Author Topic: Found my hobby job and FIREd  (Read 4987 times)

Blackeagle

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Found my hobby job and FIREd
« on: May 07, 2022, 07:29:43 AM »
I've always been interested in the idea of some variation of FIRE with a hobby job, Barista FIRE, downshifting, or a FU money-enabled pre-retirement career change.  As attractive as these are as concepts I'd never really found a suitable job that clicked for me.  Even though I've realistically been FI for over year, I'd been planning on working at least another few years before fat FIREing with an enormous travel budget (travel seems to be the last refuge of a potential FIREer who doesn't know how they're going to fill their time).

However, last month I went on an 18-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon.  Definitely not a mustachian vacation, but in this case, it prompted a huge step in my FIRE journey.  The idea of becoming a river guide captured my imagination in a way that nothing else ever has. 

Within a few days of getting off the river, I signed up for a month's worth of the river guide, medical, and rescue training that would cover the bases I'd need to start asking for entry-level jobs as an assistant guide.  It's a hard business to break into and I may not make it, but I feel like I'd regret not giving it a try.  If I don't make it as a river guide, in a couple of years I can either fully FIRE or look for a job in my previous field and have a really interesting story to tell when they ask about the gap in my resume in a job interview.

I proposed a leave of absence to my current employer to give this a shot, but they want to backfill my position and can't do that unless I actually quit.  We agreed on a month off, unpaid, for me to do the training, followed by a few months of flexible work to transition, finish up a project, and do some planning so my replacement can hit the ground running on another big project.

Normally, I'm a fairly deliberate and risk-averse person, so to make such a radical change in a few short weeks has been a bit dizzying.  I don't know if I've quite processed it yet.

StarBright

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 08:19:47 AM »
Congrats on finding something that you are passionate about! That sounds really cool and like a good plan to transition into coastFIRE/Barrista FIRE/Maybe return to work someday.

Basically, it sounds like a fun couple of years no matter what :)

shureShote

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 08:33:27 AM »
Sounds like a fun adventure with some possibilities of a good payoff, even if not monetary.

Good luck!

bmjohnson35

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2022, 09:41:31 AM »

Way cool story.  Life is short and you will never be as young as you are right now.  Enjoy!

SuperNintendo Chalmers

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2022, 06:50:16 PM »
Sometimes those "radical changes" are exactly what we need. Even if it doesn't work out fully, it can open new doors or lead to something else. 

I did something similar years ago (even though I'm also a risk-averse person), and it was the right choice. 

Enjoy the adventure!

9patch

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2022, 11:38:09 PM »
Super fun! Enjoy!

clarkfan1979

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2022, 06:17:37 AM »
I've always been interested in the idea of some variation of FIRE with a hobby job, Barista FIRE, downshifting, or a FU money-enabled pre-retirement career change.  As attractive as these are as concepts I'd never really found a suitable job that clicked for me.  Even though I've realistically been FI for over year, I'd been planning on working at least another few years before fat FIREing with an enormous travel budget (travel seems to be the last refuge of a potential FIREer who doesn't know how they're going to fill their time).

However, last month I went on an 18-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon.  Definitely not a mustachian vacation, but in this case, it prompted a huge step in my FIRE journey.  The idea of becoming a river guide captured my imagination in a way that nothing else ever has. 

Within a few days of getting off the river, I signed up for a month's worth of the river guide, medical, and rescue training that would cover the bases I'd need to start asking for entry-level jobs as an assistant guide.  It's a hard business to break into and I may not make it, but I feel like I'd regret not giving it a try.  If I don't make it as a river guide, in a couple of years I can either fully FIRE or look for a job in my previous field and have a really interesting story to tell when they ask about the gap in my resume in a job interview.

I proposed a leave of absence to my current employer to give this a shot, but they want to backfill my position and can't do that unless I actually quit.  We agreed on a month off, unpaid, for me to do the training, followed by a few months of flexible work to transition, finish up a project, and do some planning so my replacement can hit the ground running on another big project.

Normally, I'm a fairly deliberate and risk-averse person, so to make such a radical change in a few short weeks has been a bit dizzying.  I don't know if I've quite processed it yet.

I was a snowboard instructor at Breckenridge, CO in the 2002-2003 season. Some of the snowboard instructors were river guides in the summer. My only word of caution is that the season for river rafting is kind usually kind of short (2-3 months). 

Dicey

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2022, 08:04:02 AM »
You will also meet all kinds of interesting people on the trips. I took a fancy-pants rafting trip many years ago. I still remember chatting with a guy who was a successful inventor. He struggled with insomnia and didn't want to disturb his wife, so he'd tiptoe down to his workshop. He invented a flat stereo speaker that could hang on a wall. IIRC, it was called Magnaplanar. Sir Google says it could be this guy:

https://magnepan.com/pages/about-us

You will not regret this time.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2022, 09:41:05 AM »
This is SO cool! Way to go!

jlcnuke

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2022, 07:53:37 AM »
Enjoy working your new job. It's not retirement, but it sounds like you may enjoy it, so I hope you do :)

naturalhattrick

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2022, 02:42:45 PM »
Good for you! My retirement job is just my regular job but for 10 hours a week instead of full time. Yours sounds way more fun.

duck-duck

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2022, 11:24:14 PM »
Im stoked for you and also very jealous. This is something that I thought about a lot when I was younger. I was fortunate to have a family member that ran a shuttle and gear rental service out of Flagstaff. Through him I was able to do about 7-8 trips from Diamond Creek to Lake Mead (about lower 1/4 of the Canyon). No national park permit required, just had to pay the tribe to use their access road. So many great memories and I only saw part of the Canyon. I probably wouldve pursued guiding in my early to mid 20s, but was a beach lifeguard at the time which was also quite fun. I hope to do something like this again when my kids are a little older. Good luck and update the thread on how it goes!

Blackeagle

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2022, 05:04:41 PM »
Thanks, everyone!

Finished my last day of work before my unpaid month off for training today.  Tomorrow I'll hit the road, bound for river guide training on the Klamath River.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 06:02:19 PM by Blackeagle »

BlueHouse

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2022, 08:22:59 PM »
This is great! 
I took a fancy vacation once that then turned into a long mini-retirement and a nature-type certification (very basic level for overseas, but sounded really cool to people in the US...even when I said "it's very low-level", I just sounded modest).  When I eventually went back to work, this was one of the things that made me a stand-out candidate.  everyone wanted to know what I did on that time away and it made me super-memorable and interesting. 

Do it, do your best, and see where it takes you.  Good luck and I can't wait to hear an update!

LightStache

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2022, 09:29:26 AM »
Yes I love this! I'm also a planner, but there have been a few times I've shaken things up and never regretted it.

My potential FIRE jobs are similar to this. Ski patrol, sailing instructor, wildland firefighting, MSF, etc. I know they'll come with work BS so my expectations are tempered. But I usually give something new at least a year or two before throwing in the towel.

Can't wait to hear how your training experience goes and TBH I hope you decide to bail on your corp job since you're already FI!

mcraw25

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2022, 10:40:48 AM »
Nice!  Good for you man!  Im a little jealous, not going to lie.  Where would you be based? Northern AZ or southern UT/CO? That area is paradise for outdoors types.

Blackeagle

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2022, 08:05:34 PM »
Just finished my river guide training course.  It was a fantastic experience.  Great people, great scenery, and a great learning oppurtunity.

Where would you be based? Northern AZ or southern UT/CO? That area is paradise for outdoors types.

Id probably be looking to move to southern Utah.

Blackeagle

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2022, 07:54:16 PM »
Finished up the rest of my training (certifications in swiftwater rescue and as a Wilderness First Responder).  Now it's down to looking for work as a river guide.  Wish me luck!

ToTheMoon

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2022, 08:41:22 PM »
Best of luck!

We have 5 different companies in my little neck of the woods...want to come to Canada?  :)

sui generis

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2022, 05:39:56 PM »
Good luck!  I hope you'll consider starting a journal here about this experience and, of course, the financial aspects of the job and lifestyle.

kei te pai

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2022, 11:26:30 PM »
Dont forget the southern hemisphere has work for river guides in the northern hemisphere off season.

HalfDollar

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Re: Found my hobby job and FIREd
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2022, 07:47:45 AM »
Finished up the rest of my training (certifications in swiftwater rescue and as a Wilderness First Responder).  Now it's down to looking for work as a river guide.  Wish me luck!

Congrats on taking the plunge!