Author Topic: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride  (Read 10136 times)

mobileagent

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Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« on: August 16, 2015, 12:12:18 PM »
I am fortunate to work for a large company for the past 10 years. I had a significant role with a large team and global scope. A few months back, I was recruited into a new role internally by a very senior leader. A few promises were made during the recruiting process that I would be given a team to launch a new product and I would be part of the leadership team of the group. However, my hiring manager has left the company soon after I started for a highly lucrative offer from a competitor. It resulted in significant restructuring of the group and scope change that also impacted me. I no longer view the current job being same as the one promised to me. I also feel like the current role is much less in scope and impact that I am used to and it hurts my pride that new leadership team is not realizing my value. Also, it impacts my long term career prospects. I seek your advice as I try to figure out of my next steps.

Let me share something about my background. I am 41 years old and currently make about $400K. We have a retirement & investment savings of about $675K. Also, we have about $170K left on the mortgage for a house worth $1M. We have a monthly expense of $8K. If we pay off the mortgage from the savings, the monthly cash flow needs will be slightly less than $5K. Essentially, I would need to have a job with $60K after tax to make a living and everything else could be put towards retirement savings. Following are three options I am considering:

(1) Grind it out until a new job is found internally with significant scope. The challenge is I will be miserable every day, but gives me a chance to find the right role as it takes time (6m-1yr) to find those openings.
(2) Look for a job internally immediately and find something different even if the scope is not significant.
(3) Go to a new company for a job with significant scope. There are jobs out there that will be interesting and satisfying. However, I will most likely take a pay cut of $100K as most companies are not likely to pay more than $300K at most. So, this option is about literally paying a price for my pride.

My goal is to accumulate $500K additional savings and be ready to relocate to a different city with significantly cheaper housing and expense. If I work for the current company, I will be able to save $200K per year. If you are in my shoes, what would you do? Thanks for your advice.


TomTX

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2015, 12:17:24 PM »
For that kind of money? Grind it for 2.5 years and retire forever.

In the meantime, contact the hiring manager who left and get them to bring you over to the new company for $450k.

...when that works, send me a "tip" of the gift max for 3 years.  ;)

Seppia

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2015, 12:33:42 PM »
I agree, I would never take a 25% pay cut for pride.
Grind it out

Villanelle

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2015, 12:33:50 PM »
If I were in your shoes what would I do?  Cut my expenses in half (or more), downsize my house by half, and be retired in about a year. 

Even if I wasn't willing to be that extreme (though I don't really think $45k+ is extreme!), I'd hang on for a couple years at most and the retire.  Knowing you only have two hear until never working again would, for me, buy a whole lot of patience and tolerance.  And you'd have no worry about the affects on future career prospects because you wouldn't have a future career. 

Indio

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2015, 07:08:56 PM »
I'm not sure grinding it out for 2 yrs will be an option. This scenario sounds to me as if they are planning to let you go. Depending upon what your severance package could be, you could hang out waiting for that but also start looking for a new gig. Your performance review will give you some indication of what mgmt plans are for you. If you don't want a layoff on your resume start looking now. You're right it can easily take 6-12 moths to find and negotiate a job. I agree with other poster that you should contact your former colleague for advice and let him/ her know that you are looking but ask that they keep it confidential.

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2015, 07:18:40 PM »
For that kind of money? Grind it for 2.5 years and retire forever.

In the meantime, contact the hiring manager who left and get them to bring you over to the new company for $450k.

What he said.

If you can approach this rationally you'll see that you're being paid almost $400/day extra for the insult to your dignity.  Nearly $50 an hour.  Close to a buck a minute. On top of the $300k/year you'd earn somewhere else.  Decide how much your pride is worth (what happened to you does suck, but sounds almost routine for the working world), but you are a privileged person indeed if $100k a year isn't enough.  I have been grinding it out for much, much less.

mobileagent

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2015, 08:02:46 PM »
Thanks everyone for your practical advice. It is always helpful to get an objective advice from people who are not close to the situation. I am focusing my efforts on finding a different role within the company while continuing to put up with the current role. If I find a good role soon, it is an optimal outcome. In the worst case, I have to either take a package if I get laid off or continue to work in the role. In any case, it seems more logical to stay with the current company as the compensation is the same for current or new role as the internal transfers are lateral moves.

Emg03063

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2015, 08:07:46 PM »
Grind & start a confidential job search simultaneously.  Agree with the idea to reach out to your former hiring manager.  If you get a better offer, move.

vagon

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2015, 09:09:43 PM »
I am interested in how you got to that salary in the first place.
Was it long hours? Contacts? School and resume?

Goldielocks

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2015, 10:19:39 PM »
Or,

You could cut back to under ,40 hr per week and start coasting and wait to be let go...

It could take than a year in which you look busy doing enjoyable things like attending or hosting meetings with other employees you value, going into R and D to learn in depth about that new product you are interested in, just for fun.  That could take a few months.  In the meantime delegate and mentor like crazy so those around you are very happy with you.

This way, you can relax and get a year of pay before a substantial severance.   Or maybe a new better job is created for you... Reflecting your new ability to leverage loyalty.

Good luck!

Scarter

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2015, 05:21:34 AM »
Jeez...holy cow what a stat!  I would suggest changing your lenses.  Look at the positive side of your job.  The stuff that makes you enjoy what you do.  Enjoy the people you work with.  You know your worth (that is why they are paying you $400K a year).  Stay clear...I repeat STAY CLEAR of the negative emotional tear down ass kicking career sabotage type thoughts/behavior.  Put on that politician hat.  You smile, compliment, shake hands and kiss babies ... until you reach your FI goal then give them the middle finger and off to your beautiful life OR until your peers speaks so highly of your positive winning attitude and accomplishments that managements sweat fear of losing you on their team. Because at the end of the day you make them look good and their job easier.  You have FI plan that is within your grasps.  I would not let these upper management morons side kicking your pride put a kink in your plan. 

All the best! 

jzb11

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 07:12:02 AM »
I no longer view the current job being same as the one promised to me. I also feel like the current role is much less in scope and impact that I am used to and it hurts my pride that new leadership team is not realizing my value. Also, it impacts my long term career prospects. I seek your advice as I try to figure out of my next steps.

Maybe it's an opportunity to prove them wrong and show them your value? Perhaps this is the route you can take - outperform and make them realize why they should promote you.

I know that is easier said than done, and perhaps you feel that you've already shown this to your previous manager. With that said it's an option, you just have to swallow your pride.

Although I recognize that you're achieving at a different level and your motivators are different, so if you think I'm full of it I can respect that.

Axecleaver

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2015, 08:53:45 AM »
Hi Agent,

Business conditions change, and all you can do is react to that change and make the best decisions possible based on where you are today. You should always be looking for a better opportunity. None of the options you posted are exclusive: you can look for a new role internally (you have a good story, the role changed with the exit of the sponsor and you would like a new challenge), look for a new role externally, and also show up to work and give 110% in the role you have while those things play themselves out.

If you do get an offer from a competing company, you have to do a cost benefit analysis on the offer. Your biggest expense with that income is taxes. How much of the 400k do you keep? "Downsizing" to a 300k job that you love, won't cost you 100k, it'll cost you somewhere around 65k (closer to 50-55k if you're in CA or NY or other high tax state). Is that worth it to you? Also, your figures of saving 200k a year at this job will require a lot of that to be in taxable accounts, which at your income level, is sending a lot of your earnings out the door.

With respect to your home, did you include property taxes and homeowner's insurance in your expenses after the home is paid off? Many mortgages escrow these, so you have to add that back in to your "nut" of 5k a month. Make sure to include dollars for maintaining the home, I've seen people use a 1% estimate per year. That would add about $800 a month to your expenses. That can vary wildly depending on where you are in the country, though.

mobileagent

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2015, 10:03:00 AM »
Thank you for your suggestions. It has been great to get this advice and I will not let the current work slip while I look for any new opportunities.

nobody123

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2015, 10:42:53 AM »
"Very Senior Leaders" don't just leave companies for a competitor unless the company they work for wants them to go.  There would be non-competes, etc., in place to prevent that from happening.  I would be concerned that your former boss was talking you up, but his / her opinions aren't looked upon favorably by the remaining management.  If you were the pet project of that manager, you might be guilty by association.

The way I look at it, you can just turn into a Wally and do the bare minimum and hope you make it the 2.5 years when you would quit anyway.  With any luck, they'll offer you a severance package to go away earlier.  Or, you discuss your lack of job satisfaction with your new boss and figure out a plan of action.  The risk in that is that they might offer you an assignment that is worse than what you're currently doing.

Personally, I would do what the other folks have already stated.  Suck it up, bank the cash, hit your FIRE goal, then walk away.  It's not like you're working in a hazardous situation like a coal mine or cleaning public toilets at an amusement park.  You're not the first person who had a management change derail their career.




AZDude

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2015, 11:25:46 AM »
I'm with the others. Saving $200K per year, you should be completely retired in two years, max.

mobileagent

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2015, 11:26:39 AM »
It was more of a frienemy type of competitor who has close investments together while competing in a couple of areas. Hence, my company always tolerated people moving between these companies. Besides, the hiring manager got such a package (rumor is multiple millions) that is beyond what my company would have offered. Anyway, I will need to do what is the best thing for me and my family as the situation did change. Try to make lemonade out of the lemons:) Thanks

Tjat

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2015, 11:59:21 AM »
Good god man, how much is your pride worth to you? What's your long-term goal? Is it financial independence or feeling like other's validating your feelings of self-importance? If you're supporting a family, do you think your family cares if you're not in the new boss's inner circle anymore? If the former, set your eye on the prize and grind it out while delicately looking for jobs that won't set up back 100K a year.

That said, if the writing is on the wall that you are being phased out, I would jump ship before that happens

Easye418

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2015, 01:52:50 PM »
I am fortunate to work for a large company for the past 10 years. I had a significant role with a large team and global scope. A few months back, I was recruited into a new role internally by a very senior leader. A few promises were made during the recruiting process that I would be given a team to launch a new product and I would be part of the leadership team of the group. However, my hiring manager has left the company soon after I started for a highly lucrative offer from a competitor. It resulted in significant restructuring of the group and scope change that also impacted me. I no longer view the current job being same as the one promised to me. I also feel like the current role is much less in scope and impact that I am used to and it hurts my pride that new leadership team is not realizing my value. Also, it impacts my long term career prospects. I seek your advice as I try to figure out of my next steps.

Let me share something about my background. I am 41 years old and currently make about $400K. We have a retirement & investment savings of about $675K. Also, we have about $170K left on the mortgage for a house worth $1M. We have a monthly expense of $8K. If we pay off the mortgage from the savings, the monthly cash flow needs will be slightly less than $5K. Essentially, I would need to have a job with $60K after tax to make a living and everything else could be put towards retirement savings. Following are three options I am considering:

(1) Grind it out until a new job is found internally with significant scope. The challenge is I will be miserable every day, but gives me a chance to find the right role as it takes time (6m-1yr) to find those openings.
(2) Look for a job internally immediately and find something different even if the scope is not significant.
(3) Go to a new company for a job with significant scope. There are jobs out there that will be interesting and satisfying. However, I will most likely take a pay cut of $100K as most companies are not likely to pay more than $300K at most. So, this option is about literally paying a price for my pride.

My goal is to accumulate $500K additional savings and be ready to relocate to a different city with significantly cheaper housing and expense. If I work for the current company, I will be able to save $200K per year. If you are in my shoes, what would you do? Thanks for your advice.

Talk about a first world problem.....

Grind it out.

Rosy

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2015, 06:41:21 PM »
It was more of a frienemy type of competitor who has close investments together while competing in a couple of areas. Hence, my company always tolerated people moving between these companies. Besides, the hiring manager got such a package (rumor is multiple millions) that is beyond what my company would have offered. Anyway, I will need to do what is the best thing for me and my family as the situation did change. Try to make lemonade out of the lemons:) Thanks

Don't let your pride trip you up. Company politics and allegiances change, you know that. You haven't made it this far without looking out for number one. Be flexible - adjust, hang in there until you can leave on your terms - regardless of whether that is a lateral move - a new job or ends up in a final negotiation for a severance package.
The worst case scenario is you lose your job before you are ready - that is not the end of the world, it just requires a new plan.

BlueHouse

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2015, 05:45:40 AM »
What's your severance package like?  Usually people at your level have a pre-negotiated severance contract that could pay a year of salary. Just wondering if that scenario plays out, would it put you ahead of your fire goal or behind? 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 07:31:19 AM »
If I were you, I'd be retired :)  $830k in home equity and $675k in investments?  Yeah, I'd be out of there.  But not because of the (perceived) insult to my pride.

All of us in the forum don't have the full picture--we only know what you've stated.  But from your description, it doesn't sound like there's any malice or ill will with regards to your responsibilities and role in the company.  Axecleaver is right--it could just be a shift in company priorities.  Don't go looking for company politics in everything.  I don't remember where I heard this, but I love this proverb: "He who takes offense when none is intended is a fool.  He who takes offense when it is intended is a big fool." (I had to look it up, so here is the correct version.)
Quote
“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.”
― Brigham Young
Now, if my speculation is incorrect, and someone *is* out to get you, you'll probably want to update your resume and start looking, because things will probably get worse.

Were I in your shoes, I'd ask myself the following:
"Do I enjoy my job?"
"Am I fairly compensated?"
"Why am I so bothered that my new role doesn't have the impact or scope I expected?  Why do invest so much of my self-worth on this?"
"Would I be better off elsewhere?"

patrickza

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2015, 08:01:44 AM »
If I were you, I'd be retired :)  $830k in home equity and $675k in investments?  Yeah, I'd be out of there.  But not because of the (perceived) insult to my pride.
+1 most of us here would live like kings on the $60k a year your $1.5m net worth would provide. Hell I think many could live very well on half that. If you've had enough, try negotiate a reasonable golden handshake by saying it will keep you away from competitors/save them a fortune or whatever else is in your favor and then go and enjoy life. You've clearly worked hard up to this point.

markbrynn

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2015, 08:45:33 AM »
I disagree with all of the "grind it out" comments. OP is in a situation where the money should be good in either option. Taking a pay cut to have an enjoyable job (when that seems important to OP) can be a reasonable option, especially when said pay cut would still keep you on track for fairly quick retirement. I'm not one of them, but I think that most people who work their way into a $400k/yr position are not the type to sit back and count the days until they can retire. I think he/she would struggle to grind it out. And why damage your quality of life if there are likely other well paying jobs available that are also enjoyable.

That said, the generally agreed plan of keeping the job while looking for new ones makes sense.

nobody123

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2015, 09:18:07 AM »
Grind it out is his number one option, so I think it's a viable option.  His stated goal is to save another $500K so he has the option to relocate and be set for life.  As I said, someone making $400K a year isn't working in a coal mine, he's got a cushy first-world office-type job.  I'm guessing even a crappy assignment at work gets a heck of a lot better once you have your FU money in the bank.  He can get there in 2.5 years by sticking it out.  Taking the pay cut because of pride (not because the job is physically demanding, dangerous, or he is being set up to fail) and thereby doubling the time to FI is just being short-sighted.

Tyler

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2015, 10:26:54 AM »
I disagree with all of the "grind it out" comments. OP is in a situation where the money should be good in either option. Taking a pay cut to have an enjoyable job (when that seems important to OP) can be a reasonable option, especially when said pay cut would still keep you on track for fairly quick retirement.

+1  I think a lot of people are distracted by the current salary.  But if a pay cut still provides three hundred freaking thousand dollars a year along with high job satisfaction, most people would kill for that job.  Just because you make more than that now doesn't mean it isn't a fantastic option. 

A middle ground would be to perhaps take a pay cut for the right job (don't immediately submit to one, BTW) and cut your expenses an equal amount.  There's clearly plenty of room for improvement in your budget.  Happier at work and saving the same amount you are today?  Great!  I actually did something like that two years before FIRE and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.  Think of it as prototyping your FIRE expenses while on a happy glide path to retirement. 

On the other side, as a person who job-hopped a lot, let me warn you that the grass may always look greener but it's probably astroturf.  The buzz from a new company and position wears off way faster than you think, and if you're not happy now you won't be happy then.  At some level, the key to job satisfaction is self-driven and independent of company.  Don't talk yourself out of your current job or into another.  First and foremost, think about your happiness independent of career. 

mobileagent

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2015, 12:22:12 PM »
Thanks for the continued feedback. I don't see that there is only one path. If neither me or my spouse is working, we expect our expenses to be around $4K without a mortgage and with a healthcare insurance. We have funds to either pay off mortgage or cover it monthly from a separate fund. Essentially, we need $50K (after tax) a year as a family to make a living. BTW, my spouse brings about $100K in income and it should be sufficient for covering the expenses without mortgage. I haven't mentioned it in the post earlier. Everything I bring home can be added to our savings. My spouse is not keen to retire in a couple of years and want me to find a role/career that can last little longer, and keep me sane in the process. For us, even $300K is substantially a high income as most will go to savings. I am seeing too many signs in the current role that it is not set up for my success and my job will be at risk someday. If I do lose the job, the package is around $150K. So, it does make sense to look internally for a new job that pays the same as now and if I do get the boot, then look for a new role outside with $300K comp. The severance package will make the transition smoother. As someone said, this is a first world problem. We can probably afford to balance happiness derived from work and annual savings to the nest egg even with a lower income and a tighter control of expenses. But, I will not try to jump the ship until I exhausted all the options internally.

Cycling Stache

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2015, 04:48:07 PM »
Thanks for the continued feedback. I don't see that there is only one path. If neither me or my spouse is working, we expect our expenses to be around $4K without a mortgage and with a healthcare insurance. We have funds to either pay off mortgage or cover it monthly from a separate fund. Essentially, we need $50K (after tax) a year as a family to make a living. BTW, my spouse brings about $100K in income and it should be sufficient for covering the expenses without mortgage. I haven't mentioned it in the post earlier. Everything I bring home can be added to our savings. My spouse is not keen to retire in a couple of years and want me to find a role/career that can last little longer, and keep me sane in the process. For us, even $300K is substantially a high income as most will go to savings. I am seeing too many signs in the current role that it is not set up for my success and my job will be at risk someday. If I do lose the job, the package is around $150K. So, it does make sense to look internally for a new job that pays the same as now and if I do get the boot, then look for a new role outside with $300K comp. The severance package will make the transition smoother. As someone said, this is a first world problem. We can probably afford to balance happiness derived from work and annual savings to the nest egg even with a lower income and a tighter control of expenses. But, I will not try to jump the ship until I exhausted all the options internally.

This is a really good analysis.  I don't think pride is a great reason to go, but finding a job that you enjoy more and still represents a high salary is a good option if it will get you to the finish line along a much happier path.  I used to have a high salary, and there is a knee-jerk reaction to hold on to it at all costs.  If it's just a question of surviving for 2.5 more years, I'm sure you could do it.  But if you find a reasonable alternative that pays close to what you're making and seems like a good setup, then yes, don't let the $100k difference be the deal breaker.  Especially if it allows you to continue working in a job that you enjoy doing and might keep doing after hitting FI.

Also, kudos on the very low living expenses compared to what you earn!  I realize there are many people here who live on way less, but it really is a meaningful move to break the link between earnings and expenses, especially when you make as much as you and your spouse do.

vagon

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2015, 05:21:26 PM »
Have you considered joining a board or two?

This might tide you over in your current role by giving you something else worthwhile to focus on.
As you retire you can keep the board roles and still continue to get paid enough to more than cover expenses, for far less hours work. It might also keep your mind occupied and stave off your wife's fears.

mobileagent

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2015, 03:08:56 AM »
I wanted to update you that I found a new role in the current company in a high growth business under a senior leader. It worked out pretty good considering the alternatives. Thanks everyone for your advice as I navigated through this change.

Axecleaver

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2015, 05:30:10 AM »
I love to see updates to these kind of stories! Great news that you figured out your immediate problem. I'm curious what your long range plan is. You have $500k gross coming in and expenses of $96k until the house is paid off, then $60k afterwards. Do you plan to retire at some point?

flyingaway

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2015, 08:08:03 AM »
It would not be an easy decision for someone at 43 (or 44) making $400K annually to retire with a portfolio of $1.1M. This sort of things is easier to be said than done.

BPA

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2015, 08:30:08 AM »
It would not be an easy decision for someone at 43 (or 44) making $400K annually to retire with a portfolio of $1.1M. This sort of things is easier to be said than done.

MMM retired younger and with less.  Change your mindset and it's not so hard.

mobileagent

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2015, 10:00:45 AM »
We have paid off the house and are mortgage free now. Our liquid/retirement funds are around $500K. Our immediate goal for next few years is to save up to $1.5M for financial independence. We are around ~40 and as long as our jobs are interesting and we have the passion to work, we like to work. Our immediate game plan is to gain financial independence.

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Re: Leave a High Paying Job for Pride
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2015, 12:13:50 PM »
This thread made me think about the numerous times I was stabbed in the back and blatant attempts at getting me to quit.

I was making about a 1/4 of what the OP was making and was considered "too expensive.

I think its easy to get into the mindset of feeling hard done by, but not realizing that things can be a whole lot worse on the outside.

I have sucked this up more than once and made my financial goal (around $1.5m NW worth with $30k of pensions and rental income).

Now if I don't like my little part time gig.. well F it.. it doesn't matter anymore..:)

Glad the OP found a great solution to his dilemma.