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Old 10-09-2017, 04:18 PM   #1
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Reflecting on my soul crushing job

I'm turning 40 next year. I am pausing to reflect on what that means. Does it mean that I really have to stay at this job which has no purpose for twenty or so more years? I know it's good to have a job that pays well, has great benefits and gives me steady paycheck, but for some reason that's not enough to get me up every morning until retirement. I wonder if this is a phase that soon shall pass. Or, if my urge to quit my traditional job and freelance so I can have more time to make memories with my husband in our airstream is pulling at me for a reason. For those of you that went outside the box with your career, do you have any regrets?
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:25 PM   #2
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My go to on this was shared with me by one of my best bosses. Think of holding 2 buckets, one in each hand. As you work, one fills up with money the other with BS. When one is full, time to move on. I had a 2x4 to the head with a stroke that gave me the wake up call and reinforced my decision to move on with a full BS bucket. NO regrets.
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:57 PM   #3
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I'd rather wait for the money bucket to fill up. And I love my job.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:19 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:35 PM   #5
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Now that I am retired life sucks for a different reason.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:40 PM   #6
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Hi

One of the "interesting" features of a progression of jobs - your time to land a "good job" increases as you get older. Put another way, hopping jobs in your 20's is pretty easy. Hopping jobs in your 60's - not so much. It does not take very many years of unemployment to make a hypothetical "boost" from a job change moot .... Indeed you never know the outcome of a move until you try. Things may go very well ....

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Old 10-09-2017, 05:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by great2beadaw View Post
I'm turning 40 next year. I am pausing to reflect on what that means. Does it mean that I really have to stay at this job which has no purpose for twenty or so more years? I know it's good to have a job that pays well, has great benefits and gives me steady paycheck, but for some reason that's not enough to get me up every morning until retirement. I wonder if this is a phase that soon shall pass. Or, if my urge to quit my traditional job and freelance so I can have more time to make memories with my husband in our airstream is pulling at me for a reason. For those of you that went outside the box with your career, do you have any regrets?
Quit.

I went outside the box in both career and family and while it ain't perfect, I would do it again the same way any day. Ya only live once, if ya don't enjoy what ya do each day, change it.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quit.

I went outside the box in both career and family and while it ain't perfect, I would do it again the same way any day. Ya only live once, if ya don't enjoy what ya do each day, change it.
AMEN! Life is to short to hate it. Been gainfully unemployed for 4 years. Life is good and the rest is just stuff.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:59 PM   #9
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The title of this thread says it all. Move on. No soul crushing job is worth it.

I'm assuming your job doesn't come with a defined benefit pension plan. If it does, you might want to wait until they find some excuse to get you out.

Because they will as soon as you start to accrue to much retirement liability.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:55 PM   #10
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Reflecting on my soul crushing job

Ah to be a kid again

There's just no way for anyone to answer this definitively.

I don't want to pry, but the title is so intriguing, I'm wondering what your soul crushing job is. And I'm wondering if there are ways to understand it from a different perspective or two....

I had the good fortune of doing a volunteer day for JA, teaching a group of 7th graders in a tough city about entrepreneurship. One of the kids talked with an unimaginable sense of passion about wanting to be a garbage collector. I asked him why he was interested in that particular business. He said that he hates seeing trash all over his neighborhood and he would be really happy knowing he was making his neighborhood a better place to live by helping to keep it clean - and he could make sure people in the neighborhood could have good jobs to feed their families.

I damn near cried. I've jokingly referred to my cushy job in the past as going to the "salt mines" when in reality, I'm blessed beyond belief and honestly see that what I get to do has meaning in society - and, as a leader, I get to help create an environment that's the exact opposite of the drudgery that shortened my dad's life.

That kid gets it. As cliche as it may sound - it's the artful blend of having what you want, and wanting what you have, that determines the level of soul crushing you're bound to experience.

And - because life is beautifully messy - there's no way such a simple story can be sufficient for your thoughtful question either!

What if your gifts are grossly underutilized? What if the thing(s) you're meant to bring to the world are stuffed in a box right now? Is wanting what you have in that case a good thing?

One last thing to muddy the waters even further...

What's your family health history? If your family typically dies in their 90s or 100s, I'd suggest you may have a lot of time to try a lot of things and you'll figure it out. If not - I'd suggest life is VERY short and allowing your soul to be crushed in that context only shortens your window of opportunity.

So no - to finally attempt to answer your question (which I assume you already know) - you absolutely don't have to spend the next 20 years doing what you're doing today. If you desire to continue to work - presumably to earn income doing something you love that has meaning, my ultimate suggestion would be to seek a qualified career counselor and do the hard work s/he will demand of you. I don't think you'll be disappointed. The core of it is knowing who you are, what you're passionate about and why - from there, things fall in to place. A poor substitute that will at least give a few ideas - Google "how do I find a career I love" and play around in those top links.

All the very best!
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:56 PM   #11
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A soul crushing job of no purpose. That's a bad job.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:15 PM   #12
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A "soul crushing" job with good pay, benefits and steady work?

I'm a firm believer in "money makes the world go 'round" and if the job is really THAT bad, teach yourself to leave work at work when you clock out, go home and make memories and start putting away that cash from that good paycheck towards an early retirement. Use your good benefits and take those earned days off and make even more memories! Stash away the cash while you can !

I know, easy for me to say right? I used to REALLY hate my job. Time has made things a LOT better for me.... Looking back, I'm so glad I didn't quit.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:57 PM   #13
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A "soul crushing" job with good pay, benefits and steady work?

I'm a firm believer in "money makes the world go 'round" and if the job is really THAT bad, teach yourself to leave work at work when you clock out, go home and make memories and start putting away that cash from that good paycheck towards an early retirement. Use your good benefits and take those earned days off and make even more memories! Stash away the cash while you can !

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I agree
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:03 PM   #14
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Much like SilverHouseDreams, I have been laid off (thrice) and have encountered the same frustrations and concerns.

But I did step out of the box for a couple years......
I was laid off from the Space Shuttle program in 2011. But I knew it was ending years in advance and I was able to plan, mentally and financially, for a sabbatical. My planning allowed me to move across the country for a 2-year stint working a private ranch in very, very, rural Nevada. It didn't pay much, but the perks were amazing. There were plenty of folks who recommended against it: citing anything from the ranch job being a scam to inability to land a technology-driven job again. But that job was the most AWESOME adventure ever!!! I will never regret it! And luckily, I did get back into my profession when I was ready to abandon the farm.

My first job after the ranch provided a huge boost in salary and position. Unfortunately I'm back to almost exactly where I was seven years ago. Humpf.

I've been chasing work ever since the Shuttle program - traveling from FL to NV, MD, AZ and back to NV. Each has proven to be less fulfilling (or stable) than hoped - even when I did substantial research in advance of accepting the offers. I've just started thinking about looking elsewhere - but with less enthusiasm that I'll find one that is soul-moving.

Good luck.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:46 PM   #15
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I went "over da wall". Couldnt take another day!
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:58 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:38 AM   #17
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I started my own LLC eleven years ago. I haven't regretted it, but there are pluses and minuses with every decision. As a CPA, you should be able to make that kind of gig work if you want to.

BUT -- if you choose that path, make sure you go in with your eyes wide open. The self-employment taxes in particular are likely to make you question why you were even born. And you will have to also pay for a smorgasbord of insurances, including errors and omissions (professional liability). And you will also have to pay your own Workers Comp, believe it or not. And the first question is, how could anyone get injured during CPA work?! Well, if you are building a client base, you will routinely visit clients, and if you become injured on a client site (e.g., fall down a flight of stairs), your regular medical policy absolutely will not cover you. And the best companies will not hire you as a financial consultant unless you have all of those expensive ducks in a row and can produce the paperwork to prove it.

** Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney and this is not legal advice. This is just me speaking from personal experience. **

You will probably find that you have to work MUCH harder as your own LLC to net the same amount of money. That is why our society is not flooded with sole-owner LLCs. Many try. Many succeed but still end up concluding that it's easier to let someone else handle all that overhead, so they go back to a salaried position. And don't even get me started on collections.

^^ All that mess being the case, it does open the door to vastly different working styles. For one thing, it's arguably a better path if all you want to do is work part time instead of full time. American employment paradigms do not provide viable part-time options. You are full time with benefits, or you are not hired.

For another thing, you are on Air Forums with this thread, so maybe you would like to work toward a combined lifestyle of some kind of travel plus work. That becomes more achievable with self-employment. To save me from re-typing the same points, here's a screengrab of a recent Instagram post I did along that theme (if it's too downsampled to read, go to Insta). I was aiming this message at the #vanlife community, but it's equally relevant to trailer folk.

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Old 10-10-2017, 09:04 AM   #18
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I had an extremely fun, gratifying job for about 20yrs., then I was transferred and things went downhill fast. I hated the new post but I had responsibilities. I put 3 kids thru college, paid for 3 weddings and my wife was an insurance company's worst nightmare so basically, I felt obligated to stick it out. I lasted another 15yrs making the most of it which in the last 5, finally irritated my employer enough to offer me a lucrative buyout and early retirement. My moral is that for me at least, I got a pot of gold at the end of my raincloud. Best of luck!
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:20 AM   #19
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Hi

If you do head out on your own, consider something that many do not - how do I exit this "job"? You obviously can just walk away. You also can set up so that an ongoing business relationship can be transferred to somebody else. Each approach has it's plusses and minuses.

Next on the list: Is where I am a good place to do this? We moved many many times chasing "the job" over the years. That impacted "the other job" quite a bit. Some places were not quite so good for both carriers. Optimizing this part is not at all easy ...

Bob
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by great2beadaw View Post
I'm turning 40 next year. I am pausing to reflect on what that means. Does it mean that I really have to stay at this job which has no purpose for twenty or so more years? I know it's good to have a job that pays well, has great benefits and gives me steady paycheck, but for some reason that's not enough to get me up every morning until retirement. I wonder if this is a phase that soon shall pass. Or, if my urge to quit my traditional job and freelance so I can have more time to make memories with my husband in our airstream is pulling at me for a reason. For those of you that went outside the box with your career, do you have any regrets?
Boy, that is a question that is unique to each and everyone one of us. Not a good answer to your dilemma. The good in it, is you are asking that question of yourself before its too late to do anything about it.

Maybe another way to reflect on your thoughts is to put yourself on your death bed. Ask yourself two questions: what did I do improve the life of others? Second question, if I had to do it all over again, would I have done it differently put it in another way, do I regret not taking another path?

Good luck my friend. It is always a good idea to question yourself, as you are doing, but never doubt yourself!
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