Author Topic: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?  (Read 9590 times)

Mustachianette

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Hello fellow Mustachians,

Iím a multi-year lurker whoís interested in getting some advice from those with more and different life experience than Iíve had.  Iím essentially looking for thoughts as to when to leave a lucrative career that while ok doesnít feel like a dream jobÖbut at the same time feel I may be too young to fully retire and am not sure what to do next?

My financial / personal summary:  Iím in my late 20s and am nearing FI.  On my latest NW spreadsheet I actually just crossed the threshold of covering my monthly spending + rent based on the 4% rule.  Iím not truly FI as this doesnít take into account things that I currently donít have as direct spending (e.g., healthcare, subsidized travel & food costs that I get from my job, which Iíd estimate are another ~$500 a month Ė the latter being luxuries I could probably do without or Ďcheapí my way through with CC churning if desired).  On a personal note, I have no dependents (e.g., children) and am engaged to a wonderful man with whom I share many life goals and who is already FI in his own right but continues to work to build in extra cushion, as he enjoys his work (at least for now).  However, itís a goal of mine to reach FI from my own career.  We currently live in a very high COL area (which we have dreams to maybe leave one day) and may decide to have a family Ė at most 2 children, with 0-1 being more likely. 

My job summary: Iím in a high-burn professional services career that's been manageable to date, but Iíve always wondered if I could be do something more meaningful, and am concerned about some changes on how the company will be managed going forward.  Iíll stick around for the next few months as weíre nearing bonus seasonÖbut the question is what to do after that?  Each additional year I stick around will give notable portfolio additions (e.g., lower 6 figures in savings), which will grow further over time as my career offers quick progression.  Iím wondering if it might be time to pull the plug and have some ideas on things that would interest me to work on next, all of which would likely still generate a good salary but perhaps not at the level I have now.  The problem is I usually work ~60 hours a week, which makes it a bit more difficult to manage a career transition (though I also realize this is also complacency talking).  My current company offers decent sabbatical options, and options to do less intense positions for set periods of time.  I could switch to a role in a big company with a similar pay that I have now, but think I might end up bored Ė and suspect that itíd be more of the same, with just better hours.  I see myself working full-time for at least the next couple of years as I donít feel quite ready for full-on ER Ė for now I like having a bit of bustle and travel, and also want to build a bit more of a financial cushion for the future (in case of kids, illness, etc.). 

I recognize this is an incredibly situation fortunate to be in.  What Iíd like to get the forumís opinion on is thoughts from other folks on letting go of the golden handcuffs, FI at less than 30, when to switch careers, getting over a potential quarter-life crisis, or any other wisdom you can share from your years on the planet.  This is a great community, and Iím really impressed with the thoughtfulness and wisdom on here, so excited to hear what you have to say Ė face punches and all :)  If there are any previous threads with a similar theme, please post the link!  I browsed for a couple of hours before posting and didn't find a situation quite like this, but likely just missed it.

Tl;dr: If youíre pretty young and nearing FI, and wondering what else is out there in life and career but have a pretty cushy job as is, when should you pull the plug?  Whatís the difference between just a quarter-life crisis and when really itís time to take the road less traveled in search of a passion?

curler

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I'm in my mid-20's and hopefully 5-10 years away from being in a similar situation from you.  I'm trying to convince myself that a clean break from employment is the right way to go, and that I should at that point set out doing what I want to do, rather than what I am able to get paid to do.
You raise the option of being able to switch to a bigger company for a lower paced job.  I'd point out that that remains an option even if you decide to leave your company for a few years to try doing your own thing and decide you don't like it.  You'll still have the same years of experience you have now, and if you are staying active professionally, you'd stay an attractive candidate.  So, to me, it makes an attractive fall-back option.

PowerMustache

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If you're still sort of enjoying yourself, why not stick it out for another year or so?

Then take advantage of those sabbatical options! You might learn something about yourself and figure out what you really want to do to bring meaning to your life when you do eventually FIRE.

You'd have all kinds of options at the end of your sabbatical and could probably make a better decision for your future at that point.

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How long a sabbatical will your company grant?

Sometimes you need to step away from an over-busy life to discover who else you could be, other than the person doing your current job.

Give yourself time to get bored and curious. You'll probably rest and relax a few months, then get itchy for some purpose or direction. That's the start of figuring out what a meaningful career looks like to you.

You sound more than financially set to make the leap to a job you're excited about. You don't need your whole stash saved before moving on from your pre-FIRE career.  Ask yourself how badly you want to find your dream job vs. OMY (or two) for extra security.

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I think you're totally seeing this wrong -- you don't have golden handcuffs at all.  You haven't allowed lifestyle inflation to creep in, so this is really more like a golden surfboard, carrying you along with it as long as you choose to hold on.  You have so much freedom and seem to have nothing weighing you down.  I think I would keep working for another year or two to get to true FI including healthcare and some travel. and in the next two years, spend a lot of time figuring out what you WANT to do , rather than what you DON'T want to do. 
What are your hobbies, passions, etc?  Once you find something that you really want to start doing tomorrow, then you'll know the right time to finish. 

And by the way, good for you for such great success.  I love seeing the young women doing awesome things!  Congratulations!  (and maybe consider mentoring a young girl at some point, if that seems like a good fit for you). 

 

chasesfish

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Congrats on your success.  I'm a couple of years older and was in a similar situation a couple of years ago.

In the past two years, we've taken two geographic moves with my company in promotional opportunities and my wife has left her career and is debating tiptoeing back in.  I sought after leadership and training opportunities and am getting closer to finding my place, all while continuing to add to the stash.

We've let some lifestyle inflation creep in, which is easier to tolerate once you have walk-away money and are trying to figure out what you want to do.   I've found its easier to enjoy work when you realize you don't have to be there.


Learner

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Taking advantage of the sabbatical is a great idea.  In Canada we have up to 37 weeks of maternity / paternity leave.  Since my wife is a stay-at-home-mom, I took all 37 when our son (#3) was born.  It was a great preview of early retirement!  I still did some work, but since it was all on a voluntary basis, it didn't feel like a hassle at all.

acroy

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I'd suggest
-Get to FI + maybe 20% if the job is that lucrative!
-Quit and move to where you want to live, your absolutely dream location
-Take up real hobbies (bagpiping while hang-gliding?), volunteer for good causes, and if you feel the need, freelance or work PT to keep you on your toes.

Congratulations & best of luck!

mak1277

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Two years ago I left my professional services firm after 13 years and took a job in industry.  I now receive slightly more pay, work significantly fewer hours and have almost no stress.  Is it boring sometimes?  Absolutely.  But you know what isn't boring?  Having 15-20 more hours a week to do whatever I want.

If you're truly considering retiring in your 30s, then you are obviously not too wrapped up in your career...I'd strongly advise making the switch to corporate and freeing up a ton of time for yourself.  If you can't find anything to do with the free time, you're going to struggle in retirement anyway.

I'd also strongly suggest you take advantage of the sabbatical program your current employer offers, even if you just use it to think about your future, travel a little or generally just mess around.

nereo

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... when to leave a lucrative career that while ok doesnít feel like a dream jobÖbut at the same time feel I may be too young [late 20s] to fully retire and am not sure what to do next?

Iím in a high-burn professional services career ...  Each additional year I stick around will give notable portfolio additions (e.g., lower 6 figures in savings) [snip]  I usually work ~60 hours a week (and my)  company offers decent sabbatical options.

 Whatís the difference between just a quarter-life crisis and when really itís time to take the road less traveled in search of a passion?


Hello Mustachianette!
I thought about your post on my ride into work today, and it occurred to me that you are actually asking two questions here:
1) when should I pull the plug on an extremely lucrative (but not personally fulfilling) career
&
2) what should I do with my life if and when I do pull the plug.

The first question is very easy to answer.  You can pull the plug literally at any time.  By your own accounts you are just shy of being completely FI, with only added expenses like health-care to worry about, which you estimate would add $500/month. Bonus season is around the corner and your savings rate is several grand per month. Plus, your SO is FI in his own right, and the two of you are getting married. In plain English, your can (and should) base your decision independently of money.
It sounds like you aren't prepared to leave the work force entirely, and this adds further to your flexibility.  Even minimum-wage, part time work at a not-for-profit would more than cover the 'gap' between added health-care expenses and your current stash.  Because you are mustachian in nature ANY job will allow you to not touch your 'stach at all.

Your second question is a much deeper and harder to answer.  "What should I do with the rest of my life".  There's some interesting assumptions in your post.  You used terms like "pull the plug" and say that you aren't "ready for full-blown ER".  Apparently you see leaving your job as an end in itself, and that you would be quitting in general.  However, that isn't the case.  I'm not FI/RE myself (yet), but by all indications highly motivated people like yourself stay just as involved and continue to work after they've quit their first job.  The difference is that they only take on projects that are meaningful to them. MMM wrote a good post about it very recently:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/04/15/great-news-early-retirement-doesnt-mean-youll-stop-working/
So how do you figure out what you want to do?  Well, as you mentioned your company offers great sabbatical options - I would start by taking them up on this awesome offer.  While you are on sabbatical explore other work possibilites, even if it's on a volunteer basis. 

You've socked away an incredible amount of cash in a very short period of time.  Now you owe it to yourself, your future husband and any potential kids to start doing what makes you feel like you are contributing to the world.

Axecleaver

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2015, 07:45:38 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-life_crisis

A lot of people go through a "quarter-life crisis" in their mid to late 20s. This is perfectly normal. It sounds like you have made some great choices, and now you're asking, "is this it?" That wiki link has some great movies that explore this topic: St Elmo's Fire, The Big Chill, Garden State.

Take advantage of the sabbatical option at your job. Make it last as long as you can, then with the clarity that experience provides, you'll be able to plan your next steps. The world's your oyster.

As a mid-40's professional advising a mid-20s professional, consider small scale entrepreneurship. Does building a business  appeal to you? Either way - Take risks, keep your skills sharp, maintain your professional network. Keep a spreadsheet of all the people whom you know in your line of work, and call them at least twice a year. Don't worry about getting out now and not being able to go back; for the truly skilled who provide value, there will always be another job available, or you can make your own.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 08:59:14 AM »
+1 on the sabbatical.  After a little time off, my energy and desire to pursue my hobbies and interests grows significantly.  I might open a can of worms here, but I'd also try to nail down your family planning before marriage.  You seem pretty neutral on having children at the moment, which is fine, assuming your fiance feels the same way.  We can argue about how long it is, but there is a window of opportunity that will close at some point.  When and if you decide to try for pregnancy, long working hours can have an adverse effect on fertility, as such, that might be your "trigger" to back off working a little. 

Mr. Green

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2015, 11:02:43 AM »
I'm 31 and planning to FIRE in just under two years. Similar boat as you. Extremely well paying job I derive no gratification from, that once I walk away the opportunity to make that kind of money is likely gone forever. I've done my time so I could get free to pursue whatever I'd find I'm passionate about. Maybe that would be another job, maybe not. But I wanted freedom taken care of so I wasn't sacrificing my wife's choice to stay home with kids in a few years, or any other choices that are important.

It has become apparent to me that the time for change is drawing close because, with increasing frequency, there are days when I agonize over why I'm trading my priceless time for money when I could be pursuing something that would make me happy. I imagine that's common among people approaching FIRE who are dissatisfied with their jobs. You get one life. Every day happens once. I want to pursue a life where every night I find myself falling asleep to the thought that I could not have lived that day any better. Once I'm FIRE, nothing is stopping me from that pursuit other than my own fear of change.

curler

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2015, 01:54:30 PM »
One thing to check regarding the sabbatical, is if it then ties you to the job.  Many will require that you stay at the company for XX more years after the sabbatical, or pay a huge financial penalty.

arebelspy

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2015, 02:31:46 PM »
You can always make more money.

It's a good time to figure out your life.

Congratulations on a job well done so far!
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Mustachianette

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2015, 04:03:54 PM »
Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful responses.  Iíve really mulled them over and have decided, as a first step, to start asking for work with shorter (e.g., a normal job) hours so that I have more time to relax and explore other opportunities out there of interest.  You know, dip my toes in the pond of having more free time, likely with some tradeoff on career progression.  Sabbatical is also an option Ė good thing is I could cut my ties at any point; bad thing is I would only get a fraction of my pay Ė but will definitely keep that in mind if I still feel exhausted after working less for a while or find a lead on new things Iíd like to do.  And thanks again for the wise career and life advice Ė would love to ask you guys for your life experience on a couple of other things:
  • For those that are already somewhat frugally minded (Iím not as frugal as I could be, but much more so than my fellow coworkers), how much lifestyle inflation really picks up as you get older / start a family?  This is a huge driver behind my OMY syndrome.
  • Do you know of people who have been on a high burn career with good pay that stepped out and lived to regret it?  I think fear is a huge motivator for me on this and would be really interested to hear what life post the plunge feels like, after the first few months pass.  I keep telling myself that I could always go back if I leave on good terms, but also feel silly stepping out when Iím staring at the finish line.

clifp

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2015, 04:36:20 PM »
Highly recommend the sabbatical.  I took two of them the first at age 31, I came back to work feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. The second seven years later made me realize that need to take some serious time off to smell the plumeria.  Some people especially woman are able to find a good work life balance by cutting back hours.    But I often observed that it was a relatively modest decrease in time commitment for a fairly serious decrease in salary 20%  A sabbatical really is good one of figuring out hey would I be happy not working or board, and in my case the answer changed from the first to the second.

Axecleaver

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 08:11:13 AM »
Quote
* For those that are already somewhat frugally minded (Iím not as frugal as I could be, but much more so than my fellow coworkers), how much lifestyle inflation really picks up as you get older / start a family?  This is a huge driver behind my OMY syndrome.

If you're aware of it, you can actively counter it by making meaningful choices. In my 30's, I spent everything I made. I had a chance to work in Hawaii for a year, but I had to drop everything and move across the country on short notice, leaving my house, cars and stuff behind. I didn't miss any of it. That experience helped my wife and I realize that a bigger house, nice cars and more stuff didn't make us happy. Relationships and experiences make us happy, so now we actively maximize those. We went from a 70% savings rate in our 20's to 5-10% in our 30's, and now we're back around 45% in our 40's.

Quote
* Do you know of people who have been on a high burn career with good pay that stepped out and lived to regret it?  I think fear is a huge motivator for me on this and would be really interested to hear what life post the plunge feels like, after the first few months pass.  I keep telling myself that I could always go back if I leave on good terms, but also feel silly stepping out when Iím staring at the finish line.

Personally, I have never known anyone who chose to work less and regretted it. Just leave on your terms - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You may discover though that the "part time" deal you're considering, is not respected by the partenrs. We had a few "reduced hours" people at our firm and they still had to put in some 80+ hour weeks when the work got busy. They just did it for less money. When things were not busy, they worked 3 or 4 day weeks, but that seemed like a bad deal to me.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2015, 12:39:29 PM »
+1 for sabbatical. I make over 6 figures and totally get the concern of walking away from it. The sabbatical sounds like a good midway point option. Awesome job on what you have done so far. I wish I was this well put together and as far as you when I was your age.

mamagoose

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2015, 12:52:01 PM »
Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful responses.  Iíve really mulled them over and have decided, as a first step, to start asking for work with shorter (e.g., a normal job) hours so that I have more time to relax and explore other opportunities out there of interest.  You know, dip my toes in the pond of having more free time, likely with some tradeoff on career progression.  Sabbatical is also an option Ė good thing is I could cut my ties at any point; bad thing is I would only get a fraction of my pay Ė but will definitely keep that in mind if I still feel exhausted after working less for a while or find a lead on new things Iíd like to do.  And thanks again for the wise career and life advice Ė would love to ask you guys for your life experience on a couple of other things:
  • For those that are already somewhat frugally minded (Iím not as frugal as I could be, but much more so than my fellow coworkers), how much lifestyle inflation really picks up as you get older / start a family?  This is a huge driver behind my OMY syndrome.
  • Do you know of people who have been on a high burn career with good pay that stepped out and lived to regret it?  I think fear is a huge motivator for me on this and would be really interested to hear what life post the plunge feels like, after the first few months pass.  I keep telling myself that I could always go back if I leave on good terms, but also feel silly stepping out when Iím staring at the finish line.

The biggest increase in expenses I've noticed from starting a family is the cost of full-time daycare if you continue to work. Some places it can be $1000+/month PER CHILD, and that money has to come from somewhere. It's not uncommon for a dual-income family to have a daycare bill > mortgage. BUT if you're leaving your job anyway and will stay at home with your kid, that expense will not apply to you :) One noticeable point of lifestyle inflation we came across is our kid loves bananas, so our household went from buying 2 bunches/week to 3 bunches/week. That's about as much "lifestyle inflation" as we've encountered with a child. If anything, I'd say our expenses went DOWN, since we are on a hiatus from dining out and long distance traveling with a little one in tow.

Re: your question on "what to do with my life" - I'm only 30 and still figuring it out too, but I've worked 24 jobs (not including parenting) in my life and hoping to continue finding more fun places of employment. Our retirement dream is a series of summer jobs in the national parks, and staying at our home base during the school year. I want to teach dance to little kids for fun. I want to start a not-for-profit community fitness center with childcare and group classes. I want to renovate a house to be off-the-grid and use it as an educational tool for the local environmentalists. There's so much more to do than log billable hours behind a desk.

RoseRelish

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2015, 01:16:55 PM »
Good stuff on getting to where you are at your age! I'm sort of in the same boat and am very much leaning towards "retiring" without having 100% of spending covered. I'm sure I'll find a way to fill the small gap (~$500/month).

I'd vote for the sabbatical as well, if there aren't any major strings attached.

And a danger I'll warn against - the "golden handcuffs" get worse over time. I know some folks that have hundreds of thousands of dollars in unvested cash/stock that they get just by sticking around "another few years". But each year, they get more unvested awards that replace the ones that vest. You're in a spot where you can decide what you want to do and unshackle yourself from the golden handcuffs.

Best of luck.

Ricky

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2015, 01:22:00 PM »
How long a sabbatical will your company grant?

Sometimes you need to step away from an over-busy life to discover who else you could be, other than the person doing your current job.

Give yourself time to get bored and curious. You'll probably rest and relax a few months, then get itchy for some purpose or direction. That's the start of figuring out what a meaningful career looks like to you.

You sound more than financially set to make the leap to a job you're excited about. You don't need your whole stash saved before moving on from your pre-FIRE career.  Ask yourself how badly you want to find your dream job vs. OMY (or two) for extra security.

+1

Not only can you take extended time off now, your expenses will probably decrease much more than you think they will.

Kashmani

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2015, 01:34:02 PM »
As a mid-30s professional in what could also be described as a high-burn career, let me ask you whether the offered sabbatical is truly an offered sabbatical or whether there is an unwritten rule not to take it. In my industry, I have seen that every person that has ever taken a sabbatical or even taken up a volunteer abroad program for two months has seen their career evaporate. None of them ever made partner, and most were shown the door within less than three years. For the same reason, no male colleague of mine has ever taken any paternity leave.

Based on my observations, what firms say and what firms do are two very different things. Based on the amount of money the OP makes, I would expect that she is working in law, accounting or investment banking (I am in one of these), all of which are infamous for their unwritten list of career killers. It may be more prudent to stick it out another five to ten years and then pull the plug completely on that career.

Mustachianette

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2019, 02:27:59 PM »
Thanks again to everyone for the insight - it's been a few years and I wanted to provide an update in the event that anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation, as well as perhaps shake some additional wisdom from the community tree!

In the last few years I
- Got happily married!
- Took a long work sabbatical which gave additional clarity on what to do next - directly based on this forum's encouragement
- Looked around at a few jobs related to that field, but each would have been a 30%+ paycut so I went back
- Started to get more involved in fields of interest after returning
- Got promoted and doubled my stache

Mostly good things, but work took a sharp turn for the worse recently and I now truly see no benefit in staying (good leaders mostly gone leaving toxic ones at the helm, firm not that good at area of interest, have a toxic manager whom I have a strained relationship with).  At a minimum I know I need to ship out ASAP (even if it is just to a competitor), but I also long to take some time off as it's not easy to jobhunt at 50+ hours a week, and I would also just love to read, exercise, cook, and CHILL for several months before finding what's next (I do see myself working still for at least another year or 2 to see if I can find greatness / fulfillment at work, whatever that means.)  Based on numbers I should be FI at 4% even if my marriage were to fail, I get 0 inheritance, and I only moved to a slightly cheaper apartment (or could live larger if I got out of one of the world's top 5 most expensive cities).  If we stay together as I would like regardless of money - husband has gotten a huge promotion and even right now we could FIRE together spending 2x what we usually do.  While part of me is saying to finally pull the plug, enjoy what I've worked for and see what happens...the other part is saying power through until I land something new like a responsible person.  My good fortune is not lost on me - while the job is stressful, has long hours, is not that fulfilling, and has a bad culture, I also earn top 1% income and it is "prestigious" and could potentially be a launchpad into a great leadership role at another firm if I can wait until the time is right.  Plus I'm worried I might go from an abundance to scarcity mindset, and each year I slog I can increase the stache ~20%...It has been nice to allow additional lifestyle inflation especially for more travel which I adore.

Huge first world problem but would be deeply grateful for additional words of wisdom...definitely helped me think through things more clearly last time!

Little Aussie Battler

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2019, 03:19:22 PM »
Management consulting?

If so, why not look for an in-house corporate strategy role (or similar in-house role if you're not a MC)?

Regardless, I would leave your current firm ASAP.  Where have the 'good' managers gone? Can you follow one of them for a couple of years?  Staying in a toxic work environment is a terrible strategy that could have long-term implications for your health, personal relationships and future employability.

What does your spouse think? Do you combine finances?

chasesfish

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2019, 05:31:38 PM »
Wild to see this thread pop up in my unreads!

I too have had a ton of life changes and am saying goodbye to my golden handcuffs in three weeks.  The walk away value is around 1/3 of a million dollars.   Life is too short

…owynd

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2019, 09:31:01 AM »
In the last few years I
- Got happily married!
- Took a long work sabbatical which gave additional clarity on what to do next - directly based on this forum's encouragement
- Looked around at a few jobs related to that field, but each would have been a 30%+ paycut so I went back
- Started to get more involved in fields of interest after returning
- Got promoted and doubled my stache

Mostly good things, but work took a sharp turn for the worse recently and I now truly see no benefit in staying (good leaders mostly gone leaving toxic ones at the helm, firm not that good at area of interest, have a toxic manager whom I have a strained relationship with). 

Congratulations on your marriage!  It's awesome that you were able to take a sabbatical too.

Now, please read your own words and leave this place!  You can tell them that you are going to look for another job if you really want to feel "responsible".  It sounds like even a 30%+ paycut is not going to affect your FI status.  You have more than enough money (according to the rest of your post). 

To share from my own experience, I have a reasonably good job with an excellent team leader.  He is of the age where traditional retirement in the next 5 years is likely.  A few other key members of our team are likely to retire in these next 5 years as well.  My goal is to be close to FI by the time this happens so that I have the option to leave if their replacements are less than acceptable.  I love the team that I work with now and I can't imagine doing this job with people that have toxic behavior patterns.


teltic

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2019, 11:18:50 AM »
Two years ago I left my professional services firm after 13 years and took a job in industry.  I now receive slightly more pay, work significantly fewer hours and have almost no stress.  Is it boring sometimes?  Absolutely.  But you know what isn't boring?  Having 15-20 more hours a week to do whatever I want.

If you're truly considering retiring in your 30s, then you are obviously not too wrapped up in your career...I'd strongly advise making the switch to corporate and freeing up a ton of time for yourself.  If you can't find anything to do with the free time, you're going to struggle in retirement anyway.

I'd also strongly suggest you take advantage of the sabbatical program your current employer offers, even if you just use it to think about your future, travel a little or generally just mess around.

This was awesome to read. I'm in corporate finance working 40 hours (less honestly, long lunches... Sometimes 2 lunches).  Boring most of the time?  Yes!  I've been starting to apply elsewhere, even knowing that it is common to work 60 hours in finance.  Boring-ish job but 15-20 hours a week of freedom, or take a risk in a new job thats hopefully more exciting (I'm worried most finance jobs are relatively boring), but work an extra 20 hours?  What's the value of that 20 hours?

With the FI lifestyle we live,  Who cares if we become full FI at 30, rather than having a little more fun and becoming full FI at 35? We are WAYYYY ahead of the curve.




Anyway... Focus on Time & Happiness.  If you aren't happy, and/or don't have sufficient time for yourself... Leave.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2019, 12:12:57 PM »
Get out now! You have enough, you have more than enough. Thereís nothing to slog away for. Youíre FI on your own as you wanted, and your husband is FI and still working. If, massive if, you ever need more, you could pick up a new job anywhere. Since youíre young your stache will only compound. Life is so short, donít waste this for a security you donít need. Congrats! You won! Now, enjoy!

Mr. Green

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2019, 12:28:55 PM »
I'm 35 and fired two years ago at 33. I was a software engineer and when I quit my career I was making just under $300,000 a year so I can relate to the golden handcuffs dilemma.

Others may have spoken to this effect already but I think our generation has a problem with thinking life requires meaning. Nothing on this planet requires meaning to live. Drawing breath does not involve meaning and I think most people will be a lot happier in the long run if they divorce meaning from happiness. I spent a lot of time thinking about this after I stopped working and suddenly had many hours of the day to ponder what it is I wanted to be doing with my life. I realized that meaning is a self-imposed construct that inevitably only limits what you're able to do with your life because of the negative feelings that arise from the idea of having a lack of meaning. Trying to find meaning in any particular activity of your life leaves you open to unhappiness if your circumstances suddenly change and you are no longer able to live meaningfully. Think about the worker whose meaning is pouring his soul into woodworking and is suddenly disabled to where he is no longer able to do that. We put such a great weight on meaning that the loss of it creates identity crises for many people. If instead we focused on the pursuit of happiness then when something is no longer able to provide it we can simply continue the pursuit elsewhere.

If you're financially independent and your job brings you no happiness, perhaps you should question why you're spending 40 or more hours a week doing something that brings you know happiness. It could be that the salary allows you to do other things in your life that bring enough happiness that it's worth those 40 hours a week. Perhaps the job itself is rewarding to you and give some form of happiness. If it isn't then what is the point of staying in the job?

If you're not truly financially independent then it would seem the answer is comparing the choice of staying in the job to become more so and what amount of happiness in life that may provide you while doing it and choosing to leave the job for something else and what level of happiness that could provide. Everything in life is a gamble though and there's no guarantee that something you may choose to pursue will provide the level of happiness you think it will, particularly if you're pursuing something that is new to you and you don't yet know whether you truly enjoy it.

I've noticed that some of the happiest people I've come across aren't the most intelligent. I think this allows them to more easily accept most things in life and be happy with what they have. Those of us constantly questioning things and looking for the best or quickest way to do something never seem to be satisfied and I wonder if the feeling of needing meaning is somehow tied to that. I've spent a lot of time trying to slow down and actually enjoy my life more and think about meaning less. I've been pleasantly surprised at how okay I am with not accomplishing much on a day-to-day basis. I would say that last spring is probably the first time in my life that I've experienced truly unbridled joy just to be alive. Taking in a glorious day, going for a walk, or something else of that nature. None of those things involve meaning and I've never been happier.

chasesfish

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2019, 05:29:41 PM »
I'm 35 and fired two years ago at 33. I was a software engineer and when I quit my career I was making just under $300,000 a year so I can relate to the golden handcuffs dilemma.

Others may have spoken to this effect already but I think our generation has a problem with thinking life requires meaning. Nothing on this planet requires meaning to live. Drawing breath does not involve meaning and I think most people will be a lot happier in the long run if they divorce meaning from happiness. I spent a lot of time thinking about this after I stopped working and suddenly had many hours of the day to ponder what it is I wanted to be doing with my life. I realized that meaning is a self-imposed construct that inevitably only limits what you're able to do with your life because of the negative feelings that arise from the idea of having a lack of meaning. Trying to find meaning in any particular activity of your life leaves you open to unhappiness if your circumstances suddenly change and you are no longer able to live meaningfully. Think about the worker whose meaning is pouring his soul into woodworking and is suddenly disabled to where he is no longer able to do that. We put such a great weight on meaning that the loss of it creates identity crises for many people. If instead we focused on the pursuit of happiness then when something is no longer able to provide it we can simply continue the pursuit elsewhere.

If you're financially independent and your job brings you no happiness, perhaps you should question why you're spending 40 or more hours a week doing something that brings you know happiness. It could be that the salary allows you to do other things in your life that bring enough happiness that it's worth those 40 hours a week. Perhaps the job itself is rewarding to you and give some form of happiness. If it isn't then what is the point of staying in the job?

If you're not truly financially independent then it would seem the answer is comparing the choice of staying in the job to become more so and what amount of happiness in life that may provide you while doing it and choosing to leave the job for something else and what level of happiness that could provide. Everything in life is a gamble though and there's no guarantee that something you may choose to pursue will provide the level of happiness you think it will, particularly if you're pursuing something that is new to you and you don't yet know whether you truly enjoy it.

I've noticed that some of the happiest people I've come across aren't the most intelligent. I think this allows them to more easily accept most things in life and be happy with what they have. Those of us constantly questioning things and looking for the best or quickest way to do something never seem to be satisfied and I wonder if the feeling of needing meaning is somehow tied to that. I've spent a lot of time trying to slow down and actually enjoy my life more and think about meaning less. I've been pleasantly surprised at how okay I am with not accomplishing much on a day-to-day basis. I would say that last spring is probably the first time in my life that I've experienced truly unbridled joy just to be alive. Taking in a glorious day, going for a walk, or something else of that nature. None of those things involve meaning and I've never been happier.

Holy s@#$ - What a post.   I want to copy this and post it on the 2019 Retirement Thread as I'm watching everyone have these type of thoughts.  Impressive

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2019, 10:38:23 AM »
I was coming to this thread to ask a question about this situation, but Mr Green's response just blows any need for that out of the water...

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Re: Leaving "golden handcuffs" career when young but without direction?
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2019, 08:30:32 AM »
Thanks for the update, OP!

It sounds like you're in a similar situation as you were years ago, with a couple of exceptions:
1) Way more money, past the point of needing more.
2) Way worse/more toxic work situation.
3) Three years older.
4) Knowledge that the previous sabbatical made you happy.

All of that being the case, it seems pretty clear to me that you should move on to "what's next" as soon as possible. Whether that is another sabbatical, FIRE, or a better job, there's zero reason to be putting up with what you are putting up with.

Yes, even if they pay you a * ton. See item 1 on the lisrt, above.
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