How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

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theanimal
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by theanimal »

+1 Seppia. I hate these kind of threads.

The reason you're not finding anyone supplying the response you are looking for is because everyone else takes on one of the other options suggested here or continue in misery at their current job. You're in a situation that requires a drastic change. That's not going to be achieved with some tactic that allows you to get through another day in the same situation. The definition of insanity...

ertyu
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by ertyu »

If I leave this job, I leave the country where I currently work. I'm back to my country of origin where I will be paid multiples less for working just as hard. As I said, I tried this three years ago, couldn't do it, got fired. Went back to working abroad, deciding, well, if it has to suck might as well get paid for as long as it lasts. Being a foreigner and thus a glorified temp worker, this gig of mine lasts until the next proper economic downturn or until I get fired.

I cannot afford to quit right now. If I quit, this is it, I'm done and it does mean 5% WR. 5% WR is not safe. Powering through for another couple of years until my WR is close to decent is the best rational option.

If I don't seem like I want to listen to advice, it's because I asked people to respect that I have considered quitting as it relates to my circumstances and have rationally decided against it, and people still came to say, essentially, "well you should just quit." I asked for help with surviving what I need to do. Given how much I struggle with showing up to work on a daily basis, do you think I wouldn't have quit if I had another option? My other option is spending the same 11 hours working at a call center in my home country. At least now I am only client-facing 4-5 hours out of each day.

Frita
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Frita »

Hey, I hear how frustrated you are with your situation. It sucks to feel stuck with what feels like limited choices.

Some decisions are easy to make. Examine the facts, weigh the pros and cons, and a great decision is apparent. This may not be one of those situations.

Choose the least bad choice. There is probably no way to analyze your way into a good situation if it’s so dire. You’ve received lots of suggestions here. The choice is to continue being miserable or try something new. If it doesn’t work, you can always try again.

Seppia
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Seppia »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:45 pm
If I don't seem like I want to listen to advice, it's because I asked people to respect that I have considered quitting as it relates to my circumstances and have rationally decided against it, and people still came to say, essentially, "well you should just quit."
You got a ton of different suggestions other than “just quit”.
So you’re either not reading carefully or you’re misrepresenting stuff to fit your narrative.
Oh well

ertyu
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by ertyu »

@Frita, the choice has been made: it is to continue being miserable. It is the least bad choice, and the only one that squares economically. Get the savings out of the way, then once the dust settles, take 3-6 mo to decompress and begin slowly rebuilding life and health. Hopefully, by then I'd be retiring at the bottom of a business cycle not at the top, and property would be cheaper, and equity markets would be investable in (my theory is that we're closing in on another 1970s--high inflation, very low equity performance. The ideal situation would have been to be able to keep working and contributing into the market during the entire downturn, but I might legitimately not be able to at that point). I'd rather eat the frog now. Just, it's easy to say "eat the frog" and hard to actually eat it.

@Sepia, I read the suggestions. I shouldn't have simplified. So let me try again: my request was, essentially, this is what I have decided (to keep working for another 2-3 years, because this makes the most sense given the circumstances), this is what I know people would say to do as it is standard advice and I have considered it and decided not to pursue (develop a community in the area and socialize, do therapy and meds). This is stuff which I have tried and failed, and don't seem able to sustain right now (healthy diet, exercise, reduced reliance on caffeine). Please don't go there, as this is not what is helpful right now.

Instead, I am hoping to receive suggestions from people who can give hints on how to deal with the intense aversion and how hard it is to force myself through it. I received one helpful suggestion, for which I was glad: try to find IMMEDIATE ways in which I can tell myself I will be glad to have done the task I struggled with. So, instead of, "exercise is good for you," idek, "it will feel good to have stretched out the shoulders." The second suggestion that was really helpful was to allow myself to spend on coping (massage, PT, healthy meals. I would add to this list having someone to clean my house for instance. Some of these are feasible, some are not, but the main idea is helpful). So relax savings rate by 5%, or see what cuts there are to be made in unhealthy coping and redirect those to healthier coping. There are a lot of these. For instance, there is company-provided transportation to work, but I choose to pay my own way there because it allows me to start my day 20 min later and not have to commence the corporate cheer and forced socialization first thing in the morning. I also get a coffee on the way and sit outside, which I really enjoy, but it inevitably makes me think about how wonderful it would be if I could just stay here drinking my coffee instead of going to work. I cling to these rituals, because they are a spot of joy, lack of pressure, and time to myself in what is otherwise a horrible day, but maybe that is the problem. Maybe I shouldn't give myself this window of what could be, because it makes what is harder to bear. Instead, maybe I should save the money and spend on a biweekly housekeeper which lightens the chore-load at home and hopefully would free up energy for other pursuits (e.g. more likely to do exercises on the mat if the floor is clean). Maybe it would be a start on reducing caffeine.

I am not sure why on a board devoted to extreme early retirement there is so much backlash, and so little understanding for a dude who's trying to do what he's gotta do to get the accumulation phase done and over with so he can finally live his life. But as you say, oh well

wolf
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by wolf »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:34 am
I am not sure why on a board devoted to extreme early retirement there is so much backlash, and so little understanding for a dude who's trying to do what he's gotta do to get the accumulation phase done and over with so he can finally live his life. But as you say, oh well
Don't take "Extreme Early Retirement" literally. There is much more to it than those three words indicate. Have you read Jacob's blog and book? I could highly recommend it.

It is not black nor white. There is a wide spectrum of opinions about the same situation. And that is good so IMHO. I for myself don't divide my journey into accumulation phase and living phase anymore, because what's the point if I am miserable in the first one for years. My work had also bad aspects and then I tried to change something by "job crafting". Although not everything is perfect, it is much better than before. Maybe that is something for you too?

And yes, it is ok (for me), if you want to get the accumulation phase done asap. There is no problem in that, but understand that others could have other interpretations of your situation.

Lucky C
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Lucky C »

Is working with you like talking to you on this forum? Because if your supervisor asks you to do something or your colleague tries to help you and your response is "of course, that's obvious, I'm not an idiot," then I can see why you'd be worried about getting fired.

ertyu
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by ertyu »

Thank you for your help, Lucky. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with the inner resistance when you need to do a task you deeply don't want to do, but circumstances force you to do it regardless? Because otherwise, it's not just the suck of the task, but the suck of the task + the suck of the resistance and the struggling with it, and it's really hard. Your empathy and topical help are greatly appreciated. Have you ever been in a situation like this, and how did you handle it? Thanks, @Lucky

bigato
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by bigato »

It’s hard to understand and accept that your job suck so hard all the time and it’s also not possible to find one that suck less. If you want people to not point the obvious, maybe you should elaborate on why specifically it sucks so bad, what exactly are the tasks that you can’t get yourself to do without being miserable, and why is it that it is impossible for you to get another job somewhere else in the world that doesn’t suck so bad.

bigato
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by bigato »

Just to be more clear, I don’t doubt that your job sucks so badly, I could believe you that you could be in one of the worst jobs in the world if you said so. I also wouldn’t have a hard time believing that for whatever circumstances, it would be impossible for you to get some other job, somewhere else in the world, that sucks less or is even enjoyable.

It’s in the intersection of these two circumstances that lies a logical impossibility. If your job is one of the worst in the world for you, it’s a consequence that there are others that would be better. This is obvious and if you don’t want people to point the obvious, you’d better do a damn good job at explaining it instead of blaming people who answer you. Your response is so emotional that it makes me think the actual problem may be you, not the job. I dong know this to be true, but if it is, good news, it’s probably something that you have agency over.

Remember that whenever you find yourself stuck in a complex situation for long, the way out will probably be a blind spot of yours that you worked very hard at denying to yourself. Thus, any good answer will by definition be something you don’t like and disagree with. Keep that in mind when reading people’s suggestions for your situation.

In my case, my suggestion would be, look for a good therapist. I don’t accept the “it didn’t work” answer you already gave. Find a better one, try harder. It will help.

Loner
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Loner »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:34 am
I am not sure why on a board devoted to extreme early retirement there is so much backlash, and so little understanding for a dude who's trying to do what he's gotta do to get the accumulation phase done and over with so he can finally live his life. But as you say, oh well
This place is not your typical FIRE forum. In ERE, accumulating a stash is not the end in itself. It is only the beginning, and should be the result of a life well lived, not the ultimate solution to a miserable one. Three years is a long, long time to live in a situation you hate. What good will be your money in three years if you burn out in two? Sports and music and meditation are all nice and revitalising, but I don't think there's a sustainable, wise way to compensate for such a bad working arrangement like the one you describe.

I don't know you, so my comment is more general, but I always feel a bit surprised when people say they are eager to start living [after they fired]. It feels like people missed the starting gun. Life started already, and they're missing out.

ffj
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by ffj »

Good advice Loner.


You are caught in a negative feedback loop that needs to be broken. Various people have suggested ways to accomplish this which you have stubbornly refused to entertain, much worse have insulted them for trying to help. Just recognize how caustic your attitude has become, because it's important to realize how negative your daily existence seems to be.

I've been in your shoes. I almost punched a co-worker in the face one day, I'm not joking, and it was that day that I realized something had to change. I ultimately changed jobs soon after working for a company that was on very shaky ground, but it gave me purpose and a new drive, because it was literally sink or swim. But you know what? I was much happier even with the uncertainty. It ultimately lead to a career I was able to retire from.


You have control over a lot of your circumstances. I always made it into a contest of "beating the system". No matter what kind of shit sandwich they threw at me, I was going to have the last laugh and more importantly control over my life.

The most obvious one is your health. All it takes is a weekend to reset your eating habits and prepare for the upcoming work week. Yeah, that weekend might suck but the payoff is huge downrange. After you start eating better, you'll find the energy to do some light exercise, which is also a great mood enhancer. Relying on sugar and caffeine highs is horrible for your health and attitude. And don't bullshit us on how you can't do this, it makes you sound weak.

Find some companionship. I don't know your situation, but spending time with other people that you like makes you feel good. The catch is that you won't attract anybody to spend time with you with a miserable attitude. Some have suggested a therapist, which seems like a good idea to have someone to unload upon with your negative thoughts in a controlled setting. Hopefully, this would make you more agreeable for potential friends. Also, regular sex is also a great mood enhancer. Lots of challenges here, but the reality is that you have to make yourself into someone you would want to spend time with which is admittedly hard to do but you don't have a choice if you want your situation to change.

Waiting three years to start all of this sounds like a recipe for disaster. You said you fear dying before you get to start living. I say you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Read Loner's post.

Also, I don't believe your options are as limited in regards to employment as you say they are, unless as a human you are limited to only one skill in the entirety of your life. The whole takeaway from this forum and jacobs book should be the encouragement of multiple skill-sets, which all compliment each other so that you can maximize their effectiveness. It gives you options in life and opportunities that limit the feeling of becoming trapped. Read everybody's journals, there really aren't any cookie-cutter clones of Jacob, but all of them are maximizing their potential to beat the system. It's wonderful.

Anyway, good luck and get to work on yourself, and I think your attitude will greatly improve.

Tyler9000
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Tyler9000 »

@ertyu -- I do very much understand your sense of dread WRT work. I've been there, and I've moved past it. It gets better. If I were to give one piece of advice, it's to stop focusing on what you think the solution should look like. You're boxing yourself in.

Here's an exercise that helps me navigate tough problems: try making a list of every assumption that has played a role in making you feel trapped in your current situation. Just reading along, I recognize an investing assumption, a spending assumption, and an assumption that your goal can only be met through new savings. I'm sure there are many more. Rather than accepting those assumptions and feeling helpless, try challenging them one by one.

For example, not every portfolio is equally sensitive to valuations and economic conditions, and not every spending plan robotically spends the same in both good times and bad. So the 3% rule you take as gospel (but is based on very narrow assumptions) may not actually apply to you with different investing choices. And as crazy as it may sound, the data shows that with the right portfolio and plan 5% may indeed be quite safe. Maybe you don't believe that right now, and that's fine. But know that there are other perspectives out there if you're willing to seek them out.

Also, funding your retirement goal with earned money may not be necessary now that you have such a solid foundation that, left untouched, will grow on its own. Could you simply find a low-paying job you enjoy that makes you happy and covers your expenses? What's more important to you -- speed to an arbitrary savings goal that you hope will solve your problems, or sustainable happiness along the way?

BTW, I also get that you're frustrated with everyone addressing the (metaphorical) alcoholism when all you want is a hangover cure. Please understand that we keep focusing on the core issues not because we don't respect your wishes but because we truly care and want to help you be happy rather than just numb to the pain.
Last edited by Tyler9000 on Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:39 pm, edited 12 times in total.

Frita
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Frita »

I did not communicate well as I’d define doing nothing as staying miserable. You have decided to stay with your job and look at some other changes to break out of this cycle. Implementing those could hack the situation, spur you to make subsequent adjustments, give you enough mojo to make a big change, and/or learn some skills for when you stop working.

Fixed auto-correction error
Last edited by Frita on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

classical_Liberal
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by classical_Liberal »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:33 pm
Anyway, I am writing all this justifying myself to people, and I shouldn't. I guess it rankled me that people don't respect the choices I have made about my life as rational and legitimate. Only one person helped with what I actually asked help for
You started a specific question thread in a forum of extremely kind and helpful people who are intelligent problem solver's and out of the box thinkers. They challenged your assumptions about your situation in a myriad of ways. You have decided to remain in a narrow thought process. So yes, you DO have to justify why the only option for you is to remain miserable. Miserable because of your job, which was self-described. Again, some challenged this assumption, you ignored them.

People come to ERE looking for "out of the box" solutions. If you are going to ask for help here, without explaining WHY you think the way you do, you are going to be challenged. That's why this is such a great place. I suggest you either choose to open your mind and consider what others are writing, or in the very least, respectfully explain why you feel a particular idea doesn't seem to work for your situation. That's how you'll get the best results. Otherwise you're just here to complain.

steveo73
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by steveo73 »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:33 pm
Really, I have already decided what I want to do. I wonder if anyone has advice with how to psychologically lessen the suck that is having to force myself through the aversion and the intense desire not to do it.
Compare yourself to people in worse situations. Keep tracking your expenses, savings and assets. Rest as much as possible.

I'll add that I'm in a pretty good job with about the same amount of time to go but I'm looking at getting to a 5% WR (maybe a little more) to quit and I feel very similarly to you. I have a wife who works but earns a minimal wage and 3 kids to support.

I haven't had a holiday this year and I'm just sick of work. I'm trying to earn more money and asking for pay rises to try and make the time go a little quicker but the truth is I'm not going to earn significantly more to decrease my time to FIRE.

steveo73
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by steveo73 »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:45 pm
5% WR is not safe.
I don't believe this and I've done a lot of analysis on WR's. 5% has about an 80% success rate with no adjustments. I think the real issue is how tight you manage your expenses post FIRE. If you have everything on edge (you won't be able to adjust down and if expenses go up you are screwed) and no buffer then sure 5% isn't safe.

I use 5% as a starting point but I'm not optimising my expenses to unrealistic levels so I can adjust my spending if required. I also have some buffers on top of this level.

I will state that I'm not including what assets you purchase. If you pick stocks, are a gold bug, a crypto bug etc then any WR is going to be risky. If you are using broad index funds you are a lot safer.

steveo73
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by steveo73 »

ffj wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:25 am
The most obvious one is your health. All it takes is a weekend to reset your eating habits and prepare for the upcoming work week. Yeah, that weekend might suck but the payoff is huge downrange. After you start eating better, you'll find the energy to do some light exercise, which is also a great mood enhancer. Relying on sugar and caffeine highs is horrible for your health and attitude.
...

Find some companionship. I don't know your situation, but spending time with other people that you like makes you feel good.
These are also good points. I think having some friends to talk too as well as eating good food and exercising are keys to a good life. You definitely don't need to be FIRe'd to do this.

ertyu
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by ertyu »

Hi, all, thank you for your feedback. I spent the rest of yesterday thinking. This morning as well.

When I am not at work day in and day out and I get my wits about me, my rational brain reaffirms that what I would like to do, and what I choose to do, is to keep working.

This morning, I did my usual thing: took transportation to work and bought coffee. I sat down for a couple of minutes to sip it. There was sunlight streaming through the branches, and I felt this deep sadness that this is something I must leave, because someone else says I need to be somewhere at a certain time for fear of my physical survival. A different job, even if I hate the job itself less, would still be a job. I would still need to give up the ability to sit in the sunlight, and I would still need to be trapped until a certain time at night. I would still not be able to take a day off just because I need it: there are only a certain number allowed, and then trouble starts. I would still need to learn what I must learn for someone else, not what I am curious to learn. I would still have to develop my own interests and hobbies in time eked out from someone else's demands. Yes, this job sucks. But also, I would like to eliminate the state of being employed from my life as soon as possible. When I thought about it this morning, I could connect to how central this desire is in me.

I am not willing to extend the time it takes to eliminate being employed from my life. Not through part time, and not through a job I "like" (I mentioned above I tried to pursue this route 3 years ago only to discover that a job is a job, and jobs require discipline first and foremost. The only thing that happened is I set myself back by about a year and I went back to where I was before I left).

I am reaffirmed in my choice. Facing such strong backlash and criticism and "why don't you just" made me stop and think and reassess and decide that no, I am not willing to do any of these things. I refuse to stop working on more than 3%WR even though I might be forced to. I have also done research on withdrawal rates, and I believe that given where we are in the business cycle, from a sequence of returns risk perspective, 3,25% is the highest that is possibly justified. I respect that others might have a higher risk tolerance than me, and might disagree with me. Retiring on what I perceive to be an insufficient stash is a risk they take out of their own volition. Their taking on this risk would not hurt me. So I respect their right to take it. I am not willing to take it.

I am also willing to make the sacrifices needed for me to get to a 3%WR asap.

So I come to where I started. What I am currently doing is what I perceive to be the best rational choice for me in this situation, even if it is not the best choice for you. I am willing to be miserable, and I am willing to go without if it means that some day, I would not need to be employed and I would not need to live in fear because my nest egg is not enough. Again, you might be comfortable quitting in my shoes. I am not.

Given that this is the best rational choice, the weak link here is my ability to manage my own emotions. This is what I rationally chose to do for myself. If I fail at the rational best choice because I could not manage my emotions, I would not respect myself. I would much rather work on learning to better manage my own emotions, which is a skill I will take with me and which will serve me for life, than give up because I am emotionally weak. Many people are in my situation every day--they are forced by circumstances to do what they would rather not have to do in order to survive. Those people somehow manage their emotions and put one foot in front of the other. I am very, very lucky to be in a position that gives me a chance to stop working in the first place. If I fail to take advantage of this chance because I could not manage my emotions even when I rationally decided to, well, I do not have much respect for that.

So, my goal right now is to manage my emotions better. I do not want to quit and immediately regret it as I did before. I do not want to look down on myself. This is something I want to achieve. I am finding it difficult, and so I reached out for help. Thank you @steveo73 for telling me to rest and to keep my eyes on the prize, and to everyone else who went with, "well, it's not what I would have done, but I respect your right to make decisions about your life, and given the lines you've put in the sand, this is what I've got"

Lucky C
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Re: How to last another 3 yrs at my job? Advice?

Post by Lucky C »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:31 am
Thank you for your help, Lucky. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with the inner resistance when you need to do a task you deeply don't want to do, but circumstances force you to do it regardless? Because otherwise, it's not just the suck of the task, but the suck of the task + the suck of the resistance and the struggling with it, and it's really hard. Your empathy and topical help are greatly appreciated. Have you ever been in a situation like this, and how did you handle it? Thanks, @Lucky
Try and dissect the specific reason that you don't want to do a particular task. The way you deal with it will vary based on the reason for the resistance. For example:

- The task seems insurmountable due to length e.g. I'll never get done writing this 50 page report. Possible solution would be to think about getting only one piece done at a time e.g. I only need to write an introduction. Momentum takes over when progress is being made. Only focus on the one Most Important Thing, not the full laundry list of tasks.
- The task seems insurmountable due to difficulty. This requires help from colleagues! You won't get fired if you're likable and show that you want to improve your skills. You will find a mentor/tutor somewhere who won't mind helping you, again as long as they like you. Always be super humble, friendly, gracious, etc.
- The task is too boring or too far below your skillset. This can be a tough situation to power through! But if it does not require your full mental capacity, you might be able to listen to some music in the background and just power through. The key is to be able to stay focused so you are kind of on autopilot like when driving a long commute. Best to block off a big chunk of time where there won't be meetings or other distractions.
- The task is unsavory because you don't want to do that type of work e.g. working on designing a military program when you're a pacifist. In this case if you want to keep your job, ignorance is bliss. You must focus on making a good cog in the military machine, never think about the end use. Or "play the part" of a Real American Patriot who wants to make stuff for the military. After all, some others may be acting like they care more than they do...

You get the idea. I know this is pretty basic generic advice, not much more than Just Do It, but my point is you gotta have specific problems defined for specific solutions. What is the most common reason that you don't want to do a task? Too hard, too easy/boring, unrealistic schedule, toxic work environment?...

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