
That's why I advised a chap with your abilities to go for a high end job/profession while you still have the chance.
But at the end of the day, it's all only a job. You gotta be happy with your life, whatever you choose to do.
I've always insisted on finding work I enjoy greatly. When I've found myself complaining endlessly about it, I've figured it's up to me to make whatever changes I need until I stop complaining and start enjoying again.
Sometimes the joy doesn't happen right away, and it's necessary to work for a while accumulating the skills or documentation that will qualify you for the fun stuff. Mostly it's possible to make even the early stages themselves interesting or enjoyable, but that's an internal process--it's done by changing your attitude. That's a key point: it's not usually the work itself, but the attitude you bring.
In my earlier career in the construction trades, the learning curve involved lots of backbreaking labor. In middle age I switched to a professional career which required 5 years of sitting in classrooms and taking frequent exams. In neither case was the preparation/learning phase exactly a barrel of laughs, but both were endlessly fascinating and "fun" in their own ways.
I'll acknowledge that the world economic crunch has made a lot of this more difficult. Most of us came of age during remarkably slack, easy times (although we may not have recognized this until it was over). Those days are largely gone now. I'll also acknowledge that the kind of mobility across different vocations I'm describing is more common in the USA than in Europe or the UK. But still....
Executive summary: I believe you're supposed to be reasonably happy, doing something you love doing. I believe it's up to you to find or create the job, lifestyle, and inner strength which allows that to happen. I'll add that it's a rare individual who'll accomplish this while living rootlessly on the road for long stretches. You might need to discover this last bit on your own.
I am early 50s and can draw a pension from 60, but I will probably leave before then and set off on a indefinite trip while I can.
Good luck with your search for something that gives you what you want from life. It was children for me - the best thing that ever happened to me, they are wonderful in so many ways.
Face it no one wants to work. If I had a job I would work my boules orf, to get rid of my debts and mortgage, then I would sell this damn house which I have never liked, and all the crap I never really needed, THEN I would take my chances and hit the road. What could be worse than the life here in brokenland. I am suffering from depression , got type 2 diabetes, over weight, suicidal and pretty much unemployable, so if you like your job, then great, they won and you have convinced yourself that that is the right thing to do.
PS ignore me I am bitter, and the wrong side of a few whiskeys :nono:
I taught English at a university on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It was truly a dream job: I loved working with the students, I enjoyed the lifestyle of a small, sleepy beach resort town, everything was great.... except the money. I took home about $1000/month. By local standards that was a very high salary - I spent maybe about $650/month and was able to put away a third of salary.
The trouble is that every time I got on a plane to fly back to Canada to visit family and friends, I'd wipe out the last 6 months of savings. After about three years of this, I realized that if I didn't want to keep working until I drop dead, I needed to return to a higher paying job in Canada and start saving for retirement.
That was five years ago. I have been working in IT since and have actually done a decent job of saving. I am on-schedule to take an early retirement in about 9-10 more years, and I will probably move back to Mexico and teach part-time.
The job I have now in IT? Meh. It's okay, nothing special, and pays the bills - but it will allow me to retire while relatively young and able-bodied.
Yep! I'm pretty much in my dream job. As Austin said, I dont get up saying woohoo! but I have no objections in going to work.
I work in the mining industry. Lets face it, none of us could be doing any of this travelling without the mining industry (steel, copper, aluminium, molybdenum etc) as it would be hard to get places on a bike whittled out of wood. I work 7 days on, 7 days off so effectively I only work for half a year. I class myself as being "semi retired"
I have run my own business for the last 16 years and in the begining I worked 7 days a week, up to 16 hours a day but I got ahead, payed off the mortgage and put some away so that I can now enjoy my time off even more.
My job keeps me active and fit (both body and mind) and I enjoy (yes, enjoy)the stress/pressure associated with meeting deadlines etc.
It would be great if we could all find that one enjoyable, meaningfull task that we call a job but unfortuneately not all of us can.
I'm a lucky one! I'm happy!!
Oh Dear. I'm drawn to this thread.
My answer above is <I don't work at all. For whatever reason>
But when I worked I would have ticked <Yes. I'm doing my dream job and I'm very happy>
And it all just 'fell in my lap'.
I only ever worked for one employer, and was introduced to that through a visit to my school from a 'Careers Officer'. Without him I would never have thought of this particular company.
Thereafter I took every opportunity that came my way. Whether it was for change of job, promotion, or training.
I only once looked for a change of job on my own initiative. My job at that time had become 'routine' so I found another, including promotion.
All my other job changes/promotions came about through introductions by work colleagues, or through internal 'head-hunting'. On each occasion I still enjoyed the job I was in, but always took the new opportunity.
There were only two opportunities that I ever turned down.
My boss at the time thought I should try for a company scholarship for an engineering degree (my qualifications at the time were just short of degree level). So he put me forward and I gained a scholarship, but not the top one. It covered all the time off, exam costs, NI contributions during time at university, and employment at the same level between terms and at the end. But no salary while away. I think there was a small bursary.
I applied to universities and received 2 offers.
But, I decided my career had advanced rapidly enough that a degree wouldn't be beneficial for the future, particularly with the loss of wages, so I declined.
A few years and a couple of jobs later, I again had a boss who thought I should try again for a better scholarship. He said he'd give me a huge recommendation. That worked. I won one, as before, and would be kept on half pay during the term time. That's about as good an offer as is possible. And I got offers of university places as well.
But, again, with my career having progressed quite nicely since the last time, I decided I liked the work too much to have all that time on half pay, so turned it down.
And however I look at it, with all the hindsight I have, those two decisions were exactly right.
I continued to get fantastic jobs in areas I never ever imagined I'd find myself. And what a brilliant employer - right up to the time of retirement!
When all my retirement papers were on their way to the 'personnel dept' they crossed paths with papers they had sent to me.
Those papers told me I had reached levels of responsibility in areas of sufficiently advanced technology that I had been put forward to join a 'senior programme' that would lead to an MA! On full pay!
Well, when the 'crossed paths' had been sorted out, I had agreement to start the MA even though I was sticking with my retirement. I completed a third of it before my last month at work.
So why did I retire and not continue in this helluva job?
Many years previously it had started to take me abroad. To many European countries and about nine states of the US. I ran projects in Australia and Hong Kong, but never got to those places. Engineers working for me went instead as they had done all the manufacturer's training courses.
So travel had got in my blood, and the retirement package was very nice, thankyou. I could have continued the MA at Nottingham University but would have had to pay for it. So no decision really.....
This leads me to firmly conclude, in my case at least, and as I said in Ted's other thread, it's who you know not what you know. Making lots of contacts (which just 'came with the job' in the areas I was working in), who then steered me further on my career (and in turn I steered others) was far more useful than the offers of university degrees.
And I wasn't alone. The company employed 250,000 people at the peak. And all us retired types now gather together for big reunions more often than is good for us. The main topic of conversation and reminiscing is always the same, how absolutely and fundamentally lucky we've all been to have worked together it what must have been the best collection of jobs in the world! We acknowledge that absolutely!
And also, we all have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever for giving our children or grandchildren any advice at all when it comes to jobs and careers and universities in today's situation. (And that includes T. Ted!)
In my case, I threw it in at a time when I could stop work and have sufficient pension to live comfortably. If I hadn't got some 'bug' whether it be travel or something else, maybe I'd still be working. There are people who look towards retirement with shear abject horror, even though they have a big fat pension, usually because they have little or no interests or social life outside of work. And there seems to be quite a few of them in my experience.
The company I worked for all that time ran comprehensive 'Retirement Counselling' programmes. Not something I ever needed, thank you very much.
Last word (I hope).
To anyone reading this who's looking forward to retirement to have a quiet life, travelling or not:
During my career, every single retired colleague always said, "Be warned! After you've been retired for a day/week/month, you'll be so busy you'll never ever know how on earth you ever had the time to go to work!"
Absolutely 100% true......
How good does it get?
I'm very happy. I started out working 5am-6.30pm seven days a week (had 7 days off in 5 years at one stage) for nine years in my own business. Various economic ups and downs and then a major accident meant at the end of nine years I had enough for a 30% deposit on a very modest house after selling the business. Not really as planned. That was 20 years ago. Now, at 52 years old, I'm still living in a another very modest house, in another business of my own, I now work an average of 2 1/2 days a week as a specialist photographer which takes me over much of New Zealand. It is enough to keep both me and my wife in food, clothes, good beer and a great life. I have about 15 bikes in the shed, a 4WD, caravan and a small boat, a very small holiday place (one room cabin in the mountains) and a bike trip overseas every year or two. I think I am VERY lucky.
YMMV.... but that's life.
Nigel in NZ
If it was fun they'd make you pay to do it, not the other way round!
What a great thread! .. :yes:
For what it’s worth, I like my job and love the people I work with. I have the choice of employed or self-employed status. I insist on self-employment, as this way I can call the shots. I get away for 2-3 month travel sessions twice a year, with usually a 10-14 day foreign ‘getaway’ break in between.
Six years ago I retired early (age 52), with all debts paid off and a few quid in the bank .. then spent 4½ years doing very little - apart from travelling here and there. The travel sessions aside, I didn’t really like my lifestyle during that period. It’s too easy to grow lazy when there’s not much to get up for in the morning. I even feared premature dementia might set in because I wasn’t using my brains enough (what little I have!)
Look, work is good in my opinion, even a privilege when you’re in your late 50s and get the chance of a second crack at it .. especially if you like the work you do; and even better when it fits-in and around your travel plans.
In summary, I’ll happily carry-on working until I’m 80 .. if I can get away with it.
I've read every word !! I sometimes forget what interesting and experienced people the hubb is populated by.
Some cool insights to career approaches...
I did Economics at uni but all I ever wanted to do was be an 'entrepreneur', run my own business etc. I think it is that whole being more in control of your own destiny thing. So I did work experience with start-up tech companies and so forth at uni. I learnt a lot about what makes a start-up succeed/fail. I started a music festival and went 15k in the hole after the local council pulled my permit at the last minute (that is a very long story). Learnt a lot about life/business through that. In retrospect I was lucky that I got burnt young when I didn't have as much money to throw at a business.
At the time we had no money to spend on promotion for our music festivals, so we used Facebook and Myspace to really reach out, it was super effective. The older generation of music promoters had no idea how to use Facebook/Myspace. So I went to them and sold my skills at a serious profit. Managed to make about half the money back doing this.
Should have stuck with it, a young guy who did a similar thing is now making millions through this. But I felt the need to move overseas to get away from a bad break up. So I worked in sales, sharpened my teeth in Advertising sales and Recruitment working in the boiler rooms of Dublin. Not my cup of tea though. Burn and churn sales is not for me.
Moved back to Australia when the GFC hit and Irish unemployment went to 15%. I knew then that I had to get into whatever Industry was booming. Took a pay cut to get into a sales job trading chemicals into the Mining Industry. Worked hard and got promoted very quickly and was well ahead of where I was in Ireland after only a year. Most importantly though I was networking like a madman and making as many contacts as I could in the mining and chemical industries. Also saved like crazy and finally quit my job after 3 years to do the trip I am on now.
However the whole year before I left I was setting up opportunities (the numbers game) for when I get back from my trip. I visited all my key customers before I left and explained to them what I was doing, half a dozen gave me their card and told me to call them when I get back.
Almost a year on the road now but the whole time I have been remaining in contact with my old customers, sending them emails every now and again to say hi, a few of them follow my blog.
I now have an offer in hand to join an old contact from an old customer who is starting up a company selling chemical products into the mining industry. I have the overseas contacts that he needs to source the ingredients. He knows how to make the products. He already has an investor who has fronted the cash and I will get a small share in the company which has so much more potential than anything I could have dreamt of starting on my own.
So that's my short career so far. I love what I do... seeking out deals and opportunities and I get a real sense of satisfaction when a deal comes together.
What have I learnt -
It's more important that you make smart career decisions, then it is important that you value and work on every business relationship you have, as said, its who you know, not what you know. Third comes hard work, which will bolster the first two IMO.
Attitude is key, if you don't like doing something I don't think you will ever be great at it.
That nobody 'is their own boss', because you either answer to your boss, your customers, regulators, or your investors... or your spouse. Everybody is accountable to somebody. Having said that, anybody can take control of their own destiny, whether they work for themselves or somebody else.
As someone said in another thread, seeking out opportunities is a numbers game.
That because of my skill set, I am not ever going to be able to make money on the road. My ability is to build business relationships and that is by it's nature going to be tied to a location in general. So my strategy is to put in 3-5 year stints and then take big trips in between these.
Sorry for going a bit outside of the original question but I think this is about more about the whole career satisfaction/juggling work and travel too. As per the other thread.
I also wanted to tie in something someone else was talking about, how some people really like life on the road and fit in with the nomad lifestyle very well, others find after 3-12 months they are ready to get back to a bit more routine and the same postcode. The former, nomads, tend to find it harder to ease back into 'normal' life after an extended trip, where as the latter find it a bit easier. On my trip I have learnt I am definitely the latter, so I think my approach of, travel, career, travel is suited to me. However it obviously wouldn't fit anyone.
Ted, you sound like a bit more like the former, loving the Nomadic life? So a job that you can travel with sounds ideal for the lifestyle you want to lead.
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