log in

Ask HN: What tech job would let me get away with the least real work possible?

Hacker News - Wed Apr 7 08:41

I do kinda understand where you're coming from but I want to warn you against this approach.

These jobs you mention, they DO exist. But they break people and make them intensely miserable. Look into "boreout" (as opposed to burnout) to learn more about this.

You will be very happy for the first few months, being able to browse HN, news sites and Reddit all day while nobody cares about what you do, nobody wants your input, you've got no responsibilities other than pressing a button, writing a half-page report once a month and saying "yes" on the rare occasion someone asks you something in passing. But it will get old quick.

I've met people who have been in these kinds of jobs for decades and you can see it in their eyes. They are dead inside. I've even heard that in some large companies and cultures with strong workers' rights / labor laws this is actually used as a punishment: We can't fire you, so we'll just put you in a small, shabby, single office on the far end of the campus and give you nothing to do. Nobody will care that you exist and your existence will be pointless.

I do not believe that you can compensate for this 100% with private endeavours and hobbies as long as you still have to show up 8 hours a day (even remotely) and "be bored".

You can try it though, and report back how it went. Why not.

Jobs like this can be found in large, highly bureaucratic but ultimately not very important government organizations/agencies and mid to large enterprises, often in niche markets and the manufacturing sector where things can move pretty slowly.

However, to actually help you, I recommend you try the opposite: Get a high-paying job, slave for two three years, go all-in for 60+ hours a week if you have to. Only do this while you're young, no longer than 3 years. Save (and safely invest) every penny. And if you have enough money, stop immediately or phase it out over 1 year max. If you did it well enough, you'll have also built a network that will enable you to do the odd consulting gig on the side or get a more relaxing steady part-time job.

Alternatively, look into part-time office administration jobs, substitutes for people going on maternity leave etc. If you can use Word, Outlook and express yourself coherently, that will often be enough. Again, beware of the boreout.

Also, I'd really like to know what your passions are because practically all passions and hobbies can be monetized somehow (even a little). If you're into them so much that you want to do nothing else 24 hours a day, then surely you can find a way to monetize them. Even if you're into sleeping all day, there are ways to get paid for that ;-)