Author Topic: An Anti-Stache Career?  (Read 2381 times)

slowplod

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An Anti-Stache Career?
« on: May 31, 2016, 06:16:48 PM »
I've been plodding along to Mustachian standard: a good paying job close to my home that enables me to sock away a serious amount of cash each year so I can FIRE at 40 with a cushy annual allowance (currently 30).  My focus has been to minimize my working time and maximize my personal time.  I work hard at my job, and get recognized for it, but at this point I'm very disengaged.  I honestly can't envision doing this type of role for another 10 years.  I work in a niche role for a Fortune 100 and get paid well.  I've explored the outside market and firms can't believe how much I make for my age.  Any lateral job change would mean a 30-40% pay cut, so I have ruled that out (it would lengthen my FIRE horizon and don't think I'd like the job that much more).  I'm also about 5 years too junior for an executive role in even a no-name firm.  I mention this because I think the job content might be more stimulating, as well as pay even better :-).

So I resigned myself to plod along for the next few years, going through the motions -- I know, poor me with a good but boring job ::eyeroll:

But then an opportunity came up.  My company nominated me for an executive feeder program.  It means 3-4 1 year assignments designed to grow my capabilities.  After the program, I'd be made an executive (fancy, I know...).  1st year pay package as an exec would be about $300k!

The thing is, these assignments require me to work in a different location, and are expected to be intense.  My wife is also focused on her career right now, so year one I'd have to commute to a different state or split time (the company will likely cover this cost, package details TBD). 

The differential in money for the extra effort and inconvenience would be negligible in the short term.  We'd like to eventually leave our high cost state, and this would help us get there.  But work would become central in our lives.  Right now I'm so bored with my work life.  Ultimately, this might be a more interesting & rewarding experience, as well as being lucrative in the intermediate term but it's a deviation from the mustachian ideal I've been driving towards and would put work central in my life.

Has anyone ever done something like this with their career?  How'd it work out?  Have you become more engaged as you've progressed through your career?

TL;D/R - Job is lucrative but monotonous.  An interesting and even more lucrative opportunity came up.  Should I consider it if it means prioritizing work in my life?

csprof

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2016, 07:09:00 PM »
What's your status & plans w.r.t. kids?

Do you know anyone else who's done the executive feeder program that you can talk to about it / anyone in the role you'd be targeting?

Have you and your wife done long distance before?  How does she feel about the idea, and how does it work in with the combination of each of your career and family plans?

What happens if you decide the geo issues suck and you don't want to do it anymore?

What do you like to do other than your job, and how will this affect those things, positively or negatively?

(I'm not necessarily suggesting you answer these publicly.  They're the questions I'd try to ask myself in a similar situation. :)

slowplod

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 07:44:01 PM »

(I'm not necessarily suggesting you answer these publicly.  They're the questions I'd try to ask myself in a similar situation. :)

Thanks for the provocative questions!  I've definitely been struggling with all of them before deciding to post!  I'll give them a shot below. 

What's your status & plans w.r.t. kids?

We want kids, and we want to try in the next year or two! :-)  This complicates things a lot obviously.  One or both of careers might take the back burner once we have kids.  Neither of us has a strong sense of how family and career will balance yet, so this could be a catalyst to really figure things out.  We are hypothetically open to any and all ways of raising a family (she or I stay at home, try to work part time, nanny, day care, don't know until we try it out).  I keep hearing that kids change your priorities.  Once they change, we can adapt :-)


Have you and your wife done long distance before?  How does she feel about the idea, and how does it work in with the combination of each of your career and family plans?

Nope, and we're not pysched about the distance thing.  Work is willing to be flexible, though not sure what that means yet.  They could potentially fly me home every Friday.  This could potentially only be for one year as well.  Work is willing to be flexible with locations -- after year one we could relocate to 1 single location for next 3 years and they would cover the relo cost.  This is the first year of the program, so they are kind of figuring it out too.

What happens if you decide the geo issues suck and you don't want to do it anymore?
I've thought about this a lot too.  A few different options: I tell them I'm not moving again, either we work out a location, or I get out of the program.  This could mean I take a different job internally, either a promotion, or a slower track job.  Or it could mean I leverage this experience to try to get a really good job externally.  I think it plays well in the job market: they have chosen .001% of all employees for the program, dedicated extensive resources to building my executive abilities, but at the end of the day we want to have a family and can't uproot our lives every single year with no sense of where we'll be a year later. 

What do you like to do other than your job, and how will this affect those things, positively or negatively?
I have a lot of hobbies, interests and friends/family that will be impacted by these roles.  This is a negative, but currently I dread going into work, so if the experience turns out to be as positive as it can potentially be, taking the role could still be a net positive (better working life, good but limited time personally).


MIstache

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2016, 07:53:06 PM »
The thing that stands out to me in your question is marriage and family. If you are focused on your career, and your wife is focused on her career, and you are going to have a long-distance marriage at the same time you are also trying to start a family, that is a MAJOR LOAD OF STRESS. No career option is worth it if you sacrifice your marriage.

Maybe I am a pessimist but it seems to me is that it is quite possible that you take the executive feeder thing, it works for a while, your wife gets pregnant, reality hits that you are making a big trade off by being away when your baby is new, your wife realizes she can't progress in her career as much because she is essentially a single parent, and everything goes to heck quickly.

However, you also added that there is the potential for only one move, which they pay for. Could your wife also work in that new location?

The real question here is about how dedicated your wife is to her career and the potential of a nanny to enter the mix, maybe live-in. Because (speaking as a wife whose husband is gone for 24 hour shifts) single parenthood for any length of time is difficult.

TL/D;R What does your wife think?

slowplod

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2016, 08:04:51 PM »

TL/D;R What does your wife think?

She wants more details.  We both do at this point.  There is 0 chance we do distance with a newborn.  At that point we become a package deal.  She just started with a new company, but she really likes it.  A year from now, she might hate it.  A year into the program, I might hate it.  A year from now, we might both love our jobs and one or both of our employers might be willing to be flexible with location.  Or one of us might say "screw this" and prioritize homemaking over careers. 

There are a million unknowns, and that's what makes this a tough decision.  Right now I'm in a safe, comfortable well paying job that is mind-numbing.  It was hard to imagine doing this for several more years...that is until I started thinking about this drastic change.  It could be exciting, it could be amazing, or it could be terrible.  It's definitely not boring though...

Do I want excitement in my work life, or will there be enough excitement in my life once kids enter the picture?

Cannot Wait!

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2016, 08:09:55 PM »
You're supposed to be living a life - not running a race! 
My advice to you would be not to spend another minute being "very disengaged" and "going through the motions".  Spend some time envisioning what you CAN see yourself doing for the next 10-15 years.
I don't see how taking something you dread doing now, and intensifying it, and taking you away from your wife, and affecting your chances at having babies, is going to make your life better!

aspiringnomad

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 08:53:17 PM »
Really tough call. I was promoted into a pretty intense managerial position at the beginning of the year. Unlike you, I wasn't bored beforehand, but thought I was ready for the challenge and would enjoy the new day-to-day with new responsibilities (and of course, a small bump in pay). But now I'm struggling to keep my head above water and questioning whether I made the right move. My work/life balance is out of whack for the first time in many years and I now know how much I valued it being in balance. Maybe it'll smooth out eventually, maybe it won't. Mind numbing work is no good for you, but neither is burn out. All that to say that I'd encourage you to explore all possible third options before you dive into this opportunity.

ahoy

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 08:53:42 PM »
Yesterday I was reminded of how fleeting our time here on Earth really is.  My 9 yr old daughtrs teacher from last yr just passed away from cancer.  I doubt he was 40 yrs old.  He has two young children.   This kind of news can either make you  hurry  to FIRE or take things a little slower and enjoy life and be present in the moment.

Mrs. S

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Re: An Anti-Stache Career?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 10:19:13 PM »
This is what I would do and have done in the past. When we got married we were both hyper focused on our jobs and in a few months Mr. S got an offer where he would make 1.5-1.7 times of what he was making at that point and we were both earning equally. We moved and I decided to look for a job when i get there since he could very well support the house and if nothing panned out I could freelance easily with my profession.
Something similar came up last month and we were very clear about one thing we don't do long distance at all. People may call us highly dependent on each other or whatever but this is the way we function at our best. 1 year might seem a small time in grand scheme of things but for us a month long stint away from another would drive us to tears(literally). So we decided if we can maintain our current savings rate we can move on one person's salary and then look for another job.

What I am trying to say is that don't put unnecessary strain on your marriage for a job which you eventually plan on leaving once you FIRE. On the other hand if you two work fine with weekends (It's difficult believe me, we have had to do it briefly) then I would assume your company can take care of your living requirements at the new location. If that is the case don't uproot your life and negotiate on a fixed duration stint with a gradually declining time away from the home office.