I hate my job

I’m sick of being a federal employee. Yeah, that’s right. The boy that always talks about how much he enjoys his job is sick of working for Uncle Sam. Not because I hate the government, but because I hate you. Well maybe not you, but definitely the guy (or girl (or stuffed animal)) next to you.

It hasn’t always been this way. I started working for the Fed in 2007, a few months after I turned 22. Times were good. No one seemed to care that I had a “cushy” $38,000 government gig (note sarcasm). During my first year the economy had a serious case of explosive diarrhea. Stocks were plummeting. College grads were struggling to find work. Gas prices were soaring. It was the financial apocalypse.

In 2008, people that use to not care about my job, suddenly hated me for it. My work ethic, my intelligence (what little I have), and my commitment to success suddenly became moot points. Almost over night, I went from “Ninja a pretty hard worker” to “Ninja the free rider.”

Look I get it, you think federal employees are overpaid. Stop whining to me about it. I don’t set the federal employee pay schedules and benefit plans. You’re complaining to the wrong guy. That’s congresses gig. You wouldn’t walk up to a bank teller at Bank Of America and yell at her for all the shady things the BoA corporate big-wigs have done, would you? So why do you chastise me for something I have no control over?

As long as I am working for the Fed, my knowledge, skills, and abilities will unfortunately be doubted. I am doomed to the “he gets paid to sit on his butt” stereotype.

So today, March 30th, I plan to shut each and every one of you haters up. I’m giving myself 12 months to find a “better” offer in the private sector. If by March 2012 I have not either A) left the government for the private sector or B) received a job offer for a position comparable to (or better than) my current position, I will gladly admit that I am a societal leech.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on this journey (not that I think you actually care). I can’t wait for the day I can shove that offer letter in someone’s face and say “HA!!!!!”

32 thoughts on “I hate my job”

  1. Better still, leave for a month or two and get hired back as a consultant. You could prove the point that working for yourself is more rewarding and lucrative than working for the government. Also means you don’t have to stop doing what you enjoy. Win-Win.

    oh, right… you want to change your life to prove a point to people you don’t even know? Not sure my plan would help you there. But unless you want out of your current career, is the negative sentiment about your career choice that depressing? Or are you just stubborn and want to prove people wrong? I’m confused.

    • You’re confused ’cause you’re making a bunch of assumptions. If you read the other articles (linked in this one) you would see that I have always planned to leave the government. Here’s a quote from a previous article…

      “…but I personally think the salary structure of the Fed will eventually drive me to the private sector. I want the ability to earn what I’m worth, not what my job series says I’m going to be paid.”

      Not leaving my job to prove a point. I’m almost offended you think I’m that shallow.

      • Regardless of any previous plans you had to leave government service, this post makes it seem like you’re leaving just to shut the haters up, because… well, that’s what you’re saying you’re doing. It also sounds like you’re joining in with the haters by offering to admit you’re a societal leech by staying with the government. I can’t blame Gus for his assumptions. They weren’t so much assumptions as they were obvious conclusions drawn from the post you wrote.

        Good luck with your job search, but if you do find yourself still with the government in a year, please don’t call yourself a leech. That would only be adding to the problem.

      • “I want the ability to earn what I’m worth, not what my job series says I’m going to be paid.”

        The problem is, “what I’m worth” is usually only your own perception and generally translates to wanting more money than you’re currently making. (How often have you heard anyone say, “I’m earning more than I’m worth”?) And there’s really no such thing as being paid “what you’re worth”; instead you are paid what your employer is willing to pay you, and that (minus what your government takes in taxes) is what you have to live on.

        I don’t btw “hate” you for having arrived where you are today. As someone else said, anyone is free to apply for a federal job, and since you were given an offer and have been retained, you are apparently qualified to do whatever secret agent thing you do. And I think you recognize you are doing better than average for your age. If I “hate” anything (and I don’t see it in you), it’s the attitude that some people take who are earning six-figure salaries, generally at a very young age, and who think they are earning “not that much” or who paint themselves as living in poverty – no doubt because they can’t afford the country club membership this year or have to settle for the BMW rather than the Lamborghini, all the while whining about paying one of the lowest marginal tax rates in the developed world. Again, that’s not you, but that’s an attitude I find truly despicable, at a time when there are millions out of work and one hears of whole families forced to live in cheap motel rooms with the kids going to bed hungry.

        If you decide to leave for the private sector, bear in mind that you may not see raises each year (or very small ones, until and unless the economy improves), and you will be sacrificing the benefits of a TSP for a 401(k), which almost certainly won’t be as

      • Sorry for the misunderstanding, although from the comments it looks like I’m not the only one who thought you might have been over reacting to the “haters”. It might have been the plan to shut us up (in bold, no less) or the willingness to call yourself a societal leech after 12 months that gave me the impression you were trying to prove a point.

        12 months in a shitty job market may mean your stuck right where you are. Or not, but as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.

        I’m almost offended that you accuse me of making wild assumptions after reading a random blog. Normally I make the assumptions without reading… 🙂

  2. Anyone is eligible to apply for a government job. Those who complain about the perks should seek to benefit from the situation by submitting an application. Otherwise, shut their mouths.

  3. Personally I think the haters just hate on the fact that it has great perks, a good pension, you get paid what you are worth for a position like that and you do not necessarily have to fight hard for the increases afforded to you. They hate because they don’t have your negotiation skills, or work ethic but want compensation for it. I work in the private sector (different country even), but i have worked for various stages of government in my country. The thing I liked most about that that I don’t have now is a pension and more benefits. Don’t get me wrong, what I have now is great – but I’d like the pension to ensure my future self is set up for a cushy lifestyle is all. I work hard now to do that on my own. I don’t hate of feds. They are important, just like the rest of us!!

    On your journey – I think you may be doing something that will ultimately make you more happy with your career path, but those haters aren’t going to shut up. They’ll just hate on you for something else….like finding an even cushier private sector gig that pays more and has many more lucrative benefits than your current place. They’ll hate because you found it and they STILL couldn’t. Haters will always be haters…that’s on them. You will always strive for more, better, bigger, happier – that’s the fun part about you. But they’ll still hate because you are a mover and a shaker and they are just haters.

    Best of luck with this though! I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes you!!

  4. Wow, Ninja. That’s a huge deal! But I’m excited for you to be making such a change. What about a little more details on how you and Mrs. Ninja came to decide that you COULD quit your job for up to a year? That’s a pretty heavy move from a personal finance standpoint. Good luck and I hope God blesses your move.


  5. I work for a city government and get the same thing “must be nice to make such a good wage” “city workers sit on their butts and take long breaks”…..blah, blah, blah…..I just tune them out because 1. I know what I do is worthwhile and that it helps their quality of life in this town 2. I know I’m a good worker and give good value to the city and 3. someone has to do the work!

    What people don’t always understand with municipal jobs (at least mine) is that I have almost no power over my salary and benefits. No matter how wonderful of an employee I may be or how wonderful of a job I may do I get the exact same pay raise (or no raise) as the joker sitting next to me.

    And finally, since the economy has tanked I haven’t gotten a raise in 3 years and don’t expect to get one in the next 3 years.

    Ninja – we need people like you (hard working, honest, loyal) in the federal government! It’s what helps me sleep at night – just knowing that the ninja is watching over us!!!

    • Nice summary – and I’ll add in that those of us working in the public sector also are generally making less than our private sector counterparts. It’s all a balance – we get better benefits, but we get lower pay and there’s limits to raises, etc. I am really sick of people (such as Fox News) claiming that teachers and other public sector workers are living some lavish lifestyle, when we’re solidly middle class at best. I see these types of arguments and actions (such as taking away bargaining rights) as literally waging war against the stability of the middle class. If we were all employed by the private sector, you can bet we’d all be even more of a drain on the government since we’d have shotty health insurance, poor retirement packages (if at all), etc etc.

  6. Didn’t you just have to bust your butt during a physical endurance test for this job? Sure screams freeloader to me!!

    Dude, if you find a better job, go for it, but people who think all gov’t employees are scumbag leeches are probably projecting. My 2 cents…totally worth rubbing the pennies together.

  7. Do it cause you want to Ninja. If you like the job keep it and forget the haters. They could just kill themselves like Nicki Minaj said. Plus once you don’t feel undervalued no point in jumping ship until something better comes along. Plus you have a great job as is even if the money isn’t as much as you want to make. You get to travel and you get time off to spend with the wifey. And you get to say I’m a Secret Agent. Tell haters suck on that.

  8. Ninja, I recently freed myself from the government’s teet as I was an employee of the State of California. I made the transition to state employee after 5 years in commercial real estate because, as everyone is well aware, the market tanked and when you are 100% commission in a declining market, well let’s just say it got a little thin. I worked for the State for a year and half and couldn’t take it anymore. All the state worker/government worker stories I had always heard about employees being lazy, incompetent, etc, were not only true, but were worse than I suspected. I wish to this day I would have kept a diary or a blog to produce a book on how much of your tax dollars are wasted by the personnel of the State. Anyways, I could not be around these people anymore and felt I was wasting my life working there even though I had a good gig, benefits, and a respectable salary. I ended up studying web design and search engine optimization, let a few of my friends, family, and past real estate clients know, and within 6 months of doing that I know own my own company, work from my house, and make more money than I did before. I would encourage you to think about your passions (blogging has already given you a good audience who respect you) and see how you can make some money. The thing I never realized is that you don’t just have to have 1 job per se, as now I am involved in a few different ventures and I am always looking out for new opportunities which believe it or not, if you just ask people, you would be surprised at how many ways there are to earn money. I wish you luck and encourage you to read Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Workweek and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Those 2 books changed my life and made everything I am doing now happen. Best of luck!

  9. It is never bad to see what is out there! You do not have to accept anything. I suggest to job shadow any career you decide is interesting before you accept it.

  10. Yeah, I agree with Liz, Think twice your choice before doing something that you regret.

    I understand your reason, because in my country, federal employees have the same stereotype, that they just being paid for doing nothing, etc. But hey, lazy people are everywhere. People are who make the difference, not the place (private or a federal agency).

    So good luck in your job search and punch haters in the face !!!

  11. From having left the gov’t side and moving to a consultant, be very careful! Yes it is initially more money up front, but the long term benefits just aren’t there. I don’t know if your in defense/LE (sounds like if you are a gun-toting dude) contracts aren’t going to be there for long. Its a strange deal to hear every week about the cutbacks and canceling of contracts and realizing that hey, that paycheck every 2 weeks isn’t going to be there anymore. Plus, consultants with only a few years of fed time are not really in hot demand, at least in my industry. Grey hairs come fast and furious, no matter how financially “set” you are. =)

    But if you are leaving for something you are more passionate about, gives you more time with the fam, or other intrinsic values, I say go for it! That is exciting stuff, and life outside the government seems very appetizing at times!

  12. I’ve been a federal public servant since I was 23, going on 11 years now. I probably think about going to the private sector and seriously look into it about every two years or so. I would be qualified to do a number of things, most of which pay more than what I make now, though when you add the pension and benefits package it makes it pretty close. But it all comes down to the same thing – I took the government job out of school because my education lent itself that way. But along the line, I started getting satisfaction of achieving little victories to make government more efficient and effective. I save taxpayers $10,000 here, $25,000 there through process improvement. Sure, that money is just spent elsewhere, but at least I’ve made my area of government a little better. I get a real charge out of knowing that my good work helps taxpayers in its own way. If you feel the same way, I’d give second thoughts to leaving the public sector. If it’s really just about the money, best of luck.

  13. the occupation of a Ninja is always a hated job, but its a job and it’s gotta be done… and if someone has to do it why not you…nothing wrong with leaving but there aint nothing wrong with staying either…good luck with whatever you do.

  14. Don’t waste your time looking… if this is the job for you, stick with it. Who cares what other ppl think. People will complain about everything and anything. Just except it and move on.

  15. Your pay is nice, but I wonder how good your health insurance and pension are…that might make me even more jealous 🙂

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