Author Topic: take 3-12 month break from work?  (Read 957 times)

teltic

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take 3-12 month break from work?
« on: January 09, 2019, 08:56:54 AM »
Hello,

I plan to switch jobs June 2019 (I have financial handcuffs on me, since they paid for my masters & 401k vesting period... $20k payback if I leave before).

Income: $65k (I think I could land a $80k job come summer in the same field (corporate finance for defense company)
Annual expenses: 2017 = $21k; 2018 = $17k
Networth = $225k

I know I'm not at FI... But I feel a bit... underwhelmed with work.  It's boring.  I simply do not have passion for corporate finance (I absolutely love personal finance)... But maybe it's not corporate finance... It's simply the company/industry I'm in (I've rotated into different finance positions within the company, most still sucked, some were tolerable).

I think I could get a severance package... Which is only 1 week per year worked (so only 3 weeks).  I could techincally ask for a severance package now, and not have to pay my tuition.  It'd be weird if they told me no, because I wouldn't quit until June (that'd be an awkward 5 months).


Anyway... I simply don't know what to do (weird to admit that).

Option 1: Get a new job.  The normal thing to do... Keep working.  I'd try to work in a different enough job in finance, as clearly I'm not a huge fan of my current job.
Option 2: Quit.  I would kind of stress about having a gap in my resume... It'd definitely be weird to see networth go down, not up... But maybe it would be worth it to decompress a bit, clear my mind, then jump back into the workforce.

Thoughts?

nessness

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 04:50:59 PM »
What would you ideally like to do? Are there other positions within your company that you think you'd like more? In my husband's experience working for a defense company, they are often willing to train people who want to make career changes within the company.

If there are other departments you'd like to work in, I'd start networking with people in those departments, and eventually putting out feelers that you're interested in getting involved in [what they do].

SKL-HOU

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 07:47:47 AM »
Can you make contacts and maybe somewhat secure a new job with a start date 3 months down the line? It would be difficult for any company to promise you this but worth a try to at least get some connections before quitting.

JAYSLOL

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2019, 12:42:21 PM »
As someone who works a seasonal job I can tell you it's awesome to get a real break, not the 2 weeks off nonsense with a regular job, but a break long enough to relax, travel, take a course, renovate the house and then relax some more before going back to work.  I'll work longer, but I get a 3 month FIRE every year.  I recommend the quit and look for work after you decompress and have time to figure out what you want.  It's hard to clear your head when you're stuck in a job making you miserable.   Your expenses are low and you've got years worth saved up so I'd go for it if I were you.  You could even find a much lower paying job you enjoy doing as a temporary thing to keep from dipping into your savings, although it might not look awesome on the resume when you apply for the next higher paid position

use2betrix

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 04:51:48 PM »
Only you can truly know your skill set, your field, jobs available, etc. No one here will be able to determine if you can get another job as well as you. Going 6-12 months without a job when you planned for 2-3 gets stressful fast.

That being said, I am a contract work so I constantly work myself out of jobs. It had always been one job right after another. Never more than a few days off between at most.

In 2016 I had worked so many hours and made a ton I called it quits. My wife and I bought one way tickets to Asia. Iím a big time workaholic and have worked non stop since I was 14. Iím also very OCD about my routines and expected to be back working in a week or two.

Turns out, after about a week of rest, I learned I can actually RELAX. We ended up spending 2 months in Asia across 5 countries. After that, we hopped on our motorcycle and rode 3000 miles through Baja Mexico, camping on the beaches every other night. I went back to work for 4 months, finished a job, took another 4 month sabbatical with an equally amazing trip.

Those sabbaticals were truly life changing for obvious reasons. A big one of those reasons is finally getting a taste of FIRE. It also made it much easier to get back to work to be motivated.

Youíre a bit ahead of me financially since your spending is so much lower. Iíve been back at work for 13 months now and have at least 18 months left on my current contract. I would LOVE to take a break now and pick up where I left off, but it doesnít work like that. Theyíre paying me such a stupid amount ($300k+/yr) that I canít turn it down and have to just keep dreaming of the next sabbatical when this work is complete.

If you can make it work, do it! You have s lot saved and your expenses are low. Just make sure you seriously take advantage of the time off doing things you couldnít do otherwise. Iíd also get a good feel of the workforce to get a better idea on your return.

MissMuffins

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 07:18:53 PM »
I have been doing contract jobs instead of full time employment for the past few years, which means I have had some pretty long stretches (3-9 months each) off work. I'm currently gearing up to start another job after about 4 months off. My experience has been mixed, but I think the time off has intensified my desire to not need to work.

Having the time off is great. It's really nice to be able to do errands and other things during the day when most other people are at work. I've also noticed that my house is cleaner, my meals are better, and I'm better at my hobbies during the time that I'm not working. Taking time off makes me realize how amazing it is to have unstructured free time, and how much I want to be finished with working. It can get a little bit lonely since most of the rest of the world is at work, but I'm generally pretty introverted and need some quiet alone time in my life to relax and recharge.

I find the transition to go back to work is that much more challenging after an extended absence. The learning curve at a new job feels that much steeper when you haven't been using that part of your brain for a few months. I've also found that I feel much more stressed out during the transition because I'm trying to do all of the same things I was doing while I was off (cleaning house, making meals, keeping up with hobbies) but not having enough time for them. I've learned that I need to adjust my expectations to stay sane.

I still have a few weeks before I will be back to work, and I've already spent about 2 weeks working on adjusting. I'm trying to make sure my sleep patterns and morning routine is the same as it will be when I'm working again because I'm not a morning person. I'm also making a point of sharing household tasks with my partner, since I seem to take over most of them when I'm not working. Finally, I have a few large cleaning/organization projects I want to do before I go back, but I am also trying to not worry if they don't get done.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 01:53:01 AM »
Do it!

Here's a good article from a FIRE site about the finances.  You could take a decade off and still have plenty of money left. your only problem is fear of the unknown.  Let's face it, almost everyone who FIRE's under the age of 50 ends up reintegrated into the workforce in some form or another after a few years anyway. If you doubt me, do some research on the journals and blogs out there.  Work usually ends up much more meaningful and pleasant too, when doing it from a position of want, rather than need.  At your expanses, you can find any kind of work you want after a year of sabbatical and be just fine.  The worst case scenario is you love it so much that it reinvigorates you towards reaching full FI sooner.

Edit: PS the guy who wrote that gap year article saved to full FI, then FIRE'd, and now works part time meaningful contract work (case in point to the above).
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 02:04:03 AM by Classical_Liberal »

soccerluvof4

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 03:46:58 AM »
I would take a month and start applying and see what kind of feedback you get. Then if you like and feel comfortable with what you hear take your sabbatical. You stated you would be stressed without having a Job lined up and I'm not sure if that would go away and you would enjoy your time off. So for me I would find something to try and ease that stress.

Linda_Norway

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 04:30:41 AM »
A 3 month break feels really good. We did that once after working for 8 or 10 years at the same company and announced it 9 months ahead of time.
During that break we renovated our bathroom, which in total cost 5 weeks. Further we travelled on numerous trips.

If you are bored with your job, I very much recommend you to find either a new job or different work in your company. Coming back from a sabbatical will not make the same boring job more interesting.

jennifers

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 10:06:26 PM »
I vote for taking a long break from working and then finding a new job. No point in wasting your life being miserable.

Maybe try to think of some positive spin you can put on your time off in case future potential employers ask about it. Volunteering or working on a personal goal or something.


teltic

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 02:47:48 PM »
Thank you for all of your responses!

Volunteering is a solid idea for the excuse for my gap... No one asks whether I volunteered an hour a week, or 40 hours a week, right?  :)

I would take a month and start applying and see what kind of feedback you get.

I like this idea!  Simply to test run my resume and job field.  Would be interesting to see how many interviews I could land... Just to get an idea.

Do it!

Here's a good article from a FIRE site about the finances. 

Almost everyone who FIRE's under the age of 50 ends up reintegrated into the workforce in some form or another after a few years anyway.

Loved the article!  I'm pretty much half FI right now (although I assume one day I'll have a wife and kids who pushes my expenses up), so it's cool to hear that taking a gap year only delays FIRE by 1.2 years.  I can handle that!

I have been doing contract jobs instead of full time employment for the past few years, which means I have had some pretty long stretches (3-9 months each) off work. I'm currently gearing up to start another job after about 4 months off. My experience has been mixed, but I think the time off has intensified my desire to not need to work.

Contract jobs... Do you think there's contract jobs for Finance professionals? Would be a cool idea to do contract work and take breaks inbetween!

Theyíre paying me such a stupid amount ($300k+/yr) that I canít turn it down and have to just keep dreaming of the next sabbatical when this work is complete.

Um.. Yeah are they hiring? ;)   What type of work to do you for them?  $300k?! Go you!

What would you ideally like to do? Are there other positions within your company that you think you'd like more? In my husband's experience working for a defense company, they are often willing to train people who want to make career changes within the company.

I love creating spreadsheets.  VBA.  I don't know SQL (company doesn't use it), but I'd think I'd like that type of job.  I do know they have Business Process Analysts here, which is more IT than Finance... Some sort of automation, or managing a workflow and identifying & solving any bottle necks (not sure what that job title would be...)



Again, thank you guys!  I'll keep researching and thinking about this possibility.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 04:36:42 PM by teltic »

MissMuffins

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #11 on: Today at 07:06:53 AM »
Contract jobs... Do you think there's contract jobs for Finance professionals? Would be a cool idea to do contract work and take breaks inbetween!

I am in Canada where parental leave is usualy 1 year, so I have been able to find contract roles in my field that are covering someone's leave. I also lucked into a 6 month contract position that was needed while the company spun off from a larger business. The downside of contracts is the job insecurity, but on the upside it is a good way to experience different things for a fixed period of time. I now have a better understanding of what I like, dislike, and don't realy care about in a workplace.
The role I'm starting soon is a contract that will lead to a full time/permanent job if everything is a good fit, and at this point I am really looking forward to the opportunity to have consistent employment. The time off was nice, but the constant transitions and financial strain are too stressful for me.

birdiegirl

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Re: take 3-12 month break from work?
« Reply #12 on: Today at 02:58:43 PM »
Contract finance roles are very common in the US (not sure where you live).  I've used them many times but have always hired them through an agency. Robert Half is the largest one in my area.   You may want to find a couple agencies and talk to their reps to get a feel for how that process works. 

Since you are bored at work I would really encourage you to look for something else before you quit.  Once the paychecks stop coming in that will put a lot of pressure on you to find a new job sooner rather than later.  You might end up settling and find yourself in a role where you're bored again.   
« Last Edit: Today at 03:03:14 PM by birdiegirl »