Author Topic: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE  (Read 3098 times)

dfields

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Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:53:51 PM »
Recently, my project manager resigned and I have taken over his role (with a sizeable raise!). His boss (now my direct supervisor) and I discussed it, and we both agreed it was a big move for me but it was basically a step they saw me taking next year anyway. I was already taking over a lot of those responsibilities and I figured if I didnít step up someone new would be brought in who I would have to get up to speed with none of the credit.

Because it is a big step, my new boss is kind of mentoring me and we talk about my career development. He talked about how it is important to set career and personal goals, even decades out. Well I agree, but my primary goal is to FIRE in 4 to 5 years and have a life that doesnít revolve around employment.

At my old company, we had to fill out annual reviews with our current/5 year career goals, and this promotion was what I used to list. I didnít think about what Iíd list next because even without FIRE I didnít plan to stay in this exact field forever. This industry is a pyramid (e.g. there are really only 4 people above me at this company). I can take on larger projects, and eventually move up to my bossís level, but thatís about it. I could go work for a larger company with more mid-levels to advance through but thatís really the opposite of what I want. I stay in it for now because I do learn a lot and itís relevant to other things, but I know eventually it would get repetitive.

So, to get to the point, what goals should I share with my employer? Is it reasonable for them to expect me to want to stay here for the rest of my career? Does it hurt me to say long term Iíd want to do something else (possibly in a related field)? Is saying I want to be a nomad for a year a career killer?

Fatmouse

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 01:31:59 PM »
Yeah, my manager asked me this question about my five year plan at my last performance review.  I instinctively made a strange, negative facial expression, and he clearly did not know what to make of it.

In my case, I am probably more than 5 years from FIRE, and there is a possibility I would work longer depending on conditions and flexibility.

If the question comes up again, my plan is to offer specific skills that I would like to improve, and how such improvement could benefit the company.  I could offer training I might attend or other ways I could improve those skills in a specific timeframe.  Even if not all of this comes to pass, it helps me engage in my work and makes it more interesting, which really is the point of the conversation anyway.

If you have to tell some white lies to make this work, don't sweat it.  Act like you're staying, until you are leaving,

g3

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 01:35:20 PM »
So, to get to the point, what goals should I share with my employer? Is it reasonable for them to expect me to want to stay here for the rest of my career? Does it hurt me to say long term Iíd want to do something else (possibly in a related field)? Is saying I want to be a nomad for a year a career killer?

I'm not exactly at the stage of life to give advice, but I find this interesting.  I was talking with someone at work about canned interview answers yesterday.  When you are applying for a job and they ask, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?", you can say just about anything and be okay.  What you can't say or shouldn't say is that you don't want to be working for that company in ten years.  At least, I wouldn't hire that individual.   

With that logic, I think you might be depriving yourself of career opportunities if you reveal that information (Note:  I acknowledge that depriving yourself of career opportunities might actually be a desirable goal for you).

Tyler

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 01:43:28 PM »
Telling your boss you plan to walk away in a few years is definitely career limiting. However, telling him what you would like for your life to look like could be career (and life) enhancing.

I see myself in a role where I don't need to travel so much.
I'd like to mentor others rather than do all the heavy lifting myself.
I want a job role that is conducive to me raising a family.

If you handle it correctly, in five years quitting may not be as automatic as it feels like right now.

Ybserp

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 01:44:31 PM »
Don't tell an employer you plan to be unemployed until you've reached enough financial milestones that you wouldn't mind if they responded by firing you. After you reach that secure position, you can have a very gentle very open transition where you do things like train your replacement and help the company make you redundant.

So yes, in my opinion, you need to pretend to be planning to advance within the company. If you are absolutely certain you don't want to move up a level and take the associated pay raise, you can say things about how pleased you are to have received this raise and how much you'd like to help your current boss advance to the next level in his five year plan.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 01:45:53 PM »
If you have to tell some white lies to make this work, don't sweat it.  Act like you're staying, until you are leaving,

I agree with this.  If you don't like lying, think of it as playing "make believe" with your employer and answer the questions as if you were going to stay.  It can be dangerous to reveal to your employer/boss that your plan is to retire in just a few short years.  While some bosses will think your goals are really cool, most will view it as a sign that you're unhappy or disengaged.  You won't know which kind of boss you have until it's too late.

The truth is that five years out is a long time.  Your life situation may change and you may want/need to stay there longer.  Keeping your cards close to your chest allows you to have a greater number of options available to you down the road.  Options put you in the driver's seat, meaning: you retain control of your future.

I know it's tough to play this game especially if what you really want to do is run out of your building screaming maniacally and never come back, but I think this is an area to be conservative/careful because of the stakes.

minimustache1985

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 02:00:09 PM »
Telling your boss you plan to walk away in a few years is definitely career limiting. However, telling him what you would like for your life to look like could be career (and life) enhancing.

I see myself in a role where I don't need to travel so much.
I'd like to mentor others rather than do all the heavy lifting myself.
I want a job role that is conducive to me raising a family.

If you handle it correctly, in five years quitting may not be as automatic as it feels like right now.
The bolded is what I'd focus on.  My last employer required a 1, 3, and 5 year look ahead.  My boss showed me both the textbook example and his own look-ahead, and I remember that his focused on mentorship and taking on different (but not bigger) responsibilities to increase his depth and capabilities.  Another promotion for him would have meant moving to corporate and uprooting his family, so the goals were more focused on how to improve and grow in his existing role, and providing mentorship that would help people working with him become more valuable to the company.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Sharing Career Goals When I Know I Want to FIRE
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 02:05:29 PM »
Tell him what he wants to hear. You might change your mind and or there could be other reasons you end up wanting to leave.