One of the big ways to be happy in life is to enjoy your work and or the very least not to hate it. I know this because I was once a car salesman. The job itself was fine but the hours sucked and the people in management were the biggest lowlife, loser, power-hungry, assholes you could deal with. Imagine driving 40 minutes to your job and just dreading where you were headed. It drains the life out of you. I was eventually saved when I got back into the family business and I think it's a big reason as to why I'm more emotionally healthy and an overall happy person than I was as a salesman.
My poor wife, Lynn, has no such luck. She chose her profession back at the age of 18 when she decided to go to school to be a lab tech/medical technologist. She loved science and laboratories and thought it would be a great job for her. She then attended 4 years of college- 2 years at Bucks Co. Comm. Col. and 2 at Thomas Jefferson University. Then Lynn got a job right out of school at a hospital just outside Philly on the mainline. The commute was somewhat long but she decided to take the first job she could get and felt comfortable there as she knew some of the people there since she did some intern work at the hospital.
That was probably one of the biggest mistakes she's made in her life.
She never realized how much bullshit politics and bureaucracy goes on at a hospital. Her first boss she despised and she wasn't very happy with the hours of the second shift. She trudged on and eventually got a position with day shift. While a bit happier, she grew tired of the long commute and eventually discovered how much disrepect that the lab techs get from the rest of the hospital and the administration. (and the paycheck reflected this!) She tried for years in vain to get a job at one of the local pharmaceutical companies but never managed get her foot in the door. It seemed that she would have been better off as a recent grad or someone who had experience in the actual business; her hospital skills and experience seemed only valuable to other hospitals.
She eventually moved to on a closer hospital but took a night shift thinking that she'd have more time to spend with the family and less interaction with the stupid back biting among her fellow employees. She soon learned that she's spent more time trying to catch up on sleep than with her family and that the politics doesn't go away and still affects you, even if you aren't present during the day.
That's over 10 years of misery my wife has endured. I think sometimes her brain is being held together with bits of tape and glue as she trudges on every day. Finally, after some soul searching, last year she decided to become a high school science teacher. She realized that she was happiest when instructing the students that would intern at the hospitals over the years and decided that teaching was the best way to get the respect and happiness she desired in a career.
Easier said than done, of course. Changing your entire career path in your early 30's isn't the easiest task.
Lynn decided that taking online courses while still working would be the best course. The online school works out well as she can work at her own hours. But, now, she endures even less sleep as she tries to squeeze in her regular family life along with hours of school work each week and her regular night schedule.
Please don't think she does less work than your regular college student. If anything, I think she does more on average than the college student who attends classes. With online school you are forced to participate in the class discussions. You are required to post in class discussion forums and get graded on what you write. I've seen her create and write more essays and projects than I ever did in one semester's worth of 4-5 classes while she only takes one course at a time. Mind you I was only a Radio, TV and Film major but still, she really has much more than you'd ever expect an online school to have. Online schools now have earned my respect and I hope that employers know that online diplomas are no joke.
There's only so much I can do to calm my wife's stress and allay her fears and concerns over the years. I just hope Lynn realizes that she's about halfway done her schooling and she has less than 9 months until she student teaches. To most outsiders she looks fine, but I know she's coming apart at the seams and needs some support from not just me but her friends. So, if you're a personal friend please be sure to express that you have confidence in her ability.
It's just a little bit longer honey, hang in there!