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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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 Post subject: Do you ever feel like quitting your day job?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:41 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:56 pm
Posts: 322
Location: left coast
When is enough enough? I know we all work hard, doing the 9 to 5 gig in order to reach our long term financial goals. But what if you're not happy doing what you are doing? Then what? What do you do? With no college degree and no backup plan?

I'm 29 and have had the same job for 7 years, but I just feel like it's time for a change. I know I'm still young, but uncertainty (and not having a plan) scares me.

I'm at a decent financial position right now, as to where I can probably live for a year without a job. I want to travel, and just hang out with the friends I lost touch with. Is this something that you would do?

You only live once, and I want to enjoy the prime of my life while I can.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:10 pm
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Location: pa
lately, i think it about it daily....

id like to try blogging full time but need to build up the site's traffic level a bit yet.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:02 pm 
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Posts: 336
Location: Houston, TX
About 15 years ago I met a young couple from Australia who had sold virtually every possession they owned (cars, flat, furniture) and were spending that year seeing the entire US. Neither of them had much of a career, as they were still in their 20s (one worked as a clerk at Benneton, if I recall). I had to admire their courage for cutting virtually every string trying them down and they looked blissfully happy. Scares the bejesus out of me though.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:37 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
A year and half ago, I quit my job to start my own business knowing full well that I will not be making as much money as I would staying in the job that I despised. My wife is looking for a less demanding position within her company right now which will further reduce our income. To maintain balance in our life plans, we lowered our lifestyle, reduced our savings, put off a major purchase (a used sailboat) for one year, and pushed our plans for retirement back seven years. I don't mind planning to work full-time for longer doing something I love. I am way happier and my wife is excited to have more free time.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
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Taking some time off at this stage of your life might be a good idea -- it certainly gets a lot harder to do something like that once you start accumulating responsibilities.

But before you do, it might be wise to spend six months or so pondering and preparing for what you'll do when your break is over. You'll enjoy your time off a lot more if you don't have that big black cloud of uncertainty hanging over your head.

Most of all, you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you end up having to take a job you dislike even more than your current one, simply because you're desparate for money. And if you're planning to come back as a freelancer (in photography, for example), you should plan on a few really lean years in the beginning; you might have to take on other work part-time to make ends meet. When I started my freelance writing business I had already spent six years as a fulltime journalist and had a large network of contacts. Even so, I really struggled for the first year or two -- in my first year of fulltime freelancing my annual income was $8,000. Seventy percent of freelance writers make less than $20,000/year, according to the surveys I've seen. Photography's just as challenging, especially because there's so much competition. Everyone romanticizes about freelancing because they think they can be their own boss, but in reality they have lots of bosses...it's just that they have a different name: clients. Plus you have to grapple with things like the high expense of individual health insurance (organizations for freelancers sometimes offer group plans) and the fact that when you take a vacation you're not only spending money on your vacation but you're also losing income because you're not working.

So while I think you should jump at the chance to take some time off while you can, it's still probably a good idea to have a clear and well thought-out plan in place for what you'll do when you're ready to get back to work, so you don't end up having to take the first job that comes along just so you can pay the rent. Set it up so you can make sure that, for the rest of your working life, you're not "doing the 9 to 5 gig in order to reach my long term financial goals" but instead "doing the 9 to 5 gig because I love what I do."


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:46 am 
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Posts: 458
Location: England
A friend of mine actually did something similar, she managed to get a 6 month sabbatical from her job in the utilities industry, which she hated, and went travelling. When she came back, she left her job to do a very similar job for a toy company, which she loves.

I think that she probably wouldn't have been motivated to find a new job otherwise, and also I think its quite surprised her that doing essentially the same job in a different industry and company would be so enjoyable.

Have you read What Colour is Your Parachute? That might help you find a new career.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 5:13 am 
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I doubt Ill be at this job 5 years from now, but that's because I love to move up and challenge myself. This job's still a challenge, so I'll be around for a bit. When I decided Id had enough of being a cog in the machine at my previous job, I just applied for positions that I felt were beyond my reach, figuring that a bling squirrell still finds a nut every now and then

I found a nut, amazingly, and I'm happy with my job. One of the benefits of government bureaucracy is that the 9-5 lifestyle is optional =)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:34 am
Posts: 124
Location: Deep in the heart'a
I absolutely plan to quit my day job. My #1 goal is to stop working for "the man" and either downsize into a far less demanding job, or start my own cottage business. I have "pencil-whipped it" and am taking steps to pay off debt, save every spare penny, find ways to make more spare pennies, and pay off my mortgage. I have 7 years left to realize my plan. I'm in a job that is very demanding and eats my whole life, but I also make far more money than I need to live on. All of that extra is going towards the plan, and it's going well so far.

The biggest expense I'm budgeting for is private health insurance. That is probably going to replace my mortgage as my biggest monthly bill.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:19 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Portland, OR
I guess the easy answer is to develop a backup plan. Easier said than done of course. Find something you do enjoy, and start doing it in your free time. If you cut back on your lifestyle, you may find that you can support yourself with that.

I have a lot of admiration for those who are willing to leave a reasonable job to pursue something else. It's not something I could do, which might explain why I'm going on 10 years in the same job.

I don't love my job, but I do tolerate it. I tolerate it because it gives me the resources to do things I do love when I'm not at work. I can handle 50 hours/week of drudgery if it enables 50 hours/week of enjoyment. I start to have problems during crunch times when 40 hours/week of drudgery becomes 100 hours/week of drudgery, but hopefully those don't last too long.

I would question your plans for unemployment though. You mention hanging out with friends you lost touch with. They're probably working, with families. A couple times I've gone back to my hometown for a week's vacation and my old friends are willing to hang out for an evening, but they have jobs to get to in the morning, kids to take care of, wives who want attention, hobbies that I don't share, etc.. Unless your old friends are different than mine, you may find that they don't share the same desire to hang out.


Sam

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 Post subject: Yes - And I did!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Oakland, CA
I'm currently a self-employed musician (classical performer and voice/music theory teacher.) Most performers attempt to find a day job that is flexible enough to pursue their music. I took this route and worked my way up - eventually to management - at a large Barnes and Noble. I found that as much as I loved being around books and getting promoted regularly, it was too physically and emotionally demanding for me to build my teaching studio and performance career. I was balancing two careers at once! It finally got the point where I just had to quit and live in financial terror for a few months while I built my business. It is still a bit scary but I've been able to make my bills, my business is growing all the time and I am doing what I truly love. The best part is, I don't anticipate every having to go back to a 9-5.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:40 am 
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Location: Portland, Oregon
I've left this thread alone for a while because I have a lot to say on the subject, and don't know if I can be brief.

I, too, contemplate quitting the day job. I went to college and earned a psychology degree. I planned to use it to teach grade school, believe it or not. I took my qualifying exams (and did very well), but then, for some reason, never applied for the teaching program. I basically left college without direction. As a result, I ended up working for the family business, something I swore I would never do.

Now here I am fifteen years later, and I'm still working for the family business. It has its upsides, of course, including a tremendous amount of freedom. Get Rich Slowly would not exist if I had been working at a real job. I wouldn't have had the free time. And it's good to work with my brother and cousin. But I do not enjoy the work. I especially loathe the constant interruption by telephone. I'm the kind of guy who gets wrapped up in his thoughts, all daydream-y and stuff, and the constant phone calls (which I have to answer) break my concentration. It's part of the job, obviously, so I can't complain. But I don't enjoy it.

Now, though, it's looking as if I could actually support myself on income from my various web sites. I have a plan in place to gradually remove myself from the business. It's a scary prospect, obviously, but one that excites me, too. It would allow me to devote more time to producing quality content for all my sites, and give me time to write a book! :0


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 Post subject: Quitting the 9-5
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:22 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:10 pm
Posts: 6
Location: San Diego, CA
I think about it every day. Make that every hour. And I just got a new day job! It's a fantastic job--if it had come around about 5 years earlier. I have been building my freelance business and I am at the tipping point (thanks, Malcolm) where I cannot take on any more clients because my 24 hours are used up, but I can't afford, both financially and for business growth, to turn them away. I. am. tired. I work all day, come home and wrangle the pets and switch on the ibook. Then I work into the night and all weekend.

Funny thing is, I am being heavily courted by two other companies--but I don't want another job! Where were these people years ago? I mean, really.

Oh, the linchpin as to why I don't just jump now? 1 1/2 mortgages in San Diego! Now that's painful :)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:43 am
Posts: 10
Location: Seattle WA
Yes, I think almost every day about quitting my day job and working for myself.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:00 pm
Posts: 411
Location: Chicago
I think about quitting my job pretty much every minute of every day. At the moment, due to poor decisions earlier in life, and some bad timing on other decisions, I don't have the ability. I would have to find something at the same pay level with no downtime and a similar benefits package. (In that, I think I'm actually quite typical) however, in a few months, that will change, and I'll probably be gone so fast it'll look like a cartoon.

I have no idea what I'll do from there, but I know I won't be self-employed. I'm mentally unable to do any sales or collection work, so I tend to not get paid for a lot of the side projects I do. I can freelance (I'm a theater tech, so it's not really self-employment, most places actually pay on a W2.) But I haven't figured out what I want to do with my life. Oh well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:56 pm
Posts: 322
Location: left coast
:::bump:::

i SOOOOO want to quit my job right now =/


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