Looking for a new job

Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
Jin+Guice
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Looking for a new job

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:13 pm

I need a new job. I have no idea what I want to do.

I've had 3 jobs since I graduated from college. The first job was in my studio. I got this job because I was "pursuing my passion," and because it was what my degree was in. Honestly, this was the only job that I enjoyed, but the problem is it paid too little and took up too much time. My next job was a research assistant in grad school. 50% of this job was just going to grad school and the rest was conducting relatively pointless "research" at a mid-level economics program. I took this job because I enjoyed the handful of economics classes I'd taken in undergrad and was accepted into a program with full funding and grad student stipend. I also wasn't sure what I wanted to do, since I'd just quit the career I'd assumed I'd have forever. My current job is at a hospital. I took this job because it pays really well and has theoretically flexible scheduling. I also took this job because it would allow me to save money to retire early. I really hate this job and I need a new one.

I have no idea what I want to do, which is both a problem and an opportunity. What are the characteristics of an ideal job? What position should a job occupy in our lives? How much fulfillment should we seek from our jobs? What is the opportune amount of time to work in a week? Should money or skill learning be emphasized? Should we enjoy all of the time at our jobs? If we don't enjoy any of the time we spend at our jobs should we quit? Is there an age when switching jobs is ill-advised? Should we do jobs primarily to acquire money and seek fulfillment outside of them, or should we seek some fulfillment through our jobs?

What do all of you think? How many of you like your jobs? How many of you hate them? Is there anyone here who would do their job or some part of their job even if they weren't paid? Does being paid for doing something you enjoy ruin it for you?

chenda
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by chenda » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:21 pm

Do what your good at. From this all things will follow.

bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by bigato » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:11 pm

Instead of the traditional "do what you love", my rule of thumb is "do something you don't hate too much". Forget about the rest, money is money is money. And yes, there is research showing that when you get paid to do what you love, you produce lower quality. In my experience, what makes you hate what you love is not so much being paid for it, but all the bullshit around corporate life and social games that inevitably comes with it.

suomalainen
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by suomalainen » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:54 pm

A job should fill the position of fulfilling whatever needs you want it to fill. Need money? A job can do that. Other things can do that too. Need purpose or an identity? A job can do that. Other things can do that too. Need fulfillment? A job can do that. Other things can do that too. Need social interaction? A job can do that. Other things can do that too. An ideal job is one that exactly fills the needs you want it to fill - no more, no less. Since such a position is unlikely to materialize, find a job that satisfies enough of your financial, philosophical, emotional, social, etc. needs.

In my entire career (finance and law), I've met only two guys who literally walk the halls mumbling to themselves "I can't believe they pay me to do this." For everyone else, a job does not check all the boxes, so they find what fulfillment, purpose, etc. that they can from the job, but they find the bulk of it elsewhere.

I don't love my job, but I like it well enough. If you hate yours, it's definitely time to move on. If it's alright, look at what you want out of a job / career and if the current trajectory gives it to you, great - stay the course. If you want something different than what the current job can give you, move on.

pukingRainbows
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by pukingRainbows » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:20 am

To me a job is an extension of some part of myself. I cannot do a job unless I feel it is congruent with me in some meaningful way. And that's regardless of how much it pays. The bright side is that, rather than eschewing positions that I don't immediately resonate with, I will try to find a way to to connect to it in a meaningful way.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:38 am

After reading the responses I thought of a more concise and interesting question.

Imagine because of your ERE skills that instead of retiring you do whatever job you like for however many hours a week you want instead of retiring. You are constrained by needing to earn enough money to cover expenses. You are also constrained by job availability (i.e. some jobs are only available full-time, half-time, differing per contract, etc...). You are also still you, so you can only get jobs that you could reasonably acquire with your skills.

What job or jobs would you do? Why? How much would you work?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:12 pm

#hustletrees

Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by Seppia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:01 pm

My dream job would be volunteering for about 6 months a year, but it wouldn't pay nearly enough to fund all my expenses - we have below average expenses, but I would expect 6 months volunteering to provide a salary that is at best slightly below the poverty line.

This is one of the reasons we are pursuing ERE.

Tyler9000
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by Tyler9000 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:28 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:13 pm
I have no idea what I want to do, which is both a problem and an opportunity. What are the characteristics of an ideal job? What position should a job occupy in our lives? How much fulfillment should we seek from our jobs? What is the opportune amount of time to work in a week? Should money or skill learning be emphasized? Should we enjoy all of the time at our jobs? If we don't enjoy any of the time we spend at our jobs should we quit? Is there an age when switching jobs is ill-advised? Should we do jobs primarily to acquire money and seek fulfillment outside of them, or should we seek some fulfillment through our jobs?
I understand your sense of frustration, but TBH I feel like you're over-thinking it. Your questions are all interesting and philosophical but they're dancing around the core issue of finding the right job for you.

Tell us more about the job you enjoyed, the job you hate, and your grad school research. With that info I bet we can get a good brainstorm going.

sky
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by sky » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:51 pm

Be careful about careers in which you risk injury or your health.

bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by bigato » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:19 pm

Agreed, don’t loose time on perfect. The perfect job is the one that doesn’t exist.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:03 am

I have, obviously, given a great deal of thought to this topic myself. Some random musings:

It is a mistake to confuse variety with novelty. IOW, it is as much a mistake to think you will be able to come up with just the perfect mix of activities , or modes of conduct, that will satisfy eternally, as it is to think you will find the one perfect job or career.

Almost every mode of employment I have experienced has been interesting for at least a short while, roughly analogous to how if you are at all extroverted, it can be interesting to meet somebody for a coffee date or maybe go out a few times, but that's about it. If you imagine 2 logistic curves, one representing your subjective interest (maybe excitement?)in a potentially lucrative project/career/job/enterprise over time and the second representing production of income from that enterprise over time, you will observe that in the majority of cases, your interest will already be positive at or shortly after time 0 and your production of income will be at least somewhat negative. The curves can be sectioned into realms labeled "Slow Growth", "Fast Growth", and "Saturation"; like this:

Image

So, given that you are an individual who experiences excitement more often than anxiety* in new situations, you will most likely want to time your planned jump off of any given enterprise between T2 and T3. This need not be a huge jump, maybe just something like lateral move with same employer or introduction of one new product line to small business. One rather large factor that may influence this decision is due to the fact that income and personal interest, although clearly not one and the same as in idealized classical model, are also clearly not wholly independent. It is exciting to watch the money come rolling in as sales of your hypa-tufa lawn ornament business sky-rocket. It is gratifying to be given the corner office with two walls of windows. etc. etc.

Now, there is a great deal of uncertainty inherent in drawing these graphs. The first requires a great deal of self-knowledge and the second requires knowledge of the market or some market basket of markets if you wish to compare and contrast possibilities. But, it should be possible to make a first approximation of likely net total income over time before you will jump off a given enterprise curve and on to another (which might just be the enterprise of managing your own investments in the enterprises of others.) Then this first approximation can be re-evaluated in manner consistent with Bayesian analysis as new information become available**. Most humans attempt this sort of analysis in semi-conscious ad hoc manner making use of conventional rules of thumb such as "it is usually best to try to stick it out when the going gets tough", but you could choose to make the attempt in more conscious, rigorous, rational manner.

Anyways, given that you have good estimate of your baseline expenses absent expenses to be assigned to potentially lucrative enterprise, your model should suggest good likelihood that:

1) You are willing and able to invest funds equal to the area under the income graph from t=0 until t =time (I)income becomes positive.

2) The integral of the income graph from t = 0 until t= T3 on the interest graph = P(proceeds likely while still excited) - (I) - E (baseline expenses over same time period) must be greater than zero.

One fairly obvious note towards initial brainstorming would be that realms in which change in growth of overall market interest are most positive would be best bets. Perhaps not so obvious note would be that the portion of your income due to profit will correlate well with your tolerance of initial uncertainty combined with good judgment moving forward. **

Exercise 1: Attempt rough sketches of this model applied to your previous enterprises.

Exercise 2: Apply this model to wide variety of possible enterprises such as:

A) career in mechanical engineering
B) selling hotdogs from a cart
C) buying lottery tickets
D) teaching water aerobics

*Third graph might otherwise be necessary to analyze trade-off between anxiety and excitement.

**I will develop this suggestion further in some future post to be written after I am done reading the 4 books on Bayesian analysis I am currently reading in conjunction with the 1921 classic "Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit" by the iconoclastic genius Frank H. Knight.

***Whether or not good judgment would encompass trial of strategy designed by me may offer further complications. :lol:

bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by bigato » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:16 pm

Jesus 7w5, you are studying this data science bullshit too much

7Wannabe5
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:04 pm

@bigato:

Too much or not quite enough yet :lol:

classical_Liberal
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:40 am

Job satisfaction is so much more complicated than simply enjoying your function and how quickly you reach saturation. Here's an entire thread of someones frustration related to a function they love, but job they hate.
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=10443

It doesn't have to be abusive bosses. Schedule flexibility matters. Can you control which tasks you do and when? Do your efforts match with personal ethics? Even if so, are your efforts appreciated or are you a cog in a machine? Do you enjoy your coworkers?

I've had some jobs where the people, management, and flexibility were so great, I wouldn't have even cared what the job itself was.

I don't think I can be much help to you, except that I have repeated two mistakes over and over again.

1) When you know it's time to move on, for whatever reason, do so ASAP. Otherwise you will sour towards a career, job, or employer that may have otherwise had some future potential.

2) Do not follow the money, you don't need it. More specifically, I always tend look towards maximizing my compensation for the work I'm doing. If you find a situation you enjoy, look to maintain that relationship as long as humanly possible. Until you are ready for something different (see #1). Don't disrupt the zen by chasing more lucrative positions in that field/company or whatever. Edit: and don't be tempted by higher compensation offers to not do #1.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:23 am

classical_Liberal wrote:Job satisfaction is so much more complicated than simply enjoying your function and how quickly you reach saturation.
True, but you still have to know yourself in relationship to all of these factors. My experience of myself has been that I will sometimes make a snap judgment to quit a job based on factors such as personality conflict, scheduling, etc, but only if my underlying interest is already on the wane. In fact, I try very hard to be self-aware about when I am using the first category of external problems as an excuse for my own internal lack of motivation. By analogy, I try very hard not to tell myself and others that the reason I am dumping a BF is because he exhibited some azzhole behavior when the real reason is that the sex sucks. Of course, the objective reality is that every possible 4 quadrant combination of azzhole behavior and sucky sex vs charming behavior and fantastic sex is possible. Thus, when I was self-employed as a rare book dealer on the sweet spot of the s-curve in a rapidly growing market, it was like the honeymoon period of a successful marriage and I was very happy and thought I had solved that problem forever.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:32 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:23 am
True, but you still have to know yourself in relationship to all of these factors.
Absolutely agreed. If you know yourself to be the type to have quickly waning interests, it's smart to avoid things that require too large of an upfront financial or time investment. At least, if the goal to to remain as net positive as possible wrt cash flow in each new venture.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:23 am
I try very hard not to tell myself and others that the reason I am dumping a BF is because he exhibited some azzhole behavior when the real reason is that the sex sucks.
The idea there is a bunch of interplay is my point as well. Sure, if a job function is boring, then having crappy coworkers will absolutely exacerbate the pain. OTOH, even an extremely mundane job, if all the other factors are exceptional, can result in an excellent experience. So, I guess my point is that looking for a job shouldn't be based solely on the "work".

wolf
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Location: Germany

Re: Looking for a new job

Post by wolf » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:41 am

@ Jin+Guice
What quadrant(s) of the ERE economic model are you good at, do you prefer or looking for?
- salary man
- craftsman
- business man
- renaissance man

7Wannabe5
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Re: Looking for a new job

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:57 am

classical_Liberal wrote:Absolutely agreed. If you know yourself to be the type to have quickly waning interests, it's smart to avoid things that require too large of an upfront financial or time investment. At least, if the goal to to remain as net positive as possible wrt cash flow in each new venture.
Right, but this is not always an easy trick to pull off. I am rationally choosing to project a bit with my advice, because I know that Jin + Guice tests as similar personality type to me. So, for instance, both of us vary from the majority of this forum in our ability to be happy while living as broke-azz couch surfers with just enough of a roll to pay bus fare to next hustle.
The idea there is a bunch of interplay is my point as well. Sure, if a job function is boring, then having crappy coworkers will absolutely exacerbate the pain. OTOH, even an extremely mundane job, if all the other factors are exceptional, can result in an excellent experience. So, I guess my point is that looking for a job shouldn't be based solely on the "work".
I agree, but then it is just a job which happens to be in a great social setting, but it's not your "work." I mean, it's just like how sometimes you get lucky and your new apartment is located in a great social setting for you. The art or craft of placing yourself into great social settings can be entirely put aside as independent from the task of finding engaging and lucrative work unless clear particular conflict is evident.

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Lillailler
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The other end of the telescope

Post by Lillailler » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:41 am

I would suggest you think about this the other way round: What, in terms of your needs as a human (food, shelter, social contact, retirement-funds, skill-mastery, etc), is it that you are looking for a job to meet, rather than other facets of your life?

In general, the more needs a job has to meet, the more constrained your choices, but equally, if you take a job for the sole reason that it will help you build retirement funds quickest, the you probably won't have a lot of fun during the hours you spend at work.

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