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Businesses The Almighty Buck

People Start Hating Their Jobs at Age 35, Study Says (bloomberg.com) 234

Older workers tend to be more unhappy in their jobs than their younger colleagues, according to a survey of more than 2,000 U.K. employees by human resource firm Robert Half U.K. One in six British workers over age 35 said they were unhappy -- more than double the number for those under 35. Nearly a third of people over 55 said they didn't feel appreciated, while 16 percent said they didn't have friends at work. From a report: There's the stress of being in a high-ranking position -- or the disappointment of not making it far enough up the career ladder. True, salaries are higher, but life starts to get more expensive. "Work-life balance" starts to mean taking care of children, rather than just personal stress management. "There comes a time when either you haven't achieved success, work has burned you out, or lived experience tells you family is more important," said Cary Cooper, a workplace researcher at Manchester Business School. "You ask yourself: 'What am I doing this for?'"
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People Start Hating Their Jobs at Age 35, Study Says

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  • It's about 22
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @10:53AM (#55063067)

      Software development is a fun hobby but a shitty career.

      • by doctorvo ( 5019381 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:28AM (#55063343)

        Software development is a fun hobby but a shitty career.

        That's why we need to convince more women to go into it!

      • That's why I switched to doing Admin/DevOps. I got tired of working on the same stupid projects long-term as a software developer.

        I already had a diverse background from working for smaller companies where I was doing sysadmin and DBA work in addition to software development, so I eventually made the switch away from the development team completely. Now I'm at a startup handling all of the infrastructure build-out, monitoring and support needed to support the development team. I find it much more interes

        • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
          DevOps is a cultural mindset, not a position.The job of an admin is to run a server. If you go to the cloud, with proper devops, your admins are pretty much out of a job.
          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

            Devops is just waiting for the next revolution to hit them: Sysadmins.

            Devops works great until your devs get tired of being called every weekend to fix x or y that was nothing more than a machine going down or a configuration problem. All of a sudden, a dedicated admin (or group!) sounds like a really bright idea. FYI - devops is fine for the initial development cycle, devops into production is a prescription for disaster. I know this for a fact as I was pushed into a devops team a decade ago to stabilize

      • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:12PM (#55063623) Homepage Journal

        Might have more to do with treating them like "Human Resources" rather than "People"

        • by Stinky Cheese Man ( 548499 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:55PM (#55063967)

          I hate the phrase "Human Resources". A resource is something you extract and burn, then discard the ashes.

          I'm still looking for an alternative to "resource" when talking about a fellow worker. The best I have so far is "team member".

          • I'm not the only one!

            I HATE the HR term, and I always say pretty much what you said there, a resource is something you use up and discard when you've finished with it. I find it offensive. I still call it the Personnel Department whenever I write or speak about it. I called the room 'Personnel' on our system at work.

            I'm not a resource, I'm a person.

          • But it's exactly what HR does - that, and keep the company from getting sued.
        • What is our Software Development capacity? What is our Product Design capacity? What is our Product Testing capacity?

          My employers don't bother with the human part at all anymore.

      • Software development, for me, has only gotten more fun and exciting in the last few years. I just turned 35 this year.

  • by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @10:50AM (#55063059)
    As people age and have a lot more responsibility and less flexibility in their social, mental, and emotional lives, they start enjoying work a lot less and start treating it as more of an obligation! How much did Robert Half spend on this?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They also realize that all the BS that comes with work like politics, jerk managers and colleagues, open concept workspaces, etc., is the rule and not the exception. AND you have at least 20+ years of work ahead of you. If the robots don't make you obsolete first

    • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:04PM (#55063565)

      start treating it as more of an obligation

      There's no treating, it IS an obligation. At about 35, if you are "typical", you will have a wife and family. Both will depend on you to one extent or another for your income, and sometimes also health benefits. Suddenly work isn't for fun, you can't take the risks you used to take before and have to play it straight, which IS utterly dull. You also start to realize that the fun money you blew on hookers and blow (or your favorite equivalent) should be invested in life insurance, and college funds, and also shit retirement is still a ways off but how the hell do you save for that with these others things? So you start to take more aggressively stupid jobs (management, for example, or technical jobs in lead roles) that pay bigger bucks. And soon, probably while working on a spreadsheet to enumerate fun work for other people to do, or perhaps while giving a power-point presentation on a project post-mortem, highlighting things that could have been done better, but will never be done better because upper management has tightened its sphincter, you realize you hate your job. You may think about a change, if you know your present employer isn't one of the best...and that leads to a series of events that is uncomfortable. Or, you are already in the very best employer in your field, and you get what I think is the worst feeling: shit, this is as good as it gets. And you hate your job more.

      I often fantasize about winning the lottery even a small one just enough to reset me to 25 again. I kid myself: I would take an immediate demotion to college intern and just work on hardware design, or coding or wherever the fun I used to have was. But it's a joke, you can't go home again, and relieved of financial pressure I would probably not be fit for corporate employment. Having spent time in management, and knowing the things I know about how decisions are made, who makes them, and how very wrong the usually are, I would probably never be able to do that work again in a way that wouldn't get me asked to leave. This is what genuine overqualification means (not that HR shit). That is perhaps the MOST depressing part.

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        Are you me? I've never seen someone describe it so well.
      • I want to clarify, I love my wife and my kids, and would do it all over again. But, all decisions have consequences, and as far as the road most traveled goes, this is a potential consequence. Some people manage to be happy at home and at work, but they have a very different personality than I do.

      • I imagine you're writing that from a purely north-american point-of-view. I'm living in France, rest assured it's the exact same thing here. This feeling is depressing - there's no escape on our planet.
  • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @10:53AM (#55063071)
    If you aren't in management then you start to get dumped on around 35. Just look at who is hired after 40 with a good resume and lots of experience vs a ok resume and little experience at 25. Perhaps if management, in general, didn't crap all over thier employees this wouldn't be nearly as pronounced.
    • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:00AM (#55063145)
      I live outside CA, and have not experienced this. Cult of youth is not everywhere.
      • It's not everywhere, but it's common in technology.
      • I live outside CA, and have not experienced this. Cult of youth is not everywhere.

        I work for a CA company (Google), and have not experienced it either. Previously I worked for IBM and I really didn't see it there, in fact something of the opposite; gray hair was overvalued, though not heavily. Before working for IBM (21 years ago), I was young.

    • by mrdogi ( 82975 )

      Oh, I don't know. I was 45 when I was hired as the network admin at a local school district a couple of years ago. I did have one or two people in the district that I put on as references, and both of them would have known more about me as a person. One knew me a bit from when we worked at a university, but that was 15 years previous.

      I am currently very happy with my job and have friends at work, and get decent pay/benefits such that I can support my family. I'm in a quasi-management position; I don't actua

    • If you aren't in management then you start to get dumped on around 35.

      I personally think it's the other way around. If you move into management you get dumped on a lot more. You move away from your core discipline that you love, and into managing other people.

      Jean-Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people."

      35 is about the point when a lot of people move into management positions.

  • I was transitioning from being a lead video game tester to an IT Support technician when I was 35. While I enjoyed being a video game tester for six years, it was a dead end job with few opportunities for promotion. I'm quite happy with cleaning out IT closets for the last 13 years.
    • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

      Not my experience, either.

      I'm not sure the author reached the right conclusion. Trying to make sure I got all my work done when we were having kids was difficult, to be sure, and extra stressful - but then the kids grew up a bit and required less of me; they were in school all day. Now they are late teens, and while we still spend plenty of time together, I don't feel stressed about having to take care of them.

      Maybe people just start getting really bored with the same-old, same-old. Maybe that's around t

      • I'm not sure the author reached the right conclusion.

        The TFA doesn't mention a specific time period that the data was collected. If recent, say, post-Great Recession, there's a lot of people who felt that had no choice but to stay in their current job or risk not finding another job. That's an unhappy bunch. Probably bitter that other people took the risk of finding a new job, getting a pay raise and moving on in life.

      • I think part of your experience may be skewed a bit. If you're in the "35" age range and have teenage kids, then you're starting a little earlier than most by modern standards. The trend lately has been that most people tend to hold off on having kids until their late 20's/early 30's, so for most 35 year olds with a family the kids are often younger.

        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
          I'm 50 - my kids were tykes when I was 35, and I remember how stressful it was to meet my obligations at work - however, that didn't mean I was dissatisfied with the job. But the job wasn't causing the stress; the kids weren't causing the stress; the new financial obligations of raising kids weren't causing the stress - all of it combined caused some stress, but I still liked my job, and was happy doing it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Oh yeah, I have bills to pay, and they pay me to do this."

    If you sincerely love your job and love coming to work each day, you are one of the lucky ones. I'm pretty neutral on my job, so I consider myself pretty lucky.

    • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:08AM (#55063211)

      Well, really... I think people just start to get bored by that time. They were really excited to get their job 10(+ or -) years ago, and now they're thinking, "is this really it? Come in every day and do the same thing every day for the rest of my life?"

      I would bet people who (willingly) change jobs every so often are lot happier, and I would guess that if your job has a variety of things to do so that you're never doing the same thing for a very long time, you might be happier. I also think if you get to see the results of your work - the non-financial payday resulting from your work, something you can be proud of, then you might be happier.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I would bet people who (willingly) change jobs every so often are lot happier,

        Not so sure about this, because even if you're changing jobs you're probably doing roughly the same things for a different company. Simply because if you have 10+ years experience you're not very likely to start over in a junior position doing something completely different. As long as it's not becoming a lock-in where that employer and that job is the only one you'll get I don't see a problem staying if you have no major complaints. Though I know one COBOL programmer who now issues parking tickets, having

      • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:36PM (#55064365)

        Yep. When I was younger I was told the old saying "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.".

        Now that I've gotten older, when young people ask me for advice I always say: "No matter what you love, if you have to do it every day for a living you'll learn to hate it. Pick something that pays well and if you can avoid it, don't turn a beloved hobby into a chore.".

        • by Shotgun ( 30919 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:06PM (#55064621)

          My dad put it this way when I asked him why he didn't make a job of building furniture (which he loved to do):

          "If you make your hobby your job, you won't have a hobby."

  • When you are young and starting out, you don't know all your good ideas will be squashed, or stolen.
    When you are older, you have experience and know what's going to happen.

    • Two thoughts:

      1) Ignored is another option. The same results as squashed, only depending on your outlook more or less ego damage.

      2) When you're young, you have that righteous burning fire in your belly, built on an unshakable belief that you know better than the old fuddy-duddies. That makes obstacles more irritating but simultaneously more tolerable.

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:02AM (#55063161)

    "There comes a time when either you haven't achieved success, work has burned you out, or lived experience tells you family is more important,"

    That is if you or those close to you aren't divorced or about to.

    Look, there's a fundamental problem with how we in the west handle matters. The [senseless] need to "achieve" burns many out. When coupled with debt, things go south pretty fast.

    • Suddenly, you're working and commuting 40-60 hours a week to live in a mobile home paycheck to paycheck while bill collectors bombard you. All your labor is so you can have your kids a measly 4 days a month. Your health declines, your quality of life declines, and you realize you are a slave to your employer, ex, and government.

  • by peterofoz ( 1038508 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:02AM (#55063165) Homepage Journal
    Between 25 and 35 the world is your oyster and the sky is the limit. From 35 to 45 fast living is catching up with the demands of family, you may have teenagers, and possibly overspent your credit cards. The mortgage on the house is feeling heavy. From 45 to 55 you settle into reality and just plough on, or reinvent yourself with a career change. From 55 to 65, your planning your exit strategy.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      35 and planning my exit now.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:45AM (#55063433) Homepage Journal

      A lot of people haven't even left home by 35 these days. Property prices and rent are insane in areas with jobs. 35 is when you realize your life is going to be a lot worse than your parent's lives, and you aren't going to retire at 65, or ever...

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        35 is when you realize your life is going to be a lot worse than your parent's lives, and you aren't going to retire at 65, or ever...

        Sweet, I'm already ahead of the curve. I'm only 30 and I already know I won't get to retire. On the bright side, I jsut hit 10 years with my company so there is a decent chance I will make my 40 year anniversary.

      • Eff that! I'm retiring by 62 if not sooner, barring some catastrophe that gives me some insurmountable debt. As soon as I can possibly afford to quit work and scrape by on retirement savings I'm doing it. If I have to build a shack down by the river out of cardboard boxes I'm doing it.

        The plan is to sell the house. Buy a small bit of land somewhere with good internet access. Build a small bunker of a house that meets my needs and not much more. Maintain a small garden, and spend the rest of my days doing wh

    • by Anonymous Coward

      One important part of adulting -- and this may be unpopular among millenials -- is not confusing nouns with verbs.

    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:51AM (#55063467)

      Between 25 and 35 the world is your oyster and the sky is the limit. From 35 to 45 fast living is catching up with the demands of family, you may have teenagers, and possibly overspent your credit cards. The mortgage on the house is feeling heavy. From 45 to 55 you settle into reality and just plough on, or reinvent yourself with a career change. From 55 to 65, your planning your exit strategy.

      Or you can plan your retirement/exit strategy a whole lot earlier. I had three retirement accounts by my mid 20's.

      I've seen altogether too many people use the plan you mentioned, and then suddenly at age 55, they start planning, often in a panic.

      I retired at 55, while most people are only starting to think seriously about it. And can report that while I loved my career, retirement is sooooo much better.

      • and 55-65 jail / prison as your doctor (usa only) needs to be planned for as well.

        • and 55-65 jail / prison as your doctor (usa only) needs to be planned for as well.

          Only if you didn't plan well.

          Personal savings for retirement works pretty well, but it has a problem. Not enough people have the discipline to do it properly. Stuff is too tempting. Many of my Co-workers, who made less than me, were driving Escalades and HumVees around, and leased or bought a new one every couple years. Meanwhile, I kept my Jeeps for at least ten years.

          They re-financed their houses several times, sometimes to buy that Escalade, sometimes to take their kids and kid's friends to DisneyW

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:03PM (#55063553)
      it's not fast living. The cost of living (Healthcare, housing, transportation, food, and above all education) has rapidly outpaced earnings. Massive productivity increases mean less demand for wages (I've read that if minimum wage kept pace with productivity it'd be $23/hr). Rampant outsourcing and 'insourcing' (e.g. work visas) compound the problem.

      Folks aren't living outside their means, they're losing ground. Rapidly. That's why you're seeing crap like what happened in Charlottesville. Folks don't know what to do.
      • by Nethead ( 1563 )

        That's why you're seeing crap like what happened in Charlottesville. Folks don't know what to do.

        I don't think that becoming a Nazi is really the answer.

        • It's not (Score:4, Interesting)

          by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:42PM (#55065369)
          but nobody's giving them any answers. For all I've heard from the last few weeks about Hate this and Racism that I've heard almost nothing that addresses why these people felt they had to turn to Nazism and the KKK. I'm guessing the media at large isn't allowed to talk about economic issues, especially given that they're owned by billionaires that benefit from the working class's worsening situation.

          There's alternative media on Youtube. Look for the videos pushing Bernie Sanders and the like.
    • Family? What family? I'm just over 40 and I'm finally feeling like a success both personally and professionally. I have pursued my interests, have developed my technical skills and have invested in my future. The only problem is that I have spent all of my time working on improving myself and almost no time on relationships with the opposite sex.

      Now I'm faced with potentially having no heir to all the wealth I will have accumulated. I never imagined it would be as difficult to meet people at my age as

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:03AM (#55063171)

    Are these the same type of people who get stockholm syndrome working for shitty people and under horrible policies?

    The people you work with and workplace culture have a lot to do with happiness, I've convinced my wife and other people in my family to keep looking for something better even though they were making enough to be comfortable, simply because they were unhappy at work. Most have found something with equal or better pay and much nicer bosses/coworkers, and it made all the difference in their lives. No longer coming home feeling like shit and ready for a drink, too anxious to sleep well at night, etc.

    Don't settle, if you're not happy then keep looking.

    • Don't settle, if you're not happy then keep looking.

      The issue is twofold. One, a person has to analyze why they might be unhappy. Some times it might be because of people or the situation, some times it might just be that they simply are never satisfied. I've seen a lot of that.

      But one must also understand the actuarial tables. I have some friends who are 60 years old, and still job hopping, with no retirement options other than social security. Damn, that's brutal. All jobs, all careers have their moments. But these folks with sky-high levels of what the

      • True! Some people are never happy and never will be.

        As for job hopping, unfortunately for me as a teen I was getting kicked out and encouraged to find something that will be as stable as possible. Other luckier friends were encouraged to try a lot of things and had encouragement and the safety net of their family. These people were a lot more discerning and found happiness earlier on and were able to attain both stability and happiness.

        For me and my siblings it took longer and we may suffer more from findin

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So non-workers can get government checks and a hundred free government services that I'll never benefit from myself.

    Also so the 7 counties around Washington DC can be in the top 10 or 15 wealthiest areas in the US.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Come to Europe and enjoy ~40h weeks and 25-30 working days off each year.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:26AM (#55063331)

    It's not you, it's them. You have blinded yourself to a pattern of corporate decay because it came about so gradually. People used to celebrate your achievements, have fun office parties and offsites, pay attention to your needs as a human being. And now it takes a year to order a new laptop and your boss shoots absentee e-mails asking you to attend a cross-timezone phone call at 10pm right?

    You will feel so much better when you move to a place that doesn't suck. In the meantime, all your experience is worth a fat pay raise, even a cross-ladder promotion.

  • by Krakadoom ( 1407635 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:29AM (#55063347)

    This is kinda curious, cos I've hated pretty much every job I've had (at least once the first year honeymoon-period has been up), UNTIL I turned 35. Or 37 actually, but who's counting. By that time I'd had many different jobs that each sucked in different ways, so I was able to ask the right questions at interviews to establish, whether the workplace, the boss and the role was for me. My own vetting just got a lot better = increased job satisfaction.

    Then again, I'm not shooting for management, so that might be why I'm not getting disenchanted with the whole thing. Would I prefer being independently wealthy and not employed per se? Sure. But really who wouldn't.

    • That comes very, very close to describing me. Once I got past about 30, I started vetting jobs. I went in with the attitude that they wouldn't be interviewing me if they didn't think I was qualified, and it was now time for them to prove to me that I wanted to work there. I did my homework, knew a bit about the businesses, and had already asked about the general work in phone interviews. From there I dug into the job. The management structure, expectations, office culture, etc. What were their visions for t

  • People in the work force for 20 years tend to have figured out a significant portion the mistakes by incompetent managers / co-workers wasting money and catering to petty egos and every trick in the book to pay you less.

  • by unfortunateson ( 527551 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @11:36AM (#55063387) Journal

    I'm in my 50s and I never have hated the work to be done: I'm lucky enough to be in an industry with near-constant change in technology, and have carved out positions for myself where I'm nearly indispensible, and become the expert. (Yes, I'm being vague)

    That's obviously not easy for anyone to do, but it's been very satisfying for me.

    On the other hand, I've hated my employers at times: companies that don't support their employees, don't enable them to do what's best for the customers or the company, and in one case, kept me hanging by golden handcuffs for most of a year with almost no work to do.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      I work in IT technology and it changes, but to be honest, it often seems like it doesn't change.

      I had a conversation with a co-worker about this, and while there are kind of shifts in hardware platforms over time (like internal to networked storage) and performance increases in components (CPUs, network speeds, storage speeds) the basic framework of client/server computing hasn't changed all that much -- clients connect to applications that run on servers and they all communicate over a network.

      You might ca

  • by then you're desperately trying to save money for the kid's college while trying to make car/mortgage payments; meaning just about anything you actually want to do yourself goes out the window and you spend the next 10 years living like a pauper constantly worried about money. Yeah, there's a few people (maybe 10% of the population) that avoid that but for the majority, especially today, you're staring down a miserable end of your existence.
  • People keep statistically recording nebulous " facts" about feelings. There is always one feeling: "mixed".

    Something tells me they do not had this answer in the list of multiple choices

  • by imperious_rex ( 845595 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:07PM (#55063579)

    I didn't wise up about work until I reached my early 40s, so I am a bit of late bloomer. Until then I previously held a series of post-college crap jobs until I landed my first (and only) "real job" when I was 33. For the first few years I was enthusiastic and truly enjoyed the work. But enthusiasm slowly turned to ambivalence which then became disillusionment and finally active disengagement. I became the living embodiment of Wally [amuniversal.com], Dilbert's slacker co-worker, as I no longer gave a shit about the company and the job. Ultimately, I got laid off along with several others in my department and now I'm enjoying a phat severance package as well as making some money from my dividend investment portfolio.

    My point is this: Don't work for the sake of working. You can always make more money but you can't make more time. Early retirement should be your overarching goal. It can be done, as many people have proven it. Just research FIRE (Financially Independent Retired Early) and your eyes will be opened to what's possible. When you no longer *need* to work and are in a position to do the work you *want* to do, the world becomes a lot more brighter.

  • Never hated my career. Never felt I couldn't 'take that risk'. Always had plenty of outside interests I devoted time to. Simply can't relate.

    Were the findings skewed? Keep in mind Robert Half makes their living in job placement. If people don't want to change jobs, they don't have income.
    • Wait, are you saying that a job placement firm might want to push a false narrative that would encourage people to become dissatisfied with their current jobs so that the firm could make a sweet nut on both sides of them moving to a different job?

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        While it could be a false narrative, it could also be a convenient truth. I mean, it's almost guaranteed there's some fraction of the workforce unhappy with their jobs. It only makes sense to identify that segment and market to it. It doesn't have to be a lie just because it fits what they're selling.

  • by MouseR ( 3264 )

    I'm not people!

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:26PM (#55063745)

    As people age, they tend to collect responsibilities outside of work. That's (IMO) what makes people hate their jobs more -- it's stress, and the feeling of being trapped no matter what path you choose:
    - Places to live where technology professionals congregate are too expensive for most families to survive on a single income. This means both parents work, adding to family stress, as well as having a large amount of monthly expenses even if you aren't spending way above your means.
    - My wife and I are constantly trying to balance our jobs and our family life. Some people don't give a crap or just give up trying, but actually caring adds a lot of stress onto your plate as you try to juggle different priorities.
    - Around 35, if you haven't been saving for retirement, you should be feeling the Grim Reaper tapping you on the shoulder inviting you to a future of living on Social Security alone and eating Spam...because it's almost too late to start unless you get a really good run of stock market luck. More stress.
    - If you have kids, saving for college (should be) a priority too...stress.
    - As you age, unless you've stagnated for a decade or more, you're probably in a more responsible role, and less shielded from typical corporate political nastiness. You get to see how the sausage is made...and in my personal experience that's a contributor to stress too.
    - Because you have all these responsibilities eating away at you, you're often less likely to just rage-quit and go find somewhere else to work unless you're really well-off...hence the feeling of being trapped.

    And, it doesn't matter what career path you've chosen either:
    - If you're in management, and you're not 100% suited for the job, I can totally see why people would hate their jobs. You deal with so much, and companies are always looking to "delayer," so the key is to scramble up the middle management layer as quick as possible.
    - If you've chosen to remain technical (like me,) there are _so many_ pressures. Outsourcing. Offshoring. A constant deluge of new shiny things to learn if you want to stay useful. MBAs waiting around every corner to question why you're being paid so much in their eyes. Balancing home life with having to stay current. Staying productive enough to keep up with the 24 year olds who don't know enough to not work 100 hour weeks for free. You name it -- we techies pay a heavy price to keep using our brains for work.
    - If you've chosen something like a civil service job, then that "trapped" feeling probably sets in early. I know lots of people who work for the state university system and in state government -- getting a bad boss in a CS position who will never be fired and having to stay in a very similar position so you're never fired must be confining, and people have confirmed this. The only cold comfort is that your retirement and usually your job is secure, so that's one less degree of stress.

    The take-away is that the grass isn't greener in most cases - life is just more difficult as responsibilities get layered on top.

    • by asylumx ( 881307 )
      Out of mod points, but there is a ton of insight & truth in this post -- thanks, I'm there with you.
  • by mfnickster ( 182520 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @12:34PM (#55063807)

    Anyone who doesn't know this already has never had co-workers over 35.

    Drew Carey put it best:

    "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? You know there's a support group for that... it's called EVERYBODY."

    "They meet at the bar!"

  • I'm ahead of the curve. I've hated my job starting at age 20. I must be throwing the averages of a bit, meaning there are plebeian who are in their 50's and still love their jobs.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:42PM (#55064429) Homepage

    American corporations have slashed benefits...

    - Healthcare now costs us a few hundred a month, plus thousands in co-pays and deductibles.

    - Vacation/Personal Time, many of us are in our 40's and find ourselves with 2 weeks of vacation. We have less vacation, personal, and sick time today then we did when we were 20. Difference is, now most of our times goes to medical appointments.

    - We don't have enough time to address medical needs, so we work with ailments delaying treatment by months or years.

    - Management has grown inflexible again, kind of like the 1960's except without the great benefits and pension plans.

    - We're underpaid. But what can we do about it, they will just import more H1B Visa holders.

  • This is because... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmazingRuss ( 555076 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:57PM (#55065047)

    ... by that time, you have most likely developed some competence, and you can see the vast array of morons and fakers that surround you. You're confronted with a choice: Scream at them until they do the right thing, or just let things fall to shit. Either choice pays the same, so to shit things will go.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I turned 40 this year. I've been doing the "responsible" things for some time as I have 17 to 19 year-old kids, and own my third home now. The wife and I joke (or long) for the day when we can buy an RV and go full-time RVing. Not sure that we really want to do that, but it looks tempting. It's that time of life when huge bills are mounting (multiple kids need all wisdom teeth pulled? College of course. Major appliance dies. You name it.).

    Some days are good, even great, when I get to do something I e

  • In the late seventies, the late Studs Terkel wrote a book entitled "Working", where he interviewed ordinary people about their working life. In it, he mentions a study that said that, I think it was 70% or 80% of *everyone*, didn't just dislike their job, but actively hated it.

    And that was before the 40 hr week went away for a lot of people, and before the "job creators" uncreated jobs in the US, and created sweatshops in Asia and Southeast Asia, leaving a *lot* of folks here working two part-time crap jobs

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost