Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
Dave
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Dave »

Hey THF, haven't messaged you in a while. Just wanted to drop in and say you're making solid progress. I think taking the time, like you're doing, to be grateful for how far you've come is a great life practice to do periodically.

Like you said, as long as you keep moving forward on the dimensions that matter to you, things will be fine. You've built up a nice portfolio for your age - just keep it growing while building skills. And I'd echo what others have said about things changing as you get older. I think you'll find that true for yourself if you go back and reread your journal. This is part of it, and navigating that change successfully is partially about keeping an open mind and doors open rather than closed.

And so you don't get the wrong impression, I'm 30, and when I started my ERE path I was about your age - I'm not too far removed from your situation :-). But even in these 5 years, things have played out much differently than I forecast.

Looking forward to following the next 5 years - keep it up!

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Stahlmann
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Stahlmann »

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Last edited by Stahlmann on Mon May 25, 2020 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Work is so stressful right now, I feel like I might quit at any minute. I have enough assignments to last several weeks and new assignments get thrown in everyday. Previous assignments get « status-checked » and I have to fend off these requests while handling new requests. I’ve told this to my boss and he hasn’t really acted on getting me help. On top of that, I hate the place I’m living in, the last time I had a real relationship was a year ago, I’m seeing the very beginning of balding (could be from surgery), and I’m not sure I even want the jobs I could get with an MPA anymore. I feel strongly that I’d prefer to be a counselor or therapist or something in the outdoors. Feeling super depressed & stressed at the moment and unsure what to do. All of these make it harder to do my job.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Step 1 - shave your head
Step 2 - ?????
Step 3 - profit

niemand
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by niemand »

Sit down with your boss(es), list your assignments and clarify what you should prioritise on. Communicate pro-actively, set realistic timelines for each assignment, give status updates to the relevant people if anything changes without them having to ask. Be seen to manage your time well.

Now a bit of tough talk, sorry, it is well intended:

To me it feels like you are fairly junior and haven’t been in a real job for longer than 5 minutes. You may not yet have a real understanding of how to avoid or handle overload or other work stressors.

Take this is a learning opportunity. Problems like these will occur again in some shape or form in the future. Even in outdoor counselling or whatever your dream job is right now. You need to become more resilient and internalise the appropriate coping strategies.

Ask yourself how much of the problem is you and how much of the problem is outside of you. Work sucks right now, ok I get it. How much of this is your fault? I have a feeling the problem is more homemade than you think it is, and I think a lot of it could have been avoided if you had applied the right strategies.

You are stressed right now, but you don’t seem equipped to cope with it well. You project out a lot. You talk about how work is bad. Then you go on and list other thinks that suck - hair loss, your city, your relationships, the job path your free(!) degree offers.

The magic solution always seems to be to quit and move/restart somewhere else. This is not healthy. I have a feeling your problems will travel with you wherever you go. They have so far. It is not likely that there is a magic place or job or lifestyle that will fix you. It may be time to get some help.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@niemand, nah, I don't think I've tried moving enough. Thus far, I grew up in Miami (didn't like it then), moved to Amherst (really liked it there), moved to NYC (really hated it there), and went back to Miami (where, surprise, I hate it still).

As for jobs, thus far I've tried being a financial analyst (hated it), Recruiter/Sales (hated it), Accountant Assistant (absolutely hated it), Office Manager (dislike it), and residential counselor (loved it)

It's not about finding the perfect job and place. Instead, it's about finding a place and job that fits well. I suppose the only real way I'd know is by trying out more jobs and places.

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Lemur
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Lemur »

@TopHatFox

I agree that this dilemma is not about finding the perfect job and place but finding a well fit. I went through a big lifestyle change myself...left military, transitioned to career as a budget analyst; didn't like that either and landed in a data analyst role which I enjoy now - took me roughly 8 years to get to a job that makes me feel like not putting my head in a wall. As far as location, I don't like where I am at either (DC Suburb) but I settled for scenario 3 since I can make due with this. I wouldn't settle for either scenario 1 or 2:

Identified Scenarios + Solutions

(1): Hate Job and Hate Location (Develop coping strategies in the short-term and plan total exit from both career and location.)
(2): Hate Job and Like Location (Find the positive aspects of your work in the meantime but plan exit to a different career / job.)
(3): Like Job and Hate Location (Find a way to transfer within career to another location if possible; works well if you work for big corp.)
(4): Like job and Like Location. (Manage mental health to maintain homeostasis in this situation; be grateful for the holy grail here as this is rare.)

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@Lemur, I think you're on to something. I'd say my different combinations have been:

1. Growing up in Miami (1 or 3)
2. Living and working different jobs in Amherst (4)
3. Doing Finance jobs in NYC (1)
4. Doing Administration job in Miami (1)

The main theme seems to be that I like places emphasizing compassion, community, intellection, and nature. I dislike or hate places that emphasize the rat race, superficiality, apathy, and concrete.

I like jobs that include working with people on personal problems, careers, mental health, or other topics. I dislike or hate jobs that involve Excel crunching, budget paperwork, minute detail, etc.

It is kinda crazy that it can take 8 years to find (4) or even (3), and that to try different careers and places requires so much effort. Still, it's better to make the changes now and learn what there is to learn, rather than to tolerate (1) for years.

theanimal
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by theanimal »

THF- Be careful not to discount the advice of others on here. You have a tendency to complain or ask for advice, then push back against others when they respond. Given that you have been experiencing the same issues for the past >15 pages of your journal, it may be worthwhile to be more open minded and listen to the suggestions of others on here. Take advantage of the accumulated experience on this board! That doesn't mean starting a new thread, but may mean revisiting what you've written previously and what others have said in response, reflecting on that and taking action (if need be) from there.

Scott 2
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Scott 2 »

What Color is Your Parachute? used to be the go to book for the job problem:

https://www.amazon.com/What-Color-Your- ... 0399581685

10 years ago, their system was good for me. It seems they keep it current.

niemand wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 8:54 am
Sit down with your boss(es), list your assignments and clarify what you should prioritise on. Communicate pro-actively, set realistic timelines for each assignment, give status updates to the relevant people if anything changes without them having to ask. Be seen to manage your time well.
This. When people can confidently predict where their work fits in your plan, they stop bothering you. Conversations about new work become "well to finish that by DATE, I'd need to put it ahead of X Y and Z. Is it more important? Ok, I don't have authority to push those back, can you get BOSS to approve?


If you are in a reactive environment, you might not get a prioritized list, or even time to sit down to talk about what is next. Another option could be a a morning email to your boss:

Yesterday I...

Today I will...

Blockers to completing my work are...

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Ego
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Ego »

If I were you I would read this reply whenever I was feeling down.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5936&start=680#p189329

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unemployable
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by unemployable »

Having a lot of different projects dropped on you is a good thing in the long term. Gives you more things to be exposed to and potentially hit on something you really enjoy. Stress.... I think facing certain kinds of stress in your 20s pays dividends later on down the line.

Of everything within the scope of what you've been given at work, what do you like the most? What do you think could lead to more responsibility/pay over the years? Can you ask to be put on any projects you might find rewarding? IOW, what within your sphere of influence will do the best job of paying the bills? Then when you go to your boss, focus on wanting to do that particular work. You want people to look forward to working with you, and the more positively you can frame it the easier that will be for both you and them.

Everyone hates work. Pick your battles. Again be someone people want to work with, realizing you won't be able to please 100% of your cow orkers.

Re relationships, I would be very careful what I wished for. I sense you may end up with the wrong woman for the wrong reasons and will pay dearly for it in both hard and soft costs. You don't seem to mention any desire to have kids, and aside from that I'm aware of no contest going on whose object is to bag the prettiest girl in the shortest amount of time. You can't get the rich ones and won't get the superficial Instagram-whore types anyway, not at your current state in life at least. Considering how nonconformist you hold yourself out to be otherwise, why do you choose to succumb to peer/societal pressure in this respect?

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@unemployable, Hm, I really like mentoring the students that work in my department. Not necessarily giving them advice, but just things to consider and listening. They've told me (and others) that they sincerely appreciate my help throughout as well.

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C40
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by C40 »

Scott 2 wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 12:47 pm
This. When people can confidently predict where their work fits in your plan, they stop bothering you. Conversations about new work become "well to finish that by DATE, I'd need to put it ahead of X Y and Z. Is it more important? Ok, I don't have authority to push those back, can you get BOSS to approve?
+1 on this. I'd include this in the 3 or 5 most important skills at work (along with being like-able and doing good work)

Quantummy
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Quantummy »

Agree with @Lemur on no "perfect" job. I read Designing Your Life (Burnett and Evans) per a recommendation on another ERE journal I believe and am glad I read it. Lots of good advice on how to process and evaluate options. The biggest takeaway for me was that there are many good workable options one can choose, so don't get caught in the paradigm of feeling like you have to find the perfect job/location etc. Evaluate and pick something and then reevaluate.

bigato
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato »

I went through the same job/location search and it took me about 7 years once I started moving, to get to number 4. At some point I was at perfect location/sucky job but I bought property at the location. Now I am at 4 but will return to that idyllic location after retiring.

Regarding Niemand’s point, I’d just like to add that whenever you are having trouble solving a problem for too long, you can usually blame blind spots, deeply rooted issues, or very complex problems. For those cases, the right advice that will move you ahead and potentially save you years of time, will necessarily be something you that you disagree with, don’t like and that doesn’t make any sense at first sight. And that’s why you didn’t find it on your own in the first place.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@bigato and theanimal, yeah, I'm obviously stumped on this issue. It's a pretty complex one. It's one my brother has been going through for the past 5 years too. I feel like knowing everything I know now, and now having fixed the jaw surgery issue, what will help me the most is getting the Masters in Psychology/Counseling and moving to a place that values community, emphathy, and activism, such as the Valley.

bigato
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato »

Just to not sound too harsh all the time, I must say that you are doing great and probably way better than I did at your age in a lot of senses from what I can tell.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by ZAFCorrection »

@THF

Those are pretty awesome attributes to look for in a place. I'm not familiar with Pioneer Valley, but I know of a few places in the West which would probably argue they embody those values (e.g. Berkeley and Portland), but yet they are hotbeds of NIMBYism and other douchery.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Thanks guys : )

If anything, all of these issues post-grad will help me identify what I should include more of in a life, and what I should avoid!

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