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Old 07-11-2013, 04:43 PM
 
27 posts, read 26,822 times
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I've been feeling really bad about my overall lack of career ambition. Currently I'm making 94K/year (as a senior analyst), but my grade level maxes out at 115K. I have work colleagues that are trying to reach the top grade level which is 120-150K. This afternoon (for example), a colleague mentioned that he was happy to be in his current role, because he was preparing to reach the next grade level to better position himself for a senior management role. I felt bad, because I have no such ambition at this time.

Some of my colleagues probably believe that I'm a slacker for not being as ambitious. I graduated from an elite graduate program and I feel like I should reach the pinnacle at my organization, but truth be told, I'm perfectly happy maxing out at 115K, and starting my private part-time healthy cooking business as a side job, after work (for fun). I enjoy my current schedule and love spending time with family and friends. I do not want to be in the office night and day or worried about business related issues on the weekends.

I just feel bad for not being overly ambitious like my work colleagues. Has anyone else experienced this predicament? How did you work through it?
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:54 PM
 
143 posts, read 279,764 times
Reputation: 275
It's not lack of ambition, it's knowing what you want out of life and realizing you are at the right salary/responsibility level that suits you. For me, that is around 70-80K, for some people that may be as low as 30K and for others as much as 150K; but climbing the ladder just to climb the ladder is pointless to me. I don't feel bad at all, but I do feel bad for people who work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, and a blackberry in their hand when they aren't in the office.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,290 posts, read 5,178,370 times
Reputation: 4090
I know exactly how you feel because I have felt the same way. When I was younger I had ambitions to be a CEO or CFO or whatever. Lately though, I just don't care. I make a good salary and I like the hours and the stress level isn't too bad. I have an opportunity to become chief compliance officer of a pretty large company, but I just don't want the job! I would rather leave that to someone else and enjoy my side businesses (real estate and making jewelry in my case). I honestly don't see anything wrong with that anymore. I felt guilty for awhile, but then I realized that I'm more than a salary or a job title and I'd rather just pursue other options.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:29 PM
 
4,214 posts, read 7,271,125 times
Reputation: 2650
You make like 100k a year. Maybe up to 120k some day. Depending where you live, you're rich. You're already making more than something like 90% of Americans so why not be happy with that.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:36 PM
 
3,279 posts, read 7,115,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disgruntled la native View Post
You make like 100k a year. Maybe up to 120k some day. Depending where you live, you're rich. You're already making more than something like 90% of Americans so why not be happy with that.
Exactly. I make half of that and I'm doing fine.

As far as the topic, my "career" just provides money for me. I don't get an ego trip from it. It is simply a means to an end. Ladder climbing and being the best of the best really isn't important to me.

I'm comfortable where I'm at financially, so I don't see a reason to become more ambitious than I am right now. I don't feel bad about it, and quite honestly I could care less if someone judges me for not being ambitious enough. Who cares what other people think?
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:12 AM
 
937 posts, read 1,008,374 times
Reputation: 556
Ultimately, you have to make yourself happy first and foremost. Don't worry about what your co-workers think; live your life based on your own terms.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:00 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 14,431,371 times
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your work doesn't have to define you - and even if it does, if you're happy with what you're doing and you can afford a lifestyle that's comfortable for you then it's fine, no matter how much you make. and there's nothing wrong with just working for the paycheck so you can do the non-money-earning things in your life that are important to you.

i'm in a field (nonprofits) where making $100k is the best it gets for most people. sure, i wouldn't mind being an ED and making that kind of money, but it's not something i'm working frantically toward. it would also have to be for an organization i'm really passionate about - if i'm doing something i don't care about for work, i want a job i can leave at the office so i can do my own stuff on my own.

i'm very happy with the career path i'm on right now - my new job is in a nonprofit that deals with issues i care about, and it's an office manager position with the potential for advancement into a director-level job down the line. i could probably make more money at a for-profit place (although honestly i don't think i could get the benefits i'm getting), but this is what i want to do.

Last edited by groar; 07-12-2013 at 07:21 AM..
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Earth
3,653 posts, read 4,081,831 times
Reputation: 1808
I don't define myself by my work, and at this point 'climbing the ladder' requires sacrifices that I'm not prepared to make. I've seen plenty of incompetent asskissers climb the corporate ladder because they have the right connections with management,and I've seen hard, honest workers ostracized and trodden over.

I make enough to put money aside, travel on occasion, pay my mortgage, go out to dinner and movies on occasion. That's fine for me-I don't live a high maintenance life, and as I get older I want to live a minimalist lifestyle, not make more money so that I'm tempted to surround myself with a bunch of materialistic, depreciating crap. I do wish to pursue more education because I love to learn but it's for me, for the challenge of accomplishing something, not because I want to climb this magic ladder that everyone else is clawing me in the back to climb first. After nearly 12-13 years in the work world, its not worth it to me anymore.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:05 AM
 
9,240 posts, read 13,185,669 times
Reputation: 10763
I have something that I do 'on the side' as well that is my main passion that prevents me from wanting to climb the ladder at work. Otherwise, I would probably try harder to do so.

It wouldn't be pretty though...
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Florida -
9,862 posts, read 12,399,400 times
Reputation: 20501
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiki_Anderson View Post
I've been feeling really bad about my overall lack of career ambition. Currently I'm making 94K/year (as a senior analyst), but my grade level maxes out at 115K. I have work colleagues that are trying to reach the top grade level which is 120-150K. This afternoon (for example), a colleague mentioned that he was happy to be in his current role, because he was preparing to reach the next grade level to better position himself for a senior management role. I felt bad, because I have no such ambition at this time.

Some of my colleagues probably believe that I'm a slacker for not being as ambitious. I graduated from an elite graduate program and I feel like I should reach the pinnacle at my organization, but truth be told, I'm perfectly happy maxing out at 115K, and starting my private part-time healthy cooking business as a side job, after work (for fun). I enjoy my current schedule and love spending time with family and friends. I do not want to be in the office night and day or worried about business related issues on the weekends.

I just feel bad for not being overly ambitious like my work colleagues. Has anyone else experienced this predicament? How did you work through it?
Along the way in my 40-year career (retired 5-years ago), I had to make decisions about whether I was going to 'work to live' or 'live to work.' Like you, I wanted to spend time with my kids, recognized the truth of the old axiom about 'the workload expanding to fill the available time' ... plus, for the last 30-years, was actively engaged in ministry; sometimes preaching/teaching 4-5 times per week, yet, never made the transition to full-time ministry. (God had called me to 'street ministry' at missions, prisons, halfway houses, nursing homes, etc. --- none of which provided a full-time income).

At the same time, I felt integrity-bound to provide an honest return on my employer's investment ... and to keep my career and my calling as separate as possible. In this pursuit, I made conscious decisions to stay with certain types of work that did not require a 'round the clock, heart and soul commitment' (which meant I had to leave the higher-paying sales career for internal marketing support (eg; Strategic Intelligence, etc). It also meant that I had to find 'Individual Contributor' roles ... and sometimes avoid promotions and leadership roles. At the same time, I needed/wanted to earn a high salary and have good benefits.

Perhaps our difference is that I knew what I wanted to do and made intentional choices and took actions that limited what I otherwise might have done in my career. But, I achieved 'balance' and peace in my life and never looked back with regret. Life is about much more than money and career position. I once heard something that helped me and might help you with the 'ambition concern.' It is that nobody grows old and finally, on their deathbed thinks, "I only wish I had spent more time at the office." --
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