Work – a necessary evil.

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  • Work – a necessary evil.
  • tjagain
    Member

    I wasn’t intending to belittle your experience just to try to give some context.

    Rusty, I quite like my job actually and the answer to your other question, is that I’d take the stress with me – I’m the type to always find something to stress about, and I don’t help myself with that.

    This does sound to me a bit like the stress you experience ( which is real no matter the root cause) is as much a product of the way you think as much as the job itself. One of the key things for me ( and I have stress to the point of almost breakdown) is to accept the things you cannot control. Easier said than done but to me some things “just are”. If you cannot change these factors and just accept them then they are no longer a source of stress. Its an outlook on life that is perhaps hard for me to describe but it works for me.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Nice one.

    I couldn’t work in a sales job.

    I’ve worked in a corporate world of petty middle management, ever increasing unachievable targets, backstabbing and ego.
    It genuinely nearly killed me.

    I was very, very lucky to be able to walk away and after many years and dark times, find a job that helps me feel satisfied.
    Lucky that I didn’t have kids to support, lucky that I lived somewhere with cheap housing and lucky that I found a decent support network.
    The majority of people don’t have those luxuries.

    But if you genuinely think you’ll be happier doing something else, go for it.
    You owe it to yourself and those around you.

    BillMC
    Member

    I used to work endless unpaid overtime hours in teaching in addition to being an examiner and an exam reviser plus writing the odd bit and managing a team. I used my naturally stressed disposition as an energy source for keeping going then I’d ride like fury to get it out of my system. I was ok with all of that because I felt autonomous. Then came senior management changes, academisation and micro-management of staff and students. I could not respect the new style, felt my time was being wasted and suddenly hated the whole set-up. Fortunately I had relatively low outgoings so I checked my pension status for early retirement, wrapped up and hucked off. I did go back to work for a 6 month contract in a great college but there I was left to get on with it and it was a joy.
    I think the point is levels of stress vary not so much with your position or salary but rather with poor management, changing targets, ‘accountability’ etc and it’s difficult to assess all of that before starting a job. It’s not necessarily evil but there is a good chance it will be, whatever you end up doing. Incidentally, if you read Michael Marmot’s ‘Civil Service 2’ study you find higher levels of management enjoy less micro-management, more autonomy, more active pastimes, more confidantes, less stress, longer life-expectancy and, obviously, greater rewards. The lower you go, very likely, the harder it gets so exercise caution.
    The downside for me is that now I have to force myself to get out on two wheels.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Move jobs. Preferably into something that’s not sales, as sales is awful IMO. Or at least move to one with more salary and less commission. In our company we have sales, then tech sales who are on a good salary but also get commission, and don’t have sales targets.

    In my experience (limited) work stress is due to how the company treats you. You can be doing the same thing but be given respect and autonomy, and you can feel 1000x better about the job, yourself and your life.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    But if you genuinely think you’ll be happier doing something else, go for it.

    I think I have the skill set to get this done for a couple of years, but its up to me to remember to make it manageable and not have an impact on my family / cycling / health.  It has its financial advantages and as long as its sustainable, everyone here at home benefits.

    The moment it’s not though, I can pack it in.  I gave myself a year, that was 4 years ago 🙂

    I continue to post not for my own benefit but for others that may be reading this, perhaps our experiences will be beneficial to them.   I put some of the above book – and for some people obvious methods – into practice today;

    a) I travelled to Derby for a meeting.  Instead of a cab, I walked along the riverside from the station to the city centre, refusing to answer my phone or check for emails – just enjoying that 15 minutes of the river and walk and not using it to cram in something else.

    b) On the way back, I lost signal on my iPad on the train several times, then just put it away thinking that the remainder will have to wait – there is not point stressing about what can’t be achieved.

    c) I have 5 emails waiting for responses.  6.30pm arrived and I’m cooking my dinner, they can wait until tomorrow, no one will die.

    d) I fancied a snack at 11am – I chose Melon instead of a cake.

    Some people would have defaulted to those things naturally, but guess what, I’m sitting here feeling pretty good in myself. Small changes eh?

    tjagain
    Member

    Very positive stuff and IMO exactly the change of attitude needed in situations like yours. Nice

    UrbanHiker
    Member

    K57, that’s quite inspirational to me. Good on ya. Particularly liked the “chose melon instead of cake” – reverts the cake to treat status.

    I’m off to wonder round the garden before the rain comes, instead of checking my emails…

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Why choose the melon… the rest i can get my head round…

    The cake… Mmmmmmmmm cake !

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I’ve just had another interesting experience and I think universal law is happening to me.

    Just meeting with a client and at the end “life changes” came up in discussion.  He talked me through he’d already addressed this several years ago and his outcome was “my life is significantly happier, my home life massively improved, I work in just as focused manner but less hours and with less stress yet my employer never even noticed a difference”

    Bit of a revelation that.  Anyway I’m loving the fact that I typed this in the 90 minute lunch break I scheduled myself between two meetings.  As I’m in a customer corporate cafe, no one will notice and I cannot be disturbed by demanding colleagues, especially as I left my phone on do not disturb…

    Makes a change to sit and eat a Prawn and Avocado sandwich at a table rather than juggle a snack in the car.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Good stuff Kryters.

    beicmodur
    Member

    The advice I give out….

    1. Have a plan B. This could be a hobby you could monetise. Savings. Business idea (with money to back it). Having an escape route lifts a weight off your shoulders and allows you approach work with a “it doesn’t really matter” attitude.

    and

    2. This links to having a plan B. Have defined skill set… lots of jobs are wishy washy i.e. management, sales, consulting. Lots of people in these roles do not have a defined skill they can approach new employers with. Think of a defined skill as a trade. One which you can pick up a job with easily such as coding, teaching, accountancy. You never see a plumber / plaster out of work. Knowing your skills have real world value and your not relying on blagging or reputation can really take the strain off. As in… “bye Mr boss man I’m taking my skills else where”.

    andyrm
    Member

    Sounds like you’re making some really good progress Kryton!

    The big thing to remember is the phone/email etc is YOUR tool, to assist YOU to do YOUR job, not a hotline for all and sundry to make their “emergencies” yours. Turn off the phone outside of work hours, don’t touch emails outside work hours, and make sure you schedule time in the day to ensure you are working effectively. Look up the Pomodoro Technique which is really good, and if you’d like to PM me your email address, I’ll share some resources with you that I got from a training day last month with one of the UK’s top workplace performance consultancies.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Sounds like you’re making some really good progress Kryton!

    One of the points in that book is….  start now. 🙂   I just drove for an hour from client to home with the radio off – yet another revelation, you’d be surprised at how much you notice!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    1. Have a plan B. This could be a hobby you could monetise. Savings. Business idea (with money to back it). Having an escape route lifts a weight off your shoulders and allows you approach work with a “it doesn’t really matter” attitude.

    Having to make a plan B sounds like a hell of a stress load to me! I have my trade, and I’m carving out a niche in it which so far is working out. I want to devote the minimum mental effort to it outside the parts I enjoy, so having to plan out business ideas and all the risks that entails, that would be awful.

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