Author Topic: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?  (Read 3119 times)

sylph

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About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« on: November 15, 2015, 10:36:21 PM »
I wrote my de-employment plan today.

I'm not quite ready to retire (couple more years of fund growth should get me there), but my current work environment has been toxic for over a year, and gets worse by the day. I know it may set my retirement back a year or two, but I'm financially independent enough to be able to tell my job to **** off. Politely.

I've been applying pretty aggressively for the last two months, and have been calling on my well-placed friends for advice and good words. My de-employment plan includes identifying my network of professional mentors, getting some expensive things checked up (car, bike, body) while health insurance and paychecks are still a thing, and setting daily and weekly goals for after the de-employment to keep myself motivated and moving forward. I've started looking into the state health exchange, but am not quite sure I can start that process while still employed.

Any of you out there in Stashland have advice on things to prepare for while becoming voluntarily de-employed? Again, my goal is for this to be temporary, but after struggling for a year waiting for the work situation to improve or stop worsening, I've decided it's not worth the mental and physical toll to keep working at this while searching for something else. What should I prepare for?

mxt0133

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2015, 10:51:52 PM »
My only recommendation is to put a hard date on your last day.  By having that date in your mind, work will become less stressful.  The pain is more tolerable when you know it is going to stop vs the anxiety of not knowing when or if will even stop.

From there that should give you more energy to focus on what you want to do afterwards.  Since you have FU money you can do it without too much stress.  If you are concerned about the employment gap in your resume, tell them that you had some personal goals to accomplish and that you felt it was the best time in your career to do it.  Explain your transition or de-employment strategy and how you ensured that you left in good terms, which you will do, to any prospective employers.

If possible wait until early next year to leave, max out your 401k and max out your FSA and spend it before you leave.  You will not be responsible to pay back the amount that you have spend and not contributed against.

Faraday

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2015, 11:14:03 PM »
Any of you out there in Stashland have advice on things to prepare for while becoming voluntarily de-employed? Again, my goal is for this to be temporary, but after struggling for a year waiting for the work situation to improve or stop worsening, I've decided it's not worth the mental and physical toll to keep working at this while searching for something else. What should I prepare for?

I'm digging what you're putting down, sylph! GOOD JOB! I'll offer some thoughts, they may be obvious to you in your scenario:

Plan it after the holidays (if you are in the US) if possible, so you get your allotted holidays.

Make sure you know exactly how much vacation time you have left and make sure you get it. If you have any doubts, take the days off ahead of time to get your value.

If you are in FSA and you have money due back to you, get all that money as quickly as you can. They will cut you off and take your FSA money if you have any remaining after termination.

Some benefits run to the end of the month of your termination - find out which ones, if any. That will give you a little more time to take advantage of that benefit.

It may be obvious by now, but make sure you've slowly, inconspicuously, taken all your personal things home. Very sharp people may detect this and comment, but you can easily put them off.  Also, make sure you bring back anything you have that belongs to the company.

Any inherent benefits that you enjoy, take advantage of them. Cafeteria extra-good and makes something you really like? Maybe get the recipe from the chef. Cheap drinks in the drink machine? I'd take one home each day. Can you get a super discount on a product the company makes? Try to buy one then.

If you have a retirement plan you are contributing to (401k and the like), decide how  you want to handle that going forward: Dial it up to get maximum matching and savings, or dial it down to get maximum cash flow.

I think you already mentioned you are taking care of some things like car stuff and the like? Just be aware of what bills you have coming due, when.

You might be able to get a decent side-gig this time of year with UPS (nighttime shift handling packages) or with any of the major retailers. You might even start that process now to get a jump on it.

BTW: I don't know if you work in IT/high tech, but the holidays are HAPPY HUNTING DAYS in those fields, because usually if the company needs headcount, they try hard to fill those headcounts before the holidays go into full swing or by year-end so they don't lose the funding for the position. So I encourage you strongly to look very hard during the holidays.

I've always had great luck looking for a job toward the end of the calendar year!

11ducks

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2015, 11:28:51 PM »
How exciting, congratulations on your big step in life!

I'd suggest that before quitting, you really consider if there was a way you could keep your job but fix your toxic environment? Really consider all options - i.e. changing departments or job roles, leaving the key toxic manager/colleagues, options for telecommuting, shifting to another workplace, dropping responsibilities, taking a leave of absence. It cant hurt if you are quitting anyway? If your boss likes and respects you, let them know where you are at, and see if they can come up with something to help you stay and be happier at work. If your boss is the issue, go above their head to the owner.

Otherwise, I have little advice. Enjoy life!

arebelspy

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2015, 12:25:42 AM »
Congrats!  I'm excited to follow along as you update.

You mention setting all these goals and routines for when you take this break, but remember that decompressing and even doing nothing for a bit is perfectly okay too, and don't beat yourself up if you find yourself doing that. :)

Good luck!
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Exflyboy

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2015, 12:33:39 AM »
How exciting, congratulations on your big step in life!

I'd suggest that before quitting, you really consider if there was a way you could keep your job but fix your toxic environment? Really consider all options - i.e. changing departments or job roles, leaving the key toxic manager/colleagues, options for telecommuting, shifting to another workplace, dropping responsibilities, taking a leave of absence. It cant hurt if you are quitting anyway? If your boss likes and respects you, let them know where you are at, and see if they can come up with something to help you stay and be happier at work. If your boss is the issue, go above their head to the owner.

Otherwise, I have little advice. Enjoy life!

^^^^ This.. if your not FI then carefully consider your options.. Can be cold, hard and low paid when you are ready to come back to work.

Another thought.. Why not simply get another job? (unless you NEED a break of course). Its usually easier to get another well paid job while your still IN a well paid job. Gives the illusion you don't need a job and you can negotiate higher.

sylph

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 10:00:46 PM »
Thanks everyone! (As you can see, this was my first MMM forum post, and I failed to turn on the "notify" option. So I just came back and had to search for my one and only post to find it!)

This is a lot of great advice. I wasn't familiar with the IT/high tech hiring splurge piece - that's really interesting and I'll look into it!

I did set a hard date, and in fact just gave my notice yesterday. It already feels so freeing, and although I *am* nervous about being a little uncouth with this step in employment, I'm really looking forward to "dialing back" starting now. I've had a couple offers from people to freelance for/with them, which I may or may not take. Every coworker I've told about this (including my boss) has said "I don't blame you." It really has become a toxic environment. :/

Will update more later! Thank you all!

Carless

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 06:20:01 PM »
Also if you have good dental coverage right now, having work done while you're covered is a good idea.

Bearded Man

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Re: About to be voluntarily, temporarily unemployed. Advice?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 10:45:13 PM »
Bulk up on certs on the company dime.