Hi everyone, been lurking on and off on MMM in the past few weeks and loving this thread! Count me in among those in their thirties now and wishing they had learnt about FI/RE in college and be able turn back time to undo all the stupid decisions and heartbreaks in my 20s.
I have left my share of jobs over the years but there is only 1 where I walked without serving my notice. It was your typical horrible job(shitty boss who took all credit for my work, abusive senior management, underpaid, toxic atmosphere, etc.), and I was intensely envious of friends who seemed to be working at much better companies. However, the job market was quite dry that year, and I had negative net worth(due to living way over my means and getting into credit card debt). I had been unemployed for 6 months before the job offer paying below market rates came through. I felt like I had no choice and just had to suck it up for a long time.
On top of being young and dumb, I was also quite hot-headed(but good at hiding it in public) and often let my emotions get the better of me. I was scared that if I jumped ship, then I may not pass probation period at whatever new job I land, then find myself broke and homeless after 1 week. I was also living with a shitty housemate back then who had disgusting habits, but I felt too poor to move.
So for more than 12 months, I was a combination of angry/sad/envious, as I moped in my room after work on most days. I sat up in bed with my laptop, not wanting to go out with friends and hating on my housemate and boss, while I furiously applied for new jobs. By the time I finally got an offer, I had saved enough money for 3 months of an emergency fund, as well as made a sizeable dent on the credit card debt - all due to staying in so much!
The new employer demanded that I be available to start within 1 week and was not prepared to wait for me to serve my standard 1 month's notice at my shitty job. I looked at my bank account balance, projected expenses, the vacation time I had saved up, and articles about the improving job market. I then came to the conclusion that this was a calculated risk that I could afford, and that I needed to move fast to not lose the job offer.
I spent Monday-Thursday that week cleaning up my desk and taking personal effects home. Friday arrives and I invite my shitty boss to a 5:00pm meeting(preventing him from darting away at 4:00pm like he always did). I hand him my pass and resignation letter and claim that I needed time from off the world of work for personal reasons then walked out without letting him get a word in. The very next Monday, I was at my new job and earning 30% more. Fellow co-workers who I had been repeatedly riling up about the horrible conditions also found the courage to resign a few weeks after I did, leaving boss to scramble to recruit new people when the job market had swung to the jobseekers' side. Before the end of the month, I had also moved out and ditched the gross housemate.
A few weeks later, I get a letter in the mail saying that for not working my notice, I did not get paid out 1 month's worth of vacation time that I had saved up(but I had 7 weeks worth in total, so I got 3 weeks paid out to me that went straight to the emergency fund).
I wish I could say that it was all smooth sailing from then on! I did manage to always have FU money of at least 3 months of an emergency fund ever since that day, but if only I had learned about the concept of FI money earlier...
I'm currently in a new job where I find myself not liking my current boss again, and am considering jumping ship after the Christmas season is over. I currently have more than 18 months of expenses saved up(which I now understand from MMM is way too much cash and I need to put more of it into index ETFs). However, I'm trying to take some time to figure out what I really want in a job so I don't end up somewhere that I dislike(again), so I will probably behave myself this time, skip the FU moment by securing a new job offer first, then serve my 1 month notice at this place before leaving.
To those of you that have job-hopped many times, how have you finally found a place you were willing to stay with until you reach FI?