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Is It Possible To Not Hate Work?


Grant500

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Grant500,

I'm so glad I read all the way down here to see your post #40,

"My boss wants me to keep track of how I'm spending my time and I worry it would look bad to put 'lowered my head and quietly wept' in the 8:30 A.M. slot."

I relate so much to this and your initial post here.

People hating their jobs, feeling trapped by them and in many cases just not being able to them consistently is easily one of the most commoon symptoms (and causes) of depression. I know this from talking to so many other depressed people from friends to support group acquaintances over the years. Research studies show it too. Gallup and I think Pew Research recently released polls on this that showed an enormously high percentage of Americans who just plain hate their jobs. We in the US have the added stupidity of feeling obligated to stay with a current job if it provides coveted health insurance and other benefits (really a stupider system could scarely be imagined).

I have struggled with most every professional job I've ever had - which has consistend of law practice and business/technology sales. I came out to DC recently for a job. The job market is a lot better out here than most of the country, but the cost of living is also higher.

Fundamentally, my depression stems from hating, feeling futile, ashamed, incompetent, lazy and like a loser as well as insecure, in relation to my job and career.

I keep working to try to think of and find something that I might like that would allow me to just take care of my family - and it is extremely difficult.

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I can relate to pretty much everything you have said. I am currently in an office job working 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and I absolutely loathe it. I hate the hours, I hate the monotony of the work, I hate having to hear my co-workers repeat the same boring conversations and make the same jokes every single day, I hate having to put up with their annoying habits all day every day - I just hate it all. Sometimes I just sit there staring through my monitor, surrounded by the noise of co-workers tapping away madly on their keyboards, depressed and bored out of my mind and just thinking to myself "are we seriously doing this? Is everyone else actually content with this life?".

I honestly do think some people enjoy it, or at least don't mind it. I get to work first thing on Monday morning depressed as hell and barely able to say a word to anyone, yet my co-worker who sits opposite me is laughing, chatting away to people and generally having a ball. I seriously don't get that. I've also heard other people say that they would keep working if they won the lottery because they get bored if they're at home and their job gives them something to do. Most people just seem fine with getting through a week and looking forward to their weekend. Every Friday the office is abuzz with co-workers excitedly remarking to each other "it's Friday!". All I can think is "yeah, so what - in another couple of days it'll be Monday again", but they seem content just wishing their lives away like this every single week.

I really don't know how much longer I can take it. Every day I get home and just go to bed and browse the net until it's time to go to sleep. I'm too depressed to cook, so I just end up fixing a quick snack, and I'm too depressed to go for a walk, or watch a DVD, or play computer games, or listen to music, or anything else I used to do before this job absolutely killed my spirit. Even weekends are a write-off because the thought of another work week looming around the corner is too depressing for words. It's just hell on constant repeat.

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Ok so, almost all of us in this forum seem to feel pretty similarly about work, at least if we have office jobs where we don't find the work significant or meaningful.

One thing to remember is that MOST people feel like this at least somewhat and at least at times in their life. Actually, it is extremely common, even for people who aren't necessarily depressed, though it is also a huge source of depression.

Take a look at this Gallup poll on work in America (I believe it was rereleased recently and showed even more disengagement.

Majority of American Workers Not Engaged in Their Jobs Highly educated and middle-aged employees among the least likely to be engaged
by Nikki Blacksmith and Jim Harter

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Seventy-one percent of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. That leaves nearly one-third of American workers who are "engaged," or involved in and enthusiastic about their work and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner. This trend remained relatively stable throughout 2011.

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There are a couple relatively encouraging conclusions I take from this.

First, most people feel either negative about their work or at best not particularly engaged, perhaps neutral or apathetic, that its a means to an end. This reminds us how good people are at putting on a brave front and avoiding showing vulnerability. We do well not to compare our insides to other peoples' outsides. I used to feel like I was the only one when I practiced law and then in a legal sales job - until I started reading and talking to others and found that the feelings and struggles I had to care the slightest bit were and are extremely prevalent. Sure, some deal with it better than I did.

Second, there is about 1/3 of people at any one time who actually get enjoyment and are motivated by their work - this means that its possible, even common, even if not easy for many of us to find.

I think there is good evidence for that fact that the same personality types who tend to get depressed are also deep thinkers and become bored by the mundane in life more easily.

I just listened to a radio show called Radiolab (consistently great podcast btw) where the researchers concluded that people who are better at lying to themselves about reality tend to be happier and more successful. I think most of us know that, and I don't want to take that conclusion too far, but it applies to work here. One reason many of us feel the way we do about jobs is because we look further and perceive the reality of the (at least relatively) meaningless nature of so much of it. That may not seem helpful, but I celebrate the types of human beings who realize that love, and art, and something deeper is the stuff worth living for, not numbers in a database or spreadsheet or incremental revenue or this meaningless bs.

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One addendum.

I still struggle immensely with this - hating my job and just checking out, seeming unable to make myself do even the basic tasks - it is the nominal source of most of my anxiety and depression.

I hold to the fact that when I was younger coming up through business and then law school (and even the first couple years of practice), I actually felt alive, driven, motivated, stimulated, energetic, purposeful. I attribute this to several factors. Youth plays a part at least in the sense that so much is still new and most of us feel better when we're learning. School doesn't carry the same pressure that a job and family to support does. School had set beginnings and endings and provided quick feedback, which was good for me. School provided structured autonomy, by which I mean there was basic structure in class schedules, papers, assignments, deadlines, semester calendar, prescribed curriculum, etc., but within that, I had nearly complete autonomy in the creative way I wanted to study, write, research and perhaps most importantly, interact with ideas. I was my own boss doing what I wanted and chose to do, even if the work was very demanding. This is the definition of happiness to me.

I would be very interested to hear if anyone else out there has ideas about what type(s) of jobs they believe or have experienced to be most fulfilling and engaging in this way. For me, I believe it is some kind of teaching (and writing).

I may post a separate thread on this on this site or elsewhere, as I continue to search for new career paths.

Here is the rest of the gallup poll if anyone is interested.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150383/majority-american-workers-not-engaged-jobs.aspx

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My boss wants me to keep track of how I'm spending my time and I worry it would look bad to put "lowered my head and quietly wept" in the 8:30 A.M. slot.

Oh this is me all over! I have a weep in the car on the way to work every day now. It's nice to know I'm not alone in having these feelings because I'm really struggling. Today I became teary in front of my boss after he pulled me up for not hitting targets and not prioritising my time properly. I can very much relate to feeling absolutely dumb most of the time and never getting anything right. I whimpered on about just not having enough time to do things (which is true) but what do you do when you really just want to yell that you hate absolutely everything about the job!

I am so disengaged from my work. One thing I have to do is go out into the public and get them to sign up to us. I absolutely hate this beyond anything else. I don't like going up to people and having to force it down their throats with this pressure of hitting targets hanging over me month after month. It makes me feel sick yet I try my best but it is never enough as people just aren't interested. Ive had 15 months of it and Ive got to the point where I just cant stand it any more! It is relentless and making me so mentally unwell, and there's nobody else to do it but me. If I stay off nothing gets done and its all there for me when I get back.

Thing is I know I am depressed and that affects my ability to concentrate on and complete even the simplest

Of tasks so there's no hope for me trying to hold this all together at the level I should, but I daren't mention this is the case. Just struggling on.

So, chin up people, big hugs all round for all those suffering!

Edited by bonkersinthenut
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Obviously it is not something you wanna be doing. Chef work, for example, is a lot of fun - typical work day, laughing from morning to night because of the funny chats :D Serving food, preparing food - receiving good feedback from customers who loved their meals and receiving suggestions or special orders which broaden the mental cookbook.. it's just such a great feeling, makes you look forward to going to work the next day.

The problem is that in such an environment you are in, you also change - I have done office work in the past, luckily I realised I hated it so much that I wouldn't stick to it more than a month.

I don't think that the office world changes - everybody is wearing fake smiles regardless and it's DIZZZGUSTING. If you want out, get out. I have had way more fun with physical work, even as a removalist, which was ****** exhausting, still more fun.

OR take a stairmaster to the office and work behind that :D

I don't really think working is wrong, it gives you focus and makes you be able to realise your goals, whatever they may be. I might have thought about work as a burden in the past, then again what would I be doing if I wasn't working or attending uni for that matter? I'd much rather make people happy and healthy whenever they dine at our restaurant :)

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I can relate to pretty much everything you have said. I am currently in an office job working 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and I absolutely loathe it. I hate the hours, I hate the monotony of the work, I hate having to hear my co-workers repeat the same boring conversations and make the same jokes every single day, I hate having to put up with their annoying habits all day every day - I just hate it all. Sometimes I just sit there staring through my monitor, surrounded by the noise of co-workers tapping away madly on their keyboards, depressed and bored out of my mind and just thinking to myself "are we seriously doing this? Is everyone else actually content with this life?".

I have had the same experience on numerous occasions, sitting there wondering just how those around me can be seemingly content with this shallow nonsense. This endless loop of hell we face week after week. I too wonder how people can tolerate it, even if they aren't necessarily happy about it. It's something I have always struggled with. I always think "Here I am, alive, my one chance, there are so many things I could be doing and experiences I could be having yet I am stuck here in this hamster wheel of society with these people who can't see beyond the cage" existential depression I guess.

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I loathed my boss and felt like I was wasting my time and my talents working in an office, for someone who was less intelligent than me. And then one day, after 11 years, my boss came to me in tears and told me he had to let me go. One thing I can say is, I hated being unemployed waaaay more than I ever hated my old job. As much as I hated having to be somewhere at an exact time and doing someones else's bidding for 8 hours a day, it was much much worse for my state of mind to have lost that structure to my day. I'm currently self-employed, and frankly that sucks too. I don't have the ambition, will or desire to push myself to a level where I can make a real living. It has contributed greatly to my depression. Even though I get to work at something I love (or at least did before I became severely depressed), and I get to essentially make my own hours, I hate the responsibility and the details of bookkeeping and taxes, etc. Not to mention the lack of benefits, bonuses, or raises. Basically I guess I was miserable when I worked in an office for someone else, and I'm miserable working in the outdoors (I do Landscape Design) for myself.

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Yes there is also that problem of unemployment also creating depression. I went through this myself having quit a job to face unemployment for the first time. I felt nothing but relief for about a week after leaving following months of severe anxiety and depression, but then a whole new wave of depression hit me when I realised what I'd done. I didn't regret leaving one bit, but was not prepared to face the anxiety of being out of work, nor the thoughts of effectively throwing my career away.

This all adds to the way I currently feel. I'm at my wits end with my job but feel trapped in it. I don't want to quit without something lined up because I know how hard it is to be unemployed. At the same time I can't even bear to search vacancies because it sets off a panic in me knowing I have no motivation or interest in any jobs and I can't tolerate the hoops that need to be jumped through to get anywhere else these days. The only reason I'm in the job I have now is because it was the only thing I could get after 9 months of unemployment. I took it in desperation.

I think there would be a lot less stress if people thought they could move between jobs and careers more easily. I feel envy when older members of my family talk of days where you could quit a job on a Friday confident that you'd find another with ease the following week.

Edited by bonkersinthenut
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I suppose it is possible to not hate work.

My brother works as a groundskeeper at a park, and he really enjoys the solitude and working in natural setting.

Me however...my last job was at Walmart and I despised it. I had one good job right after high school, but nothing but menial jobs since then..and absolutely no job right now :(

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How do you all think our soldiers out in the rocks, sand, and heat facing bullets and bombs every day like their jobs?

When they awaken every day and go out on their jobs they don't know if they will see the night alive or with all of their limbs still attached!

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At my last job I remember a couple of people sitting around discussing what they would do if they won the lottery. It was a completely pointless, silly conversation like every other conversation I've had at work but I've thought about it almost every day since then.

I was completely shocked to learn that a lot of my co-workers would continue to work, even if they didn't need to financially.

I'm going to be honest with you. If I ever found myself in a situation where I was financial secure, outside of working, you would never see me in another office again. I hate everything about work. I hate the boring beige colored walls. I hate the stupid garfield posters I see in people's cubicles. I hate the stupid pointless water cooler chit chat I have to make with people I don't have anything in common with. I hate doing the same thing every day. I hate that feeling of counting down minutes.

But most of all, I hate how it takes me away from things that I actually want to be doing. By the time I'm done with work, running any errands that I have to, my commute, and making dinner; I have maybe an hour before I have to go to bed. Most of the time I'm too tired to get any of the things that I actually enjoy doing (reading, painting, playing music, etc.) and end up just watching completely pointless escapist crap on TV.

I was starting to learn to accept the fact that working is horrible and it's just something you have to learn to put up with. I heard people around me complain about their jobs so I just assumed that everybody felt the same way I did... You have to learn how to put up with your job but getting any type of satisfaction or enjoyment out of it is just something that doesn't happen.

Is it possible that I was wrong? Are there people out there who's first thought in the morning isn't "Oh god... I have to go back to that place again."

Is there maybe just something wrong with me? Am I just too negative?

There is NOTHING wrong with you! In fact, you are the most SANE person in your environment. The people who are tolerating their jobs whilst complaining about it all the time are the crazy ones! It is completely normal to feel like you are wasting away your days when you are doing work that means nothing to you. The people who do that and try to push their uncomfortable feelings away are the crazy mother****ers. They are unwilling to face the truth that they are wasting their lives. You have the courage to face the TRUTH.

Now, obviously it´s not easy to come to this realization, but it´s infinitely better than living in a state of denial, like the masses. At least you KNOW that there is something wrong. That doesn´t mean it´s easy to change, but you are way ahead of the morons who just live like automatic robots, who have given up their dreams and continue to merely `exist`, pleasing their bosses and doing what they think they HAVE to do in order to survive.

I don´t have an easy answer with regards to how to CHANGE your life situation, because God knows I have enough trouble doing that myself, but please don´t ever think there is something wrong with you. There is something wrong with all those other people who are slaves to the corporate environment, slaves to commercialism, slaves to propaganda and slaves to the opinion of the majority!

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Worked at this place that did the Opera in our city. Very prestigious and everything, but I lost my mind, and they fired me within 3 months. I've worked as a soccer referee for about 5 years, and I enjoy that because it's cash pay, and I get to watch soccer while getting paid. But I don't do that anymore.

I don't mind being unemployed, some days I get bored, but whatever, I just smoke all day and workout. I don't understand how people can work 9 to 5. I'd blow my brains out. Work is overrated.

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To each their own, mate. I couldn't work from 9 to 5 either, because it's such a short day, getting warmed up and then the day is over :D Luckily my workdays go from 8 in the morning to about 11 or 12 at night.

I find smoking (cannab.is) and working out a weird combination - 1 that destroys health and the other improves health, so I guess you're somewhere in the middle, eh? :D

Edited by 7thHeaveN
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This Marilyn Manson quote makes more and more sense to me as I get older: "We are children revolted by the banality of what people think is sane."

When you look at the life that most people want... A life spent sitting in a tiny little windowless cublicle. Wasting your life making other people money... is a life that only a crazy person would want. Yet, we're taught to believe that this is the American dream.

It makes no sense to me.

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I do pet sitting, and I love it. It's not enough to live off of right now, since I don't get a substantial number of jobs, which is why I'm looking for another source of income. However, I hope to build up some credentials and maybe start my own business, and hopefully get more clients. The other option I'm looking at is going back to school to be a vet tech. They don't make much, but it's a job I would enjoy I think. In the meantime, I'm looking for a steady job to pay the bills, and it will probably be something on the low end that I won't enjoy. But, think about it this way. You make money so that you can do things that you do enjoy, and you can also pay off bills and such so you aren't stressed by debt. It could be much worse than it is.

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Hey C George,

It sounds like you're in some kind of sales?

Maybe not, not sure.

Anyhow, if so, many sales jobs do have varing degrees of team environments which may be a lot more satisfying to someone like you. It is one thing about corporate/office jobs - some of them genuinely do have a team dimension. Good people are hit and miss, but that's just life.

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