Careers and age

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,911
Location
Buffalo, NY
I been at the same company for 29 years and have the same work ethic now that I did on my first day. I feel it and I’m looking to get out next year. All my company cares is if all the spots are filled for the day. If you show up and have a heart beat, that’s all they care about. The burden is on people like me that will step up and do more then one person should be doing. I curse my parents for passing along their strong work ethic to me.

It's a similar scenario for me. I'm 52, w/ 25yrs with the same employer. The situation with my company just being happy people are showing up is something I've only experienced the past 2-3yrs. The ones we are able to hire quickly leave for the next slightly better offer. I'm one of only 2-3 people that they can lean on for most issues. This is tough for a continuous operation. It's shift work, so that obviously has it's challenges.

With 4 kids, all still at home and currently helping 2 of them with college. The whole 'me' thing took a back seat years ago. I don't go to work for myself. I do it provide for my family. With what everything costs today, I have to work all the hours I can. My wife has always been a stay at home mom. I am happy to do my part and feel fortunate I have what I have.

I guess my point is, your priorities and plans will change as time goes on. Try to plan ahead as best you can.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,592
Location
Virginia Beach
Priorities change. When you have children, they change. As you age, they change.

If you’re not getting satisfaction from working that hard, but you are getting satisfaction from spending time with your young family, then you are discovering balance in your life.

Congratulations.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
8,732
Location
South Carolina
I got burned out in my occupation at around your age, you need to find a new passion. I methodically planned my exit from what I was doing, I even saw a specialist which tested me with this long something test to confirm my passions. Was very cool to confirm what I was thinking but not a necessity but was just being extra careful as I was leaving a successful business.

If you feel like you are pushing yourself to get to work its just wrong. Your not excelling at what you are capable of. Life is WAY too short for that.

Been there, done that, been a few decades now and retired but my second career was very fulfilling, I looked forward to working and ended up at the top of my field so fast my competition didnt know where I came from and what hit them. I loved it, loved the recognition among my co-workers and my local company, right up to corporate recognition on a regional level.
Some of it was luck, ending up at the right company with the right ownership and mentoring/training. It was so cool. I still miss the excitement at times but I will say I was so successful I started burning myself out again! *LOL* But that was years and years later.
If I was still doing it now, I think the key is moderation once you get up to that level and would have been able to cut back just a little bit.

Kind of funny, we are packing up our house for a move to a new home being built and need to throw away some of those awards and memories, I loved those days. I saved the paperwork and the numbers but got rid of the physical stuff.

We are all different, no one in here "knows" you. Only you do, you can do this willy nilly, you have a family and need to be realistic, only you know yourself but you do need a passion and if you follow that passion you just need to make sure there is money in the business and a path you know you can excel in.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
1,332
Location
Alberta
I retired this past spring. It's still kind of strange to me that something that I put so much of myself into (34.5 years at the same employer) is gone and done. I have dropped in a few times for coffee, and enjoy the visit, but feel 'out of place' there now. While it's important to do your job well, it's far more important to put your wife, family, and a social life (friends) first as your priorities in life.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
1,445
Location
Austin,TX
Got a question for the older folks here. I’m 35 years old. In my late teens and 20s, I was what I’d define as a slight workaholic. I wanted to climb the ladder and I took pride in my work ethic. I’ve always worked since 15. Sometime last year, I think I burned myself out.

I changed jobs to one that is less demanding for a better life balance now that I’m married with a child on the way (arriving here in a few weeks).

Perhaps my priorities are shifting, I’m getting older or both. I no longer feel that passion I used to have. I do my job and check out at the end of the day. My attitude shifted from “I have to get it done at any cost” to “it’s just a job - it can wait.” I honestly don’t feel like I care anymore about excelling in my job. I think part of that stems from putting in a lot of effort above and beyond and it never really paying off like I imagined it would. I feel too young to feel this way - I am a long ways away from retirement. .

What say those who have experience this? Any advice? Is this just a season of life and to be expected?
Same story here, 34, now have a kid. I think I burned myself out about a year before the pandemic. I would not say really burned out but saw that nobody actually gives a #$%@ that you really care, go above and beyond, and put work first over other priorities. That does not guarantee a pay increase, but usually more and more responsibility and expectation level from you, especially in big corporations. At that time I started tracking my time in a special app, to make sure I worked no more than 40 hours per week(as I often did much more), and started ignoring emails and call after 5 pm (let it go into VM and see if it is really something that can't wait till AM).
I went through multiple interviews in the past years and ended up switching towards my dream\goal position about a year ago (which I worked hard to get into by getting a Master's degree during the past 5 years), within the same company. Much more seniority, and responsibility, but more work-life balance and definitely a much better paycheck...
I would say to others- try similar, instead of being a trooper become a general. Family has a priority over $
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
1,431
Location
Iowa
@GMFan I've had a few wise people share with me some sayings...
  • Work to live, don't live to work. It sounds like you recently got that sorted out.
  • Also I had a real good friend of mine retire and his line was no one is on their death bed wishing they had worked more

IMO, take the time to spend with your child and wife. Life is too **** short not to do this. Enjoy every minute with your family you can. This is coming from a guy who lost his father at 7 a grandfather (my idol) at 19! Work has come and gone for me 25+ years into this gig. I have worked at the same fortune 500 company for this entire time in a variety of roles.

just my $0.02
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
3,161
Location
FL
Perhaps my priorities are shifting, I’m getting older or both. I no longer feel that passion I used to have. I do my job and check out at the end of the day. My attitude shifted from “I have to get it done at any cost” to “it’s just a job - it can wait.” I honestly don’t feel like I care anymore about excelling in my job. I think part of that stems from putting in a lot of effort above and beyond and it never really paying off like I imagined it would. I feel too young to feel this way - I am a long ways away from retirement. .

What say those who have experience this? Any advice? Is this just a season of life and to be expected?

90% of American workers feel the way you do.

Once you have a career and not willing to kill yourself for your employer….. you get into the daily RUT and care about getting a paycheck to support your family and pay the bills.

I’ve been with the same employer for 36 years and understand how you are feeling. No job or career is perfect.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
417
OP, if you want to advance in career, you will need to figure out the factors that help in that goal. Working hard is usually not it. You may become indispensable and the employer will purposefully keep you in the position you are in.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
Messages
419
Location
Cow Hampshire
I used to work hard like too and got no where. Then I kept changing jobs with slight upward mobility do the job including coming back to a few of same places higher than peers. Just do your best at job and leave at end of day working well but not excess. If you want to move up change jobs leaving your door open at previous.

I work 35 hours per week and used to do 50hrs.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
21,406
Location
Silicon Valley
This is my believe: everything comes with a cost. Careers take a toll on health, relationship, family, etc if not managed carefully. When you are young you have less to lose and when you are old you have nothing to lose. At middle age with young family you may have different priorities, depending on where you are in life.

I would not want to be a man in a divorce because I choose career over family or spouse. In financial term you may end up losing everything in a divorce so why work so hard to end in one? Also kids only grow up once, you don't want to miss that as well over money.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
602
Location
South of Metro Atlanta
I’m 51. Grew up dirt poor. Been working in some capacity since I was 9.

It took me until I was about 45 to realize I was killing myself for someone else. Yes, at times, I was paid well for my level of experience and education.

But you’re never going to make what you’re worth until you step out on your own or do what you’ve done - leave it alone at the end of the day.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
43,661
Location
'Stralia
If you don't love what you are doing, you are doing the wrong thing, and need to re-assess.
Been in my industry since '89, started as a cadet engineer, as I could have been a lawyer or doctor, but really don't like liars (I predated house with all patients lie, and the past years have taught me that lawyers wouldn't have worked)...machines don't lie...(actually wanted to be a gunsmith).

Now mid '50s, I'm running the cloud factory.

Lost the family a few years ago (haven't heard my kid's voices for nearly 3 years now), lost 60% of 30 years, and retirment savings, Over a hundred k in child support over the last 3yrs. Got my Superannuation statement yesterday, and it was a bit harrowing....got to work another 10, rather than the 5 I though...

New marriage the other week, and about be be a Grandad on her side.

Life's great...I love it, I love my work, and looking forward to next ten years.

Was invited to speak to a community forum of elderly women, and one approached me afterwards, if she could get her Grandson to contact me...because she could see that if you pick right, 33 years later you'll still be excited.

If your life is "work pay bills and die" (and I was there, beleive me, espacially with the rubbish of the last 3 years)...make a change.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
3,161
Location
FL
Don’t forget the workplace has changed and now you have to watch ever word you say as to not to offend someone, crazy politics and silly rules / corporate buzz words being parroted by the boss, etc….

Many people feel like Fred Flintstone at the end of the day when he slides down the dinosaur tail, gets into his car, punches the time clock and heads home.

Sometimes you need to find another job if you feel like you’re at a dead end career wise. Working hard and being the most qualified doesn’t always guarantee a promotion.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
2,475
Location
USA
Got a question for the older folks here. I’m 35 years old. In my late teens and 20s, I was what I’d define as a slight workaholic. I wanted to climb the ladder and I took pride in my work ethic. I’ve always worked since 15. Sometime last year, I think I burned myself out.

I changed jobs to one that is less demanding for a better life balance now that I’m married with a child on the way (arriving here in a few weeks).

Perhaps my priorities are shifting, I’m getting older or both. I no longer feel that passion I used to have. I do my job and check out at the end of the day. My attitude shifted from “I have to get it done at any cost” to “it’s just a job - it can wait.” I honestly don’t feel like I care anymore about excelling in my job. I think part of that stems from putting in a lot of effort above and beyond and it never really paying off like I imagined it would. I feel too young to feel this way - I am a long ways away from retirement. .

What say those who have experience this? Any advice? Is this just a season of life and to be expected?
I'm dealing with this now. I turned 40 in August. I was burned out working maintenance for 14 months. I went through three managers and had enough. I was offered an assistant general manager job overseeing a dining room and 18 high school kids. The job so far isn't ANYTHING that was promised when I was hired. Granted I'm not on-call but the two "kids" revamping our liquor selection are barely old enough to drink, one just turned 21 the other is barely 23. I was able to get a job placement coach to help me with finding a new job. Something technical writing or aviation. I'd look at your local DVR (Division of vocational rehabilitation) for assistance. They have incredible connections to job placement advisors.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
2,475
Location
USA
Don’t forget the workplace has changed and now you have to watch ever word you say as to not to offend someone, crazy politics and silly rules / corporate buzz words being parroted by the boss, etc….

Many people feel like Fred Flintstone at the end of the day when he slides down the dinosaur tail, gets into his car, punches the time clock and heads home.

Sometimes you need to find another job if you feel like you’re at a dead end career wise. Working hard and being the most qualified doesn’t always guarantee a promotion.
I hear that. I had two students complain about me as I'm not "personable " enough.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
27,980
Location
Near the beach in Delaware
I think is normal to shift your focus to your family as you prepare to have a child.

I think you need to constantly re-access your career objective. Are you happy with the work you are doing? Does your employer value your contributions. Compensated fairly. Ability to advance.

And then in your 60s figure out when to retire.
 
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