Love work, not your job

41 thoughts on “Love work, not your job”

  1. That’s so true. Growing up, my parents were self employed,and work was not always available. They enjoyed it when it was, but it was a fragile thing to have.

    Now, my husband works in the corporate world. It’s a big company, and in the 6 years he’s worked there, he’s had 4 different jobs. Of those, only 2 have had work he enjoyed and a good boss and environment.

    I think that’s an excellent saying, Love work, not the job. It definitely explains the truth behind how to have a better attitude when you go to work and deal with all the politics daily.

    PS. Love the 3 year old comparison. As a mom of 3, I can attest to the accuracy! 🙂

    1. Ha! Thanks Ember. Yup, definitely sounds like your hubby has experienced the same sort of thing that I have. So much of work satisfaction comes down to your immediate supervisor.

  2. Hi Steve,

    Nowadays, companies are not loyal at all, especially the public ones or those trying to go public.

    Like you said, it’s best to love your work, not your job, and be loyal to yourself only.

  3. I enjoy a lot of those perks you talk about above (flexibility, snacks, company sponsored events) hell, there is beer in the break room at least once awake around 330.

    If they took the flexibility away my resume would be updated same day – I wouldn’t be able to work on a strict schedule after having 4.5 years of do whatever I want as
    Long as the work gets done.

    Knowing the switch from person to number could happen at anytime – and it happens to solid employees – should keep everyone on their toes

  4. Agreed, and having abundant optimism is great (up to a point)! I’m fortunate to work at a stable company (macro level), enjoyable job (micro level), where management style falls somewhere in the variable category of dependability and likability. Realizing management can change on a dime, having a significant savings rate enables me the opportunity to make changes as needed. Fortunately, I haven’t had to come to the decision yet of maximizing happiness vs. maximizing income. Also, working in a niche position does limit my mobility, unless I’m willing to pick up and move geographies and away from immediate family. Yet another maximizing happiness vs. income potential decision!

  5. I really liked my job when I started working, but it didn’t last. The corporate structure just treats employees like replaceable cogs. Everyone should know that. Work is a lot more enjoyable with the right people around you. Once I learn that, I looked for good managers instead of a specific job. Anyway, self employment is the way to go if you can swing it. Working for other people sucks.

    1. Totally, Joe – the bigger the company, the more likely they are to just treat you like cogs. And to some degree, that’s gotta happen – otherwise, you’d just have way too much overhead. It’s an interesting dilemma. That just goes to show that becoming FI as soon as possible is a smart position to take.

  6. Even though I love both my work and my job agree with your sentiment. I write alot about being Fi soon but retiring later. The reason for that goes back to your statement here. Things change. There’s no telling whether my situation with work or my job will change over time. As such it’s best to have options.

  7. In today’s culture it seems like it’s more! more! more! over quality. I’m experiencing it now. I think people who run companies know and don’t seem to mind that it burns people out. They know there is an eager millennial who is waiting in the wings to take the job. I wonder what would happen if they thought more quality instead of people as just numbers??

    1. Oh, yup! Always more. Faster. Time is money. Even if the product is of inferior quality, as long as it ships as good enough, it’s okay. Defense work is VERY guilty of that crap.

  8. I used to enjoy my job, but I’ve definitely lost that loving feeling! Just like you said though – it’s a means to an end. For me, I’m just sticking it out for another couple of years until I reach FI.

    At that point, Adios!

    It doesn’t mean I’ll stop working, it just means I’ll be doing and trying some things that I want to do for the excitement and fun of it instead of for the money.

    — Jim

    1. Beautifully said, Jim. I completely know what you mean about sticking it out until you are FI. Then, you’re gone. Gone so fast you leave a cloud of dust in your wake! 😉

  9. Can I love my time off instead of my job or work…

    I do understand what you are saying though. I love helping people. Talking to them. Alleviating anxiety. You know, common doctor things. So I do love my work when I can do it for a few hours a day.

    What I don’t love is my job. Schedules. Metrics. Meetings. Those things to not excite me, but alas are part of the job I need to do my work currently. In the future, when I hit FI, then I may focus on volunteering which would allow me to do my work without the job.

    1. You hit on the difference pretty well. Jobs require a lot of stuff you don’t really want to do, or enjoy doing. Work is mostly the stuff you want to do.

    2. I am totally with you, Dads. I loved my WORK, but definitely not my job. The bureaucracy. The performance reviews. All that crap that goes along with a job. Ugh…

  10. Great article. I have worked in corporate America for almost 22 years. Surprisingly I have been in the same building the entire time. My job titles have changed as many times as the company name has. There have been so many rounds of layoffs that it is a miracle that I am still here. Earlier this year I answered an email from a recruiter from a company that is literally across the street from my work. I went through the interview process and was offered the position which was a near perfect match to what I do now. After a painstaking decision, I turned down the offer. The bump was just not enough to justify “starting over”. Also, the company was purchased by an investment firm 3 months later which probably changed the entire structure over there. Four more years and I am getting out of the rat race…

    1. Wow! Yup, I can understand the “starting over” concern. And, it turns out that you probably made the right decision. Congrats on avoiding that potential horror! 🙂

  11. I just made 30 years in my company. I used to enjoy my job when I had supportive managers. The last 5 years has been a grind with 5 unsupportive managers. I have been and still doing 24×7 support for online software and infrastructure for the last 28 years. I am just mentally and physically exhausted supporting changes after hours and on weekends.

    At this point, I just hate my work and my job. In the last 5 years, at least 850 out of 1300 people were laid off in our IT dept. Many were replaced by Indian workers from TATA. Work was tolerable when I had other team members to share the work load and stress. In 2016, half of our team was laid off and I now support my systems by myself. I no longer have a backup which leads to stress and anxiety. I dread whenever I get an email or when my phone rings because it can be a production problem.

    My wife and I worked in the same company. She was laid off after 30 YOS in 2016. She received a severance, pension and 8K for medical yearly at age 51. She is so freaking happy to never ever work again!

    I have 23 months to go until I reach 55 in order to double my pension to 70K and to get 8K for retiree company medical for life. If I leave before 55 then I get nothing for medical. This is my golden handcuffs. I know that I can walk now be be financially OK but that is a lot of money to leave on the table. Wife and I agree that I should endure to reach 55 to be more financially secure and to get money for company retiree medical is another incentive.

    I should not complain since I am very fortunate to able work from home. I just need to find a way to get out of my funk. I started my hobbies again and it helps a bit. So thanks for the free therapy and letting me rant! 🙂


    1. I feel your pain regarding the golden handcuffs, Adam. For me, it was pure salary. I made a damn good salary for what I did for a living. While I didn’t really enjoy the job, it was so tough to leave. So darn tough.

  12. Honestly, I have never, EVER loved my job. The weird part is that I generally like the work that I do, just not the people or environment I do it for. I guess that’s a little weird, but at least it’s good that I like what I do, eh?

    1. I can relate to this. I have never liked the office and I never made coworkers my friends – even though they were friendly people. I prefer to keep my work life separate from my personal life.

    2. Not weird at all, at least in my experience. I’m right there with ya. Enjoyed the work, but never really all that enamored with the job part of it.

  13. “Your job enables your work.” I love that. I’ve struggled for years in finding purposeful work in a job. I think millennials are caught up by the idea that we have to be doing incredibly meaningful and fulfilling work that helps the planet. I really have begun to realize that I am not my job, and I absolutely don’t have to derive my self-worth or life purpose from it.

    I have a job right now that I initially loved and lately it’s been sucking real bad. Eventually, I suppose, work is work. This is all quite an epiphany for me. I’m glad you never loved your job now I don’t feel like the only one.

    1. Thanks Elsie! That’s the right attitude, I think…”work is work”. Do it to make a living. Make as much money as you can to at least achieve financial independence. Then, do whatever it is that you truly enjoy for the remaining years of your productive life.

  14. Well said, Steve. I had THAT job for 13 years – the meetings, the conference calls, the 1-5 performance ratings, the layers of approvals. Now I have the other kind of job – a privately held company that treats us like people. It’s way better here. I’ll never go back.

    Working is good for the soul.

  15. The “jobs change” point is one that I make to a lot of friends. The most common pushback when I talk about FI is “Oh, but I like my job.” I do too. But a lot of what I like about my job is tied into my supervisor and my coworkers and my current life situation. All of those things can and certainly will change over time. Maybe for the better. Maybe for the worse. But I want to be prepared for the worst.

  16. I see where you are going with this and mostly agree. I’m a lawyer and tell young lawyers all the time that the work is the work. Litigation is litigation and a transaction is a transaction. You can’t change the nature of what we do. The one thing you can control is where you practice and who you practice with. That can make the difference between a happy lawyer and a miserable one. Control the things you can control absolutely, and let the rest of it go. The Stoics had that one right.

  17. Steve

    Really liked your story about how the company got sold and immediately things changed. No one ever thinks it’ll happen to their company until it does. The company I work for got bought a few years ago, and the exact same thing happened. No more fun, no more “overhead”. Luckily, I’m in an overseas role at the moment where I have a great manager who separates us from the corporate politics. But still, you need to be prepared for anything.

    Some great thoughts churning after this one.


  18. Hit the nail on the head on this one. I’m not working at a job I love, but it lets me do work I really do enjoy (when it’s there, haha). I can find this type of work at other companies though which is definitely a good thing because my 26.2 mile commute is starting to wear me down after only a few weeks! 🙂

  19. This is so me “- some days your job is literally the best thing in the world, and the very next day it seriously tests your patience. WTF, you were doing so well!” I have to talk myself of the ledge a couple times a week!

  20. Oh, yeah – totally agree with this! No matter who you are, no matter what you have done for the company, no matter how many awards you receive at work, you are always expendable – your job security is never entirely up to you. In my case, I’ve had a management change at my previous employer that made things go south – went from being a recognized superstar to a cog with a salary much higher than those new kids coming out of college. Of course there’s a reason why my salary is higher – since I can and regularly do a lot more – but many managers nowadays are only focused on the short-term bottom line. All the more reason to pursue FIRE.

    Hope you enjoy Dallas this week! I travel to Dallas frequently for work (not quite FIRE yet – so close though!), including this week. Looks like you are going to luck out with the weather, nice and sunny and relatively mild. This is the first week I’ve been down here and actually needed a sweater in the morning –
    this place gives a whole new meaning to the word HOT for my taste!

  21. Hey I like that line, ‘Love your work and not your job.’ That is certainly true, if you love your work you can go to any company or start your own with the skills that you have and love. At any job you can be expendable at anytime. You can work in one place for 5,10,20 years but once upper mgmt. finds out your job title and/or skills does not fit their company outlook you will get canned. Their’s no loyalty and that’s how businesses are ran.

  22. Agree totally. I retired early 6 months ago. I couldn’t take the nonsense any more. Performance appraisals were becoming ridiculous in the ways they were tabulated. No clear thinking person could possibly have thought the performance appraisal process was anything more than a bunch of gobblety-gook. There was absolutely no way to make the appraisal process fair among all employees and departments, everyone knew it, yet they forced us to do them anyway. Corporate and department goals were based on comparative data which was rooted in extremely poor science such as, “The average man wears a size 10 shoe. Therefore, there is something wrong with your performance if you don’t wear a size 10 shoe.” Of course, if comparing 10 competitors, 5 may have worn size 12 shoes and 5 may have worn size 8’s. No one was actually wearing size 10’s even though this was the average.

    In any case, my wife and I are working towards doing the RV thing full time. We’re tired of house upkeep, taxes, the expense of repairs, etc. We want to enjoy life with whatever time we have left on this earth

  23. Just have to get over the BIG hump of getting the house ready to sell (a few repairs and a bit of updating needed), get it sold and selling a lifetime of accumulated stuff. We’re sure ready, tho’. Until then, we’ll live vicariously through you guys! Thanks for what you do!

Leave a Reply