Downshifting

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
lovelygreenleaves
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:40 pm

Downshifting

Post: # 177840Post lovelygreenleaves
Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:08 pm

I'm considering downshifting. Just working part time in a less stressful job, rather than full time in a stressful job. My biggest fear is not money, just how I'll feel about myself (will I still be proud of my achievements?) and how other people will view me - you know, when you first meet people and they say 'what do you do?' what will I say that sounds interesting? Has anyone downshifted? I'd be interested to hear your experiences :flower:

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5139
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177843Post MKG
Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:25 pm

Pull yourself together, woman!

Why would you not be proud of your achievements just because they're outside the "normal" definition of work? Ask a few "workers" to dig a garden - see how far they get.

What on earth is the point of continuing to work in an environment which is stressful to you? Net result - your performance decreases and so does your lifespan.

Downsize away and be happy. You owe no-one anything. When people ask "What do you do?", tell them the truth - I work on finding a path which affects as little as possible, destroys as little as possible, and keeps me sane.

Nowt wrong with that, young lady!

Mike
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

lovelygreenleaves
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:40 pm

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177844Post lovelygreenleaves
Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:42 pm

MKG wrote:Pull yourself together, woman!

Why would you not be proud of your achievements just because they're outside the "normal" definition of work? Ask a few "workers" to dig a garden - see how far they get.

What on earth is the point of continuing to work in an environment which is stressful to you? Net result - your performance decreases and so does your lifespan.

Downsize away and be happy. You owe no-one anything. When people ask "What do you do?", tell them the truth - I work on finding a path which affects as little as possible, destroys as little as possible, and keeps me sane.

Nowt wrong with that, young lady!

Mike
I might print that, thanks!! :sunny:

User avatar
Gulumpah
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:09 pm
Location: Midlands

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177849Post Gulumpah
Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:31 pm

Hi LGL

I've done exactly what you're thinking about doing. I took the whole of the summer of 2008 off work (unpaid) and then went back to work part-time. I've been very lucky to be able to do this and it's fan-blinkin'-tastic.

There's a number of people (mainly work colleagues) who simply don't understand why I don't work full time and spend my weekends in Selfridges shopping. They are genuinely mystified that I'd rather have less money and hassle and lots more time to myself to potter about in the garden, attempt to make things and generally not worry about the 9-5 (or 8-7 more like). I've given up trying to explain myself to these people and now they've pretty much lost interest in trying to convince me of the error of my ways. :cheers:

I don't regret the downsizing one bit and only wish I'd been able to do it years ago. I've never been happier.

So quick, do it now!

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4305
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177858Post Thomzo
Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:29 pm

Hi
I took the whole of this summer off (6 months) and intend to do the same next year. I would love a part time job but they are like gold dust (well one that uses my skills and experience anyway) so I compromise by doing 6 months off 6 months on.

If anybody asks I tell them I'm "semi-retired" and then explain that I only need to work for six months of the year (which implies I'm financially very successful) and that I can spend the summer doing what I want to do: travelling, shopping, lunching etc (ok, so the "travelling" means getting out on the bicycle around the local area, the "shopping" means walking to the farmers' market and the lunching is usually a picnic) but it sounds impressive.

The main thing is to sound confident and happy that you are doing it for the right reasons, but in order to do so, you must be confident in yourself. Try setting yourself a few goals. One of mine was to study a module for the Open University. This will build your confidence as you see yourself using your time constructively. They don't have to be big goals, growing peas might be one of them. They just need to be things that make you happy.

I loved my time off. Good luck with yours.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

lovelygreenleaves
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:40 pm

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177870Post lovelygreenleaves
Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:10 pm

When you talk about working part time/ half the year it just sounds perfect. I thought maybe I was unhappy about work because I didn't particularly enjoy my job, but I'm starting to think it's more like it just takes too much time away from me, no matter what job it is. Do you find that people think you're lazy? I know I'm worrying too much about what other people think but it's hard not to!!

suziq
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: oxford

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177875Post suziq
Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:32 pm

been gradually downsizing over the years, career was v important to me till i had my son, and afterwards for sometime
i was part time for a while, then part-time term time. now i work a flexi system where i'm employed 3 days a week and if i do overtime i can take pay or time off. i had 5 weeks out of 7 off last summer
life is not a dress rehersal, if you want to spend your free time flying kites, planting trees or sleeping it's your time
i get more appreciated for homemade soup and bread than i do for an extra 100 qwid at the end of the month
and what i do is quite high tech, so i'm admired for that, and i do a bit of the basic stuff on the side, just for fun and a few extra qwid
enjoy, be proud and see the world around you anew, you will be the envy of most peeps i think

lovelygreenleaves
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:40 pm

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177879Post lovelygreenleaves
Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:55 pm

suziq wrote:if you want to spend your free time flying kites, planting trees or sleeping it's your time
Sounds perfect :iconbiggrin:

User avatar
fruitcake
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:29 pm
Location: Argyll

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177881Post fruitcake
Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:05 pm

LGL - totally understand you're dilemma - I know we're not supposed to worry what others think etc but its hard not to.
I also agree with the others re 'just get on with it' - you decide what you're goals are, it's you're story.

One of my new years resolutions this year was to be 'not working full time ' or sort out my stressful full time job to enable more ME time by the end of the year.

I applied for a more admin type post at a local business - which i would be able to walk to but which might not provide me with the challenge that I have to admit I thrive on - didn't even get an interview - humpff ( - Ithey got someone who had much more relevant skills so thats good for them) I took 4 weeks unpaid leave in July - as i did last year - a wee bit like THomzo's 6 month idea of not being able to work part time so take more time off in a concentrated dose. I loved the month off approach - last year we tried to do a month long sailing trip, this year we just did short trips (less pressure and not so much disappointment when the weather was cr@p)

I have however, now dropped to a 4 day week - I absolutely love it - I decided to bite the bullet and ask even though it's not really our company culture and I also feel that you really only get to ask to go part time if you've got kids and we've decided to not have kids so I dont have that reason but i still dont want to work fulltime - one of the daftest questions i got in response was - what about your pension? what about it? was my response - i've never been in a job long enough to have a decent pension so I've ensured I've got other irons in the fire for long term future funding - that and planning on hopefully not needing too much!

I do feel i am looked at weirdly for doing it - most folks are really supportive so i suspect its mostly in my own head - it still feels like I'm on holiday each wednesday so far :thumbright: my goals are to be more chilled, happy with who I am and spend more time in my garden cos it makes me happy :sunny: :flower:

Good luck - I've got a wee proverb on a card above my desk at the mo which i read to remind myself to just get on with it which says..
'leap, and the net will appear'

User avatar
pumpy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 773
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: Norfolk, where the cafe's still shut for lunch!

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177882Post pumpy
Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:08 pm

lovelygreenleaves wrote:I'm considering downshifting. Just working part time in a less stressful job, rather than full time in a stressful job. My biggest fear is not money, just how I'll feel about myself (will I still be proud of my achievements?) and how other people will view me - you know, when you first meet people and they say 'what do you do?' what will I say that sounds interesting? Has anyone downshifted? I'd be interested to hear your experiences :flower:
Do what you wanna do as long as it makes you happy. Don't be concerned with other peoples opinions, & don't feel as though you are obliged to explain anything. I gave up work 21 months ago (health reasons), & have never felt more content. Money's not everything, but happiness is!!
it's either one or the other, or neither of the two.

User avatar
MuddyWitch
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2460
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:13 pm
latitude: 52.643985
longitude: -1.052939
Location: Leicester, uk, but heading to Ireland

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177888Post MuddyWitch
Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:49 pm

When people ask me what I 'do' I just tell them I spend my time saving the Planet!

MW
If it isn't a Greyhound, it's just a dog!

theracedude
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:38 am

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177893Post theracedude
Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:11 am

MKG wrote:Pull yourself together, woman!

Why would you not be proud of your achievements just because they're outside the "normal" definition of work? Ask a few "workers" to dig a garden - see how far they get.

What on earth is the point of continuing to work in an environment which is stressful to you? Net result - your performance decreases and so does your lifespan.

Downsize away and be happy. You owe no-one anything. When people ask "What do you do?", tell them the truth - I work on finding a path which affects as little as possible, destroys as little as possible, and keeps me sane.

Nowt wrong with that, young lady

Mike


I like your style...

User avatar
george
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:21 am
Location: Back in New Zealand

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177899Post george
Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:08 am

This is all good advice for you. I say you should go for it if it is something you want to do. Don't worry about what other people think.

However, I totally understand how you feel as I lived for 3 years in a country where I wasn't permitted to work. The first thing everyone there asked me was "what do you do" and they definitely looked down on me when I told them that I didn't work (it was the kind of culture where who you know and how much you earn was the most important thing!). I didn't like the feeling of being a non-person in their eyes.

However, since then I have had a full time job which when I really got into gardening I was super happy to be able to downshift to a 4 day week and had no problems with how any one else felt about me. I don't know if it was because I was older or because I did actually have other stuff that I really wanted to do but either way I was really happy with it.

Now I have gone back to working full time but I am teaching English overseas so it is not stressful and gives me the opportunity to travel for a couple of years. When I go back home I plan on downsizing even more (I just have to talk my husband into it!).

George

User avatar
red
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 6513
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:59 pm
Location: Devon UK
Contact:

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177920Post red
Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:15 pm

its a shame - isn't it - how people define your worth by your job,

prepare some witty reposts. and realise being happy is the main thing.
Red

I like like minded people... a bit like minded anyway.. well people with bits of their minds that are like the bits of my mind that I like...

my website: colour it green

etsy shop

blog

grahoom
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 2:00 pm
Location: west sussex

Re: Downshifting

Post: # 177922Post grahoom
Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:22 pm

if you've got the opportunity to take back the time that is rightfully yours and use it in a manner that is better for yourself (and those you love) then DO IT!

Currently I am in a position where I work more hours than I should, and don't have half the time to do the things I love to do - there are reasons for this, but as soon as those reasons get sorted - then I am downshifting!!!! I don't care what people think of me with regard to what I do, I am more concerned of how I feel about what I do with my time, and at present I feel my time is being wasted!

Here's for downshifting!!!! :flower:
|You can't feel lonely with nature as your companion| millican dalton

Post Reply