The Slacker Job

Well I have no excuse for such a long break since my last post, other than that I have just been enjoying doing things other than writing.

I’m almost 5 months into my newest job and I’m feeling a bit of euphoria since I think I’ve found the perfect job for me. Is it because it’s given me a sense of purpose? Or new challenges that give me interesting problems to solve? Or that I get a good feeling being able to help others through my work? Is it any one of those things people describe when they tell me why they like their job and won’t ever stop working? Nope. It’s because I was able to sniff out a position where I can get all my work done for the day in less than an hour, sometimes less than half an hour, and I’m free to spend the other ~7 hours/day doing most whatever I want, so long as I can do it at a desk.

The organization I’m at is over-staffed and I think I’ve basically been hired into a legacy marketing/sales/recruitment position that made sense at one point, but now everything is so stream-lined that the work load is tiny. Plus I spent my first few days writing some scripts to make some of the more tedious parts of the paper work much easier. ¬†I don’t want to give out too many details about where I am but basically it’s an organization that caters to the super rich. They offer highly specialized services in a luxury setting.

Naturally I got myself a gaming laptop after my first few weeks of work. Now my typical work day involves banging out my actual work right when I arrive. That’s typically taken care of in less than an hour. Then I divide the rest of my time between surfing the internet, playing video games, reading some books, watching tv/movies, and socializing with other staff and clients. Not that I’m too overt about these things, I just keep the volume low and my mouth shut about it. It pays just under $50k/year, the hours I work are flexible, and it comes with the typical cadre of ¬†benefits plus a generous amount of paid time off.

I have a business idea I’ve been thinking about trying for a few years so when I’m feeling like I want to be productive I just work on that project with my free time. But I’m in no rush with things, so if I feel like just playing a game all shift, I let myself do it without guilt. Right now I’m just focusing on enjoying myself while still aggressively saving for my future investments.

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  1. Anon
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Well played Mike! I found a similar job six years ago, and then I negotiated a work from home arrangement – so now, I get my weeks work done in a day and can spend the rest of my time doing as I please (as long as I’m able to answer my mobile on the off chance someone from work calls – which typically happens once every month or two).

  2. Geek
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    How did you happen across this class of job, and what would you say to others looking for one of these little gems?

  3. mike
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a dream job Mike.

    Even if you rarely post as of late, I enjoy seeing what you’re up to.

  4. Posted October 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Good for you! It’s like being an occupational double agent.

  5. Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    How do you keep finding jobs like this? Your other recent job (the one where you worked overnight and basically sat at a desk and studied while getting paid) sounds like it comes from the same class of jobs as your current one. Both seem to value production/output rather than micromanagement. I need to find a job like this. What was your search strategy? Any tips you care to share?

  6. Posted October 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    That sounds like a pretty nice gig. Congratulations! I must say I am a bit envious. Enjoy it.

  7. barb
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    WOW I am so green with envy now!
    Congrats and enjoy the ride.

  8. Mike
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Just curious, but how do you handle job interviews for something like this? How do you manage expectations around things like “adding value” beyond the minimum expectations of the job, etc? I somehow doubt that you let on that your plan is to knock out your tasks in half and hour and spend the next 7 hours playing video games, which is brilliant BTW.

  9. Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink


    I’ll add myself to the jealous army of readers. I would also add my desire for you to share any tips you might have to those of us that have not even come close to finding something like this. I have quite the opposite arrangement: a job that is heavily micromanaged, highly public and is filled with intense activity for most of the 10.5 hours I’m at work.

    I’d LOVE to hear more!

    Best wishes.

  10. Spoonman
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    “Plus I spent my first few days writing some scripts to make some of the more tedious parts of the paper work much easier” That’s what I’m talking about!

    You know Mike, I’m a gamer myself. But I must admit that the fight to attain FI has left my gaming life in disorder. The last good game I played was “Dragon Age II”…I just can’t freaking believe it’s been over two years since I’ve played a good game. What are you playing these days?

    A lot of FI bloggers paint videogames as an absolute waste of time. I don’t agree. I think video games are a great way to enjoy yourself and challenge your mind. One of the things I loved about playing WoW was the team work and camaraderie.

    Anyway, I feel happy that you have found a good gig.

  11. jet
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    not feeling guilty, now that is pretty important :D but well done you, appreciate the money and time while it’s there

  12. Roger
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh Mike, say it isn’t so. Golden handcuffs like the rest of us!

  13. Sherry
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I happened upon your bog when I googled lack of ambition. I’ve spent the past few days reading everything you’ve written and I have to say, it’s been a great read.

  14. Drew
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Video games to help you keep your that I get. We are trading time (our lives) for money. But to have a Why and a deadline helps.

  15. AbsolutelyNobody
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    After 13 years of toiling in several different yet eerily similar fast-paced IT/Software jobs in CorporateLand, I finally downgraded to a functionally similar gig in AcademiaVille.

    Night and Day. I work about 3 hours and do what I please for the other four or five. Of course, since I’m working for a university instead of a profit-driven entity, I took a 20% pay cut. But I think of it as a massive hourly pay raise, since I’m working a ton fewer hours.

    I’ve concluded that most folks who have been in their industry for 10+ years with good experience and a solid track record should be able to downshift their jobs, especially if they’re willing to take something of a pay cut. This can be a good trade especially if you’ve already built up a significant pile of stock-based assets and want to cover living expenses for a few years while waiting for market compounding to build up the stash. Apply the reverse and take a gig that you’re really efficient at and overqualified for. This will allow you to do the work of your peers in half the time, because you’re better at it, and you work smart. No one has to know how you use that extra time that you earned for yourself by being fast.

    At any rate, I love this blog because the author confronts topics that most Americans find difficult to face and discuss, such as what one should do with oneself when work fails to provide real joy or meaning, and Is It OK to Do Practically Nothing at My Job, As Long as My Employer Doesn’t Care?
    Love it.