Author Topic: High paying vs. fun job?  (Read 4774 times)

dachs

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
High paying vs. fun job?
« on: February 01, 2016, 02:04:10 PM »
I'm in a situation right now that I have to apply for jobs. As an (almost) engineer I might get a quite high paying job at a Fortune 500 company (or the equivalent in Europe) and might retire in 7-15 years. However, I'm heaving second thoughts about that. Even 7 years is a lot of time if I don't enjoy what I'm doing. One reason I'd like to FIRE is that I might create my own little business without having to worry about getting paid. But why shouldn't I go for that right now and try to make a living out of it instead of investing at least 7 years of my precious life in a probably soul sucking office job in a big company?

Any advice? :/

tyleriam

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 02:16:58 PM »
If you have a good idea and drive to start a business that you will enjoy I bet you end up making more money doing something you enjoy versus something you already see as 'soul sucking'.  You just won't be as good at the soul sucking job and you won't be building any value, just trading your time for a paycheck. 

dachs

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 02:28:45 PM »
Well, the trade off would be "safe" 10 years of working vs an indefinite time with my own business with the odds against my success. Hm

Shor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 480
  • Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 02:35:19 PM »
I think the problem is that you've already decided that the job is soul-crushing debilitating work before you even started it. Some people are actually okay with working; even working hard. Try it out first before you jump on the 'work sucks' band wagon.

You can even start up your home business while you're earning that super awesome income via employment.

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1496
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 02:49:57 PM »
+1 to dachs - just make sure you know what the company moonlighting policy is. You don't want them claiming ownership of your side business if it becomes successful.

The point of paid employment is to get paid. I would do whatever gets you to FI the fastest. The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself on the pros/cons: what is the likelihood of your own startup getting you to FI (the baseline stats on this are not very good), what are the expenses working for that Fortune 500 company (high COL area, office attire, commute, etc.), how much can you really make at each after taxes/expenses?

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 03:02:24 PM »
I'm for taking the leap and trying your own project out - assuming you don't have massive debt or anything like that. Too many people waste their life waiting for the right moment (there is no such thing). You can always go back to look for jobs if things don't work out.

And yes, going to echo looking into work policies. One of my old jobs - for a major shoe corporation - had a stipulation in the contract that if you developed ANYTHING (like, even if I invented a new type of toaster or finance software or some shit) the company had rights to it.

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1358
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 03:03:48 PM »
I think the problem is that you've already decided that the job is soul-crushing debilitating work before you even started it. Some people are actually okay with working; even working hard. Try it out first before you jump on the 'work sucks' band wagon.

You can even start up your home business while you're earning that super awesome income via employment.

Seriously. I work for a fortune 50 company in a decently high role. It's kinda fun. Nice people, chill atmosphere, great pay, bonuses, bennies, etc. Can skip out and go snowboarding or biking pretty regular. To some extent you can have your cake and eat it too.

Know how you get in a position where this kind of stuff is available? You get really good at something not a lot of people can do but that people will pay you a lot for. I think the book "So Good They Can't Ignore You" is a must read for folks getting started in the job market. Do yourself a favor and read it. It's short and I believe contains a lot of wisdom.

I say this having spent 20-30 having fun. The fun was very fun, but if I didn't have my head up my ass I could have spent my time a little better, still had a lot of fun and be retired by now. :D
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 03:05:27 PM by big_slacker »

StockBeard

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 641
  • Age: 38
    • How To Retire Early?
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 05:02:58 PM »
Nothing locks you in the Fortune 500 company. Give it a try, moonlight on your business on the side. If the 9 to 5 job doesn't please you, you can leave any time you want. You might lose your first year bonus or something, but at least you gave it a try.

What I'm saying is you don't have to stay there for 7~15 years, and you can (probably) build your business on the side. As FINate mentioned, just make sure it's ok per your company's policy (it probably is as long as your side business is far enough from your company's core business).

In my case, my visa does not allow me to have 2 jobs. So instead I have a job and a hobby (which is slightly different from a tax perspective)

Personal case: I'd rather have my side gig be just a hobby that might or might not make money, rather than having my financial future depend on it. So my choice is to stick with the corporate job until I'm closer to Financial independence.

GetItRight

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 629
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 05:46:44 PM »
Take the thing you enjoy most and keep it as a hobby, take the thing you enjoy second most and make it your career.

Seriously I tried doing my hobby as a job and it burned me out from working on my own stuff. Granted, if I was working for myself specializing in what I wanted to then that may not have been the case. I dream of RE and doing my hobby, the parts I really enjoy, at my own pace for income as well as my own personal projects.

For me it would come down to debt. So long as I have debt (still in debt repayment phase), I'll take the higher paying grind even if it's not as satisfying for whatever reasons. I'd go so far as to say stick with it until you have appreciable savings before taking the leap. I have a low risk tolerance though, so to each his own.

SeanMC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 07:03:34 PM »
You don't say if you would have the same opportunities for the high pay job if you first take a few years to go into your own business. If these opportunities are best now, then now is the time to take the high pay/corporate job and see if you find it draining or not.

You should start your own business because you have a passion and drive to do that, not because you are trying to avoid what you think another job/career path would be like.

Also - it is very abstract to compare a job you do not have with a business you have not started. I'm not sure how helpful this thread can be.

ender

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5030
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 07:10:46 PM »
I say this having spent 20-30 having fun. The fun was very fun, but if I didn't have my head up my ass I could have spent my time a little better, still had a lot of fun and be retired by now. :D

Such a slacker. ;)

yakamashii

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Location: Japan
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 07:12:43 PM »
I'll echo everyone here who said to take the job. Give it a try and get paid well. Make some money now so that you can fund your own business activity and ride out the ups and downs of starting your own business. By all means do your own thing on the side to test the viability of your idea and how much you actually enjoy doing it.

You may be surprised to find that the short path to retirement is what you want. Or, you may wake up one day and say, "Damn, I need to spend more time doing [your own thing]!" That's what happened to me - a few months of doing my own thing on the side convinced me that continuing to work my 9-5 was costing me happiness and money.

dachs

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 04:17:21 AM »
Thank you very much for your answers. I think it'll be the best to see if I like the corporate job and if not I can at least save money for FIRE or for my own business. Thanks a lot.

aFrugalFather

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
    • Life/Finance Blog
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2016, 09:17:55 AM »
Do you have business experience?  I think its good to see inside the belly of the beast with a successful company and get one view on how things are done.  Also, if you ever need funding for your own venture, its nice to have a big name on the resume when you need it. 

Northwestie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2016, 10:12:35 AM »
Here's my take.  Life is just too short to take on, or stay at a job you do not like.  Never done it and never will (especially now at FIRE).   There are circumstances in one's life - family crisis, dire economics, health, etc. where it DOES make sense to stay just for a paycheck.  But if you have flexibility why would you do this --- for the MONEY?   You spend so much time at work, getting ready for work, etc. that if you can't stand the job or the people, why would you do this to yourself??


dachs

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2016, 02:36:45 PM »
That's true. Also it's not just black and white. There might be a job with less pay that is more fun and where I could learn how a business works as well, maybe some smaller company.

Thanks for your input.

doggyfizzle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: High paying vs. fun job?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2016, 03:43:54 PM »
I'd say that starting out at a big company right out of school could be very valuable from both an experience and financial standpoint.  If your goal is to be FIRE at some not-too distant date, I'd suggest taking a job that allows you to maximize both your experience and financial gain, rather than simply focusing on a "fun" job.  I don't at all regret working a job I at times hated with a major oilfield services company straight out of college in 2006, because I was able to make and save a ton of money and develop a skill set that allowed me to take a new job after my first 6 years and pretty much be on easy street until I decide to retire as early as about 40 or as late as 57.  I don't quite remember the article MMM posted about this, but in it I seem to remember him mentioning that while most of his friends and coworkers were living it up in their 20s, he was busting his ass coding and making presentations until 2 am (I'm paraphrasing here a bit), and that allowed him to distinguish himself from his coworkers and grow his salary (and savings rate) so he ended up on easy street a bit after 30.  The saying "someone is sitting in the shade today because somebody planted a tree a generation ago" seems an apt way to think about it maybe.