Advice for a Career Quitter...

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mooselick7
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Advice for a Career Quitter...

After three years of research on the economy and peak oil, I am certain that I will leave a perfectly fine job of 25 yrs at the end of this year.  I'm in an energy related field.  I enjoy the actual work but I am tired of being on the road 4 months/yr, stressed out bosses, overzealous bureuacracy and feeding the flippin' banks.  The main reason for leaving is that 2/3rds my life's savings are locked up in a private stock that comes with the job.  It makes excellent, steady returns.  I could convert that stock into cash money within a month.  But, if hyperinflation, soveriegn default or currency crisis were to occur, then it could get locked up and dwindle quickly to nothing. 

I have a modest amount in gold/silver already.  My wife and I both grew up with farm/ranch backgrounds and have a multitude of skills for self-reliance.  We have: 1.5 acres of land in a small town; irrigation water; a shop full of tools to work steel, wood or concrete; 6 month supply of food; two vehicles and a small diesel tractor that will burn either diesel or waste veg oil; about 400 gallons of fuel for those engines; a few firearms, a 22' x 48' greenhouse, several fruit trees and a whole assortment of building materials.

My plan is to sell my shares at the end of this year, put my efforts into developing a self-reliant urban homestead, installing renewable energy equipment (which with cheap local energy prices will not pay the bills in the short term) and doing some engineering consulting on the side.

I plan to put my life savings into PM's, USO index fund and renewable energy equipment for the homestead. 

My question is for the CM community who have dropped out of or downsized their careers:

What advice would you give me based on your experience?  What did you do right?  What did you do wrong?  If you had it to do all over again, how would you do it?

Any help would be much appreciated!

- mooselick7

 

 

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
mooselick7 wrote:

After three years of research on the economy and peak oil, I am certain that I will leave a perfectly fine job of 25 yrs at the end of this year.  I'm in an energy related field.  I enjoy the actual work but I am tired of being on the road 4 months/yr, stressed out bosses, overzealous bureuacracy and feeding the flippin' banks.  The main reason for leaving is that 2/3rds my life's savings are locked up in a private stock that comes with the job.  It makes excellent, steady returns.  I could convert that stock into cash money within a month.  But, if hyperinflation, soveriegn default or currency crisis were to occur, then it could get locked up and dwindle quickly to nothing. 

I have a modest amount in gold/silver already.  My wife and I both grew up with farm/ranch backgrounds and have a multitude of skills for self-reliance.  We have: 1.5 acres of land in a small town; irrigation water; a shop full of tools to work steel, wood or concrete; 6 month supply of food; two vehicles and a small diesel tractor that will burn either diesel or waste veg oil; about 400 gallons of fuel for those engines; a few firearms, a 22' x 48' greenhouse, several fruit trees and a whole assortment of building materials.

My plan is to sell my shares at the end of this year, put my efforts into developing a self-reliant urban homestead, installing renewable energy equipment (which with cheap local energy prices will not pay the bills in the short term) and doing some engineering consulting on the side.

I plan to put my life savings into PM's, USO index fund and renewable energy equipment for the homestead. 

My question is for the CM community who have dropped out of or downsized their careers:

What advice would you give me based on your experience?  What did you do right?  What did you do wrong?  If you had it to do all over again, how would you do it?

Any help would be much appreciated!

- mooselick7

From my experience I'll share the following. First a real short display of thumbnails to give you my past: Age 13 worked 2 to 3 shifts a day as a mate on a fishing boat, never took home less than 100 cash a day, worked 7 days a week in summer and part time in spring and then a little in the fall. Did this until I was 18, went to work in a lumberyard, did sales & low level management, started doing construction on weekends and realized I was yielding a weeks worth of pay, became a contractor and built a spec home. With the money I had saved I had started flying lessons at age 15, solo'd before I had a drivers license, loved flying so went into it professionally and served 15 years in the airlines teaching and flying the line. Downsized and switched into tech field which I had taught myself (save for maybe 3 programming classes at a community college which I audited.)

What I learned:

  • Takes a long time to build a clientèle 
  • Doing what I love beats anything I don't like or get bored with, I have the attention span of a gnat and ever since I have had kids I HATE suitcases
  • Less is more - but dream big if you want to make some big chunks
  • Debt stinks, it is a handcuff
  • I'd rather be a jack of many trades than a master of just one
  • Everything takes longer than planned
  • Everything costs 2x planned/estimated
  • Trends matter

What I'd have done differently - Gone to MIT and audited any and every course that is of interest. I would have like to have learned more how things work earlier in life (things like the economy etc.). I wish I would have realized that most of what I was taught is utter and absolute BS, from what makes a plane fly to what inflation is - this world is replete with jacked up teachings.

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
Davos wrote:

I wish I would have realized that most of what I was taught is utter and absolute BS, from what makes a plane fly to what inflation is - this world is replete with jacked up teachings.

So true. It's not just what is taught, it's the way in which the education system operates. It truly diminishes creativity and even self confidence of the students by channeling them into a preset way of life. The items that are taught are not connected to the real world in a very direct manner. And the model is totally wrong, instead of demand pull, it is supply push (I paradoxically sound academic now). We have teachers and education "standards" that force "knowledge" upon students that (often) don't want to learn it. If we inverted this and told children to pursue their interests, letting them know that education is one tool at their disposal, it might be a bit different. The greatest things I've learned have been outside of the classroom, in far less time, and for far less cost. That ought to say something.

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

 

Mooselick,

I have a lifestyle similar to what you're setting up and the only regret I have is I didn't do it sooner!

I think you're gonna like it. As far as specific advice, it seems to me you've got all the big things covered very well and after that the little things seem to take care of themselves and are easily resolved. Sorry I couldn't be of more help but it doesn't seem to me that you need it.

Good luck and congratulations!

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

mooselick-

I'm actually in a similar spot as you in that I'm weighing options for dropping out of my present career (though I've only been at it less than 5 years), partially due to the weak long-term future prospects but mostly because I feel I can accomplish more for my family (and society in general) as an entrepreneur.  So I'd also like to hear what others who've made the break from traditional careers have to say about how they did it and what worked best and what didn't.  Like health insurance for example... have most people opted for expensive self-bought insurance plans, less expensive 'catastrophic' insurance, had a spouse who provided insurance through their job, or something else entirely?

- Nickbert

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

As to the health insurance question...we started our own business 3 years ago and my husband insisted on keeping the expensive insurance because we have three kids. 

One year later my husband suffered a massive heart attack and after two surgeries our insurance company paid the $175,000. bill.  Our total cost $516. 

Soooo IMO always own good health insurance, no matter what else you cut out. 

Now if i could only buy my husband life insurance Smile- but alas that will now never be possible. So we are buying farmland to leave to our children.

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

moose, glad to hear you're leaving a life of stress of "doing" to feed the capital holders so you can have bank credit.  I think the key as you move on from that system is to adjust internally from the "doing" culture of empire to the "being" of relationship and local community.  Carolyn Baker writes about this.  she suggests it's far harder to do than those of us stuck in empire realize partially because most people around you will assume something is wrong with YOU.  finding camaraderie and community to join you will be a challenge if your process is like mine.  makes me want to live in a lesser-developed country where being and relating is the basis of their societies rather than "doing" and collecting bank credit.

actually this is related to something I just read in a Henri Nouwen book:

[talking about how a man with Down's Syndrome, Adam, taught him that being is more important than doing]  Most of my past life has been built around the idea that my value depends on what I do.  I made it through grade school, high school, and university.  I earned my degrees and awards and I made my career [culminating in a professorship at Harvard].  Yes, with many others, I fought my way up to the lonely top of a little success, a little popularity, and a little power.  But as I sit beside the slow and heavily breathing Adam, I start seeing how violent my journey has been.  this upward passage has been so filled with desires to be better than others, so marked by rivalry and competition, so pervaded with compulsions and obsessions, and so spotted with moments of suspicion, jealousy, resentment, and revenge.......I know Adam is right because after four months of being with him I am discovering in myself the beginning of an inner at-homeness that I didn't know before.  I even feel the unusual desire to do a lot less and be a lot more...

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Thanks much for the wisdom!   Here is a little feedback:

Davos, I did not go to MIT but went to an engineering college.  The lectures dont mean a thing without maturity and practical hands-on.  Youth is wasted on the young.  I firmly believe learning how to learn transcends any formal education.  You got that going for you.

Mike, agreed.

earth, thanks!

Nick, there must be some kind of way outta here said the joker to the thief...

Roman, Before Obama's coupe, I could not get insurance because of preexisting condition (cancer)  Now if I can only afford the taxes without a job!  Thanks for the reminder. 

Strabes, I have been a human doing for so long that I dont know what a "human being" feels like!  Maybe it is a like after a 2 week backpack trip or a weeklong drunk float trip...Im looking forward to finding out!  Cool

Thanks for your help, Everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Why not resign, cash out your stock, and then hire back on as a consultant.  As the saying goes, you might not want to give up your day job.  I was in a job sharing situation for a number of years where I had my summers off which was wonderful except for the fact that there wasn't much money to play with during this time off.  The absence of a steady cash flow can be anxiety creating for someone who is very security conscious (like myself).  Sounds like you're in a very good situation though except I would want a bit more land and I would want to be out of an urban situation (unless your small town is rural).  I would stay away from USO though ... it could blow up on you. 

I took a 6 month sabbatical many years ago when I fully experienced what this freedom feels like.  It was the best experience of my life.  I've never been more relaxed or more at peace yet still fully excited about life.  In fact, I think the experience saved my life.  I felt like a fully realized human being rather than the human doing I have partially reverted back to.  Unfortunately, I have about 4 1/2 more years before I can throw the yoke off again and once and for all.  I envy you.  Good luck.

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
ao wrote:

Why not resign, cash out your stock, and then hire back on as a consultant.  As the saying goes, you might not want to give up your day job.  I was in a job sharing situation for a number of years where I had my summers off which was wonderful except for the fact that there wasn't much money to play with during this time off.  The absence of a steady cash flow can be anxiety creating for someone who is very security conscious (like myself).  Sounds like you're in a very good situation though except I would want a bit more land and I would want to be out of an urban situation (unless your small town is rural).  I would stay away from USO though ... it could blow up on you.

Thank for the input, AO  I have considered resigning, cashing out and hiring back.  Problem is that I would be right back where I started with travel and no home time.  Consulting for my company on a limited, short term basis is an option as long as I leave with some grace.  However, this company wants my skin in their game so to come back at my present level of responsibility without that skin is not possible. 

Lack of steady cash flow is already a source of anxiety - that is what keeps the world turning; until Atlas shrugs.

I would like to hear more of your opinion on USO.  After risk-mitigation analysis on two multi-billion dollar oilsands projects, I know oil prices are going to increase and oil processing infrastructure needs a major overhaul - that is about all I know.  I am not savvy on finance and investing but it seems like a USO index fund would grow with escalating oil prices and more infrastructure work.   Is there a better place to invest in oil?

Thanks, again.

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
mooselick7 wrote:

After three years of research on the economy and peak oil, I am certain that I will leave a perfectly fine job of 25 yrs at the end of this year.  I'm in an energy related field.  I enjoy the actual work but I am tired of being on the road 4 months/yr, stressed out bosses, overzealous bureuacracy and feeding the flippin' banks.  The main reason for leaving is that 2/3rds my life's savings are locked up in a private stock that comes with the job.  It makes excellent, steady returns.  I could convert that stock into cash money within a month.  But, if hyperinflation, soveriegn default or currency crisis were to occur, then it could get locked up and dwindle quickly to nothing. 

I have a modest amount in gold/silver already.  My wife and I both grew up with farm/ranch backgrounds and have a multitude of skills for self-reliance.  We have: 1.5 acres of land in a small town; irrigation water; a shop full of tools to work steel, wood or concrete; 6 month supply of food; two vehicles and a small diesel tractor that will burn either diesel or waste veg oil; about 400 gallons of fuel for those engines; a few firearms, a 22' x 48' greenhouse, several fruit trees and a whole assortment of building materials.

My plan is to sell my shares at the end of this year, put my efforts into developing a self-reliant urban homestead, installing renewable energy equipment (which with cheap local energy prices will not pay the bills in the short term) and doing some engineering consulting on the side.

I plan to put my life savings into PM's, USO index fund and renewable energy equipment for the homestead. 

My question is for the CM community who have dropped out of or downsized their careers:

What advice would you give me based on your experience?  What did you do right?  What did you do wrong?  If you had it to do all over again, how would you do it?

Any help would be much appreciated!

- mooselick7

The reason to stay away from USO is that it's TRYING to track the price of WTI but having to roll the contracts forward. Below is an article that discusses it, but I also had seen another chart somewhere else that showed OSU losing out to WTI at some 68% ratio.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/123577-is-the-uso-etf-a-piece-of-junk

If I had money to invest, I'd do it in a variety of commodity/hard asset producers, and maybe even a Texas pipeline MLP.

That said, I'm jealous. I'm trying to save money to invest in one day but I think maybe I was born too late and the crash will happen well before I've had a chance to really prepare.

Poet

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
Poet wrote:

The reason to stay away from USO is that it's TRYING to track the price of WTI but having to roll the contracts forward. Below is an article that discusses it, but I also had seen another chart somewhere else that showed OSU losing out to WTI at some 68% ratio.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/123577-is-the-uso-etf-a-piece-of-junk

If I had money to invest, I'd do it in a variety of commodity/hard asset producers, and maybe even a Texas pipeline MLP.

That said, I'm jealous. I'm trying to save money to invest in one day but I think maybe I was born too late and the crash will happen well before I've had a chance to really prepare.

Poet

Thanks for the Poetry!  I will check out that link.  I have been looking for ways to invest in the oil price run up.   Although after seeing the drop after the Gulf spill and reading Erik T's article, I can see why everyone is leary of that strategy. 

As far as your jealousy, don't be.  Three reasons:  #1 - Im not sure if the path I have taken is the right one.  #2 - I will pay a HUGE toll for getting out now. If this whole mess miraculously blows over, I  will work until Im dead.   #3 - It is a journey not a destination. 

Thanks again, Poet.

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I did it.  Today I announced my resignation at the end of the year.  (See the first post of this thread.)  Frak it was HARD.  Held back tears a few times.  Just told it like I saw it. 

I said many things during my exit but here are a few highlights you might enjoy....

"This isnt easy.  It is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.  It was a 50/50 decision - 50% the economy and 50% quality of life.  The economy is going to tank - inflation is going to go thru the roof, taxes and everything else with it.  This company is solid, has plenty of work ahead but it is all betting on hot money and debt.  Both my grandparents went through the depression and prospered because they had no debt.  I am through with debt.  I despise banks with a passion. 

My Quality of life sucks.  I traveled 23 wks in 2008, 17 wks in 2009 and 31 wks this year.  Im watching my daughters life pass me by while im away.  I only have little blocks of time to do things around my home but the time around my home and community are the only things that gives me health,  joy and peace of mind in my life. I need to make a better life." 

All in, it was hard, Im anxious as all hell but it felt RIGHT.

Time to get a whole bunch o shit done before the end of year.

Thanks for everyone's advice and help.   At one point, I took a deep breath and said, "Trust yourself".   I wonder where I heard that?

Guess "Happy New Year" will have a whole different meaning now....

- moose

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Moose

Congratulations, not many can step up to the plate as you did. I think you have served a major life lesson/legacy for your daughters. You can place a nice bet, whoever they marry, will share your values.

Joe

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Moose,

Congratulations. I can relate to much of what you expressed and your motivations. I see much of my motivations most every night when i pick up my son. The gift you gave your daughters today is much greater than any money, gift, book or anything - you've given them time with the person who (along with your wife) can teach them more than anything in a way that will last their entire life. Enjoy that time together. I'd imagine your daughters certainly will.

I took off about 8 months (burnt out from a high pressure job) and would advise you to try keeping a journal for a few months. you go through interesting processes over the next few months as you shift from one reality to another. it will be fun to look back on years from now. I found with my main reason to stress and worry gone, for a few weeks my mind kept worrying but only had very mundane non stressful items to worry about. I remember almost laughing at myself when i woke up at 4:30am anxious about mailing a birthday card on time or something totally random like that.  But it's interesting relearning how to structure your day, and things like that.

the going back to contract for a few hours at your old company may be a good option, but take a bit of time before doing that - I suggest you complete the break from your old patterns. But maintaining good relations a good idea as sounds like they are ok folks and may be useful to pull in a few bucks for that solar panel/etc. if you decide that's good to do later.

But congrats - it was inspirational to hear your story.

Doug

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Moose-

Hear hear and congratulations! 

If it gives you any comfort or inspiration (the example you're setting sure does that for me!), I am doing the exact same thing as you are.  I currently have a remote job that pays well and is in no immediate danger of disappearing, but has me separated from my family for about 33-35 weeks out of the year.  While hard on us, this was the price to pay though in order to reach our savings and student loan debt elimination goals.  But after almost 2 years those goals have been reached, and so this past month I've announced to my employer my intent to not renew my contract after this spring.

For me it was probably a little less hard, in part because I've grown to really loathe the particular corporate environment I'm in.  One thing that also made it easier is that my employer gave us all an ultimatum that severely cut pay AND the time I get to spend at home with my family.  When I told them no they seemed shocked.... go figure, right?  But really this was not meant to be long term anyway, so upper management trying to bend us all over the barrel merely helped confirm I was making the right choice to get out of the system.  Like you there is a little anxiousness about the future, but for the most part I FEEL GREAT!  In fact the hardest part of it all is pretending to give a shit while I'm at work for these last several months I have left Laughing(I won't slack off on the job, but I'll be damned if they can make me care about the place lol).

I have a son that is turning 2 yo this weekend, and while I still feel toughing out this job for the past couple years was the right decision, I'm really happy it'll soon be over so I can be with him and my wife more often.  When my son was younger he didn't notice my absence so much, but in recent months he's much more aware of it and sometimes gets upset when I leave.  Staying at the job longer will only make it harder for him (not to mention my wife and I), and will use up more precious time needed to transition towards a path for future prosperity.  We realize we've been very fortunate in having the opportunities to make these changes sooner rather than later, and to toss those opportunities and the time with my family aside merely for a little more money seems like a crime IMO.  We have our primary and our backup plans going forward, and while there's more uncertainty with the path we've chosen here, there is also more freedom of action and control over our lives.  I hope you're feeling the same way...

Now out of curiosity, do you also have coworkers that think you're absolutely batshit insane for leaving?Wink For that matter I'm kind of curious if Dr. M ran into the same responses from coworkers when he left his VP job...

- Nickbert

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

mooselick7,

Sorry I lost track of this thread and never got back to you about USO but I see Poet answered your question.

Anyway, congratulations on taking the big step.  It's scarey but you'll do fine.  I'm considering taking the step myself at the end of this year, several years earlier than originally planned.  It's good that you've followed your heart.  That's why it felt RIGHT.  Your family will be better for it as will your mind, body, and spirit.  Wish you the best of everything and keep us posted on how things are going.

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Thanks, jpetr, dgilmart, nickbert and ao!  Thanks for all the advice.  Journalling my thoughts for awhile is, indeed, a good idea, dgilmart.  I will do that!

This coming week will be a bunch more fallout from bosses and a collegues.  So, far, I have had two consultants who I have worked with in the past, request a resume - which is a good feeling.  Even better is that both told me to have fun taking time off for awhile.

As far as your question, Nickbert, the only ones saying Im crazy are my bosses.  They have it in their minds that I should be thankful for what I have.  And, I was in the same situation in that the work was just increasing by taking on more jobs and tripling the layers of micromanagement between those on the ground building the work and the ivory tower of babel which thereby tripled the amount of travel to accomodate all the hoop jumping.  And, the pay increases have been froze along with a forced redistribution of my company stock.  There is more than one way to skin the same cat - there is more than one way to pay less for more work.  

My collegues are envious. They wish they could do the same thing. They cite their wive's spending habits and their kids in college as the reasons they must stay in.  (I am fortunate to have a supportive wife.)  All of my collegues have built a lifestyle around consumerism, suburbia and cheap energy.  They have wondered in disbelief for many years at my rural lifestyle of gardening, fishing, hunting, do-it-yourself projects and learning about alternative energy, etc.  Now, they understand why... I need less savings to live my life.  My homeplace is a producer rather than a consumer.  I know how to live and barter on the cheap.  It is appalling - as career mining professionals who understand the economic swings in energy and hard commodities, they understand that inflation and taxes will destroy their savings.   Their reasoning is that EVERYONE is going to be affected the same amount; so as long as they still have a good paying job they will still come out ahead - pretty f-ed up logic!   My question to them: if you know a train is heading toward you, shouldnt you step off the track?

Im sure some of my collegues will think Im crazy.  But, they are the same ones that think Im crazy now.  And, they are the same ones totally bought into infinite growth paradigm.  They are also the same ones who dont know how to grow a turnip, butcher a chicken or fix a tractor to save their lives.

It is empowering, scary as hell and enlightening all at the same time, Nickbert.  Please let me know when you pull the pin - it will come up on you faster than you think!

-moose

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Congratulations Mooselick!!

I know right where you are at.  Believe me, I was filled with second thoughts throughout my entire process of disengagement (took a full year)  and even for some months afterwards.

Perhaps it was that I did this in 2005, which was a different time, or perhaps it was my unique combination of colleagues and associates, but I got more than a little push-back and active questioning by people who thought I was simply nuts.  Maybe it was a combo deal, a little of both.

But I did it and have no regrets.  I got to be with my family as they grew up - and it happens fast - instead of traveling 4 days a week, which was my prior pattern.  Funny thing, I am busier than ever so my work habits didn't really change at all, but my quality of life is vastly higher than before as I get to set my schedule.

It's a big step you just took there, so take time to let that sink in before you find some new way(s) to completely fill your time.

 

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

DH left an art directing job at the LA Times (and a 2+hour commute e/w) with a buyout in late 2005. I knew it would be the right thing for him to do, but it was a tough transition for him for a few months. I don't think he was even aware at the time that he was feeling depressed, or maybe he was just decompressing. Whatever it was, he left work with all sorts of projects he planned to do and then nothing happened for several months. Eventually, he moved through it. I think journaling is a good thing too, and simply being aware that you may have to deal with a lot of cultural conditioning around being the wage earner and being busy/productive/earning income as a sign of your worth and value.

Being home with the kids is irreplaceable. I don't miss my career at all, DH still sometimes makes noises about his downwardly mobile career track (he's now in a half-time publishing job, family business with a very wonderful couple) but I think he doesn't believe it entirely. Be gentle with yourself, give your conditioned mind time to adjust and congratulations!

Sue

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Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
cmartenson wrote:

Congratulations Mooselick!!

I know right where you are at.  Believe me, I was filled with second thoughts throughout my entire process of disengagement (took a full year)  and even for some months afterwards.

Perhaps it was that I did this in 2005, which was a different time, or perhaps it was my unique combination of colleagues and associates, but I got more than a little push-back and active questioning by people who thought I was simply nuts.  Maybe it was a combo deal, a little of both.

But I did it and have no regrets.  I got to be with my family as they grew up - and it happens fast - instead of traveling 4 days a week, which was my prior pattern.  Funny thing, I am busier than ever so my work habits didn't really change at all, but my quality of life is vastly higher than before as I get to set my schedule.

It's a big step you just took there, so take time to let that sink in before you find some new way(s) to completely fill your time.

 

Thank you, Chris!  You have been both an informational and inspirational advisor in this process.   

And, yes, I plan to "go feral" for awhile and to let it all sink in. 

mooselick7's picture
mooselick7
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 22 2009
Posts: 192
Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...
suesullivan wrote:

DH left an art directing job at the LA Times (and a 2+hour commute e/w) with a buyout in late 2005. I knew it would be the right thing for him to do, but it was a tough transition for him for a few months. I don't think he was even aware at the time that he was feeling depressed, or maybe he was just decompressing. Whatever it was, he left work with all sorts of projects he planned to do and then nothing happened for several months. Eventually, he moved through it. I think journaling is a good thing too, and simply being aware that you may have to deal with a lot of cultural conditioning around being the wage earner and being busy/productive/earning income as a sign of your worth and value.

Being home with the kids is irreplaceable. I don't miss my career at all, DH still sometimes makes noises about his downwardly mobile career track (he's now in a half-time publishing job, family business with a very wonderful couple) but I think he doesn't believe it entirely. Be gentle with yourself, give your conditioned mind time to adjust and congratulations!

Sue

Thanks, Sue!   As it sinks in, I believe I will go through a similar version.

 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1978
Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

A year and a half ago I quit my career and did something similar. Congratulations, and best of luck in everything mooselick. Here's my experience in the hope that something useful jumps out at you.

What I was doing:  I was a heavy construction safety manager in the NYC area. Since I despised the concrete jungle I lived 45 miles from the edge of the five boroughs of New York City. So my commutes ranged anywhere from 1.5 hours to three hours each way: by train when feasible, and by a car when it was not. For some jobs there was no construction office and I sort of Iived out of the car; for others I had a nice office, for still others I was in a plywood shanty with an inadequate electric heater. I worked out of doors when it was 10 F, or indoors in buildings where the windows were all in but the air conditioning was not yet working to deal with the summer heat. This was the price i paid to be able to support my three sons as an abandoned single mother.

Mind you, I love safety management. There is nothing like the feeling of saving lives while making businesses more profitable. But I was constantly under the gun to twist the law and work unsafely. I earned the respect of hardened superintendents and was able to go toe to toe to them, even when they were screaming at me. I thrived on it, in fact. But even though I made six figures, I had no life. I was a single woman in her early fifties and a new grandmother to a grandchild I lived 10 miles from and almost never saw.

When Bernie Maddoff was caught I was on the front lines of the economic fallout, on a construction project in Manhattan where the Owner lost so much money he had to shut things down. I saw a general slowdown in my industry and knew that our national debt was unsustainable, especially when you factored in things like Social Security.  Since I was debt free with some savings--I'd been taught as a child that debt was slavery--I decided to get out.

Originally my plan was to move to the midwest: I'm from rural Pennsylvannia and wanted a slower, more agrarian life. But then, through the magic of the internet I met a wonderful man who was also debt free, had a paid off home on a nice piece of land, and shared my concerns about the economy. I had not thought of moving to the Deep South but marrying him worked for me: the nearest city has only 100,000 people and we are half way between that and a rural, agricutural area. We found the CM community through our pastor ( a man young enough to be my son who also introduced us to our range instructor and gunsmith). 

Lerssons Learned:

After I left my job I needed intellectual stimulation. I got that from the engineers and project management on my jobsites, and am now getting it from my brilliant husband, my internet frineds, (I edit a prestigious online magazine) and the CM community. I am finding it very hard to make friends my own age in my gender in my new home, though that was an issue in NY, too - it may be a personality thing. 

My spending patterns took a little time to change. The cost of linving here is 55% of what it was in NY. That helps. When I had just worked a 12-hour day and was facing a 2-hour commute home it made sense to treat myself to a nice dinner out. I gave myself permission allow time to ramp down my spending levels where "going out" meant we both had an ice cream and held hands. For me that was a couple of meals in restaurants when I first moved here, but I bring it up to suggest that you not beat yourself up over a few lingering habits you are trying to nip. It's a huge emotional change. Go easy on yourself.

Rest! You probably wore yourself out with the schedule you describe. The job in NY nearly killed me; it was like post-traumatic stress disorder after I left. I had no idea how battered I was. It may take a while to get some perspective. I am not suggested you become a couch potato but being honest with yourself about the bone-deep weariness helps you get over it faster. Trust me on this one.

The amount of work it takes to become sustainable can feel like a full-time job. Supervising the woodstove installer, working with family members to insulate or add solar things, adding and maintaining a large square foot garden, adding a deep larder...all of this is very labor intensive. While my husband of course hoped that I got a new position here in SC, and I am doing interviews, if TSHTF you have to wonder how longs such a job would last. For now, I am grateful that I have the time to devote soley to prepping. There are a heck of a lot of skills for us to learn or relearn, and then you have to get good at whatever they are. Thank God we did not have to live off of our garden while I learned to grow things in this climate.

I am betting most of what you did at the old job was "problem solving".  Pat yourself on the back for that is the most transferrable of skills to your new lifestyle!

All the best ,

Safewrite

mooselick7's picture
mooselick7
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 22 2009
Posts: 192
Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Thanks, Safewrite.  I work(ed) for a company that is primarily construction but Im in the mining side.  The stress and demands of the construction industry is killer duty - hats off to you for getting out. 

I will keep your experiences in mind as I go along.

- moose

 

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1889
Re: Advice for a Career Quitter...

Hey, you finally get time to think about what you want to do with the rest of your life. (Besides prepping or living a homestead life.)

It probably won't come to you for a while yet. Maybe a few months to a year, even.

Poet

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