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Had enough, work is doing my nut in!

(17 Posts)
Drew64 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:25:05

Just that really!
I need to get this off my chest so sorry if it's a bit of a long post.

I'm 51 years old and have been doing the same kind of job for the last 15 years.
I'm paid an above average salary, have good benefits with the company I work for but my job bores me to tears!

I work as a Senior Production Planner for an electronics manufacturing company that supplies the MoD for mainly airborne applications.
The things we build are very complex, have 100's and 100's of parts and processes and it's my job to ensure that all those parts and processes are on schedule and on cost and if they are not I have to explain why.
I sit at a PC and press buttons!

I kind of fell into the job because I seemed to have a knack for it (as perceived by others) I guess I must be good enough because I'm getting paid well to do it.

I find it boring, I don't like the culture of the staff where I work, I disagree with the way some initiatives and processes are executed by the business.

Sundays have become a depressive day and I often feel teary on the way to work, especially on Mondays.

So, for the past few years I've been thinking of different things to do. I've been thinking of working for myself;

-Coffee Shop/Van
-Sandwich Bar
-High end burger van
-Property development

These are all things that I CAN do but it keeps occurring to me that they are not things I WANT to do.

What I really want to do is to set up as a sole trader to start with restoring classic cars. It's been a recurring thought (daydream) for years now.

My DW has recently given up being a SAHM and now has a temporary, part time admin job. Hopefully it will turn into something more permanent.
Because I earn a good salary It would be a hard transition for us financially not to mention being used to a regular wage coming in so we know where we are month to month.

Now, although it sounds like I'm blowing my own trumpet, I have always been the better housekeeper but we decided my wife would be a SAHM because I had a better chance at earning a good salary.
Recently I have had a few days off here and there while she has been working and she has said she wished I could have more time off as the house is tidy, chores done or on the go and a nice meal cooked for us all.

If I could combine a small business restoring classic cars and being the housekeeper it would be perfect as I thoroughly enjoy both.

So, what do I do? Where do I go from here?
All I know is that I am NOT sitting at this poxy PC for the next 20 years.

Sorry for the rant and if you have got this far thank you for taking the time to read my post.

addictedtosugar Thu 02-Jul-15 17:55:02

Slightly different, as I am the lower earner, but still above average. Work was OK, until we had a restructure. And then it went down hill. Fast.and resulted in ADs for me. So I've handed my notice in, and will be a SAHP for a bit, and then see what comes up. The loss of my income is partially offset by the savings in childcare ( will be holidays, before and after school from Sept).

Can you stick it out while DW secures a FT job? Would work let you reduce your hours permanently to allow you to start your business?

If your feeling the way your message sounds, getting out sounds like a good plan, but you may need to plot an exit rather than quit and leave stresses on the family.

arnieschwartzsnogger Thu 02-Jul-15 18:45:58

Sounds like you could do the job standing on your head so how about negotiating a four day week.

You can then dip your toe in the water of classic cars on Friday and Saturday. Maybe buy a car, do it up, sell it, lather, rinse, repeat...?

Then see how it goes. If you are successful, you know what you need to do.

kickassangel Thu 02-Jul-15 19:05:13

hmm, I have a BIL with a love of classic cars. It is really difficult to actually make a living wage from this. He is planning to do it for fun after he retires, but with no expectation of actually making any money, just covering costs.

Many people with classic cars want to do the work themselves, OR they simply can't afford to pay for good quality work. You also need a HUGE amount of specialist and very expensive equipment to set up. Then you need to get a reputation in the industry, then you will start to get customers and make some money. But even then, it will be a labour of love rather than a good profit.

However, my BIL has made a slow but steady income from buying up components, then packaging them and reselling them via ebay. so people can order all the bits needed to change an oil filter for a certain brand of car etc. Luckily, he has enough garage space to keep boxes (and boxes) of things like nuts & bolts in every size imaginable, so that he puts together all the parts for a kit then posts it. My sister, of course, gets to be the 'volunteer' who does the trips to the post office, so even that little business is only really making money as a hobby not a living wage.

If you have a specialist skill, such as welding/painting, that you're really good at, then you could contemplate this, but it is still expensive to set up, and takes years to build up a reputation via the classic cars owners' clubs.

So - either be extremely good at one specific thing. So good that people will drive their cars the length of the country to get your work. OR diversify a lot - provide car parts, kits, do any and every job imaginable, be able to fix every kind of car ever invented. Either way is still quite an uncertain income, I'm afraid.

Drew64 Fri 03-Jul-15 10:03:30

Thanks for you comments.

Yeah, work is depressing me and I feel an awful lot of stress to keep coming in here day after day week after week. Coming to a place I don't like and doing a job I hate doing.
I don't like to trouble my DW with this. She knows I am un happy, she knows I hate the job and want to get out but my depression stays firmly (as much as possible) at work.
TBH the culture here isn't helping either. Everybody looking after their own backs, covering their arses with scant regard to teamwork.
I have had at least two conversations with my management about this and whilst there is a lot of head nodding in agreement there is very little action.
There is nothing they can do! it's a big company that employs 1000's of staff here and many more globally.

I totally get what you are saying kickassangel I will never get rich restoring classic cars, I will never earn a good wage from it either. What price do I put on my sanity though?
Cars for restoration, no matter what condition are selling for silly money at the moment making profit from such cars hard to make.
Any profit made from such ventures is made when you buy a car. It's a case of picking the right car, with the right owner, at the right time.

I love the spare parts comments, it's something that was sitting in the back of my brain if I'm honest but hadn't come to the fore in my daydreaming moments.

There are plenty of other things I can be doing on the side too including a little bit of online trading.

Something does have to change, I really can't continue coming in here for the next 20 years. I've been depressed before, diagnosed and medicated (a few years ago) and I recognise the signs. what I'm doing right now is not healthy.

I'd be interested if anyone wanted to put me off my idea for restoring classic cars. I don't mind admitting that after decades of earning a regular salary going it alone with no firm income is scary.

MaybeDoctor Fri 03-Jul-15 10:58:53

I sympathise, as I too have been miserable at work at times. It certainly had an impact on my health.

Honestly, I think that what you need is a better or at least a different job.

If you try to step from what you are doing now to being self-employed in a field where people normally carry out the work themselves for free as a hobby, then you are staring financial ruin in the face.

You are better off quitting and applying for a job in a coffee shop, a job in a sandwich bar, a job as a labourer on a building site. As these will all offer some security of employment, but will give you an insight into what you might want to do. If you honestly don't want to work in a coffee shop for minimum wage, then don't think about buying a coffee shop. I have heard the coffee shop dream described as 'How to get a minimum wage job for £100k'.

Are there other jobs that will utilise your process/organisational skills?

Car servicing - I was in a high end car dealership a few weeks ago and it seemed that there were some quite good jobs in that line. Nice working environment, although a bit 'salesy'.

Estate agents - that is a process, but would also give an insight into your property developing idea. My local estate agents was advertising for a Saturday person today.

Working for the forces as a civilian?


TittyBojangles Fri 03-Jul-15 11:07:18

How about high end specialist mobile valeting? My parents have a classic car they love but they aren't the sort to be out there all day long polishing it, there must be other ppl like that? They spent ages looking for someone who knew about classic cars and paid, what I think was, a small fortune for a man in a van to come and clean it. It took him all day tho and looked great. Just adding ideas to the pot.

Drew64 Fri 03-Jul-15 12:23:37

One of my fantasies was to buy a small MOT garage and retain any staff.
I could then restore cars on the side.

Expensive to start though

MaybeDoctor Fri 03-Jul-15 17:07:20

But surely if you have a classic car taking up one of your slots for months on end, that would be a problem?

The valeting idea is a good one and would be rather satisfying...

BlossomTang Fri 03-Jul-15 17:39:48

Is there any possibility you could go part time or job share your current job. If your dw got more hours in her job could you manage financially. I found going part time great get the essentials of the job done, less time and opportunity to get involved in office politics and less depression. Use your days off to do the classic cars and see if you can make a realistic go of it.

happyh0tel Sat 04-Jul-15 13:10:13

I would suggest that you maybe look at your 15 year job in a different way
It may be boring but
Does it come with
job security
paid holidays ?
sick pay ?
pension contributions ?
life insurance ?
private healthcare ?
other benefits ?
Small commute ?
Because alot of other jobs do not come with these added extra benefits !
Sometimes you have to appreciate what you have already

Suggest why dont you ask your boss for an added little extra project or are there some training courses, something to inspire you

Does your work offer some time off work unpaid where you could take holiday, volunteer or work in one of the fields you think you would enjoy

I would suggest working part time or offer your services free/work placement first if you want to work in a sandwhich or burger van - it is not as glamourous as it sounds...


Go to work as normal, but start a hobby that you enjoy out of work or evening class or volunteer

Good luck

Effendi Sun 05-Jul-15 07:04:33

My job is boring as fuck too but well paid, nice colleagues, ok bosses as not bad perks.
I feel ungrateful for even thinking badly about it but my god it is soul destroying.

happyh0tel Sun 05-Jul-15 16:45:35

Every job has an element of boredom & some sort of issues

If you have a job that you enjoy, then you are lucky

However I know people who have been made redundant several times or who have zero contract jobs with zero benefits eg no holiday pay etc

The point I was trying to make, is that if you have a good job, that it is a good thing

The grass is not always greener

Sometimes it is better to stick with a good job & make the most of your out of work time

However everyone is different....

RandomMess Sun 05-Jul-15 16:49:55

I would certainly see if you could go part time first and that would give you time to research and look into setting something else up and a mental break from the culture without having a huge drop in salary etc,?

With an end in sight it may make it bearable enough to sit it out for as long as you need to set up an alternative venture that is viable.

Drew64 Mon 06-Jul-15 16:38:01

Thanks for all your words of wisdom, none of which are lost on me.

The benefits of my job are really good.
Paid holiday
Paid sick
Flexi time
Modern physical environment
Job security
Much better than average pay

I know I sound really ungrateful but I really don't know what to do for the rest of my working life. All I know id that it's not this, regardless of the benefits.
I do have to be very careful and sensible though. I won't just jump, I've a family to consider and I have to be as sure as I can be and demonstrate that I'm as sure as I can be before I do something else (if that makes sense)

I really do feel a huge amount of pressure to carry on coming in here week after week, it's bloody draining!

Skiptonlass Tue 07-Jul-15 21:18:18

I totally sympathise with being in a well paid job you hate!

However... Stepping off to try to make your hobby a living is a very risky thing to do. We do our hobbies because they're NOT work. Restoring classic cars is a prime example - most people do it themselves because they want to spend the time on it. The quickest way to end up hating a hobby is to do it for a living!

You also have your family to consider. Roughly twice a week I entertain dreams of quitting my job to raise alpaca but then reality hits - I've got a baby on the way...

So look, assuming you need out of this job. That's fine, but don't do anything rash or financially ruinous. The perks and benefits you have are a huge deal. What you need to do is retain as much of that as you can whilst moving to something that doesn't make you despair.

I'd do the following:

Think of it as a mid term strategy. You've identified the goal - a more fulfilling job. Now you've got say a year to work towards it. Network. Create a LinkedIn profile. Talk to people. Talk to recruiters in your field. Look at your company internal job website. Talk to colleagues who've moved on.
What are you good at? You've been at the same company a while and you're good at your job. So you're meticulous, good at juggling a million things at once to deliver complex projects? Great... That sounds like you'd be a good project manager. That's a very transferable skill. Any other departments in your company that need project managers? Call up or accost a few folks in various departments. Talk to them about their jobs - anything you fancy? Internal transfer time!
If that doesn't appeal, take a look at other companies that do similar stuff. Or companies that do different stuff but the same skill set. Reach out to old colleagues who are with different companies...etc etc.

There are lots of ways to move careers - I've done it myself (academic medical research to fully fledged corporate project manager..) you don't have to make such a drastic and potentially ruinous move - that's your unhappiness talking to you. Take it as a sign you need to make plans to leave, but don't follow it all the way to penury smile

Littlef00t Wed 08-Jul-15 18:45:11

What's your pension like? Could you take partial early retirement? My company does gradual retirement so you can reduce your hours by 20% giving you time to pursue other things.

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