Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

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Topic Author
oilrig
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Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 pm

I am looking for advice or suggestions on what posters would do in my situation. For background purposes: I am early 30's, single, no kids, no debt and $460k net worth (The majority is liquid in taxable account: 3 fund portfolio, some individual stocks, and cash).

So here's my situation; I am pretty burned out with my career and the past few companies I have worked for. I left a good job earlier this year (I was there for 4 years) for another company making more money and more responsibilities. Instantly I could tell it wasnt going to work out and ended up starting a new job a few months later, despite obvious red flags about the new company/boss. Well the same thing has happened again and I am really not happy at the new company. My boss is driving me crazy and is a huge micro manager, the work culture is horrible. I know it was a huge mistake leaving the previous 2 companies, but here I am and I have to deal with the consequences.

Here is where it gets tricky, I make about $150k with base and bonus + potential for an extra $50k per year with RSU payout. Also great benefits and 401k match, close commute from my apartment etc. I have cheap rent and low expenses as a single guy, so I am able to save a huge chunk of my paycheck and bonuses. The past few years I have averaged around $100k increase in net worth per year with my contributions and stock market appreciation. I know if I stick it out at my current job for a few years I will be a millionaire, which is my life long goal. Ultimately I want to retire a multi-millionaire with $5MM+ in assets.

I could get another job very easily with my experience and connections, but Im afraid that the same thing will happen and I will be unhappy and want to quit. I think Im just burned out with my career and with working in general, I have been working nonstop since I was 13 years old. I also have a pretty stressful career/job and the average person quits and does something else after a few years.

One option Im seriously considering is to quit without another job lined up and take a few months off as a sabbatical to travel and evaluate what my next step will be. I could easily afford it using dividends and cash I have in an online savings account($50K cash). I think this will help me recharge my batteries and clear my thoughts to figure out my next move. I have been toying around with the idea of starting my own business, and I think this will be the perfect time to do it as a single guy with no dependents. Also, during this sabbatical I could probably pick up some part time or remote consulting work where I could make some extra money to pay for living expenses and travel. Im super frugal in nature and always like to have multiple sources of income coming in to fund anything I do.

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to lay out all of the details and background info. So what do you say Bogleheads, what would you do in my situation? All serious and non-serious replies welcome, and I welcome any tough constructive criticism; I know I sound like a typical spoiled millennial :). Thanks in advance!

JBTX
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by JBTX » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:36 pm

I'm not sure what to tell you. Did you like the first job of 4 years? Any chance to go back?

Taking some time off may not be bad idea, but it has its risks. I don't think it is unusual after working non stop 10-15 years to really romanticize not working. You may have to go through it to figure out that while work can stink, doing nothing can stink and you aren't getting paid, and when you go back at least you have a different perspective.

You've hated and bailed the last 2 jobs in short order so you may need to rethink what is Important to you. If you are looking for perfection you will never find it. Ultimately what you don't like about it is working with/for people you find incompatible. You are going to find that in any job, to some degree.

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2pedals
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by 2pedals » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:41 pm

In first blush, I don't like it. Bouncing around too many times with or without a "sabbatical" will make you look unprofessional. You must stay on a steady and sure plan if you want to save that 5+ mil. I am okay with finding a different job if you KNOW you can live with it for a few years, but it's your life your decision.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by financeguy88 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:43 pm

oilrig wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 pm
I am looking for advice or suggestions on what posters would do in my situation. For background purposes: I am early 30's, single, no kids, no debt and $460k net worth (The majority is liquid in taxable account: 3 fund portfolio, some individual stocks, and cash).

So here's my situation; I am pretty burned out with my career and the past few companies I have worked for. I left a good job earlier this year (I was there for 4 years) for another company making more money and more responsibilities. Instantly I could tell it wasnt going to work out and ended up starting a new job a few months later, despite obvious red flags about the new company/boss. Well the same thing has happened again and I am really not happy at the new company. My boss is driving me crazy and is a huge micro manager, the work culture is horrible. I know it was a huge mistake leaving the previous 2 companies, but here I am and I have to deal with the consequences.

Here is where it gets tricky, I make about $150k with base and bonus + potential for an extra $50k per year with RSU payout. Also great benefits and 401k match, close commute from my apartment etc. I have cheap rent and low expenses as a single guy, so I am able to save a huge chunk of my paycheck and bonuses. The past few years I have averaged around $100k increase in net worth per year with my contributions and stock market appreciation. I know if I stick it out at my current job for a few years I will be a millionaire, which is my life long goal. Ultimately I want to retire a multi-millionaire with $5MM+ in assets.

I could get another job very easily with my experience and connections, but Im afraid that the same thing will happen and I will be unhappy and want to quit. I think Im just burned out with my career and with working in general, I have been working nonstop since I was 13 years old. I also have a pretty stressful career/job and the average person quits and does something else after a few years.

One option Im seriously considering is to quit without another job lined up and take a few months off as a sabbatical to travel and evaluate what my next step will be. I could easily afford it using dividends and cash I have in an online savings account($50K cash). I think this will help me recharge my batteries and clear my thoughts to figure out my next move. I have been toying around with the idea of starting my own business, and I think this will be the perfect time to do it as a single guy with no dependents. Also, during this sabbatical I could probably pick up some part time or remote consulting work where I could make some extra money to pay for living expenses and travel. Im super frugal in nature and always like to have multiple sources of income coming in to fund anything I do.

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to lay out all of the details and background info. So what do you say Bogleheads, what would you do in my situation? All serious and non-serious replies welcome, and I welcome any tough constructive criticism; I know I sound like a typical spoiled millennial :). Thanks in advance!
“Instantly I could tell it wasnt going to work out and ended up starting a new job a few months later, despite obvious red flags about the new company/boss. Well the same thing has happened again and I am really not happy at the new company. My boss is driving me crazy and is a huge micro manager, the work culture is horrible”

You need to explain this more and what happened. Be intellectually honest with yourself over what happened / what decision process lead to the quick job changes and issues.

With the limited info provided I wouldn’t take a sabbatical. Be thoughtful about your next move and do your diligence on the employer / role. You’re entering prime earning years and want to retire with $5M+. You have a long ways to go.

schrute
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by schrute » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:49 pm

2pedals wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:41 pm
In first blush, I don't like it. Bouncing around too many times with or without a "sabbatical" will make you look unprofessional. You must stay on a steady and sure plan if you want to save that 5+ mil. I am okay with finding a different job if you KNOW you can live with it for a few years, but it's your life your decision.
If you're in the Bay Area, I disagree. In principal, hopping around is generally frowned upon, and may not benefit you with traditional companies. If the op works in tech (which I suspect he does), I doubt it will be much of a problem. There's plenty of startups, high-tech companies (like Google) that could care less, as long as you're a skilled, knowledge worker. I think the times have changed, to make more money you either need to be invaluable at your current company or move around to get a promotion. In tech, generally you need to move around.

Op, if you're burned out (like really burned out), consider taking some time off. If you really need to go, consider getting another job lined up and take 2 months off in between. Alternatively, consider talking to your boss to take some time off. Otherwise consider taking a year off and either consider yourself working on a project (developing games, websites, etc.) or just say you're traveling. I know people that took 6 months off to travel and able to come back to a job. I think if you take 2-3 years off, it might be more difficult to hop back in.

Topic Author
oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:50 pm

JBTX wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:36 pm
I'm not sure what to tell you. Did you like the first job of 4 years? Any chance to go back?
Thanks for your comments and advice. Yes, I did like the job of 4 years, it was a big oil company so we had major layoffs the past few years as a result of the oil downturn. I would have stayed but there wasn't a lot of stability or career progression with the shrinking of the company, so I decided to volunteer for a generous severance package and bolt for more money elsewhere. I would love to go back but they probably won't have another opening for a year or two whenever the oil market stabilizes and starts booming again.

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FIREchief
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by FIREchief » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:52 pm

oilrig wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 pm
I could get another job very easily with my experience and connections,
How certain are you of this? I can't think of any field where a person can keep quitting jobs and remain 100% certain that there's always another one for the taking.
I think Im just burned out with my career and with working in general, I have been working nonstop since I was 13 years old. I also have a pretty stressful career/job
First world problem that many of us have "struggled" with. Hopefully you appreciate how much worse you could have things. :beer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

JBTX
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by JBTX » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:56 pm

oilrig wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:50 pm
JBTX wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:36 pm
I'm not sure what to tell you. Did you like the first job of 4 years? Any chance to go back?
Thanks for your comments and advice. Yes, I did like the job of 4 years, it was a big oil company so we had major layoffs the past few years as a result of the oil downturn. I would have stayed but there wasn't a lot of stability or career progression with the shrinking of the company, so I decided to volunteer for a generous severance package and bolt for more money elsewhere. I would love to go back but they probably won't have another opening for a year or two whenever the oil market stabilizes and starts booming again.
If you are working for oil company in the field or on rigs I guess I can understand where you are coming from. There is no right answer. Time off will do you good, but there are risks associated with it. Plus it is any industry with boom and bust cycles. When you decide to come back you may find yourself in the middle of the bust cycle. Your job security somewhat depends on whether Saudi Arabia decides to cut back or open up the taps.

schrute
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by schrute » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:01 pm

I should have guessed by the name oilrig. Are you a petroleum engineer?

Topic Author
oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:05 pm

2pedals wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:41 pm
In first blush, I don't like it. Bouncing around too many times with or without a "sabbatical" will make you look unprofessional. You must stay on a steady and sure plan if you want to save that 5+ mil. I am okay with finding a different job if you KNOW you can live with it for a few years, but it's your life your decision.
I agree, I do not want to be labeled as a job hopper. Luckily I have a large network in the industry I work in, so I get job offers from old coworkers and connections regularly. I have a few leads in the works right now that may not come to fruition until later this year or next year. The $5MM is a big goal for me, but I would rather be happy and have peace of mind than retire rich!

BVRFC
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by BVRFC » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:07 pm

Quit your job and buy a plane ticket to Thailand. Live in a straw hut on the beach for $8 a day. I recommend Koh Chang. Come back and get a job again when you feel like it.

I'm not joking.

mesmer
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by mesmer » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:12 pm

Sorry to hear you are so burnt out. I feel for you.

It may be my own burnout speaking, but I think a sabbatical is a good idea. If you are in a stressful field, you want to protect your longevity at least enough to meet your financial/other life goals. It doesn't seem like you've been in a good space to make these big decisions.

I guess my main concern would be any risk of not finding employment again if you take this sabbatical? Jumping around from job to job and then having time off may not look good to some employers. Depending on your field, if burnout is a known issue (like it is in mine) where turnover due to burnout is common and expected, some employers may even understand an applicant who is honest about this and if you are skilled enough may overlook it. Others would not.

Honestly, if I were in your shoes I would take the sabbatical because of your age, responsibilities, and current net worth. I was in a very similar situation. Same safe job for 6 years with high burnout for a while. Because I am older, have less savings, and a lower income, a partner in an agist industry, and thinking of starting family living in a very HCOLA, I could not afford to take a sabbatical not knowing what my next job would be. I knew I could find a job but I wasn't sure I could find a job that didn't have the same issues as mine. So instead I did the following: interviewed at another job with fewer hours and after I got the informal offer I took a 2-week vacation in Bali from my job. I also started my own business on the side at the end of last year. This added to the burnout in a way because of all the extra work but it was also energizing. I then returned from my trip, waited a month for the formal job offer, accepted it, and grew my business even more with the goal of potentially eventually doing it full time. I am still burnt out because I now work 3 different jobs (I also took a small consulting gig but it is 10-15 hours per week for the next 10 months) but I couldn't risk not having health insurance and ending up in another less than ideal work setting. I left money on the table with my decision as well. I am somewhat risk averse (except in investing because I have a very high stock allocation) so this is what I could stomach. I've also really tried prioritizing my health including sleep, eating a balanced diet, taking my vitamins to cure all my deficiencies, and exercise (but not as much as I should). This is hard when you are working in a demanding field or have multiple jobs. At my old job, I started developing chronic medical conditions and my health was suffering. I was no longer willing to pay the cost of good physical and emotional health.

But, life is short. How many more years do you want to spend feeling like this? Is the sacrifice worth the near guarantee of being a multimillionaire? Only you can answer that. These are hard questions to answer when one is burnt out. Clarity would be good.


If you think there is a chance you would stay at the company, you could try asking for the time off. I worked with someone who had a doctor recommend 3 months off and his company HR had to honor it. But I don't necessarily recommend that route....

I may be alone on this on this thread, but I support the sabbatical. Set a spending limit on the next 3-6 months. Go from there. Your wellbeing matters. It sounds like you could get by with consulting jobs and your current savings will eventually make you a multimillionaire if you don't start drawing it down now...(but it may take a few decades if you don't plan on adding more to it).

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oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:14 pm

Also, I do not plan on putting these short term stints on my resume. If I take a sabbatical then I will try and find some consulting/part time work that I could put on my resume and bring in some extra income. I know I sound overly optimistic and I need to think about worst case scenarios, but I think I can make it work. The worst case scenario I can always go back to bartending or drive for uber!

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by mesmer » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:15 pm

I started writing my post before I saw you were in the oil business... I had also assumed tech where job hopping is not as frowned upon.
I think sitting on the beach in Thailand (or lots of places in Asia where you can live well for under $5 per day) is a great idea.

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2pedals
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by 2pedals » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:26 pm

Does your employer have an employee assistance program, where you can discuss your issues in a anonymous way? Are there other jobs that your are qualified within your company that reports to a different boss? Explore your avenues. Some jobs are better than others mainly because you can get along with him/her and by the way most bosses are not fun to work for.

What are you expecting to get out of your sabbatical if you go that route? What would change in life if you could? Would a sabbatical to even help you? If you are single you should have a lot of time for yourself. Take a long hike, go for swim, train for a marathon, go for a long bike or run. Take up a hobby. These are ways I have removed stress from my life in the past. Exercise and hobbies are import to me and gives me time to reflect and refocus.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by dekecarver » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:40 pm

If working on oil rigs may I ask what type of job, e.g medical service, diver..?

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by downshiftme » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:49 pm

Does your employer have an employee assistance program, where you can discuss your issues in a anonymous way?
In my experience, these supposedly anonymous programs can leak information back to the employer HR dept. Mine did. I would NOT trust any employer sponsored program that claims to be anonymous, especially with employment concerns.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:00 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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2pedals
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by 2pedals » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:08 pm

downshiftme wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:49 pm
Does your employer have an employee assistance program, where you can discuss your issues in a anonymous way?
In my experience, these supposedly anonymous programs can leak information back to the employer HR dept. Mine did. I would NOT trust any employer sponsored program that claims to be anonymous, especially with employment concerns.
Hard me to image that a leaked happened, confidentiality is truly the hallmark of the EAP service and they are degree/licensed in counseling. Not saying it didn't just hard for me get my head around it but certainly check the reputation of the contracted counseling.

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oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:18 pm

I apologize if I didn’t answer any other specific questions. But I work in the corporate office in a support function role (think IT, HR, finance etc). Also in my early 30’s.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Cruise » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:23 pm

Several people have suggested EAP counseling. Whether or not you receive counseling from an EAP or external resource (paid by your own insurance), seeking consultation from a professional is something to seriously consider.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Pawpatrol » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:25 pm

2pedals wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:26 pm
Does your employer have an employee assistance program, where you can discuss your issues in a anonymous way?
This...

smectym
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by smectym » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:53 am

Leaving aside necessity scenarios such as illness or other matters beyond ones control:

Not generally a good idea to quit a high-paying job and take a sabbatical absent one of three enabling conditions:

(1) You have achieved financial independence. No matter your age, your accumulated wealth will generate an income for life sufficient to support the standard of living you require. You don’t need the job—not just for a “sabbatical”—you actually don’t need to work again unless you want to.

(2) You’re ready to retire anyway. You’re at about retirement age, have put in your years and can look forward to a comfortable retirement based on workplace retirement plans, social security and after-tax savings.

(3) Whenever you choose to resume work, have a virtual guarantee of new employment at salary and benefits equal to or superior to those you relinquished when you decided you were burned out and needed sabbatical.

Is (3) the condition most in play here? If so, just double-check the risk factor before proceeding and make sure that the doors you expect to remain open when you elect to resume work will indeed be wide open.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by jharkin » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:01 am

If you are “ultra frugal by nature”, why do you need 5MM to retire?

Frugal people don’t magically become big spenders just because the money is there. If spending doesn’t make you happy now, it’s not going to later. Maybe the MMM early retirement lifestyle is for you?

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:14 am

Too many jobs in a short period of time is a big red flag. Combine that with a gap in employment, i.e. sabbatical, and it is a double red flag. I have hired a lot of people and the biggest red flag to me was a gap in employment. Explaining it as a sabbatical will be looked upon cynically. Yes, I know you have good network to help you find another job. However, that may not last forever, and that may not be able to overcome these other factors.

"Burnout" is an overused word to describe job dissatisfaction, unhappiness, etc., and sometimes real real burnout. The fact you have a micro manager for a boss does not necessarily mean you have burnout. You left the previous job after only a few months due to dissatisfaction. At some point, you will just have to learn to live with all the factors of a job, the good and the bad, whether it is this one or a future one. A few months is usually not enough time to adapt to a new job and new culture. If you always focus on the things you do not like in a job, you will always be miserable.

My recommendation is to give this job more time. You may eventually leave but you need more time to see if you can adapt. However, when you do switch jobs, you need to vet the new company very carefully to avoid future mistakes.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by rjsob58 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:53 am

I'm going to suggest something completely different. This is based on your age, lack of dependents/other responsibilities and dissatisfaction with your last several jobs in the same field. Give it some serious thought.

Consider a total career change. You could do this after a short sabbatical (3 months) to think it through. Working can be emotionally and intellectually rewarding. It can even be fun if you are doing what you like. Since you're ahead of the game financially, salary/earnings could be low on the priority list, but you should still keep benefits (401k and medical - think family/kids) high up. Think about what you really enjoy doing and/or "what you wanted to be when you grew up". Given your financial situation, you could afford to start on the ground floor, learn a new set of skills and work your way up.

I did this in my late 20s, going from one field/profession to a completely different one (IT). I had absolutely no experience and my degree was totally unrelated, but I could afford the time and salary reduction to start over. Maybe I got lucky, but it worked out well for me. For full disclosure, I did burn out on that 2nd career after about 20 years, but by then I was pretty well set.

Just food for thought.

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oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:34 am

Thanks everyone for the replies! My plan for now is to try and stick it out until the end of the year so I can collect on the bonus and RSU payout. Meanwhile I will keep saving aggressively and adding to my stash. Also, if things don't improve I plan to have a talk with my boss and see if we can come to some sort of compromise to help improve things. I know they don't want to lose me and will probably let me do whatever I wanted to try and keep me.

The sabbatical has always been on the back of my mind for the past few years, and now just feels like the perfect time to do it with the job dissatisfaction and current net worth. However, I am trying to think rationally/logically and I know it makes more sense to try and stick it out and not leave until I have something else lined up.

Thanks again for all of the advice and suggestions!

3funder
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by 3funder » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:58 am

I don't like the sabbatical idea. Obtaining a less stressful job in the same field might be a better idea. It would probably involve a pay cut, but you're ahead of most people your age. As long as you're not making peanuts, you'll probably be just fine in the long run. To the extent circumstances allow, you should be gainfully employed. Life can throw curveballs, and you'd probably regret being out of work in the event that you find yourself in a difficult situation.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by bltn » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:43 am

oilrig wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks everyone for the replies! My plan for now is to try and stick it out until the end of the year so I can collect on the bonus and RSU payout. Meanwhile I will keep saving aggressively and adding to my stash. Also, if things don't improve I plan to have a talk with my boss and see if we can come to some sort of compromise to help improve things. I know they don't want to lose me and will probably let me do whatever I wanted to try and keep me.

The sabbatical has always been on the back of my mind for the past few years, and now just feels like the perfect time to do it with the job dissatisfaction and current net worth. However, I am trying to think rationally/logically and I know it makes more sense to try and stick it out and not leave until I have something else lined up.

Thanks again for all of the advice and suggestions!
You are thinking about your best options.
In your position, I would start to look at other employment opportunities and line up something I feel very good about while I am still working. That way I have some time to make the proper decision. Once I have the job lined up, I would make arrangements for 2-3 weeks of time off between jobs. If I need more time than that, with a great job waiting for me, to take care of my burnout, maybe I look at my goals in life. Do I want to work hard at a productve job, or would I rather work a less challenging job with lower compensation. Highly paid jobs will always be demanding.
I would also make sure my medical insurance is uninterrupted during the transition.
I might be able to adjust my current job to take care of my concerns, particularly if there is the potential for future advancement.
Best of luck.

paramedic
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by paramedic » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:03 pm

Just my humble thoughts: Avoid the sabbatical. I feel that it has a major sting on one's career in many cases.

My advice would be to try to do what you can outside of work that you really enjoy. Get involved in group activities. Travel (utilize your vacation time, etc.). Try to not let the job impact your mental state as much. That may be difficult to do, however.

Housedoc
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Housedoc » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:52 pm

Pull up the big boy pants and get to work. You are lucky to be making great money. It is called work for a reason. I disliked my job for years but kept on going. I retired at 52. Head down and go get it!

mortfree
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by mortfree » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:56 pm

Does your manager have a reputation to be a micro manager with everyone or just you?

If it’s just you there may be something you’re missing about yourself.

Topic Author
oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:50 pm

mortfree wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:56 pm
Does your manager have a reputation to be a micro manager with everyone or just you?

If it’s just you there may be something you’re missing about yourself.
Yes, as I’ve gotten to know the team they all don’t like her and it has created a very toxic work environment. She is very demeaning and condescending to the employees. She is known to yell at employees in front of everyone. She hasn’t acted that way towards me yet because I would quit on the spot!

AlwaysWannaLearn
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:00 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

carolinaman
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by carolinaman » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:33 am

oilrig wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks everyone for the replies! My plan for now is to try and stick it out until the end of the year so I can collect on the bonus and RSU payout. Meanwhile I will keep saving aggressively and adding to my stash. Also, if things don't improve I plan to have a talk with my boss and see if we can come to some sort of compromise to help improve things. I know they don't want to lose me and will probably let me do whatever I wanted to try and keep me.

The sabbatical has always been on the back of my mind for the past few years, and now just feels like the perfect time to do it with the job dissatisfaction and current net worth. However, I am trying to think rationally/logically and I know it makes more sense to try and stick it out and not leave until I have something else lined up.

Thanks again for all of the advice and suggestions!
+1. I like this approach. Give it more time, try to make the job better and have something else lined up if you decide it will not work are all good strategies. Best wishes.

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oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:28 am

AlwaysWannaLearn wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:00 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks everyone for the replies! My plan for now is to try and stick it out until the end of the year so I can collect on the bonus and RSU payout. Meanwhile I will keep saving aggressively and adding to my stash. Also, if things don't improve I plan to have a talk with my boss and see if we can come to some sort of compromise to help improve things. I know they don't want to lose me and will probably let me do whatever I wanted to try and keep me.

The sabbatical has always been on the back of my mind for the past few years, and now just feels like the perfect time to do it with the job dissatisfaction and current net worth. However, I am trying to think rationally/logically and I know it makes more sense to try and stick it out and not leave until I have something else lined up.
That sounds like a good plan, oilrig - You've got a good head on your shoulders. And don't worry: At the rate you're going, you'll be in great shape to take that sabbatical once you're well into two-comma territory and have some more years of career experience under your belt. It may be hard to believe it when you're in the throes of burn-out, but I assure you it will come sooner than you think! Keep on keepin' on - You're doing great, esp. at such an early stage in your career!

The only caveat I'd add: If the cause of your burn-out is because your company is doing sleazy/unethical/illegal things - and you' feel you're being forced to be somewhat complicit in it - stay only as long as you need to in order to find your next job, and make finding that next job your highest priority. Those who work in corporate support functions are particularly vulnerable to this. I know people who experienced incredibly high work stress because of it, but they stayed because they had bills to pay, families to support, they were well-paid, etc. etc. In short, they rationalized. When the scandal hit the press (as it inevitably did), they were out on the street with years of experience at Enron/Wells Fargo/[name your favorite corporate scandal] on their resume, and no one would touch them. When you join a company, you tie your own reputation to the company's reputation. Choose wisely and once you're there, believe or leave. Just my $.02.
Thanks for the kind and encouraging words! Im trying to think long term and not just in the present. I know 5 more years of saving/investing will set me up very nicely for the future :)

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oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:31 am

BVRFC wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:07 pm
Quit your job and buy a plane ticket to Thailand. Live in a straw hut on the beach for $8 a day. I recommend Koh Chang. Come back and get a job again when you feel like it.

I'm not joking.
I love your suggestion and its very tempting! Is that something you have done in the past?

Another thing that sounds tempting is a lot of my immediate family lives on a tropical island where the cost of living is very cheap. I think with my current assets I could FIRE and live a MMM life there, or pick up some part time work. I don't think I will ever seriously do this, but its always on the back of my mind :)

desiderium
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by desiderium » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:46 am

oilrig wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks everyone for the replies! My plan for now is to try and stick it out until the end of the year so I can collect on the bonus and RSU payout. Meanwhile I will keep saving aggressively and adding to my stash. Also, if things don't improve I plan to have a talk with my boss and see if we can come to some sort of compromise to help improve things. I know they don't want to lose me and will probably let me do whatever I wanted to try and keep me.

The sabbatical has always been on the back of my mind for the past few years, and now just feels like the perfect time to do it with the job dissatisfaction and current net worth. However, I am trying to think rationally/logically and I know it makes more sense to try and stick it out and not leave until I have something else lined up.

Thanks again for all of the advice and suggestions!
Good thoughts here.
I think you need to figure out your big picture. Take the rest of the year and make an effort to do that. The concept of personal counseling/coaching is valid. Also look up your mentors, people from old jobs. I would suggest networking actively to understand all the potential opportunities available. When you have a better idea of your path forward, you should not fail to work in the sabbatical as part of your transition.

bradshaw1965
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by bradshaw1965 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:49 am

You've gotten some good advice but do keep in mind that this is the wrong forum to post in if you don't want to be talked out of taking a leap.

Foredeck
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Foredeck » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:30 am

I've been in your situation where you take a job and when you start it's nothing like what you expected.

Some suggestions and things to consider.

* In the interview process are you asking the right questions? How can you tease out those hidden red flags? Maybe brush up on your interview techniques.

* Money is nice, but it's only a tool. You still have to live your life and don't let money be the sole deciding factor.

* Look at areas of your life where you can start making small changes. Are you getting enough sleep? What stress management techniques are you using? Are you eating well and getting exercise? Are you drinking enough water? Basically your overall health and wellness.

* This one might sound strange if you've never looked into it, but it works. Carve out 15 to 20 minutes per day and practice mindfulness meditation. Try and get your thinking to slow down. Work on clearing out all the constant chatter going on in your head.

* This is cliche, but true, life is short. In a relatively short time you'll be 40. At this age, you are more likely to have a family and taking a sabbatical will be much harder to do. Doing a sabbatical comes with some risks, but risk shouldn't stop you doing what you want. Acknowledge the risk and move on.

Good luck

rich126
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by rich126 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:11 am

The only problem with a sabbatical is that you may enjoy it too much :D

I'm more in the tech/def world and have always prioritize quality of life over money. I did have one stretch after working 15 yrs for a company where I did 3 months at one place, 18 months at another, took 2-3 months off, did another 14 months at another, and then relocated westward for 8+ yrs.

Some people tell you they are bored when they take time off but even though I was in my 30s I didn't miss work at all (and much of my previous working experience I enjoyed). Most recently (after my westward travels) I came back east and have not enjoyed my return "home". While there were some family reasons to return, and more work opportunities, I just realize I miss being out west. My commitment here will end this year (once I qualify for some benefits I can get later when I turn 60) and I will look elsewhere for a job for the next 4 years.

People think I'm crazy not to stay where I'm at another 4 years since it would boost my pension by $5K, there is virtually zero chance of getting fired and I get a ton of vacation time, but I'm just not happy being here.

Keep looking around (preferably via researching and talking to people and not job hopping every 6 months) and find something you want to do since you have a long way towards retirement. Unfortunately even when you find something good, things change and you may need to move on. I would have stayed out west except I didn't like the future for the company and nothing else out there captured my interests. My brother always tells me to stop complaining since most people aren't happy at work and I'm lucky I've enjoyed 20+ yrs of my 30+ year career.

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FIREchief
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by FIREchief » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:06 pm

oilrig wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:50 pm
She is very demeaning and condescending to the employees. She is known to yell at employees in front of everyone. She hasn’t acted that way towards me yet because I would quit on the spot!
Really? Hopefully that's hyperbole. Anybody who would quit a high paying job "on the spot" simply because a boss yelled at them may need to work on the guy in the mirror.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

hudson
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by hudson » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:32 pm

If it were me, I would stay until the end of the year and collect the bonuses. I would also start lining up another job. I would not take a break. I would not leave an old job until I had a new job signed, sealed, and delivered. Weekends are a great break if you can get them off.

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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Guitarguy14 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:50 pm

Happiness is key. I have never been money driven and really my focus in life has been people and experience. I am comfortable but I have turned down opportunities due to not allowing myself to take on the added stress, as a work life balance is huge to my well being. Follow what you feel would allow you to be most happy and provide a peace of mind. Good luck!

Loik098
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Loik098 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:12 pm

oilrig wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 pm
I could get another job very easily with my experience and connections, but Im afraid that the same thing will happen and I will be unhappy and want to quit.
Then perhaps you shouldn't be tying your happiness to your work. If you continue to do so, chances are good that you'll never be happy, regardless of whether you take a sabbatical.

Find happiness outside of work, and treat work for what it's become to you: a place to make money. Place no emotional stock in anyone or anything negative at work that you end up bringing home with you. Chances are good that your next job could just be more of the same.

This is part of building emotional intelligence. An emotionally-intelligent person wouldn't quit on the spot simply because their boss yelled at them: they would just recognize that it's expected behavior from such a person, and choose not to take it personally. You are in charge of your response, not the boss.

Learn to practice control over the quality of and exposure from your inputs, because they will control your outputs.

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oilrig
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by oilrig » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:44 pm

Loik098 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:12 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 pm
I could get another job very easily with my experience and connections, but Im afraid that the same thing will happen and I will be unhappy and want to quit.
Then perhaps you shouldn't be tying your happiness to your work. If you continue to do so, chances are good that you'll never be happy, regardless of whether you take a sabbatical.

Find happiness outside of work, and treat work for what it's become to you: a place to make money. Place no emotional stock in anyone or anything negative at work that you end up bringing home with you. Chances are good that your next job could just be more of the same.

This is part of building emotional intelligence. An emotionally-intelligent person wouldn't quit on the spot simply because their boss yelled at them: they would just recognize that it's expected behavior from such a person, and choose not to take it personally. You are in charge of your response, not the boss.

Learn to practice control over the quality of and exposure from your inputs, because they will control your outputs.
Im sorry but I have never been mistreated and disrespected at work before, and I have worked many low level jobs in my younger days (waiter, retail, pizza delivery, bartender, Uber, sales, and now my current career). If my boss yells at me and treats me like crap, then that is behavior I refuse to accept and I will quit or find something else. I would rather be unemployed and drive for Uber than work for a boss who berates me and treats me like a slave.

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bligh
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by bligh » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:20 pm

Ask yourself, What kind of person are you? If you are enterprising, hard working and intelligent, you will land on your feet. You may have a few hundred K more or less when you retire, you may drive a civic or drive an Audi.. are these variances big to you, or small to you? Is an extra 1000 sq ft of house something that will bring you happiness? Most people I know spend their lives maximizing their end net worth and chasing security. It is certainly a sensible thing to do, but different people have different goals in life. There are plenty who choose a different path.

Loik098
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Loik098 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:14 pm

oilrig wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:44 pm
Loik098 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:12 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:22 pm
I could get another job very easily with my experience and connections, but Im afraid that the same thing will happen and I will be unhappy and want to quit.
Then perhaps you shouldn't be tying your happiness to your work. If you continue to do so, chances are good that you'll never be happy, regardless of whether you take a sabbatical.

Find happiness outside of work, and treat work for what it's become to you: a place to make money. Place no emotional stock in anyone or anything negative at work that you end up bringing home with you. Chances are good that your next job could just be more of the same.

This is part of building emotional intelligence. An emotionally-intelligent person wouldn't quit on the spot simply because their boss yelled at them: they would just recognize that it's expected behavior from such a person, and choose not to take it personally. You are in charge of your response, not the boss.

Learn to practice control over the quality of and exposure from your inputs, because they will control your outputs.
Im sorry but I have never been mistreated and disrespected at work before, and I have worked many low level jobs in my younger days (waiter, retail, pizza delivery, bartender, Uber, sales, and now my current career). If my boss yells at me and treats me like crap, then that is behavior I refuse to accept and I will quit or find something else. I would rather be unemployed and drive for Uber than work for a boss who berates me and treats me like a slave.
OP,

Given the way you say your coworkers have been treated, as well as the description above of how you would act in the event you receive similar treatment, it sounds like your job's eventual outcome is all but inevitable.

That is, unless, as you mentioned earlier, you find a workable solution with your manager....which is what I was hinting at with my first reply. I think you should have done that already, before even considering a sabbatical and asking for advice here.

Learning how to work out issues with a difficult co-worker now (whether you are successful or not) could go a long way to preparing you for similar situations down the road. You will learn more about yourself, that a sabbatical may not be able to teach you.

Good luck and best wishes in your future career.

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Socrates
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I'd look for a new job/career

Post by Socrates » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:50 pm

while you are young enough and still can....it will be much tougher when you are older or get involved in a marriage or have a family

stress is not worth it and easy to get sucked into a job for a long time

I would look will you still are working if you can
also, is it your career or the types of people you work with?
“Don't waste your time looking back. You're not going that way.” ― Ragnar Lothbrok.

Twood
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Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Post by Twood » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:23 pm

Is it feasible for you to be building up your own business while still collecting the big paycheck?

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