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Old 08-19-2015, 10:41 PM   #41
flylock shox
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Originally Posted by Johnny199r View Post
I'm a lawyer and don't really like it anymore. I used to, but now I'm a bit jaded by the fact that there's so many #######s in it and so much B.S. I've certainly lost any passion I had for it.

I'm actually jealous of my pal who works as a heavy duty equipment mechanic. Gets to be outside, B.S around with the boys, not always having to worrying about stupid complaints. I'm seriously considering going into the field (I'm in my early 30s with no kids, no debts and some money saved up)

How about everyone else?
You know, I look back on my own legal career and, for the most part, can honestly say I haven't enjoyed it tremendously.

That said, there have been parts of it that were really good. If I focus on those and try to identify some common elements, the things that made me happy were:

feeling what I was doing was important

working with other people who supported me and who I respected

finding the practice interesting rather than the theory

feeling challenged (but not overwhelmed) and that I was growing.

The parts that have been unhappy have been those where I have been isolated and working on my own, not challenged (or, conversely, overwhelmed), feeling like I was stagnating and ultimately not bringing my best to the job.

All that to say, I think you'll find there's room in the profession for you to be happy in it, but you have to identify the things that make you happy in your work and then try to find an area that provides them. It's clearly no longer the area you're in.

One of the biggest challenges for lawyers (and here's a first world problem if ever there was one) is that it's often hard to trade money for lifestyle or interesting work. It always feels like a downgrade when you take a big pay cut, and so people stick with work they hate because they can't imagine making $75K a year instead of $160 or whatever.

But if you're thinking of ditching your career entirely, why not try a stepping stone like that? You have nothing to lose.

I wish you the best as you work through your decision. There are many, many lawyers in the same boat.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:04 PM   #42
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Hate my job but I am trapped by family/responsibility/mortgage. I used to like it a lot, been doing it for over a decade but now I am burnt out and I want a change unfortunately I'm not in a position to go back to school (see family/responsibility/mortgage). The same position with another company would net me 75% of what I make now, just not enough as I'm leveraged to the tits. The company I am with is basically falling apart at the seams before my eyes due to totally inept upper management and I'm on the front lines getting raked over the coals, answering for #### I have no control over.

Every day for the last two years has been worse than the last. I feel like the guy off office space, only more stressed and with much more to lose. It's driving me to alcohol in a bad way too, especially over the last two years. Used to drink maybe once a month, now I'm soused 2-4 times a week. I've also put on about 40 lbs in 2 years and lost most of my hair. My wedding picture I literally looked like a young Bruce Wayne, I am not kidding... now i'm like a fatter, balder Mr. Incredible

So, no, I am not happy with my career. At all. Life and career do tend to blend, so maybe it's both, it's getting increasingly hard to tell.

That felt great to type out and yes, I am drunk right now.
It sounds to me like you really need to stop, back away, and make some big decisions. You're swimming out to sea with no destination in mind, thinking "if only I can make it another day" and all the while only getting farther from shore and into more danger. You can always swim for one more day - until you can't...

If things are as bad as you describe and you're sliding towards alcohol dependency, you're not doing your family any favours: nobody wants a martyr for a husband/father. Without your health you've got nothing, and there's no doubt your feelings and stress are impacting your family and other relationships on a daily basis.

At the risk of overstepping the bounds of appropriate anonymous internet-forum advice, I'm going to suggest you try a couple of counselling sessions (of the psychological and/or career kind) before you hit what appears to be a nearing crisis. It's not much help getting guidance once the crisis hits (either you have a physical or mental breakdown or the company you work for goes bust and you're out of work despite all your perseverance over the past couple of years). In my work I see a lot of tough, independent, responsible guys who struggle mightily and independently for years until, eventually, they just can't anymore. And at that point, it's not a quick fix - it's more like watching the first domino fall.

Since you've already identified a problem, best to get out in front of it before it becomes fully realized. You may find an outside perspective valuable when it comes to building a plan to avert trouble. Whatever you do, it sounds like you know you're on a train to nowhere. Find a way to get off it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:06 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Fire of the Phoenix View Post
Hate my job but I am trapped by family/responsibility/mortgage. I used to like it a lot, been doing it for over a decade but now I am burnt out and I want a change unfortunately I'm not in a position to go back to school (see family/responsibility/mortgage). The same position with another company would net me 75% of what I make now, just not enough as I'm leveraged to the tits. The company I am with is basically falling apart at the seams before my eyes due to totally inept upper management and I'm on the front lines getting raked over the coals, answering for #### I have no control over.

Every day for the last two years has been worse than the last. I feel like the guy off office space, only more stressed and with much more to lose. It's driving me to alcohol in a bad way too, especially over the last two years. Used to drink maybe once a month, now I'm soused 2-4 times a week. I've also put on about 40 lbs in 2 years and lost most of my hair. My wedding picture I literally looked like a young Bruce Wayne, I am not kidding... now i'm like a fatter, balder Mr. Incredible

So, no, I am not happy with my career. At all. Life and career do tend to blend, so maybe it's both, it's getting increasingly hard to tell.

That felt great to type out and yes, I am drunk right now.
Sounds like you really need a change. There are always other options. As others have mentioned you could consider changing jobs/roles within the same company or seeing if there is a demand for your skills/talents in other organizations. Be open minded. The path you are on does not seem healthy or sustainable. A pay cut may be hard to swallow but you can always sell some of those "things" that are keeping you in debt.

Hope this helps, and I'm in no way judging you as I am no stranger to some of the problems you mention.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:10 PM   #44
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I put myself through University teaching outdoor education. I did white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, ski touring, expeditions and certified instructors. I often ended up managing the organization providing the programs. At my peak, I was a part-time sessional at the U of C. I loved being outside, I loved the weather, I loved meeting people but after 12 years, sleeping on a rock was starting to lose its allure. I felt I needed something for the future.


I chased after my commercial pilot license. I didn’t want jets. I wanted to see the ground. I really liked the thought of teaching people to fly (it’s also experiential education like outdoor ed). My timing sucked as all the pilot jobs disappeared. I couldn’t easily leave obligations in Calgary to start-out at some remote airport for a handful of flying hours a week(My friends who had a spouse to support them were the only ones able to toughen out those low-paying entry jobs).


With a substantial student loan completely spent on flying, I found a blue-collar job driving paratransit. I loved meeting the people, I loved the pay, I loved the challenge of finding new neighborhoods (I tried a stint in the office as a relief scheduler – big mistake). After several years, I found my tolerance to idiot drivers was slipping away. I was going to road rage someone. I needed a change. Student loan repaid and a little saved, I tried to go back to flying.


Now I’m in an upturn in the flying industry. The airlines are stopping them up. I need an instructor with a specific rating to renew my flight instructor certification. I’m fixing restaurant dishwashers part-time (it had flexible hours. A friend of a friend approaches me for a nonprofit in the rural region. They do a rural paratransit/community bus and would like to replace their executive director. I turn them down because I want to fly.


A month later they called back. Their Executive Director has now walked out. I again say “no” because I can start my instructor rating renewal in four months. They ask if I could help out for three months… part-time… just while they find someone else. I accept.


I took that “part-time job” 15 years ago (I haven’t flown in 10 years). These days, I’m feeling the strain but the puzzle still fascinates me. It’s been a ton of work, lousy pay high stress but it’s been interesting. Really interesting. The Board of Directors gave me an objective and a clean slate to achieve it. I spent 15 years tackling the puzzle. The organization is now three times larger. We got industry award for leadership last year. I never would have gotten a similar opportunity to build something from almost nothing. I still feel the challenge to figure out the puzzle. Two more years and this organization could be considered “stable.” Maybe then I can try something different. In the meantime I want to see this through.


I recently saw a cartoon depicting Charlie Brown and Snoopy sitting together on a dock -- looking out on the lake. The caption says “my life has not turned out the way I planned... but I’m okay with that”

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Old 08-19-2015, 11:14 PM   #45
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So what do you do when you are 47, haven't really found a job you like or love for that matter and haven't really trained for anything other than some basic schooling?

That's where I'm at right now. Sucks to be this lost and not know where to go from here. My wife is right alongside me being a year older.

Now what?
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:18 PM   #46
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Earlier this year I made a complete career/lifestyle change. Previously I was a Business Analyst, making great money Mon-Fri. But the thought of sitting in front of a computer, going to meetings, and working for someone else just wasn't what I wanted to do for the next 30 years.

I've wanted to reconnect with where our food comes from, and live the ranch life. So I up and quit my job, packed up my things, and started interning with an Albertan family that has an established ranch. I've been here now for 4 months, and loving it! Yeah the days can be long, but its rewarding every minute. I get to be outside, work with animals, exercise, and eat food that you helped raise/grow.

I've wanted to do this for almost 3 years now, and always kept pushing it off because I had a comfy job, good friends/family. I just wish I didn't wait as long as I did. Sometimes you just need to listen to your heart, and take a leap of faith.
You're my hero right now. I've gotta ask though... married? kids? etc.

I left university with essentially a useless degree and no idea of what I wanted to do. A decade of random jobs, and now I'm sitting at a desk all day in the insurance industry. Great benefits, nice work/life balance, decent pay, but not exactly something I enjoy doing. I probably will end up on the Business Analyst side in a couple years, or at least that's where I'm kind of planning to be. Having family/responsibility/debt unfortunately means I can't just up and leave.

I look back all the time and wish I'd chosen a better education path, but at 17, who the hell knows what you really want to do for the rest of your life. In my 30s now, there are things I'd love to be doing right now for work, but the aforementioned responsibilities and lack of education prohibit that. I'd love to be an archaeologist. It intrigued me as a child, and I'm fascinated by it now, but in those dumb teenage years, I had no interest, and so dropped Science completely as a subject. Or I'd like to have been a park ranger. Or work on a ranch or a farm. Or really anything that would allow me to work outdoors in nature. Instead, I'll likely be stuck in an office until retirement.

That seems like a depressing post, but it's more of a "oh well, it is what it is" kind of post. My company does allow telework, and so my eventual goal is to buy an acreage and turn it into my own little wild haven, spend half the week there and half the week in the office.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:27 PM   #47
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One of the biggest challenges for lawyers (and here's a first world problem if ever there was one) is that it's often hard to trade money for lifestyle or interesting work. It always feels like a downgrade when you take a big pay cut, and so people stick with work they hate because they can't imagine making $75K a year instead of $160 or whatever.
The funny thing is a lot of us are probably talking about careers we dislike with a salary already closer to that lower figure, and the risk is taking on a new career that pays even less than that. I guess I am still fairly young though and can only go up.

My brother has the opinion that he doesn't care how much he hates his job as long as he is paid well to do it- I am not sure about that philosophy and think it might not be a sustainable way of life.

My wife recently left a miserable job she hated, after being there many years, to go to a start up company (purely for job satisfaction reasons, and future potential I guess) that is paying her about 65% of her previous salary. She had been depressed in the previous company for a while and really wanted out. Well, she absolutely loves her new company and is a happier person, but it definitely is a financial adjustment. I would really have a hard time doing that regardless of how miserable I was, but then again, she just disliked her job, not career. I think I dislike both.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:30 PM   #48
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I am a Civil Engineer. I struggled in the first 5 years of my career and bounced around a bit (4 jobs with 3 different employees) before I found my niche. For the past 10 years I have had my "dream job", which was managing large construction projects in a field that I am really passionate about. As time went on my responsibilities grew and I now supervise teams of dozens of people and projects worth billions of dollars.

Unfortunately everything changed in the past 6 months. A major project that I was managing up until the end of 2013 has gone seriously sideways and I have been pulled back in to it. We are in a very nasty and public fight with our contractor. As others have noted; politics, being blamed for the failures of others, and a general lack of support from my employer have started to get the best of me. A job I loved for many years is now a daily grind.

My strategy at this time is to wait things out for 6 months. There are promising signs that things may turn around and I could be in line for a promotion thus fall. If all goes well I may just have to chalk 2015 up as a bad year in an otherwise long and successful career. But if things continue as they are now, or get worse, I will be looking for new opportunities in 2016.

I guess the takeaway from this story is:

If you are early in your career and unsure of your choices, keep trying. The right job is probably out there, you just need to find it.

If you are mid to late career and things are not going well, don't be afraid of change. Develop an exit strategy and timeline so you don't end up endlessly stuck.

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Old 08-19-2015, 11:31 PM   #49
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I love my job, construction project management. Always solving problems, and seeing tangibly things being done.

Of course, sometimes you have to deal with tradespeople who would rather urinate on the floor (or worse) , than walk to the bathroom.
Nice to know I am not alone! Same job same problems. I enjoy it for the most part for the same reasons.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:33 PM   #50
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So what do you do when you are 47, haven't really found a job you like or love for that matter and haven't really trained for anything other than some basic schooling?

That's where I'm at right now. Sucks to be this lost and not know where to go from here. My wife is right alongside me being a year older.

Now what?
If you really want an inspiring job that offers you major fulfillment in your life then I think it's a 3 step process really.

1. Identify what you love;

2. Take a leap of faith to go get it;

3. Persevere.

Pretty simple in theory, but as this thread attests to, no step is necessarily easy.

You may not have any burning career ambitions. You may not have any lifelong dreams. You may not know what you love to do. The best thing you can do is know yourself, and get a sense of what things bring you joy, and then attempt to identify a job or career that will have those elements.

The second step takes courage. Any career change entails huge risk - moreso if you have financial commitments, dependents, etc..

The third step takes more courage, and the will to keep going despite setbacks. Most people take the safe play at this point if not before.

But you know what?

You only live once.

And with some luck, someday you'll be an 80 year old guy who can either say "the best thing I ever did was..." or "it didn't work out, but I gave it my best shot..." rather than "I never liked what I did and I just wish I had..."

Maybe you and the wife should have a chat about where you are, where you'd like to be, and how you're going to make the journey from A to B. So long as you're in it together, it'll work out.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:38 PM   #51
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I like what I do, not liking where I'm doing it right now. There isn't much chance of moving companies either, as I'm lucky to still be employed as it is right now. I could find work in other industries but would take a pretty big pay cut to do so.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:41 PM   #52
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When I was a teenager I loved tinkering with computers and loading software into windows, seeing what worked and what didn't. When I went to university, I studied for and got degrees in business and political science. I came out thinking I was going to do arbitration or mediation or something like that, but I ended up in the world of business analysis and communications. Worked for the city, but decided to go back to school. I completed a masters in strategic studies, and was set on working in civilian intelligence. Almost had a job with a major Canadian security and intel organization, but didn't quite make the cut. I have since become a tech consultant, and I absolutely love what I do, particularly helping clients use cloud technologies and designing UX for SaaS applications.

Ultimately I want to go back to New Zealand and open a delicious BBQ restaurant, I'm thinking when this tech career is about to give out is when I'll head back to auckland and try to make something out of that. I know I would be just as happy making great steaks for friendly people as I do working on tech and with computers, which I believe I am lucky to be doing since it's what I wanted to do all those years ago.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:50 PM   #53
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The funny thing is a lot of us are probably talking about careers we dislike with a salary already closer to that lower figure, and the risk is taking on a new career that pays even less than that. I guess I am still fairly young though and can only go up.

My brother has the opinion that he doesn't care how much he hates his job as long as he is paid well to do it- I am not sure about that philosophy and think it might not be a sustainable way of life.

My wife recently left a miserable job she hated, after being there many years, to go to a start up company (purely for job satisfaction reasons, and future potential I guess) that is paying her about 65% of her previous salary. She had been depressed in the previous company for a while and really wanted out. Well, she absolutely loves her new company and is a happier person, but it definitely is a financial adjustment. I would really have a hard time doing that regardless of how miserable I was, but then again, she just disliked her job, not career. I think I dislike both.
Financial considerations are a reality, but too many people overemphasize the importance of money.

I'm not saying financial security isn't important, clearly it is. But once you hit a certain threshold you're not talking about security anymore, and the tradeoff is a certain degree of excess or luxury beyond what you need to be financially secure. Working 80 hours a week doing something you hate so that you can buy a $90K car to drive to work from your million dollar home strikes me as stupid. People adapt to material wealth, and are eventually just as dissatisfied with their rich lives as they were during their poorer days (and probably even more dissatisfied if they hate their work). The joy material goods bring is temporary, and it's expended as soon as you've acclimatized to the fancy car or the expensive shoes or whatever fancy toy you've most recently bought for yourself.

You only live once, and you can't take the money with you.

Look at it this way: how much money would it take to make you want to change your career life story from (1) "I loved my work, am proud of what I did, and I balanced it all well with my interests, my family, and the things that are important to me"; to (2) "I worked at a job I hated for 30 years that impacted and compromised my personal life in all kinds of crappy ways and, frankly, I don't really want to talk about it"?

Because that's the choice, or so it seems to me.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:00 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by nieuwy-89 View Post
I am a Civil Engineer. I struggled in the first 5 years of my career and bounced around a bit (4 jobs with 3 different employees) before I found my niche. For the past 10 years I have had my "dream job", which was managing large construction projects in a field that I am really passionate about. As time went on my responsibilities grew and I now supervise teams of dozens of people and projects worth billions of dollars.

Unfortunately everything changed in the past 6 months. A major project that I was managing up until the end of 2013 has gone seriously sideways and I have been pulled back in to it. We are in a very nasty and public fight with our contractor. As others have noted; politics, being blamed for the failures of others, and a general lack of support from my employer have started to get the best of me. A job I loved for many years is now a daily grind.

My strategy at this time is to wait things out for 6 months. There are promising signs that things may turn around and I could be in line for a promotion thus fall. If all goes well I may just have to chalk 2015 up as a bad year in an otherwise long and successful career. But if things continue as they are now, or get worse, I will be looking for new opportunities in 2016.

I guess the takeaway from this story is:

If you are early in your career and unsure of your choices, keep trying. The right job is probably out there, you just need to find it.

If you are mid to late career and things are not going well, don't be afraid of change. Develop an exit strategy and timeline so you don't end up endlessly stuck.
Total blind guess, but you're not the guy Simon Farbrother is blaming on the NLRT, are you?
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:03 AM   #55
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Totally agree with you flylock.

More money equals more problems. You are always thinking of the material things you have (taking care of your house, car payments, etc.) or the things you want to have (bigger house, nicer car etc.) It never seems to stop.

I truly believe that people tend to make better decisions the less possessions they have. There is less to lose to go after what you want.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:04 AM   #56
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Total blind guess, but you're not the guy Simon Farbrother is blaming on the NLRT, are you?
Haha, close.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:04 AM   #57
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Last year I took on a huge challenge in becoming a head chef for the first time opening a brand new restaurant. Everything had to be built from the ground up, and it was a stressful but successful year. I have put so much time and energy into ensuring that the place runs smoothly, and it shows. But now I'm starting to feel that it's almost automatic. There isn't a lot to love about the cooking, it being a franchise (albeit the first of what will probably one day be many) where everything on the menu is dictated from head office. Sometimes I just wanna cook, you know?

Ozy Flame, if you ever open a BBQ restaurant in Auckland I'll be there in a heartbeat!
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:11 AM   #58
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I am a commercial Banker, and while I love working with most clients, the idea of another 30 years as a Banker does not appeal to me.

I do find my work to be satisfying. One of my clients was badly impacted by the 2013 Flood, and somehow through there hard work, and my ability to convince my credit department that we needed to continue to support them, today I took a tour of there operations 2 years later. Couldn't even tell that they were shut down for 12 months. They had rebounded and seemed more determined then ever.

The flip side is the work can be draining, clients can be unappreciative, and Bankers in general are viewed as evil or morally corrupt individuals. As a young banker in this profession, I feel I carry the sins of my fore fathers and a stigma in my industry. All I know is that I work hard for my clients and hope that at the end of the day they see me as a valuable partner, rather then just "dealing with the bank" or a necessity.

I've thought about going back to a more simple life. Maybe bartend or go into business for myself, but I'll be the first to admit that the lifestyle and $$$ make it hard to go with the heart.

Interesting thread OP, and one that has me thinking and rambling on a late wens night...
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:26 AM   #59
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I'm a microbiologist.

I have worked at a federal research facility for the past four years. On the whole, I really enjoy my work. The research is interesting and fulfilling, and thankfully, due to the ceaseless grant writing efforts of the research scientists I work under, our lab is relatively well-funded. Despite this, due to government cutbacks and layers of ridiculous bureaucracy, it is nearly impossible to be hired for vacant positions. Instead, a small army of people (including myself) bounce from one contract to another on "soft" money. Obviously this is not optimal from a stability and financial standpoint, and has prevented me entirely from settling down.

The short of it is that I am fortunate to be employed and doing work that is fulfilling, but the B.S. that comes with working in the government is mind bottling (especially from the perspective of someone who is trained to think analytically).
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:27 AM   #60
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It takes time to find something you like and you shouldn't be afraid to experiment and leave a comfortable role if you're not happy.

I personally went to school for Electrical Engineering and worked in the industry for quite a while but hated it because the roles were largely individual contributor sort of roles where you worked mostly alone even though you part of large project teams. Didn't suit me as I'm very much a social, people person.

Worked in that industry for 6 years after post-secondary graduation, moving into management roles and finally found my calling now in consulting, which has nothing to do with my engineering background (but it helps).

My role is now all about relationship building / repairing with the clients and selling (of course) work that helps our clients with their issues and bringing fresh ideas to the table.

Don't be afraid to pursue something new if you're unhappy and eventually, you'll find something that makes you happy to go into work.
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