Author Topic: High paying career OR physically active jobs  (Read 8242 times)

sbryant31

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High paying career OR physically active jobs
« on: July 05, 2017, 08:04:50 PM »
Hey guys. I am pretty sure a lot of other mustachians have gone through similar situations, so I'd love to get your feedback.

I've been saving for about 4-5 years and I have a nice nest egg of about 200-250k saved up. I am a software developer. Two years ago I quit working typical 9 to 5 jobs to go the freelance/entrepreneur/startup route. Even though I didn't create anything really successful, I managed to make money and save quite a bit during that time. It's been fun, but lonely and physically inactive.

I really enjoy being active and moving my body every day. My idea of a perfect day is one where I'm on my feet building and fixing things, or hiking 20 miles. It's what makes me happy. I also like being around people and working on a team. I wish my career revolved around physical activity. I could still code on the weekends and evenings and I bet I would be more interested/creative if it were not my dayjob. And I would be physically healthier and learn new skills.

I'm considering getting into the trades, particularly electrician work (I am an electrical engineer by degree). I guess after several years of preparation I'd be looking at 50-60k a year, versus 100-150k as a software engineer. Substantially lowers my savings rate.

Both options sound great. But the idea of having to sit at a desk all day is so depressing. Spending my brain cells on building silly web apps, when I could be in the real world doing things that matter.

--

The last physically active job I had was working at a grocery store when I was 17. I do remember it fondly, but perhaps it's just an old fond memory?

Can you mustachians relate any stories of ditching the corporate world to do work that was more meaningful to you, even if the pay was SUBSTANTIALLY lower? Is it ever a good idea? Is it all it's cracked up to be?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 08:24:35 PM by sbryant31 »

Lepetitange3

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 08:16:55 PM »
My husband took a substantial pay decrease to work in law enforcement instead of using his business law degree.  He is MUCH happier.  And he loves it.  He hates being in an office all day, he feels his work is meaningful to our community.  Depending on your present age, if you already have 250k, that will gain substantially over its doubling period.  What if you switch to a career to something that pays the bills and just let that nest egg grow itself?  Like semi-FIRE.

AlanStache

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 08:24:11 PM »
I foresee many Office Space jokes in this thread :-p

The last electrician I had in my home was in the attic late last summer, was pushing 100 outside - am sure it was much hotter where he was.

Would you be able to dial the freelance work back to 20hr/week to pay the bills then put the other time towards something physical? 

On some level I have to say you only live once and you should do what makes you happy, on the other hand with that savings rate you could pertinently check out of the j-o-b world in not that many years.  Do the math see where things are at; if full and proper FIRE were 4 years away doing what you are doing now would you stick it out so you could then go play lumberjack on your own property the rest of your life?

Also while it looks like you are living cheaply now do you anticipate that continuing; house/spouse/kids/etc?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 08:24:26 PM »
Well, I never worked a non-physical job really, but I *did* take a pretty physical job (bedside nursing). I recently had the chance to leave bedside and move into management.

Some thoughts, in no particular order:
-unless you have very good discipline, it can derail fitness efforts. You are so wiped out physically there is no 'go and workout' after work on your way home. So you have to be much more effective and regimented on the days you DO have energy.
-there is major risk associated, if you get injured or even just with aging. If you NEED the money, it's a much more dangerous way to make a living. Very few office workers get their back thrown out by someone falling on them, but this happens to nurses regularly.
-it engages you in work in a way that sitting never will. I simply could not do a job where I hold still all the time. A physical job can be brutal (I've flagged, laid concrete, worked in food service, etc), but I think we're wired for them frankly. They're more tangible, there's more feedback, and at the end of the day it feels like you've really DONE something. The practicality and tangibility calls to people a lot of times I think.

Personally, it's worth it to me. I could have made far more money doing something other than my field of nursing, or if I had gone into management. That being said, sometimes I feel completely insane and think I should go get a calm job somewhere I don't get bitten or have to risk my body constantly. =P

BigHaus89

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 10:29:14 AM »
Have you considered being more physically active every day while keeping your job?

I struggled a bit with this in my mostly office job, but I started going on multiple walks a day and doing hard workouts at lunch time. It has made being at work much easier.

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 10:41:27 AM »
How about a back country ranger, a wild land firefighter, or a surveyor? All of those jobs can keep you active but also leave some room for brains.

slappy

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 10:55:21 AM »
Have you considered being more physically active every day while keeping your job?

I struggled a bit with this in my mostly office job, but I started going on multiple walks a day and doing hard workouts at lunch time. It has made being at work much easier.

I was going to say this. What do you do in your down time? Can you pick up a physical hobby?  Unless there are other issues at hand, downsizing your income by 50% seems a bit drastic just because you want to get more fit.

Cali Nonya

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 11:13:24 AM »
+1
Totally understand where you are coming from.  No idea about a good answer though.
Posting to follow.

little_brown_dog

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 11:32:26 AM »
So, I do not work a manual labor, paid job – but I did switch from a completely sedentary position (think 3 hours of commuting per day, plus 8-9 hours at work on a computer) to my current role as a SAHM who works very part time from home. I went from being almost completely inactive for 12+ hours 5 days a week, to being on my feet all the time caring for a baby, doing chores, walking, lifting, bending, etc. I would not go back to my old job and schedule even if they paid me triple what I was making before. I can't comment on the financial piece, but I can weigh in on the lifestyle/activity level switch.

Bracken Joy has some good points – when your day is filled with moving about, be prepared for compensation in the fitness department. You are unlikely to have the desire or energy to want to go train for a marathon or hike a mountain when you are on your feet all the time. This is perfectly fine from a health perspective FYI – lots of moderate daily activity is extremely healthy (and the bio norm for the human body) and so you won’t need to be hardcore working out at the gym 4x a week the same way a sedentary office worker should.

Be prepared for a lot more aches and pains – manual labor lifestyles are great, but they do wear on you, especially if you do a lot of lifting/bending/crawling around. Once you sustain an injury, it can be harder for it to heal appropriately since your job depends on physical movement that can easily exacerbate the problem. A serious injury can take you out of the workforce completely for an indefinite period of time, unlike sedentary office jobs where most workers can continue to function and make money. Go into this with your eyes open and definitely look into carrying temporary disability insurance.

Finally, watch out assuming that a physically rigorous lifestyle will automatically give you satisfaction. Many physically demanding jobs can be just as tedious and boring, or more tedious, than computer work. When I switched to staying home, I had this bucolic vision of how awesome my life would be and how productive and fulfilled I would feel having such a flexible and active lifestyle. Some of my vision certainly came true, but I was shocked at just how boring, repetitive, and downright annoying things could be sometimes. Sometimes I do just want to laze about, and I can’t. On days where I feel sick or really tired, having a physically demanding lifestyle can really suck far more than when I could just cuddle up in my office chair and stare at a screen.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't change a thing. I am far healthier and happier living this way. But you asked for considerations so I figured I'd speak frankly about some potential downsides.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 11:33:57 AM by little_brown_dog »

doublethinkmoney

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 11:44:28 AM »
Hey guys. I am pretty sure a lot of other mustachians have gone through similar situations, so I'd love to get your feedback.

I've been saving for about 4-5 years and I have a nice nest egg of about 200-250k saved up. I am a software developer. Two years ago I quit working typical 9 to 5 jobs to go the freelance/entrepreneur/startup route. Even though I didn't create anything really successful, I managed to make money and save quite a bit during that time. It's been fun, but lonely and physically inactive.

I really enjoy being active and moving my body every day. My idea of a perfect day is one where I'm on my feet building and fixing things, or hiking 20 miles. It's what makes me happy. I also like being around people and working on a team. I wish my career revolved around physical activity. I could still code on the weekends and evenings and I bet I would be more interested/creative if it were not my dayjob. And I would be physically healthier and learn new skills.

I'm considering getting into the trades, particularly electrician work (I am an electrical engineer by degree). I guess after several years of preparation I'd be looking at 50-60k a year, versus 100-150k as a software engineer. Substantially lowers my savings rate.

Both options sound great. But the idea of having to sit at a desk all day is so depressing. Spending my brain cells on building silly web apps, when I could be in the real world doing things that matter.

--

The last physically active job I had was working at a grocery store when I was 17. I do remember it fondly, but perhaps it's just an old fond memory?

Can you mustachians relate any stories of ditching the corporate world to do work that was more meaningful to you, even if the pay was SUBSTANTIALLY lower? Is it ever a good idea? Is it all it's cracked up to be?
I've been a cable installer/phone for ten plus years in FL.

Attics, insulation, heat and roaches make it a job I do not want to do anymore. It's physically demanding and most techs can't do the job well into retirement. They simply do less and look older thanks to sun exposure. Oh yeah I forgot sun cancer as well.

Seriously consider what exactly you would be doing and your environment. A standing desk is a great thing and I've found plenty of exercises can be done .


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Bicycle_B

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 03:28:30 PM »

 I could still code on the weekends and evenings and I bet I would be more interested/creative if it were not my dayjob. And I would be physically healthier and learn new skills.

I'm considering getting into the trades, particularly electrician work (I am an electrical engineer by degree). I guess after several years of preparation I'd be looking at 50-60k a year, versus 100-150k as a software engineer. Substantially lowers my savings rate.

Both options sound great. But the idea of having to sit at a desk all day is so depressing. Spending my brain cells on building silly web apps, when I could be in the real world doing things that matter.


The part about continuing to code even if it's not your job makes me think you should remain a software developer and tweak your experience rather than do a whole hog career switch. 

If you hate coding, get out.  But if you like coding enough that you'd do some even if you never got paid, don't abandon that fat paycheck. 

Try adding the things you like to your day, without abandoning the job.  Examples:
1. Join a hiking/running/sporting club, or CrossFit gym.  Gives activity and team spirit.
2. If you're coding solo and don't feel connected to a team, find a good Agile shop or someplace that does a lot of pair programming. 
3. Look for workplaces where the apps are more meaningful.  Somebody out there's improving all the medical software, for example.  Stryker makes great devices.  And so on.  Research important causes and find out who is building companies or other projects in those spaces.
4. Look for workplaces with active cultures.  I knew a guy where they played basketball at lunch.  Good team fun, very active.
5. Yeah, standing desk.  Take breaks.  Got a gym in your workplace?  Shower?  Look for these in your next workplace.  These are better at 125k than 50k.

I left a decent paying job a little too early and regretted it, so I could be biased.  Then again, I might be example you were looking for...to make you think twice.  :)

Goldy

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 03:33:06 PM »
I got a standing desk which helped a lot and recently I saw a walking desk that looked awesome

yachi

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 03:44:33 PM »
You could open up your own electrical/ industrial instrumentation/automation company.  You could have plenty of on-site time, and still have some programming.

doggyfizzle

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 06:37:32 PM »
Keep the high-paying job, join a gym, and do habitat for humanity with some of your spare time.  That way your coding skills stay sharp, you stay in shape, and you get to indulge in manual labor in a team environment.

MVal

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 08:42:12 AM »
My husband took a substantial pay decrease to work in law enforcement instead of using his business law degree.  He is MUCH happier.  And he loves it.  He hates being in an office all day, he feels his work is meaningful to our community.  Depending on your present age, if you already have 250k, that will gain substantially over its doubling period.  What if you switch to a career to something that pays the bills and just let that nest egg grow itself?  Like semi-FIRE.

I've thought about doing this. When I reach $200K, I'd like to quit my boring desk job and just work part time at a place I'd enjoy more that would pay me enough to survive and then just let my 'stache do it's thing for a while. I've got several more years until I FIRE, and I really can't spend them all being this bored and unhappy.

TartanTallulah

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 09:28:38 AM »
My job, although it can be interesting and varied, is by its nature very sedentary and quite mentally stressful, and there have been many times over the years when I've itched to jack it in and do something more physically active, even if it meant taking a big pay cut.

Now that I'm into my fifties, I look at the physical condition I'm in compared to my contemporaries who have done manual work, and I'm glad I didn't spring the trap but instead gritted my teeth, kept flying the desk, and made an effort to exercise outside of work. The added benefit is that my ability to do my job will not be lost if I develop severe arthritis or another health challenge that affects my mobility.

bognish

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 09:48:14 AM »
My neighbor made this switch last year: from office worker to apprentice electrician. I know he hated the constantly shifting job sites and no control over his commute, but what finally killed this idea was wiring an unfinished/unheated building for a month in the winter. He is now back to an office job.

ender

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2017, 10:18:28 AM »
Have you considered being more physically active every day while keeping your job?

I struggled a bit with this in my mostly office job, but I started going on multiple walks a day and doing hard workouts at lunch time. It has made being at work much easier.

Yup. Get a fitbit and have it complain at you if you don't walk much. Many of the newer ones let you specify how many steps they will complain about your sloth after (250 steps/hour or 500/hour etc) and how often.


AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2017, 04:00:29 PM »
I work in healthcare. There are lots of trades that aren't ideal past a certain age. It might be fun being an electrician crawling around roof spaces when you're 30, but not so great at 50. And you don't want to be a builder past 40. AT least not one on the tools all day. If you own the company and have staff, that's different. Just bear in mind that physical jobs take a toll, and that might be an ongoing one. No one wants to be a 70 year old ex carpenter with screwed up wrists, and shoulders that are a constant source of misery from spending 50 years holding them out from your sides because you've had a tool belt on!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2017, 04:04:09 PM »
I got a standing desk which helped a lot and recently I saw a walking desk that looked awesome

Sigh. Anyone who stands all day at their job knows just how unhelpful that is. Make sure that you alternate between standing and sitting, and also take breaks where you actually move. Or if you're going to stand all day, invest in some compression pantyhose, because you're setting yourself up for the exact same issues that hospo and retail workers face - sore ankles and knees, and varicose veins.

Inquisitive1

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2017, 12:50:15 AM »
You could open up your own electrical/ industrial instrumentation/automation company.  You could have plenty of on-site time, and still have some programming.

+1 for this idea

I have two trades, electrician and HVAC/refrigeration. There is heaps of demand for guys who can not only do the wiring etc but can also understand and configure controls especially in the HVAC industry. There is a fair bit of activity however not that much heavy lifting etc.

If you are keen on electrical work that's great, learn how it all works but try not to get stuck running cables for that long, it can be a unpleasant task too do for a long time. A young mans sport.

Good luck.

startingsmall

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2017, 08:44:21 AM »
I got a standing desk which helped a lot and recently I saw a walking desk that looked awesome

Sigh. Anyone who stands all day at their job knows just how unhelpful that is. Make sure that you alternate between standing and sitting, and also take breaks where you actually move. Or if you're going to stand all day, invest in some compression pantyhose, because you're setting yourself up for the exact same issues that hospo and retail workers face - sore ankles and knees, and varicose veins.

Yes! As someone who has had recurrent plantar fasciitis and other foot/ankle problems as the result of spending 9-10 hrs/day on my feet, standing all day isn't the answer either. Last time I went in for a PF injection, my doctor said "you know that the only real fix for this is a career change, right?" I'm working towards FIRE precisely because, as I approach forty and deal with plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, etc., I know that my body is not going to tolerate a career as a small animal veterinarian forever.

Getting thrown around by an aggressive, large-breed dog at 38 years old is bad enough... I don't want to still be doing it when I'm sixty.

Don't overlook the luxury of a desk job. You can exercise in your free time. I can't erase the scars that my job leaves in (scars on my skin from bites/scratches, severe arthritis in both knees from squatting on the floor repeatedly all day long when working with big dogs, recurrent PF, etc.) in my free time.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 09:21:25 AM by startingsmall »

Footsore Rambler

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2017, 09:15:46 AM »
How about a back country ranger, a wild land firefighter, or a surveyor? All of those jobs can keep you active but also leave some room for brains.

I had a job that was in the above category, and it was extremely rewarding until I developed some health problems as I got a little older.  Then it became grueling to do that kind of thing on a full time basis. 

If you choose a more physical job, just keep in mind that you will have to keep your body safe and healthy -- no one else will do it for you.  You will be faced with a lot of blatant and subtle incentives to wear yourself out or to take safety risks, and constantly assessing those can be kind of tiring.  Even the best employers will use you up without meaning to if you don't clearly communicate your boundaries. 


Lmoot

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2017, 07:51:52 PM »
 I don't know what your time requirements are, but could you possibly get a part-time or seasonal job that is physical? I started working at a zoo five years ago. Currently I work in the education department there and do a lot of tours, which means a lot of walking and writing public education materials (which uses my degree in English and education....something my full time job in health insurance, does not). I also have done seasonal work as a haunted house tour guide for private tours at a large theme park.  I hated my office job a lot less after getting the more physically active job, which seemed odd to me until I realized that all I needed was to do work which answered the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?". 

Once this desire to work in a fulfilling field was met, I didn't really care what else I did with my time. In my mind my "real" job is as a wildlife conservation educator, and I do insurance full-time, on the side LOL. For me it was both wanting to be more active, but also an identity thing. Like someone else earlier mentioned, my goal is to be able to afford working in any job that I want, part-time or seasonally. So being FIRE is not the end goal for me. I just want to be able to sustain myself on part-time minimum wage work, at the minimum.

MVal

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2017, 08:50:45 PM »
I don't know what your time requirements are, but could you possibly get a part-time or seasonal job that is physical? I started working at a zoo five years ago. Currently I work in the education department there and do a lot of tours, which means a lot of walking and writing public education materials (which uses my degree in English and education....something my full time job in health insurance, does not). I also have done seasonal work as a haunted house tour guide for private tours at a large theme park.  I hated my office job a lot less after getting the more physically active job, which seemed odd to me until I realized that all I needed was to do work which answered the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?". 

Once this desire to work in a fulfilling field was met, I didn't really care what else I did with my time. In my mind my "real" job is as a wildlife conservation educator, and I do insurance full-time, on the side LOL. For me it was both wanting to be more active, but also an identity thing. Like someone else earlier mentioned, my goal is to be able to afford working in any job that I want, part-time or seasonally. So being FIRE is not the end goal for me. I just want to be able to sustain myself on part-time minimum wage work, at the minimum.

This is so great! I've always wanted to work in a zoo and think about doing that part-time once I get closer to FIRE. I also have an English degree, but a strong interest in wildlife as well. I currently volunteer as a Master Naturalist, but it doesn't make me any money. I don't feel like I have time to another part time job right now, but I do still peruse the seasonal work at the local zoo now and then.

gerardc

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2017, 09:33:35 PM »
Totally relate. You can't hike 20 miles everyday, but you can walk 10 miles a day easily on top of a full-time job and 1h daily weight workout, you just need to space your walks in 3-4 sessions of 30-45 min throughout the day. Consider it since you're the master of your own schedule, it's only 2h a day and you have time to think about IT problems, and it makes your super healthy really quickly. Also great for weight loss because of the low impact; don't skimp and try to replace this with shorter more intense cardio sessions, which have more impact on your recovery.

You'll get most health benefits of a physical job without the inconvenients, i.e. you can scale back if you're sick or leading to injury, etc. and you'll get to keep your high salary! Try it before dismissing it. 8 hours a day on a construction site must not be fun in comparison, especially for low pay. These walks are so valuable if they make you fit while allowing you to keep a high income, it's truly the best of both worlds.

Granted, it doesn't give you the social / team work aspects, so if that's your main goal, it might not work, but I find it's a good compromise.

mxt0133

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2017, 10:52:02 PM »
This was me about 4-5 years ago.  I'm a software developer as well.  I hope my story gives you some ideas on how you can be more active without necessarily giving up a career that you seem to truly enjoy.

We had my first child and baby #2 was on the way so my sports and gym time were drastically reduced and I couldn't really do any hikes or anything physically demanding with a one year old and pregnant wife during the weekends.  I was gaining weight and had no energy because I was so sedentary and eating/snacking/happy hour was my new hobby.

So I really had to fix things and MMM pretty much made me get a bike, I felt like all those bike posts we for me.  I used to ride my motorcycle to work.  I sold it and got a use hybrid bike.  Taking public transpiration took me 45 minutes on average but on bike took me 30 minutes going to work and 45 coming home, dam SF hills!  So not only did I save money on my commute I was getting an hour of cardio every day.  Took me about a month to be able to bike to work everyday.  Once I started getting more energy, I started working out again.  This time I changed my schedule and work out during lunch or after 8pm once the kids and wife went to bed.  I started eating healthier which gave me more energy to work out.  I started playing recreational sports again.  I got a standing desk at my job.  Now that my kids are older we are able to go on longer bike rides and hikes.

As for the social aspect, I also can't work from home or be isolated.  I got a new job and for the first few months only went to a rented conference room twice a week.  This was killing me so I signed up for a coworking space.  Even though I was in a office where I didn't really work with anyone, there were still people around and I could have quick water cooler conversations with random people that gave me my social fix for the day.

With a growing family taking the pay hike was a hard pill to swallow as I would have had to work twice as much if I had to start over from a different career.  So the plan is to stay as physically fit as I can while I have my desk job until the kids need less of my time and I build my stash to a point where I can barista FIRE, have the wife work and do something else part-time. 

stashgrower

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2017, 02:01:11 AM »
Ideas for staying in your current job: Mix up your schedule (eg 9-day fortnight with one weekday off for hiking). Take a long break for lunch, exercise. Walk and think at the same time. Start a side gig that involves physical activity. Rent a co-working space.

Lmoot

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2017, 03:56:03 AM »
I got a standing desk which helped a lot and recently I saw a walking desk that looked awesome

Sigh. Anyone who stands all day at their job knows just how unhelpful that is. Make sure that you alternate between standing and sitting, and also take breaks where you actually move. Or if you're going to stand all day, invest in some compression pantyhose, because you're setting yourself up for the exact same issues that hospo and retail workers face - sore ankles and knees, and varicose veins.

Definitely  agree with the risks attached to standing all day. In my case though my standing desk has made a huge positive difference. I have restless leg and circulation issues and I need to march in place or do side lunges or squats and just be able to stand and move around every few minutes. Also my back hurts when sitting all day....I have tried multiple chairs and positions, the only thing that keeps it from hurting is standing for a couple hours at a time.

 But I don't just stand in place all day. Usually I stand in a wide stance, or a slight bended knee/squat, a standing yoga pose, or sway side to side into lunges. I've also been known to put on music and dance at my desk LOL. I do work from home though, so not as awkward. Most importantly I listen to my body. When I start to feel tired of standing, I sit. I usually switch off about every two hours.

Lmoot

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2017, 04:00:23 AM »
I don't know what your time requirements are, but could you possibly get a part-time or seasonal job that is physical? I started working at a zoo five years ago. Currently I work in the education department there and do a lot of tours, which means a lot of walking and writing public education materials (which uses my degree in English and education....something my full time job in health insurance, does not). I also have done seasonal work as a haunted house tour guide for private tours at a large theme park.  I hated my office job a lot less after getting the more physically active job, which seemed odd to me until I realized that all I needed was to do work which answered the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?". 

Once this desire to work in a fulfilling field was met, I didn't really care what else I did with my time. In my mind my "real" job is as a wildlife conservation educator, and I do insurance full-time, on the side LOL. For me it was both wanting to be more active, but also an identity thing. Like someone else earlier mentioned, my goal is to be able to afford working in any job that I want, part-time or seasonally. So being FIRE is not the end goal for me. I just want to be able to sustain myself on part-time minimum wage work, at the minimum.

This is so great! I've always wanted to work in a zoo and think about doing that part-time once I get closer to FIRE. I also have an English degree, but a strong interest in wildlife as well. I currently volunteer as a Master Naturalist, but it doesn't make me any money. I don't feel like I have time to another part time job right now, but I do still peruse the seasonal work at the local zoo now and then.

Ahhh, I would love to become a Master Naturalist in my state! I keep checking the class schedules, but working two jobs makes it difficult, so I am not able to do it at this time. If only we could combine powers LOL!  It's so weird, I find that a lot of English major types are drawn to nature. I am even going back-and-forth on going back to school for a science degree. Science was not my forte many years ago, but maybe now that I have some sort of direction and interest in it, I might give it a go.

Fishindude

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2017, 07:50:41 AM »
I recently retired and kind of joke that I worked the last 30+ years in management, dealing with people problems, etc. at high income level so I could eventually get back to where I started at and enjoy, doing good old fashioned physical labor without all of the people problems.   I now work on the farm almost every day doing some simple, physical chores which I really enjoy.   

MrsPete

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2017, 08:16:48 AM »
I got a standing desk which helped a lot and recently I saw a walking desk that looked awesome
That's the very thing I was going to suggest:  Look for ways to bring some physical exercise into a sedentary job. 

Random thoughts: 

My daughter is a bedside nurse in a large hospital; it's a very physical job.  She's been out of college for a year, and she already says that she understands she will not be able to keep this pace when she's older.  And she's in a climate controlled building with smooth floors to walk up -- not hot attics. 

You're looking at two jobs with very different work climates.  I suggest you broaden your search and find something "in between". 

Bicycle_B

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2017, 09:22:33 AM »
@sbryant31, after reading the thread to date, I'm starting to change my mind.  Obviously you got a lot of what you didn't want to hear: advice to keep your current job.  Some said add physical activity to it, some said add outside physical activity; some said add team play through a new workspace.  I'm in favor of trying all of these things if you can.

I also notice  the people who warn against getting stuck in physical jobs say "if you're going to do it, do it while you're young."  Maybe you could explore a physical career phase without immediately dropping your software career.  Could you combine all of these approaches by finding part time physical job or volunteer activity that adds training/experience toward a physical team based job? And also try tweaking your workspace and physical routine and team relationships in the day job?

For example, you could join Habitat for Humanity and work with the electrical team to prepare for the possible path of electrical contractor. In between builds, you could apprentice informally on weekends with an electrician doing side jobs, or a house flipper who does their own electrical work.  Combine that with experiments in on-the-job tweaks such as Agile employers and integrating physical activity into your daily adventures.  After a couple years of stash-building experiments, you can choose wisely.  Maybe you should end up doing more physical work for 10 years while you can.  Just do it with a lot of careful preparation so you know for sure what you're getting into, and your stash is a little bigger by the time you walk away from the cash spigot.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 09:25:25 AM by Bicycle_B »

Lepetitange3

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2017, 09:43:20 AM »
I think that it depends on who you are.  Even though there's more wear and tear, some people really love their physically active jobs.  Some people it gets to be too much.  I mean even if you're really physically active not for work, you're going to run into some of the same wear and tear issues.  So really, you have to decide what's right for you.  You can always give it a go for a year and see what you think and then go back to the high paying career if it's not for you.

Hargrove

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Re: High paying career OR physically active jobs
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2017, 11:05:21 AM »
If you save for one more year at a high rate, you could ditch the job and be potentially FIRE in 10 years off your savings growing on its own. Assuming you're under 40, there's a high chance you could do whatever highly active job you like instead, until the point of FIRE (and it's not like you can't save more along the way).