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Old 10-10-2017, 01:47 PM   #41
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I am a CPA and currently work in the federal government. I won't bore you all with the details of what makes the job soul crushing. I'll just say that I don't feel like I am making a difference or doing anything meaningful with my job. There are a lot of people just buying their time until retirement. I understand why... the benefits are great. It's never easy to leave a cushy job, but i have an awesome husband who will support me in whatever I want to do. If I go out on my own, I'll be doing accounting work for small businesses which I have done in the past while I worked for somebody else. I'll be starting from ground zero though. Leaving a six figure job to start at nothing is a mental hurdle I have to overcome. On the plus side, the airstream will get out of storage more and we could really see some amazing places next summer. You can't get time back, right? Thank you all again for giving me your perspective.
During my career I had similar feelings about my work, especially in my late 30s and early 40s. I left one job went to another doing the same type of work at another company. I also started my own business, which was really more demanding of my time. After doing this flip flop a few times I figured out the problem... it is a JOB. I had to have a job that paid well to support my family.

I started looking at my work differently. Work to live, not live to work.
I adjusted my attitude, trying to be more positive about work situations and be more flexible with the people I worked with. Because of this, I think I became better at my work/job. My work assignments became more challenging and enjoyable. I made more money. I was happier.

Is going from one job to another job doing the same work really going to make you happier? Or, is another change due?
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:51 PM   #42
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I don't work because I enjoy work.
I work because I enjoy the lifestyle it supports outside of work.
My life first and work second...
Catch phrase: "I don't love these filters..."
These filters just provide me a means for supporting myself and family.
That being said, I will do the very best job I can do with integrity and exceeding the customers' expectations...
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:58 PM   #43
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I think I am in a similar position and a similar age, though being laid off is a strong contributor. Up until this employer I couldn't have imagined any triggers for a "mid-life crisis"...as I've always overall really enjoyed my day to day job up until this one, but as I start the job search by force it is really frustrating and makes one question where they are. I am just hoping I can find the things that made me enjoy my previous jobs again, but it is so much a crap shoot...and I had joined this employer with promise that it was going to be a great place to be for the long term. Which makes it even more frustrating that the program I was on got the axe, failing at something can be heart breaking...but being completely prevented from being successful at anything for years on end due to politics is truly soul crushing. Self worth often is influenced by success at work, and this is the first time I've worked in a place that truly seemed to be perfectly OK with making people fail over and over by canceling projects before they got started repeatedly.
I think we work at the same place. Soul Crushing fits perfectly.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:04 PM   #44
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A crushed soul is serious. Going freelance in 2017 is not all that outside the box.

I worked 35 years for a not-for-profit that I found very rewarding. But things changed and I found I wasn't enjoying it anymore, so I retired. That was in May of 2008. Had I said I'd wait to the end of the year, it would have been in the middle of the huge recession and I might have been to scared to retire. I'm glad I did, I haven't had a minute of regret.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:09 PM   #45
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My only issue is that since I retired, jobs keep finding me...
With me, they try real hard but my answer is always 'whoops sorry I missed ya, I was in the forest without any cell service!'

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Old 10-10-2017, 02:10 PM   #46
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Your purpose or your influence on changing the world may be outside of the workplace.
Think about the basic reason why we exist/why we are here...
To help and serve others...
That is changing the world one person at a time.
Works is simply a means to an end.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:24 PM   #47
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The wife and I "had" the cushy type of job; both in health care. Than the Gov and insurance companies started to get their "nose" into more and more and there went the fun. Patients needing food for their feeding tubes,denied, NOT medically necessary. Batteries and tires for wheelchairs NOT medically necessary; but the paying agency had purchased the chairs.
On the other side, there was the patient that had worked hard and then a MEDICAL setback and all monies gone. A nursing home can cost in excess of $7k per month They could have retired, but the GOOD money was there and they continued to work. Now their money and health is gone .
Been there, saw it. (parents)
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:35 PM   #48
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My opinion is that it may be possible to change your viewpoint of your job. Instead of it defining your life, take back your power and treat it as a tool, as only a job.


Some guys they just give up living, and start dying little by little, piece by piece.
Some guys come home from work, get washed up, and go racing in the streets.



It is true that any job has challenges and requirements. Can the airstream be the safety valve to help you focus your life to be more about what you want, without giving up the benefits and security of the position?
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:12 PM   #49
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When I was in my early 40's, I joined a firm that thoroughly misrepresented the position but paid 6 figures. After 2 absolutely miserable years, I heard about a job in another city but didn't want to relocate. I quit the ugliest job I'd ever had and I became a contractor (or 'consultant'). That was 14 years ago and I've never looked back. I'm still in the 6 figures, have had some lean years (saving and budgeting is a good thing in the good years) and find my own work through networking and recruiting agencies for professionals.

When I find myself wondering why I didn't work for a company with paid benefits/vacation, matching 401-K, pension, etc., I remind myself of 2 things: 1) do I want to be 70 (or older) and look back on a bunch of regrets because I wasted my life at meaningless jobs that paid well, and 2) since one never knows when the dirt nap will come along, how do I want to live my one and only life?

Good luck and I wish you well.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:21 PM   #50
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When I retired from the Navy in '99, this Monster.com commercial first aired during the Super Bowl. I laughed so hard, because the last kid was me.

I had a great job, but the organization was bought out by a For Profit, and the climate took a nose dive, and like others, I began to see that Healthcare is not an overly kind industry. I switched organizations and am having more fun and enjoyment than before. My wife and I are still in Healthcare, but have been fortunate enough to begin planning for retirement, (actually early retirement). Earlier this year we picked May 1, 2018 as our early retirement date, and will leave for Alaska in early June.

We are not sure what we will do when we return, but between our retirement savings, we should be ok.

I hope you can find some time to find what excites you and makes you happy, then pursue those dreams. There have been lots of great comments and suggestions here.

GOOD LUCK

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Old 10-10-2017, 03:25 PM   #51
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where would you rather they find the body, slumped over your desk or in the trees?
Total truth a co worker died at his desk in the office!! That puts things in perspective. I swear the company didnt even clean that desk before they gave it to someone else!!! These days employees are disposable & replaceable. I needed to start living for me.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:50 PM   #52
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We are creatures created to work. You’ll always work, just in different ways than are conventionally considered “work.” A body at rest deteriorates quickly. I would argue that if you are looking for a “job” to provide you fulfillment, you will always be unhappy. Diminishing returns are a reality in everything. Some people find joy in the actual “work” but not many, if you were one of them you wouldn’t have posed the question.

If you can find nothing around you that provides you fulfillment, then I would argue you should make a change. I love my clients and the people I work with. I love interacting with them and building relationships. I don’t care all that much for my job though, but I find that my “grind” makes me appreciate the time spent away with my family and friends much more.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:24 PM   #53
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each moment is a gift... that is why it is called "the present"

The only reason for a "job" is to provide for our worldly "needs".

When we live our VOCATION, that feeds our soul... while that rarely keeps the wolves from the door, perhaps you don't "need" things which imprison you.

It is a whole "six sigma", paradigm smashing approach..

I heard this from a biker (not a mere motorcyclist) friend once... "My goal in life is not to show up in Heaven all neat and shiny, but to arrive wide screaming open throttle, skidding in, totally worn out, sputtering to a stop. When the dust settles a bit, sit up and say, Thanks Lord! What a RIDE!"

Go ride (Airstream)
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:39 PM   #54
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Guess I'm lucky in the Army

I'm about to retire from 34 years in the Army at age 52. Guess I'm really lucky. I get to retire young, traveled the world many times over, honored to lead soldiers, and I'm only half way. Life and jobs aren't always easy. I've been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq and the bad times are not good times to make decisions. "Embrace the Suck" as we use to say. I'm glad I embraced some suck and hung in there. It's been a great ride and now I have a great wife, children, and grandchildren and look forward to the next 50 years! Plus, I have an AS 2016 Classic to do it with!
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:14 PM   #55
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It's hard to give career advice without knowing all the particulars. However, since you used the phrase "soul-crushing" it sounds like you definitely need to consider your situation and your future, and the sooner the better. I do not believe anyone can or should go through life hating what they have to do every day of their working life to meet life financial responsibilities. Life is too short.

If you hate what you do perhaps it's time to explore other careers in a one-step-at-a-time fashion before you leave so you don't leave yourself stranded without any job. Get some help with that from career counselors, etc. Is there something else you are interested in? What about going back to school for a specific trade?

If you like what you do but not the environment you are doing it in, that's a different story. If you have a talent but don't like where you are working it's time to look around in the same field for a better position that you will enjoy and that makes use of your ability.

If you have a talent you can bring to others on your own and you have a decent sense of business savvy you might explore going on your own as a freelancer, or staring your own business with your talent.

For me it was the latter. I liked what I was doing but I didn't like the office politics and bad corporate decisions and the guys at the top getting all the credit (and the best salaries) while the peons with the actual talent did real work. So when I had reached my limit with that "bucket" filled with crap, I decided to go on my own. Best move I ever made...that decision was followed by 25+ years of having my own successful business. I never looked back.

Figure out what the essence of your situation is and what you have to build on ... and make a decision to find a better situation. It doesn't have to be freelance or your own business (which do have their drawbacks) ... it IS possible to be happy working for someone else. Take charge of your future, be willing to take a few reasonable risks ... but don't go so far as to shoot yourself in the foot.

Good luck with it. You'll be pleasantly surprised what you can do to find a better place for yourself.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:33 PM   #56
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Well having a government job is the dream of many. You have job security and decent benefits. With 6 figures and 6 week of paid leave plus sick leave it is hard to beat. You can have a lot of fun with 6 weeks off. Also do some career planning a figure out where you want to be in 20 yrs. You might be able to save enough to retire early. The government has a lot of early retirement buy outs. Can you reduce your hours, get a degree in another area? What will get you out of the hole your in without shooting yourself if the foot. At NASA they will let you have a year off to go to school and pay you. Let the job work for you. Play the game and exploit the job to fill your needs.

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Old 10-10-2017, 05:39 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by great2beadaw View Post
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I am a CPA and currently work in the federal government. I won't bore you all with the details of what makes the job soul crushing. I'll just say that I don't feel like I am making a difference or doing anything meaningful with my job.


Hi again.

On one side of the see-saw are 6 figures, benefits, health insurance and a pension. On the other side of the see-saw is your soul - your well-being, your sense of self. Oh, and some of the tangible/financial benefits of the job have some amount of value to your soul....so....are you perhaps seeking balance?

If the job is pushing down so much your soul is left aimlessly up in the air, perhaps consider what brings more "gravity" to your soul to balance out the weight of the job. Some excellent suggestions already - do some non-profit work as a volunteer (do you like dogs? offer your CPA skills to a no-kill shelter pro-bono - that one act might just drop the see-saw and flip the job straight off - double entendre fully intended ). Mentor a high school or college age kid considering your career (or from any other perspective). Pick up an instrument - like a ukulele (great for Airstream travel) and sing to your heart's content....

Or....

Determine what you can do to lighten the gravitational pull from the other side of the see saw. Reframe the value proposition from within - we tax-payers NEED you federal CPAs to make sense out of the bazillions of dollars we contribute to a - hopefully - well-functioning country. Every analysis you make, every audit you participate in, every question about a financial anomaly you pose to someone in power is a HUGE benefit to millions of people who need your insights to help keep things straight - whether your boss shares that vision or not - you can do that (or create your own) from within. Or find opportunities to initiate improvements to the process. Or pick a partner there to brainstorm ways in which you can improve the environment. Start with the Gallup 12 questions and talk with your partner about things in YOUR control that you can do to increase your own engagement. Or - Perhaps become a supervisor or team leader and translate your current pain and angst in to a strategy to ensure your team will not go home at the end of the day feeling like you do now. You may not be able to change the world, but you could completely change the world of someone who was also feeling soul-crushed until you came along....

Action on either side of the see-saw can bring balance that could surprise and delight you.

Or - if you love the CPA work but not the environment - go to a different playground! Try getting a CPA job at a company that interests you (like Airstream for example ). Or perhaps connect with an angel investor firm or venture capital firm to apply your skills toward helping evaluate the strength of entrepreneurial business plans and help launch new innovations that benefit society.

And look - I'm not even scratching the surface despite how tedious my posts are to read

You're at a great intersection right now. I feel confident you're going to look back on this moment a year from now and be thrilled at whatever you decided! Wishing you luck and rooting for you!
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:26 PM   #58
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What an amazing number of thoughtful responses in such a brief time!
Scroll down to the bottom of any page, you will see that a sister forum on Social Knowledge is "Early Retirement." Much there you will find compelling.
Within the Federal system are hundreds of CPA positions, and thousands more in the state and local sectors. Most of the time the pay and benefits are generally in the same realm, but the tasks, supervisors, and "corporate culture" vary widely. I hopped around my City government into 7 distinct departments and eventually found a second home.
The days are long, and the years are short. If you look around you will surely find something you will love, and the benefits will transfer directly. Go for it! Life is too short for you to be miserable a moment longer. jim
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:08 PM   #59
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We are all different. Do you eat to live, or live to eat? Is it about the journey or the destination? Do you work to make money to live a lifestyle, or do you work at something you like and get paid for it? Whether you are working or wandering, do you have a sense of purpose ? Does your job define who you are? If not, what does? DH is a lawyer. He loves it. He will work til he dies( has to, self -employed&#128516. DD is a professional ballerina. Dirt poor, but is doing what she loves and is supporting herself. Their careers define who they are as people and have since they were teenagers and decided to pursue their dreams. I, on the other hand, have had jobs that I enjoyed, some I tolerated, and some I left when they became soul crushing.You msy leave a career, but you can find a job.
Let those bridges you burn behind you light the way!
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:18 PM   #60
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And then there are the few jobs that are such a bad fit, that I left one so fast I forgot my coffee cup in haste to get outta there. It’s a tough call, and only you can make it. Life is too short to immerse yourself in a total bucket of **** job. Think, plan, and do. Sanity and serenity are important for the soul, and sometimes you just have to pull the willow-striped handle and “punch out” before the stress makes you punch out some other turkey. Been there twice in my ‘career’ and even my wife said, when I got laid off out of a totally crap job, “They did you a favor, and probably saved your life...”
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