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Torkel New Reader
11/6/18 7:24 a.m.

This is a discussion me and my brother have had for years: Can you expect to actually enjoy your job? He says yes. I say that he is unreasonable. He say that if he won the lottery, he would keep working, because of the fulfillment and joy his work gives him. I say: I’d quit the day after the money hit my account.

Now, I agree that if you hate your job and have a stomach ache every morning, or lay awake and worry about going to work, then something is clearly wrong. That’s not normal.

I don’t hate my job. And I do enjoy the social time spent with some of my colleagues. But I can’t say that I’m especially interested in it either: I never study things that are work related in the evenings because I’m interested, as I often do with my hobby. I go to work because I want/need the money. If I was offered, for example, 75% of the salary to stay at home, I would. He says: That means you are not doing the right thing.

What is the opinion of the forum? What level of satisfaction and joy is reasonable to expect from ones daily job?

(not) WilD (Matt)
(not) WilD (Matt) Dork
11/6/18 7:30 a.m.

As with so many things, I think reality is somewhere in the middle.  Very few people are so lucky to truly love what they do.  I think the best that can reasonably be expected from work is that it be tolerable and occasionally pleasant.  I like my job (much of the time, I occasionally rage out), and I don't think I would immediately quit if I won the lottery.  I'd figure out what I was going to do with all my free time first... 

ddavidv PowerDork
11/6/18 7:30 a.m.

They call it 'work' for a reason.

After 53 years of life and many employer changes my view is thus:  If I don't DREAD going to work every day it is a good job. There are aspects of my job I like and things I don't. I think that is normal. But it is 'work' and the expectation that it be fulfilling is mostly a Disney fantasy. Are their people that love what they do and can't wait to do it every day? Sure. But it should not be an expectation of life.

Scottah Dork
11/6/18 7:31 a.m.

Do I get excited and love going to work everyday? No. Would I rather be at home with the wife/kids and working on cars? Yes.  Would I quit if I won the lottery? Maybe not. I still need a purpose  I’d probably buy a hobby farm to keep busy. 

I do like what I do. Deadlines and internal/external pressure to meet said deadlines can be tough. 

I hated my last job and was miserable. I got a new job with an amazing company that is focused on retaining its employees and I really enjoy it. 

I’m a civil engineer for reference. 

RossD MegaDork
11/6/18 7:35 a.m.

I like my job. If I won the lottery, they would never see me again.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/6/18 7:43 a.m.

My wife likes her job enough that she would keep working even if there was enough in the bank that she didn't need too. It might be that she just wants to get away from me for 8 hours a day. 

GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/6/18 7:46 a.m.

My job's not terrible apart from the pay, but if I won the lottery (not that I play -insert smugface here- ) I'd quit right away, and I wouldn't be working anywhere anytime soon. Maybe if I got real bored I'd start a FLOSS-friendly gadget company or a kit car manufacturer.

mtn MegaDork
11/6/18 7:58 a.m.

YEs, definitely possible. However, you have to find the cross section of the following:

  • Something that pays well (different for everyone, but call it a national average of that proverbial $75k)
  • something you're good enough in that people will pay you for it 
  • something you enjoy


I haven’t really found that*. I mean, I’m good at my job and I like the people I work with, and I don’t hate the work, but it’s still work. If I could get paid $150k a year to walk dogs, you would never see me take a vacation day. 


*In an alternate timeline, I could have realistically made an attempt at being a caddie on the PGA tour or an NHL ref. Both would have met my criteria above, but I needed to have gone down that line at age 15-18. 

z31maniac MegaDork
11/6/18 8:09 a.m.
RossD said:

I like my job. If I won the lottery, they would never see me again.


My job is interesting and challenging sometimes. I get to work with very smart people. Lots of flexibility, including working from home a few days per week. About the only thing I can really complain about is our vacation policy since we changed ownership right after I started.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
11/6/18 8:18 a.m.

I like my job and can walk away tomorrow.  

Do I love this? No, but I need a job so this is something I really like doing.  Seems odd to say that but a mans gotta work.  

wae SuperDork
11/6/18 8:33 a.m.

I very much enjoy what I'm doing -- I get to solve problems and fix things, basically, and they pay me to do it.  If my financial situation changed such that I did not need to generate income anymore, I would still want to solve problems and fix things for people, but I would quit my job and find a way or place to do that for people that can't afford to pay to have problems solved and things fixed.

When I think of it, I visualize a triangle:  Enjoying what you do, getting enough reimbursement for doing it that you can take care of yourself and your family, and getting satisfaction out of knowing who benefits from your work.  Liking your job is a balancing act among those.  I might love to build and test trebuchets, someone might pay me a ton of money to do it, but that someone might be paying me to do that to launch people they don't like into the ocean.  I'd hate that job.  But I'd be okay with a job that only pays just enough to scrape by but instead of launching people into the ocean, they were using my trebuchets to send fifty pound bags of rice over enemy lines into war-torn villages experiencing famine.

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/6/18 8:44 a.m.

The way I see this, I consider the $$$ the applause for getting out of bed and doing something that is appreciated. I have played ( worked)  to small and large audiences ( companies) and found both to be satisfying.

I have liked all of the 4 careers that I have had/have.

Looking forward to the next one whatever it might be.

You should do for a living what you daydream of doing when you are not doing your job. Avoiding WORK is not an option.



bludroptop UltraDork
11/6/18 9:27 a.m.

I would do it for free.

I wouldn't necessarily do it for 50-60 hours a week like I am now, but I'd do a couple days a week.  My job is enormously challenging (in a good way), and allows for wide latitude in creativity and persuasion while having some social relevance and benefits to the community. I also get to mentor young talent and occasionally give a deserving kid a life-changing opportunity, like someone once did for me.

There is little to compare with the feeling of going into a boardroom full of big shots and coming out an hour later pumping your fist.  That high lasts for days.

In my 60's now, so well into the fourth quarter of my career.  I don't want overtime and I do have retirement plans, but it won't be easy to walk away.

I won't deny that this is the reward for decades of hard work, it wasn't always this sweet but for me it paid off.

Duke MegaDork
11/6/18 9:31 a.m.
RossD said:

I like my job. If I won the lottery, they would never see me again.

This, completely. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
11/6/18 9:39 a.m.

I’ve always told our kids: no one gets paid for doing what they love(even if they truly love part of their job), they get paid for the crap that others either cannot do, or do not want to do. 

The unfortunate truth is our survival is generally contingent on us each being productive members of society - unless you choose to live off-grid and accept 100% of the responsibility of your own survival.  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
11/6/18 9:39 a.m.
NOHOME said:

You should do for a living what you daydream of doing when you are not doing your job.

I'm sure this is great advice but it turns out getting paid to be a race car driver isn't a reasonable career plan.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/6/18 9:43 a.m.

Yeah, I like my job but I'd be real happy not to be dependent on it. 

Is it better than most other gigs I can picture?  Yes actually it is.

Would I do it for free if I won the lottery tomorrow?  Possibly, but on my own terms and for many fewer hours.  The sense of fulfillment derived from fixing something that nobody else can fix is very gratifying.  Unfortunately most jobs grind the enjoyment out of them by requiring too many hours a week.

bobzilla MegaDork
11/6/18 10:15 a.m.

For the first time in my life, I actually enjoy my job. I learn something literally every day. I make an impact, I'm appreciated and I'm encouraged to grow. I do research things on my off time. If I won the lotto, I would work like I am until I had someone fully trained to replace me knowing that it would take 6 months to a year. 

Do I think this is normal? Nope. I am just extremely lucky. 

Robbie UltimaDork
11/6/18 10:23 a.m.

I like my job, and I like other stuff too.

But if I could work 1000 hours a year for 50% of my salary I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm still working on that.

Cousin_Eddie HalfDork
11/6/18 10:29 a.m.


I'm 17 years into my career on a fire truck in a busy city.

I'm tired of seeing people die.

I am tired of seeing people hurt each other.

 I'm tired of the senseless hatred and indifference in the public toward each other.

I have given my health to the job. My knees and my back are destroyed despite surgeries by good surgeons. I have asthma now, which I did not have when I began this job.

And now, in two months they are changing our work schedule from 24/48 to 48/96. Every time I get up and go to work I will be away from my wife and my life for 48 hours straight. That's a whole different game than it was when I was just gone 24 hours at a time.

I have 1080 days (total days, not work days) remaining until I walk out the door. I've always been a good boy, coming to work every day through thick and thin, and therefore have accrued almost 3000 hours of sick leave. As retirement looms closer, my standards as to what constitutes worthy of calling in sick are absolutely changing.

I would not recommend my career to youngsters coming up into the work world. 

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/6/18 10:30 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Refer then to the prose on "next career". At least you would have tried and sometimes we get boos from the audience rather than applause.

Most people who do the dream job start-up quickly find out that the job description does not fit the dream anyhow.




frenchyd UltraDork
11/6/18 10:32 a.m.

In reply to Torkel :

The Amish have a expression, 

Celebrate Work!

there will come a time when you simply cannot work anymore.  At that point you’ll actually miss the value of work. Because now all you can do is wait

Toyman01 MegaDork
11/6/18 10:43 a.m.

I own the company. I don't hate what I do. I'm pretty good at it. There is a certain satisfaction to a job well done. I would still quit tomorrow if I could. 


Dusterbd13 MegaDork
11/6/18 10:47 a.m.

I hate my job. Stayout of mental health 

pheller UltimaDork
11/6/18 11:10 a.m.

There are certainly some things that would help make LIFE LONG work more enjoyable, for sure. 

1) I wish I could work from home more often. 

2) I would be happy with 5-6 weeks vacation. I would probably never leave my company if they offered that. 

3) I'd love an every-5-year unpaid sabbatical of up to 60 days. Just something to look forward to, plan a big trip around, spend some time with almost-dead grandparents and family. 

If I won the lottery, I wouldn't work an office job. I would be building skills for product development, prototyping, fabrication, home construction and probably toying around on excavators building sweet MTB and rallycross trails. 

I think that's something most folks here with the "GRM" mindset would do. Tinkerers and builders tend not to flourish in a restrictive "you must work 30 years doing the same thing" kind of employment. 

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