When you hate what you’re good at...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Danjabellza, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2015
    Da' Magic Mittin'
    I lost my job in March. They dissolved the group I was working in.

    Mind you, I am really good at what I do. I had few problems finding another job (the main problem being the fact that I utterly SUCK at interviewing). Now I am in a job I'm kinda enjoying, and I'm going to ride that for as long as it lasts. It may go south in a month, or I may be there another 15 years - I really don't know at this point.

    But I will tell you this - I hated working at the place I worked at previously. I loved my boss. I loved the environment I worked in. I absolutely LOVED the compensation. But many of the people I worked with could be, well, more insufferable than me. The company was good to me, and to that end I have no complaints. But some of the personalities I had to work with, the agendas, and all of that crap made it very hard for me to want to work there. But I held on for six-plus years because of the compensation, and the fact that I had a great boss.

    The job prior to that? My boss was a psycho. A real sociopath - and I'm not exaggerating. He'd seriously mess with people, make back-handed comments about me, and so on. I knew I was on his radar for eventual termination. I knew I was secure in my job (for other reasons), and I suffered under that for four years, mainly because the pay was good, the company was financially secure, and I loved the work.

    However, even with loving the work, it does wear on you. Technology moves fast. You have to be nimble to keep on top of it. That's harder than anything. Plus, I don't shine when I have all of the tools I need at my disposal. Some of my best work happens when I am limited as to what I have available to me. Unfortunately, that is not the prevailing attitude in the software development community. It is what it is.

    After a while you get tired of it. You want something a little more "timeless." Something that allows for creative output without all of the baggage that comes along with what you do - corporate agendas, everyone thinking they are the new Steve Jobs, the trend-disciples, the "out of the box" thinkers, and so on.

    And just when you think you're done, something comes along (like getting laid-off) that revitalizes everything.

    It's all to east to let extraneous BS drag you down and demoralize you. I guarantee you, if you sucked at your job, you wouldn't be where you are after 11 years. Someone obviously finds you worthwhile to keep around. This is a good thing.

    If people around you don't give a damn, then simply concentrate on what you do best. Don't let them impact your job with their negative vibe. You'll find that when the situation changes, it'll be like coming out into the sun after living underground for nearly a decade. Then everything is exciting and new again.

    My older brother is a doctor. He went through the same doldrums too - and wanted to be a programmer, or in computers, or whatever. That was until I gave him a taste of what programmers have to do. Then his attitude changed dramatically.

    Life sucks far less when you are talented at something that people want to pay money for. Hobbies are there to take your mind off of work. If you think switching to a hobby will make all of the BS go away, then you're in for a rude surprise. When there is real money involved, there will be hangers-on, and the BS they bring with them.

    That's about all of the advice I can offer. I know it isn't much of a pep-talk, but it is honest.
    LocoTex likes this.
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    I just left a job this week that was physically & emotionally breaking me down. Long term adrenal fatigue is what it's called. I imagined myself physically & mentally capable of withstanding anything. All I can say is don't get to that point. I wouldnt wish it on anybody.
    Commodore 64 likes this.
  3. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2012
    "Toxic" can cover an awful lot, but let me take a stab at it all the same. Sounds to me like you enjoy about 97.5% of what you do, but the other 2.5% is weighing pretty heavily. What can you do to excise that 2.5% from your day? Can you increase the parts you love so that it leaves no time for the 2.5% you hate? Could you take charge of the 2.5% and then heroically un**** it? If you can't fix it or avoid it, how long do you have to put up with it? What can you do to help yourself last that long? You're doing this job for a reason, so keep that reason in front of you. Remember, too, that bad situations (ie bad people) have a funny way of resolving themselves. If you're hating it, you're not alone, so (unless you're all government employees) then sooner or later something's got to give. Anyway, good luck, and keep being awesome. Sometimes being awesome is all the reward you get. Sometimes, that's enough.
    LocoTex likes this.
  4. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    Well .. I been thru something similar. My line of work is a long line of random incidents as well.

    I hated my job and felt I was dying inside for many years. I finally sought help and dicovered that the problem wasn't my job but me. These days I'm ok with it .. and once I wasn't worn out my toxic co-workers stopped being toxic vs me. (They are still toxic vs. everyone else that is 'annoying' but that is a different story)

    But hey this is a guitar forum and we're just projecting our own stuff on you base on a short OP :D
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  5. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    I grew up working fixing cars with my dad shouting constantly telling me I was doing it all wrong, which gave me a kind of zero base where I don't expect work to be clean/financially rewarding/mentally stimulating/enjoyable

    Lucky me. I know a load of millennials seeking meaning and purpose like some Disney movie out of labour

    Some people got to process sewage/clean up after dead bodies/endure violence and confrontation

    I say count your blessings. You got dozens of things there other people would be envious of
    24 track likes this.
  6. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I was an academic. I taught Mathematics and Electronics.
    A tough job as High School students don't see the reality Maths would play in their jobs and lives.
    I ended up lecturing in Electronics. at a College for Technicians etc. Guys who now work on the instrumentation of an A 380.
    All I ever wanted to be was an electrician with some specialties like refrigeration, aircraft etc.
    Unfortunately my academic family saw me as a " Jewell in the Crown" so University Education was mandatory.
    All I ever wanted was to work outdoors, site to site, different jobs and accomplish a result at the end of the day.
    Please think of that as you guide your children and grandchildren. Ask them what they want.
    Commodore 64, LocoTex and RodeoTex like this.
  7. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Lots of good advice here. My pearl of wisdom, learned over the years is this: it is no more of a pain in ass to be a chief than it is to be an indian.

    One of the problems many decent people have is that they care too much. Dont worry about your toxic co-workers, do you, be a shining light, and figure out (plan) how to make a better opportunity for yourself.
    Piggy Stu, Matt G and Lobomov like this.
  8. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    If you have mostly been involved in one work situation your entire working life, be sure you're ready to leave the heard, and graze on your own. If you do change, change means CHANGE! Nothing you do will be familiar, you won't be recognized as being anything special or even competent. Running on a treadmill does not necessarily prepare you to run with the wolves.

    I worked at lots of different things in life, but settled into a situation where I drove a diesel truck, and worked operating heavy equipment. There are very few people who are searching for the meaning of life in those endeavors, it's a cold hard life that offers adventure, but the price you pay is never knowing where you'll be working or where you might be in a month, sometimes a day from now.

    When I was fifty one, I realized I could not keep doing the work I had been doing because I was simply getting too old for it. I went back to school, leaned to type, spent most of the last money I had at the time on a computer set up, and sent out two hundred and fifty resumes. I was successful in securing the last job I would ever have, and enjoyed the longest run of employment in my life of fifteen years.

    I learned things about business and life far beyond the job description I was classified at from my former employer. I prepared for my retirement and did so seven and a half years ago. I consider myself very, very fortunate to have been able to jump from one set of circumstances to another, and enjoy the process. There was only one time I had a doubt, when I was finally alone, out in the field, and wondered if I would really be able to handle a complete change in my life from the way I had earned my living. I actually had to stop, buy myself a soda pop, sit in my pickup for a bit, and take charge of myself and say, this is a great adventure you have embarked on, live it for all it's worth, and I did.
    Matt G, Commodore 64 and Piggy Stu like this.
  9. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 30, 2010
    New York City
    It sounds like you've got the qualifications, skillset and bedside manner dialed in. Are you licensed and able to hang out your own shingle and be your own boss?
    Piggy Stu likes this.
  10. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2017
    I get it... I'm a software engineer.

    I got really passionate about computers around 16-17.. had a lot of talent for it, breezed through a very difficult degree program. Writing software can be inspiring like music or art.

    But the reality in the field is totally different. Design by committee.. promoted based on degree of incompetence, managers & businessfolk make all the decisions without understanding what they are managing, engineers with charisma call the shots instead of engineers with skill. No one can say no to customers who are being ridiculous, etc..

    If I could launch myself as a one man shop I'd be in seventh heaven as I'd be back to the passion side with a minimum of BS. That is a hard leap to take though and you have to have a good product idea to start with.
    Piggy Stu and LocoTex like this.
  11. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    R.I.P. 2019
    In Colorado our workforce office has some great people and workshops to help people changes courses in their careers. Does Nevada? It sounds like you could use some professional help with this. Job councilors have a lot of insight and know about professions others don't. We also have a private job councilor named Katy Petrowski who I've worked with. PM me for contact info.
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Sep 1, 2009
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    I'm a software dev, too. You need to stop making it sound so enticing.

    I'm one of MANY developers working on a project. There's one area of it that particularly poorly done. Everyone initially involved with area X has quit. Anyone who goes in to fix a defect, which are legion, gets labelled an "X expert" and is sucked into moving more and more into that area until they quit, too. I have just been labelled an X expert. :eek: Wish me bad luck.
    Matt G, esetter and Piggy Stu like this.
  13. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 25, 2016
    I'm not sure I can relate. I've never been good at anything that paid well enough for me to consider whether continuing to do it was worth it if it was making me unhappy.

    Most of the people I know, if they get to choose at all, it's between doing something they don't totally hate or making sure all the bills are paid. Maybe take a moment to be thankful that you're a member of an increasingly endangered class that still has options.

    BTW where are you that commuting to Vegas is even a possibility? It's not like we have much in the way of outlying suburbs...
  14. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

    Feb 20, 2018
    "find a job you love and you'll never have to work another day" Idunno
    "make something you love your job and it'll feel a lot like work" me
    "you can be anything you want to in life - if you just believe" said the guy that believed himself into a job as an insurance agent.
    oh, if only the worst thing I had to say about my job was that I'm not exceptionally fond of it...
    Danjabellza and Piggy Stu like this.
  15. RegularJim

    RegularJim TDPRI Member

    May 24, 2017
    Winthrop Harbor, IL
    I believe those who get to truly enjoy their work are a lucky few. Let's face it, pay is normally based on responsibility and/or skill. I believe the best most of us can do is find a job we can tolerate and/or is lucrative enough to pay the bills. In my experience, most jobs that are fun and easy don't pay that well.

    I currently work as a piping designer and procedure writer. It's boring as hell, but it turns out I'm pretty good at it. I dread going to work, even though I work from home. It pays enough so that with my military retirement we're fairly comfortable.

    But every day I look forward to being done for the day, and I can turn toward the things that make me happy, things I couldn't do if it weren't for my mind-numbing job. That's what keeps me in the game.

    I hope you find your dream job!
  16. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    I was in a position for several years that finally had me feeling like I was gonna vomit every morning when I walked into the office. I was an underpaid lab tech in a large chemical company, doing the work of chemists that we’re making multiples of my income. The people were OK and the environment was good, it was just my rather oddball boss that insisted I needed more ‘breadth’ = he didn’t promote me for three hard years. I needed the income as sole breadwinner in my growing family, so I stuck it out. A new boss came in and within a year I’d been promoted several levels and stayed with the company til I retired many years later.

    During that period I did explore other jobs inside and outside the firm. I also started projecting just what my financial position would be 25-odd years later if I stayed with the company, and that’s probably why I did so. They had a pension plan that rewarded 30+ years with the firm. Doing the exploration and calculations helped me stay sane, but just barely.

    I agree with Getbent that you shouldn’t undersell yourself. Your skills sound like they’d be in demand in your field and transferable. I suggest looking for other opportunities in Vegas area etc, and also making a realistic ‘plus/minus’ ledger that looks at staying where you are vs moving in your current occupation, starting a new career, education, the Armed Forces, etc. I’ve done that with a number of tough decisions and it can help sort through all the emotional stuff involved in them.

    One thing: sometimes a crap environment can evolve into something OK with staff changes etc, but of course no guarantee there. Good luck to ya and I wish you well.
    Matt G, optofonik and Piggy Stu like this.
  17. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Aug 9, 2012
    I don't hate what I do, but it is becoming more physically hard on me. I did ten years in the Marines and was trained as an engineer equipment mechanic. When I was medically discharged after 10 years, I initially sought employment as a mechanic. I have worked both heavy construction equipment, and for the last 25 years on heavy trucks. The work keeps you busy, and is interesting, but with a bad heart (atrial fibrillation) and osteoarthritis in both of my knees it is hard to do. I did manage to move some of my work week into a less physically demanding job that makes use of my mechanical skills. I work as a breakdown coordinator for a large trucking company a couple of nights a week, covering the weekend evening shift. Basically I help driver's with mechanical issues they are having on the road. Talk them through a minor repair if needed, send a service truck/road mechanic out to help them, or get them a tow truck if needed. I also take care of paying for said services.
  18. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    You mentioned re-uping. With your skill set rejoining the military may well be an excellent choice. As prior service with a decade of experience you will have a leg up when signing back on.

    I was 91-b, a reservist in the 80s and one of the things I know now is that the comradery in the military is something wholly unique. Though I'm very happy with my career, there are times I think I might have gone active duty and retired out.
  19. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    I'm going to bundle a lot of stuff together so bear with..

    1. I don't believe you hate what you do, it sounds like you are dedicated, quite competent, and care a great deal about you patients and your profession.

    2. I do believe you are in a bad situation, often those who have under credentialed, but talented employees under their supervision take advantage of said employees lack of job mobility, and heap on work w/ little or no positive feed back, especially if they see them as some sort of threat. With your experience it's quite possible that you have more "hands on" (sorry) experience than they do, and you may be seen as having the potential to make them look bad or expose short comings. They would like you to leave.

    I play in a community band, with a director who has no college experience as do most of the players, she dislikes me intently, as she sees my degree as a reminder of a perceived short coming on her part, she forgets that she is the one who won the gig, (very talented, w/ a great rapport w/ the rank and file) we used to butt heads constantly, until I realized I had to go out of my way to make her comfortable, some times it is difficult to aquess to her wishes especially when it's something that I have seen tried or even tried myself w/ little or no success , but it's her band. Unless it's gonna bust the bank or cause injury I have learned to say, "let's try it", "Ok", and "as you wish" ...alot. The shoe is on the other foot in your situation, but the coping mechanism may be the same.

    3. If you wish to stay in your present situation, you need to realize that people come and go,and adjust your mind set accordingly; my wife has taught at the same school for 30+ years, and has outlasted probably a dozen principals, some were good, a few were great, most were average, and one or two were incompetent. You just need to come up w/ a way to go in and deal w/the day to day. I have a friend who has been the assistant band director doing athletic bands at a local H.S. for 20+ years, he has "only" a Bachelors +30 and is constantly over looked for the big "concert" gig for those w/ a Masters or even a DMA..I ask him how many directors he had worked under and he lost count after 5or so..(we think it's been 15) so that's a year or two tenure for most of his 'betters', but in reality it's his program, he is the one the alumni tell stories about, ask and give support for , and name their kids after. When you get down, think of the people you have helped many in a life changing way, they are your focus, not the administration.

    4. I found one of the best ways to have a good work/life balance is to have something on the side, it can be going back to school; there is so much on line now much of it for little or no cost ( look at Coursera or similar sites) that you probably should be taking a course or three every year, if you can't see a way forward, start w/ one and then another that simply interest you, soon a path will become apparent. It may be something that supports your current situation, or branches off of it, or is totally unrelated, the important thing is to make a start. It took me 30 years to get my BA, the ship has probably sailed for it being a useful credential for employment, but the pursuit of it added focus and rigor to my day to day.

    5. Get some other money coming in, monetize a hobby, get a little solo/duo gig going, sell things on Etsy/CL what have you, you need not make a fortune but again it's light at the end of the tunnel and opportunities may present. Most importantly you are establishing a base line that says "I'm in charge here". I have had some craptastic jobs, but always had the little selling thing on the side, and I knew I was not completely beholden to another for my DB. When it really became impossible for me to go 9-5 any longer, I had a good customer base and was able to roll that into a income stream, it's not much but it supports me and the cat, and allows me to pursue music in a real and meaningful way.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
    Matt G likes this.
  20. Stratohacker

    Stratohacker Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 18, 2013
    There's no real easy answer.

    I do think that we all are given a set of natural talents and abilities that help us in different career paths. The key is finding that niche and getting there. The journey is not always straight forward or easy.

    If its the work environment and not the specific job then start looking for a different place to work in your field. I know relocating isn't easy but if you hate the job environment its worth the temporary pain. If its the job/profession itself, I'd start researching different career paths that might best use your natural abilities and or knowledge from your current career. Look at potential growth and advancement (if that's what you're interested in). But also be very honest with yourself regarding how much time and effort you are willing to put into changing careers and either retraining and or taking a pay cut. You might have to take a dip in salary but if the job is more enjoyable and has the potential for growth, it might be worth it.

    My story in a nutshell - I went to a very good undergraduate school and graduated with a double major in history and poli sci. Everyone, myself included figured law school was the natural career goal for me. But I had always been interested in law enforcement so on a whim I applied to a local PD and got hired. My family and new wife were not really behind the decision. I enjoyed the work but the voices kept telling me I was wasting my education and time being a PO. So I took the plunge and went to law school. Miserable, in law school but upon graduating figured I had to keep moving forward given the time and money invested in law school. I spent 5 years in labor/employment law and was even more miserable. I finally reached the point where I was either going to have to make a career change or I'd have a melt down/breakdown. It was hard but I went back into law enforcement. Everyone thought I was out of my mind but I finally figured that I had to enjoy what I did for a living and what everyone else thought really didn't matter. I love what I do, have advanced in my career further than I thought I would and will be retiring in a few years.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
    Matt G likes this.
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