Author Topic: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges  (Read 6406 times)

financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« on: January 23, 2017, 05:26:28 PM »
I've been inside the stretch run (final 6 months of work) for several months now and it's been very challenging for me psychologically. I have so much freedom and flexibility with my work, yet, I have grown to strongly dislike not being the owner of my own time. I have about another 2 months left.

I keep thinking about what I'm going towards rather than what I'll be moving away from, but it just doesn't seem to help.

I want to volunteer to provide free financial coaching to others.
I want to spend significantly more time with my daughter and wife.
I want to build an army of like-minded FIRE individuals to go out and change the world.

And I want all that now or even yesterday. These desires became even stronger when I read Pete's eulogy to his father.

For those of you who already achieved FIRE, how did you push/motivate yourself during those final few months?
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

Libertea

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 359
  • Age: 42
  • Location: USA

gerardc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 10:20:40 PM »
I'm not sure if the last 6 months cause psychological challenges to you, or if existing psychological challenges make you want to quit in 6 months :)

But yeah, I hear that affects many people of normal retirement age (65) for the last months or years before retirement. Probably because you need goals at work not to be bored, and you just stop setting goals when your exit is imminent.

Miss Prim

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
  • Location: Michigan
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 07:22:12 AM »
On a side note, as far as volunteering to do financial counseling, I am volunteering this tax season to do tax returns for seniors and low income people and I asked about doing financial counseling and there is a program for that too.  I am volunteering with VITA through United Way.  Not sure if you are in the U.S., but if you are interested you could look into that.

I also found it so hard to keep working after I decided to retire, that I upped my retirement date a few months before I was planning on retiring.  I just couldn't wait that long! 

Good luck to you.                                Miss Prim

financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 12:32:07 PM »
On a side note, as far as volunteering to do financial counseling, I am volunteering this tax season to do tax returns for seniors and low income people and I asked about doing financial counseling and there is a program for that too.  I am volunteering with VITA through United Way.  Not sure if you are in the U.S., but if you are interested you could look into that.

I also found it so hard to keep working after I decided to retire, that I upped my retirement date a few months before I was planning on retiring.  I just couldn't wait that long! 

Good luck to you.                                Miss Prim

Hi Miss Prim,

We have been pulling my wife's retirement date in by months/weeks earlier than what we were planning last year.

I am in the US. What were the requirements for you to do volunteering with VITA through United Way? Background checks, certain training, etc.?
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

oblivo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 05:09:11 PM »
I've found that I am going back and forth between a few emotional states:
- Feel guilty for leaving the job / people / company (mostly people)
- Very strong angst about how many days are left and how boring they are and how difficult the work is and how will I get through each and every one of them (how many again? how many are work days?)
- When something at work goes well I feel very good, like uniquely good (like donald trump good) and wonder why I would give up a career I am clearly so good at
- Worry that the FIRE prize somehow won't measure up to how much effort has gone into getting there

In other words, mostly negative states?

It's gotten a lot easier once I gave notice. The guilt part has gone away a bit. And now I care less about showing that I'm working hard (wish I'd figured that out a long time ago). I have a month or so left before I am entirely done....

financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 05:16:22 PM »
It's gotten a lot easier once I gave notice. The guilt part has gone away a bit. And now I care less about showing that I'm working hard (wish I'd figured that out a long time ago). I have a month or so left before I am entirely done....

Thanks oblivo. I'm going through all the same things you listed there. It helps me to know I'm not the only one. Looks like we'll be reaching FIRE at roughly the same time.

I may continue working a few more months simply for the health care benefits -- want that cloud of uncertainty cleared up.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

Cookie78

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1615
  • Location: Canada
    • Cookie's Goals
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2017, 08:15:10 PM »
I can relate to this soooo much! And I have 6 months 11 days left! I really would like to hear some coping strategies too because it's starting to get out of control. I'm not sure if I can cope. I just want to be done!

In the meantime, I'm trying to set smaller goals with a time frame of 2-6 weeks to distract myself from the ultimate goal. I don't know if it's working as a coping strategy or not.

gerardc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2017, 09:33:03 PM »
I really would like to hear some coping strategies too because it's starting to get out of control. I'm not sure if I can cope. I just want to be done!

If all else fails, there's always junk food, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and being mean to people. That really hits the spot.

/s

Cookie78

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1615
  • Location: Canada
    • Cookie's Goals
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 08:12:16 AM »
I really would like to hear some coping strategies too because it's starting to get out of control. I'm not sure if I can cope. I just want to be done!

If all else fails, there's always junk food, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and being mean to people. That really hits the spot.

/s

I'm having no problems coping outside of working hours. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can manage all your suggestions while at work. Hmmm... Trying may immediately solve the problem of having to work 6 more months!

oblivo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 09:14:02 AM »
Also the six months will pass whether they're enjoyable or not

Also helpful to me when I am feeling that the time is endless, to imagine the six months with 50% or 75% less net worth, which brings back feelings of gratitude and accomplishment


Moustachienne

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 10:34:58 AM »
Helpful thread!  I have 4.5 months to go; 6 including accrued vacation time, most of which I'll tack on the end. 

I've really enjoyed my job/career and my co-workers and want to keep my "top performer" reputation. And I want to set my areas and reports up for success as far as possible.  But there's such a clash between my psychological need to close things down and detach and my work obligations to continue to drive projects and plans forward!

I've caught myself increasingly making comments like "we'll have to keep an eye on that [issue/opportunity/question]...and by "we" I mean "you"!"

The long goodbye is common in my environment but it is harder than I though it would be.  Strategy - I'm going to figure out how to split my time between current projects and close down work on a daily basis.  Maybe a 90/10 split now but should shift every week to become 0/100 at the end.  :)

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 08:35:31 AM »
I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes. Something interesting has happened. The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. They made me a manager of a 3 person team, and my boss just gave me another 4 person team to manage. I guess I seem calm and able to handle more responsibility.

I wish I'd realized this sooner.



markbike528CBX

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Location: the Everbrown part of the Evergreen State (WA)
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 08:44:36 AM »
...... The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. .....
The spirit of Peter Gibbons lives on!

Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2017, 11:29:36 AM »
I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes.

This sounds so much like the types of things I'm doing. Nowadays I only go to the office when I feel like socializing or if it fits my needs.

They didn't put me in charge of any team though; don't think I'd want that anyway.

At this point, I'd welcome a layoff and the "standard" package that comes with it from my company.

Quote from: markbike528CBX
The spirit of Peter Gibbons lives on!

Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

Office Space is one of my favorite movies of all time.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 12:26:36 PM by financiallypossible »
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

SunnyMoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2017, 09:27:38 PM »
A few things I did to help during those last few months...

1) Treat myself to something that I had been purposefully denying myself so that it felt like I was getting a little reward for being disciplined and staying on the job.  In my case I allowed myself to read 1 chapter a day of the most recent George RR Martin Game of Thrones novel.  I really like that series so this was a great zero calorie, low cost, yet meaningful treat.

2) I had a little figurine on my desk of a person holding binoculars.  Whenever my job antsy-ness (is that a word?) got bad I would hold the figurine and chant in my mind "keep your eyes on the prize, keep your eyes on the prize".  I know this sounds pretty hokey but it worked for me.  Use whatever little reminder of your future life works for you.

3) Take comfort in the knowledge that you are a professional and you will see this job through to the end.  You have made a commitment to your employer and your team and you will do the honorable thing and fulfill that commitment to the best of your ability.  Now that I am in ER and I look back to those last months I am proud of myself that I did my best and was productive right until the last day.  It makes me feel good about myself.  Don't deny yourself those future good feelings.

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2017, 08:24:13 PM »
I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes.

This sounds so much like the types of things I'm doing. Nowadays I only go to the office when I feel like socializing or if it fits my needs.

They didn't put me in charge of any team though; don't think I'd want that anyway.

At this point, I'd welcome a layoff and the "standard" package that comes with it from my company.

Quote from: markbike528CBX
The spirit of Peter Gibbons lives on!

Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

Office Space is one of my favorite movies of all time.

The most bizarre thing has happened. I heard rumors of layoffs and decided to take things into my own hands. I spoke with the director and let him know that I'm thinking of leaving for another project so if a layoff comes you might as well put me on the list. They kind of panicked and said they really don't want me to leave and asked me to define any role I want for myself. So my attempt at engineering my layoff didn't work out. On the positive side I'll be doing high level research for the next 6 months.

I guess working 9 - 3 backfired and caused them to have a really good impression of me.

So it turns out the rumors of layoffs were correct and we are cutting 80% next week. Incredible.



Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5749
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 12:28:14 PM »
I think I may have been (mostly) the opposite.  There were times where I had a little guilt leaving... but mostly I felt like a little kid skipping down the halls.  Every day it was like someone walked in and took just a handful of weight off my shoulders... and towards the end it was awesome.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

marty998

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4592
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2017, 02:03:50 PM »

The most bizarre thing has happened. I heard rumors of layoffs and decided to take things into my own hands. I spoke with the director and let him know that I'm thinking of leaving for another project so if a layoff comes you might as well put me on the list. They kind of panicked and said they really don't want me to leave and asked me to define any role I want for myself. So my attempt at engineering my layoff didn't work out. On the positive side I'll be doing high level research for the next 6 months.

I guess working 9 - 3 backfired and caused them to have a really good impression of me.

So it turns out the rumors of layoffs were correct and we are cutting 80% next week. Incredible.

That's a shame you won't get the big payout. I'm kinda hoping for a kicker like that when I decide it's time to fly the coop.

For better or worse, I seem to get additional duties constantly added to my team's work, making redundancy a less likely option.

Need a big M&A deal to make that happen, hopefully in a couple of years time.

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2017, 02:12:34 PM »

The most bizarre thing has happened. I heard rumors of layoffs and decided to take things into my own hands. I spoke with the director and let him know that I'm thinking of leaving for another project so if a layoff comes you might as well put me on the list. They kind of panicked and said they really don't want me to leave and asked me to define any role I want for myself. So my attempt at engineering my layoff didn't work out. On the positive side I'll be doing high level research for the next 6 months.

I guess working 9 - 3 backfired and caused them to have a really good impression of me.

So it turns out the rumors of layoffs were correct and we are cutting 80% next week. Incredible.

That's a shame you won't get the big payout. I'm kinda hoping for a kicker like that when I decide it's time to fly the coop.

For better or worse, I seem to get additional duties constantly added to my team's work, making redundancy a less likely option.

Need a big M&A deal to make that happen, hopefully in a couple of years time.

After this big round of layoffs there's only 400 people left. It'll make it easy to shut us down in 6 months if things don't pan out. So I'm hoping it happens just before I give notice.



Ursus Major

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 150
  • Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2017, 04:46:31 PM »
After this big round of layoffs there's only 400 people left. It'll make it easy to shut us down in 6 months if things don't pan out. So I'm hoping it happens just before I give notice.

At least you can see how things are after six months and then decide to delay giving notice for a month or two, if the probability of a general shut down in the near future is high enough. (Whatever "near future" and "high enough" means to you).

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2017, 05:36:15 PM »
After this big round of layoffs there's only 400 people left. It'll make it easy to shut us down in 6 months if things don't pan out. So I'm hoping it happens just before I give notice.

At least you can see how things are after six months and then decide to delay giving notice for a month or two, if the probability of a general shut down in the near future is high enough. (Whatever "near future" and "high enough" means to you).

Flights are booked so my deadline is a hard one. I considered this as a lottery ticket going in (I could see this project going nowhere when I joined it late 2015 which is sort of why I joined it). If the lottery ticket pays off that's great. If not that's OK too.



financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2017, 02:11:37 PM »
After this big round of layoffs there's only 400 people left. It'll make it easy to shut us down in 6 months if things don't pan out. So I'm hoping it happens just before I give notice.

At least you can see how things are after six months and then decide to delay giving notice for a month or two, if the probability of a general shut down in the near future is high enough. (Whatever "near future" and "high enough" means to you).


I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes. Something interesting has happened. The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. They made me a manager of a 3 person team, and my boss just gave me another 4 person team to manage. I guess I seem calm and able to handle more responsibility.

I wish I'd realized this sooner.
Flights are booked so my deadline is a hard one. I considered this as a lottery ticket going in (I could see this project going nowhere when I joined it late 2015 which is sort of why I joined it). If the lottery ticket pays off that's great. If not that's OK too.

Here's hoping it pays out for you! Have we met in person?

Quote from: Freedom17
I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes. Something interesting has happened. The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. They made me a manager of a 3 person team, and my boss just gave me another 4 person team to manage. I guess I seem calm and able to handle more responsibility.

I wish I'd realized this sooner.

I've added listening to a lot of calming music to my list (awesome soundtrack music from the Final Fantasy games). This definitely is helping my work days go by more easily.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

gerardc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2017, 07:52:09 PM »
I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes. Something interesting has happened. The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. They made me a manager of a 3 person team, and my boss just gave me another 4 person team to manage. I guess I seem calm and able to handle more responsibility.

I wish I'd realized this sooner.

Very interesting. Probably because you decompress and then become "better" (more efficient per unit time, but also look more calm & happy & wise). It's hard to force yourself to be disciplined and just ignore stuff without going into reactive mode. Have your 9-3 hours gotten any (indirect) comments?

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2017, 08:47:26 PM »
I have 6 months left and it definitely goes slow.

I've started working 9:30 - 3:30 and taking 2 hour lunches to pass the time. Also regular gym and meditation sessions help the day go faster. I also listen to coursera courses with headphones to pass the time or go for long (1-2 hour) hikes. Something interesting has happened. The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. They made me a manager of a 3 person team, and my boss just gave me another 4 person team to manage. I guess I seem calm and able to handle more responsibility.

I wish I'd realized this sooner.

Very interesting. Probably because you decompress and then become "better" (more efficient per unit time, but also look more calm & happy & wise). It's hard to force yourself to be disciplined and just ignore stuff without going into reactive mode. Have your 9-3 hours gotten any (indirect) comments?

I didn't get any comments about hours. I probably produce about half as much output as before. Much more calm though. The other thing is that B players can't tell the difference between half output and full output. Past a certain level there's no benefit in producing more or higher quality work.

Layoffs were more brutal than expected. 90% gone. I can't believe they wouldn't add me to the list.



gerardc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2017, 09:16:44 PM »
I didn't get any comments about hours. I probably produce about half as much output as before. Much more calm though. The other thing is that B players can't tell the difference between half output and full output. Past a certain level there's no benefit in producing more or higher quality work.

Layoffs were more brutal than expected. 90% gone. I can't believe they wouldn't add me to the list.

Are you a software engineer too? If so, do you call "B players" those at levels below you? I notice if you work faster and respond faster to bugs, emails, etc., people care less, but if you pop in once in a while, it looks like you're making larger steps...

markbike528CBX

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Location: the Everbrown part of the Evergreen State (WA)
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2017, 09:28:22 PM »
........I can't believe they wouldn't add me to the list.

My condolences, survivor guilt is a real thing, even in job issues.

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2017, 09:55:18 PM »
........I can't believe they wouldn't add me to the list.

My condolences, survivor guilt is a real thing, even in job issues.

Yeah. I don't want to downplay the hardship these people are going through. It's pretty real. Especially when they're not FI for the most part.

That said it is very draining to be in that environment. I think it's natural human empathy that you pick up and respond to other people's emotions. Some of these people have been working for years on this stuff and are pretty emotionally invested in it.

I'm a software engineer in a specialist domain. Generally it seems like people can't tell the level of your work so they look for other cues like self confidence. Sadly the most naive tend to have the most confidence so this leads to the least capable people running the show. Oh well. Life goes on.



gerardc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2017, 09:59:41 PM »
I'm a software engineer in a specialist domain. Generally it seems like people can't tell the level of your work so they look for other cues like self confidence. Sadly the most naive tend to have the most confidence so this leads to the least capable people running the show. Oh well. Life goes on.

I was thinking the exact same thing today during a conference call. Some high-level (like senior staff) engineer talking not making any sense at all, but looked neat, smiling, etc. so everyone assumed and nodded. Too funny.

That's why I think lower investment works, it makes you more attractive/confident.

financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2017, 05:21:08 AM »
A brief update of how the time went for me.

Quote from: oblivo
Also the six months will pass whether they're enjoyable or not

Also helpful to me when I am feeling that the time is endless, to imagine the six months with 50% or 75% less net worth, which brings back feelings of gratitude and accomplishment

Just as you said, the time passed whether enjoyable or not. I did use your strategy of envisioning. I started working out a lot and much of time at work was not enjoyable, but just pressed on anyway.

I finally reached the finish line I had in mind (mid-May) and had a discussion with management earlier in May to transition from 5 days a week to 3 days a week. This change was really positive and just what I needed. It really helped being in a position where I don't need to work at all ever again as it made negotiating so much easier.

...... The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. .....
The spirit of Peter Gibbons lives on!

Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

And I just got promoted. I wasn't even seeking this and had never even asked about a timetable or even brought up the topic. Totally felt like I was in the middle of the Office Space film. I had to swallow hard and hold back my laughter as I was being informed that the promotion was in progress.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

Linda_Norway

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2017, 06:48:10 AM »

That said it is very draining to be in that environment. I think it's natural human empathy that you pick up and respond to other people's emotions. Some of these people have been working for years on this stuff and are pretty emotionally invested in it.


This indeed the case, especially when you talk about 90%! My DH was at a company that was downsized, although not as severely as yours. And his local office didn't get the worst of it. But he noticed it in all sorts of ways, like the company trying to save money on coffee and removing the chocolate milk from the drinks. That was great for motivation. DH thought it was time for him to find himself another job, which was good for him. Our neighbour who worked there did the same. Usually in such a company all the valuable people disappear voluntarily.

Monkey Uncle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Location: West-by-god-Virginia
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2017, 04:51:04 AM »
A brief update of how the time went for me.

Quote from: oblivo
Also the six months will pass whether they're enjoyable or not

Also helpful to me when I am feeling that the time is endless, to imagine the six months with 50% or 75% less net worth, which brings back feelings of gratitude and accomplishment

Just as you said, the time passed whether enjoyable or not. I did use your strategy of envisioning. I started working out a lot and much of time at work was not enjoyable, but just pressed on anyway.

I finally reached the finish line I had in mind (mid-May) and had a discussion with management earlier in May to transition from 5 days a week to 3 days a week. This change was really positive and just what I needed. It really helped being in a position where I don't need to work at all ever again as it made negotiating so much easier.

...... The more checked out I become the better my career is going. I've gotten the best performance rating ever. .....
The spirit of Peter Gibbons lives on!

Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

And I just got promoted. I wasn't even seeking this and had never even asked about a timetable or even brought up the topic. Totally felt like I was in the middle of the Office Space film. I had to swallow hard and hold back my laughter as I was being informed that the promotion was in progress.

So what made you decide to downshift instead of jumping ship?
"Take this job and shove it" - David Allan Coe

financiallypossible

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • FIRE:2017 "Without music, life would be a mistake.
    • Financially Possible
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2017, 06:20:02 AM »
So what made you decide to downshift instead of jumping ship?

I informed management I was retiring and was asked what would it take to have me stay. Really put me in the driver's seat.

Now that I'm 8 weeks into working 3 days a week, I'd recommend it to most anyone. Though I have strong ideas how I want to use my time, it's still helpful to not have the entire void happen all at once.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children:
https://www.youtube.com/TripSeibold

http://www.financiallypossible.com/

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1769
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2017, 06:29:46 AM »
Generally it seems like people can't tell the level of your work so they look for other cues like self confidence. Sadly the most naive tend to have the most confidence so this leads to the least capable people running the show. Oh well. Life goes on.

You've really nailed it in this paragraph (having had quite a few bosses over the years who didn't know shit but thought they were the shit.)

I am also amazed that they laid of 90% of personnel but didn't let go of the person who basically said "I'm thinking about leaving, so put me on the list." WTF? Do they think you are going to stick around long after a 90% layoff even if you weren't FI?They are way too stupid to deserve you, and I hope your lottery tickey pays off.

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2017, 08:58:30 AM »
Generally it seems like people can't tell the level of your work so they look for other cues like self confidence. Sadly the most naive tend to have the most confidence so this leads to the least capable people running the show. Oh well. Life goes on.

You've really nailed it in this paragraph (having had quite a few bosses over the years who didn't know shit but thought they were the shit.)

I am also amazed that they laid of 90% of personnel but didn't let go of the person who basically said "I'm thinking about leaving, so put me on the list." WTF? Do they think you are going to stick around long after a 90% layoff even if you weren't FI?They are way too stupid to deserve you, and I hope your lottery tickey pays off.

I'm still here counting the days down. On the positive side I've been coming in at 10 and leaving at 3. I spend around 4 hours a day going to the gym at work, meditating and taking a long lunch. It's still actually been really hard to just sit around and do nothing for 5 months. It's really boring.

It's amazing that we cut 92% of our engineers and half of the remaining people have nothing to do. Lots of people are bored like me.

Anyway, I think they recently realized I have nothing to do so they've gone to the other extreme and put me in charge of 8 projects that were probably handled by 30 people collectively before. Lots of them are critical to upcoming launches. It was a foolish move on their part. I only have 3 weeks to go.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 09:04:56 AM by Freedom17 »



gerardc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2017, 05:54:34 PM »
As FI approaches, I've also become more checked out at work, been working fewer hours, more relaxed, got promoted, feel a lot less pressure, but respect/reputation/visibility grew (IMO), which may be because I delegate more and only focus on the truly important stuff (I do feel my productivity per time unit has improved), and/or because I feel more healthy/confident psychologically and that's all people care about :) In any case, things are getting more fun -- no stress, easy, got a raise to ~$320k total comp now, which makes FIRE almost obsolete now, paradoxically.

It's funny, this whole thing reminds me of married couples who worked on their marriage for years, got counseling, tried to fix problems, etc. and when they finally decide to divorce and move out, they start rekindling again, going on dates, and things start to go well again. Psychologically, this is probably the difference between seeing the glass half empty (and whining about problems) vs half full (being appreciative). In relationships though, starting over probably won't work for the same reasons it didn't work before, but with FI, it seems you're getting a lasting change in your perception.

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2017, 07:40:25 PM »
In my experience it doesn't last. The incompetence and feeling that you're wasting your life executing flawed plans from incompetent executives comes back. At least that was my experience.



shunkman

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2017, 11:06:49 AM »
I'm finally down to my final six months. I am having a hard time. Work seems to be stressing me out more now and not less as others have described here. Sometimes I feel like I might lose my temper but that's not how I want to end my 35 year career. Our department has been getting a new manager every 6-12 months or so. I just learned that we are getting another new manager next week. I am team leader and half my team is in way over their heads. But I am still responsible to see that they make their goals.

I have not told anyone at work that I am done in six months. I wonder if telling the boss now will make it better or worse for me. Some people get screwed with after their announcing retirement too far ahead.

I'm looking for suggestions from those that may have struggled during their last six months of work. "Checking out" while still on the clock is not an option for me. And I have tried to "not give a sh!t" but that only lasts for a few hours at most.



pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6388
  • Age: 60
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2017, 11:15:12 AM »
DO NOT TELL YOUR BOSS that you are leaving until and unless you are ready to leave in two weeks.

Freedom17

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Hong Kong
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2017, 11:24:49 AM »
If you want you can try being fully authentic and brutally honest. At this point you have the freedom to be more direct and honest about what isn't working. You'll be surprised how people respond to someone who speaks with authority, at least until they can adjust their competitive games and try to box you back in again.



ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2377
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2017, 11:26:26 AM »
I'm finally down to my final six months. I am having a hard time. Work seems to be stressing me out more now and not less as others have described here. Sometimes I feel like I might lose my temper but that's not how I want to end my 35 year career. Our department has been getting a new manager every 6-12 months or so. I just learned that we are getting another new manager next week. I am team leader and half my team is in way over their heads. But I am still responsible to see that they make their goals.

I have not told anyone at work that I am done in six months. I wonder if telling the boss now will make it better or worse for me. Some people get screwed with after their announcing retirement too far ahead.

I'm looking for suggestions from those that may have struggled during their last six months of work. "Checking out" while still on the clock is not an option for me. And I have tried to "not give a sh!t" but that only lasts for a few hours at most.

Definitely do NOT tell your boss.  You just need to try to "not give a sh!t" a little harder :-)

I'm down to 7.5 months.  I will continue to do my job well and thoroughly until the end because that is just how I am, but I have been able to disconnect emotionally.  I'm not half-assing it but I'm able to just let go of things that would bother me previously.  I'm able to move on and not care if someone makes a decision I disagree with or takes some action despite my advice to the contrary.  I'm no longer emotionally invested in the job and I know I will not have to live with the consequences of the bad decisions of others.  That perspective helps tremendously.



Financial.Velociraptor

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 900
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Houston TX
  • Devour your prey raptors!
    • Financial Velociraptor
Re: those last 6 months of work - psychological challenges
« Reply #41 on: August 19, 2017, 05:06:48 PM »
If you want you can try being fully authentic and brutally honest. At this point you have the freedom to be more direct and honest about what isn't working. You'll be surprised how people respond to someone who speaks with authority, at least until they can adjust their competitive games and try to box you back in again.

Freedom17 really nailed.  The worst they can do to you at this point is fire you.  No big loss.  So stiffen your spine and set firm boundaries.
Achieve Financial Escape Velocity - Financial Velociraptor