Author Topic: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?  (Read 17884 times)

EconDiva

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I'm not speaking about those who were anywhere close to being FI either...as I'm not.

I feel like I always go through this cycle of wanting to try something different but never do.  Actually, its moreso a matter of having too much stress which comes in waves for me.  Sometimes I could go 4 months without it being "too bad"...other times it could be an entire 8 months of stress, night meetings and little sleep. 

I guess I'd just like to hear some stories of people who did it and why and how it worked it out.  Going through some major changes at work and hadn't slept most of the week due to anxiety about it.  Don't want to be a complainypants; just having one of those days but wondering more and more if it's all worth it.  I swear now I'm almost 40 it just really gets harder to do what I do; particularly because I do it only for the money and it's hard work for me because the skills I have to employ don't come naturally.

Anyways....any stories to share?

Update Dec 10, 2019:    Wow...this thread was started almost 2 years ago.  My, how time flies.  I am still at my current company fyi, and have since accepted a promotion in the same department I've been in for a while now.  Although it's nice to have the additional money, it has only increased my feelings of wanting to leave.  I think I am simply burnt out honestly.  On one hand I want to keep pushing because every year here would put me that much closer to FI (I'm not interested in RE).  Also, earlier this year I drained my 6 month emergency fund to pay off some old IRS stuff so it's not like I can just jump ship right now honestly.  I hope I can take some time during the upcoming holidays to think through all of this.  It's funny how certain "golden handcuff" scenarios make it so much harder to consider changing employment situations; since my original post we've been given 3 additional holidays for the year, I've gotten a promotion that has increased my salary ~20% or so, I have now been given restricted stock units (of course they take 3 years to vest), and this year I've gotten around 5 or so small unexpected bonuses here and there that I never used to get. 

Anyways, I'm very interested to hear from those who posted in this thread originally who were contemplating on a change.  Have you taken the jump yet?  How are things?  Updates from those who originally leave and take a pay cut - are things still peachy on your end? 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 07:21:51 AM by EconDiva »

EmFrugal

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 01:41:52 PM »
MY DH and I both did it. I became a SAHM and he left big law and a massive salary for a government job. While we were never in debt (aside from our current mortgage), we still have a significant amount of savings to accumulate to be able to pay for our kids' college and get to full retirement. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by FI here... at the time of the switch we had enough saved for an emergency, so maybe we're not the example you're looking for.

But a few more details in case we are...
He left private practice for the reasons you describe. He was a walking zombie, miserable, over worked, depressed and anxious, and just not the person I married. As soon as he left private practice for a lower salary and better work/life balance (plus a job he actually liked), I got my husband back. And my kids got a "real dad." Salary-wise, we are definitely at the mid-lower end of the scale in the affluent DC area. And to look around us, it often feels like the lower end. But it's OK because our quality of life is so much better and I don't want that consumer crap anymore. It doesn't bring lasting happiness.

For me as a SAHM, I've been with my kiddos exclusively for 5 years but in the last year I started my own small business.

We save less than we would have if my DH was still in private practice and I was still working full-time, but our lives would not be content. This is a case where less money is better (while still working toward savings goals and avoiding massive consumerism).

I think you have to choose quality of life sometimes. Then adjust your spending/savings accordingly.

KMMK

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 01:58:12 PM »
I've done it. I don't know how it's going to work out as I'm still in the middle of it. I wasn't making huge money, compared to other people on the forum but more than I ever expected to make, especially without a university degree. Enough to save 50% of my pay or more. I was halfway to a cheap FI, 37, and I just couldn't stand it anymore. Doing another 10 years at a job that had sucked out all my enthusiasm was just something I couldn't do. I hated almost every part of it at the end. And my formal attempts to make the job more interesting for me were completely ignored.

I quit completely, took some courses, moved a couple times, and started a business. I'm still in the business start-up stage. I may have to get another job eventually. My net worth has taken a hit. But I don't regret my decision at all. It lead to some amazing things and the freedom and fun from not knowing exactly what is going to happen is great. I'm in control of my own life again.

SwordGuy

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 02:04:51 PM »
I did it.  Went from $130k to $80k so I didn't have to be out of town all week, each week.   Worth every penny.   Worked back up to $100k.

I may not have known about FI and FIRE, but I sure as hell knew I preferred sleeping in the same bed with my wife!

Brother Esau

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 05:05:06 PM »
Yes! switched jobs 5 months ago. Went from a salary of $105k to $85k. Shorter work day, no night meetings, shorter commute, more vaca time, better/cheaper health insurance, etc. Improved quality of life while still on a good track to FI and RE.

Fi365

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 05:14:05 PM »
Yes!

Well, kind of.

At 28, I was getting sick of my salaried job (long hours, weekend work, typical DC consulting gig). It paid $60k which was pretty typical for a non-doctor, non-lawyer, non-programmer, non-PhD job.

The husband and I crunched the numbers. We couldn't pay the bills in his salary alone. He was making around $50k gross. Our STUDIO apartment--meaning we didn't actually have a bedroom--was around $2,300/month.

We figured I needed to make $20k to continue paying the rent. I don't think we factored in retirement contributions. I wasn't contributing anything at the time and he was maybe putting in 5%.

I left the salaried job and started my own gig. I was really surprised to make $75k the first year. My goal was $20k! I gave away SO much work for free that year--free workshops, free webinars, free consulting hours.

The second year, I made $180k. The third year, I made $210k. This year, I've scaled back--4 days a week to have more mommy time--so I might hit $150k and then be finished for the year. I've said that a few years in a row, though... so who knows! But I definitely don't work full Fridays anymore, and I do minimal work at night and on the weekends.

Pull the trigger!!!

But maybe do more budgeting than I did. And aim higher than $20k for your first year. :)

Tabaxus

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 05:46:43 PM »
I have not. 

I think about it dozens of times a day, probably, but I have not.  And will not.  I have a love-hate relationship with my job and love seems to win out...

thriftyc

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 05:57:37 PM »
I have more than once.
Quit 2 jobs that paid over 100k w/o another lined up. 
Also, quit a 110k plus job to go to a 90k job....

"other times it could be an entire 8 months of stress, night meetings and little sleep."  - this is a huge red flag, you are in an unhealthy environment for you

Attempt to work with your team/boss to make your situation better, if you can't or tried everything it's time to leave ASAP.   You will land on your feet again.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 06:00:01 PM by thriftycanadian »

ptobeast

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 05:57:42 PM »
I did it! About 10 years ago, I was working at a position doing art reproductions - it had become incredibly dull for me and Iíd more or less hit my earnings ceiling there at around 40k. So I quit, and lived off of my earnings (20k, which seemed like a lot at the time) when I taught myself PHP. Totally worth it, even though I was nearing empty in my bank account by the time I managed to secure work with my new skills.

Fast forward to recently, Iím starting to feel antsy again - programming for a living feels really tedious, and I long to invest more time in some creative projects that I think could make some money. Of course now, Iím making 6 figures and if I can hold on to this job for several more years, Iíll be in a very good position to have all the time in the world to work on my creative projects as Iíll be FIRE. If I quit now, I have a respectable stash but not enough to feel comfortable if the creative work ends up not being profitable. I sometimes struggle with what to do, and try to remind myself that itís a good problem to have, as, tedium aside, I have a very good position.

Dee

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 06:43:59 PM »
Great thread. I feel similarly to you, EconDiva, so don't have a story to share. But feeling inspired by those who have posted.

TartanTallulah

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 07:25:22 PM »
I have, on several occasions, once after eleven years because I felt my philosophy had diverged from that of my colleagues, once after two years because I felt a knife hovering over my back, and twice because I relocated. In my line of work there are always plenty of freelance opportunities so I never had to be without an income.

If I weren't close to FI now I'd be considering doing the same thing again, but with only months to go I think I can cope with the particular frustration I'm experiencing until I retire even if I can't resolve it.

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 09:32:33 PM »
Yes!

Well, kind of.

At 28, I was getting sick of my salaried job (long hours, weekend work, typical DC consulting gig). It paid $60k which was pretty typical for a non-doctor, non-lawyer, non-programmer, non-PhD job.

The husband and I crunched the numbers. We couldn't pay the bills in his salary alone. He was making around $50k gross. Our STUDIO apartment--meaning we didn't actually have a bedroom--was around $2,300/month.

We figured I needed to make $20k to continue paying the rent. I don't think we factored in retirement contributions. I wasn't contributing anything at the time and he was maybe putting in 5%.

I left the salaried job and started my own gig. I was really surprised to make $75k the first year. My goal was $20k! I gave away SO much work for free that year--free workshops, free webinars, free consulting hours.

The second year, I made $180k. The third year, I made $210k. This year, I've scaled back--4 days a week to have more mommy time--so I might hit $150k and then be finished for the year. I've said that a few years in a row, though... so who knows! But I definitely don't work full Fridays anymore, and I do minimal work at night and on the weekends.

Pull the trigger!!!

But maybe do more budgeting than I did. And aim higher than $20k for your first year. :)

Ummm....what the heck kind of gig do you have?! lol

Fi365

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 09:38:34 PM »
Consulting! I teach workshops about basic stats and data analysis for companies. I have to travel a lot, usually a few times a month, but I charge anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 per gig depending on length, number of attendees, prep time, etc., and I absolutely love teaching. I have a thriving blog for my business but canít link to it here because Iím, ya know, anonymous.

I make probably HALF of what my competitors make. One woman brings in around $20,000 PROFIT per 1-day training session. Some days I get jealous and hope to get to that level. But most days I remind myself that Iím going to FIRE anyway so who cares about the exact timeline so much.

Suit

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 09:51:35 PM »
I was recently miserable at a job and took a $20k paycut to go elsewhere. Everyone says I look happier now and I am much happier and to me my happiness is worth it. I am at least several years away from FI.

MaaS

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 11:05:04 PM »
I was 26 and making a little over 100k in a LCOL area.  The people were great and the job was fine. I just realized I was climbing the wrong ladder. I had about 25% of my FI number.

It seems a little nuts in hindsight, but I'm incredibly glad I did it. I'm much happier and surprisingly making a little more being self-employed (so far!).

I eventually came to the conclusion that I'd rather live an interesting life than a safe one. For me, that meant leaving the job. Your results may vary.


Villanelle

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2018, 11:35:35 PM »
What is yout timeline to FIRE, and would would your timeline be with a lower paying job (some salary you think you can reasonably make at a job that wouldn't be so miserable).

I think people who are miserable due to a specific job should generally leave if they aren't super close to FIRE.  But you also need to look at the timelines and see if you'll be more miserable sticking it out until FIRE vs working maybe 1.5 or 2x as long at something else.  Also, be mindful of what it is about your job that makes you miserable, and make sure it's not work in general, or something else you are likely to deal with at most jobs.  You don't want to pull a "grass is greener", only to find out it isn't but you've given up a higher salary.

Finally, evaluate honestly whether it's 100% the job or if there are some other mental health issues at play, which might he helped with counseling.  If it truly is mostly the job, the factors are things that would most likely be different with another job, and you've done the math and are comfortable with the increased working time til FIRE, why wouldn't you bail ASAP?

bpobst

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2018, 05:18:48 AM »
I did it last year. I left a $100k+ job for a lot of reasons. Main ones being I hated life every day and my superiors were treating our employees horribly (not me and the other managers, but the ones below us). I took about two months off and then got a job at a warehouse as a regular worker making $25k. I am already up to around $40k with better benefits than I had before. Plus I am much happier. We had to scale back the savings significantly but it is worth it to us. Now we have a challenge of trying to spend less and do more with what we have available. In the end I think it has made us better mustachians.

Background: Wife and I are 29 with about $150k in retirement savings. $1,400 mortgage and $600 per month in low (0% and 2%) student loans that will be finished in November 2018 and June 2019. We aim to have kids in the next 2 years so we are trying to do our best to minimize monthly obligations between now and then.

MrMoneySaver

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2018, 05:32:21 AM »
PTF

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2018, 06:59:10 AM »
Consulting! I teach workshops about basic stats and data analysis for companies. I have to travel a lot, usually a few times a month, but I charge anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 per gig depending on length, number of attendees, prep time, etc., and I absolutely love teaching. I have a thriving blog for my business but canít link to it here because Iím, ya know, anonymous.

I make probably HALF of what my competitors make. One woman brings in around $20,000 PROFIT per 1-day training session. Some days I get jealous and hope to get to that level. But most days I remind myself that Iím going to FIRE anyway so who cares about the exact timeline so much.

I tip my hat off to you :)

I didn't get the background though on what you used to do and how much more that was than what you make now...?

ptobeast

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2018, 11:02:38 AM »
Finally, evaluate honestly whether it's 100% the job or if there are some other mental health issues at play, which might he helped with counseling.

Definitely this. I started therapy mid last year, and one thing that's been helpful is realizing that, at points where I am completely miserable with my job, that misery has generally been spread across other areas of my life as well. So, when I experience work-related unhappiness, I try to separate what is related to the job itself and what is related to other factors in my life.

FIRE Artist

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2018, 11:21:42 AM »
I did it, went from 180K to 110K salary by leaving private sector for public sector.  My responsibility, work hours and stress levels were reduced in line with the reduced salary. 

I had not discovered MMM at that time, but did take into account early retirement plans, I was focused on still being able to retire at 55 if I didn't save anything more than my public sector pension for the rest of my working career (after pension deductions, Canadian taxes, CPP, EI my take home pay is basically at about my target FIRE spending level of 60K).  I have since learned that I will likely FIRE between 48-50yrs old instead of 55.  When I switched jobs I was at 50% of my now target FIRE amount and it looks like it will be 7-9 years total working at the public sector job for FIRE. 

I have recently learned the term Coast FIRE, that is essentially what I am doing now, having front loaded my retirment savings so I can downshift to a better lifestyle job while waiting for the markets to do their thing and hit my target number for FIRE.

Tabaxus

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2018, 11:28:02 AM »
I haven't heard that Coast FIRE term.  Hmm.  I wonder if my current savings are enough (oh nope, I have a kid coming.  whoops).

montgomery212

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2018, 01:25:11 PM »
I did it last year. I left a $100k+ job for a lot of reasons. Main ones being I hated life every day and my superiors were treating our employees horribly (not me and the other managers, but the ones below us). I took about two months off and then got a job at a warehouse as a regular worker making $25k. I am already up to around $40k with better benefits than I had before. Plus I am much happier. We had to scale back the savings significantly but it is worth it to us. Now we have a challenge of trying to spend less and do more with what we have available. In the end I think it has made us better mustachians.

Background: Wife and I are 29 with about $150k in retirement savings. $1,400 mortgage and $600 per month in low (0% and 2%) student loans that will be finished in November 2018 and June 2019. We aim to have kids in the next 2 years so we are trying to do our best to minimize monthly obligations between now and then.

You don't have to say if you don't want to but I'm curious whether you have any intentions of going back to a 100k+ job -- either in that industry or a different one -- or if you think you'll stay in the warehouse industry despite your college degree etc. (I'm not criticizing -- warehouses are a huge industry now with e commerce and I imagine there's management/opportunities to move up just like anyplace else.)

Schaefer Light

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2018, 02:04:02 PM »
I did it last year. I left a $100k+ job for a lot of reasons. Main ones being I hated life every day and my superiors were treating our employees horribly (not me and the other managers, but the ones below us). I took about two months off and then got a job at a warehouse as a regular worker making $25k.

I'm impressed.  That takes some courage.

Fi365

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2018, 05:28:21 PM »
Consulting! I teach workshops about basic stats and data analysis for companies. I have to travel a lot, usually a few times a month, but I charge anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 per gig depending on length, number of attendees, prep time, etc., and I absolutely love teaching. I have a thriving blog for my business but canít link to it here because Iím, ya know, anonymous.

I make probably HALF of what my competitors make. One woman brings in around $20,000 PROFIT per 1-day training session. Some days I get jealous and hope to get to that level. But most days I remind myself that Iím going to FIRE anyway so who cares about the exact timeline so much.

I tip my hat off to you :)

I didn't get the background though on what you used to do and how much more that was than what you make now...?

Ah, sorry.

I used to work for a 10-person organization. We were technically a nonprofit but we functioned like a consulting firm. Our clients were typically foundations and big, national nonprofits. We helped them collect data to see whether their grants were effective.

I always had the feeling that I was working a LOT yet getting paid just a fraction of what that project brought in. I mean, that's how all companies work, right? The boss and the HR person and the accountant and the receptionist all get a piece of the money, too.

Now i do nearly the exact same work. I just keep 100% of my paycheck. I have a few passive income streams (a YouTube channel where I get ad money, an e-book that I sell for $40 on my blog, and some affiliate programs---I advertise for a friend's book or online course in my newsletter, someone buys it, and I get a cut). But the passive income is just a sliver of my money. I should really build up the YouTube channel and e-book and affiliate programs more. But I don't want to decline client projects in the meantime to make time for them. They've never been a priority. BUT, after reaching FI, I plan to spend a significant portion of my time on my YouTube channel and blog so that I can share skills with others and not have to worry about whether it's making money or not.

I'm very surprised I'm making so much more than I used to. I have no idea how much I'll make during 2018. It could be half of what I made last year. It's a real crapshoot. The potential government shutdown won't help because a lot of my clients are Federal government agencies. When they're not allowed to spend money, I obviously don't get paid.

Happy to chat more via one-on-one messages or emails!!

gerardc

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2018, 08:06:19 PM »
What is yout timeline to FIRE, and would would your timeline be with a lower paying job (some salary you think you can reasonably make at a job that wouldn't be so miserable).

I think people who are miserable due to a specific job should generally leave if they aren't super close to FIRE.  But you also need to look at the timelines and see if you'll be more miserable sticking it out until FIRE vs working maybe 1.5 or 2x as long at something else.  Also, be mindful of what it is about your job that makes you miserable, and make sure it's not work in general, or something else you are likely to deal with at most jobs. You don't want to pull a "grass is greener", only to find out it isn't but you've given up a higher salary.

Finally, evaluate honestly whether it's 100% the job or if there are some other mental health issues at play, which might he helped with counseling.  If it truly is mostly the job, the factors are things that would most likely be different with another job, and you've done the math and are comfortable with the increased working time til FIRE, why wouldn't you bail ASAP?

Yes! I see many people going from $180k to $100k and reporting much better work-life balance, but for me (currently earn $370k in software) I feel like going to a smaller company for significantly less pay wouldn't even reduce stress that much, so it would just delay FIRE needlessly.

Maybe going to a completely different line of work would help, but at what cost? My specific company/job are pretty good. I'm burning out but not due to the number of hours (40-50h on average). What kills me is the specific type of work (software) that definitely causes some mental health issues for me (might exacerbate autistic tendencies and is just mentally/physically painful after a while). Therapy or medication might help, but I have a feeling there's not much they can do short of having me do less of that job -- e.g. medication would work at the expense of my ability to do the job. I posit that stress is necessary to actually accomplish tasks, unless you're a manager of course, but then you're not really doing any work. (just kidding on the last bit)

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2018, 09:55:30 AM »
Finally, evaluate honestly whether it's 100% the job or if there are some other mental health issues at play, which might he helped with counseling.

Definitely this. I started therapy mid last year, and one thing that's been helpful is realizing that, at points where I am completely miserable with my job, that misery has generally been spread across other areas of my life as well. So, when I experience work-related unhappiness, I try to separate what is related to the job itself and what is related to other factors in my life.

RE: therapy...I totally agree as well; good points here.  I wouldn't mind hearing from those who went through therapy only to find that it was something internal they needed to fix and then work was all of a sudden much better and worth staying at?  I am pro-therapy and might just consider going back for a while soon due to anxiety that's popping up over work recently.  I must say I'm not confident it will change my feelings about things as I've been working long enough and have had prior experience with therapy to pinpoint some of the things at root of the problem:

I consider myself to be pretty self-aware and can acknowledge I have my own issues that do contribute to job dissatisfaction.  However, I also believe I work in a type of role that is in direct conflict with my personality and at times of high stress this becomes much harder to manage.  For those that are really into the Myers-Briggs stuff, the industry I work in is at total odds with an INFP such as myself.  But getting into the personality typing stuff is probably another thread.  I'll just say that INFPs are some of the most unsatisfied in the workforce.   I've read a few books and perused more than my fair share of personality-centered forums/threads to come to the conclusion there is truth in this.  So I will be the first to admit even leaving may or not be the right answer as the likelihood of still being discontent is a bit high. 

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2018, 10:06:55 AM »
I think I maybe should have titled my thread "how many of you actually left a high paying job for a much lower paying job prior to FI?" 

But then I imagine there would be much debate over what people consider "a high versus a low paying job" of course.

Going from $300k/yr to $150k/yr is not as hard as going from $80k/yr to $40k/yr I would think, even though in both examples the newer salary is half of the original salary.  Not sure how much others agree.

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2018, 10:10:50 AM »
I did it last year. I left a $100k+ job for a lot of reasons. Main ones being I hated life every day and my superiors were treating our employees horribly (not me and the other managers, but the ones below us). I took about two months off and then got a job at a warehouse as a regular worker making $25k. I am already up to around $40k with better benefits than I had before. Plus I am much happier. We had to scale back the savings significantly but it is worth it to us. Now we have a challenge of trying to spend less and do more with what we have available. In the end I think it has made us better mustachians.

Background: Wife and I are 29 with about $150k in retirement savings. $1,400 mortgage and $600 per month in low (0% and 2%) student loans that will be finished in November 2018 and June 2019. We aim to have kids in the next 2 years so we are trying to do our best to minimize monthly obligations between now and then.

Thanks for sharing your story; glad to hear you are much happier now. 

It is nice to have the flexibility to make such a move; I am assuming the mustachian lifestyle played a part in this.  Many living close/at/above their means are tied to their roles making this type of move nearly impossible. 

So if you had to do it again, I assume you would have?

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2018, 10:50:40 AM »
Since you like the MBTI, have you read the book Do What You Are?   I found it very helpful in deciding to take my last proper professional position (got a fake temporary promotion later that was NOT a good fit) -- at the time I was shifting from a very strong INTJ to more of an INFJ, and the program position I took meant more hands on contact with grantees than I had had in my prior work (which was mostly program design and very cerebral).   It turned out that that person to person mentoring aspect of the job was indeed what I thrived on/enjoyed the most.

Just guessing, but you might be happier in a job that focuses more on your "F" tendencies.  Or in an organization that values the people side of things.

Thank you for sharing your story.  You are *totally* right I'm sure that something that speaks to my "F" side would probably be SO much better for me.

Yes, I actually have that book :)

Throughout my 20s I read my fair share of Barbara Sher stuff, had career coaching sessions offered free through my employer, did a bit of therapy and a crap ton of introspection.  I came to some very important conclusions, one of the most important being that I actually may never be happy with work.  Not really a big deal considering how many people share the same sentiment, right?

Well...I'm actually okay with not being "happy" with work.  It's just the times when the stress has an impact on my ability to function which happens more often than I would like.  And I personally do contribute this to being an INFP in my type of role.  I do hate to admit that with my goal of becoming FI, I am at odds with taking a totally different career path because it is likely to pay so much less.  So despite spending so much self reflection in my 20s, I find I put nothing into practice as it seems I've chosen to delay potential happiness for the money.  The board has been a blessing in that at least I now know I could achieve FI and 'eventually' one day switch into something more fulfilling whereas in my 20s I could never envision this as a possibility.  However, I'm not on track for that to happen before my 50s as I'm now approaching the end of my 30s and the whole FI thing well...wasn't a "thing" I was aware of until later in life and even then it took time before I started seriously putting anything into practice. 

I just sometimes wonder how long I can hang in there going through the same cycle for so long is all.

So bottom line is I always end up "seriously contemplating" a move to a lower paying position.  I did this at the age of 24 when faced with a similar type of work environment and stress level.  At the time I quit with no notice.  Went from a $45k/yr job with a management title to a night temp position at $12/hour.  Found a $28k/yr job and worked the night job in addition to the day job for a year and a half until the $28k job got to be in the $30k's range.  From there I then stayed in the industry until getting to where I am now which is close to $100k.  Perhaps that time period of working 80 hour weeks to survive is at the real root of my fear of doing something different, who knows. 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 10:54:30 AM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2018, 10:52:22 AM »
Not to get this thread totally off track, but just in case there are any INFPs reading:

From:
http://oddlydevelopedtypes.com/content/infps-work


Job Satisfaction

INFPs and INTPs have the lowest job satisfaction of all types (Myers et al., 1998).  Both types noted that they were dissatisfied with their company, the work they did, and their future job opportunites.  They were also noted that they were likely to leave their current job.  Big dissatisfiers for INFPs were "Promotions," "Stress," and "Accomplishment."


^I'm sure many INFPs will be able to relate.

gerardc

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2018, 11:18:08 AM »
Throughout my 20s I read my fair share of Barbara Sher stuff, had career coaching sessions offered free through my employer, did a bit of therapy and a crap ton of introspection.  I came to some very important conclusions, one of the most important being that I actually may never be happy with work.  Not really a big deal considering how many people share the same sentiment, right?

Yeah, you may never be happy at work. At least in your 20s, you usually have hope it can be fixed someday and this hope keeps you going, but once you realize this, you can get a little jaded waiting for FIRE.

Could you try the lower stress position see if you like it? then come back after a year if not.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2018, 12:02:39 PM »
I am considering it very regularly.

Having grossed over $100k/yr over the past 3 years I am starting to feel very burnt out and losing motivation at work.

I am actually considering a sabbatical and then a return to low paid work, just enough to cover necessary expenses while the stache grows in the background.

Bicycle_B

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2018, 12:14:16 PM »
Since you want different work but don't want to lose pay, maybe if you define very carefully the rare jobs you would like, you could search for those rare jobs that you like until you find a high paying one.

What Color Is Your Parachute has been around a while, but still might be helpful for that kind of thing.

I left the highest paid job of my 20s (about 45k in today's terms) to start a business, without a very serious plan for the "business".  I made less than $20, took three years off living on savings, became essentially a full time community volunteer.  The volunteering led to public service jobs, which in turn helped me gradually reach a modest FI in late 40s.

Joeko

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2018, 02:35:18 PM »
Inspiring stories.  Iím leaving my 100k IT gig to take a 3-4 month sabbatical this Friday.  Burnt out of 60-70 work weeks.  When Iím ready to start working again want to find something in the 30-40 hour work week range.

Life is too short to be miserable at work

MrMoneyMullet

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2018, 09:58:16 PM »
I haven't ever quit a six figure job, but I am going to do so this spring! Not close to FIRE.

Technically, you could also consider it "quitting a high paying job for a low paying job" since I'll still be in the US Army Reserves, which is a $12k a year job with full healthcare benefits.

I'm excited to see there are others taking similar jumps soon. Never heard the term "Coast FIRE" but I think it describes what I'm going to do ...

We should start a club. Or a thread. Or both.

thriftyc

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2018, 11:17:04 AM »
I haven't ever quit a six figure job, but I am going to do so this spring! Not close to FIRE.

Technically, you could also consider it "quitting a high paying job for a low paying job" since I'll still be in the US Army Reserves, which is a $12k a year job with full healthcare benefits.

I'm excited to see there are others taking similar jumps soon. Never heard the term "Coast FIRE" but I think it describes what I'm going to do ...

We should start a club. Or a thread. Or both.

Agreed, coast fire is where it's at for me too...

renata ricotta

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2018, 01:22:29 PM »
"Coast FIRE" sounds like what I call "hobby job time," as in I can spend the rest of my life doing low-paying fun jobs that just cover expenses without adding to savings (just letting them grow without drawing down).  My hobby job/Coast FIRE number is $1M, and my true FIRE number is $2M ($1M will eventually become $2M if left alone long enough). 

I just updated my forecasting spreadsheet today.  If I stay at my high-paying but stressful job until ~Feb 2020, I will have hit the $1M number and will quit it then to take subsistence jobs and coast until $2M. 

Pennycounter

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2018, 02:20:50 PM »
In response to your question regarding therapy, I would recommend to taking up meditation. You can try the headspace app which is very easy to use. I've been meditating regularly for about a year and it helps me step away from the work stress and not internalize it so much. I heard a lot of people say that meditation can give you the space between us stressful or anxious moment to react, without getting worked up. I find this is a good way to describe it.

I've been contemplating what you say for about a year, but I'm just scared to take the plunge and I don't know what else I would do. I would have to change Industries completely. That coupled with the fact that my husband isn't working right now and we have two small children just doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about quitting.

MrMoneySaver

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2018, 06:42:35 PM »
"Coast FIRE" sounds like what I call "hobby job time," as in I can spend the rest of my life doing low-paying fun jobs that just cover expenses without adding to savings (just letting them grow without drawing down).  My hobby job/Coast FIRE number is $1M, and my true FIRE number is $2M ($1M will eventually become $2M if left alone long enough). 

I just updated my forecasting spreadsheet today.  If I stay at my high-paying but stressful job until ~Feb 2020, I will have hit the $1M number and will quit it then to take subsistence jobs and coast until $2M.

That seems like such a high coast number. (High FI number, also.) Is it just you, or is that counting a significant other also?

gerardc

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2018, 02:22:50 PM »
Love your posts, Malkynn. It's refreshing to read, especially the bit about living your best life.

I'd be worried about a negative net worth, but if it keeps going up and you feel good, it should work out fine.

Pennycounter

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2018, 07:57:13 PM »
Love your posts, Malkynn. It's refreshing to read, especially the bit about living your best life.

I'd be worried about a negative net worth, but if it keeps going up and you feel good, it should work out fine.

Thanks, I appreciate the comment.

Iím not at all worried about my negative net worth, I mean, Iím worried about it, obviously, my hair is on fire, but Iím not concerned about my long term financial security at all.

As I said, Iíll stay at my predictable 6 figure day job until the debt is gone, but what happens after that will depend on what projects I enjoy best.

My side hustle business is poised to outperform my day job in a few years and literally today I was at a networking meeting and accidentally fell face first into a major impact project with backing from a national agency that will also end up directly profitable in a few years and have immeasurable impact on my personal brand.
Itís doing something that I had planned to dick around with in retirement anyway, but instead of being a quaint, self produced retirement project, itís going to hit national scale this year and be an anchoring force for all of my future endeavours.

The project literally didnít exist until I accidentally created it for myself today after listening carefully to an idea and saying: ďhave you guys considered adding this element?Ē To which they replied ďBrilliant! And *you* can do itĒ and I was like ďuh...me?...yeah....sure, why the hell not?Ē

So yeah, Iím just steadily building a collection of projects that I enjoy and building a diverse network of income streams along the way, several of which Iíll be able to happily maintain well into my senior years.

Itís shocking how easy it is to turn passion into profit when you have the time and energy to do it.
Sure, I would have been out of debt faster staying at my old job, but my career would have stagnated at its previous level and I wouldnít have anywhere near the network and potential that my career now has. 

So yeah, I donít worry about it.
Wow, your original post was definitely inspiring. Good food for thought

Schaefer Light

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2018, 11:25:06 AM »
I wish I had the confidence to quit my job.  I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to find another job with a comparable salary, but what really frightens me is that I might take a lower paying job and end up hating it just as much.  Talk about a lose-lose scenario.

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2018, 08:24:41 PM »
I wish I had the confidence to quit my job.  I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to find another job with a comparable salary, but what really frightens me is that I might take a lower paying job and end up hating it just as much.  Talk about a lose-lose scenario.

So...yeah.  This is definitely a huge concern for me too!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2018, 08:39:26 PM »
I have. 

I remember having those same fears, too.  I was nowhere near FI/retirement, and even had a little debt. 

Life is too short to live it with constant anxiety, no sleep, and so on.  Just not worth it. 

If that's the only way you can reasonably enough survive, then sure, do that.  But if you can downgrade a lot of stress and gain your time back with some cash reduction, it may well be worth it. 

Tip: read YMOYL if you haven't yet.  Especially the part about figuring up your actual hourly rate.  Include all those hours you stress at home and can't sleep and so on.  Then see what you're "really" paid for.  And that doesn't even count the non-financial price you pay when you give up your mental health, your relationships, and your physical health.  You're probably not being paid as well as you think. 

Tabaxus

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2018, 08:47:34 PM »
I wish I had the confidence to quit my job.  I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to find another job with a comparable salary, but what really frightens me is that I might take a lower paying job and end up hating it just as much.  Talk about a lose-lose scenario.

So...yeah.  This is definitely a huge concern for me too!

There are a ton of times where this kind of thinking cuts off any "maybe I should quit" type of considerations.

pbkmaine

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2018, 09:08:15 PM »
I did. I decided to step away from a partner-track job at a Big Four accounting firm. I missed the glamour at times (I was a high-profile senior manager and did a lot of public speaking and media), but I did not miss the hours or the management responsibilities. In the end, it was the right choice for me.

LateToTheParty

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2018, 05:47:08 AM »
I am in my final month of stressful, long hours, high paying manager position. I am downshifting to a direct contributor position, same company.  Looking forward to better balance with my personal time, less stress. Still decent pay. Am 75% to my FIRE target, but may work beyond reaching target to get the golden handcuff benefits.

renata ricotta

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2018, 08:43:40 AM »
"Coast FIRE" sounds like what I call "hobby job time," as in I can spend the rest of my life doing low-paying fun jobs that just cover expenses without adding to savings (just letting them grow without drawing down).  My hobby job/Coast FIRE number is $1M, and my true FIRE number is $2M ($1M will eventually become $2M if left alone long enough). 

I just updated my forecasting spreadsheet today.  If I stay at my high-paying but stressful job until ~Feb 2020, I will have hit the $1M number and will quit it then to take subsistence jobs and coast until $2M.

That seems like such a high coast number. (High FI number, also.) Is it just you, or is that counting a significant other also?

Counting a significant other also. We live in a high cost of living city that we love, and would like the option to stay here long term. I also make enough money that ďone more yearĒ makes a humongous difference, and Iím willing to do that in exchange for not having to be very focused on keeping costs down for the rest of my life (I can and have lived on low incomes before - it just takes more focus and energy than I can commit to for the rest of my life).

McStache

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2018, 08:55:03 AM »
I am in the middle of doing this right now (at least on a small scale).  I'm taking about a $20K pay cut in exchange for a better work life balance, more opportunity for learning, and work that I find more in line with my values.  My net worth is $300K, which I figure to be at about my Coast FI number.  I'll still be able to save quite a bit in this new position, but definitely less than I would have had I stayed where I was.

As I see it (or am continuing to try to convince myself), what's the point of saving all this money if I don't use it to take chances on interesting opportunities when they come my way?