Author Topic: Help me stop the train and get off  (Read 1599 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Help me stop the train and get off
« on: August 21, 2017, 03:54:14 PM »
Iím interested in knowing how others just knew it was time to leave their current job without another lined up?  What were the signs -- physical, emotional, financial, and otherwise?  How did you work through the mixed emotions of it and come out the other side?  How did you combat OMY syndrome?  Iím really interested in having a wee bit of a ďheart to heartĒ with others who can relate.

My situation:  I have been with my current employer ten years.  Itís a small company, in a rural area, and I am their CFO/HR person (the HR part is by default). I also have my CPA license, but havenít done a ďtypicalĒ CPA-type job the last few years -- other than internal audits.   I have put forth great effort for them for a long period of time, stabilized the department, been reliable, hired good people.  When I look at my body of work Iím proud of it.  Iíve moved them forward quite a bit, but thereís not much further for me to go.  Iím burned out.  Reasons for the burn out:  (1)  Boredom; (2) Daily commute, especially in winter; (3) No growth potential; (4) Boss is a wanker and uninterested in the growth/development of any employees (not just me); (5) I think my health is worth more than the trade-offs/risks of a car commute and long-term sitting at a desk; (6) Not a lot of networking opportunities where Iím at.  I canít see it leading to jobs with other peer companies.  I donít really want to stay in this industry.  Itís VERY male-dominated and traditional.  Really old school.

Iíve had what I think are rational reasons for staying this long.  (1)  Live in rural area, lack of opportunities that pay well (this one is above average); (2)  Benefits -- until a year ago -- were above average (health insurance is shit now); (3) Excellent 10% annual employer contribution to my 401k; and (4)  I took a great deal of pride -- as a female -- that I have been fulfilling a non-traditional role in a very traditional company and -- for the first time in my life -- was making income and benefits that would allow me to be comfortably self-supporting if my spouse died (ego thing, security thingÖ).

But now I feel I have ďFUĒ money.  We are close to ER, but not quite there -- about 80% of the way there.  Health insurance is a sticking point.  My husband works at a college but is tired of his role (and looking).  If I quit, weíd have his benefits.  Weíd lose my income, however, which is roughly half of our annual income.  I could either find something else (related or unrelated to what Iím currently doing) close to where we currently live or we might move.  So, I donít feel like we would necessarily take backward steps, but Iím just concerned about making enough forward steps to get us to the finish line.

Iím debating taking a sabbatical because I honestly donít know yet if Iím done working. I feel like I need time to not think about the stresses of this place and I also want to pursue other interests (personal and professional).  In past transitions Iíve been anxious, ďWill I EVER get a job?Ē and that sort of thing.  How have others successfully managed similar transitions?  How did you sort through it -- pre and post work?  If you re-entered the workforce, how did it go?



  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Help me stop the train and get off
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 12:16:49 PM »
Sounds to me like you are not done working yet.  What's stopping you from looking for another job?  Maybe you could find something part-time, so that you have more time to spend on your hobbies and interests?  Maybe something that will be more fulfilling than your current job (e.g. a non-profit that you strongly feel you want to support)?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Help me stop the train and get off
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 12:38:04 PM »
Start looking for a replacement job before you quit your job. You sound like you haven't completely reached your FIRE number, so I feel like you still want to bring in some sort of income. If you get a good enough job offer, you can resign and move along to a new company. If you don't find any jobs you'd like, I would keep plugging away until I reached my FIRE number; in this time period, keep looking, some amazing opportunity may come up.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Help me stop the train and get off
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 12:46:52 PM »
I left my previous job with nothing lined up. I had "FU money" and decided that I had had it. I just sat in a windowless office all day with horrible negative coworkers and I was miserable EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I actually lost my mind a little and more or less stormed out in the middle of the day.

I figured, I have marketable skills, I can find a job, and worst case scenario, I can get a minimum wage job to keep me afloat (coupled with the FU money) till I find something better.

It all ended up working out. My only "regret" is that I didn't leave sooner :) Any job that takes a physical and mental toll is NOT WORTH IT to me. At all.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Help me stop the train and get off
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 01:16:22 PM »
I want to take the same leap but like you haven't been able to pull the trigger.  My job has been stagnant for some time and there is no opportunity to move within the company.  I've been sticking around because it pays well and is close to home but also because I don't know what I want to do next.  A sabbatical would be a great opportunity to try and figure things out but with no sense of direction I'm afraid I'd end up settling and end up right back in another boring corporate job like I have now.   

The sense of wanting something else has been with me for a long time.  But the biggest sign I'm seeing that it's time for a change is that I've just stopped caring.  My heart isn't in the job anymore and I have a hard time faking it. It's gotten worse lately and I've found myself making some dumb mistakes because many tasks just seem pointless to me so I don't focus the way I should. 

If you are 80% to FIRE, I'd say you're in a great position to take a sabbatical.  You may want to take some time now to get a better feeling if you want to stay in your current location or if there's another location that would work for both of you.   If you can figure out that piece before you quit, that will save you some time and hopefully allow to transition into your next role more quickly and with less unpaid time off.