I Enjoy My Job… But Not Working

I Enjoy My Job... But Not WorkingIt seems to be inevitable… any time I’m in a discussion with someone and they hear me utter that I plan to quit working at an early age, they ask “Why?  You don’t like your job?”

That’s a tricky question and one I sometimes struggle to answer to make people understand.  The gist of it is that…

I Enjoy My Job… But Not Working.

They’re actually two different things.

My job right now is managing the engineers at an IT company.  And I do enjoy the job that I do there.  I’ve been there since 1999, but I think over the past ten years in my current position, I’ve really been able to streamline it and make things run much more efficiently.  The challenge is still there with pairing up engineers with the right project and managing the day-to-day problems that always seem to come up.  While I’m there, I try to always ensure that I’m putting everything I have into it (of course we all have our off days though!).

Working in general though is a whole different story.  Having to work a set Monday through Friday 8-5 job at a company where I’m earning a small piece of things through a bi-weekly salary does not compute.  There are too many other things I want to do in life… and working tends to get in the way.

This isn’t to say that I want to stop working completely, but rather I want to do something that is more of a passion and for me – not working for someone else.  Right now, my game plan is to continue to this site and hopefully continue to build up my following and make a small amount of income on ads and affiliate links.  Other than that, we’ll have to see where fate takes me.

After quitting my job, I’ll have more time to knock out some of those little things in life that always seem to go to the back burner.  I’ll also be able to enjoy life, take some more vacations and cruises, and maybe even cross some line items off the ol’ bucket list.

As I said, I’ve always been someone who puts in all that I can with every job I’ve ever had… like a lot of people, it’s how I was raised and just what I do.  But I’ve had it with “working for the man.”  Although, my boss (the president of the company) has always taken care of me and given me the opportunity to be successful in what I do, I need to be thinking more about what would be more self-gratifying and it’s time for the day-in and day-out of making the donuts to go.

So when people ask me why I don’t enjoy my job, I’d love it if they could understand that I do enjoy my job, but I don’t enjoy working.

I know not everyone is in the same position – I know a lot of people who enjoy working and won’t stop until they’re forced to.  My brother is one of those people and so is one of my financial mentors.  Assuming you’re here because you’re chasing the dream, I’m guessing you’re not one of those people either.

So how do you escape the rat race and the need to go to work every day?  You need to find your way to financial freedom.  That could be through any number of avenues (or more preferably, a combination of more than one).  Here are some examples:

  • Savings – it’s tough to save up enough to live off of your earnings alone, but if you can live a modest lifestyle, it’s entirely possible.
  • Dividend stocks – this is one I was really inspired to start looking at by Dividend Mantra and I’ve been working on building up.
  • Real estate rentals or flipping – flipping makes me nervous, but a lot of people have done well with that.  Renting out property, however, makes me feel a little more at ease and can give you a lifetime of passive income if done correctly.
  • Starting a big business – if you can build up a business that eventually allows you to step out of it and allow others to run it, you’re likely going to be in excellent shape.
  • Royalties – things like book writing, inventions, and other creatives venues can provide passive income.  However, be aware that just because you pull off one of these doesn’t make you rich.  I’ve had a couple of books published that strongly exceeded my initial goals, but believe me, I’m not retiring off of it!

My path is to continue piling as much as I can into my 401(k), Roth IRA, savings, and rentals while paying down my properties.  Once my primary residence is paid off, I’ll be ready to pull the trigger and let my boss know that I’ve enjoyed my job there and appreciate everything he’s done for me, but I need to be done working.

How about you – do you enjoy both your job and working in general?  Or are you someone looking to do your own thing on a much lighter schedule?

Thanks for reading!!

— Jim

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8 thoughts on “I Enjoy My Job… But Not Working”

  1. I do like my job. In fact, I love my job. I don’t know if I will ever “quit.” My goal has always been FI, not early retirement. I just wish I would have this wake up call when I was much younger. Better late than never.

    1. Loving your job can make it so much easier to go to work every day. If my job was able to be a part-time job (it really can’t), then I probably would enjoy going to work more. I agree with you on the wake-up call – I actually just opened a post that I published before this one with “Most of us could probably say that if we knew then what we know now, we’d be in a much better place financially.” I believe that to be true for a lot of us. Good luck in all you do!

      — Jim

  2. Jim,

    I completely get this. I feel exactly the same. I just recently had this epiphany after a decade of the first part of my career. I absolutely enjoy the job, the people, etc. I don’t enjoy being somewhere every day and being location tied down and feel guilty if I’m ever gone. I want options, and the whole time I was reading this I was nodding my head! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for coming by, Kyle! Although that epiphany can be kind of depressing, it’s also pretty liberating to know that there’s a path out of it. Looking at your site, it looks like you’re already on track for financial independence… congrats to you guys!!

      — Jim

  3. I enjoy my job, I like accomplishing tasks and helping people, though I’m sure there are plenty of other ways I could do this if I didn’t need the salary, which is the ultimate goal.
    Thanks for writing a thought provoking post.

    1. Thanks, Miss Balance! That’s great that you enjoy your job (I starting to not enjoy mine as much lately!). It’s a good exercise to remove money from the picture and think about what you would do if you didn’t need the salary you’re currently receiving… I know I wouldn’t be working in IT anymore! 🙂

      — Jim

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