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How many people are happy with their jobs\life

  1. Dec 17, 2008 #1
    Figure that title will catch some clicks from users and guests of this site.

    But I'm curious about some things regarding careers\life..

    Is a person suppose to be happy settled into one place? I mean, maybe my immaturity shines through in that statement.. I could get a lot more complicated with these questions, but I'll the responses build on this single question.

    For example: I'm working a good job right now. It pays well, gives me plenty of time off, a sort of irregular lifestyle which works for me right now.. but for some reason I want more. And not necessarily more money, just something different..

    I'm almost addicted to being on the move. Someone once called me a gypsy because I move around so much regarding life. I do this not only with jobs, but with friends, family, relationships, and even forums. o:)

    I could keep going with this, but I think I'll turn the thread over to whoever and feel free to answer however you like or ask questions of your own.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2008 #2
    You should be a nomad like Samuel L. Jackson at the end of Pulp Fiction, and just... walk the Earth.

    Seriously though, I think this is a normal feeling for many different types of people. Not to get too philosophical, but I believe it arises out of a realization, conscious or unconscious, that we aren't doing what we are supposed to be doing in life. I get the feeling alot, but I think its because I know that I haven't found my true calling yet. The frustrating part is that this true calling may have nothing to do with your job, and may not be something that you could address through a job. For example, I want to be an electrical engineer, but that's not necessarily what I want to "do" with my life, even though I am very passionate about electrical engineering. I think we attach too much of our life-purpose to our careers. Unfortunately, I think that a ridiculously small percentage of people ever really discover, much less accomplish, their true purpose in life.
  4. Dec 18, 2008 #3


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    on the flip side, I think a lot of people secretly hate being stuck in the same boring place doing the same boring thing over and over again and would love to break out and be on the move like you, but are too afraid to go beyond their comfort zone. Or maybe are tied down whether with kids or other responsibilities.

    for example my former boss had often said he would love to go live somewhere else and change careers completely and shake things up a bit, but his family is invested here and he has to stay in his job several more years to qualify for a pension. how's that for being trapped in a rut - passing the years in drudgery just to qualify for a pension? reminds me of a song by norwegian pop group a-ha called "Cozy Prisons"....

    some people like the comfort of familiarity and routine. others get bored and feel trapped by it. whatever floats your boat

    well I guess in this disastrous economy having a pension might not be a bad thing
  5. Dec 18, 2008 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    I did a lot of wild and crazy things when I was single and in college. I used to like to disappear for a while.

    I have a job that I enjoy for the most part, but I'm looking at other opportunities, and sometimes opportunities come looking for me.

    I'm settled and have been in the same house for more than 18 years. I've changed jobs once since I left grad school 20 years ago. I would have stayed, but my division was sold to another company with which I was not pleased, and two companies made me simultaneous offers. I took one where I am now, and I work with good people who are friends, as well as colleagues, who I've known for many years, and in some cases they much like family.

    Both jobs have allowed me to travel internationally for work (projects) and conferences. I've really enjoyed the opportunity to work with colleagues in other countries.
  6. Dec 18, 2008 #5
    I think a lot of us thrive on chaos. I don't like staying in one spot for to long either, it kind of gets to me. The only problem with that is you usually have a short list of friends and none of them that close. If your young, I say live it up while you can. On the other hand, what the hell do I know I'm only 23.
  7. Dec 18, 2008 #6
    Thanks for the responses.

    I do like that line 'Opportunites come looking for me', and that's very true. Some of the most best times have been when I wasn't looking for them; they found me.

    And I think chain of events are trying to lead us somewhere.. for example, I wanted to learn a new language, but I wasn't sure which one.. I ask the book store lady for help.. she guides me to where the language book are and say to me 'If you need any more help, my name is Sicily'.. I picked up an Italian book. Not one week later I meet a girl from Italy and we hit it off pretty well. Things like this just boggle my mind..

    And yeah, I'm not settled down or anything. I could settle down if I wanted to, I'm just not ready yet. There is too much life out there to live. I love living.

    What the hell do I know, I'm only 22.

    And my list of friends.. is fairly long, and there are quite a few close ones in there.. but I'm not as close to them as I would be if I settled in. I had a family member call me a bohemian the other day.

    After I posted this thread, I went and watched the movie 'Wanted'... and it kind of goes along with this thread.. You'll have to see it to find the correlation.

    And I'm not scared about this economy.. I honestly hope I get laid off, however funked up that sounds, not because I don't like my job, it's just that I'm not a quitter, but I'm ready for something different, even after only 6 months of working here. Something that will scare the hell out of me, but will make me stronger for the experience, and I look back later when I have a family of my own and say, damn those were good times and I'm glad I really lived..
  8. Dec 19, 2008 #7
    I've had my share of jobs, from universities to Wall Street, from big companies to startups. I haven't had to move in about 15 years now (although I've changed jobs several times during this period), but before that I was moving every year for about 5 years. Now, I'm back in school because I'm tired of the computer industry and want to work in physics.

    Opportunities come, opportunities go. Try to do what you enjoy, and it will all work out in the end.

    But what the hell do I know, I'm only 47.
  9. Dec 19, 2008 #8
    I started off in Mechanical Engineering when I was 18, and also worked as a lab-tech for an industrial wastewater plant. After getting my grade 6 wastewater operator license and being offered a position running the plant at night, I left school in my sophomore year. At the time MechE's were being hired for about $45k fresh out of school. My new job was 6 days a week and I normally put in 50+ hours, but I was making $60k+, and started logging experience as a shift operator in charge at a complex plant. At the time it made more sense to accept the job and save myself $60k in school loans along with four more years of "work".

    I paid off my loans, and spent a great deal of time learning as much about the Water/WW industry that I could.

    When I was 20 I started saving up money, and totally rebuilt a '90 Dodge Caravan with a 5-speed standard transmission. Two years later I gave a multi-month notice to my employer, and then hit the road for six months traveling throughout the US, Western Canada, and Alaska. It was an amazing experience. I visited a good majority of major cities, and spent lots of time hiking in National Parks.

    When I returned, I was offered my position back, and moved to a near-by town. I spent a year getting my pilot's license, and finally decided to go back to school for engineering again (electrical). Been working at it for a couple years now (although now I only put in about 45 hours a week average). I've also matured/changed over the years. School is now something that I do because I have an intense interest in learning the material to acquire new knowledge and skills - not just increase the weight of my paycheck.

    I think everyone needs to beat their own path. I plan to stay in the water/wastewater industry, but I'm aiming to move to the design side rather than operations. I'm almost 27, and will be a month over 30 when I finish (I'm taking lots of extra coursework), but I wouldn't change a thing.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  10. Dec 20, 2008 #9
    with my work I was living in different countries/continents and I was happy with that.
    Now I want to settle down, I am still open to travel but I want to have a job till I will be retired.
    I am not afraid I will get bored of it because I think you can do change in the same place in order to not have any monotony.
    At this point in my life I am looking for settling down.
  11. Jan 3, 2009 #10
    you remind me of my grandfather...born in the countryside,he didn't had much options...at some point he worked as...I don't know exactley...something very oiley...so he moved on,got in the military,as a pilot...went to the ranks of colonel,and moved on as an airplaine motor engenier...still went up,and finaly he found himself at the ministery of defence...
    he still helps me with the maths:)
    anyway,if you feel like moving...do it...you don't have to "stay" at a place...only if you feel that way!
    are you familiar with the term "society trainings" ?
    I'm not shore I got the term right,but it's about the fact that sometimes(or rather most of the time) people do something in a way,just because that's how society tells them to do,allthow it's rong...this is rather a psihological thing...the ideea is if you consider that moving from place to place is ok,then do it and be proud of it!
  12. Jan 3, 2009 #11
    Hey, thanks for the response. I'm not sure what the term "society trainings" means..

    I want to get busy living rather than staying in one place. I could be happy doing anything, I think.. every job I've ever had, I enjoyed doing and did it well and the people around me enjoyed having me. I got a fortune cookie today that said verbatim "stop searching, happiness is right next to you" so I don't know. I could just stop, but then.. my mind will be plagued with 'what if's'?... I already have these questions about girls I could have settled down with and married, but chose to keep moving.. and see what else is out there. No regrets so far.. just gotta keep on living.
  13. Jan 8, 2009 #12

    WOW. *Tear
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