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Ask HN: Where Are the Easy Jobs?
22 points by giantg2 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments
I have been combing over job postings, but I cringe at most of them. They all have this over the top description of what is expected of people and try to make boring work sound interesting.

How do I find jobs with reasonable expectations? I know most of these postings are probably just BS fluff, but then how do I determine which ones are or aren't?

I just want a job I can do without being constantly bored and frustrated.

There are tons of easy jobs but they are boring. You can work for government or other bureaucratic companies but work will be boring and it will frustrate you because you won't be able to move fast or do the right thing.

Most of the jobs are boring, even if they have hard challenges, they will get boring if you don't care about the problem or if you don't have some independence to choose what to work on.

Now if you want an easy job, that is not boring, I would look for companies/projects that I believe in. This might be companies in climate change or some other cause. It may still be frustrating because you may want to do certain things that your boss may not agree with. IMO, frustration is better than being bored.

This is what I am doing:

1. I made a list of all companies and non-profits that are working on things I care about.

2. I found their leaders/employees on Twitter and LinkedIn.

3. I am writing down their tech stacks from their job postings, employee posts, etc. Also wrote down their salary ranges, revenues, etc.

4. I have found a few companies whose tech lines up with my expertise or they are thinking of using something that I am good at. I use this to review and update my skills and resume.

5. I review employees' posts and try to determine which companies/non-profits have happier employees. Also look for any signs of long work hours or burnt out employees.

6. When I am ready I will approach these companies. Since many non-profits pay so little and move so slow, I might need to freelance with multiple non-profits to make enough money and not get bored.

It is a tedious process but I have a pretty good idea where to make my move.

When you look for a job, you have to look at the company. Your boss might change, your project might change, but if the company has bad culture, it'll suck no matter what.

I got offers from FANG, but with family obligation, potential medical and care-giving needs, I took a job that I'm over-qualified at a very good WLB company. My job is easy (at least to me) because I'm over-qualified. It's not super-boring because of my position. I work 40-45 hours, minimum on-calls. I don't make FANG money, but good benefits, good PTO and nice people are worth more than money and stressful work.

Looking at the company hasn't worked for me in the past. My experience is that the managers do not follow the company policies. Great policies don't matter if they aren't followed.

Honestly, what you described tells me it's bad culture in the company. I had bad managers at good companies before, I either switched teams and they got moved. I also worked at a company with bad culture and bad managers. I left as soon as I realized they were all lying and never looked back.

It's widespread at the company. I've had about 12 managers during that time, and worked in three different departments.

Assume you are not the problem, then you work for a bad company. Leave now before it’s too late. Several of my friends are highly specialized positions that they can’t find jobs anywhere else. Almost 20 years in and they can’t get a job anywhere else.

But what if I am the problem? That seems like a big risk to take. If I leave, the company will blacklist me so I can never return.

"But what if I am the problem? " - I feel you're being cruel to yourself here. You mentioned on another thread the possibility of having ASD. If were you, I'd pursue getting assessed for that, because if you do have it, then its an explanation for stuff that might've gone wrong at work and a label that you could wear sometimes in so that people might be a bit more understanding. Some people are actually kind. ;) In a previous workplace I had a colleague, who was a genius, well, actually a tortured genius. He obviously had ASD, but no-one discussed it. Management gave him a hard time for turning up to work late because he had insomnia, and worried about stuff. Even though he stayed late to make up the hours. And all the rest of us didn't mind, we knew he was a bit "different" but we all liked and respected him, and if he needed to come in late to cope with life, then fine, the rest of us didn't mind being mandated to be there by 9.30 and him be exempted. In the end he got laid off, amongst a bunch of people including myself. I think he got hard done by really, and I sincerely hope he didn't blame himself or say that he was the problem. His behaviour was a little bit nuts sometimes, but... everyone kind of understood and accepted him... except sadly it seems, the management. If your management is like that too, well, that's a pity, but telling at least peers that had had ASD (if you actually have it) could help. As a non-American, I don't advocate therapists. The rest of the world we just go for a beer with our friends , have a good rant about stuff and feel much better and/or empowered by someone else's different take on things.

If you are the problem, then speak with a therapist to help you deal with whatever you have. Nothing wrong with that.

If your company is so bad, why would you return? Are you in the US?

If I fail somewhere else, they are one of the largest employers in my area.

I'm not sure I understand how a therapist would help improve performance.

"If I fail somewhere else, they are one of the largest employers in my area." Are you suffering Stockholm syndrome? Just because they're big, don't let 'em push you around. I'm sure you got some good skills that other companies, possibly remote, would be happy to have :)

A therapist is there to help you understand if you’re the problem, if you’re trapped in an abusive environment, or if there’s something else you hadn’t considered.

Very sound strategy IMHO :)

thank you! it was hard to give up the money, but so far so good.

Job posts are the worst places to find jobs IMO. Most are well below average, and a lot of them have something like 200 people applying, only 5% of whom are qualified. So they have over the top descriptions as a filter, but instead it only attracts the people who don't read descriptions.

Whoever is being approached has the advantage in a negotiation, and that negotiation includes job scope.

The best source I've seen is HN's monthly thread. I spent a few hours crafting a nice post and all these amazing people came to interview me, many of whom I'd work with today if I didn't get my current job. You have to stick your neck out and try it at least twice to see results.

The second best is LinkedIn. Top companies in the country all approaching you, so you still hold an advantage. I used to politely reject 2 good interview offers/week. It was nice for my ego, all these startup founders adding you because they wanted to hire you.

Then I'd say recruiters. They're an excellent filter. The success rate is much lower (nobody wants to pay the recruiter fee) but still better than job posts. Some have specializations - lifelong jobs, juniors, veterans, mobile, remote, etc. Yes, there are dodgy ones; don't deal with them. You have to explore a bit to find good recruiters, but the payoff is still much better than parsing job sites.

> Where Are the Easy Jobs?

> I just want a job I can do without being constantly bored and frustrated.

You can't have both. Interesting jobs tend to not be easy and vice versa.

It depends on the definition of easy. One could say that it is easier to excel at a job that is not boring, and thus the easiest job is one that is just interesting enough vs a boring one. Just like you don't want an interesting job that is frustrating.

I don't see why an interesting job can't also be easy. My current job hard because of the frustration and boredom, although the subject matter should be easy.

It's not that it can't be found but it's a difficult thing to prescribe to other people. Reading the title I immediately thought of a number of easy jobs that I've come across. I have no idea if any of them would be interesting or not-frustrating to you though.

Are there particular things you look for, or that those jobs have in common?

"Interesting jobs tend to not be easy and vice versa." .. unless, I would argue, you work in the public sector. Well actually, and some good private sector companies too

They got outsourced.

Bored AND frustrated... I'm curious what you do for work? That's one of the worst combinations in terms of human-factors.

I work with fees software at a financial company. It's boring because most of the work is about copying data from legacy systems to new systems. The changes are usually low impact and dealing with missed edge cases. Collecting a fee is not an interesting task, at least not the way this work is defined.

It's frustrating because the system is basically a distributed monolith and is constantly breaking or needing upgrades. It's also frustrating because I'm expected to be full stack in multiple stacks and bounce around too much to be an expert in any one thing (no upward mobility). Quite often our tools are broken or I'm fixing someone else's mistakes. It's disappointing to be in a zero growth environment when my prior roles were more meaningful and gave me an opportunity to perform above my current level.

Over half our team left, so I was the most experienced as a midlevel with a junior and contractor under me. You know, in just to validate the human-factor comment :)

I have actually enjoyed fixing and modernizing broken legacy systems. But it sounds like your company has placed too much cognitive load on you. Most people know only one or two stacks.

I read your other comments too, I think you are really overworked. I would leave asap.

I would love modernizing systems, but there's no imagination here. Like, come on, let's reevaluate the underlying business process to see if it still makes sense. Maybe there are some tweaks we can make to it that weren't an option under the old system. Fragility has always been an issue, yet I see us doing nothing about it. Now we've moved it to microservices, but it's just a distributed monolith.

There is no such thing as easy jobs anymore because the job of your boss is make your life miserable and get you bored and frustrated until you break. Once you are broken, your boss will fire you and hire another person to replace you as if you were a piece of disposable junk.

Welcome to modern capitalism.

This is overgeneralising. There are plenty of jobs and bosses that this doesn't apply to. In most cases your manager is also a person who's doing whatever they can with what they're given, not some entity that exists for the sole purpose of making your life miserable.

There are good companies with good jobs out there, but they are exception, not the rule.

I consider it my job as the boss to protect my employees and make sure their lives aren't miserable. While people mills like that do exist, not every job is designed to be as miserable as possible.

Nah. There are plenty of bosses out there who are smart or lazy enough not to micromanage.

This. Most jobs are bullshit jobs. Sounds awesome but they're paying you for something -- if its not output its to get dumped on.

Go somewhere where you are valued my friend

Any tips for finding such a place?

Who hurt you?

My guess would be his company/boss.

Nobody. You don't need to go far away to see how companies care about employees, just search here on HN to see lots of articles about wage theft, unpaid work hours, unpaid benefits and a lot of other stuff.

There are good companies out there, but they are exception, not the rule.

Edgy take there comrade.

Easy jobs = programming and technology jobs. They are all so easy any trained monkey could do

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