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Devoted to discussion pertaining to those issues which are specifically relevant to people under 45. Topics must have a specific perspective of people in this age group for it to be on topic.

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Career hurting dating life?

Mar 16th 2013 new

The past year I have been considering whether or not my career is suitable for having a dating life. I really love my job and for a young guy, have near maximum possible experience. Age 23 is the youngest I could legally have started this career and I am 25 with two years experience over three different companies in three different cities. Everywhere I have been, I have done extremely well. Ive been very blessed to have gotten where I have gotten. In my last interview for my current job, there were about 30 people interviewing for 3 jobs for external candidates. I was one of the top choices and got the job over people decades older than myself and far more experience.

For all the good decisions I have made career wise, it is a career field with odd hours especially for someone junior on the union seniority list. Weekends off can take 15 years for me to get assuming I stayed here. If I moved to another, bigger company which is highly likely in coming months or years, it will be the same or worse. Working hours for someone junior without a line, tend to be 0300AM-0100PM time frame or weekends working 1300PM-2300PM. Occasionally, there will be midnight shifts thrown in and possibly a 0800AN-1800PM shift. It might take me a year or two just to get a normal set schedule with my seniority. In the previous companies, it has been somewhat similar.

Before I started this journey, things seemed to be turning a bit of a corner. I lost 90 pounds. True, I probably was way too skinny but I was starting to build my fitness level and slowly began getting myself in shape. With my career and the odd hours, frequent travel, and the largely sedentery nature of the job, I have thrown those positive gains back. A stressful, sedentery job where you sit for 10 hours straight a day makes it hard to not gain weight. Hopefully, I will be able to start to change this but with a highly variable schedule and possible moves to new cities, I cant guarantee it will happen quick.

Even with all that, the schedule and stressful nature of the job makes it hard to find time to meet new people and date. Changing cities doesnt help but companies in my field are spread all over the country. I dont have the luxury to pick and choose cities if I want to advance. The odd working hours and weekend shifts means that I am working when most people my age are out and having fun. Most church events also happen either when I am working or sleeping.

I also work extra days often either for voluntary OT or by junior assignment.

Sometimes, I wonder if my hard work is all for nothing in terms of trying to save money in order to start a family. Finding a Catholic woman is hard enough but when your time is limited by work, I wonder whether or not my choice of career was the wrong decision. Sure, I enjoy it but I also want more than just this job in life.

I know that I have many blessings and am thankful to have my job when many other people wanted it but I am not sure if God is trying to tell me that I need to find another career field or that I am not called to be married.

Does anyone else feel married to their jobs in a certain sense? My family feels like my co-workers. We are a small brotherhood in this business.

Mar 16th 2013 new

Hey Matthew,

Your job sounds pretty stressful and I hear a lot of doubts in what you're writing. I guess my own advice would be (1) really take a look at whether this career choice is truly a strong passion (it sounds like it is and if it is, then keep at it because what makes you passionate in this world can be a good indication of your calling in this life), (2) if you feel overwhelmed, take a serious look at what you can cut down (eg: do you really need to do volunteer OT? Or can you stop doing a few things here and there that are not required for your job so you can do other things: sleep, go to church events, or just take a breather on the weekend to take a stroll and breath).

Those are just some suggestions and these come from someone who also has a busy schedule. I'm a medical student, but in my hectic schedule I have found ways to (1) recognize my own personal passions in my career and (2) finds ways to say no so that I can finally say yes to things I do want to do and that which I need (eg: gym, stroll outdoors, brunch with friends, or a simple nap).

Don't get discouraged. Just keep going, but take a serious look at what is necessary and what can be compromised without compromising who you are.

God bless.

Mar 16th 2013 new

It seems to me that the way to approach life is to work like a dog until you are 35, saving and investing as much as you can and educating yourself to be the best person you can. At that point, you marry and have a family, and with luck can retire relatively young.

Apr 10th 2013 new

Hmm... I think it has more to do with attitude and priority. I'm going into architectural engineering which is kind of a crazy and time consuming career but to me, my career is infinitely less important than finding my future spouse and spending time with her. So I would simply refuse to let my career be an issue. So my problem isn't really MY career- it's her career that the problem. I find that nowadays women are too busy persueing big careers and traveling the globe and are not willing to just settle down, relax and let a good man perue her. Although nowadays the econemy hits hard and there usually needs to be 2 breadwinners, careers should always be subordinate to relationships and all relationships subordinate to our ultimate relationship with God.

Apr 10th 2013 new
For the young men so far, Marge had a good idea, work like crazy, get involved as you can, learn to always live off half your income and invest and if you marry at 35, you can shift gears if necessary or desired. In the meantime know you are where you need to be at this time in your life. If you wonder about your hours, think about those in the medical profession or law enforcement who have to balance 24 hour work days and they can have families too.
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