Do you like what you do? If not, how do you cope?

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I've got a serious case of the Monday blahs. You know what I'm talking about, right? That feeling you get as you lie sleepily in bed with your alarm blaring at the same fracking time in the morning that it's gone off for the past 10 years.

I know I'm lucky to have a job. I know I have it better than most people in the world. I know whining about an office job is incredibly lame.

I got my job because I had to and I've kept it for pretty much the same reasons. It isn't fulfilling, challenging, or engaging in the slightest. I'm not a morning person and the whole drudgery of day after day after day year after year after year gets a bit...tiresome.

I think I need to start playing lotto or something.

When I look back on my life and think of how many hours of my time and energy have been spent in endeavors that are nothing more than listless chores for me how am I going to feel?

I need more education I guess. Or bigger balls. There's so many people that are dependent on me (not just my wife and son but my father and my uncles...bleh...long story) that I pretty much have no choice but to strap on my tie and soldier onwards.

I think maybe I should become a rap star or a movie star. That ain't workin. That's the way you do it. Play the guitar on your MTV. That ain't workin' that's the way you do it. Money for nothin' and your checks for free....

*sigh* Alright, beat on me like a red-headed step-child! Call me lazy! I deserve it! After 16 years straight of working (almost 10 at the same place now) I just feel....tired.

Please don't become a rap star. They die young and give me a headache.

Very few people get to do what they love for a living, and very few people live to work. For most people, a job is a way to get money for their "real" lives.

I do find a good deal of my job interesting, which is fortunate, and for the parts I'm not crazy about I just get it done and take some satisfaction at the end of the day that I got things done. It's not as satisfying as having my dream job but it's enough to get me through the day, pay my bills and keep my bosses happy, and in this economy that's really all you can ask for.

If you really, really want to get out, start asking yourself, "what would I do if I were fired?" Then ask yourself if you have the willpower to impose that upon yourself.

Or you could make your wife get a good enough job to support you and let her worry about feeling tired.

Looks like someone's got a case of Mondays! Sorry, couldn't resist.

I get the same feeling from time to time, just tired and in need of a change. I like my job quite a lot, being a journalist certainly provides constant change and challenge, but sometimes you just feel frustrated. It usually passes, although sometimes this general feeling of tiredness and everything can last for about a month or so. Those times I rely on my hobbies until it passes. Or recently my son, having a kid certainly feels like a remedy for all such moods.

I have a job I love...
... and you don't want it.

I need more education I guess.

Four years undergraduate, seven years graduate school, all with no money, going into debt. Seven years as a postdoc, working on one-year contracts, never knowing when it would be time to pack up and move to a different city.. even a different continent. A little money, but not enough to consider a house or kids.

I had to outlast all the competition to get the job I wanted (tenure-track professor) and wound up with one at a very small, un-prestigious little college with way too much teaching and way too little time or resources to do research. I've had my dream job for 1 year now, and I've barely survived. (First year of teaching is always a bitch.)

Yes, I love my job. But I've given up an order of magnitude in payroll, years of my life, nearly all my free time, and the priviledge of living where I want to.

Every job choice has sacrifices. Loving your job has expenses, too. I made my choice, but I certainly wouldn't wish it on everyone.

I have an office job but I don't really get that sense of drudgery. For starters, I get to spend more than a fair share of my time trolling message boards.

I've never had the same job for more than a few years, which I think helps alleviate boredom. However, all of my jobs feed into the next (I'm aiming to stay at my current position for at least another year or so, after which I will have a combined 5 years of experience as a technical writer which should probably be enough to get me through the minimum requirements for a similar job in most places). Also, even though technical writing isn't the most exciting thing in the world, it's still writing: the skills and competencies are transferable to other things I enjoy.

I'm also going to be taking some night courses in a certificate program at the local university. If you can swing the time commitment, I'd suggest doing the same. Continuing education can help keep you from stagnating.

I also make a point of only working for small-ish companies (less than 30 employees), because you get to wear many hats. Sure, I'm on the production team but I also get to do some website writing, marketing and P.R. stuff, and various other tasks. The bigger the company, the fatter the bureaucracy and the more limited your job description becomes. In my experience, at least.

TheArtOfScience wrote:

I got my job because I had to and I've kept it for pretty much the same reasons. It isn't fulfilling, challenging, or engaging in the slightest. I'm not a morning person and the whole drudgery of day after day after day year after year after year gets a bit...tiresome.

I'm right there with you. I work an IT job, sitting at a desk all day and it's just not satisfying in any way, but it pays the bills and keeps the wife and kids happy.

Mike Rowe's recent speech (possibly NSFW due to discussion of sheep castration, but with headphones you'll be fine) really speaks to me. One part in particular, that people who do hands-on work with a physical aspect are generally much happier, really hit home. I'd love to leave my desk job and do something different, something physical, something where at the end of the day I could look at what I've accomplished and be proud of it.

Maybe in a few years when the kids are off to college I'll have the guts to actually think of doing something like that, but for now I'm pretty much required to provide for the family, so I'll keep sitting here working for the weekend and feeling unsatisfied.

Serengeti wrote:

One part in particular, that people who do hands-on work with a physical aspect are generally much happier, really hit home. I'd love to leave my desk job and do something different, something physical, something where at the end of the day I could look at what I've accomplished and be proud of it.

My wife always laughs when I threaten to quit my office job and become either a truck driver or one of those guys that fixes stuff on telephone poles. But when you're 5 years into your career and you're already daydreaming about retirement. . .that's a bad sign.

Seth wrote:
Serengeti wrote:

One part in particular, that people who do hands-on work with a physical aspect are generally much happier, really hit home. I'd love to leave my desk job and do something different, something physical, something where at the end of the day I could look at what I've accomplished and be proud of it.

My wife always laughs when I threaten to quit my office job and become either a truck driver or one of those guys that fixes stuff on telephone poles. But when you're 5 years into your career and you're already daydreaming about retirement. . .that's a bad sign.

I used to love making pottery as a hobby. Well, I still do I just don't have access to the necessary facilities anymore. It was always gratifying and extremely satisfying to make a tangible useful object. There's almost a meditation like aspect to working the clay on a wheel and seeing it gradually morph from a lump into a recognizable shape.

I hate my career, and don't like my job, but it pays the bills and lets me live comfortably for now. That's just life. It sucks and it gets to me sometimes, but I deal with it and move on. Hopefully my plan works out and I can finish up my pre-med coursework and try to pursue my dream of getting into med school and a career I actually want to work in.

I cope with the volcanic hatred of my job by taking it out on the internet. RAGE!

OzymandiasAV wrote:

I cope with the volcanic hatred of my job by taking it out on the internet. RAGE!

Honestly the fact that I can browse the net at work when the boss isn't around is probably the one thing that keeps me sane. I fully sympathize with ArtofScience as my situation is very similar.

I'm pretty bored in my current job. I could have a stellar career ahead of me in my current field, but I'm mostly convinced that it's not what I want to do.

Right now though, I'm kind of tied into it - our current goal is to buy a house, and my current job pays quite well - certainly much better than any other job I'm likely to get offered. Were I to switch jobs, it would pretty much wreck our 5 year plan.

I am considering applying for a job or two in the Xbox division of Microsoft, and seeing what kind of salary they offer. If I'm going to be a small cog in a big machine, it may as well be working on something I'm passionate about.

I am doing what I love. So I am as one would expect broke. My mondays usualy show up on the weekends when I look at the bills.

I cope by praying I win the lottery so I never have to work another day in my life. Other than that, I follow the old adage, "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it."

I'm a telephone monkey - I work in a call center for a financial company. While not all customers are bad, lately it seems the vast majority are rude, whiny and obnoxious. Add to that the fact that the way the place is run is very frustrating, and I end up dreading every morning I have to go in. Of course, once I'm home I switch off and do my own thing, but work is really not fun at all. The problem, as with everyone else here it seems, is that the pay is not bad, and that there is nothing else. I'm trained in IT, but there is zero demand for that here.

An hour and a half to go before I can go home. Sigh...

I dream about having a 9-5 job in some air-conditioned office where I don't constantly feel guilty when I'm not working. Then I read threads about office life and it helps a bit. A bit.

My dad always told me you should be happy regardless of what you're doing. He started a business cleaning offices (toilets), then he ran a tree cutting business, then he ran a real-estate company. So he should know, I suppose. God knows I cleaned enough offices when I was a kid.

The challenge for me has always been not getting too caught up in the fantasy that if only I had _______ (new job, raise, promotion, benefits, house, etc.) then I can finally be happy and satisfied every day. It's an illusion. It doesn't matter what you're doing, it's always you behind the wheel generating new desires and dealing with difficult people or situations.

So if you're really unhappy cleaning those toilets and you don't think you can change your mind about that, then finding something else to do make sense. But that's just one piece of the puzzle.

Personally, I went from seven years of self-employment to an office job (of sorts) that sees me wearing many hats, making decisions and working directly under the owner of the company. It's pretty much everything I'd wanted out of a 9 to 5 job, but I still have my days/weeks longing for something more and feeling generally dissatisfied. It has little to do with what I'm doing, and everything to do with how I'm feeling about it.

Well, to a certain extent that is true. I have done quite a wide range of things too - from cleaning to bar/restaurant work to lifeguard to IT to office work. The problem in this area is that as soon as you have 'call center experience' and 'fluent in a foreign language' on your resume, no employment agency will look at you for anything but call center work. I'd like to think that in this case the problem is not so much with my attitude as it is with the kind of soul-destroying work I do. But needs must, and all that. And working a sh*tty job is still better than not working any job.

At least I there is something I'm working on that will hopefully come to fruition in the near future. Sometimes that's all that keeps me going...

Certis wrote:

It has little to do with what I'm doing, and everything to do with how I'm feeling about it.

Good point. I think part of my Monday melancholy stems from the fact that what I am doing now doesn't make me feel good. At heart I'm the sort of person who enjoys creating things and I can appreciate the people who want a job that, at the end of the day, you can look at the work you've done and feel a sense of progression or accomplishment.

I'm a chronic underachiever and my job is a symptom of that. What I do vascillates between mind-liquefying boredom and soul-crushing depression. I go from some mundane task like copying a 2,000 document file to telling an older woman that her mentally ill son will not be eligible for benefits, dooming him to shoddy health care. Part of my job entails me speaking and dealing with quadraplegics, people with severe head injuries, and the family of people who met their Game Over at the hands of a household or auto related mishap.

For the most part the people I work with are friendly but are not my peers. I come from a much different background and I look at things differently. I have no desire to hang out with them after (or during) work.

I know I won't find a job that will pay as well as what I'm doing with the amount of education I have. I know other people depend on me to provide for them. I gotta feed the family and clothe the kid, after all.

Right now my wife is preparing to head off to South America for 9-12 months to do the fieldwork for her dissertation so maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel in a few years when she gets her PhD and we move to where the job is. I'd like to at least get a Masters degree and work on something creative.

I want to be creative. I want to write and produce things. I want to have my own voice. I just feel so damned worn down by the day-to-day drudgery that when I get home my creative juices feel sapped.

I have to hand it to the people who contribute here and carry on a job. I just can't be dependably creative or expressive anymore. I'm always a bit tired and when I get home and deal with the family all I can muster during "me time" is playing a few video games, watching "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", and passing out in bed invariably later than I had intended.

As each year here passes the weekends feel shorter, the days feel longer, and my patience wears thinner. I suppose it is me and not the job that is the cause of the malaise. The longer I work though the blurrier the line between "me" and "job" become.

http://twitter.com/nerdtastic/status... ...how a disgruntled barista copes

I don't mind[i my job at Starbucks, but I'll be glad when I find a full time catering or serving gig to replace it. it's fun, but not challenging or lucrative. And getting up before 4 a.m. four or five days a week blows.

In the bigger picture, I like my job. I get to find and solve interesting problems, get a little praise for doing that, and maybe save my company a lot of time/hassle/money/bad PR. Unfortunately, I also have to deal with office politics, pointless meetings(guess where I am posting from?), ass-dragging from vendors, status reports, corporate-required training, and other administrative garbage that gets in the way of me actually doing my job.

To deal with the frustrations from the overhead, the irritation with coworkers, and the stress due to pulled-in delivery dates and unreasonable requirements, I do a few things. Gaming and message boards (obviously) help bleed a little pain off. I've also taken to combining a little R&R with a little exercise by taking walks through some wetlands near my apartment around sunset with a podcast of something interesting in my ears. I've got a couple of like-minded coworkers that I can speak to honestly and candidly, which helps maintain a little sanity during the day. I schedule vacation events(one day of doing nothing but a favored hobby or seeing friends) and treat them as sacrosanct.

Additionally, a short review of the costs of my hobbies and current housing prices provides a quick shot of "don't get fired" energy if I am feeling especially low.

GWJ is a good outlet/pacifier =)

I'm glad I have a job, but lately I've been hitting the bottle. Past month or two the screws really have been tightened and I don't see an end in sight.

I know it isn't the healthiest way to cope but I think I keep in it in a good moderation. I'm not flat out drunk but I'm feeling good most nights.

Certis wrote:

The challenge for me has always been not getting too caught up in the fantasy that if only I had _______ (new job, raise, promotion, benefits, house, etc.) then I can finally be happy and satisfied every day. It's an illusion. It doesn't matter what you're doing, it's always you behind the wheel generating new desires and dealing with difficult people or situations.

There's a metric buttload of wisdom in this paragraph.

Secret Asian Man wrote:

I'm glad I have a job, but lately I've been hitting the bottle. Past month or two the screws really have been tightened and I don't see an end in sight.

I know it isn't the healthiest way to cope but I think I keep in it in a good moderation. I'm not flat out drunk but I'm feeling good most nights.

I used to be like that. Finally realized I needed to quit drinking. I was a binary system, either on or off. So, I've been drink free for 3 years and cigarette free for two. Of course, sh*tty days just make me want to smoke and drink all the more, but it's pride and arrogance that keep me from slipping.

Secret Asian Man wrote:

I'm glad I have a job, but lately I've been hitting the bottle. Past month or two the screws really have been tightened and I don't see an end in sight.

I know it isn't the healthiest way to cope but I think I keep in it in a good moderation. I'm not flat out drunk but I'm feeling good most nights.

I've been doing that a bit too as of late. Nothing more than 1 drink a night whilst gaming, but that is 2-3x what I typically consume. At least I switched to cheap-but-good hard alcohol, instead of my usual expensive-and-good beer selection.

I used to feel this way, but I do indeed have a job I don't hate now.

It has it's bad days and rough moments, and I have some frustrating co-workers, but I think that's pretty much unavoidable. For the most part it's a pretty sweet deal. I am generally pretty happy.

But then I have one of those jobs with a physical requirement that was mentioned earlier. If I just sat in an office five days a week I'd probably go nuts. I do spend a day or two a week sitting in a chair in front of a bunch of computers and video monitors, answering phones and calling things out on a radio. Those days can be rough, but the others generally fly by. There's a good enough balance between that and the days where I'm up and walking around though, so I stay pretty happy.

I like my job now - but have had a bunch of jobs that I didn't like beforehand. The thing was, each successive job was slightly better than the one beforehand. So when I was at tech support, I would say "At least I'm not a busboy!", and when I worked for an immigration lawyer it was "at least I'm not at tech support!". Kind of a "the grass is always browner on the other side" attitude that really helped me get out of bed in the morning.

Just remember, NOW is a pretty terrible time to be looking for employment.

I was in your same position back in 1999-- worked in a call center and would literally feel sick to my stomach in the morning when I woke up. I worked there for four years, and knew I had to make a change. When they told us we'd have to come in and work on New Year's Eve because of the Y2K issue, that was my final straw and I quit.

I was in a lucky enough place where I could move back in with my parents and go back to school full time. It took me another 1.5 years and about $10,000 out of pocket to get my teaching certificate, but I was lucky enough to get a job right away and I've been teaching for the past seven years now.

Don't get me wrong-- I don't necessarily LOVE teaching after seven years, either. But I've got some great co-workers and no matter how bad things get, it's never as bad as those stomach-wrenching mornings I used to experience. I don't know if I can keep doing this forever either, but I don't really have any definitive alternative life path planned out.

At the end of the day, though, I have a comfortable salary, good health benefits, and a good amount of vacation time. That's hard to give up.

I used to like my job. There are portions I still do like. But ever since my old team lead left and I took his job (2.5 years ago) I find myself at an unpleasant level of stress. I'm at a level a responsibility I now realize I just don't want, and the stress of it leads to worrying, chronic insomnia, and the occasional bout of depression. And now we're entering into the most stressful it's ever been: a 6 to 8 week auditing process by an outside third party which will probably overlap implementation of our new system at its first client site.

So Secret Asian Man, I know how you feel.

I've never looked for fulfillment in my job. It gets me money to pay the bills and buy me soemthing nice every once in a while. I sort of turn off while I'm there. Do I like that? No, not really, but it's the choice I'm making for now. I've achieved the most important dream I have already. I married the woman of my dreams and I had kids with her. The rest of my life is just icing at this point, I mean, really.

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