Author Topic: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?  (Read 5320 times)

retireatbirth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Right now I'm working in Big Corporate and it really sucks! I've never liked these cubicle type jobs, but they pay well so I stick it out. My stash is only about $120k right now, but as it grows and my net worth depends more on investment returns than income, I'd really like to get out of Big Corporate and pursue something else. Something flexible like becoming an independent real estate agent where I could still earn enough to pay for my annual expenses, but wouldn't have to report to anybody.

Has anyone done this BEFORE you reached FI? I'm trying to get an idea if you feel a bit of a "crossover point" (FU money, I suppose) once your NW is like 50% to where you need to be?

regulator

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 10:43:15 AM »
Sort of.  I bailed on the career job about a year and a half ago.  The stash was sizable, but not to the point of absolutely bulletproof (80 to 90% of the way there).  I also have two kids 10 and under, so more responsibilities than a singleton or childless couple.  The plan was that I would find some income along the way to make up the difference, either part time, side hustle, periodic full time work or whatever.  After 8 glorious months of being fully free (with DW keeping her part time small business going), a friend dropped a very lucrative contract job in my lap.  It is all remote and I mostly make my own hours.  It was supposed to be a 1 year stint but I think it will get extended to 15 months and they may make me a permanent job offer after that.  I am not sure I want the permanent job, but I guess it depends on the terms and conditions (and pay).  If the contract ends and I am free again, I will be happy to do so for a while.

Having the pile of assets and the resume to get work when I want it makes it so much easier not to deal with the ratrace and stress.  I kind of think I should have done this sooner, but the stars did not align that way.

Fuman

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 12:53:31 PM »
I'm doing that right now!

I had a high-paying cubicle gig but...was bored to tears.  And the bullshit bucket seemed to keep filling-up faster and faster.  I found I was having a harder and harder time faking enthusiasm in the office.  I'm single at the moment with Dog as my only dependent, so making a big life-change is easy enough (Dog is always enthused no matter WHAT we do!).

I'm probably about 80% toward my FI goal right now.  I'm not planning on contributing too much more $ to the accounts...just check the balances a couple of times a month and adjust accordingly.  They've reached critical mass and work harder for me now than I can work for them.

So after considerable thought, I quit the cubicle job and took a couple of weeks vacation out to Boulder and New Orleans to think about things - with food and music and friends.  I got back to California and packed-up the Budget moving truck.  I'm visiting my house in Seattle right now.  (The bluest skies I've ever seen are in Seattle).  I've been renting it to a friend who is taking great care of the place and he wants to keep doing so.  Have you seen what those Seattle real estate prices have done the last couple of years?  NOICE.  Thank you all you new-money hipster geek programmers moving to Seattle!

This next week Dog and I are driving the truck out to Boulder.  Plan is to rent a room from another buddy of mine for the summer.  Dog and I are going to start crossing-off 14ers in Colorado.  Also planning to ride my bike.  A LOT. 

You know what?  I was  just thinking this morning - while sipping my Bailey's and coffee - I haven't missed that cubicle once in the last six weeks.

I might go back to work an over-seas contract construction gig starting in August.  Or not.  We'll see.  Any Boulder/Denver Mustachians out there give me a shout!!  Lots of free time this summer with bike and dog and truck and Harley.  Only thing planned so far is Neil Young at Red Rocks in July (maybe I should be posting to the singles forum??)

Anyway, my advice is to pull the trigger and don't look back.  Life is short.

CupcakeGuru

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 143
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2015, 07:25:57 AM »
I left Big Corporate way before i even heard about FI. Over 10 years with Fortune 500 companies all over NYC. When I moved to Atlanta, I vowed I would never work for the giant conglomerates again. Found jobs at smaller companies and have not been happier since. They pay is not as high, but i work 10 minutes away, have great flexibility and things move at a much quicker pace that the corporate bureaucracy  that is usually at play at some big companies.

Even if you are not FI, take the leap and realize that it may slow down your path to FI, but the ride will be a lot happier.

lise

  • Guest
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2015, 09:05:32 AM »
I left being an employer of a big corporate 10 years ago.
Now I'm an independent contractor at big corporates so still sit in a cubicle, but I'm much happier.
More money (but more risk), and no bureaucratic bull-crap like performance appraisals, managing incompetent people, being managed by an incompetent so and so, etc. 

sequim

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
  • Location: SLC, Utah
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 12:09:05 PM »
I'm on the cusp of leaving the corporate world and my last day is Friday!  I've spent the last 16 years in EIT and finally the 'stache got big enough that we could entertain thoughts of leaving it all behind.  I feel I got my money's worth out of my c.s. degree.  My husband and I had family members who needed help plus our vacation schedules would never align so I feel we missed out on a lot.  I've entertained the idea of doing some part time Admin work for my corp from whom I'm taking leave of absence just to get cheap health insurance for three months, but that's it.  I never want to work in a cubicle again.  Nor do I want to be stuck with another 40+ hour a week job unless it's doing something where I'm pursuing my own interests.

Pancake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 36
  • Location: PNW
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 11:45:27 PM »
I was so glad to see this post because my wife and I plan to "retire" in about a year. We both currently have cubicle jobs, and while paying well, they suck your soul in the process. My interests lie in real estate and I've been buying up rentals in an attempt to reach FI (found MMM about 1.5 years ago and realized it was possible). I had a number in mind and it is about 4 years out, but then my wife's online business started taking off and she knows I'm really miserable. She said, "Why don't we quit next year?" I ran some numbers and realized that with business deductions we would be about 80% FI anyway, though only technically since without business income to deduct from it doesn't work. Anyway, it allows us to quit sooner rather than later, work when and where we want, and still save a decent amount of our income toward becoming fully FI. I like to see other people are doing similar things. Makes me a little less freaked out to remove the safety net of a corporate job income.

I know they say you're supposed to enjoy the process, but I felt something was wrong 30mins after I sat in that cubicle almost 11 years ago and I cannot wait to leave. So happy I found MMM or I'd still be wasting away my money and thinking early retirement meant a little extra in the 401k so I could quit at 55 or 60.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 12:02:11 AM by Pancake »

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2828
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 09:24:39 AM »
I'm 34, and still a long way from ER, but I left the corporate world 4 years ago to work at a family-owned internet business.  I took about a 30% pay/benefits cut in the process, but it has been totally worth it.  My commute went from a minimum of 25 minutes to a max of 10.  I don't have to travel and be away from my family.  My bosses care more about work getting done than appearance of busyness, and the dress code is very casual.  I was bored stiff at my corporate job, being occupied only about 25% of the time.  Now, I have more stuff to do than I have time to do it, and it's all actually productive.  And there's a lot of variety in the work that I do.

And there's a lot of mustachianism going on here.  Last week, there was a day when everyone in the office (ok, so it was only about 6 that day) rode their bikes to work.  The newest car in the lot is a 2013 Prius, and aside from the office manager who lives 2 miles away and drives a mini van, everyone drives a fuel efficient sedan when they're not biking.  Most people bring their own lunch from home, and those who don't bring their lunch walk over to the nearby grocery store for ingredients, and prepare their lunch at the office.

I don't mind still having a boss--it keeps me a bit more accountable--but I *do* really appreciate the lack of monumental corporate bureaucracy.  We can have an idea for a change in the web site, and have it designed, implemented, tested, and pushed live in a matter of a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the scope. 

Rollin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
  • Location: West-Central Florida - USA
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 12:21:40 PM »
About 11 months to FIRE, and considering a couple of part-time gigs just in case I miscalculated.  I have a great job by outside standards, but like others have said here, I would like to so something different with my life.  Dropping from about $135k to $98, but have never spent the entire $135K in a year (that is why FIRE is close - at 54 yo).  Could go today if I had all my ducks in a row and figured out.  Meeting with my tax guy/advisor to get a few of them lined up.  Just takes time.

So, yes - I'm ready to take the leap to something that honors me better.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2159
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 01:18:47 PM »
.............and while paying well, they suck your soul in the process............

I can so relate to this.....but not quite there or somewhat afraid.....

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1102
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 01:29:52 PM »
I've worked for eight different employers, all of varying sizes (smallest about 20, largest 60k+) and in very different industries. 

I've found over the years that I definitely prefer smaller companies.  There's less politics, and much more opportunity to make a personal difference.  However, every single company has a tradeoff.  For example, the individual pressure at smaller companies is often much higher than at a large one, and while office policies are probably less restrictive in the former you may have less flexibility in your personal life.  The grass isn't always greener -- just a different variety. 

In my experience, the #1 indicator for a good company to work for is not size or industry, but the personality of the owner and/or group manager.  A leader who treats his/her workers well makes all the difference in the world.  My #1 goal in every interview is to get a good feel for the person in charge.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 01:34:49 PM by Tyler »

Gumbo1978

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2015, 12:46:42 PM »
I'm really struggling in this area as well.  I'm close to FI but I'm 36 and want to continue working in some capacity.  For me, that would be part time.  However, most part time jobs I see online are for low wage jobs.  Not many part time options for professionals (unless you have medical experience - SLP, RN, etc).  I work in insurance and I don't see contract/part time work as an option (which is what I could command a decent hourly rate in).

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1102
Re: Has anyone downsized from Big Corporate to a more flexible job?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2015, 03:36:31 PM »
Once you're FI, why is it important to you to be paid like an experienced professional?