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Kothos

Did I do the right thing?

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Here's something you guys and gals are in a unique position to answer. I've just quit my job and it's been gnawing at me whether I made the right decision. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

 

My company makes banking-type systems exclusive to North America. They wanted to expand internationally, picked Australia, made two major sales here and hired me to do ... everything (except sales). I'm the only employee outside the USA. I was told they were going to aggressively expand into Aus/NZ and in 18 months hire a tech support team I would manage. In the mean time, I was support, consulting, pre- and post-sales engineering, and the operations manager for our presence outside the USA (this happened to include Hawaii, Afghanistan and Iraq, but whatevs (the latter are still US soil as the systems are in the embassies).

 

Fast forward 3 years and I just found out they had actually given up on this international expansion and we still have only 2 clients in Oz, I'm still alone, and I do about an hour of work each day with no hope of any advancement ever. So I quit.

 

Did I... crazily give up a full pay packet for almost no work where I could work from home and be as flexible as I wish or...

 

Did I make the right move so as not to invite dementia, and to move into something I actually want to do which is challenging and has learning opportunities? (I decided to go full time in a teaching degree.)

 

I've already done the latter but I'm seriously worried that I'm f'en insane. I mean, even if I get a job as a teacher I'll be taking a pay cut for the first 7 years.

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Posted (edited)

" Fast forward 3 years and I just found out they had actually given up on this international expansion and we still have only 2 clients in Oz, I'm still alone, and I do about an hour of work each day with no hope of any advancement ever.

So I quit."

 

Honestly thought this ^^ was a shit situation till you said you were on full pay.

 

" Did I... crazily give up a full pay packet for almost no work where I could work from home and be as flexible as I wish or..."

 

I'm going to say yes you be fucking crazy ;) . << this is assuming you have a family with all the etc.s associated.

 

" Did I make the right move so as not to invite dementia, and to move into something I actually want to do which is challenging and has learning opportunities? (I decided to go full time in a teaching degree.) "

 

I'm pretty certain dementia is not a result of being unchallenged in one's chose profession .

IANAD. ( I am not a doctor )

It seems to me that some people suffering dementia or Alzheimers happen to have led very interesting /academically styled lives.In other words used their noggin quite prolifically till they um, couldn't.

 

" I've already done the latter but I'm seriously worried that I'm f'en insane. I mean, even if I get a job as a teacher I'll be taking a pay cut for the first 7 years."

 

You probably would be " f'en insane " if you did this ^^ without financial backing ... but this would not be the case would it ?

I guess the job you quit must not have felt very secure since there'd been no expansion ...

Edited by eveln

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As attractive as the nice pay packet for doing SFA sounds, and in fact having been there once or twice myself while a govt department went through a disorganised reorg - ultimately it becomes a demoralizing situation and even if you reap the positive and just lounge in the comfort zone it's not something that can last forever.

Potentially you could find down the track that your slothiness has become normality and cop a huge shock when returning to a normal job.

 

That said, my current situation is such that I'm not exactly extending myself but I do have variety, work partly for myself, and doing shit with computers with a fair amount of variety.

 

Still, never satisfied - if I had my way I'd write software for 30 year old obsolete retro machines. But the reality is that the revenue stream for such a dream job would be a pittance.

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each to his / her own

 

i enjoy being a clinician, but i know from my almost 2 year "sabbatical with malignancy" that i'd be quite happy to never have to work again if someone would pay me for being a creature of leisure

 

sadly for me, my spouse seems to have taken the only available vacancy for that position in our household, although i guess i could do it too, but then we would be destitute after funds from selling the house ran out

and of course we'd have nowhere to live

 

- i quite enjoyed just fiddling with little aeroplane things, and investigating building techniques and firmware modifications, but unfortunately being an uber-geek in a very refined field is not a money spinner

 

 

kothos, if the pay was sufficient for an hour a day, i'd be all over it like a fat kid on a timtam, but i'd be doing unpaid stuff that i love as more than enough compensation - writing, taking photos, cooking, improving my guitar technique, patting the dog, gazing at clouds, and of course, flying things

 

 

having a fulfilling career is great; but having enough money to allow a fulfilling non-career would be a happy thing for my lifestyle aspirations

 

 

personally i don't give a fuck if i am world renowned for my medical skills, although i put enormous energy into even the rather minuscule hours i presently practice, but it exhausts me

 

 

my adult daughter is just completing a teaching degree (actually two degrees), and i can see how much energy it consumes too

 

there are worse things than being paid easy money - especially if it's something you can do with a clear conscience (not sure if banking fits that descriptor)

 

 

still, if it wasn't working for you, you made exactly the best decision : doing what pleases you is the proper thing to do; trying to make other people happy when it isn't a good thing for you, is a conundrum that will ultimately destroy you

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Posted (edited)

You probably would be " f'en insane " if you did this ^^ without financial backing ... but this would not be the case would it ?

 

 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that before quitting I spend a good several months refinancing investments and managed to liquidise 11 months pay so I can finish my degree while only just going broke. I don't need the job, it was just easy money. Sorry that was probably important.

 

 

I guess the job you quit must not have felt very secure since there'd been no expansion ...

 

 

Yeah that's another thing. It was reasonably secure in that they needed me here or else our two clients would go batshit, but my boss has been wanting to get rid of me for ages for reasons unknown. He seemed unable to downsize me (I would have been happy with that) but was nitpicking my job like crazy even though there was fuck all to do, and I kept asking for working and not hearing back from him for 6 months at a time. He went so far as to try to get me to sign a performance management doc before I lost my shit and took it to uppper management who sided with me. So there was that stress.

As attractive as the nice pay packet for doing SFA sounds, and in fact having been there once or twice myself while a govt department went through a disorganised reorg - ultimately it becomes a demoralizing situation and even if you reap the positive and just lounge in the comfort zone it's not something that can last forever.

Potentially you could find down the track that your slothiness has become normality and cop a huge shock when returning to a normal job.

 

 

 

Yeah, I can definitely feel my skills, knowledge and motivation atrophying. It's absolutely demoralising.

 

 

That said, my current situation is such that I'm not exactly extending myself but I do have variety, work partly for myself, and doing shit with computers with a fair amount of variety.

 

 

 

 

In previous jobs I've found variety to be the most important predictor of my satisfaction level.

 

 

Still, never satisfied - if I had my way I'd write software for 30 year old obsolete retro machines. But the reality is that the revenue stream for such a dream job would be a pittance.

 

 

Yeah see if I had my way I'd be building PCs and fiddling with hardware but there's not much money in that either.

kothos, if the pay was sufficient for an hour a day, i'd be all over it like a fat kid on a timtam, but i'd be doing unpaid stuff that i love as more than enough compensation - writing, taking photos, cooking, improving my guitar technique, patting the dog, gazing at clouds, and of course, flying things

 

 

having a fulfilling career is great; but having enough money to allow a fulfilling non-career would be a happy thing for my lifestyle aspirations

 

Well the first 3 years I distracted myself with;

 

- getting my hopes up that the job was going somewhere

- building a house

- doing half a Master's

- raising a pair of twins from age 1 to 4

 

I realise few people are lucky enough to have a work/life balance so heavily tilted towards life, but now things have settled down I just really feel like shit and wanna feel better. I dunno if that makes sense.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback though guys - food for thought.

Edited by Kothos

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You probably would be " f'en insane " if you did this ^^ without financial backing ... but this would not be the case would it ?

 

 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that before quitting I spend a good several months refinancing investments and managed to liquidise 11 months pay so I can finish my degree while only just going broke. I don't need the job, it was just easy money. Sorry that was probably important.

 

 

I guess the job you quit must not have felt very secure since there'd been no expansion ...

 

 

Yeah that's another thing. It was reasonably secure in that they needed me here or else our two clients would go batshit, but my boss has been wanting to get rid of me for ages for reasons unknown. He seemed unable to downsize me (I would have been happy with that) but was nitpicking my job like crazy even though there was fuck all to do, and I kept asking for working and not hearing back from him for 6 months at a time. He went so far as to try to get me to sign a performance management doc before I lost my shit and took it to uppper management who sided with me. So there was that stress

 

I always thought of you as a careful sort of person. One that seemed to consider stuff, not one to make 'crazy' spur of the moment decisions. A good provider for yourself and yours :)

Have to say I'm a little baffled as to why you couldn't keep the job and do the degrees at the same time. You made the job sound like virtually nothing ... but I guess the middle management shit stress would seem like a waste of everyone's time too ;)

 

My thinking is that if you take the path of family then whatever you do should not be to the detriment of that family during it's early formative years. Once the family has matured to the point of independence from you, then go follow your aspirations.

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Posted (edited)

I'm baffled as to why I couldn't do the degree at the same time as the job too... part of it was that I'm sort of on-call, so if I'm ever busy and can't attend to a client, by boss would jump all over that. But that's really a minor thing.

 

I think my brain broke a bit when the kids were born and almost immediately had to be in and out of hospital for the first year. Lack of sleep and them nearly dying maybe took it out of me too much. I was never one to suffer fools gladly but these days I can't take any shit at all.

 

Edit: P.S. That's interesting that you always thought I was a good provider. I appreciate the judgement, but I don't know what evidence you're basing it on :-)

Edited by Kothos

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Posted (edited)

I'm baffled as to why I couldn't do the degree at the same time as the job too... part of it was that I'm sort of on-call, so if I'm ever busy and can't attend to a client, by boss would jump all over that. But that's really a minor thing.

 

I think my brain broke a bit when the kids were born and almost immediately had to be in and out of hospital for the first year. Lack of sleep and them nearly dying maybe took it out of me too much. I was never one to suffer fools gladly but these days I can't take any shit at all.

 

Edit: P.S. That's interesting that you always thought I was a good provider. I appreciate the judgement, but I don't know what evidence you're basing it on :-)

Nobody wants to suffer fools gladly :) ... it's just that some of us don't know quite how to thoroughly piss them off so's they'll go away :P

 

Just reading the content of some of your posts back when. The way you talked about your teaching and other things. You seemed to consider, which, imo, can lead to being a good provider.

Edited by eveln
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Thanks - I try. Kids are alive and healthy and massive troublemakers. So far I'm considering that a success :-p

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i was "lucky" in that my work arrangements let me spend lots of time with the kids when they were young, even amidst 60 hour weeks where some long shifts meant i had afternoons and mornongs off during the week

 

parenting does make your brain turn yo goo... so does shift work, really (same things, different pay)

 

 

 

if teaching is your calling, answer it

 

like i said, i like the job i do, but after many months away, the negative aspects weren't missed at all - bureaucracy, "difficult" patients, shitty diagnoses; i did however miss the extremely social aspects of tending to my lovely long term peoples, who are like extended family after my 20 plus years of continuous care across now 3 generations

 

 

but i expect that teaching, like clinical medicine, is draining emotionally, because if you are committed to the task, it never lets you just go "enough"

 

like parenting

 

 

 

bed for me.... i find my resilience is still pretty crap - i'd like to blame the chemo, but i suspect i am just older and more tired... but that being poisoned didn't help improve that

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Yeah I totally get that - I have enough teacher friends to know the positive and negative aspects of the job. If I can't hack it then I could always get back into IT, or maybe if I'm lucky wrangle an early retirement.

 

P.S. Anyone want my job? There's a chance I could put in a good word.

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does it involve medical knowledge ?

 

i'm sysop for a house of 4, but not formally qualified in i.t.

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Nah, transaction systems. Any kind of IT all-rounder could do it. Although it helps to have some Windows/Linux admin knowledge, some network, some hardware, some Oracle database and a bit of web dev and scripting (all of that in decreasing order of importance).

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Posted (edited)

Full pay for few hours? Absolutely mad to give it up.

 

You could get ridiculously fit, learn an instrument, study something else purely for the sake of personal interest, on and on.

 

A former housemate of mine was a musician, engaged with an orchestra for twenty hours a week, which included practice. In his spare time he did a law degree, a post grad in linguistics, and learned other instruments as well.

 

My last job was very cruisy, audio/video tech. Set up, long periods of sitting around for events, then pack down. I wrote an entire masters thesis at that job.

 

I'd be back pedalling asap!

 

Of course, if you have some other long term career trajectory in mind, and this job is hobbling those prospects in some way, that would be a different situation.

 

And I jumped to the end of the thread to reply too quickly after my eyes popped out of my head reading the first post or two... I see you are in fact studying! Good luck with it.

Edited by komuso

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Yeah I didn't waste my free time in the last 3 years - I did half a master's, built a house and we managed to get two babies from death's door to fucking annoying but super healthy four year olds.

 

One thing I didn't mention is that with so little work, I'm losing my IT skills so when a bit of work does come along, I've forgotten how to fix the problem. It's like being a beginner all the time - at least since the problems I deal with are all about one super-complicated computer system.

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You did the right thing.

 

Theres a cost to doing nothing - you dont learn anything and the skills market moves ahead while you stay behind.

 

Never take a job where youre bored all the time or arent busy at.

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There is a statement I live by and it has served me pretty well over the years, even if I was unsure. It is:

 

"If you aren't moving forward, its time to move on."

 

Now what you get out of it is up to you but yeah...

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Thanks everyone - it seems there're a variety of opinions, which is perfect. I don't feel quite as stupid now, even if somehow it turns out I made the wrong decision. ;-)

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You are not your job. Why need so much satisfaction from what you get paid to do, rather than things you can do while getting paid for something else?

 

I'd probably have sat on the job, and done whatever I wanted around it, whether that be study or reading or another job.

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yeah ... but if you get a kick out of the job you do, then you won't mind that it is you pretty much

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The best jobs I have had in my life thus far were far from the best paid - one exception, which I loved, but a GFC killed the company.

 

I did have one similar to yours, American based company, just wanted a presence and zero support.

 

I managed a couple of months but it was ridiculous so found another job that paid much the same and kept me interested.

 

I think overall you did the right thing, not sure I would have gone the teaching route, but that is personal choice :) Enjoy, teaching degrees are kinda fun according to some of my family who have them. I've a couple of diplomas to allow me to conduct specialised classes but full time teaching would not be my gig :)

 

Cheers

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Don't look back. Your decision might not be right for everyone here, but it was clearly right for you. I couldn't manage a whole month in a job where I had an hour's real work per day - I know, I tried. It absolutely destroyed me mentally, I could not cope. 

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