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Why do I always fall for 'the grass is always greener'?

  • 09-09-2023 12:54am
    Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭

    I've posted here in the past and gotten some very sound advice so I thought I'd do the same again.

    Long story short - I have this horrible habit of going into grass is always greener mode.

    I'm not my biggest fan, nothing you can say hasn't been said to myself at one point, I already know whats coming.

    I'm a dosser, I did feck all in school came out with a slightly above average Leaving. Went to college - hated it... long story short I came out with a Business degree with results indicative of my inability to apply myself - still don't know how I got a degree, it's wasted on me.

    Started into a job in Supply Chain - started off really well, loved learning about the business, spending time on the floor, learning the departments and the process, all good.

    I really enjoyed it to begin with, but then they started to ramp up the already steep learning curve, and I've struggled - and they're aware.

    So my probation has been extended for an additional 3 months as a result - they want me to take over day to day from my boss and I don't see how I'll manage.

    Probations up at the end of the month, and I doubt I'll be kept on.

    I get along really well with my boss, find the industry interesting too but:

    I make stupid mistakes, I ask stupid questions, I obviously try not to do both but it happens. We deal in strategic planning, it informs senior managements decision making - it's all abstract, it hardly even impacts on the actual daily plans, it's just idealism and scenario running.. I struggle to join in on conversations because despite asking I still don't fully understand what's going on - I'm learning a lot but not fast enough.. I just know how to send out this report, I don't understand the legwork of it, but I can tell you where I copy and paste each and every cell out of.

    I legitimately don't feel smart enough for this. These macros were built by my boss, she's lovely but even after it's explained to me I struggle to understand exactly how everything works, it all just seems wishy-washy to me.. God help whoever thinks I'm capable of taking over from here any time soon. I've never been fired and I'm dreading the next few weeks where I find out for certain where I stand..

    But even then I don't think it's for me, I hate staring at a computer all day and sitting on countless meetings. It's stressful & I'm underpaid.

    I just know I wouldn't like HR, Sales, Recruitment or the other stand out options for Business grads.

    I've subsequently interviewed elsewhere and I got down to a final interview for a similar role that pays significantly better.. and I'm really not sure if I'd take it (assuming they offered it to me).

    Part of me wants a job where I'm not stuck behind a desk, where I can see practical application, where I actually get stuff done rather than getting emails sent.

    I've always loved working with my hands, I'm obsessed with cars and have a project of my own.

    So naturally I've been considering something more hands on, an apprenticeship or the likes.

    But I've already gone down this route!

    I left college originally, I was in an NUI and was overwhelmed by my lack of understanding of just what I had gotten myself in for, I hated college, hated sitting in lectures.. worked with my uncle who's a carpenter for a while, thought 'hey electricians earn good money maybe I'll do that' - turns out I hate slogging away on a building site, hate being out in the sleat and snow pulling cable up the side of a building, didn't get that satisfaction out of it, I just put on a switch plate.

    So I high tailed it back to college but into an IT, still for a business degree but I thought it'd be less airy-fairy.

    Still wouldn't go back to electrical work..

    Every post online says mechanics is the worst trade to go into.. but I love cars, love working on them, feel that if nothing else I'd be happy pottering about on cars surrounded by lads who also like cars..

    But I don't want to fall into the grass is always greener fallacy like I have before.

    Part of me is afraid of leaving it too late to change and then getting stuck in a sense.. At least now, in my mid 20s I could manage on a first year apprentice salary.. Even if the alternative job is over double the pay.

    Money matters, but I just fear history will repeat itself, the novelty will wear off, reality will set in, and I'll be looking at yet another change - same thing could/would happen with just about anything and everything.. I'm the problem - but how do I fix it? Maybe I would be better off changing to a trade - just not construction based. Maybe I'd be better off sticking with supply chain and following the money for now.. I could get sick of both, but one pays extremely well.

    I've always wanted to learn a skillset/trade that I could start my own business out of, I just have had it in my head for as long as I can remember that I want to eventually work for myself.. but for now I need to find something I tolerate well enough.. and that's where I'm struggling because the grass is always greener and I'm always stupid enough to consider it without actually properly considering it.

    I realise how idiotic this and I sound. I know I'm probably nothing but a headwreck but at the same time - I do mean well, I do genuinely want to find something I enjoy doing - at least to some extent.

    That's all I'm after, getting to spend most of my time at something I won't hate doing..


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,376 ✭✭✭✭gormdubhgorm

    Is it a confidence thing? Or a boredom thing? The impression I get from your post is that you get nervous and talk yourself into not knowing something then start panicking and 'switch off' mentally.

    Maybe a psychologist is the route to go? Give you some form of mantra/breathing exercise to maintain concentration and relax a bit. Or failing that some sort of medical prescription from a doctor that might help?

    As for your idea of wanting to get into cars, I was only thinking at my last visit to a mechanic what a great job it must be if someone is into it. I wouldn't have much clue about cars except the obvious basics, but it always fascinates me when I see someone clearly work at something they are really into. And it is normally those who are not motivated by money.

    I suppose a way to test whether the car idea is just a 'novelty' or something you want to do. Is buy an auld banger and fix it up as a hobby. Then when by the time you are finished you should have an idea whether you want to do more of the same?

    Guff about stuff, and stuff about guff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,785 ✭✭✭mailforkev

    Get a decent job, earn decent money. Buy a house and stick a lift or pit in the garage. Tinker with cars at the weekend as a hobby. Win win.

    Lots of people coast through life knowing just enough to keep moving up the ladder. That’s a skill in itself. And can end up being quite lucrative.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭Tork

    Would restoration of classic cars appeal to you? I know of someone who's planning on doing a course in this down in Waterford (link here). Perhaps other places run a course like it?

    I've read several of your threads here and honestly, I don't know if anybody on boards is equipped to help you. Your brain sounds like it's running at 90mph constantly and that you're bouncing off the four walls of the room half the time. It must be so tiring being in your head. Maybe it might help to remember that most people are capable of having careers in all sorts of fields. There is no one ideal career for most people and many opt to do something else when they get a bit older and know themselves better. You don't need to find your ideal career right now. In fact, I think you'd benefit from having a lesser paid job that's more within your comfort zone for now. That might give you some stability, which I think is more important than all your lofty ideas of what you think you could do.

    As for your current job, I strongly advise you to start job hunting if you haven't already done so. I remember your thread about your probation being extended. In my experience, extending somebody's probation is NOT a good sign. All your employers are doing is getting their ducks in a row and getting ready to pull the plug on you. We did that to somebody in work (I won't go into the details) and I'm afraid you sound a bit like them. Continuing to make stupid mistakes this long into your job is not what an employer wants. Once you've established a reputation for yourself as being unreliable, you're goosed

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭Kaybaykwah

    Mid twenties is young. You’ve got a good ways to go. I think your sense of being out of place, out of phase happens to a lot of people. Maybe you don’t get it, because you have little affinity for the type of work you are in.

    The construction trade didn’t work out either, at least that is settled. You need to stop undermining yourself, but at the same time finding a job that you are comfortable in and that you do well at and are willing to put effort into, sticking with it.

    There is the fact that anxiety is not all bad. It is important to fight through problems and persist while marking your successes and not dwelling on your mistakes. That inner voice is there to denigrate, and tells you any success os only a fluke, etc…

    I would avoid getting medication for dealing with anxiety, but rather find a therapist that helps you confront head on, whose practice doesn’t involve "removing anxiety " . You may have a learning deficit in certain fields when a greater ability in another would grant you better prospects, and give you room to grow into the occupation, and accepting the stress that comes from learning, adapting, and finding the creative outlet you deserve. I believe you need a vocational (career) counselor to help determine a more suitable job path.

    Give yourself a break, though. Change certain habits to bring newness, and give positive meaning to what you do.

    Maybe your job involves a lot of bullshit talk and the abstractions don’t suit your character, at least in business terms. Your tinkering with cars is important, keep doing it for yourself, while taking care not to spend too much on things that depreciate. Try to learn not to put yourself down so much and be positive.

    Avoid alcohol on a regular basis, it will make you waste a lot of time and opportunities to do better. If drink and drugs are not your thing, you are already winning. Medication is not part of the Royal way forward either, even with an ADD diagnosis. Quiet time lacks in our lives, and meditation and long walks, (not drives) will help you set things in perspective, you will feel a lot better.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,497 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    How can you be underpaid for a job that - by your own admission - you're bad at?

    Anyway, OP, I agree with Tork; I don't think anyone here on Boards can help you and I'm not sure what you think yet another thread is going to achieve that none of the previous ones did. You need a therapist who can equip you with specific coping skills.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 642 ✭✭✭joeyboy11

    Love this comment. As someone who was similar in a finance job and loved training I convinced myself I would be way happier working "my passion" as a personal trainer. The grass definitely wasn't greener. Now I'm 34 and got my job back on the same pay as when I was 27. No regrets as I travelled and met my wife during this time but would have been alot easier if I stuck to a solid finance type job with abit of pt on the side.

    Try find a handy number (no stress or overtime) with your degree. For example simple data entry work like processing invoices. Then find a way to pursue you're passion with a part-time niche like flipping cars or restoring classic cars.

    Also address any issues you have like your mind racing or anxiety. Do what you need to do there. CBT, yoga/meditation, exercise. Find what 'grounds' you and keep doing it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,718 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    Considering your previous posts where you asked for the same advice and recounted the same college/career history, it may be time to either take on board the suggestions given on here or possibly better, to talk to a career advisor and a psychologist and figure out properly what is going on for you.

    I think the latter is necessary Otherwise nothing will get resolved for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ifeelabreeze

    I think it's more of a boredom thing.

    When I first started i was thrown in the deep end learning the ops side of the business. I was switched on, having info thrown at me, being on my feet and really learning.. but as that's transitioned to the less practical, desk based day-to-day Excel work, I've started to lose interest.

    I definitely feel I've anxiety of some description, I think I always have been never knew what it was actually called..

    That was my thinking to! It'd be hands on, but not grafting on a building site, I'd get to work with cars and be surrounded by lads who also like cars.

    But I've heard from plenty that it's not worth it, it's one of the worst paying trades and a lot of guys in it end up losing their passion for cars which is why they went into it in the first place, plus tooling is insanely expensive even in comparison to other trades.

    I currently have a project car, it blew a coolant hose last weekend so I'm going to be replacing the set and changing out the radiator in the process.

  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ifeelabreeze

    That was the original plan, use the degree I bothered to go back and get, find a decent job with progression and keep cars as a hobby - that's what I was after. But I'm genuinely not sure if I can hack a desk job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ifeelabreeze

    Thank you, I've actually come across that before! Sadly I'm the opposite end of the country but I'd enjoy something like that if even just for a hobby.

    It does that at time, like now.. largely because - I feel like I'm going to be out of a job in a month, I thought this was what I wanted but it's only become more apparent as time goes on that I'm not really cut out for a desk job that deals wholly in abstract ideas and forecasts. So if it's not for me what is? Worse still I'm probably going to be fired at the end of the month.

    So I have started looking elsewhere - got through to a final round interview for a similar role (which I applied for long ago), it pays significantly better but I'm worried history will just repeat itself and that this really isn't for me.

    I get along really well with my boss but over the past while I've noticed that a lot of the training hasn't been closed off it's being extended past probation - but they're not going to let me go past probation.

    They hired a fresh grad for a role that requires someone with serious industry knowledge, they would have been better off pulling someone off the floor like a planner or an analyst.

    They gave me a chance which I'm grateful for but I feel it's just exposed that it's not for me.. but if it's not - what is

    I've been through it before and I got flamed for it but the baseless idiocy stands in my head.

    I know feck all, I have no skills, no useful industry knowledge, no money.. so it's not going to happen any time soon. But for as long as I can remember I've wanted to (eventually) work for myself. I never saw myself reinventing the wheel.. but speaking of wheels - I could see myself doing something hands on and eventually going it my own, my uncle is a self employed carpenter he's done exceedingly well for himself but he works insanely hard, I've always wanted to do something similar.

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    You're doing exactly what you aimed for. This is what you worked for and you're doing it. You can't possibly know whether you can hack a desk job because you don't know what job/role/position you will have. It's the exact same for everyone else. No one (or at least very few) sets out thinking....ooh a desk job that I have no interest in, that's what I'd love to do with the rest of my life. Instead as time passes you learn, you grow, you move on.

    The point is that you have a serious problem with decision making in work and at home. Like you say, you're forever thinking the grass is always greener and have difficulty accepting your action or decision was right. But what's the point in just describing it, if you're not going to resolve it? That's what you have to do and you have to talk to a professional to help you, as has been suggested to you before. Otherwise you can't learn, grow and move on because at every turn you're going to be second guessing raking over and possibly rolling back on every move you make and spending your time agonising over it all.

    Do yourself a huge favour, go to your GP, talk to them and ask them for a recommendation for a counsellor who can help you work through all this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭Kaybaykwah


    That. Also, the anxiety component is part of the complex kit of being human, it should be a driver, not interpreted solely as a hindrance, something to be quashed by a medication. Too much of modern psychological help is focussed at relieving by relying on outside forces.

    I know I would probably perform less well than the OP at his job, I wouldn’t waste time trying, I’m old enough to know by now. But, at his age, I was pretty wishy-washy, and alcohol certainly didn’t help me get better focus.

    I mentioned medication because there is a serious need to counter measures that deny a person’s ability to deal with stress, and the availability of yoga, meditation and such should be part of a child/adolescent’s education. In fact, if children experience negative environments in their early years at home, schools can do a lot of good by introducing self regulating measures like meditation, yoga and exercise in lieu of psychotropics. An adult can always revert to self-regulating measures to address stress in their future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭Tork

    I don't think anybody here is advocating medication for the OP. But as one of several people who have read and replied to his posts over time, I firmly believe he needs good professional help. Yes, young people can be a bit wishy washy as you put it but I think the OP's problem won't be solved by yoga or giving up the drink. Maybe there's a diagnosis in the offing but even if there isn't, he badly needs tools to cope with life. He can't keep bailing when things get tough or continually looking over the hill to the next big shiny thing. It's human nature to want better things and we all have a certain amount of "the grass is always greener" in our makeup. But not to the self-destructing degree of the OP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭Kaybaykwah

    Yes, I was suggesting that there are categories of assistance in the realm of psychology that either push pills or push self help through introspection.

    My point about alcohol is that it tends to muddle perception and make things worse and depress an individual. The road to recovery or discovery is better helped without outside interference, better to deal with the environment head on without mediums. There is a new fad in psychotherapy that wants to push Magic mushrooms and LSD as a channel to self-perception like in the sixties. It is fugged ub.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    I never suggested any form of treatment for the OP, I'm not medically trained.

    OP, there is no harm in seeking help from your gp (who you seemed to work well with before), tell them how you're feeling and how you have been feeling this past year. Start from there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ifeelabreeze

    Haha good point! What I mean is I'm paid the same as those on the graduate scheme (so spend their time training between all departments) but I end up doing far more 'meaningful' work than that done purely for training purposes.

    I'm also paid significantly less than those trained in similar roles to me, but I'm incompetent by comparison so that's excused..

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭Kaybaykwah

    I am not saying you did.

    I am suggesting however that he gets referral from a GP, as you say for therapists who can do without meds, there are some.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭Kaybaykwah

    Anyways, how can you find the grass any greener elsewhere when you live in Ireland? Your grass is as green as tour neighbours. Lol

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,996 ✭✭✭pgj2015

    I was the same as you op, quit a desk job I had only started 1 month before, first job after college (business degree along with a postgrad) decided to start a business, saved for 1 year and set up a business, I needed to save around 12,000 and did it on dole money. 7 + years ago, best thing I ever did.

    There is a guy I watch on youtube, and English guy, he set up a used car business selling bangers at first but he says he made 16,000 pounds profit in his first month. he has video on how he started, high peak autos, Here's how I ended up with a used car business. it might be something to look into, seeing as you are into cars.

  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ifeelabreeze

    I love his videos! He's a great way with words, very refreshing when compared to the 'I'm going to shout because that's what makes people listen' YouTubers!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,718 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    You are well within your right to ignore and not respond to advice which you do not agree with but it is telling from all of your threads that nothing is ever resolved and that you generally only respond to those who are telling you what you want to hear.....

    Moving to the US for example to play music... or starting your own business....

    You then turn a thread into a chat about something irrelevant, such as your post above about YouTube.

    I have asked before, what do your friends and family think? Do you talk to them about these issues you are having?

    You may get the answers you seek on boards, but you'd get the answers you really need, talking to, and taking on board what a professional has to say.

    Good luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,309 ✭✭✭✭wotzgoingon

    I seriously doubt you would stick being a mechanic. It's not a great job at ALL. If you did become a mechanic you would not work on cars in your spare time as just like the desk job you were at it all week and the last thing you would want to do is work on a project car in your spare time.

    You didn't like being a electrician so what makes you think getting filthy hands and face every day would be any better?

    Stick to a desk job. Hard labour is hard labour and it's not all it's cracked out to be. I know I'm a qualified electrician and also worked on building sites as a labourer for a few years as well. I went back to college during the recession to train as something else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,312 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    You may need to accept that the grass isn't always greener.... Have you spoken to a mechanic as to what's involved in their job? While I don't know ones too well - I know from my local one and a relative who is one that there are very long hours. Late nights, weekends. It's never ending, there's always cars needing to be serviced, NCT retests, some breakdown, something urgent, delays in parts, some lad bolloking ya cos he wants his car looked at right away. Tinkering away at a car is all well and good - but it's a hobby, not a job.

    Not everyone loves their job. And while I don't recommend staying in a job that makes you unhappy (I've been there and been sick from the stress), as a grown up you learn that often times a job is there to be tolerated and pay the bills and allow you to do what you enjoy outside of work hours. But I gather you are in your mid 20s, it's definitely not to late to retrain or take a step back to figure out what you want to do next.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,403 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice

    Have you ever thought you might have Attention deficit disorder? ADD? There is no harm in discussing this with a GP or even getting referred for therapy to discuss the issue and support to come up with some strategies, you are also coming across as a little immature about what the world of work and careers are like for most people, most people dislike some aspect of their work, even if they like the job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38 Harryhol

    I have done this all my life, but you are lucky op you are aware you are doing it and unlike me you are still young enough to figure things out. All I will say is do what makes you truly happy not what makes you the most money or sounds or looks good to others. Be true to you while your still young. Best of luck!