Author Topic: Non-optimal impulse to FU...  (Read 1043 times)


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Non-optimal impulse to FU...
« on: September 30, 2017, 05:48:17 AM »
So...  I am in a relatively secure position that lets me work from home most of the time (I go in 0 to 4 days each week, depending on need).  The position I hold was specially created for me, out of fear I might get poached - it's not the best possible position I could imagine, but it's certainly around the best possible position I could see my employer being able to justify, and it would certainly be hard to replicate all the advantages of the position - especially in terms of flexibility - if I were to go to another employer.  My position is technically secure, but in reality probably somewhat precarious (I foresee financial issues that current management is not forwarding-looking enough to anticipate, and my area would be a logical one to cut if/when that happens - although, again, I suspect they would try to find some way to keep me even if this happens), but regardless I can't see myself being made redundant on any timeline where we wouldn't be FI before they would pull the trigger.  (There's a certain magical timetable where I could take a redundancy offer right when I would have quit anyway, but that's nothing I would count on...)

However, my organisation is restructuring.  I've written elsewhere on this site about some early bad experiences I had with this employer and, in the restructure, it looks likely that I will in some sense end up back under management who in certain ways participated in those earlier bad experiences.  Colleagues I like are losing their jobs or jumping ship.  I expect that the environment will become much less congenial over the next couple of years.

I have a six-month paid sabbatical scheduled to start in January.  I have also been sneakily hoarding annual leave (you're not meant to keep more than a certain amount, but the system doesn't recognise you as having over-accrued if you have future booked concrete dates to use it - I have booked three months starting when my sabbatical is meant to end...  My immediate manager knows, but no one else in the organisation).  I also qualify for a long service leave allocation, which I haven't yet booked.  These forms of leave together mean that I could potentially take next year off entirely if I want. 

I am likely - but not certain - to get a job offer from a recent interview with another employer, I have been invited for another interview with someone else, and I have some other applications pending.  If I were to get one of those positions, they wouldn't start until the middle of next year, and the most financially rational thing would be for me to give my required notice in the middle of the sabbatical, so that I can then cash out my annual leave into a big lump sum when I quit, transfer my long service leave balance over to the new employer (which is permitted here), and receive my current pay right up to when the new job starts.

However, my current employer is being annoying :-)  I am trying to set up arrangements for the sabbatical leave period, so that it's clear who will be doing what while I am away.  Logically, I need to do that by the end of December, or else I will be doing it during my "leave", which is a huge time suck and runs a much greater risk of people pestering me for help during the leave, even after I set things up.  I got feedback yesterday that the powers that be don't want me to set things up so far in advance, just in case a meteor hits the town or something similarly far-fetched, so they won't settle this until "January/February". 

The willpower that has been keeping my FU in check is waning...  Logically, I tell myself it would be utterly stupid to save so diligently, and then blow six months of income (by drawing on annual and long service leave - so I wouldn't make any less than my normal salary, but I would walk away from the potential lump sum/transferred value) in order to be able to go "FU!" and walk out the door in December, leaving them to sort out their own mess since they won't let me sort it out for them in advance now... 

That particular willpower struggle is about what to do if I get a job offer.  However, because our youngest kids will also be starting school next year and the following, I've also separately been exploring some options for side hustles.  The reality is, at this point, we could live off a single minimum-wage job across the whole household - we wouldn't save anything, but we could meet expenses.  And as I look at side hustles, and start getting excited about them, some of me is feeling a bit like a weenie for not just quitting anyway, regardless of whether I get an offer somewhere else.

If I did this, to be clear, I /wouldn't/ quit in December: I would take my sabbatical (even if I had to firefight some things in the office during it, it would still be a great reduction in working time), then my annual leave, then my long service leave - using that income as a buffer while seeing how the side hustles go.  Still, the /original/ idea behind the side hustles was not that they would /replace/ my full-time job, but that they would /supplement/ it for more security once retired (the secondary motive was that my oldest child is going to be a teenager, and so I've been looking for ways to involve that child in some side hustles, to give them a taste for how that works - I've run a business before, but in their lifetime they've only seen me with a standard salaried job, working for other people, so I'd like to give them a bit more diversity exposure to options for making a living...).

I guess my question is: no matter what I decide here, I don't expect my family to end up on the breadline.  But I'm curious how other people think through their decisions around "stick to the (relatively) safe plan" vs. "take a few more risks in exchange for variety/FU/LCOL" etc.  I realise no one else can make /my/ decision, but I would love to hear more about how you've come to your own decisions.