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Downshifting

By GuruOfDos ·
That yuppie catch-phrase from the late 90's! Work has been hectic of late, and the heat is unbearable in the office. I've had a bad week (no sleep) thanks to 'neighbours from ****' and to cap it all I have just finished a 30 hour non stop stint at work to resolve some problems (basically annotating and reviewing 120 hours of security video footage) and feel completely wiped out. Well, to **** with it....if I can't get any sleep at home I might as well not get any sleep at work and possibly acheive something!

I decided to take a five minute time-out, as my brain was reeling with fatigue, and pop out for a bit of fresh air and a walk to try and clear my head. As I left the office I spotted a man trimming the hedge across the street from our offices. I chatted to him for a few minutes and realised that his 'life' was very uncomplicated.

I quote..."If it's raining, I stay home and read the paper or a book. If it's not raining I trim hedges."

How much more uncomplicated does it get?! He goes home when he's finished, and not before. He won't start on a job he can't finish to his satisfaction if it means he's not home in time to give his children a bath and put them to bed. If he's not happy with the finished job, he'll continue until he is happy, or come back the next day and do it again. In his own field (pardon the pun), he is an artist and prides himself on his work. Yes he collects a pay packet, but he says that is just a necessity of life and his biggest reward is pride in a job well done and a happy customer.

If you were offered an opportunity to 'downshift' and take that man's place, trading financial remuneration, stress and long hours for less money but more contentment and less hassle...how many would jump at the chance to leave the 'rat-race' behind?

I'm seriously considering it!

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a little burnt out?

by bmorrison In reply to Downshifting

This would be my first post, but I have been reading the boards for a month or so now. Initially it sounded like you are a little burnt out, as you should be. Working non stop and not taking time to 'smell the roses' My advice would be to try and'smell the roses' catch up on some sleep. Right now, you aren't in the best mind set to be making a decision such as leaving your job.

I believe we take a job and stay there cause one is passionate about it. So if you leave the job you are sopassionate about...where do you go? What else are you passionate about?

I am by no means an expert in anything. I'm 19, have been working on computers for about 8 years. It's only in the last 6 months have a landed a real computer job. It's great, but...I have always grown up around cars and racing. I love them more than computers. If given the opportunity to build race engines over working on computers, I would take it. That is me though, I am more passionate about cars than computers. Right now I sit in an A/C office, if I were working in a shop...no A/C and I would be on my feet all day (some times I think that would be better than sitting all the time). I make descent money for the time being, but I would take a big pay cutif I were working in a shop. There is trade offs to everything, but I get more personal satisfaction from building something, and seeing it come to life (an engine)

I'm sure it's just me babbling on...I hope that I have helped.

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A clone!

by Oz_Media In reply to a little burnt out?

Sounds like we have something in common, I quit workiing for Ford bacause I was sick of being sore and tired for a measly $24/hr when my boss billed $84/hr for my time. It just isn't worth it. I now just do the restoration, rebuild and repair thing in my own garage when I feel like it.
(just finished a 74'cuda with a 360 {.202 valves like the 340)) Runs like snot, tune in to the Mission raceway site to see it run in August.

As for your statement-
"I believe we take a job and stay there cause one is passionate about it. So if you leave the job you are so passionate about...where do you go? What else are you passionate about?"

People take jobs for MONEY, only MONEY and nothing but MONEY. When I worked Fulltime, I always wanted a job I'd enjoy and believe in (passion?) BUT, the bottom line, I wouldn't have needed to be passionate about a job if I didn't need money. I always made it clear to my boss that I worked there for a paycheck, if I wasn't paid, I wouldn't have gone towork, who would?

NOBODY, I don't care who it is, actually works because they want to (unless working for themselves). People work to pay bills and live in a chosen lifestyle.
you work for a nice company, they pay you well, you have the A/C but if you didn't get a paycheck, would you be there much longer? NO, of course not. We all work for money, it's just that some of us enjoy the job at hand.

Good first post, hope to hear more from you in the future.

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working only for money

by john_wills In reply to A clone!

People work only for money? A couple of years ago the boss called 12 of us in and told us that we were all laid off. We would get paid till the end of next week but need not appear at work any more. Most of the dozen just quit showing up. But I had just started learning about Cobol Report Writer, in which I had been interested for over a decade. I stayed till near the end of the week and completed the immediate project I was on so as to learn something which I believed and still believe should be a lot more popular than it is; also something which filled a definite gap in my knowledge. I could have gone home - I lived 450 miles from the work place - early and started my new job search a little sooner, but I chose to improve my mind and my skills.

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Contradiction?

by Oz_Media In reply to working only for money

Well you must be employee of the month, did they post your photo?
Actually what you did was for your OWN benefit, not because you loved the company.

ALSO:

"We would get paid till the end of next week... "

"I stayed till near the end of theweek"

So what's your point?

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point

by john_wills In reply to Contradiction?

If I had found a new job right away I could have been paid twice for the same time. I lost work search time. Oz Media is right that I was working for my own benefit, but I was not working just for money. And it was not just for my own benefit: the employer and its clients and their clients - the County's poor - benefited by the earlier completion of that work.

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Of course

by Oz_Media In reply to point

Any time spent learning IT will benefit the company.
i must reinforce, you learned ti for you OWN benefit, in the process, it benefitted others, as it will benefit other company you work for in the future, lets call it a skill set.
Q: Why do you need a skill set?
A: To increase your value to present or potential employer(s).

Q: Why would you want to be more valuable to an employer?
A: SO YOU CAN MAKE MORE MONEY!!! Who are you trying to fool, if we didn't need money to live on, we'd all be fishing, golfing or F&^#%$g our day away. Don't even try the "I want to be a better employee so I can benefit the world" BS

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I've done it

by Oz_Media In reply to Downshifting

I got away from the tedium of working for a corporation some time ago.
Although I spwend much of my day logged into a client's domain (as I am now) and p-issing around on the net, I don't actually have MUST DO responsibilities. As many of you know, work with a few bands that seems to get me off the office track and into a near party mode, yes it is work but can you really consider touring, recording, meeting with labels and drinking beer an actual job?
I sometimes I take time off and fix cars in the area for a change because I used to be a mechanic, sometimes I don't even feel like doing that so it's off to the driving range to hit a few buckets.

If any of you have ever been to BC or seen Vancouver Island, you'll see how laid back life here really is, mind you all that whale watching and kayaking gets a little tiring sometimes (well... not really).
When I need a city dose, I can head to Vancouver for a bit but when I'm sick of looking at people in the race I can escape home tothe island again.

As for the corporate life, I've been there and done that as a Sales Manager, Marketing Officer, Office Administrator, Operations Manager etc. Siut and tie, looooooong boring meetings that accomplish nothing, idiotic people who think they are 'in the game', the politicallly correct BS, it just got sickening.

Many people said I'd get so bored living at the lake but it grew on me fast and there's a ton of stuff to do around the home and yard if it gets too slow.

No, I don't regret leaving the busy world behind, in fact I get a good dosage of the life every now and then.
CONT.

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Well...

by ghstinshll In reply to Downshifting

currently I'm in a cush job being underutilized (aas far as my tech abilities go), but am very satisfied in it, so in a sense I already relate to the guy.

For years though, I worked very underpaid positions at a tech svcs division of a major copier company, and was very frustrated. At the pay level I was receiving, I was very tempted to do something like that if my desire for a better posision hadn't kept me going so well through it.

You know, some cool people I used to work always said "Lowe's Knows", meaning their backup plan was to go to Lowe's for the same reasons! Clever!

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CONT.

by Oz_Media In reply to Downshifting

.....
A friend once told me to get away and do my own thing, he'd been doing his own thing as an independant advertiser and copywriter since he was 24. He did the Midas commercials, Vancouver Canucks advertising etc. and now writes portfolios for companies going public and looking for new investors.

The hard part was stepping out of my comfort zone and not having that bi-monthly paycheck to rely on. I found it was WAY easier than I thought and make more money now than I did as a company drone!

If you have skills, motivation and drive, go for it. Why earn someone else a paycheck, when you can write your own? The only thing holding back your personal progress is yourself, if you don't want it, you'll never have it, if you do want it and have the drive, you'll have it easier than you thought.

Now Guru, I know that you have some steep responsibilities with your family and need security in your income. Don't quit work on a bad day and be left wondering what happened and cursing my name for the push-off, but with a little thought and a stable set of working skills, you'll be better off paying yourself instead of waiting for someone else to pay you.

Take some well deserved time off and get away from the office to cool a bit.

OM

Good luck

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Not by choice

by TheChas In reply to Downshifting

It was not by choice, but I did end up taking a step or 2 back and ending up with more enjoyment in my life.

I was downsized in the fall of 2001.

I was not aware of how much stress I was under, or how much of an impact the stress was having onmy health.

The day after I was layed off, it was like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders.

My present job pays 20 percent less, but is closer to home and the company has much better management than my prior employer.

Would I go back? NO WAY!!!

A former supervisor once told me that if you can't enjoy what you are doing at work, you need to find a different job.

Many of the people I work with cannot understand why I smile all the time.
They have worked here for over 20 years on the most part, and have no idea how bad some other companies are to work for.

I know that now is not the best time for you to make a job change.
It may however be a good time for you to step back and evaluate your personal and career goals and objectives.

My best wishes to you my friend.

Chas

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