Author Topic: Wanting a Change  (Read 3315 times)

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Wanting a Change
« on: June 20, 2018, 05:32:31 AM »
I guess Iím generally looking for some input or guidance on things to consider on my situation that may be Iím missing or havenít thought of. 

I apologize, I think my topic might be more appropriate for the Ask a Mustachian section.  My focus is probably more on job change-related matters as opposed to questions about financial management in multiple areas.

Like some other people on here, I really hate my job.  Iíve been married for over 15 years and have two school-aged kids.  Iíve been working at a large healthcare organization for over 10 years.  I went into the field to do direct patient care and found that the only way to get more money was to go into management. I stumbled upon that reality when I asked for a raise several years ago after a program they had me create really took off.  They presented me with a managerís position that still had clinical responsibilities and having had a very young family at the time and a mortgage, I went with it. 

About 4 years ago I was promoted into a directorís role which happened unexpectedly in the wake of some disruptive events with staffing.  The pay increase that went along with the promotion was substantially more money than I ever expected to earn in this field, but the role is not anything that I ever wanted to do at all.  It really was a major crisis for me at the time.  I did not see an alternative for a different career at the time and I wanted to maintain an income and health insurance for my family without interruption, so again I went with it. 

Iím four years in now and in many ways it has proved to be even more stressful than what I thought it would be.  I am no longer involved in direct patient care, nor do I ever want to be again.  I generally believe that while I was interested in aspects of this field going into it, I probably am much better suited to doing something like accounting.  Working with budgets is probably the most interesting and intrinsically rewarding aspect of the job, but it is a relatively small part.  At this point, I couldnít care less about the rest and donít identify with my job.  So I wouldnít want to leave this job to do anything else within the same field or anything that involved management.

A lot has happened and there has been tremendous growth in all of the departments that roll up under me over the past 4 years.  Iíve had multiple departments roll up under me and have had as high as the mid-50ís for a direct report count.  That is now down to just over 20 with some recent promotions of managers underneath me, but 20 is still too many for what is expected of my role which is supposed to be a ďmanager of mangersĒ instead of having an additional throng of frontline providers. 

There is also so much government involvement/regulation at the state and federal level for this field.  That's a major source of stress.  Thereís also a great deal of role confusion for me.  There wasnít much in place as the person before me had a hard time in this position and I quickly found all the HR-type responsibilities for the large number of direct reports I had and just day-to-day problems that come up in multiple departments has consumed most of my time.  There was no useful orientation or mentoring for me to be in this role and with the high volume of work coming at me on day one from multiple directions, there is now so much that has accumulated that is not finished and that really looms over my head.  That probably generates some of the most intense stress related to the job.  Just about every day brings new significant problems and projects too.

It really feels like each day there is just another day to get through.  I would love to resign.  I fantasize about it quite a bit.  Itís the golden handcuff thing though.  I canít see making anywhere close to this much money doing something else near-term.  But I know I do want to leave this field in general. 

Continuing there is helping me to pay down debt at an accelerated rate and continue to have a relatively high savings rate; however, the costs are that I truly dread going to work essentially every day and have many weekends and evenings that are ruined due to projects with deadlines that require time and effort that canít be contained to work hours during the week.  I frequently experience extended periods where I have persistent early morning awakening (e.g., 3:30 AM) and canít fall back asleep and I know it is work stress-related.  Despite this, I remain functional although much less than optimal.  So I am asking myself is the money really worth this? If so, for how much longer?

Late last year I started to get acquainted with principles of FIRE and for really all of 2018 Iíve been persistently pursuing it with no real setbacks.  Iíve coached my wife on FIRE and she is fully on board and wants the same thing.  We are in the same field and both have advanced degrees.  I managed to get through all the schooling without debt whereas she had quite a lot.  She has started in a role similar to mine with one department and a much smaller staff at another organization earlier this year and she really hates it too. 

Financial specifics:

ē   Our taxable income for this past year was a little over $200,000.  Iíve gotten some larger bonuses in the past 2 to 3 years which have helped but with what is going on in healthcare Iím not sure if that will continue.  Her income has increased this year with her promotion which is a good thing.  She is just about but not quite full-time which works for having school-aged kids.

ē   Mortgage is currently at $163,000 with a tad over 15 years left on it.  Our house is valued at around $530,000.  Monthly payments are a little under $1,200.  Iíve made a lot of pre-payments since learning about FIRE.  This year alone I put an extra $60,000 toward the principle.  It was apparent under the new tax law that I would no longer be able to deduct the mortgage interest.  Interest rate is 3.375%.  It is rewarding to see how much more of our regular monthly payments are now going toward principle.

ē   Wife still has about $84,000 of student loan debt which she racked up before we were married with an interest rate that is slightly lower than the mortgage interest rate.  Her monthly payments are currently $640, but that is on a graduated schedule that increases every 2 years with the top payments in a few years being over $1,000 before the loan is paid off.  We would continue to focus on paying down the mortgage first before doing any pre-payments on the student loan.

ē   No other debt Ė we never carry any credit card debt.

ē   UTMA account for each kid $33k+ each.

ē   Investments (all index fund portfolio: 401kís, Roth IRAís and Taxable account) approximately $740,000.  We both contribute to our 401ks throughout the year.  I get a small company match, she does not.

ē   Current cash $27,000.  Iím considering suspending mortgage pre-payments and focusing on building up cash reserves for now.  I do have access to a home equity line of credit in the event of an emergency and otherwise have a plan for which investments to sell first if the need for cash arose abruptly.

  • Health Insurance: I use a high deductible plan through work that is tied to a Health Savings Account.  I do pay for medical expenses with those pre-tax dollars throughout the year and typically use it all.


So far this year, our savings rate has hovered between 47% and 50%.  We've never been wasteful spenders, but I'm amazed at how we're doing now with having two kids.  Iím hoping our expenses can go even a little lower for the remainder of the year.  Here are some of the changes I made this year that have helped increase our savings rate:

ē   Changed from satellite to a streaming service
ē   Dropped a health club membership we werenít using
ē   Groceries Ė stopped going to a more conveniently located but more expensive chain in favor of a using a blend of Costco for meats, Aldi and Walmart Grocery pick-up with 3% rewards.  Takes more planning but weíre seeing a major monthly savings with this. 
ē   I really dodged a bullet with my transportation.  I was very close to buying a new SUV late last year but after learning about FIRE, I decided to keep driving my soon-to-be 14-year-old car which has been unbelievably solid. I bought it outright back in late 2004. Iíve always purchased my cars with no loans.  Iím so glad I didnít go with the new car and, in fact, I know now that I will never buy new again.
ē   Hypermiling for me and my wife Ė more significant monthly savings.
ē   Iíve dropped a relatively expensive hobby all together and have sold a lot of my stuff for that hobby on the internet for an additional several thousand dollars and have more to sell yet as kind of a current side hustle.  I am totally fine with dropping this hobby given our lifestyle change.   
ē   I have taken a lunch to work all year and generally our family eats out (usually with deals on fast food) just once a week as a treat.  Lots of savings there. 
ē   Iíve run the house in a much more energy efficient manner and have saved hundreds of dollars that way too so far this year. 
ē   I now do lots of DIY around the house and that has saved a few thousand so far as well. 

I am very fortunate in that Iíll be getting an inheritance probably before the end of the year which could probably take care of most or all of the balance of my mortgage if I wanted to use it that way. I have slowed down on making pre-payments to the mortgage in recent weeks to start to shore up cash reserves as Iíve started thinking more about what to do about my job.  On the one hand, I would love to get rid of my mortgage and erase that monthly expense.  Alternatively, I might consider using some of the inheritance to pay for schooling to do something else like accounting or even to have a buffer while I perhaps apply for other jobs I might consider.  Sometimes I even think about being in a trade like carpentry or something like that Ė something more hands on.  Iíd also like to continue to explore some other way to be self-employed if that would be possible.  I want to learn about investing in multi-family real estate and things of that nature for passive income. 

I anticipate another decent inheritance of a few hundred thousand dollars probably sometime in the next 5 to 10 years. Iím not banking on that for anything, but the likelihood of it happening is high.

Iím accepting that I will most likely continue to do some kind of work for the rest of my life because I want to stay engaged and continue to have a stream of income.  I donít expect that to somehow be a dream job, but just something I find more tolerable that feels less like mandatory work and doesn't spill over into detracting from the rest of my life.  I just need to figure out what kind of work that would be. 

Iím so grateful for what Iíve learned on MMMís blog and on this forum, which has helped me to make a permanent lifestyle change for the better.

Again, Iíd appreciate input or guidance.

Thank you!




« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 07:45:01 AM by Mr. Freedom »

FrugalFisherman10

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 227
    • Fly Fishing Photo Project
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 08:18:47 AM »

To be honest, as I was reading the first couple paragraphs of your situation (the level of stress it causes you, the title "Director", the number of people reporting to you, the field being 'healthcare'), then I get down to your income numbers...I expected you to say your income number was MUCH higher. I don't mean that to put you down, but to perhaps pull your head above the waves a bit and help you know what you sound like.

you sound like you are in some sort of position that should pay you even more.

Perhaps you're not..perhaps the field you are in only pays as much as your making for your type of role. And it's just that this type of position stresses you out this much. That's ok - maybe you're not the type who excels while managing people, and therefore you're hitting the nail on the head..you should move into accounting/finance and do some number stuff, with less people management. If that would give you some more breathing room and you think you would enjoy it, go for it!

There's plenty of money to be made in other fields (accounting/finance) by the way . The following may be true, but long term you will be fine:
Quote
I canít see making anywhere close to this much money doing something else near-term.

second caveat: Perhaps I've just been jaded by reading some of the HCOL case studies on here recently where people are pulling down $300k+  each year, with both spouses making crazy money, etc. So I don't think you should compare yourself to them (they get to take home a lot less if the spending/costs are high in their area).
Are you in a HCOL area or a low cost?
---
Also, if you like working with 'budgets'...look for jobs more in "Finance". Finance is the key word there..not accounting. Accounting will have you looking backwards, as in accounting for the stuff that happened already (potentially that means Journal Entries, Reconciliations). Finance on the other hand is forward-looking, i.e. budgeting for what's going to happen.  Perhaps not a huge distinction, and you would enjoy either one. Source: I work in "finance" in a budgeting position. My two degrees are in accounting.
Get $20 when you sign up for Personal Capital
(also, why are you not already signed up for PersonalCapital? It's free and amazing.)
https://preview.tinyurl.com/y7vpahfa

RWD

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2048
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 09:56:44 AM »
This year alone I put an extra $60,000 toward the principle. [...] Interest rate is 3.375%.

Your interest rate is super low and you should focus on investing more instead of making extra principal payments. See the Investment Order post.


With the amount you have invested you already have FU money. Trying to change careers at this point is pretty low [financial] risk, high [mental] reward. Go for it!

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 05:54:50 AM »
Thanks for your perspective FrugalFisherman10.  No offense taken on our earnings.  To be more specific, I am in the Behavioral Healthcare division of a very large healthcare organization so salaries overall there are relatively lower.  So that probably largely accounts for it as there's supposedly value to a larger healthcare organization to offer behavioral health for medical cost offset purposes, but it is not directly a big moneymaker for the organization by any stretch.  My salary is proportionally higher than all those who report to me and I'm actually pretty close to the mid-point of my pay range.  My wife was also working fewer hours last year and she did get the promotion at the start of this year so actually we should be doing even better this year now that I think about it. 

Also, for the geographic location I'm working in, we're about 3% lower than the national average for cost of living. 

Thanks for the guidance on looking more generally in "finance."  I appreciate the encouragement as far as earnings potential in another field.  I was considering possibly pursuing education in accounting in some cost-efficient way like through Western Governors University online.  You mentioned you have two degrees in accounting and work in finance.  I was reading some job satisfaction survey articles and finance/accounting was I think at the top of the list.  I was wondering how you like it and how well it fits with enjoying the rest of your life?  I'd appreciate other thoughts or guidance you might have on possibly transitioning into finance based on your experience.  Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post. 

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 06:08:25 AM »
Thanks RWD for your input on the mortgage pre-payments vs. invest issue and I appreciate the "Investing Order" resource.  I was back and forth on that issue of paying it down, reading many FIRE vignettes of those who knew it'd probably be better to invest but still paid it off just for the sense of financial freedom it may provide.  I think I am going to do what you recommended there though and shift of off additional pre-payments, especially now that I am looking at perhaps changing careers. It's nice because I don't regret the pre-payment on the mortgage.  It's just psychologically nice to know it's gone from 24 years to 15 and to see monthly how much more is going toward principal versus interest. 

Thanks too on the assessment of already having FU money and the encouragement that a career change is possible relative to the risks involved for where I'm at.  That is what I'm going to focus on here moving forward.  Thank you! 

Laserjet3051

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 475
  • Age: 50
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 10:07:48 AM »
"I frequently experience extended periods where I have persistent early morning awakening (e.g., 3:30 AM) and canít fall back asleep and I know it is work stress-related.  Despite this, I remain functional although much less than optimal.  So I am asking myself is the money really worth this? If so, for how much longer?"


No way man, never. If work has brought you to this point, its time to retool. Nothing trumps mental/physical health. Nothing. Been there, done that.

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2018, 08:11:41 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement to move forward with the change Laserjet3051. 

avedaprincess

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 10:21:53 AM »
I don't have much to add except that I have disrupted sleep as a result of a high stress career and a change is overdue for me also. You're in a better position than me financially...if I was in your shoes, I'd put in my notice and transition to something better for my mental health. Anyway, I'll be following your thread and wish you the best!!!

pecunia

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2018, 10:46:18 AM »
Looks like you could use some way to deal with the stress until you FIRE.

Chrissy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 625
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 03:12:02 PM »
Your stress sounds horrible.  Any way the wife could carry the family for awhile while you decompress and retool?  What are your assets?

Treb3

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 05:08:06 PM »
I don't have any advice except... I am a hospice Administrator. When I was reading this, I thought, "his story is my story." Down to the anxious sleep and ruined weekends and all. Good luck. I hope you get out. I'm working on my own exit plan.

Finances_With_Purpose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
    • Finances With Purpose: deploying resources wisely to live vigorously
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 09:42:25 PM »
"I frequently experience extended periods where I have persistent early morning awakening (e.g., 3:30 AM) and canít fall back asleep and I know it is work stress-related.  Despite this, I remain functional although much less than optimal.  So I am asking myself is the money really worth this? If so, for how much longer?"


No way man, never. If work has brought you to this point, its time to retool. Nothing trumps mental/physical health. Nothing. Been there, done that.

Life's too short. 

I agree with other commenters.  Time to consider your options.  I would look towards what's next.  Do some aptitude testing - Johnson O'Connor Foundation is outstanding for that.  Explore new options. 

I highly recommend this book for figuring out what's next, working out a transition plan, and so on. 

I personally find that it's hard to move on - I'm wired to kill it wherever I am at - so it helps a lot to figure out what I'm moving towards.  (Ergo the book recommendation above.) 

Hope you find a good way forward.

Mr. Green

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Age: 34
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 10:17:41 PM »
"I frequently experience extended periods where I have persistent early morning awakening (e.g., 3:30 AM) and canít fall back asleep and I know it is work stress-related.  Despite this, I remain functional although much less than optimal.  So I am asking myself is the money really worth this? If so, for how much longer?"


No way man, never. If work has brought you to this point, its time to retool. Nothing trumps mental/physical health. Nothing. Been there, done that.
+1.

The next step is is a visit to the ER for a heart attack that turns out to be a panic attack. One of the scariest times of my life. 18 months later and I'm still on anti-anxiety medication, even though I resolved my problems and FIRE'd a year ago.
RE in June 2016. Wife is joining me at the end of June!

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 05:08:24 AM »
Life's too short. 

That sums it up Finances_With_Purpose and I very much appreciate the book recommendation, which I have ordered.  I was able to read excerpts and it looks like it was an excellent investment. I'm looking forward to reading and applying it to my situation here.  Thanks for the aptitude testing resource too, that seems like a really good idea.  Thanks for the help. 

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2018, 05:49:02 AM »
Thanks everyone for your advice, encouragement and even commiseration from some.  The work-stress induced sleep disruption really is a kicker, because not only does it diminish life outside of work but it also negatively affects my concentration and task persistence at work which compounds the problem.  I've worked clinically in behavioral health for years and I am very knowledgeable about the range of research-supported specific things to do to try to improve sleep-related problems, including early morning awakening, and despite consistent application they just don't touch this.  I personally wouldn't use sleep medication either.  I'm aware of problems with in general as a long-term fix, but I know it is even less effective for early morning awakening.  The ongoing work stress and associated hyperarousal are simply there and I believe will be an ongoing impediment, waxing and waning, for the rest of my working life if I stay at this job. 

I have been contemplating and exploring making a change to move out of this career/field.  I am pretty certain that if I were to try to ride this out for an extended period of time there will be a painful reckoning on ultimately poor job performance at some point.  Or, if I do somehow muddle through, there will come a point where I would be expected to try to advance higher into senior leadership after a retirement of the person currently above me (it is known that this person only wanted to be in the role for 3 to 5 years) and I just don't want that for my life.  I know for sure that those reporting to me in management most definitely want to advance so there is pressure from below was well.  Our organization recently merged with another even larger organization covering a very large geographic area so I believe that in time there would be some regular travel requirements and I don't want any part of that for my life either. 

I believe I need to get prepared to transition completely out of this job.  There are a lot of current pressures in our organization right now associated with this merger, a looming organizational survey and a lot of new initiatives for substantial changes to our programs.   I think there is going to be little patience for me when it ultimately becomes known that I am looking to transition out of this position.  The thing that really sucks is that with all of this is happening now with my employer, there is so much that needs to be done while simultaneously engaging in this process of looking for an alternative.  But I am committed to creating a long-term solution.

I think a critical thing here is that I do not now, nor did I ever want to be in management.  I have a close relative who advanced into management years ago and then self-demoted within a year.  The person indicated, ďI just didnít have the stomach for it.Ē  I really relate to that.  I read an article yesterday on this phenomenon which indicated that only a minority (23%) of managers actually ďlikeĒ being in the role.  The article also referenced the concept of "emotion labor" that is involved when you're putting on a front to be something that really you are not, which I really identify with too. 

I fell into this role at a pretty inopportune time in that our organization had been experiencing some growth, but it really accelerated after I came into the position so I have had an extremely difficult time trying to get a handle on things while managing a larger and larger number of staff over time across multiple departments and the fact of the matter is that I can fully acknowledge that there are large gaps in terms of what was my responsibility but isnít in place.  Even though I believe the scope of responsibility put upon me was unrealistic given the near lack of managerial support under me through most of the time, it will still be looked at as things I was responsible for.  I think this will be especially the case for my new boss who wasn't around for what went on the past 4 years.

I've benefited greatly from the relatively higher salary for sure; but the value of that for me is greatly diminished when the job itself makes it more difficult to get what I want out of life when Iím not at work.  I'm especially thankful now that I haven't been wasteful with my salary and that I've persevered in this job long enough for my kids to get a little older.  While my wife has worked part-time since we started having kids, she is now working just about full-time and has been able to advance in her career with a promotion at the beginning of the year so she is now bringing in much more money.  So Chrissy, yes, that is a good point.  Her career stability and higher income will help out a great deal while I work on this. 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 06:21:42 AM by Mr. Freedom »

flower_girl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Location: NZ
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 07:28:52 AM »
@Mr.Freedom, I really feel for you.

As I read the first part of your post it sounded so much like me nearly 20 years ago.  I was working crazy hours, continually stressed, run off my feet, unable to sleep, barely even had time to eat, chronically fatigued even as more and more problems and duties were being piled upon me - and the worst part is I thought I was going to get away with it forever if I just did what I'd always done, "toughed it out".

Sure now and again I could feel the wheels falling off here and there but hey just keep going right? Full steam ahead will fix that.  I had no idea that there was this WALL I was about to hit which completely derailed me in a single day.  In short, one day I went to work and in a few minutes had what they used to call in the old days a "nervous breakdown".  I never saw it coming.  I never thought it would happen to me.  I went home from work at lunchtime and never went back. I ended up taking a medical release and taking months to start to recover.

Don't do this to yourself.

Other people have heart attacks or they get cancer or they commit suicide or whatever - you're in the medical field, surely I don't need to tell you what a KILLER stress is.  And all the money in the world won't buy back your health.

I'd advise you to get out as soon as you can.  It's not worth it.  Please don't leave it too late to find that out. 

Finances_With_Purpose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
    • Finances With Purpose: deploying resources wisely to live vigorously
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 07:39:22 PM »
Life's too short. 

That sums it up Finances_With_Purpose and I very much appreciate the book recommendation, which I have ordered.  I was able to read excerpts and it looks like it was an excellent investment. I'm looking forward to reading and applying it to my situation here.  Thanks for the aptitude testing resource too, that seems like a really good idea.  Thanks for the help.

Sure, any time!  Glad I could be of some help (as someone who has struggled with these questions a lot personally). 

I love the book - you basically get a set of career coaching lessons for the cost of one book, assuming you're willing to put in the effort.  I would rather pay for a book (or check it out at the library) and do the work myself before spending the money on coaching, especially when I know the coach behind the book is high-caliber. 

Mr. Green

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Age: 34
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2018, 10:05:28 AM »
Something you might want to consider about stress, because it was so confusing to me at first, is how it really can blind side you. When I had my first panic attack if you'd have asked me what the problem was I couldn't have given you an answer to save my life. Sure we were making some life changes but I felt very on top of things. I'd been missing all the subtle warning signs for months, the trouble sleeping, teeth grinding in my sleep, and I suppose I thought that if things really did become too much that there would be a progression of how I felt about it where I would recognize I wanted off that train and make changes. Instead what happened was everything felt perfectly okay to me until I was sitting in my house one night and the panic attack hit me like a lightning strike.

What I now understand is that I had logic'ed myself into thinking that everything was okay and I was in control. But there was this current of stress underneath it all that I had disconnected from and eventually my body revolted against my mind, essentially trying to flash neon warning signs that this was indeed a problem.

I had no clue that it was possible to become so mentally diconected from my feelings that my mind could say I was fine and my body could say the exact opposite. It simply didn't compute for me at first.

Maybe this isn't you, but if anything I described sounds a bit familiar I would recommend you talk to someone. A therapist helped me bring my issues to the surface and realize they were a bigger deal than I was telling myself they were. I think if I'd have realized the warning signs and talked to someone before that first panic attack, I might have been able to avoid a life changing (for the worse) experience.

I wish you the best with your dilemma!
RE in June 2016. Wife is joining me at the end of June!

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1488
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2018, 10:50:09 AM »
Just want to chime in and emphasize that your health should be your priority.  I know it seems like you don't have a choice but once you remove the stress you will see all the options that are available to you.  Your life will not end if you leave your job, you and your family will be fine.

With that I understand that just quitting might not seem possible for you, it is, but let's just go with that.  At your level you have power to re-organize your work, don't do the things that you don't want to do, have someone else do it.  Start promoting, responsibility wise, others so that you don't have so many people reporting to you, start delegating.  These strategies have helped me move up in the corporate ladder and keep my stress level very low.  I was given the chance to take a management role and decided to give it a try but I made sure that the moment I couldn't take it any more my ass was going back to be an individual contributor.  I made sure we had enough reserves for a sabbatical and made sure our expense didn't inflate to require management level compensation.  To my surprise I have enjoyed the challenge of the people side of management, I find it fascinating how an organization can be so disorganized, learning the various agendas each individual has and how to get them to agree to a mutually beneficial outcome.  I am also learning more about myself and my emotions as I learn how to empathize with other peoples needs and frustrations.

You might also want to look into mindfulness to get you through this until you can be in a state where you can start to see all the options that are available to you.

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2018, 05:05:58 AM »
Health does need to be the priority.  Iím finding it helpful to have that warning driven home to me about all of this.  I appreciate the compelling personal experiences of what can happen with severe unchecked work stress Mr. Green and flower_girl.  I think talking to someone is a good idea.  Iím going to first read the book recommended by Finances_With_Purpose, Now What? Revised Edition: 90 Days to a New Life Direction.  I think that should hopefully be arriving today.  Iíll start there. 

Iíve lifted weights for exercise and stress management since my teens and for the past several weeks that has been pretty disrupted with generally feeling wiped out after the workday is done.  I recently have been starting to look at other jobs in the past few days and also began working on updating my resume.  Iíve had an emergent DIY project that came up at home in the past few days too which couldnít be put off and Iíve now resolved that which has given me a strong sense of satisfaction.  But that additionally has taken up a lot of my time outside of work as well. 

Thereís a bit of a welcomed summer lull right now with a break from the kids being in activities that they need to be driven all around to in the evening, so last night with no current demands on me I decided to just allow myself to essentially do nothing and let some of the stress/mental overstimulation calm down a bit with no pressure to be ďdoing somethingĒ to try to work toward a resolution on my work situation. 

I appreciate the ďmindfulnessĒ recommendation mxt0133.  I will integrate that more into how Iím coping with this.  It sure helped last night to just be in the moment and I can see there will be a cumulative benefit to it.  Itís helpful for me to hear about your experiences with looking to things that can be done to improve the situation as a manager.  The theme in healthcare is expect to continue to ďdo more with lessĒ so I know with where the financial performance is YTD additional promotions under me are not going to happen this year.  I have made my new boss aware of some additional restructuring under me for another promotion that was supposed to occur but has been put on pause given our site overall behind budget this year.  Nevertheless, I know I can do some work on generally getting more organized and delegating whenever possible. 

My plan is to give myself more of a break after work the next couple of days to decompress and help with a shift in mindset and outlook.  I'll start reading the book that should arrive today and then re-engage a plan to make a change with my work situation.  I know that this simply is not something I want to do for the rest of my life.  I've got the rest of my life to do some kind of work and I'm going to do my best to work toward something that is way more tolerable than this and I believe that will need to be something at the individual contributor level.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 05:18:01 AM by Mr. Freedom »

Mr. Freedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2018, 09:09:15 PM »
Just an update, I have done some of the written exercises from the book "Now What?" and I also saw a professional who specializes in career transitions for the first time yesterday and will be continuing for regular sessions as I work on where to go from here and how to get there.  That all seems to be helping. 

Regarding my continued efforts toward financial independence, we're still doing great with our savings rate.  I am projecting that we should finish July at about 50% YTD.  I also decided in the past week that we are going to look seriously at downsizing our home to the point of knocking out the remaining balance of our current mortgage and then not carrying a mortgage at all moving forward.  That has been a real eureka moment after being in the fixed mindset of needing to have a larger home like so many others with lots of enhancements. 

With the amount of equity we have in our current home and the asking prices for the homes we're looking at that meet our specifications - that is totally doable.  The wife is completely on board and excited about this development.  We both acknowledge that it will be sad to leave this home behind and there is so much we do love about it, but when we really examine if the extra costs associated with 15 years remaining on the mortgage and the amount of maintenance (both time and cost) the house requires, and ask ourselves is that really worth it to us - we both agree that it is not.  With us both working basically full-time and that not changing anytime soon, we are now very much wanting to have less house to clean and maintain indoors and out and then also have the added benefit of lower overall expenses for housing moving forward: lower property taxes, maintenance, insurance and utilities costs along with less time spent on home maintenance and more freedom in general. 

So house hunting and starting to look at what we need to do to get our current home ready for sale has been a welcomed constructive distraction from work BS.  I can see that a career change is going to be a work in progress for some time so I plan to milk my current salary and benefits package in my fundraising efforts for FI all the while. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 09:41:23 PM by Mr. Freedom »

Finances_With_Purpose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
    • Finances With Purpose: deploying resources wisely to live vigorously
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2018, 01:01:18 AM »
That's fantastic!  What a great update.  Very happy for you.

craiglepaige

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1090
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2018, 12:42:47 PM »
That's fantastic!  What a great update.  Very happy for you.

x2 ;)
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

- Eres Un Esclavo Financiero
https://youtu.be/GO1Fsp4cUTQ

pecunia

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2018, 07:39:46 PM »
It was good to see all these people help you.  The sharing by them and yourself probably helped some of the readers of this forum as well.  One more thing - Ever walk into an empty house?  It's not the house, it's the people in it.

Stash Engineer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 206
Re: Wanting a Change
« Reply #24 on: Today at 10:48:53 AM »
I don't have much to add except that I have disrupted sleep as a result of a high stress career and a change is overdue for me also. You're in a better position than me financially...if I was in your shoes, I'd put in my notice and transition to something better for my mental health. Anyway, I'll be following your thread and wish you the best!!!

I'm just here to commiserate.  I also find myself waking up at all hours of the night due to stress.  I have also noticed recently spouts of chest tightness/anxiety feelings throughout the day that I believe are directly due to job stress.  My financial position is not nearly as good as yours, but here we are regardless.  I also purchased the recommended reading material.  Wishing you a fantastic exit and lower-stress life!
Chuck Norris is so fast, he can make a fire by rubbing two ice cubes together.