Author Topic: Case study: Should I quit my job  (Read 8569 times)

DocCyane

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Case study: Should I quit my job
« on: November 22, 2014, 05:36:25 AM »
I am at an impasse and wanted feedback regarding my decision as to whether or not I quit my job.

I am a 46 year old female with a 51 year old partner. I make $75k/yr and she makes $80k/yr. We live in Southern California in an apartment. One dog, two cats, no children. Two paid off cars (2005 MINI, 2004 Jeep Liberty). No debt for either of us.

My net worth is $550k; hers is $200k.

My monthly budget would be the following if I quit my job:

Rent ($820.00)
Water Gas Trash ($30.00)
Electricity ($40.00)
Car Insurance/AAA ($71.00)
Rental Insurance ($11.00)
Umbrella insurance ($15.00)
Car  Tags ($15.00)
Car Maintenance ($100.00)
Car Fuel ($20.00)
Food ($150.00)
Internet ($20.00)
Cell Phone ($10.00)
Pets ($40.00)
Healthcare ($25.00)
Discretionary ($250.00)
Christmas ($33.00)
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES ($1,650)

ďDiscretionaryĒ is for clothing, gifts, eating out (rare), house supplies, etc. I think everything else is self-explanatory. This does not include my partnerís share of expenses, only my half.

Iíve had my present job for 2.5 years and took it after being unexpectedly let go from another position at a college. The job has gone from one I like and excel at to one that is completely the opposite of my skill set and personality. Namely, Iíve gone from web nerd/e-commerce to a supposed external marketing/sales person with the expectation of travel, trade shows, sales meetings, etc. I realize this progression of job responsibilities happens with a small company, but Iím doing little of the work I enjoy doing. Moreover, this new position is in addition to my old work, not in place of.

Iím doing so poorly at it that my boss (owner of the company) gives me a job review every 6 weeks where the scores are going down and I get a PIP every time. (A write up that says how much I suck.) This obviously creates a lot of tension and anxiety. Iíve had to go to the hospital three times in my tenure there due to various illness I believe are either cause by or exacerbated by the job. And letís just say Iím not a social personality type. I like quiet, introverted work that involves 40 hour work weeks.

The future only looks worse for this position as the bossí goal is to triple the size of the company in the next five years so he can retire rich. There is no reason to think this degree of growth is possible. The company is cash poor, has outdated products, no ability to buy other companies, and no plan to grow that could feasibly take place. Ergo, the coming years will be filled with additional stress and an angry, bullying boss.

My partner has no issues with me quitting my job so I can begin a business at home with e-commerce, writing/e-publishing, online education, etc. Itís the type of work that may not make big money ever, but it would mean getting a jump start on the work I intended to do once I FIREíd.

Our long-term plan is to stay in So Cal for about 3 more years while we wait for her father to pass (heís 80) and she adds years to her teaching pension. Then I will move to the Midwest to be with my aging father (heís 73) to care for him. She will stay here an additional year or two to add to her net worth and teaching pension, but she can come to the Midwest between semesters to be with me. We intend to buy a house there ($150k).

As far as getting another job, Iíve certainly tried. The type work I do is getting harder to find, doesnít pay as well as it used to, and is primarily being done by younger people. (That isnít a rant, just an acknowledgement of the progression of the Marketing Communications field.) I knew I would age out of my job eventually, but I thought I could swing a few more years.

The thought of not working at an office job is difficult for me, as thatís all I have done for 25 years. However, Iím a self-motivated individual who would have no trouble working from home for myself without getting distracted. I donít look to my job for social fulfillment or friendship.

To reiterate my question, do you think itís a good idea to quit this job three years early, eschewing the additional savings I would have added to my net worth and beginning to work towards my own business that I intended to do after FIRE?

Thank you for your thoughts and I apologize for the wall of text.

marty998

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 05:49:21 AM »
Congrats on getting to a financial position where you actually have the choice. I would think though that you are still a couple of years away from being "safe" in terms of having enough to sleep at night if you do decide to quit.

Not to be morbid, but do you expect to receive inheritances from your ageing parents?

DutchGirl

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 05:55:20 AM »
Can I ask if there would be a difference between being fired and quitting? Are you eligible for benefits when you're fired? Is there a way to "aim" for being fired shortly (without doing anything illegal or anything that endangers your option to get benefits)?

Generally speaking I would say that you have enough money ($550k) to take the jump. Your withdrawal rate would be $20k/$550k or 3.6% if you wouldn't make ANY dollar at all with your new business... Which actually seems very unlikely.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 06:13:00 AM by DutchGirl »

DocCyane

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 06:05:05 AM »
Congrats on getting to a financial position where you actually have the choice. I would think though that you are still a couple of years away from being "safe" in terms of having enough to sleep at night if you do decide to quit.

Not to be morbid, but do you expect to receive inheritances from your ageing parents?

Thank you for your honest question. Yes, I expect to inherit. I never count on this money, of course, but it's hard to ignore. My father is likely worth $1 million which would be split between my brother and me.

MayDay

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 06:08:31 AM »
I'd quit and find a part time job to make up some of the difference.

DocCyane

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 06:10:05 AM »
Can I ask if there would be a difference between being fired and quitting? Are you eligible for benefits when you're fired? Is there a way to "aim" for being fired shortly (without doing anything illegal or anything that endangers your option to get benefits)?

Generally speaking I would say that you have enough money ($550k) to take the jump. Your withdrawal rate would be $20k/$550k or 3.6% if you wouldn't make ANY dollar at all...

I was hoping I would be fired at my last review but it didn't happen. I genuinely believe my boss doesn't want to fire me so much as bully me. There is a tremendous turnover rate at that company (surprise) and he knows I'm one of the best employees. I'm also a cheap employee compared to what I contribute and what it would cost him to re-hire others to do what I do. If I haven't been fired yet, I don't see it happening and therefore I cannot collect unemployment insurance.

DutchGirl

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 06:15:52 AM »
Thank you for your answer. Then I guess I would quit and wish him good luck finding someone to replace you. All the power is in your hands: you have enough money to sustain yourself, and you have skills to make even more money.

Maybe he didn't know that you are capable of quitting without suffering from it, it'll be a horrible surprise for him that you can...

Still, that doesn't matter much to you: you CAN quit safely, and you can leave this toxic person behind and find a new way in life. Congratulations, and enjoy!

Wile E. Coyote

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 08:25:49 AM »
I wouldn't hesitate. Give your notice on Monday. There is no reason to stay in a job like that, particularly in your position.

pachnik

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 08:34:05 AM »
Your job sounds like a terrible fit for you.  I can't imagine the stress/anxiety of having a job review every 6 weeks.  Then you mentioned those hospital visits.   I had a job recently that was not a good fit for me and I really struggled too and then I was fired.  But I had already been updating my resume and putting out feelers.

I am finding it hard to say "quit a job" (read: income) but you have a stash and no debt.  I am assuming that since you listed your expenses you have been keeping track and they are realistic.  Very similar to mine actually. It just isn't worth it to screw up your health. 

Could you start your in-home business now and see how it goes for say 3 months?  Even if you just took a chance and jumped ship, I think you would probably be alright. 

Good luck and keep us posted.


feelingroovy

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 08:57:40 AM »
I say quit.  You're already FI at 4% withdrawal.

You may still want to supplement that with part time work or your at-home business, but you don't need this job. 

You have FU money--use it.  :)

Malaysia41

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 09:16:16 AM »
If you quit, be sure to share the story in the epic-fu-money-stories thread!

fartface

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 09:30:29 AM »
Sounds like your boss is putting you under undue duress and trying to force you out.

Check the unemployment laws in CA. There is a clause when you go to file that says something like "the job expectations were so extreme that nobody could possibly fulfill the requirements of the position adequately..."

If he did indeed make your already full-time position a 1.5FTE and it's an unreasonable work load...you may be able to quit AND stick it to him with six months of unemployment claims.

Good Luck!

Davids

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 09:32:16 AM »
I would have a side gig set up prior to quitting, does not have to be much but something to earn a lil extra. You are in a position where you can quit and still meet your monthly expenses but you should have a side gig set up before you quit.

bugbaby

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2014, 12:21:26 PM »
In your place I'd quit, take a nice vacay , unwind totally and find my mojo... This is what I'm doing in april the second I pay off my last debt and reach minimal FI.. and my job is just ok.. Time is far too precious to burn up in a toxic draining situation...

DocCyane

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 12:46:18 PM »
Sounds like your boss is putting you under undue duress and trying to force you out.

Check the unemployment laws in CA. There is a clause when you go to file that says something like "the job expectations were so extreme that nobody could possibly fulfill the requirements of the position adequately..."

If he did indeed make your already full-time position a 1.5FTE and it's an unreasonable work load...you may be able to quit AND stick it to him with six months of unemployment claims.

Good Luck!

Thanks for the advice. Considering I never got an official job description after my promotion and the parameters of the job change at the whim of the boss on any given day, I may very well have a case. Good advice. I'm all over it.

DocCyane

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2014, 12:50:49 PM »
I would have a side gig set up prior to quitting, does not have to be much but something to earn a lil extra. You are in a position where you can quit and still meet your monthly expenses but you should have a side gig set up before you quit.

For those who suggest building up a side hustle prior to quitting, I already have on eBay and will continue it. I would like to go into e-publishing, however, and I don't believe I can do that on the side after a 10 hour work day. The job is too much of a brain drain.

Wow, I really appreciate everyone's advice and well wishes. My partner has started reading this thread as well and she thinks Mustachians are awesome. I agree.

libertarian4321

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2014, 01:13:08 PM »
Can I ask if there would be a difference between being fired and quitting? Are you eligible for benefits when you're fired? Is there a way to "aim" for being fired shortly (without doing anything illegal or anything that endangers your option to get benefits)?

Generally speaking I would say that you have enough money ($550k) to take the jump. Your withdrawal rate would be $20k/$550k or 3.6% if you wouldn't make ANY dollar at all...

I was hoping I would be fired at my last review but it didn't happen. I genuinely believe my boss doesn't want to fire me so much as bully me. There is a tremendous turnover rate at that company (surprise) and he knows I'm one of the best employees. I'm also a cheap employee compared to what I contribute and what it would cost him to re-hire others to do what I do. If I haven't been fired yet, I don't see it happening and therefore I cannot collect unemployment insurance.

Clearly, you have the wrong attitude about work.

Come in a bit late.  Leave early.  Never work overtime.  Take long lunches.  Never do more than the absolute minimum.

Then let the lay off come...

bacchi

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2014, 02:18:20 PM »
Clearly, you have the wrong attitude about work.

Come in a bit late.  Leave early.  Never work overtime.  Take long lunches.  Never do more than the absolute minimum.

Then let the lay off come...

This was probably in jest but, if your boss is truly being an ass, it's a good idea.

Some people can't, however, so just quit. You've reached FI, if your expenses are accurate, and making $20k/year would let your stash grow uninterrupted. Even $10k/yr would reduce you to a 1.8% withdrawal, which is damn solid.

The post-quitting vacation is a great idea. Take a month off and decompress.

Goldielocks

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2014, 02:36:35 PM »
I wouldn't hesitate. Give your notice on Monday. There is no reason to stay in a job like that, particularly in your position.

Hmm, assuming he is up on PIP process documentation, there is no difference between quitting and being fired in terms of severance.

How about this - you go to him and explain that you agree you are bad at the external sales work, but are still good at the previous tasks.

You offer two options--

Instead of firing you in a month, with all the work that requires, he pay you a month salary today, and you will quit,  or
 you will go to 2 days a week doing the technical tasks that you are very good at.


   That gives you either 3 days a week, or a month of pay to start your own business.  Which would be a good thing

Whatever you do, something has to change this week

 PIP's suck at your sole in a horrifying way.

He can only refuse, but even so you may shake up the status quo, which is desperately needed.

pdxvandal

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2014, 03:10:15 PM »
Yes. Just do it.

DocCyane

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2014, 03:29:03 PM »

Hmm, assuming he is up on PIP process documentation, there is no difference between quitting and being fired in terms of severance.

How about this - you go to him and explain that you agree you are bad at the external sales work, but are still good at the previous tasks.

You offer two options--

Instead of firing you in a month, with all the work that requires, he pay you a month salary today, and you will quit,  or
 you will go to 2 days a week doing the technical tasks that you are very good at.


   That gives you either 3 days a week, or a month of pay to start your own business.  Which would be a good thing

Whatever you do, something has to change this week

 PIP's suck at your sole in a horrifying way.

He can only refuse, but even so you may shake up the status quo, which is desperately needed.

This is a well thought out option and therefore the boss will never go for it. He doesn't have the maturity to realize how his actions impact all his workers in a negative way. He was given this company by his daddy 20 years ago and has never earned anything in his life. He has what can only be called temper tantrums. Some situations are beyond adult compromise, but I do appreciate the response.

Ellen

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2014, 04:43:59 PM »
I would quit, then plan a nice long visit with your dad. It's been awhile since I worked in a toxic environment, but the experience is one I've never forgotten. You're in a good place financially, which makes it unnecessary to endure such a job. I highly doubt you'll regret leaving this job.

iamadummy

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2014, 05:56:51 PM »
Easier said then done, but I would just take it easy there (no OT, come later, leave early, etc.) and then let them lay you off.  That's why they are doing the PIP, so they can have it all formalized and documented.  Then layoff time and collect unemployment.

pshawgs

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2014, 03:11:32 PM »

Hmm, assuming he is up on PIP process documentation, there is no difference between quitting and being fired in terms of severance.

How about this - you go to him and explain that you agree you are bad at the external sales work, but are still good at the previous tasks.

You offer two options--

Instead of firing you in a month, with all the work that requires, he pay you a month salary today, and you will quit,  or
 you will go to 2 days a week doing the technical tasks that you are very good at.


   That gives you either 3 days a week, or a month of pay to start your own business.  Which would be a good thing

Whatever you do, something has to change this week

 PIP's suck at your sole in a horrifying way.

He can only refuse, but even so you may shake up the status quo, which is desperately needed.

This is a well thought out option and therefore the boss will never go for it. He doesn't have the maturity to realize how his actions impact all his workers in a negative way. He was given this company by his daddy 20 years ago and has never earned anything in his life. He has what can only be called temper tantrums. Some situations are beyond adult compromise, but I do appreciate the response.
I like that idea. At least let him know that If they want to keep you these are the terms. And if not, well either FU and get out, or tell them what tasks you will do. Do things differently, like others have said, say you can't take on tasks, etc.

Malaysia41

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Re: Case study: Should I quit my job
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2014, 03:20:21 PM »

Hmm, assuming he is up on PIP process documentation, there is no difference between quitting and being fired in terms of severance.

How about this - you go to him and explain that you agree you are bad at the external sales work, but are still good at the previous tasks.

You offer two options--

Instead of firing you in a month, with all the work that requires, he pay you a month salary today, and you will quit,  or
 you will go to 2 days a week doing the technical tasks that you are very good at.


   That gives you either 3 days a week, or a month of pay to start your own business.  Which would be a good thing

Whatever you do, something has to change this week

 PIP's suck at your sole in a horrifying way.

He can only refuse, but even so you may shake up the status quo, which is desperately needed.

This is a well thought out option and therefore the boss will never go for it. He doesn't have the maturity to realize how his actions impact all his workers in a negative way. He was given this company by his daddy 20 years ago and has never earned anything in his life. He has what can only be called temper tantrums. Some situations are beyond adult compromise, but I do appreciate the response.
I like that idea. At least let him know that If they want to keep you these are the terms. And if not, well either FU and get out, or tell them what tasks you will do. Do things differently, like others have said, say you can't take on tasks, etc.

Even children prone to temper tantrums understand choices.   "We can do A) or we can do B) - which do you choose?" 

Worst case: you are out of a job - which is in fact a good outcome, right?