Author Topic: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE  (Read 6087 times)

cpthammer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« on: March 03, 2016, 08:43:31 AM »
I FIREíd about 14 months ago. Traveling a lot, exploring new interests, itís been great.

However, Iíve always been interested in making the world a better place. My old job wasnít really accomplishing that.

Hereís whatís tricky: I donít think I am interested in working year round full time ever again (FIRE is nice!). I just donít think Iím wired to be happy working 40+ hours/week year round.

But, Iím now wondering whether doing something part-time and meaningful in between travels might ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life than permanently avoiding professional work altogether.

My question is this: has anyone here FIREíd, then decided to go into an entirely different field intending to work only intermittently? This is exactly what MMM did with construction and his blog. I should mention that Iím thinking along the lines of skilled work; Iím not really the type to do local volunteering in unskilled jobs.

I suspect I would need a new skill set to find a useful flexible part time project, since Iíve only ever trained to do one thing. Iím considering getting a masters in an entirely new field, but education is not cheap (and often not even useful). The last thing I want is to dip into my hard earned Ďstash to get an unnecessary degree.

Any insights would be appreciated!

ronindeniro

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 10:35:04 AM »
Do you consider learn whatever you want to by yourself, instead of paying for a degree? I think the way internet is nowadays there are very few subjects you cannot learn by yourself (like medicine or pilot an airplane).


I'm in a similar position of yours. I wanna make the world a better place and have fun with it(which means, not 8 hours per day). Our difference would be that I'm planning to do it with the skills I already have (I'm a corporative programmer with a long time of obsessively training martial arts), or at least something very similar to it, that would not need a whole new subject from scratch. Until now, I thought about helping develop FOSS operating systems, electronics, or develop a simple free computer game that might evolve slowly. All of them are different subjects, but still inside my skills domain. I still think about creating an unpretentious, backyard martials arts gym, but I think working on something with people that are not as passionate on it as me is (childishly) frustrating.


Hope I didn't went to deep technically, and that it does give helpful insights.
since december 2015

BFGirl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 676
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 12:28:34 PM »
I will probably continue a side craft gig I have when I make it to retirement, but have lately been toying with the idea of working with some non-profits that support some social issues I'm interested in and which relate to my current job.  Working for them either part time or serving on a board would keep me engaged and I'd feel like I was helping.  (But I still have 4 years, 10 months to go to FIRE)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 02:21:17 PM by BFGirl »

FrugalZony

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1223
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 12:38:44 PM »
One of the reasons I wanted to FIRE, besides travelling, was to spend time on things that are meaningful to me.
I volunteer with several organisations, one of which I even served on the board for a while.

My situation has changed a bit, so I will focus a bit more on travelling in the first year of fire, but I definitely
want to find ways to keep giving time to causes that matter to me once I FIRE.

If getting and income is not your primary motivation, why not volunteer? You can build new skills
and try it out different things and then later if you want to pursue something as a new career, you can still
try to find work in that field.

After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.
Mr. Spock


Trial FIRE blog: http://thefrugalhumanist.com

Save money on pet food: http://pennywisepaws.com

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27380
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 02:54:30 PM »
Yes, yes, yes!

Definitely looking at doing this myself.

Following to hear any neat ideas.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

PhysicianOnFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 455
  • Location: Up North
    • Physician On FIRE
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 03:00:05 PM »
Joe @ Retireby40 wrote an article about this the other day. See Link

I think it's good to find something to provide fulfillment in early retirement.  I look forward to having more time to read, stay fit, travel, etc... but eventually I might feel guilty if I'm not doing anything to help others.  Darned Catholic guilt.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2657
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 03:17:42 PM »
A lot of what you say resonates with me.  I like being FIREd and have no interest in going back to paid work, but do want to make a contribution.  As it happens, I've found a local voluntary organisation which makes good use of a sideline to my usual professional skillset and which takes up a few hours a week.  I also do an hour a month of unskilled volunteering which has its own benefits: a good crowd of people, physical exercise and instant results, the latter two of which the more "professional" volunteering does not provide.

So I would say to you that 1) a fair amount of "local" volunteering requires a considerable amount of skill, and 2) starting off as an unskilled volunteer can be fun, and it frequently leads to the acquisition of skills through on the job training.

I would say that you should do a masters only if you find it compelling in itself, not to any particular end.  On the volunteering front, find something you are, or could be, passionate about, start at the bottom and look around for ways in which you can add value to what you are doing with the skills you already have or which you can develop through the volunteering.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5873
  • Location: At Home
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2016, 09:13:32 PM »
When I retired I enrolled in a degree in Fashion Design, because my plan was to create a business from the side gig I had been doing for years.

That hasn't happened. But I will never regret doing the course. And I may one day take up the threads again, and create that business.

mamarjan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 06:31:00 AM »
I'm not there yet, but I know a guy in Holland who was sick with corporate work at 39, and decided to pursue a PhD in bioinformatics. He got his PhD finally after 8-9 years, but was I would say at least 1/4 of the time on the road, and the rest worked mostly from home, without any commute or stress. You could have probably described him as FIRE at the beginning of the graduate program, though I don't think he thought about it now.

I'm trying to follow a similar path, and can tell that what he did was to switch to a completely new field, even though it's still a lot about programming. It's definitely doable, just keep asking around for something suitable to your needs/schedule.

Gunny

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Northeast Alabama
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 07:40:16 AM »
I FIREd in August from my high pay, high stress FED job.  I moved from DC to a small town in NE Alabama.  I started sub'ing at the local K-12 school which also authorizes me to coach middle school football.  I'm connecting to the kids and hopefully I'm a good role model to them.  It's broadening my sphere of contacts in the community.  It's part time and I'm free to travel almost as much as I want.  Plus I earn a lttle pocket money.  Now I'm being asked to join the Chamber of Commerse.  It's opened up a myriad of community service opportunities that I never gave thought to. 

Cookie78

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1709
  • Location: Canada
    • Cookie's Goals
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2016, 08:18:58 AM »
Absolutely something I'm interested in, but like you, I'm not sure yet how to go about it. I'll likely volunteer instead of work part time, but I would much prefer to find a way that uses my skills (existing or new) effectively rather than doing any unskilled volunteering. It's just a matter of figuring out exactly what skills I have that would be helpful, what skills I need to learn, AND what type/area of volunteering I am most interested in. There are so many!

Great thread.. :)

gardenarian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Location: Ashlandia
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2016, 02:00:40 PM »
I'm slowly becoming more involved with both local politics and environmental activism. I also have a PDC (permaculture design certificate) and would like to do more with that. I'm working part-time (soon to be a substitute only) and volunteering in ways that helps inform me on these issues. I think it will be some time before I decide exactly how I will direct my energy.
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.Ē -- Gandalf

Cassie

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3836
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2016, 04:00:36 PM »
I did something different when I retired then what I had done before but was qualified with 1 of my 4 degrees so did not have to go back to school.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5873
  • Location: At Home
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2016, 06:45:32 PM »
I'm slowly becoming more involved with both local politics.
I am also doing my bit to be a public nuisance. I asked for a new bus stop - which is about to come to fruition. I asked for a tree - which I now have. I asked for an electorate to have its name changed - which will also happen...

So all and sundry are positively encouraging me in my new career as a public nuisance! Even though they usually write back at first in a slightly negative way.

smoghat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2016, 06:53:39 AM »
I was an academic, which may sound ideal, but believe me, is not.

I have really ramped up my art production, which was an aspect of my academic production. I am getting $1,000, all of which has long been spent, for a show this summer. It's a big one and I am being more ambitious than I would have been as an academic. I am curating a show next year as well. Both shows are overseas, in a country I have dual citizenship in and together are the two most important spaces there.

I am gardening a lot. We hired a landscape designer three years ago. Everything she planted died. Except for the things we didn't want that she substituted. So we are educating ourselves as to what is in the garden and planting stuff ourselves. We have .75 of an acre so it's a bit of space. I wish I could grow crops but deer take care of that for us.

I am still teaching one class a semester overseas. This plus the shows and some other lecturing gives me about $30k of income. I can deduct the toys (computers, car, cameras, synthesizers) I use in my exhibits against that.

Oh and I am still trying to figure out what to do financially. We have been interviewing wealth managers and are al last certain to go to Fidelity, but it has been interesting to see what they will come up with. Wealth management is what my mom had prior to dying last year although we added substantially to it last year as well with a property sale all still in cash.

My wife takes care of our kids, gardens with me, is engaged with stuff at her congregation.

I wish we had more time!

And so it goes.

Drifterrider

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2016, 08:38:30 AM »
Want to build houses with Habitat for Humanity?  No skills or tools required.

Mrs. Pomodoro

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 183
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2016, 03:28:27 PM »
I will (at least semi-)FIRE within the next two years and I have been thinking about similar questions since I no longer find much meaning in my current corporate job (if ever.)

I'm interested in exploring an entirely different field that requires credentials in order to help ppl, even part-time (thru private practices, non-profits or schools.) What I plan to do is to start taking related classes in local community colleges to test the water. There are also many free resources online (like iTunes U) where I can get a feel of what the line or study is like before deciding what to do next. That way I can benefit from learning without spending tons of money and resources, whether I decide to go into it later or not.

I think this is part of the freedom FIRE brings, to be able to explore instead of following the script of life. What is your definition of "skilled" work? For me being a barista pulling great shots is skilled work (which doesn't require a master degree) but it might not be the kind of skills you have in mind. What are you interested in? Do you need credentials to be helpful and if so, how can you do it with minimal financial burden? I also find talking to ppl working in my fields of interests about what motivate them very helpful.

smoghat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2017, 09:06:04 AM »

Miss Prim

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Location: Michigan
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 11:04:05 AM »
I volunteered to do tax returns for United Way.  I was down in Florida for 2 months, so I volunteered down there and worked twice a week for 4 hours.  I am already back home so I won't be able to work until April 18th, but the place I did taxes at acquired 2 more volunteers just before I left so they will be okay.

I retired from the healthcare field, but I always did my own taxes and I studied and passed the Advanced test for tax returns.  It was pretty hard, but I find taxes interesting and it was good for the old brain to learn something new.  I liked the short term only commitment as I am too busy in the summer and gone in the fall camping around the US. 

I like the idea of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.  That would probably just be a short-term volunteer position also. 

                                                             Miss Prim

Mrs. Pomodoro

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 183
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 01:12:28 PM »
I volunteered to do tax returns for United Way.  I was down in Florida for 2 months, so I volunteered down there and worked twice a week for 4 hours.  I am already back home so I won't be able to work until April 18th, but the place I did taxes at acquired 2 more volunteers just before I left so they will be okay.

I retired from the healthcare field, but I always did my own taxes and I studied and passed the Advanced test for tax returns.  It was pretty hard, but I find taxes interesting and it was good for the old brain to learn something new.  I liked the short term only commitment as I am too busy in the summer and gone in the fall camping around the US. 

I like the idea of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.  That would probably just be a short-term volunteer position also. 

                                                             Miss Prim

Miss Prim, that's what I consider doing after FIRE! From what you said, I guess we don't need a degree to help people with their tax returns? I'll look into that. Thanks for the idea!

Miss Prim

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
  • Location: Michigan
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2017, 01:43:44 PM »


Miss Prim, that's what I consider doing after FIRE! From what you said, I guess we don't need a degree to help people with their tax returns? I'll look into that. Thanks for the idea!
[/quote]

I think you will like it!  I took the H & R Block tax course years ago and have done my own taxes since then.  I am not a tax expert by any means but the test is definitely doable with studying.  It covers what you have to know to do tax returns within the scope of the program.  I volunteered with VITA through the United Way and we did free tax returns for anyone under $64,000 per year.  We had a lot of low income people and a few seniors here and there, but the AARP also has a tax program and they probably saw only seniors.  I liked interacting with people of all ages. 

                                                                                            Miss Prim

spjulep

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2017, 09:19:34 PM »

Iím considering getting a masters in an entirely new field, but education is not cheap (and often not even useful).

I totally agree. Real experience is more valuable. You can teach yourself/learn most things through MOOCs, books, workshops, or short courses.

Rezdent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 818
  • Location: Central Texas
Re: Making a difference in a new field after FIRE
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2017, 10:17:24 AM »
Left the cubicle last July.

I have been expanding into a "market" garden.
I'm selling at a farmers market, which is a great place to talk to people about food security and nutrition - both things I am passionate about.

Market gardening is a different thing than backyard gardening.
It is a lot more complex.  I was surprised that my years of gardening didn't give me a better start.

If I could go back and do one thing differently it would have been to do deeper research on my venture before starting it.

But I'm still absolutely enjoying myself.  I'm outside a lot of the day, I'm getting exercise, and I am doing a small part for the community.  I can stop for a week, or month, or just sit out an entire season if I want.