​A blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

Why I love my job(ish)...

Love is probably a bit strong, but there are several things about my job that make me not hate it. To wit:  1.  Regular hours with no nights, weekends, or call (unless I want to work overtime on Saturday to make extra money. Which I don't.)  2.  I'm mostly in control of my day and destiny. In other words, I can work as fast or as slow (usually the former) as I want and I'm not affected by the productivity of others (or the lack thereof). 3.  I have my own office, which is my private sanctuary where I can listen to music, use my iPad, etc. without interference/noise from outside. I sound like I hate people which is not the case, but it's nice to have your own personal space when you have noisy/smelly/etc. co-workers. 4. Kind of related to number one - the work is predictable and manageable. Some days I'm busy all day, but most days there are cushion times built into the schedule so I never feel overwhelmed. 5. Pay, benefits - while federal salaries are normally 10-30% below their civilian equivalents in gross salary, when you consider the benefits (pension, paid leave, health insurance, 401K), then my job is very competitive. Never underestimate the value of a pension. Even if I had been a smart investor and had been saving/investing towards my future since a young age, I most likely would have lost a huge chunk of that in 2008-2009. Because I retired from the Army I will have a very sizable monthly check for the rest of my life, regardless if I work or not. While the federal employee pension isn't as sizable as the military pension, it's essentially the same benefit. Although I do have a 401K that I've been investing in, the federal pension I'll be eligible to receive when I retire will combine with my Army pension and VA disability to essentially ensure that I won't need to work past my mid 60's unless I really want to. Also, the benefit of paid leave is considerable in this job. I worked as a DA civilian and then contractor after I first retired and my annual leave was somewhere around 10 days total. I think I had 10 sick leave days as well. In this job I am authorized 26 days of regular leave and 13 days of sick leave for a combined total of 39 days paid leave per year. And  I've been accruing that amount since I was hired. Most jobs require you to build up tenure to accrue the higher amounts, but not this one. Authorized/paid leave is a huge deal for me. I grew accustomed to 30 days of paid leave per year in my 23 year Army career, and that first year as a civilian with only 10 days of paid leave was a stark contrast to what I was accustomed to. This total doesn't include federal holidays.