Author Topic: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?  (Read 1700 times)

Shelz123

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« on: December 28, 2017, 08:43:39 AM »
I'd love to hear some inspirational stories about using frugal living and smart investing as tools toward career change. My story: I am 20 years into a career that for a long time was my dream -- it's a glamorous (from the outside at least) media job in an HCOL area. I've been lucky enough to claw my way up to a well compensated position that should be the pinnacle of my professional success. However, The pressure and demands on my time are commensurate with the pay: I'm always "on," worrying about my work on weekends and vacations, and generally stressed. My health and family relationships have suffered.

In the last few years, my priorities have changed. I want more time with my family, less stress, a different sense of fulfillment out of my work. I've been dissatisfied for a long time, and I've been pursuing a Masters Degree on the side that should allow me to shift to a career that's less taxing in terms of time and mental energy. It's also a 60% salary drop, if I'm lucky enough to get a job in the new field at all.  I think it's likely I can get a job, but it's a big, scary leap: not just in terms of my earning power by in terms of my identity. I have defined myself by my career for a while, and uncoupling myself from that has been a process unto itself.

Here's the thing that's finally giving me the courage to jump: mustachianism. I found this blog about 3 years ago, it completely reinvented how I see my family's finances and set my goals. I am not a hard-core frugalist, but I've saved up a good 6 months of living expenses in cash and a lot more in liquid investments. I have a respectable 401k and a lot of equity in our house. My husband has a solid, tenured job that should cover most of our basic living expenses, as well.

My concern: I won't be able to save and build our stash for early retirement as aggressively if I leave my current job. But I tell myself that frugality isn't only a tool for early retirement. It's also opens up the possibility to make big, bold life changes like this. Has anyone else out there used mustachianism as a gateway to career change and/or scaling back, rather than completely retiring early? Give me some much-needed support to make the leap in 2018, please!

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 09:16:00 AM »
Basically that's what my husband did. He didn't have a big shiny career, but he enjoyed what he was doing (working in mental health as basically a paraprofessional), and with mustachianism, we were able to figure out that he could do graduate school/unpaid internship and still be fine financially with just my income, while still saving (and no student loans for grad school--we were able to pay the tuition each semester in full).

foghorn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 09:18:16 AM »
Here is my story - I hope it helps.

In 2009, I was living on the East Coast (originally from the Midwest) with a good paying job with a very large, very successful company.  I had been living on the East Coast for about 10 years and always knew that I wanted to move back to the Midwest at some point.  Well, the inter-office politics were getting out of control at work, and at the same time, my parents back in the Midwest were getting to the point off needing more help - help I could not really provide from half a country away.

I decided I wanted to "pull the trigger" and make the move.  I was not aware of MMM or any type of FIRE community at that point.  However, I had always been frugal and as a result I had a nice nest egg of savings and a home that was paid off.  Long story - short, I sold my home, moved (without a job) - bought a new house (with cash) and landed a new job about 4 months later.  I have never regretted that decision. 

Today, I find myself recently laid off from a job.  But, because of frugal habits - I am not terribly concerned as I have put myself in a position to weather a round of joblessness. 

Botom line - your MMM ways will serve you well if you choose to pursue a new path.  Life is short and stressing about work (boy, do I understand) is not really worth it. 

Think of it this way - because of your MMM ways, you are able to consider the move you contemplate.  Most people never could as they would have built a lifestyle that requires every dime they make.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3947
  • Age: 28
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 09:28:35 AM »
My girlfriend did something very similar to you, OP.  When she quit her job to focus full time on her growing self-employed career, we had a pretty lean next year or so while she established herself.  Without our financial shit together (and my income), we would have been pretty screwed during that time, but we thrived (and even bought a house about halfway through).  Now she makes a little over double what she did at that old job (and growing).
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 09:32:00 AM by ketchup »

oraclesimo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 08:26:45 PM »
Hi Shelz. Iím very interested in your question as well.

Whatís the masterís in and what field are you looking to switch to?

I have a similar anxiety about eventually switching careers yet losing salary (also a media job in a hcol area).  My hope is that cutting expenses will ease the transition... I also hope the not having to be ďonĒ all the time factor will give space for a side hustle that makes up some of the difference (and may even be enjoyable).

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2977
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Travelling
    • Freedom35
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 09:35:14 PM »
My concern: I won't be able to save and build our stash for early retirement as aggressively if I leave my current job. But I tell myself that frugality isn't only a tool for early retirement. It's also opens up the possibility to make big, bold life changes like this.

Great realization. A couple things from the blog that I like
Give Yourself the Gift of Not Worrying About Money:
"Dude. Chill out. Youíre already rich, and thus it is time to start living that way...This seemingly Antimustachian sentiment is not an endorsement of bullshit luxury spending...But what you can do is give yourself permission to stop worrying about money, forever...The key bit of wisdom here is to take the relaxed perspective of your future rich self, and transport it into your current frugal one. You donít have to start deliberately spending more, just deliberately worrying less."

Are You Obsessed with Early Retirement?:
"You donít have to retire to start having a good life..start acting more like a retired person right now. The further you can push your boundaries out of the current comfort (or discomfort) zone, and into the life you envision for yourself as a retired person, the more youíll start changing into the futuristic person you want to be."

retireatbirth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 03:03:09 PM »
I am considering doing this right now and probably will make the leap this year. I have a high paying job in a LCOL area, and it's actually a really easy job with light hours, but it's so mundane and boring, I can't stand it. I'm planning to make the leap to an entrepreneurial venture in a few months hopefully. I also want to move to a new city when I do this. I'm at about 40% FI which gives me some comfort, but I still stress about whether or not I should give up the money.

CloserToFree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 364
  • Location: Major U.S. City
  • 30-sth lawyer (for now), traveler, lover of nature
Re: Mustachianism as a tool for career change?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 08:24:18 PM »
This was me in 2017.  I was 8 years into a prestigious career in BigLaw at a great firm, but having to deal with all the same things you describe (always on, lots of stress, constantly checking email, etc.).  I took the leap (and an even bigger pay cut than you'd take) and went to work for a nonprofit whose mission I'm passionate about.  Mustachianism was the key thing that allowed me to be comfortable doing this - we're almost at our FIRE number and I just felt like it was a natural time for me to shift to the next phase of my career/ life -- giving back.  No regrets and I feel really grateful that I had discovered MMM in 2013 and been able to build up such a strong cushion (both financially, and of frugal lifestyle habits) before the big change.  Even though my new salary is paltry, DH and I feel zero stress about money and it's wonderful.  Good luck!