27 Comments

  1. First of all I am super bummed that I didn’t get a chance to meet you at Fincon this week! Second, I completely agree in the value of work. I started a post on this very topic, because I couldn’t believe how many times I heard people say they can’t wait to escape from their 9-to-5 jobs this week. One guy even told me I’m anti-FIRE because I believe so strongly in the value of traditional jobs. After talking to so many people about this topic I am more reinvigorated than ever to write about this. There are so many amazing paths on this financial journey. We shouldn’t limit or discourage any of them.

  2. Even if I were 1000% about FIRE, I still don’t see why there’s such focus on disparaging the jobs and traditional work that is often vital in making the world work for all of us, traditional jobs or no. I’ve been working since I was 9. Sometimes I feel like I’m totally done, thanks very much, where do I check out? But I also know that all of this work has been about building the person I am today: character, skills, confidence, connections that I can use to help others, and a whole host of other benefits.

    In moderation, work is good for us so what’s wrong with it being a traditional paycheck rather than a self made entrepreneurial path? Yes sure you won’t get rich that way but if you choose to trade lower risk for a stable paycheck, you don’t lack moral character. And stability, having searched for it so long, is not the small thing that privileged folks with good health and the good fortune to have their risks pay off rather than sink them make it out to be.

    I’d be willing to stop traditional work if we were securely financially independent but I’m always going to remember the way I got here – traditional jobs mixed with a whole lot of independent thinking. There’s value anywhere you look for it, IMO.

    • “There’s value anywhere you look for it, IMO.” THIS, THIS, THIS!

      Of course, we could and should all critique work and overwork. But when I see people practically apologizing for having to go to work, I want to slam my head on the keyboard. There is nothing wrong with supporting yourself and your family. It should be a source of pride!

  3. I love this post. I’ve always believed that in order to make room for better or different in your life, if that’s what you seek, you need to start by being grateful for the blessings and lessons in today’s circumstances. Like you, I love what I do and I can’t imagine ever fully retiring, even during the crappy days!

    Ed Mylett says, “Life happens for you, not to you. Make the most of it. ” There’s value in the not-so- great jobs for sure.

  4. I sometimes feel like an idiot for enjoying work and not being in a huge rush to retire. Also, having a baby also made me realize that I might have to work a lot longer. Ive been working since I was 14 in one capacity or another. Still supporting my mum and now providing for a growing family. Im working to make sure I dont make my son go through the things Ive had to. I feel blessed to have a good boss and while job growth has been mediocre I am happy to know that I have some amount of stability and flexibility. Thanks for this post today. It resonated with me.

    • I really enjoy my work, too. And something really interesting happened when I started thinking about my own son. Even if I really grind it out and just go 24/7 (assuming I don’t burn out and disintegrate), I’m still not going to have these itty bitty years with him. So why make myself miserable now? Instead, I’m going to allow myself to enjoy my work and prioritize my family. It might not be perfect, but it feels good enough right now.

  5. I love this post so much. Maybe more than I love my job today (and I really, really love my job!).

    It was one of those ominous Monday “meeting with the boss they don’t tell you what the agenda is in advance” kind of days. And what did I win? I was “rewarded” for the great job I’m doing with one program with the responsibility of a completely different program for the district!

    I did have the presence of mind to remind the boss that when I ask for additional personnel for my one-woman department come budget time in a few months, he will kindly remember the uncomplaining way I accepted this uncompensated addition to my responsibilities. I feel like Educator FI would have been proud.

  6. Jody

    The man I’m seeing was talking about this recently and prompted me to change my morning narrative from:

    “I have to go to work this morning.”

    To:

    “I get to go to work this morning.”

    …..because there are a lot of people who want to go to work but can’t for a variety of reasons.

  7. We have to make to most of our situations. That’s why I kind of cringe whenever I hear the dreaded I don’t want to go back to work on Monday. We put ourselves in this situation, we just have to do our best of what’s in front of us. It would be better as a whole to say, ” Let’s get to work and get this done, that done and accomplish our daily goals for the day.” More people would appreciate their work more.

    • I find that when I have a really negative outlook, it makes it harder for me to enjoy my students and my coworkers. Relationships at work matter so much. If for no other reason, I try to stay positive for that!

  8. As I shared in my recent post, “Very Little Is Needed To Make A Happy Life; It Is All Within Yourself In Your Way Of Thinking.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    So be in the moment each day, make the most of what you are doing and be mindful on how you react to outside world around you. Wonderful post Penny.

  9. I was just piecing together a similar post in my mind this morning. After a really good morning, I thought about how much I often enjoy my job. Yes, there are moments I don’t love it, but it’s pretty good overall. Ideally, I’d just like to reduce my hours, not necessarily retire early. But then there are days I have moments where I’d like to quit! 😉

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