If you previously registered on VGF XenForo boards, you will need to use the forgot password feature in order to be able to post here. If you do not receive a password reset by e-mail, use the contact page or post in registration/login help.

That Work-Life Balance

Moderator: Saria Dragon of the Rain Wilds

Post Reply
User avatar
Apollo the Just
Moderator
Posts: 14614
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Piccolo is Gohan's Real Dad
Contact:

That Work-Life Balance

Post by Apollo the Just » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:25 am

Was talking with some folks elsewhere about this and figured I could make a topic out of it. I'm sure not everyone is comfortable talking about their finances and/or work situation, but I thought I would share mine.

I've been working as a full-time 8-to-5 receptionist/admin at a software company for the year+ since I got out of school. It's a nice and comfy job, and it actually pays really well with good vacation and benefits, but 40 hours a week (45 if you count the lunch hour that isn't spent working but is spent at work) is a lot and I tend to not be that productive outside of work. Since I studied music and I want to make music as a very major part of my life, it's becoming apparent that working full-time isn't allowing me enough time to focus on what I actually want to do (also, my company recently got acquired and is going to **** so there isn't much keeping me here at this point). I don't even particularly like working in an office environment to start with, it was just a good place to be right out of college.

Most of my music friends from school have been managing part-time work schedules so they have time to focus on their creative endeavors, and I'm thinking I would like to try that out. I'm interviewing at a local fabric store in hopes of working there (the staff is incredibly knowledgeable so I'm hoping I can learn a lot to apply to my sewing, as well). The schedule would eventually be 3/4 days a week, meaning I could spend the extra 1-2 days working on music or maybe even working on cosplay commissions to cover my remaining expenses. Minimum wage is high enough where I live (and my rent is cheap enough) that I'm hoping I can swing it.

Anyway, I'm feeling a change in lifestyle right now. Interviewing at the place on Friday. I just don't want to give myself any more excuses and I want to provide myself the time and energy to focus on what I really want to do. It's incredibly important for me to have time to focus on being creative, and eventually shift toward making at least part of my income from creative works. I'm certainly fortunate in that I've saved enough from my current position that I have a safety net in case the current plan doesn't work out, but if at all possible, I'd really like to not keep doing what I have been.

Anyone have input or experiences they'd like to share? I've been told the work-happiness balance is very elusive. Hopefully we can work toward it, though. :)
~ * ~ a true gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved ~ * ~

User avatar
CaptHayfever
Supermod
Posts: 36863
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2002 1:00 am
Location: (n) - the place where I am
Contact:

Post by CaptHayfever » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:00 pm

First-year teacher: There is no such thing as work-life balance. I have to do everything (mostly) from scratch AND complete a district orientation/induction course AND transition out of my old contracting job. AND prepare to move AND co-plan a wedding

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"

User avatar
smol Kat
Posts: 8202
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:22 pm
Location: Legit or quit!

Post by smol Kat » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:57 pm

Like I said elsewhere I'm looking for something part time to supplement my freelancing while I learn how to code and junk but with the amount of work I'm getting I can't really afford to life .3. but maybe after settling in somewhere I can get back to you. lol.

Good luck with your interview though!
Do you know how much you mean to me
Why must you leave~?

User avatar
Valigarmander
Supermod
Posts: 48513
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:22 pm
Location: World -1
Contact:

Post by Valigarmander » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:30 pm

I get by fine with my current job, which has me working 12-hour shifts from 5:30 pm to 5:30 am, for 3-4 days each week. It helps that I have no social life.

User avatar
Apollo the Just
Moderator
Posts: 14614
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Piccolo is Gohan's Real Dad
Contact:

Post by Apollo the Just » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:43 pm

Interview went very well and I'm changing jobs at the end of this year. Hoping the balance works out!
~ * ~ a true gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved ~ * ~

User avatar
Random User
Posts: 12715
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:54 am
Location: SECRET BASE INSIDE SNAKE MOUNTAIN
Contact:

Post by Random User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:50 pm

Good luck, CL!

I'm currently about to experience the sledgehammer of working and school at the same time after winter break, so I'm not super thrilled, but hopefully I'll get through it.

User avatar
Apollo the Just
Moderator
Posts: 14614
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Piccolo is Gohan's Real Dad
Contact:

Post by Apollo the Just » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:53 pm

Good luck, dude. That combination is killer; the last job I had when I was in school caused me so much anxiety, and that was on top of schoolwork. I sincerely hope you are able to manage it well. <3
~ * ~ a true gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved ~ * ~

User avatar
ScottyMcGee
Posts: 4951
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Post by ScottyMcGee » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:51 am

I'm a horrible person to ask for work/life balance advice because I think I'm a black sheep. But I'll share my story anyway.

My first and only job so far has been at this biotech company right next to my house. My commute is no more than 5 to 10 minutes.

My supervisor regularly watches porn and doesn't hide his files. So whenever he's away and I have to take over his duties I have the displeasure of running into pics of DRUNK GERMAN GIRLS XXX. My boss, the CEO, is ADD to the nth degree. He'd start this whole project and make a big deal out of it one day and then the next he'd legit be like, "What are you talking about? That's not important." He has fired many people for not being on the same page as him, so the workforce has gone down.

The company has seen better days and it took me a year or so to realize that this is where scientists go to die. Why am I still there? Well, the major reason is that my boss actually created a new product that will revolutionize biotechnology. The only problem is, like I said, he has major ADD or whatever and it's taken him FOREVER to get it out of the door. Sure we've made progress, and I even had to create YouTube videos as advertisements for it. He literally came up to me one day and was like, "Hey, you're young. Can you make a YouTube video?" The company is so small that I often do things that aren't exactly in my job description - but that I've lucky enough have made a hobby throughout my life, such as making YouTube videos.

I admit I have gotten too comfortable. There are many days where I literally do nothing. I take this time to write my stories, read books, play video games, film parodies for YouTube, and learn random things I never had the time to learn before (such as creating a slow-burning fuse and how to juggle and memorizing the President's Song and Nations of the World from Animaniacs by heart). While that sounds cool and all, I've slowly realized that I need to get out of here. But I'm afraid that I'll never find as much time again to focus on my stories, because a big part of who I am is also to publish novels and write/direct films.

I've had to ask for a raise a while back. The ironic thing is that I shirk my boss's demands all the time and spend hours playing my 3DS or PSP and yet my boss gladly gave me a raise and wrote a nice letter about how I was the greatest quality control technician/lab technician they ever had.

It's.

So.

Weird.

But the best way I can describe it is that when you have time to yourself you work more efficiently, because you're satisfied with having done something for yourself. I remember that on my VERY first orientation day for biology class in college my teacher said, "You are all here to be scientists and to be a scientist requires hard work. You can't be here if you want to play Nintendo all day." And here I am playing Nintendo all day waiting for some experiment to finish.

Have you ever seen the movie Office Space? Halfway through the movie, the main character decides to take it easy and while every one of his friends thinks it's going to get him in trouble, it actually gets him promoted and praised. That's precisely how my past 4 years working here has been. If anything, my life after graduation has given evidence that the whole "real world" that school prepares you for is total BS. You can get away with so much if you're crafty enough. People are stupid. That's like the theme of my life now. My boss has a Ph.D and his main source of information is Wikipedia. He talks about co-workers behind their backs. He says one thing one day and then the next day says the complete opposite. Everyone loathes him and rolls their eyes behind his back. Heck, we even had scientists from Italy come over and they weren't that enlightening either. We had dinner at Chili's with them and this one guy ordered a Corona. Naturally, the server put a lime on the neck of the bottle, and you would normally push the lime in. Well, the Italian didn't do that. He awkwardly tried to continue drinking his Corona with the lime still in the neck of the bottle, and every once and a while look at his drink as if wondering what could possibly be getting in the way of enjoying this. I sat across from him thinking, "Should I tell him? Na. . ." We have the local police department as one of our customers, since we make products that isolate DNA, so they're used in forensics. We had a huge ordeal from one of their complaints and then days later they realized they had the centrifuge on the wrong speed this whole time. Oof. Kind of made me cringe thinking about the efficiency of my local small town police department.

Everyone.

Is.

Stupid.

My boss asks me to do something that he thinks I learned in college and I'm like "Yeah sure I can do that" and then immediately I Google it and get by with some grade schooler's write-up.

Despite getting a raise, I don't make enough money to live on my own somewhere, at least maybe I could barely get by. New Jersey is so damn expensive to begin with. My family only has two cars so I don't even technically own a car. My family's financial history is another whole ordeal in itself that ultimately affects why I'm still at this job. I've been the only person working in my family for some years now. I would gladly move in with a friend or my girlfriend and split the rent but - surprise! - nobody around me is making enough money to do that. PLUS I've got a **** ton of student loans to pay off. Yayyyyy, financial bondage!

I told myself at the beginning of 2016 that if my boss hasn't started releasing the new product by the end of the year that I would start looking for another job. And, well, haha that exactly happened. And like I said - I'm afraid of my hypothetical next job not allowing me to have all this time to myself. But I don't want to make excuses either. I don't want to say "Oh, just one more year, we're almost there" and he doesn't do it and so I say "This next year will be the one" and the next thing I know I AM my boss - an old, ignorant curmodgeon.

In retrospect, I really wish I had a job at Barnes and Noble, and I still do. Is that weird? To want to go from a biotech profession to just a guy selling books? When I was in college I struggled to find a job because of that whole housing crisis I guess. I had one interview at Barnes and Noble but they never got back to me. I kept returning there as a customer just to show my face and be like, "I still exist. I'm watching you." Instead they hired some other kids, and what annoyed me was overhearing them not knowing about any of the books customers asked. I'd grumble to myself, "I should be there, dammit. I know all about that ****."

I missed the service job part of growing up and I actually really want that. Oh God, what I would do for a good job that also had an inkling of a social life AT work. I'm always surrounded by old people that I can't relate to. All they talk about are their health problems and how much they despise their spouse or young people. I've become somewhat of a recluse in some lab by myself and whenever we have a guest over I swerve my head around like a dog who just saw a squirrel.

I grew up in a family that treated money differently. It wasn't "my money" and "my mom's money" and "my dad's money" - it was all just "our money." The question of me working didn't come up until the housing crisis when my parents lost half of their entire savings for my college tuition. That SUCKED. Imagine working towards your future child's education and then right when said child is about to enter higher education some stupid **** play around with the banks and you literally watch half of those savings go down the drain.

My takeaway from all of this is that always find some little victory for yourself, no matter how small. If you like to draw or write, always find a time in the day to draw or write. It doesn't have to be a Mona Lisa or War and Peace. It can be a scribble while you were taking a **** in the can or a doodle when someone wasn't looking. Don't give in to the "But I'm tired" syndrome. When you do, everything becomes a chore.
SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT

User avatar
monstrman
Posts: 4775
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: Travelling through time at one second per second

Post by monstrman » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:24 pm

[QUOTE="SKELETOR, post: 1615624, member: 35827"]Good luck, CL!

I'm currently about to experience the sledgehammer of working and school at the same time after winter break, so I'm not super thrilled, but hopefully I'll get through it.[/QUOTE]

At first it's terrible

Then after a while you get used to it

Then you start to miss it once it's gone

Then you start working again and remember why it was terrible all over[DOUBLEPOST=1481563463,1481563289][/DOUBLEPOST]I was working 50-60 hours a week while going to school full time and I lived an hour away from work and school

Also I found a way to hang out with people at least decently regularly

it gets easier

The part that sucked the most was that I ended up with no money coming out of the situation but that's a story for another time

Glgl everyone I believe in all of you

Post Reply

Return to “Life”