Is work/life balance a cruel myth?

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Post by buzz »

It seems we are expected to dedicate our career lives to only one narrow skillset. This may be a side effect of the huge number of applicants for each entry level position today, but it doesn't seem possible to enter a new field without the right degree, or prior experience, even if you are more than capable of learning and excelling at the job. I'd rather hop between fields, experiencing everything and learning at least the basics of all types of work.

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Post by Dragline »

Given you are uncertain about what you want to do long-term, perhaps it would be better to focus on short-term goals. Like simply putting away enough cash to give you more options as you mentioned.
While there still is a societal norm that we should "get on a career track" and stay on it, at least in some fields, its a fallacy to think that just because you throw yourself whole-heartedly into something today and get whatever you can out of it means that you are stuck with it or have to stay on that track forever. Or that you will necessarily "become one of those career people" if you ultimately choose not to be. But that's a decision you can make at any time later -- and perhaps multiple times.
At some point in life you realize that you probably don't and can't know what your goals will be five years from now. Almost nobody does and half the people who think they do are lying to themselves. Dreams and goals change with life experiences, which is a good thing. ("A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds . . .") And going down one path does necessarily forego other paths and options later -- at least as long as you keep expenses low and stay out of debt!

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Post by anomie »


It seems we are expected to dedicate our career lives to only one narrow skillset.

The exciting thing is that in your life-time, this will change. Even now, people will have many different careers in their working life.
If you follow ERE path, you can focus on one such career, and then be done.
re: the phone and the possible on-call time -- do as suggested and find out from others via or It may not be all that bad ---
I have a 'company phone' - that is never/very rarely used by employer (rather I can use it as I wish). And I never work more than 9-5 equivalent. Given, both that I lucked out with my job, and am close to one of those "minimum wage plus" type developers that m741 describes.
The important thing is to get out there and try it out! Good luck!
**edit for clarity: I work 9-5ish for my salaried job in a field that I have 10 years , 10,000 hours experience in. So it took a long time to get to 9 to 5. AND - I have a side project or 2, plus my chosen additional job of housekeeper. just to clarify in terms of expectations you may have about life..

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Post by dot_com_vet »

A company paid smart phone is a great benefit for the on-call person!
The last major "on-call" issue, I worked while soaking in the bath tub: "Phone call to China, check. Send email to engineering, check. Send update to team, check." - All possible with a smart phone in ten minutes time.
Just a few years ago, sans smartphone, I would have been onsite, in the cube farm all night working this, then driving home.
P.S. Don't waste you money on a 2nd personal phone, lamers carry two phones. :-)

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