Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

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UncleBogle
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Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by UncleBogle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am

I am in my late 40s, and have been struggling with burnout and the age old dilemma of low work satisfaction, vs. salary/security question.

I have recently had 3 friends diagnosed with terminal cancer in the past year, two of whom are younger than me. I realize that this could happen to anyone, but this has been had me thinking more about the time we have on earth, and how we choose to spend it.

When I think of those whom I have known who are sick/dying, I have never heard any of them say, "I wish I had worked more...."

Though I have a good paying job, the early stages of my career took it's toll and burned me out quickly. I did move to a less stressful job, but the "burnout years" really hit me hard and lost the zeal for my job. The main issue I face is this:. Keep grinding at my job, or risk a career change ?

Reasons to keep grinding:
- I have a good paying and secure job.
- If I stay, I am on track to be FI at 58,
- I still have 4 kids to get through college.
- A change can jeopardize the above.

Reasons to change:
- Utilizing 40+ hours a week satisfied(hopefully) rather than just "biding my time"
- Mental health

Though the pros of staying seem to outweigh the cons, I'm not sure that I would weigh them equally. Especially since we spend most of our lives at our jobs.

I have thought about a career coach, but not quite sold on the idea. Though there's no urgency to this decision, it does weigh heavily on me, for the reasons above.

Thanks for reading. I'll put my 5¢ in Lucy's "Psychiatry can" now.
Last edited by UncleBogle on Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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djpeteski
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by djpeteski » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 am

When is the last time you took a nice relaxing vacation?

UncleBogle
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by UncleBogle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:39 am

djpeteski wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 am
When is the last time you took a nice relaxing vacation?
June of this year - 3 weeks. It was great. I felt like "myself" again. Took less than a month to feel the way I did before I left.

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by Devil's Advocate » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:59 am

Sometimes when I have a tough shift and dread it I have changed the way I perceive things. Work doesn't cause stress. The way I react and percieve input is what causes the stress. Change that and work isn't that stressful anymore.

BostonButterfly
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by BostonButterfly » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:35 am

UncleBogle: I could have written your post. In fact I've recently been contemplating posting the same thing. Everything in your post is exactly the same for me, except I don't have 4 kids to get through college. College costs are in the rearview mirror for us, thankfully.

I have no advice.....just wanted to say you're not the only one feeling this way! Very interested to read the responses to your post.

Best wishes on your journey..........

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:44 am

If you can be more specific about the line of work you’re in, we may be able to provide you with actionable ideas...

RobLyons
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by RobLyons » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:31 am

With only ~10 years left until FI / retirement, I would stay at the job. Very short period of time in the grand scheme of things and I would try to utilize even more vacation time, sick time, FMLA, etc to cut down the amount of actual time at work.

Another thought - You could be FI sooner if you don't put all 4 kids through college.
I know this is a personal decision but this is a huge financial burden that can be shared by your children.
Best of luck!

rich126
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by rich126 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:38 am

RobLyons wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:31 am
With only ~10 years left until FI / retirement, I would stay at the job. Very short period of time in the grand scheme of things and I would try to utilize even more vacation time, sick time, FMLA, etc to cut down the amount of actual time at work.

Another thought - You could be FI sooner if you don't put all 4 kids through college.
I know this is a personal decision but this is a huge financial burden that can be shared by your children.
Best of luck!
You got to be kidding me! 10 years is a HUGE amount of time if you don't like what you are doing. Even a year is painful. It isn't any fun to dread waiting up Monday and starting something you hate. Yeah, sometimes you have to grind through it, especially if you think it is getting better or you have no other options, but not for 10 years.

I was reading some of the other threads where people use the term "winning" with regards to social security collection strategies by waiting until 70 or whenever to collect. I'm sorry but the sooner you can retire and enjoy life, the better. No one, regardless of family or personal health is guaranteed to live until a certain age. Enjoy life. If work is your thing, then work until death if you want but for every person that you see traveling and enjoying life in their 70s/80s, there are more than never made it that far or can't move around easily, or can't get through airports, etc.

I've been fortunate when for large chunks of my career I enjoyed my job, sure at times I didn't, or other times was thoroughly bored but I was lucky. I've also had some less enjoyable times and trying to grind through them isn't easy.

Sorry but 10 years ain't a short period of time in anyone's life.

pop77
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by pop77 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:48 am

May be this will give you some inspiration. You are not alone in this feeling..

https://youtu.be/EG3CvpkDvWw

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tennisplyr
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:54 am

I (and probably many millions) was in a similar situation (am now 68/retired). I tried my own business at your age, not a good answer. So I just kept at it, did some freelance later on and finally retired at 61. Keep the faith, try to find the good things in every day, take vacation time. Sometimes running away from a problem is not the best solution. Keep believing in yourself and your future it will get better!
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

carolinaman
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by carolinaman » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:02 am

The last 26 years of my career, there was always lots of pressure, long hours, difficult people and organization politics to deal with. Fortunately, for the most part I had the support of my management. Somehow, I was able to compartmentalize the negatives and focus on the positives in my job and the last 5 years were actually the best for me due to reorganization and better control of my environment. During those 5 years, I really enjoyed my job.

Without more specifics it is hard to give advice to you. However, given where you are with 4 children yet to get through college, now seems like a risky time to change jobs. Changing jobs is always risky, especially if you are in a senior position or management position. You may be going from the frying pan to the fire. My last job change was at age 44 and I walked into a huge political mess where I was going to make enemies regardless of how I handled the situation. Somehow I survived a very unpleasant time but I would never have accepted the job had I known what was in store for me. Ironically, I had worked at that organization before so probably should have known what I was getting into. However, I was trying to leave a senior management position in another company which I felt was destined for bankruptcy. I was more focused on what I was leaving than what I was going to which was my mistake.

I think a career coach or counselor who can help you look at your situation differently and give you suggestions on how to cope with it better is a good idea. I would definitely try that before switching jobs.

Dottie57
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:04 am

Do you have money put away for your kids college? Do both you and wife work outside the home? Can you downsize and take a different job? We don’t have detail, so not much advice.

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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by z3r0c00l » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:13 am

This is one of the best job hunting environments in a generation, so it would be a good time to search for another, perhaps better paying, perhaps more enjoyable position. I completely agree with finding a balance and being able to enjoy life before it is too late. I plan to retire or at least mostly retire at 55, a rare luxury provided by working at a company that has government-like pensions. However the issue of children is a big one. Having 4 kids is a commitment that entails a large amount of self sacrifice. From personal experience, I would say that college is hardly the end of the financial support that parents will give these days. Bear in mind, your life expectancy is about 80. The money will in all probability have to last you a long while. The multiple fatal cancer thing is surely a (horrible) statistical aberration. Cancer before 65 is rare, something like 3/4 of cancers occur after 65. Eat well, exercise, get a regular colonoscopy, and avoid tobacco and excess alcohol.
Last edited by z3r0c00l on Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

JoeRetire
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:22 am

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am
Though I have a good paying job, the early stages of my career took it's toll and burned me out quickly. I did move to a less stressful job, but the "burnout years" really hit me hard and lost the zeal for my job. The main issue I face is this:. Keep grinding at my job, or risk a career change ?

Reasons to keep grinding:
- I have a good paying and secure job.
- If I stay, I am on track to be FI at 58,
- I still have 4 kids to get through college.
- A change can jeopardize the above.

Reasons to change:
- Utilizing 40+ hours a week satisfied(hopefully) rather than just "biding my time"
- Mental health
Sounds like you are looking for confirmation of the decision you have already made. I'll let others do that.

If you think you have mental health issues, seek professional help.

Otherwise, I would never jeopardize my future and my kids' college education by leaving what you admit is a less stressful job.

I wish you luck.

skor99
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by skor99 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:33 am

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am
I am in my late 40s, and have been struggling with burnout and the age old dilemma of low work satisfaction, vs. salary/security question.

I have recently had 3 friends diagnosed with terminal cancer in the past year, two of whom are younger than me. I realize that this could happen to anyone, but this has been had me thinking more about the time we have on earth, and how we choose to spend it.

When I think of those whom I have known who are sick/dying, I have never heard any of them say, "I wish I had worked more...."

Though I have a good paying job, the early stages of my career took it's toll and burned me out quickly. I did move to a less stressful job, but the "burnout years" really hit me hard and lost the zeal for my job. The main issue I face is this:. Keep grinding at my job, or risk a career change ?

Reasons to keep grinding:
- I have a good paying and secure job.
- If I stay, I am on track to be FI at 58,
- I still have 4 kids to get through college.
- A change can jeopardize the above.

Reasons to change:
- Utilizing 40+ hours a week satisfied(hopefully) rather than just "biding my time"
- Mental health

Though the pros of staying seem to outweigh the cons, I'm not sure that I would weigh them equally. Especially since we spend most of our lives at our jobs.

I have thought about a career coach, but not quite sold on the idea. Though there's no urgency to this decision, it does weigh heavily on me, for the reasons above.

Thanks for reading. I'll put my 5¢ in Lucy's "Psychiatry can" now.
I have struggled through the same situation and my advice would be to grind it through if the job is secure AND well paying. There is no absolutely no guarantee that any new ‘satisfying’ job will be good paying or secure. It might even become less satisfying if the money and security become an issue. I sometimes lose sleep at night with only 2 kids to get through college and other expenses that might follow till they become established in life. If your aim is to support your 4 kids in college and after, then leaving a secure well paying job would be a big risk. The current job market not withstanding, any new job carries the risk of layoffs at the first sight of an economic downturn, especially for people in the late 40s / 50s age group. Just close your eyes and think about that big number on your paycheck and keep going.

go_mets
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by go_mets » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:58 am

You mention that this job is less stressful but the early years took a toll.
How so?
A change from stressful to less stressful should have helped.
Do you have health issues from the early years?
Is it something else entirely that is bothering you?

runner3081
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:39 am
djpeteski wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 am
When is the last time you took a nice relaxing vacation?
June of this year - 3 weeks. It was great. I felt like "myself" again. Took less than a month to feel the way I did before I left.
A month? Wow, I feel like I never took a vacation about 3-days and 3K emails after returning.

prairieman
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by prairieman » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:35 am

I was burned out and desperate for a change at 40. It took two years until a clear opportunity appeared. Those feel like lost years now. I took a risk and went for it and it was wonderful to escape into a new situation even though I took a serious pay cut. I felt alive again. Eventually I was better off financially than I would have been if I had stayed, but it took about five years.
One thing that made a difference is that my wife had a decent job that buffered against the financial impact of me switching careers and she supported the decision.

I can’t say it’ll work out as well in your situation because you are older and have more kids (we had 2). I think now, though that I’d rather work 20 years in a job I liked than 10 years in one I hated.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:46 am

Keep at the existing job while, concurrently:
1. Taking time off, vacations, by yourself, and with family.
2. Take quality "days off", leave work at work.
3. Take up new hobbies for quality down time and R & R.
4. Explore other employment options and paths.

I have never met a retiree (including myself when I met my Self) that has had a successful career that has never felt burned-out or discouraged at least once a year.
I once asked a very successful business mentor who was a very happy and positive fellow, if he ever felt discouraged or like switching to another career or working less. He said, "sure, every day", then laughed and went back to work.

There is also the very real possibility that any career change might have you sitting on a chair one day at work and feeling as you do now, or worse. It's that "grass is greener" thing maybe.
But, everyone is different.

As for myself, been there, and would echo others in saying I would not jeopardize the financial well being of my family and children.

It has been said, "it's not the work, but what we bring to work each day that makes it fulfilling". :D
Hope this helps.
j
Last edited by Sandtrap on Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

TonyDAntonio
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by TonyDAntonio » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:47 am

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:59 am
Sometimes when I have a tough shift and dread it I have changed the way I perceive things. Work doesn't cause stress. The way I react and percieve input is what causes the stress. Change that and work isn't that stressful anymore.
This!!!! Change your mind and the rest will follow. Can't believe I'm quoting En Vogue song lyrics but these words are the key to everything. Start reading in your spare time on how to change your mind, your outlook, your reactions to external stimulus. Those stimuli don't control your happiness, you do. It's not simple. I have people very, very close to me who wait for their situation to change and "then I'll be happy". Nope, you'll find something else to be unhappy with until YOU CHANGE!!!

skor99
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by skor99 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:00 am

I personally sometimes find it tough to believe in happy quotes such as ‘believe in yourself’ , ‘think positive’ , ‘you are the change’ etc. when you are going through a grinding job and/ or have a bad boss and/or your job is not secure. The short and simple answer is that a person working on a job is a servant to the company who pays their salary.
For people who are fortunate enough to have great bosses who respect their work and have job security, good for them. But for the rest, in capitalism, you are only employed till your paymaster needs you and they don’t have to care about your feelings or personal life. This may sound harsh, but I have learnt this the hard way myself. So grinding through may be the only real answer many a times.

hightower
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by hightower » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:05 am

Definitely make a change if you're burnt out. It doesn't have to be drastic though. Even a slight change can have big impacts on your happiness. I went through this several years ago. The changes I made were to the types of shifts I was working and the amount of work overall (I'm a physician). I also ended up switching to a different location too. All of these changes made a huge difference in my job satisfaction. I was ready to quit for good at the time, but now I'm totally content. It's not worth it to be miserable every day. Make a change!
I also agree with the comment about learning to change your perception/reaction to stress and such. This was also part of my healing process. Though I don't think you should stay in a toxic situation, you can sometimes feel better about that environment when you approach it differently.
Last edited by hightower on Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

skor99
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by skor99 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 am

And do understand that all the people encouraging you to make a change , find a lower paying job which is more satisfying etc. won’t be around to help you financially when you have a left a secure well paying job for another that does not work out. They will still keep saying all sorts of positive things, but you alone are responsible for your life and your family’s. My advice is to see this through a heavy duty practical lens and not get carried away by happy thoughts that somehow everything will work out that will make you magically happier.

hightower
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by hightower » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:19 am

skor99 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 am
And do understand that all the people encouraging you to make a change , find a lower paying job which is more satisfying etc. won’t be around to help you financially when you have a left a secure well paying job for another that does not work out. They will still keep saying all sorts of positive things, but you alone are responsible for your life and your family’s. My advice is to see this through a heavy duty practical lens and not get carried away by happy thoughts that somehow everything will work out that will make you magically happier.
Why do you assume he'll have to take a less secure position? No one should assume that their current position is the only secure job they'll ever have. That's a very fear based reaction. It is possible to find a secure job that also is less prone to burn out. If there's a will, there's a way. Positivity is important to accomplish a difficult task like that though. Telling him to "see through a heavy duty practical lens" is just an excuse not to face your fears or a difficult decision. He can remained employed now, look for another job that is secure and can pay the bills/provide for his family. If he finds it, he can make the switch safely. Obviously he shouldn't just quit without a solid plan. But, there's nothing wrong with having hope for a better situation and starting to look around now. It's not magic we're suggesting. It would be more foolish for him to stay in a job that's making him unhappy though. How can someone be a good father/husband if they're so unhappy all day at work? Providing for your family is about more than just making money. He can find a better balance and that's why many of us are encouraging him to try.

go_mets
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by go_mets » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 am

hightower wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:19 am
skor99 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 am
And do understand that all the people encouraging you to make a change , find a lower paying job which is more satisfying etc. won’t be around to help you financially when you have a left a secure well paying job for another that does not work out. They will still keep saying all sorts of positive things, but you alone are responsible for your life and your family’s. My advice is to see this through a heavy duty practical lens and not get carried away by happy thoughts that somehow everything will work out that will make you magically happier.
Why do you assume he'll have to take a less secure position? No one should assume that their current position is the only secure job they'll ever have. That's a very fear based reaction. It is possible to find a secure job that also is less prone to burn out. If there's a will, there's a way. Positivity is important to accomplish a difficult task like that though. Telling him to "see through a heavy duty practical lens" is just an excuse not to face your fears or a difficult decision. He can remained employed now, look for another job that is secure and can pay the bills/provide for his family. If he finds it, he can make the switch safely. Obviously he shouldn't just quit without a solid plan. But, there's nothing wrong with having hope for a better situation and starting to look around now. It's not magic we're suggesting. It would be more foolish for him to stay in a job that's making him unhappy though. How can someone be a good father/husband if they're so unhappy all day at work? Providing for your family is about more than just making money. He can find a better balance and that's why many of us are encouraging him to try.
skor99 didn't say that the new position will be less secure.
He asks what happens if the new job doesn't work out? Will you be donating money?
The risk should not be underestimated. OP is the sole income and he has 4 children in college.



.

skor99
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by skor99 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:47 am

For a person in their late 40s / 50s keeping a well paying secure position they have been working in for a while ( in a company which is doing OK ) is far preferable to switching, unless they have very specialized skills that they know for sure will carry them for a few years into the future. That is just the bare cold truth.
Companies layoff employees pretty much at whim nowadays, especially somebody who is new, without a network in the company, and especially the older demographic. Nothing wrong in hoping for better times, but that should be done within the confines of a well paying secure job and not outside, unless the circumstances are totally unbearable or illegal ( like sexual harassment on the job etc.). Let’s be honest, Providing for family may not be all, but is mostly about making money. And sometimes it means some sacrifice on the provider side.

skor99
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by skor99 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:48 am

hightower wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:19 am
skor99 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 am
And do understand that all the people encouraging you to make a change , find a lower paying job which is more satisfying etc. won’t be around to help you financially when you have a left a secure well paying job for another that does not work out. They will still keep saying all sorts of positive things, but you alone are responsible for your life and your family’s. My advice is to see this through a heavy duty practical lens and not get carried away by happy thoughts that somehow everything will work out that will make you magically happier.
Why do you assume he'll have to take a less secure position? No one should assume that their current position is the only secure job they'll ever have. That's a very fear based reaction. It is possible to find a secure job that also is less prone to burn out. If there's a will, there's a way. Positivity is important to accomplish a difficult task like that though. Telling him to "see through a heavy duty practical lens" is just an excuse not to face your fears or a difficult decision. He can remained employed now, look for another job that is secure and can pay the bills/provide for his family. If he finds it, he can make the switch safely. Obviously he shouldn't just quit without a solid plan. But, there's nothing wrong with having hope for a better situation and starting to look around now. It's not magic we're suggesting. It would be more foolish for him to stay in a job that's making him unhappy though. How can someone be a good father/husband if they're so unhappy all day at work? Providing for your family is about more than just making money. He can find a better balance and that's why many of us are encouraging him to try.
For a person in their late 40s / 50s keeping a well paying secure position they have been working in for a while ( in a company which is doing OK ) is far preferable to switching, unless they have very specialized skills that they know for sure will carry them for a few years into the future. That is just the bare cold truth.
Companies layoff employees pretty much at whim nowadays, especially somebody who is new, without a network in the company, and especially the older demographic. Nothing wrong in hoping for better times, but that should be done within the confines of a well paying secure job and not outside, unless the circumstances are totally hunbearable or illegal ( like sexual harassment on the job etc.). Let’s be honest, Providing for family may not be all, but is mostly about making money. And sometimes it means some sacrifice on the provider side.

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CaliJim
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by CaliJim » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:03 am

Keep on grinding.
Increase exercise. 5 hours / week min, with some intensity.
Improve diet.
.... the greener grass (retirement, new job, new spouse, whatever) on the other side of the fence is still just grass.
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki

rgs92
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by rgs92 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:38 am

The bigger problem may be that if you retire or do anything to lower your income, your wife may feel the economic pinch and be very unhappy, and that is not a good thing and can be much worse and more insidious than work stress. (I speak from personal experiences for myself and many others I know who have lost jobs in IT.)

I would be more inclined to sort of Retire In Place and put a shield around yourself at work. It may seem impossible, but if you gird yourself for it, it can be done and you will feel better. Working at a level to preserve your sanity or just feel better is not illegal or immoral.

Good luck.

UncleBogle
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by UncleBogle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:11 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:38 am
The bigger problem may be that if you retire or do anything to lower your income, your wife may feel the economic pinch and be very unhappy, and that is not a good thing and can be much worse and more insidious than work stress. (I speak from personal experiences for myself and many others I know who have lost jobs in IT.)

I would be more inclined to sort of Retire In Place and put a shield around yourself at work. It may seem impossible, but if you gird yourself for it, it can be done and you will feel better. Working at a level to preserve your sanity or just feel better is not illegal or immoral.

Good luck.
Actually, my wife is actually encouraging a change. Though she is a wonderful wife and mother, she is the eternal optimist, with the mantras , "Everything will work out" and "Everything happens for a reason".

I think that it is wonderful to have optimism, but the realist in me fears the potential disaster. It is a ponderous battle between security and chance of improvement.

As another person put it, I don't want to look back and regret the "lost years" either.

Sure, I can take pride in knowing that by steering the study course, I have insured a rock solid financial path. But will I still feel that way at the end of the game? Of course others could argue, if the floor falls out on the plan, wouldn't you regret that too?

It's kind of funny- the more I think about things, it seems that it is human nature to become more fearful and less adventurous as we get older, and we begin worrying more about our mistakes and how we will be remembered. Without sounding too morbid, after we're long gone, we certainly won't be too concerned about these things. 😉

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the movie/musical 1776. John Adams had commented to Benjamin Franklin about concerns of how history books remember them. Franklin responded, "Don't worry John, the history books will clean it up..."

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greg24
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by greg24 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:19 pm

The OP is pretty vague overall.

If you can find a job that is a little better than the current job, with better work/life balance, for similar compensation, you should do it.

If you want to change your career without any plan for what to change to, I would use caution.

If you're just tired of having to show up for work every day (a lot of us are), your next job will also want you to show up every day. There may not be a greener pasture.

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Watty
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by Watty » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:43 pm

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am
I'll put my 5¢ in Lucy's "Psychiatry can" now.
You might want to consider getting some professional counseling to figure out some of the issues that are going on. Any big career changes will also impact your spouse so you might want to have couples counseling as part of that.

One huge risk if you change careers is that at the beginning of your new career you may have to work a lot of overtime and odd hours just to get established so even if it is a better field you could end up being more burnt out.

If your new career involves any sort of shift work you can expect to have to work a lot of evenings and weekends until you get some seniority.
UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am
the age old dilemma of low work satisfaction
You might want to look for satisfying activities outside of work that you can continue into retirement.

It is a common problem people that do have satisfying jobs to be at a bit of a loss when they retire and don't have a lot of outside interests.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:57 pm

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:11 pm
rgs92 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:38 am
The bigger problem may be that if you retire or do anything to lower your income, your wife may feel the economic pinch and be very unhappy, and that is not a good thing and can be much worse and more insidious than work stress. (I speak from personal experiences for myself and many others I know who have lost jobs in IT.)

I would be more inclined to sort of Retire In Place and put a shield around yourself at work. It may seem impossible, but if you gird yourself for it, it can be done and you will feel better. Working at a level to preserve your sanity or just feel better is not illegal or immoral.

Good luck.
Actually, my wife is actually encouraging a change. Though she is a wonderful wife and mother, she is the eternal optimist, with the mantras , "Everything will work out" and "Everything happens for a reason".

I think that it is wonderful to have optimism, but the realist in me fears the potential disaster. It is a ponderous battle between security and chance of improvement.

As another person put it, I don't want to look back and regret the "lost years" either.

Sure, I can take pride in knowing that by steering the study course, I have insured a rock solid financial path. But will I still feel that way at the end of the game? Of course others could argue, if the floor falls out on the plan, wouldn't you regret that too?

It's kind of funny- the more I think about things, it seems that it is human nature to become more fearful and less adventurous as we get older, and we begin worrying more about our mistakes and how we will be remembered. Without sounding too morbid, after we're long gone, we certainly won't be too concerned about these things. 😉

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the movie/musical 1776. John Adams had commented to Benjamin Franklin about concerns of how history books remember them. Franklin responded, "Don't worry John, the history books will clean it up..."
I'm am speaking with some knowledge of this subject, from the other side, as you will see in 5a below.

1) Lots of good advice on this thread from a lot of smart people. That said, I would definitely take any version of grinding it out for ten more years off the table. Off the table! Ten years is a freakin' long time to be miserable. Then...
2) Mentally commit to a Grind it Out phase, perhaps "no more than two years", and...
3) Start quietly looking seriously at another job, and...
4) Work your network, expand your network. Many good next jobs come from one's network of contacts. And...
5) Look at your current financial freedom plan with your wife and make changes. No plan is perfect for ten years, I don't care what anyone says. Eisenhower said (very paraphrased), "A plan is only good until you hit the beach."
5a) In my senior year of high school, my dad came to me and said college plans needed to change. He couldn't grind it out any more and needed my participation in a change of plans. I was glad to be included. Of course I helped my dad by changing things! I had been accepted to a private school which I had planned to go to for a long time. I changed plans and enrolled in one of our state schools (this is three weeks before starting mind you), which is a fine school and a lot cheaper. And we agreed on what I would contribute (a lot, by working part time and of course summer jobs which were all super crummy). It worked out fine. Actually met my future wife, now happily married 40 years) at State school.
5b) By changing plans, my dad was able to change jobs a year later and believe it or not, at 83, he's still on that job!!! 83 for crying' out loud.
6) Repeating, change your plans but DON'T grind it out for ten years. Your wife is right. But don't just quit without a plan. With some changing of plans, you can make this work out better than your current state. Humans are almost endlessly adaptable.
There are stars in the Southern sky | And if ever you decide | You should go | There is a taste of time sweetened honey | Down the Seven Bridges Road

Texanbybirth
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by Texanbybirth » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:07 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:43 pm
UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am
I'll put my 5¢ in Lucy's "Psychiatry can" now.
You might want to consider getting some professional counseling to figure out some of the issues that are going on. Any big career changes will also impact your spouse so you might want to have couples counseling as part of that.

One huge risk if you change careers is that at the beginning of your new career you may have to work a lot of overtime and odd hours just to get established so even if it is a better field you could end up being more burnt out.

If your new career involves any sort of shift work you can expect to have to work a lot of evenings and weekends until you get some seniority.
UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:52 am
the age old dilemma of low work satisfaction
You might want to look for satisfying activities outside of work that you can continue into retirement.

It is a common problem people that do have satisfying jobs to be at a bit of a loss when they retire and don't have a lot of outside interests.
+1, nothing wrong with talking to a solid psychologist for a few sessions. You almost sound depressed, when really you've got a lot of good things going for you. Psychologists are great at helping you think through some of your emotions, and uncovering emotions that are motivating your thoughts - burn out, change of careers, etc. Also, you've got a wife and 4 kids to think about, too. That's a lot of pressure, and I'm sure a psychological professional would be able to help you, and if you still come to the point where a career change is your choice they can help you make sure your decisions have a good mental/emotional basis. Mental health deserves a higher place in America's priorities than it currently receives.

I also agree with working out, finding/reigniting a hobby, etc, as ways to keep your brain focused anywhere besides work when you're out of work. One would think 4 kids would do that, but you're probably a really smart person who can handle it. Your wife sounds like a keeper. At least go to the counseling for her! :D

gotester2000
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by gotester2000 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:12 pm

OP,

Try this for fun -

Normal life expectancy(85 yrs) = 85 × 365 × 24 = 744600 hours
Normal working hours(35 yrs) = 35 × 2000 = 70000 hours
So one hardly spends 9.4% of his life working.

Now compare how much time one thinks and loathes work. I am pretty sure it is more than 9.4%.

Point being, one can be happy if he does not think too much and live in the moment. Its not the actual work but the thought that kills. Changing jobs or retirement wont solve it - it needs a change in thought process. Try not to have goals in work or personal life - that helped me to be at peace - artificial positivity and pep talk did not help me.

DesertDiva
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by DesertDiva » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:24 pm

I've had the same struggles and challenges. My employer offers decent pay and a great benefits package, yet I dreaded the daily grind and didn't like what I was doing. Earlier this year, I went to my manager and asked for a different work assignment, which he was able to give me. As it turns out, others on my team had similar requests and he was able to shift the workload around so that people are doing more of what they like and what suits their interests. I was pleasantly surprised.

I've also had a conversation with him about incorporating a training plan into my annual goals, based on the technology direction of our department. This was enough to keep me motivated and stay where I am. Perhaps a similar approach could work for you.
♫ Stocks go up ♫ Stocks go down ♫ Stocks go up ♫ Stocks go down ♫ - Second verse same as the first

TIAX
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by TIAX » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:15 pm

gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:12 pm
Try this for fun -

Normal life expectancy(85 yrs) = 85 × 365 × 24 = 744600 hours
Normal working hours(35 yrs) = 35 × 2000 = 70000 hours
So one hardly spends 9.4% of his life working.

Now compare how much time one thinks and loathes work. I am pretty sure it is more than 9.4%.

Point being, one can be happy if he does not think too much and live in the moment. Its not the actual work but the thought that kills. Changing jobs or retirement wont solve it - it needs a change in thought process. Try not to have goals in work or personal life - that helped me to be at peace - artificial positivity and pep talk did not help me.
Disagree with your math. Add commuting to working hours and subtract sleep from life expectancy and you get something more accurate. If one works 9-5, commutes 8-9 and 5-6, and sleeps 11-7, the vast majority of the waking hours of 5 of your 7 days are spent working. And of course, many people work longer hours than 9-5.

UncleBogle
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by UncleBogle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:32 pm

TIAX wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:15 pm
gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:12 pm
Try this for fun -

Normal life expectancy(85 yrs) = 85 × 365 × 24 = 744600 hours
Normal working hours(35 yrs) = 35 × 2000 = 70000 hours
So one hardly spends 9.4% of his life working.

Now compare how much time one thinks and loathes work. I am pretty sure it is more than 9.4%.

Point being, one can be happy if he does not think too much and live in the moment. Its not the actual work but the thought that kills. Changing jobs or retirement wont solve it - it needs a change in thought process. Try not to have goals in work or personal life - that helped me to be at peace - artificial positivity and pep talk did not help me.
Disagree with your math. Add commuting to working hours and subtract sleep from life expectancy and you get something more accurate. If one works 9-5, commutes 8-9 and 5-6, and sleeps 11-7, the vast majority of the waking hours of 5 of your 7 days are spent working. And of course, many people work longer hours than 9-5.
Agreed. That calculation should be made during your waking hours, if you want to refer to "usable hours" of the day.

epoxyresin
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by epoxyresin » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:34 pm

Now's probably the best the job environment will ever get (with some caveats that we don't know your field or where you live, etc.), so if you do want to switch it's probably a fine time to do it.

It's hard to give concrete advice without more information. How much do you have saved/what's your saving rate/how much are you willing to downsize/what's your current job and what types of jobs would you look at moving to would I'm sure elicit more specific responses from people who have been in more similar situations; right now we're all more-or-less guessing. Would you (and your family) be OK moving to another part of the country? A change of scenery can do a lot for some people. Can you get something part time so you have more time with kids? Can your wife pick up some work on the side?

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Sasquatch
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by Sasquatch » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:40 pm

Are you exersizing daily?
Eating right?
Are you taking your lunches and breaks at work. Go take a walk on your lunch break. Get out of the workplace.
Do you have a annual physical done? It would be a good time to talk to your family doc. about your situation.

At age 41 I stuck it out for 10 years and pushed through. Wife and kiddos in middle school to protect. Finished career with 33 years in. I had so much tenure at my job there was no way in my view I could replace that wage level. Luckily investment plan came together and I punched out at 51.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:27 pm

I've felt burnout in every decade of my working life. I think it's very common. I've been able to push through it and patiently change what needed to be changed. (Change employers, learn new things, take full lunch breaks, delegate work to a temp, transfer to a department with a non- :twisted: boss, etc.)

ad2007
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by ad2007 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:31 am

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:32 pm
TIAX wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:15 pm
gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:12 pm
Try this for fun -

Normal life expectancy(85 yrs) = 85 × 365 × 24 = 744600 hours
Normal working hours(35 yrs) = 35 × 2000 = 70000 hours
So one hardly spends 9.4% of his life working.

Now compare how much time one thinks and loathes work. I am pretty sure it is more than 9.4%.

Point being, one can be happy if he does not think too much and live in the moment. Its not the actual work but the thought that kills. Changing jobs or retirement wont solve it - it needs a change in thought process. Try not to have goals in work or personal life - that helped me to be at peace - artificial positivity and pep talk did not help me.
Disagree with your math. Add commuting to working hours and subtract sleep from life expectancy and you get something more accurate. If one works 9-5, commutes 8-9 and 5-6, and sleeps 11-7, the vast majority of the waking hours of 5 of your 7 days are spent working. And of course, many people work longer hours than 9-5.
Agreed. That calculation should be made during your waking hours, if you want to refer to "usable hours" of the day.
I think the point gotester2000 is making though doesn't change. As a matter of fact, when you think about work while not at work, you've increased your "work" hours while robbing yourself of even more "home" time. And a lot of those thoughts are quite detrimental to your perspective.

I'm not telling you to stay, nor can I advise you to go. Trust me, I've always lived on the edge of burning out. I've done the same as you: frame the problem in a way where my wife would also tell me to let go and find greener (easier) pasture. I've done it a few times (luckily, there's no shortage of jobs for my profession) and I've come to realize it was me all along, not the job. So I've stuck it out at my current gig for the past 12 years. The burnout feelings come and go every 3-4 years. It sucks but I'm convinced it's mostly self punishment for having to work for a living. I wish I had been born into a monarchy - preferably in region with no rain or snow :greedy

A friend of mine once said to me: There are hundreds of guys willing to line up in the freezing rain for a chance at my job, so I'm not quitting. We do the same thing, and he's a lot happier... all the time.

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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by chw » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:08 am

Personally, if you can take measures to make your current job more palatable for the next 10 years, I would ride it out if you can. I suspect some of the burnout could be work life balance with the demands of 4 kids and a job- that may not change dramatically with a career change. Late 40's for me I went through a forced career change due to the financial crisis (I loved my previous career). Like you, was about 10 years from FIRE, and also had to get 2 kids through college. The new career was a struggle at times for the first few years, but when I found I was maybe heading towards burnout, I tried to make sure I had some "me" time scheduled in my day- even if it was just walking out of the office for a 20 minute walk to clear my head. Everyone copes with stress differently, so try to figure that out for yourself.

Fast forward 11 years, I did retire last years, the kids are graduated from college, and we recently downsized from our home to an area we love to live in. It wasn't easy to get to FIRE, but if you can stick to your plan, and perhaps make some changes in your work-life balance now, you may be able to keep to your plan to retire at 58. I do agree though that if your health is being impacted by the stress of your current job, you should seek some sort of change sooner than later- 10 years is too long to live with burnout type of stress if it's unmanaged.

alil
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by alil » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:16 am

If you are in a caring profession I recommend reading this book

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/p/burnout- ... gJdvfD_BwE

One of it’s ideas of the book is that in order to maintain job satisfaction attending to your life outside work is important (good sleep is crucial IMHO, hence the importance of exercise avoiding electronic devices and alcohol in the evenings, healthy diet, social engagement proximity to nature etc)

I would consider switching to part time before switching jobs

“Don’t pray for an easy load, pray for a strong back”

Out minds are maleable - I would take a deep honest look at how your mind works (maybe with the help of a professional) and try to break the negative thought patterns - meditation, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy can help.

Also taking a trip with your family to a third world country can help you gain perspective...

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StevieG72
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by StevieG72 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:44 am

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:59 am
Sometimes when I have a tough shift and dread it I have changed the way I perceive things. Work doesn't cause stress. The way I react and percieve input is what causes the stress. Change that and work isn't that stressful anymore.
+1

I have been working on this myself. Now I try to focus on the big picture and keep things in perspective. Easier said than done, it takes deliberate effort and practice.

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

I say grind it out, I am mid 40’s and can see a twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel. Goal is to be FI by 55.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

TIAX
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by TIAX » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:41 pm

alil wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:16 am
Out minds are maleable - I would take a deep honest look at how your mind works (maybe with the help of a professional) and try to break the negative thought patterns - meditation, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy can help.
Even assuming it's possible, why should OP go to therapy to become ok with grinding at some job he hates. OP, find a better job, have your wife get a job, and have your kids pay for their own college education (your kids don't need be coddled).

DVMResident
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by DVMResident » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:10 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am
UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:39 am
djpeteski wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 am
When is the last time you took a nice relaxing vacation?
June of this year - 3 weeks. It was great. I felt like "myself" again. Took less than a month to feel the way I did before I left.
A month? Wow, I feel like I never took a vacation about 3-days and 3K emails after returning.
Work from home the day after a long vacation and just power through the emails/critical telecons. Does wonders for both productivity and getting back up to speed.

runner3081
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by runner3081 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:26 pm

DVMResident wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:10 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am
UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:39 am
djpeteski wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 am
When is the last time you took a nice relaxing vacation?
June of this year - 3 weeks. It was great. I felt like "myself" again. Took less than a month to feel the way I did before I left.
A month? Wow, I feel like I never took a vacation about 3-days and 3K emails after returning.
Work from home the day after a long vacation and just power through the emails/critical telecons. Does wonders for both productivity and getting back up to speed.
If only that was an accepted thing to do :)

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randomizer
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by randomizer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:30 pm

Long way to go to 58. Doesn't seem sustainable. Something has to give. Either the job or making concessions like not paying for college, or at least, not all of it.
87.5:12.5, EM tilt — HODL the course!

remomnyc
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Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Post by remomnyc » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:52 pm

I was you in 2009. I hated my job and was waking in the middle of the night stressed and unable to get back to sleep. I had only saved 1/4 of what I needed to retire. At the time, companies were firing, not hiring, so I didn't even bother looking for a new job. I did increase my savings significantly in case of layoff. What got me through was seeing a therapist who helped me detach from the job and taking advantage of unpaid vacation (2 extra weeks a year). When the job market improved and I started looking around, I realized I could not match my combination of salary, benefits, and hours, and I decided to stay and retire early, which I did this year.

If I were you, I would keep grinding but actively search for a new job. I would have happily worked 15 or 20 more years if I could have found a job that I found worthwhile. In the meantime, reduce your expenses and increase your savings so you can exit earlier rather than later.

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