By - johnduh7
The cycle always goes like this:
Half the year involves studying/modules where I'm relatively productive at work, but it's productive in the sense that I'm getting things done and not fully invested into learning the what/why behind whatever project it may be because I'm trying to carve out time to study during work.
I tell myself I'll be more productive in actually learning work-related things once I'm done studying. But then the exam comes or the module is finished and I'm spent and all motivation is gone. General laziness sets in, and I still get all my work done but I still don't learn the what/why behind it. Rinse and repeat.
This cycle has now been going on for 9 years. FSA is hopefully around the corner; however, I feel like in 9 years I've learned how to work well, but not really how to be an actuary. I'm hoping that once the studying lifestyle is finally have the drive to really seek out a position that I'll enjoy and want to learn, but time will tell.
Sounds like every day for me
Good to know im not alone
Word of warning, don't slack too long even if you can get away with it. It will make you really start to resent work.
For me I find a better way to spend work hours is doing interesting work-adjacent stuff like learning about machine learning, learning to use R or Python, etc. That way my brain is still active and I'm doing something interesting which is vaguely work related.
Otherwise you could end up in a situation where you lose your ability to actually be productive, which is definitely not good if you ever change jobs and need to ramp up again
Absolutely, it’s maddening. Taking a new job helped somewhat but I am just more pessimistic in general about my work.
I could do this for 25 hours a week but 40 or 50. F’n sucks.
At the end of the day it’s just a job. I don’t live to work.
The money is decent. I have looked into being a teacher but would take a 2/3 salary cut…so nope.
Unfortunately, there are so many die hard actuaries at my company that live and breathe this stuff. Sending me emails at 6am on the weekends. I can’t wrap my head around caring about this in any relevant sense.
At this point, I’m forcing myself to feign interest and it’s going a bit better but deep down I don’t GAF.
If insurance doesn't excite you enough to send emails at 6am Saturday maybe you should switch careers to something more exciting. Try accounting.
Or watching paint dry…
But how will he ever be able to make $150k a year doing that????
Agree, one of the worst parts is keeping the “try hards” at bay
I literally can not stand them - why does it feel like all my coworkers are like this? I fucking hate corporate America culture😒
Being serious for a moment, at least in our line of work many of us were well achieving students and I have seen for a lot of actuaries it is hard to calm down a little.
I always want to reply “get a life man!”
I mean, I know it’s a lot, but you’ve got to remember that these people are the best and the brightest. In fact, half of them were even able to pull off near perfect grades at universities that were one step above community colleges….
Yes, I’m messing with you. These people suck.
Teaching would be 2/3 pay cut? Meaning you would make 1/3 your current salary. I left teaching 2 years ago after 15 years in that field. I now make nearly double what I did as a teacher, still entry level.
Yes. I make 3 times what I would as a teacher
bro what do you think
Exactly, he’s not thinking!
I feel this too so you’re definitely not alone. Not sure how much of it would be attributed to work or just life in general with the state of the world
For years I feel like I did so little and got such high praise. I do maybe 3-4 hours of "work" most days. Sometimes nearly none. I say to myself "Oh, I have a meeting in 2 hours, not really worth starting on anything".
I always get above average performance reviews and finish things on time, but my god it is *so boring*. It is absolutely true though that 10% of the people do 90% of the work so there is plenty of space to fill your time with nothing.
I can't believe I consistently have gotten the 'high performer' raises and bonuses. I'm such a fuckin slacker lol
Every day. I have to force myself to put my phone away and say, I need 30 productive minutes and then I can take a quick break for a coffee or such. Repeat.
I have almost 30 vacation days banked up and for the first time in a while plan to take one. I’m tempted to give management months of heads-up and take a full month off.
Yes, most days I don’t give a shit anymore. I thoroughly enjoy my time outside of work so it’s “just a job” for me.
It only feels bad when I bump against the overly enthusiastic coworkers or managers that really want to push the envelope. However for most of us there seems to be an unspoken agreement where we don’t care very much.
I am still very much enjoying this labor market, feels like we have more power than we ever had before in my career and we can adopt these attitudes without much fear.
I did when I got my ASA as well. It’s probably a lot to do with the role/environment you’re in. The funny thing about this field is that as soon as you are able to pass several exams, you realize that 1) you’re incredibly capable compared to most people in the job market and 2) you can easily get a more interesting job with higher pay and less BS than a traditional actuarial role at the associateship level.
I work in a non-traditional role that benefits from having an actuary on staff. I still get exam support and plan on continuing to my FSA. I don’t know what I will do long term, but making this switch at this stage of my career has been incredibly rewarding.
Outta curiosity how much do you / jobs in that realm make?
Right now, I’m pulling in over 130k all in for 36 hours a week. I’m an ASA with three years of experience. It’s also in a low to moderate cost of living area.
Just curious what type of non traditional work you do
Yes, pretty much every day. I feel so burned out that I don't even look forward to the weekend anymore because it goes by so fast and before I know it, it's Monday morning and I have to repeat the weekly cycle again. All things considered, I'm grateful for everything I have in life but sometimes I can't believe I have to endure a few more decades of this just to be able to not do it anymore. I suppose that's any job though. If anything, it makes me appreciate my time outside of work more.
r/financialindependence. Shave some years off of those decades!
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This seems like the sentiment in all white collar work lately. While the work we do is important for our employers, it's feeling lately like it has no real impact on society and it's hard to shake that apathy once you start thinking it. When you put it in context of all the shitty things happening in the US and world, it's hard for some to focus on work that doesn't seem nearly as important
I bet your manager and manager's manager feel the same way (maybe not as strongly), so perhaps that's the reason why there hasn't been pushback on the aggregate difference in attitude
Excellent response, I feel the same. This has all just been a huge wake up call for so many people and a chance to revaluate life’s priorities.
Yes...many days lol
Every single day, I usually end up procrastinating on stuff and doing the bare minimum to make it look like I’m productive. Then when I get motivated I catch up. Have always gotten good performance reviews so I’m fine with it. Especially being a full time remote employee, it has made me realize how much time I waste at work not working. I can get a 40 hour work week in 30-35 hours at home.
Pandemic fatigue for me…
It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and ship out a few more rate filings, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation?
Gotta get those TPS reports out!
I’d say in a given week, I do about 15 minutes of real, actual work…
This describes me so perfectly that I'm wondering if I wrote this.
Yes! I feel the exact same. I started work last year and I have been so damn bored. I thought I was alone. I haven't said to much though as I use the extra time to study sometimes
If you’re young and smart enough to become an actuary in this day and age, frankly you probably have better career options in a lot of capacities.
Do you know what someone who got their ASA in 2022 has in common with someone who got their FSA in 2013? They’ve both passed seven exams.
I’m an ASA in my early 30s year doing this as a career change. I have a degree from a quasi-Ivy League university. I’m not going say that this is a bad field and that pursuing a credential has been anything short of rewarding, but anyone who tells you this is the greatest field to work in is not being honest with you or themselves.
Can we call quasi Ivy the Basil league
Not necessarily. That’s a great thing to have when you’re young but you’ll be able to command more money elsewhere as your experience grows. Unless you’ve currently got a crazy salary, you’ll easily find plenty of jobs in traditional and non-traditional roles that will pay you $200k a year.
Yes. I know several life actuaries that have worked in banking/asset management/hedge funds. A lot of others eventually leave the field to work in other quant roles or start their own consulting practices. You can also take on a management role at insurance/finance firms doing something completely unrelated.
As a very wise actuary once told me you’re an actuary for life, but you should eventually aim to “graduate” from doing actuarial work.
This is coming from a person who isn't even an ASA in my mid 20s, but I've thought a lot about just changing jobs. Granted, I'm already in data analysis, so going over into data science isn't the largest leap. But that's mostly due to my background in CS, specifically with machine learning. And uh... Data analysis isn't really challenging me that much.
There's a part of my company that's very focused around data science and innovation on the PnC side. I really want to move to that team sooner or later since I don't want my CS degree to go to waste. Just within my department, I try to use Python and machine learning as much as I can. ML's hard to integrate mostly since I'm not making many models.
I really want ML within the actuarial field to take off. I know it's being used at other companies a fair bit, but due to the nature of my company, stuff is slow at times.
The big thing for me is that taking the exams is so taxing on my mental health that I think I will stop at ASA and just go into data science. Hopefully more at the cutting edge of stuff. I was doing cutting edge stuff within the life insurance portion of the company, but I got picked up by PnC.
Thanks! Best of luck to you too!
Lately, it’s every single day. I am approaching 30, and i feel so depressed all the time thinking “this is it, this is my life”.
The moment I walk into work, every damn day...
Just kidding - If I do feel that way I just leave or go on YouTube or GoActuary.
I just think of it like a game. Problems with the Model I work with are the challenges and I have to overcome obstacles along the way in order to achieve the desired outcome - victory! (more accurate reserves, projections)
Tfw you ask people on Reddit if they're also on Reddit :0
this was me in college for classes and i never really snapped out of it ever since
Can’t tell if I’m unmotivated or if it’s an issue with management. For a while I pushing the envelope very hard, staying up super late to get complicated projects done, making everything I worked on feel very fine tuned and thorough. Then every time it came under review it was the 1 or 2 negative things that got all the attention, so I just stopped putting my neck out there and started delivering MVPs on a 40 hour (realistically 30 with my goofing off) work week.
Reading through these comments has given me SUCH relief that I’m not the only one feeling this way
Something that has helped me is Lion’s Mane supplements. If I take them at the start of the day and put my phone in the other room, I feel a ton more motivated and productive.
Too lazy to type it all, but you potentially have some level of ADHD. We tend to be very good at going hard and hitting burnout. The r/ADHD subreddit would be a good resource.