This past week, I read and really enjoyed The Job Experience series of posts by livingafi, and I wanted to share it with all of you. This series documents basically the entirety of his career, in short, digestible chunks. The entire series is pretty lengthy, so I’ve linked to parts that I really liked below:
- It’s important to examine why you need your job.
- Almost nobody is happy in their jobs.
- So, why is it that jobs suck?
- Managers have a direct and crucial impact on how much you enjoy your job.
- Are deadlines really that important?
- Following your passion won’t make work feel like play.
- Everyone wants to please, but being FI can give you a backbone and make work more pleasant.
- The effects of work over the years.
- Looking back on work.
Other than being a thoroughly enjoyable read, I really took away a couple key pieces of encouragement. First, you don’t have to be a natural saver to reach financial independence; you can even have a rocky start and really turn it around and get on track. Second, even though I complain a lot, I have been really lucky in my career, when compared to some people’s hellish experiences. I’ve had my doozies in terms of work environment and company culture, but I’ve never had to work 60 hours in one week, much less week after week. I’ve been able to get away with ~40 hours most weeks in my career, and I’m pretty thankful for that.
This quote from the last post I linked above is particularly encouraging to me, who is still years away from FIRE:
I often see people on financial independence forums say things like: I’m saving so that a future version of me will be happy. As the current version of “future me,” let me say this: I’m incredibly happy that past me has stayed the course. And that’s a drastic understatement. This needs to be over — and thanks to the choices I’ve made, it will be, soon.
10/25/16: One more quote that I really wanted to share, this one from the effects of work link:
Everything has shifted now. I don’t want to be great. At anything, really. Instead I want to be happy. And that requires a mental adjustment to wanting to be merely good at a few specific things — a good husband, a present and loving family member, a supportive friend, and a decent human being. I want to pursue things that provide pleasure and satisfaction on a day-to-day basis.
This really rings true to me. When I was younger, I wanted to do great things; now, I just want to enjoy life and be a good husband and friend. Maybe father one day. Like livingafi, I don’t know if this is all from work or all from getting older, but I imagine it’s a combination of those things; as I experience more of life, I find that I want to spend more time being happy and less time pursuing great accomplishments.
Of course, as DW rightly points out, my ambitions haven’t really died – they’ve just shifted to the journey toward financial independence and reclaiming my time for myself.