Like it or love it, most of us have to work for a living. This is the place to commiserate with other cube-dwellers and get tips from other business travelers. Talk about how the daily grind will one day allow you to realize your vagabond dreams. Share tips for turning travel you have to do into travel you want to do.

Why do you like/dislike your job?

Wiskee

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  • Added on: September 2nd, 2009
I really wanted to start a thread about why you dislike your job, but I'm trying be more positive these days so I figured I'd include both. What are 3-5 reasons you both like and dislike your job, or working in general? You should probably say what your job is too!

My Job: I work for a non-profit that helps low-income high school students get involved in politics and activism. I run our Elections programs.

Why I like my job:
1. I get to wear jeans and sandals to work almost every day
2. I get to hang out with HS kids often, but I'm not their teacher, so they tend to like me (I'm also pretty damn cool)
3. I really feel that the work I do makes a difference, not only in the lives of my students, but also a real difference in the political discourse of Chicago
4. The people I work with are my age and fun to be around
5. I don't work for a corporation, and we don't take any profit for our services, which I truly love

Why I dislike my job:
1. I have to sit at my desk and stare at my computer screen for 8 hours a day whether I like it or not on most days, I especially hate this when it's effing beautiful outside like it is today
2. STRESS, Bigtime
3. I can't travel very much, because I have a job, this occurs at any job, therefore my goal is eventually to not have a job.
4. The population of kids I work with forces me to deal with hard issues. I deal a lot with teen pregnancy and parents, horrible parents, gun and other violence (one of my students got shot a month ago, another's cousin was stabbed and killed recently), gang pressures, hunger, etc.
5. People don't understand what a non-profit is. I get stupid ass questions all the time: "So like, do you get paid?"; "How do you guys make money?"; "What's the point?"; "That's nice for now but when are you gonna get a real job?"

Ok, you're turn =)
Formerly bakpakaddict

Zuleika

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Joined: March 29th, 2009
Location: London, UK

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  • Added on: September 2nd, 2009
I work for the NHS in the acute cardiac setting - as part of the team treating patients in the middle of a heart attack.
I like my job because:
1. We save lives
2. Every day is different, interesting and varied, no boring office work for me!
3. The holiday time is great, 6+ weeks per year - fab for travelling
4. You have to think on your feet and the adrenalin is pumping (yes it can be a rush!)
5. I've been able to work round the world in this capacity

I hate my job because:
1. Some people die despite our best efforts
2. The pay is fairly crap
3. We have to work nights, weekends, bank holidays and christmas
Last edited by Zuleika on September 30th, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
Life is such an adventure, I can't wait to live it some more.

2wanderers

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Location: Edmonton, Canada

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  • Added on: September 29th, 2009
I work for a large corporation, like most people. I'm in the accounting department and work specifically in asset management. I also pay people's expenses, one of those little responsibilities I picked up due to recession downsizing.

I like my job because
1 - I enjoy the people I work with
2 - My company has a good education policy and is paying my tuition.
3 - I have a lot of variety in my work, so if one project is boring me I can do something different.
4 - I get every second Friday off.
5 - We get some occasional extra perks - just got back from playing lasertag on company time (and the company dime).

I dislike my job
1 - I hate waking up on a schedule
2 - Sitting at a desk 8 hours most days isn't much fun
3 - My responsibilities are at times kinda vague, so it's hard to figure out exactly what it is I'm supposed to do.
4 - I am somewhat underpaid for my level of responsibility. Wages here were always at the low end of competitive and we're now going into our second year of wage freezes. I didn't even get a raise when I switched into a higher responsibility role.

Overall, I'm in no hurry to leave. I keep an eye out for interesting positions, but it's pretty rare that I spot something that interests me...maybe two or three per year. And none of them have even gone to interviews yet. I'm actually happy enough with my vacation situation...one more year and I hit 4 weeks. My major restricting factor is money, not time.

5. People don't understand what a non-profit is. I get stupid ass questions all the time: "So like, do you get paid?"; "How do you guys make money?"; "What's the point?"; "That's nice for now but when are you gonna get a real job?"

Seriously? This seems so bizarre to me. Seems to me that when I was a student, a good chunk of summer jobs were in non-profits, so it seems strange that people wouldn't know that there's real jobs in that sector. Of course, I'm still involved with non-profits as a volunteer, so maybe I'm just below average on the clueless scale.

frugal1

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Joined: July 16th, 2009
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

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  • Added on: September 30th, 2009
What I like about my job:

1. it's easy and not demanding
2. there is very little supervision over me

What I hate about my job:

1. everything


TIME TO GO MY FRIENDS. 3 MORE MONTHS THEM IM OUTA THIS BIAAATCH
Sitting in my cubicle ... lost ... saving for "the big day" ... 2010 ... oh yes, it will happen ...

Wiskee

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Joined: August 12th, 2008

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  • Added on: October 1st, 2009
2wanderers wrote:
5. People don't understand what a non-profit is. I get stupid ass questions all the time: "So like, do you get paid?"; "How do you guys make money?"; "What's the point?"; "That's nice for now but when are you gonna get a real job?"

Seriously? This seems so bizarre to me. Seems to me that when I was a student, a good chunk of summer jobs were in non-profits, so it seems strange that people wouldn't know that there's real jobs in that sector. Of course, I'm still involved with non-profits as a volunteer, so maybe I'm just below average on the clueless scale.


Seriously, people are ridiculous. I'm always sort of astounded. A lot of people don't consider it a "real" job, whatever that is.

Frugal, hang tight man. I'm in the same boat, but I have 5-6 more months. Luckily I don't hate EVERYTHING about my job.
Formerly bakpakaddict

heymikey

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Joined: March 21st, 2007

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  • Added on: October 5th, 2009
Why I like my job:
(1) Casual attire -- jeans and sneakers are ok
(2) Somewhat flexible hours -- you can arrive at work anytime from 8-9 am
(3) Compulsory one-week break between Christmas and New Years
(4) Decent vacation time for North American standards (around 3-4 weeks a year) aside from the break listed above
(5) We get every 3rd Friday off
(6) Flexible spending account which we can use to pay for gym memberships, laptops, sports instructions (like snowboarding lessons), etc.
(7) Tuition support for educational courses which I am currently using to pay for my travel writing class
(8) Lately, they have been sending people overseas for work through staff exchanges or through conferences abroad (I was sent to work in Australia last year for 3 months)
(9) When I do have work to do, I quite enjoy it
(10) I don't find it as stressful as other people (deadlines are set realistically and quite flexible)
(11) Great and respectful manager who doesn't go on power-trips and who allowed me to take off for 3 months to travel around Europe and 2 months to travel around SE Asia
(12) It pays relatively well -- enough to put down a downpayment at 24 years old

Why I dislike my job:
(1) Not particular to the job but I have this feeling of wanting to get out of the city I live in
(2) There are times where I have nothing to do so I end up surfing the internet for 8 hours (yes, I dislike this part)
(3) I stare at the computer screen all day
(4) I don't find it challenging enough
(5) Office politics, gossips, envious co-workers -- the normal stuff
(6) I don't feel like I make a difference to other people
(7) Not particular to the job but it prevents me from doing an RTW trip or a working holiday somewhere
(8) Not particular to the job but I feel like I'm wasting my youth by settling down to a particular job


Anyway, these are the reasons why I have a very hard time quitting my job. I'm afraid I might not find something similar.
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"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" -- Fight Club

Hungrytravelers1

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Joined: October 8th, 2009

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
What I hated about my first job:

MICROMANAGEMENT. My boss sat right next to me and would eavesdrop on my phone calls, and give me advice on how to handle myself over the phone the next time. So annoying. Made me feel like she didn't trust me, and that I was incompetent.

Maestra LE

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Joined: June 25th, 2010
Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Added on: August 27th, 2010
I am the intake/scheduling coordinator an outpatient mental health facility with approximately ten psychologists, a psychiatrist, and three (soon to be four) interns. I also do a lot of the general office work.

Things I like about my job:
1) Casual attire. I have been known to show up in sweatpants and flip-flops before, and no one bats an eye.
2) My workday starts at 10am, so I get to sleep in.
3) I like most of my coworkers immensely.
4) Juggling the schedules of 15 people is a challenge, and one that I enjoy.
5) I am the first person people speak to when they call the office to schedule an appointment, and often the first compassionate ear they've encountered. I'd like to think I make a little bit of a difference in people's lives by listening to them unload.

Things I dislike about my job:
1) I am one of three members of the office's entire support staff. This is a ridiculously small number for a practice this size, and all three of us are very overworked and stressed out as a result.
2) My boss (the head psychologist who owns the practice) is really a very nice lady overall, but like many health-care professionals, she is completely oblivious to the amount of support work that goes into keeping a business afloat. She also cannot seem to grasp that fact that I do not own a time machine, or otherwise have any ability to cram more hours into the day. She continually throws extra little tasks my way, and when not all of them get done, the only excuse I can offer is, "I didn't get to that today because I had too much other stuff to do." This sounds lame and makes me feel incompetent.
3) There is only one coworker of mine who I really dislike, and she happens to be the office manager and billing specialist, and therefore the one person I have to work with the most closely. She is actually the replacement for our old office manager, who was a horrid bitch. But she is an even more horrid bitch. She's great at billing and useless for anything else, and she stresses me out SO MUCH. Thing is, I think I would actually be able to stand her if her work space wasn't *directly adjacent* to mine.
4) No benefits, marginal vacation time, I'm being paid at the low end of competitive, and I have to file my own taxes.
5) Apart from the satisfaction I get from seeing everyone's schedules run smoothly, this is a mundane and soul-crushing job, and I feel like I'm too young (at 22) to be feeling this stifled.

In short, I have come within a breath of quitting so many times I've stopped counting. But then I remember that I'm trying to embark on a long-term RTW by the end of next year, and I need a steady job if I'm going to make that happen.

Man, I've needed to vent for a while. Thanks, BootsnAll! :D

EDIT 9/2/10: I quit yesterday. Couldn't take the asshattery anymore.
Last edited by Maestra LE on November 4th, 2010, edited 1 time in total.

larizzle

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008
Location: nashville

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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2010
I work on film sets in the AD department.

Why I love it:
1. Great coworkers.
2. Every day is unique, and the location is rarely the same.
3. Flexibility-- after a project ends, I can choose to take as little or as much time off as I need.

Things I Dislike:
1. The pay is pretty bad. I worked 91 hours one week and my paycheck was just over $800 after taxes.
2. The lack of decent pay means it takes several projects to amass any kind of savings for travel. Which is fine, but working 3 months of 70+ hour weeks wears a person out rather quickly.
3. Prima donna actors. But without them I would have no job, I guess...

Felix the Hat

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Joined: June 17th, 2002
Location: itinerant

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2010
I'm a self-employed immigration attorney.

Things I like about it:
-No boss
-Can practice anywhere in the world where there are people who want US visas
-Respected title
-Meet lots of people from all over the world
-Can write off travel and language lessons as business expense

Things I dislike about it:
-US government bureaucracy (by definition, my adversary)
-Expensive to maintain license ($420/year for license in a single state, about $2000 every three years for mandatory continuing legal education credits, malpractice insurance)
-Collecting from clients without money
-Little security to self-employment

On balance, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I'm *this* far from perfecting the self-funding endless-travel lifestyle.

AmazingJulesVerne

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Joined: September 23rd, 2005
Location: Tucson, Arizona

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  • Added on: November 14th, 2010
I admit, I tend to switch jobs every few years. I think my 'real' job is being a grad student for the rest of my life.

For now, though, I am a high school teacher teaching English Lit and First Year French.

Likes:

1. The kids (well, most of them) and all of the kooky things that they think about, do and say.

2. Being left to do what I want in my own classroom most of the time.

3. Having summers off, along with Spring, Fall and Winter Breaks.

4. The variety of intelligent and interesting co-workers who have become friends.

5. Lighting the excitement fire in high school students -- many of them think that they hate English or that learning French is hard. I love to change their minds on both of these points and then have them realize that they actually like, if not love, these subjects at the very end of the year.

6. Organizing trips to Europe and other places and then taking the best students on said trips -- Best.Single.Part.Of.Teaching. Traveling with these kids is like Christmas morning: 'Ohmygod, TheEiffelTower! Ohmygod, TheColiseum! ETC ETC ETC ETC.' I am creating a new generation of people infected with the travel bug who no longer think that America is the best and only place in the world nor that any place 10 miles away from home is scary and dangerous.

Dislikes:

1. The money. In a big way. My salary is seriously depressing. One day I worked out how much I make an hour; less than minimum wage. Really. That is tragic.

2. The amount of time I spend grading papers; too much time for which I am not paid.

3. Arizona's craptacular attitude toward public education: In just the last year, I was laid off, had to re-interview for my job twice, took a 3% pay cut, had my health insurance costs increased by 150%, and told to take 5 furlough days on top of having to work an extra hour every day because the school year schedule was 'augmented'. The state budget is severely in the red and all of this is expected to happen again this year. See number one. Grrrr. Even more awesome, stupid people of Arizona just elected a new superintendent of schools who has publicly said that his goal is to allow all students the chance to attend a charter school. Yikes.

4. People who say, 'Oh but you have soooo much time off; you can't complain about the money.' I hate those people. I am 'on' all day at work. There is no sitting around and surfing the net, no zoning out, no hour long lunches, no leaving early, no just taking a hooky day without a ton a preparation in advance, and I typically am at school about 10 hours a day. Yeah -- I have never worked as many hours for so little pay since when I worked in retail while I was still in college for minimum wage.

5. Co-workers who piss and moan and then arrive right before the bell rings in the morning and leave the second it rings in the afternoon. Seriously. How do those people do that?

I really like my job -- more, in fact, than I have ever liked any job. But I hate that I have to have a gig on the side to be able to 'afford' to be a teacher.
___________________________________________________________________________
'It involved a squirrel, a dryer and a Scotsman doing the Haka in my kitchen.' - La Rosser.

KathrynD

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Joined: November 8th, 2007
Location: California

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  • Added on: November 30th, 2010
I'm with AJV that teaching comes with many rewards. I used to teach business software configuration to adults and I loved it. A teacher is the master of his own room like the captain of the ship and you can tell the students to sit or stand and they do it. Hahahah. The awesome awesome power! I always say that students are like wolves and if you are a strong pack leader they will obey. But if you show weakness, then they pounce. They will fight you to become pack leader if you let them. Your weapon - classroom control!

KathrynD

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Joined: November 8th, 2007
Location: California

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  • Added on: November 30th, 2010
I got so worked up there, I forgot that I was going to talk about the job I have now.

I am an instructional designer for a business software company. I design training both classroom and online training for our implementation partners. Unfortunately, I don't actually teach anymore. Loved that!

What I like:
1) Interesting work - I learn the software and how it works, then develop training.
2) Writing is fun.
3) Design is fun.
4) International team
5) Boss is in Europe (far away from California)
6) I have deadlines but don't have to keep specific hours as long as I get work done
7) Good pay, good bonus
8) 5 Weeks vacation
9) Can work from home or from office
10) Excellent cafeteria (free food up to a dollar limit) with lots of organic stuff
11) Onsite gym with free classes for only $10 a month (including yoga)
12) Beautiful office building with a courtyard and waterfall
13) Some years past we have had team meetings in Europe
14) My local co-worker is very nice and also loves travel so we have stuff in common

What I don't like:
1) Well, it's work so I have to do it and get it done on time
2) Team is only 3 instructional designers (5 total employees) for a whole product line so it seems like we can never do all that we need to do
3) Since we have a team member each in Netherlands, Germany and Israel, lots of meetings at 6:30 or 7 a.m. (ugghh! At least I can go buy espresso down the street at 6 a.m)
4) Did I mention that there's too much work for our little team and no money to hire more folks
5) I may have to move offices from my beautiful building
6) We don't get some of the normal holidays others do like Presidents day

I really can't complain too much can I? I guess I had better get back to work rather than enjoying the boards. I need to drive into the office for my step class and then lunch. It's free frozen yogurt day and I don't want to miss that.

I'd better say kine ayhara here - no evil eye. Because I'm way too lucky and I'm braggin too much. Last year they laid people off and I certainly don't want to have that happen to me.

travel droppings

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Joined: July 7th, 2009

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  • Added on: November 30th, 2010
Likes:
I am a freelance video production guy, working as Grip and camera operator. I like working on set. I like shooting and editing video. I like the challenge of new locations. I like the people who work in this industry. I like deciding who I want to work with or for.

Dislikes:
When business is slow. Not having insurance. Working on government or corporate video shoots. Very boring compared to working in broadcast and film production.
Not having a company putting into a 401K. Not having paid vacation. When I move to another city I have to start networking from scratch. Because it is such a "who you know" industry that can be frustrating for someone who moves a lot.

I love what I do though and cant see doing anything else.
Work and Travel Abroad: A few ways I have worked my way around the world
All Ways Australia - Photos and tour reviews from the Outback

larizzle

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 126
Joined: November 20th, 2008
Location: nashville

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  • Added on: December 1st, 2010
travel droppings wrote:Likes:
I am a freelance video production guy, working as Grip and camera operator. I like working on set. I like shooting and editing video. I like the challenge of new locations. I like the people who work in this industry. I like deciding who I want to work with or for.

Dislikes:
When business is slow. Not having insurance. Working on government or corporate video shoots. Very boring compared to working in broadcast and film production.
Not having a company putting into a 401K. Not having paid vacation. When I move to another city I have to start networking from scratch. Because it is such a "who you know" industry that can be frustrating for someone who moves a lot.

I love what I do though and cant see doing anything else.


Ha! EXACTLY, exactly, exactly. But if you're grip/camera op, you can join a union, right? But then there's union dues, I suppose. I fully sympathize with the relocation aspect, hence why I've stayed put so far.

The fluctuations of our business is what keeps it exciting for me. While I understand why someone would want a steady paycheck, I also like the freedom of not knowing what next week will bring. It could be nothing -- which is awesome, time off -- or you could get a call for three different jobs with different challenges.


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