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To just want a job rather than a career?

(58 Posts)
dancingqueen345 Mon 27-Feb-17 13:33:55

I've always been career minded with huge expectations for myself, but on a dreary Monday with incompetent team members and stressful projects to work on I can't help but wonder if maybe actually I'd be happier with a 'job' that was 9-5, process driven and a little simpler.

Is there anyone out there who's left a career for a job? Were you happier?

troodiedoo Mon 27-Feb-17 13:38:10

I neither love nor hate my job, it's just something I do every day out of habit. I'm very good at it but have no interest in promotion or career progression. It's interesting enough for people to ask lots of questions about it when I tell them. Which for some reason we seem to be a bit obsessed with in this country.

GrayJane Mon 27-Feb-17 14:07:42

YANBU. On paper I have a great career and get paid very well for it. But I'm wondering whether it's truly worth all the stress, politics, backstabbing, mobbing, lack of positive feedback or thanks, relentless execution etc. I work with some fab people, but very sensitive to my environment. I think I was happier working in a pub. I'm looking for my escape. I've started to feel like I've wasted my life rather than achieved something wonderful like a great career is supposed to be.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Mon 27-Feb-17 14:12:14

I have and don't have huge regrets but I do miss the money. My sanity comes first though. I was ill with stress and something had to give.

MsGameandWatch Mon 27-Feb-17 14:13:02

I've worked as support to a few of the professions. Have been a legal secretary, a medical secretary, admin support for a team of accountants, worked as admin support within a school. That has been enough to put me off ever pursuing loftier goals, they all seemed massively stressed out and weighed down. When things went wrong, the buck stopped there. In all my jobs I have ended up thinking thank god it's not all on me like it is them. I'm part way through a degree but it's because I want to be educated rather than have a career and I think that's fine. Your validation can come from elsewhere in my opinion - your family, your hobbies, pets, sports you might do. I think it's really depressing that so much worth is attached to "career" there's so much more to life.

Happyandhungry Mon 27-Feb-17 14:13:02

I've done both jobs and careers. Unfortunately if you're someone who is career minded you'd find it pretty much impossible to switch off and just do a "job" you get frustrated and end up wanting to change things etc, annoyed at self important managers who haven't necessarily got a patch on your skills. So you end up back in a career. Grass is not always greener on the other side.

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 27-Feb-17 14:15:10

I used to be a teacher. Left teaching for a very ordinary admin job, and the relief at not having to worry about work/ plan etc during my 'free' time was immense. My evenings and weekends were my own again. Haven't had what I'd call a career for 10 years now, due to raising kids, though I do music tuition from home in the evenings. When youngest starts school, I'd like to get a daytime job, but I want something that I can switch off from at 5 and not think about until I get into work the next day. So in my case, I was much much happier. Would rather live in a smaller house but have a better work-life balance than slog my guts out in a career which makes me anxious to pay the mortgage.

newuser321 Mon 27-Feb-17 14:27:46

YANBU in my view. I haven't left a career but never chose to pursue one - very academic at school, high grades etc but knew from a young age that I just wanted a 'job' not a career. With a roof over my head, food to eat and enough left over to support a few hobbies etc I am happy with my lot - it's other people that seem to have a problem with it! More people than you would think have difficultly accepting someone can be happy with with what they've got and have no desire to relentlessly pursue 'more'.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Mon 27-Feb-17 14:34:07

Absolutely right about other people having a problem in my case too. My mum is always hinting that my job is beneath mehmm It makes it hard to talk about work or money with her.

likewhatevs Mon 27-Feb-17 14:42:37

I have a job. I have no desire for a career. In my first, graduate job, we were all pushed towards being management and I never understood why. Not everyone is cut out nor wants to be management. I'm a worker. I want to be given my tasks to do and leave. When I did end up in a managerial role I hated it, despised being 'bothered' all the time, didn't like delegating, hated appraisals and suchlike. I don't earn as much as I would have done if I'd continued to push my 'career' but I don't much care. I have an easy, flexible job with a reliable salary. That does me.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 27-Feb-17 14:45:49

Depends if the job is still rewarding in some way. Personally I would be unhappy in a boring job where my mind isn't occupied and the time passes slowly. I'd feel I was wasting my life especially if working full time - soul destroying.

cinnamongirl1976 Mon 27-Feb-17 14:48:30

My friend's sister is 40, bright and works in a post room for a government department. She works 7-3, and her job is quite mindless. She has no ambition (and I don't mean that as a criticism - she thinks other things are more important). She is one of the happiest people I know!

RebelandaStunner Mon 27-Feb-17 15:02:51

I've always had a career until this job. It's easy, part time and fits in so well with all the other stuff that I do. Plus I do enjoy the actual work and am early retiring in less than 5 years which makes it even more bearable. The money is fine, good holidays and I get a pension too.
It isn't enough for me on it's own but we have a small business too which I manage 90% on my own so over all it works.

marriednotdead Mon 27-Feb-17 15:14:16

YANBU at all.

Despite being quite bright, I didn't do any further/higher education and have always straightforward jobs rather than carve out a career. Biggest anti for me was people management, the thought of having to appraise someone else's work brings me out in a cold sweat.
I accidentally found work that I love and am good at- I was offered it by chance and although I am with another employer now, I still do the same thing. It just about covers my bills but it makes me- and the people I encounter- very happy smile

Job satisfaction and work life balance is underrated!

dancingqueen345 Mon 27-Feb-17 15:40:18

Well thank you all!

I'm on the app so difficult to respond individually but so many points I agree on.

Must admit that until recently I've probably been guilty of judging people who I didn't perceive to be as ambitious as me, but turns out they may have understood the key to fulfilment and happiness a bit earlier than I have!

I do worry about the point someone made about not being challenged and getting bored, but surely there's jobs out there that can still be mentally stimulating without being mentally draining?!

NapQueen Mon 27-Feb-17 15:46:30

Im changing jobs and industries next week to a job where I no longer need to train anyone/hire and fire/worry about sickness/covering shifts/doing performance reviews.

I cant wait! People management is the worst part of my job. Im looking forward to going in, doing my list of tasks and coming home again.

IndigoSister Mon 27-Feb-17 16:12:12

I had a career that I really loved and then I had kids, one of whom is disabled and ran myself into the ground trying to do everything. I now have a part time job, stress is less, it's flexible, I can always be there for my kids but I feel a bit like I've wasted my brain. Every now and again I look at job adverts for my previous career and get a bit wistful but know that it would be impossible to do.

FortunaMajor Mon 27-Feb-17 16:44:57

I did this 12 months ago. I'm on a tiny fraction of my previous salary, but only working part time, rather than working all hours, taking my work home and never switching off. I'm fortunate to be in a position to afford to do this.

I love the job I am doing and the people I work with and there is certainly a small internal smile when the proverbial hits the fan and it is not my problem. I love going to work knowing when I will go home. I love having more time with my family and for myself. I do not miss being on call 24 hours a day.

However, I have found if you have any competence, diligence etc then it is hard to keep this hidden. I came to my job via an agency so the employer knew nothing about my background (similar industry), now they have discovered the skills and experience I have and are starting to want to use that, but without paying for it as such.

I used to find having an incompetent team and stressful projects a frustration, but now I am struggling with watching a less competent and experienced manager than I was fuck things up. So the grass is not necessarily always greener.

I'm glad I left what I did, I am glad I tried something else, but I am now wondering whether to find something else to step up into. I may as well get paid properly for my skill set. To give you an idea, my scenario would be like if Richard Branson decided to work in the ticket desk of your local train station. It's been fun while it lasted, but I need to find a middle ground. It's hard to watch someone destroy your train set without being able to fix it.

Dont forget that it can also be hard to go back if you decide it is not for you. As a minimum wage slave you could end up devaluing yourself in the market, or making your skills irrelevant if things move quickly in your industry.

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 27-Feb-17 16:50:11

YANBU - I have a career (full time) although not management.

I do enjoy what I do but it's stressful and impinges on my evenings and weekends sad I sometimes long to have an 'ordinary' job which took up less time/was less stressful.

Gottagetmoving Mon 27-Feb-17 16:59:12

I have never been ambitious and found that whenever I took a job I was often told I should have more ambition because I could have a good career if I went for promotions or went on courses for management.

I felt I was under pressure to follow a path I didn't want even though I had initially applied for a role that suited me!
To me, family and free time are important and I can't split my commitment between that and a career.

Loopytiles Mon 27-Feb-17 17:02:47

Low paid jobs can have poor terms and conditions (eg variable hours) and be really stressful. I found catering and retail customer service jobs far more stressful, physically and psychologically, than "graduate" jobs.

SanitysSake Mon 27-Feb-17 17:14:02

I'm place marking this, I'm incredibly interested in peoples response.

I'm in a similar boat. International level work to career break to 'what next?'

Easy to feel lost...

and I've oft envied the woman on the checkout who appears unquestioning and happy with her lot. I desperately want this level of perceived satisfaction.

FortunaMajor Mon 27-Feb-17 17:18:44

and I've oft envied the woman on the checkout who appears unquestioning and happy with her lot. I desperately want this level of perceived satisfaction.

Only after a fortnight you'd be mentally running the place and seeing the flaws. It's hard to switch it off.

However the benefits outside of work cannot be measured. Having a good work/life balance is amazing.

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Feb-17 17:29:22

i know lots of people who've gone back to a lesser role, so from SW to Support Work etc.

They've done it for a better Work/Life balance.

I've had to retire from SW through illhealth. I could go back in the future, but it's great to be out.

I've known people who've quit Manager and Nursing roles.

Just because your in a Career doesn't mean that you can change anything. You've got Work level Stress on top and the money doesn't make up for it.

One of my happiest times was working between a retail and restaurant position. Had a laugh in both, but my Childcare needs got on the way.

I've set myself an amount I need to earn and I can do that by getting a job and then switching off at home time.

Nquartz Mon 27-Feb-17 17:33:30

I kind of have a career but I've deliberately stopped at a point where I don't have too much responsibility or have to do any people management because it just isn't a priority or worth the extra stress (for not much more money).
I think I'd be bored in a 'job' but my current role is a happy medium.

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