Author Topic: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?  (Read 3777 times)

cashstasherat23

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Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« on: September 24, 2015, 08:26:22 AM »
Hi Mustachians!

I find myself in an interesting position-yesterday I was fired from a job for the first time. It was a job that I was ready to leave and have been looking for new jobs, but it still is a situation that I never thought I'd find myself in. However, I do consider it a blessing in disguise. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I want to live my life, especially after I found MMM, and I don't think that going out and finding another job in an office is the path I want to take. I have always dreamed of moving out west and working at a ski resort or in a ski town, or moving abroad and working as I travel through different countries. However, now that this opportunity has presented itself, I find myself worried that perhaps it's not as simple a choice as I think. Has anyone here had success leaving the office life behind and going a non-traditional route?

Things I'm worried about: not making enough money, not being able to return to corporate life if I find that the more nomadic, laid-back life is not for me.

Luckily I have a small emergency fund, will be getting 6 weeks of severance, and have some liquid investments that I could tap into if absolutely necessary, so I have some time to figure out where I want to go, but I am worried that I am being blinded by the allure of just going out west, essentially to live the ski bum lifestyle, and when the realities sink in, I may find myself in a hole that's very hard to climb out of, if I ever do decide to return to traditional employment. However, to me, the end game of me living the mustachian lifestyle was always to allow myself to live this way and not have to work in an office for the rest of my life. My intent has always been to work for the next 5 years or so, until I paid off my student loans and had accrued a bit more sizable nest egg, and then leave to do these things. I'm only 24, so haven't build up much of a solid foundation yet, but also feel like this may my chance to go for it and make my dreams happen.

SO, any thoughts, advice, stories of someone doing something similar?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 08:32:45 AM by cashstasherat23 »

humbleMouse

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 08:49:41 AM »
I am 23 and have the exact same feelings.  I don't know what industry you are in, but some industries benefit from networking with people much more than others.  For example, I am a programmer and if I were to be fired or find myself without and job I may move someplace with a more laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle, but still actively network with people at bars and do a little bit of programming to keep my skills sharp.  I think the key thing here is networking and keeping in contact with people in your "office" industry.  If you hang out with pot smoking ski hippys all day then your network will dwindle into ski hippys and you will only be able to get jobs that they know about.

cashstasherat23

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2015, 09:07:18 AM »
I am 23 and have the exact same feelings.  I don't know what industry you are in, but some industries benefit from networking with people much more than others.  For example, I am a programmer and if I were to be fired or find myself without and job I may move someplace with a more laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle, but still actively network with people at bars and do a little bit of programming to keep my skills sharp.  I think the key thing here is networking and keeping in contact with people in your "office" industry.  If you hang out with pot smoking ski hippys all day then your network will dwindle into ski hippys and you will only be able to get jobs that they know about.

A very good point. I am in events, and ideally would like to find a job in events out west, but am not sure how big the market is there. I know that being a pot smoking ski bum is not something sustainable, and I'd eventually like to work for myself and own my own event business, but would imagine that I need to get out there and build a foundation first. Owning my own business definitely something else that intimidates me though!

Kaikou

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 10:16:42 AM »
Oh wow a lot has happen with you in the last couple of months.

I can concur your feelings. Might be a generational thing. But ultimately what are you willing to do right now to get there?


cliffhanger

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 10:46:03 AM »
My experience doesn't directly relate, but I did take about a year between school and my first job. After I graduated, I worked as a raft guide for 5 months, then took a few months off before looking for a job. While that gap was one of the first questions they asked about, my current employer actually found it very interesting. It wasn't a big deal since I got an offer after the second interview of my job search; I'm in engineering.

I have several friends that go out west each winter and they love it. While the pot smoking hippy stereotype is deserved to a certain extent, it's not true for a lot of people. You should PM me if you're interested in talking to someone about Alta, UT or Steamboat, CO; I could try to get you in contact with the folks that go out there!

Retire-Canada

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2015, 11:39:49 AM »
Move out West. Get a job that covers your minimum expenses. Enjoy life and give yourself time to figure stuff out. As long as you are not going into debt taking some time to think is not going to dig a hole you can't get out of.  If you decide to go back to the corporate world after a year there are many ways to play that break in your resume that won't be regarded awfully.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 12:00:08 PM »
Things I'm worried about: not making enough money, not being able to return to corporate life if I find that the more nomadic, laid-back life is not for me.

There is always a way to make enough money especially if you manage down your expenses (live with roomates), who cares about returning to corporate life.....it clearly didn't care about sending you on your way,  and if laid back life isn't for you you'll find ways to be less laid back.


SO, any thoughts, advice, stories of someone doing something similar?

You have been given a gift, take advantage of it.  Most people would't be able to walk away from a job to pursue a dream.....they made the choice for you.

When my 2nd child was on its way my DW and I discussed her staying home (she made more than I did) and it was a tough and we were struggling to decide.....then a gift happened, she was laid off and we decided to roll with it....worst case she would have to find another job at some point. Turned out to be the best outcome ever IMO, and not sure we would have made the "correct" choice if not forced to.

Rosy

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 12:07:22 PM »
Quote
Things I'm worried about: not making enough money, not being able to return to corporate life if I find that the more nomadic, laid-back life is not for me.

LOL - ha - how old are you? and you are worried?:) All teasing aside - look at it this way,
what is the absolute worst that might happen if you moved and tried out a different job-lifestyle?

I have been in your situation, didn't work out for me, but it was a glorious 3 months on the island of Ibiza. I moved back to Germany on my last dime, but at least I still had my place and you can always find a part time job to live on until you find the right job.
If I were to do it all over again, I think I might try to get work on a cruise ship to bum about for a year.

Since you have a bit of a cushion, you could keep your current place say for three to 6 months while you move out West. Within three months you  will most likely know if this is what you want to pursue or not. No harm done.
No risk - no reward:), but a smart person with a bit of cushion can have it both ways for a little while. You never know, you might even find an altogether different office job that you do love and make great money at.

Anything is possible and a 6 months or one year gap is nothing unheard of, you can make it sound like a sabbatical or the adventure that it was and you are now ready to be serious about corporate life, since you discovered that is really what you want to do.
Life is good, if you make it so:)
 

cashstasherat23

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2015, 05:20:46 PM »
Quote
Things I'm worried about: not making enough money, not being able to return to corporate life if I find that the more nomadic, laid-back life is not for me.

LOL - ha - how old are you? and you are worried?:) All teasing aside - look at it this way,
what is the absolute worst that might happen if you moved and tried out a different job-lifestyle?

I have been in your situation, didn't work out for me, but it was a glorious 3 months on the island of Ibiza. I moved back to Germany on my last dime, but at least I still had my place and you can always find a part time job to live on until you find the right job.
If I were to do it all over again, I think I might try to get work on a cruise ship to bum about for a year.

Since you have a bit of a cushion, you could keep your current place say for three to 6 months while you move out West. Within three months you  will most likely know if this is what you want to pursue or not. No harm done.
No risk - no reward:), but a smart person with a bit of cushion can have it both ways for a little while. You never know, you might even find an altogether different office job that you do love and make great money at.

Anything is possible and a 6 months or one year gap is nothing unheard of, you can make it sound like a sabbatical or the adventure that it was and you are now ready to be serious about corporate life, since you discovered that is really what you want to do.
Life is good, if you make it so:)

Hahah good point! I am currently on a month to month lease with my NYC apartment, but if anything ever happened I could always move home to my parent's house in New Hampshire if I absolutely needed to/was on my last dime.

People saying that I have been given a gift really resonates with me. I think this is my time to go for it! What's the worst that can happen, right?

Ricky

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 05:58:11 PM »
It sounds temping to do at 24...but I wouldn't. Make the most of your 20's. Your 30's will thank you. Hustle hard and get a foundation built before you go living the simple life. Sure, you will be just fine with your plan (and I think it really is easy as long as you don't have any serious ties, and doesn't sound like it). You'll find work easily. And you'll have a good time. And you probably won't regret it. But, like I said, I would personally do everything I could to build a nice foundation, even if you do have your parent's home to fall back on.

The foundation doesn't have to come from a 9-5. Just work & think hard - at something!

john c

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2015, 04:39:44 AM »
I have to emphatically disagree with Ricky.  You're only 24....do it.  I screwed around in my 20s after getting kicked out of college, and my regret was not making the most of it.  I did some cool stuff, but I never went and lived on Ibiza or similar.  I went back to school in my late 20s, graduated, worked in corporate America, and then got an MBA.  I landed a job at a Fortune 10 company in my early 30s.  There's very little opportunity cost when you're 24, single, and have no kids.  If you work your resume correctly, your time doing something cool will open doors, not close them.

So head out to Steamboat or Alta now, and in April head out to Hawaii or wherever.  As long as you live frugally, and don't burn down your savings and/or go into debt, you'll be fine.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2015, 05:44:00 AM »
I think ski bumming, or beach bumming, is a fine way to spend your early 20s. But it's not a "path to success " to quote your subject line. You'll eventually grow out of it and want a different life than subsistence level nomadding.

My advice is: do it, but view it as a finite break. Take a year or two off. Ski, go to southeast asia, travel, whatever you want, but have a plan for the future as well.

My other forum is the epicski.com forum. Those people are not high on "ski bumming." Their basic point, if you're working a subsistence level job, you're not going to have that much time to ski. They're right--if you're working "a job" in a ski town, I can pretty much guarantee that I will ski more than you will this winter (I work a professional job)

Axecleaver

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2015, 05:55:04 AM »
Do it, but set a time limit where you re-evaluate your plans. Say, six months or a year.

I agree with John's comment that a year doing something interesting can differentiate you in a sea of identical resumes full of the same entry level jobs and boring academic clubs. Especially in an industry (event planning) full of young, beautiful people with little to no barriers to entry.

You could also take this time to work on launching your own event planning practice. Get a few clients with rock bottom or free prices, tell them you're doing it for free to build up your reputation, and you'll have a portfolio of references in no time. Then hire interns, run them for a year and repeat.

myrax

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2015, 08:17:15 AM »
Do it, especially because you are in event planning. I've met people who do service work in hotels in national parks or in Alaska in the summer and work in ski towns in the winter. It might not be a long term career, but it will be a lot of fun in your 20s.

I spent my 20s teaching English abroad and it doesn't necessarily hurt your career path. It's still work that results in useful skills being added to your resume. While I might retire 10 years later than many people on this website, I also got to enjoy traveling the world while paying off student loans while I was young and reckless. After six years, I went back to go to grad school, and now my career is going well- I'm just slightly older than my peers.

Daisy

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2015, 01:09:43 PM »
I think you are too young to "give up on office life", if "office life" was what was going to get you to FIRE.

But, I think you should take some time off now after being fired/laid off. If you have the energy and health to be a ski bum for a season in your early 20s, I think you will look fondly back on this in your older age and thank yourself for not being a person that just worked their way through without some enjoyment. If you feel the urge, do it! Ski season only lasts a few months so how bad can this look on your resume? You can always explain it away with the truth - you got laid off right before ski season and you thought you might not have this chance to be a ski bum (well I wouldn't use the word "bum" in an interview) - change to become a ski expert - later in life. Heck, if you can use some of the ski bum time in teaching children to ski it could almost sound charitable.

But then after ski season I'd look for some good work and then you'll have some more years sitting in your cubicle reminiscing about your good ski bum days and/or planning for FIRE so you could be a permanent ski bum in 10 years.

I think everyone should be responsible and do good work for society, but you also need some good stories for your old age while sitting on your front porch and reminiscing about the past with your other front porch dwellers - unless you are by yourself on your front porch - but at that point you'll just be a crazy 80 year old person talking to themselves. Even your future 80-year old self talking to yourself would much rather hear stories of past ski bum experiences than boring "I worked 80 hour week" stories.

Left

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2015, 01:17:12 PM »
why not both?

not sure about other fields but healthcare has traveling positions... work a few months then take a break to ski/etc or do it while on contract where they pay housing at a location you like.

Combine it with living in a RV and you have a house you take with you while you travel, and live in national park when between contracts
http://thegypsynurse.com/

That is my plan when I hit FI, keep working but on a travel contract.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 01:19:11 PM by eyem »

mozar

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Re: Success in paths outside of the 9-5 grind?
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2015, 01:21:50 PM »
If this helps, I was laid off when I was 26 (I'm 32 now). I knew that most jobs hire in September and I had been laid off in January. So I went to New Zealand/ Australia for 3 months and then came back in April. Employers were glad the gap was due to me travelling rather than not being able to get a new job quickly.
I found a cheaper place to live in June, and a new job in September that started in October. The key to careers is being able to take your time finding a job that fits. The people who need to take whatever job they can get because they need money, tend to get in trouble.