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How do you identify with your job?

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    I think there are many of us here on this site who are chained to jobs which don’t quite fit our utopian dreams of ‘simple living’.

    Do you identify your job as mere survival? As an extension of yourself? Is it something you love? Something you loath? Or a means to an end?

    I have found that since my time off I’m noticing the true nature of the beast which is my work. My workplace has about 100+ people working in close quarters on sensitive material with strict and tight deadlines. Some of you will be recognising this as your work, and others will be smiling because you escaped this existence.

    I’ve been back at work 3 weeks. I’ve still not fallen back into just being another part of the beast. The relaxation I found in the past 3 months is still with me. I found myself get wound up the other day, but I took a deep breath and moved on.

    I have stopped identifying by my job. When people say ‘what do you do?’ I no longer say “I’m a legal clerk” or “I’m a law student”. I say “I love gardening and cycling and hanging out with my wife as much as I can. To earn a dollar I work for the public service.” Takes the identification out of the job and that means that when things don’t go right at work I take a step back and say “I will do my best to sort this out”. But when I leave, I don’t let myself stew about the person who didn’t do this, or the person who did that, and I am not feeling guilty about having this afternoon off. I reckon I’ll be a better person and better employee for it.

    How about you? Did you already have this habit? Or do you need a holiday to realise the place won’t fall apart when you leave?

    Is your workplace a good fit with simple living? Or is it a hinderance?


    When I was in paid employment I was a Deputy Principal of a Primary school and I loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed working with children, especially the Special Needs kids and I found mentoring and inservicing teachers rewarding. Although I enjoyed my work, was good at it and was a valued member of the school, it was a means to purchasing our dream- a farm. Interesting how society places value on what a person does, not on who they are. I had never realised until I left work how when introduced to people and they ask “What do you do?” we always answer with our means of employment. People give me weird looks now when I reply…”I manage a farm for our own sustainability.” The topic is quickly changed.

    For my husband, his part time work is a means to pay the bills, it is not who he is. He works as a registered nurse, he does enjoy aspects of it but when asked what he does he replies “I’m a shift worker”.


    I never worked while the kids were little, only PTAs and vol. work. Did run my own shop for a while. But after coming to OZ I became a servo chick and loved every min. of it Got paid to talk how goods that. Now I only work part time and sleep with the boss, well sort of, its DH. (heck that sounds like we own it business but we might as well) I work when someones on leave or when they got to much handloading to do. They into production engineering. Now I do understand why he never gets to eat his lunch, even in the lunchroom they bug him. He does 12/14 hrs a day and most weekends he goes in for a few hrs. Talking time off is another problem lucky theres no mobile reception at the farm. turnover has gone from $80.000 to $250.000 + a month. He likes what he does but can a Type 2 Diabetic keep this up for another 5 years … I don’t think so


    I really like my job, it is completely stress free, easy and very well paid. There is no competitiveness or pressure.

    It is not who I am but it means I can work part time and hubby can do a low paid job which he loves(selling Harley’s) and we don’t have to worry about how to pay bills.

    Before I did this job at Qld Newspapers I worked in our business 1 day a week and did volunteer work. When people asked me what I did I would reply “whatever I want”:D, they never knew how to reply.

    The only thing I don’t like about my job is the amount of waste that is generated.


    At present I loathe my job :p

    The only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that it’s helping me get debt-free so I can go study want I really want next year. I used to enjoy my job, then I tolerated it and now….I reckon it’s me that’s changed – not the place I work!


    My job lets me live in the country, pays my bills, meet and interact with a wide variety of people and there is no stress. If I mess up it’s no big deal:tup: I met my man there and he works with the live ducks so I don’t go and see him at work much cause it brakes my heart ( I work with the ducks at the other end of the farm….in the kitchen cooking duck:confused: ) so that bit sucks a bit but I’m much happier doing this than slaving away in a high stress job with Dept. of Justice which I trained years for:lol: lots less pay means lots less stress:tup::tup: but I don’t need a fancy car to be happy:clap:


    Herbman wrote:

    others will be smiling because you escaped this existence

    I’m smiling mate, but it took me a long time to see the light. About twenty years ago aged in my forties I had a prosperous business, nice home in an expensive Brisbane suburb and wanted for nothing materially. But, in my heart I wasn’t happy yet I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. Then one day I had a revelation. I saw that I was working my butt off in a stressful dog-eat-dog business environment to pay other people for goods and services, most of which like food, that I could provide for myself in a stress-free environment at home on a bit of land. These days I live in the country, am fairly self sufficient in life’s essentials and earn any cash required from a home based business that is part time and totally stress free. I don’t even regard it as “work”. It’s fun. The scary part was breaking away from the mainstream. I kept asking myself if it was that simple and obvious why didn’t everyone come to the same conclusion. I still can’t answer that question, but wouldn’t go back to the old way of life for quids.


    Most of the time I love my job.

    I’m a medical scientist. I work for a large company that tries it’s damnedest to make a profit from people’s suffering but, despite all that, it is an intrinsic and inescapable part of the job to help patients.

    I do everything in my power to help the patients no matter how far removed my job is from direct contact (I work for the pathologist who work for OTHER doctors who actually talk to the patients). I do the work quickly and well to make sure they get a diagnosis ASAP.

    I used to work for an independent laboratory which had better “feel good” value because it’s selling point was patient care above profit but the current job is better (for my pride at least) because the laboratory is a shambles and I am making it run better. I took what I learnt at the independent lab and am now using it to make my current lab run faster. I guess my way to change the world is to improve a lab whose performance was quite ordinary. Afterall, in my book, Acceptable Perfomance is simple not good enough for patient care.

    The only times I don’t enjoy the job is when my efforts seem in vain and I feel that I didn’t make a difference to our standards that day.


    I’m blessed to be an at-home Mum. I’ve never had a career other than as a student or a mother. Both have been enjoyable ways to spend my days. 🙂

    I’ve dabbled in other vocations – admin, hospitality, publishing, education. All have their pros and cons, and each job was/is fulfilling in its own way. Perhaps because I didn’t have to do any of them full-time or for an extended period of time…?

    I’m currently working casually as an editor and writer (from home, yay for the Internet!), as well as mothering and homeschooling our six kids. It’s a nice life – I get to challenge myself with the magazine work, but most of my days are filled with the gentle joy of being with my kids through these important early years of their lives. :tup:


    i am a stay at home mum too. Sometimes i wished i was somewhere eles, but not that much. Me staying at home allows us to not worry about who is getting the kids etc.

    whereas Dh has alot of stress and especailly overcoming a serious illness on top. He is an on road ambo, but because of his illness he can not work on road at the moment. But because they are so short they are pushing him. He is making his stand. As i said in another fourm he said to me the other he was quitting work (when the kids are old enough )and living a life where we produce from our land. So we are learning new skills to ensure that will happen.


    hmmm, I am in the health profession and I manage the beds of one of WA’s largest private hospitals. When I stuff up or things don’t go right it gets in the paper (like today, but not my stuff up only I had to fix it) Stress is an intergral part of the job, but I have learned that it really has nothing to do with me and I am just a link in the chain. If there are no beds then I cannot put people in one.

    I would rather be at home and I have worked out a way for that to happen in about 4 years. Until then, well I am just a link in the chain.


    Like Herbman I don’t tell people what I do apart from I work in multimedia, and until something changes that’s the way it stays, I see real problems on the way so paying off the home loan and having money in the bank is important for now.

    But that said I have my fingers in many pies, one of which is full of Biochar 😀

    I heard a term used by people who are paid well in jobs they dislike. “golden handcuffs” I guess that term fits me.

    If worse comes to worse I can tell people I’m a Permaculture Designer…..:tup:


    I’ve trained as a teacher only recently and I actually enjoy it more than I thought I would. For someone who was never that interested in young people I thought I would find it a little boring. But I love the interaction and relationships which grow after seeing the same students everyday for weeks. It shouldn’t have been so much of a surprise, really – I like working with people and children are people, so there you go! What’s most rewarding is when you are teaching something and they’re enjoying it, finding it interesting, when they “get it”. It’s exciting and fun.

    I’m deeply offended by the proposed introduction of a performance-based pay scheme whereby teachers will be paid according to how well their students can read and write. For goodness’ sake, it’s not the money! It’s never about the money… and if they want more teachers they need to look carefully about the culture in which our teachers teach. Anyway, that’s a whole other soapbox and it’s a little high for me to get onto at this time of night! 😆

    Right now I’m a SAHM, although I will be returning to work for Term 3 🙁

    I LOVE being at home with Sebastian. It’s fantastic in a way I never would have imagined. Even though we would be earning more if I were working and S were in daycare, I wouldn’t trade it. I’m actually having a pretty hard time dealing with the fact that he has spend 9 weeks in daycare from August, but I’m having to get over it (and I am, slowly!) and after that I can be back home with my boy :hug:


    I think I can identify with Warm Earth . I do love my job which brings me into contact with all sorts of peopleand I get enormous satisfaction with the interpersonal relationships that develop and the help I can give them . The thing I cant stand is the business side which has become more and more complex and definitely less rewarding.

    So we are taking the plunge to sell the house and business and attempt to live a life of less stress and more personal fulfillment.

    Will continue to do my job shouldnt have any worries getting work with someone else . I think I will have much more to give in my job if I dont have to worry about managing a business.


    Herbman wrote:

    Do you identify your job as mere survival? As an extension of yourself? Is it something you love? Something you loath? Or a means to an end?

    For me it is all of the above….I manage a unit of amazingly talented people who assess overseas and Australian qualifications for membership of the professional membership body that we work for, we are also gazetted by the DIaC Minister as an Assessing Authority for Skilled Migration and we are the second largest professional Assessing Authority in Australia and largest professional membership body in the Southern Hemisphere…we make life changing decisions for our applicants and members. It is very demanding, I find dealing with my staff – the supporting, coaching and developing – very, very rewarding – they are the reason I travel the 135km to work each day (by public transport). I am also rewarded by playing my little part in helping someone achieve their chance at a better life by migrating to Australia. However I don’t enjoy the political dancing and upward management, although I am getting better at it – it is an interesting game. I also have extreme inner dilemmas over growth for growth’s sake, economic growth and Australia’s sustainable population levels (we just reached 21 million).

    My job is not me, I am very good at what I do and I take full accountability but I have the ability to leave work at work. Many years ago Glenn and I developed a wonderful arrangement, we debrief in the car on the way home from the train station and work issues are never brought into the house – home time is our time. I don’t think things would be as smooth and achievable as they are if I didn’t have such a wonderful partner who works from home in a more sedate profession (he is a artist). Glenn also maintains our home and property.

    Working in a conservative corporate business environment also fulfils another need within me – I get to plant seeds, change perceptions and educate people about things that may never reach their radars otherwise – especially about environmental and animal welfare issues, as well as people understanding. By this I mean, understanding the value of a diverse culture and challenging peoples perceptions of other people that may look little different or have differing ideal and values. When I am out representing the company at events most of my conversations with academics, professionals and other industry people turn to self-sustainability, conservation or marginal people before they have even taken their second sip from the wine glass in their hand.

    I think I have a good balance for the moment, but at the end of the day working in mainstream society is a means to an end for me – I want to pay off that mortgage and be able to afford the property that will allow us a greater degree of self-sufficiency. At the rate that we are going we will have accomplished this in the next 5-7 years.

    But I must love what I do a fair bit – I am now preparing myself for a bid at a Director role, in the same area and in the same company. Then I will be able to look after about 60-80 people (at the moment I look after 13-15 people). But I want to take my team with me, so I’m pushing for a realignment of structure – and the timing is perfect. Now I just have to learn to say the words ‘Fran’ and ‘Director’ in the same sentence without laughing…I think I will always see myself as a defiant little 16 year old with dirt under her nails and three piercings in her nose 😆

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