a reply to: TinySickTears
I was in the workforce from 1967 until 2008. During that time I worked at several different types of jobs, most of them part-time, along with my
full-time profession. In my youth, I was dumb enough to get deeply in debt due to impatience (Why should I wait six months and save up for that toy
when I have plastic?) and spent a good three years working multiple jobs to pay off the debts accumulated by me and my ex.
While in high school I worked at a fast food joint, a drugstore, worked on the farm driving tractors or trucks or handling hay, did custom gardening,
mostly sprucing up little old ladies' flower beds and worked as an auto detailer, cleaning and preparing used cars for re-sale. I also hand-addressed
envelopes for a local Realtor and filled in as receptionist at a couple of local businesses.
In college it was much the same, picking up whatever I could find. I did modeling, house cleaning, more yard work, was a photographer's assistant and
later, a sports and wedding photographer under his supervision and worked in a furniture restoration business where I learned to repair and restore
I began to exit my profession in the medical industry in 1985 and returned to school. In order to do that I had to go to a part-time job in my
profession and because i still had mortgage payments and kids, I went back to doing a lot of part-time work that I really enjoyed---gardening,
photography and modeling.
Once I decided that my new career was going to be in anthropology, I began finding work in that field. Lab assistant, day laborer (aka shovel bum),
artifact washer; then on to lab supervisor and crew chief by the time I finished.
When my Beloved and I got married, we were both debt free and determined to stay that way. We'd both ended up paying off debts of an ex and were very
cautious about credit cards. We began active financial planning before we ever married. Between us we had five kids to get through school! And then
we had to think about retirement because neither of us had any rich relatives from which to inherit a trust fund. That's not to say our families
didn't help us in any way they could! Without their help with child care and food from their gardens I can't see how we would have made it.
We sat down and figured out that my Beloved could retire after 30 years in the classroom. That just so happened to be the year that the youngest
would graduate from college. That's what he did because he was fed up with the administration in his college. I continued to work because I loved my
job and my administration wasn't nearly as ding-bat crazy as his. With our kids grown and weaned, we were easily able to live on his pension check.
My income went into the nest-egg we'd not been able to build up while paying college tuition.
My retirement in 2008 wasn't because I didn't love my job. It was due to family health issues. I've always put my family before career. My Beloved
had a debilitating stroke and for some time was unable to manage on his own. Since my jobs often took me on the road for weeks I could no longer do
that. I turned to volunteering in the same field so I could care for him and still keep my hand in the profession. He has since recovered but I've
learned to enjoy the slower pace of retirement. And in the meantime more health issues have popped up in my family. It's the price of living I
suppose. I still do a lot of volunteer work but leave the paycheck gigs to the younger generation.
I always have a list of former students and current students who are looking for work so when I get a call about a job I can recommend them.
We LOVE retirement. We can read whatever we fancy. We can travel on our own schedule. We can eat and sleep on our own schedule. It is entirely
worth the struggle and the years of living frugally (like grad school students) to be able to enjoy our "Golden Years" free of debt and able to pay
forward some of our good fortune.
I'm sorry you hate your job. That's a really miserable life. It's a scary thing but have you thought of changing jobs? Is it the job or the
circumstance of the job? Money isn't worth being miserable.
In my entire working life I had two really horrid bosses. Both were miserable and made everyone around them miserable. Both had been more or less
forced into a career for which they had no passion.