Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

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PoppyA
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by PoppyA » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:33 am

I think EVERYONE reaches a point in their career when the get “burned out” and want to leave. EVERYONE. And IMHO it happens around the 10-15 year mark.

By burned out I mean a variety of strong feelings that one should move on. For whatever reason.

cashboy
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by cashboy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:40 am

deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:06 am

I would like to quit (more likely: talk to my boss and see if they can lay me off and give me some severance, they did that with someone else before) and rest for at least a year, possibly traveling around the world (South East Asia specifically) with my girlfriend, but I can't help feeling the massive guilt of walking away from such a "great" career. I grew up deeply resenting lack of financial security and the thought of voluntarily walking away from ~$30k a month (my current total yearly compensation is in the ~350k-400k range, and I don't expect it to go down unless there is a major downturn) is simply crazy!


if you had a good friend, and they told you this story and asked for advice, what would you tell them? think deeply on this.

suggestions:

take a long vacation with your GF and 'decompress' - even if some of it is time off without pay.

then return to work with a 'new and improved' attitude where you cut back 10-20% on your effort and time at work (you pick).

you built something great in your career; don't throw it away. you can always quit in the future.
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EnjoyIt
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by EnjoyIt » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:04 am

cashboy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:40 am
deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:06 am

I would like to quit (more likely: talk to my boss and see if they can lay me off and give me some severance, they did that with someone else before) and rest for at least a year, possibly traveling around the world (South East Asia specifically) with my girlfriend, but I can't help feeling the massive guilt of walking away from such a "great" career. I grew up deeply resenting lack of financial security and the thought of voluntarily walking away from ~$30k a month (my current total yearly compensation is in the ~350k-400k range, and I don't expect it to go down unless there is a major downturn) is simply crazy!


if you had a good friend, and they told you this story and asked for advice, what would you tell them? think deeply on this.

suggestions:

take a long vacation with your GF and 'decompress' - even if some of it is time off without pay.

then return to work with a 'new and improved' attitude where you cut back 10-20% on your effort and time at work (you pick).

you built something great in your career; don't throw it away. you can always quit in the future.
Right, resign after you had time to decompress for a few months and can make that decision on a clear mind and not one that is cluttered and overwhelmed with burnout. You may still want to resign after that, but again, do it when in the right frame of mind.

randomguy
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by randomguy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:14 am

EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:15 am
I saw two posts telling you to make $4 million. That is insane. $4 million spending $50k/yr will last 80+ years just invested in TIPS.
How much confidence do you have that spending will stay at 50k/year for the next 60 years? What happens when at 38, they decide to have a kid? They decide she shouldn't work either and he has to pay 25k/year to subsidize her because she only saved 700k? ACA gets repealed and you pick up 15k/year of health insurance cost? Or just things like realizing that they missed out on 20k/year of expenses from lifestyle changes (i.e. going from working to retired). How many doors do you close by not working another 3-4 years and saving another million? 60 years is a heck of a long time for unexpected things to happen.

Personally I just think he needs another job doing something he finds interesting. And no every company isn't the same. The ones where you are working 80 hours/week are tough. You can fit much of a life around that. The 50-60 hours week ones leave you a lot more hours for fun stuff. To me a 3 month vacation and then reconsider seems like the sane way of going.

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deanmoriarty
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by deanmoriarty » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:53 pm

smectym wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:54 am
Addendum: when the jobs came back the firms were looking to the next crop of law school stars, not those with the 1-year gap in the CV
Thanks for your opinion. As I mentioned in another reply, what would be, then, in your opinion, the financial situation that would allow one to comfortably take 1-year gap in the CV without necessarily caring what's next?

EnjoyIt
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by EnjoyIt » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:58 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:14 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:15 am
I saw two posts telling you to make $4 million. That is insane. $4 million spending $50k/yr will last 80+ years just invested in TIPS.
How much confidence do you have that spending will stay at 50k/year for the next 60 years? What happens when at 38, they decide to have a kid? They decide she shouldn't work either and he has to pay 25k/year to subsidize her because she only saved 700k? ACA gets repealed and you pick up 15k/year of health insurance cost? Or just things like realizing that they missed out on 20k/year of expenses from lifestyle changes (i.e. going from working to retired). How many doors do you close by not working another 3-4 years and saving another million? 60 years is a heck of a long time for unexpected things to happen.

Personally I just think he needs another job doing something he finds interesting. And no every company isn't the same. The ones where you are working 80 hours/week are tough. You can fit much of a life around that. The 50-60 hours week ones leave you a lot more hours for fun stuff. To me a 3 month vacation and then reconsider seems like the sane way of going.
What if OP gets into a serious car accident, what if the sky falls, what if, what if, what if. What ifs are unlimited but our time on this Earth is not. $2 million and $40k-$50k a year spending is already 2% - 2.5% withdrawal rate. The funds will keep growing and growing allowing for lifestyle creep and your list of what ifs.

Although I agree with you that OP should clear their mind after a long sabbatical before making such a rash decision.


[Deleted - mod oldcomputerguy]

cashboy
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by cashboy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:50 pm

deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:06 am

During the past decade I always worked pretty hard and took substantial career risk in tech startups as a software engineer, which compensated me with illiquid equity in addition to salary. One of these equity bets paid off a while ago, and my post-tax net worth is currently about ~$2M, all invested in a three fund portfolio (a slight variation of it, since I also use muni bonds in taxable and tilt towards REITs and small cap value).
if you are looking for financial advice (sorry, i did not expand upon that aspect in my previous reply) here are my thoughts based upon your current net worth. JUST OPINION, NOT FACT.

if you were in your late 50s or early 60s i would say go for it. you should be good to go with that amount of money.

if you were in your early 50s i would suggest that it might be close (since the future is not known), but that the safest path is to work for a couple of years more.

if you were in your 40s i would suggest that such a move is unwise.

that you are in your 30s, well..... that money has to last potentially 50-60 years of economic downturns, political turmoil, medical issues, 'black swan' events, etc. look back at the world 50-60 years ago to get an idea of what i mean.
Last edited by cashboy on Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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deanmoriarty
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by deanmoriarty » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:53 pm

cashboy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:50 pm
that you are in your 30s, well..... that money has to last potentially 50-60 years of economic downturns, political turmoil, medical issues, 'black swan' events, etc. look back at the world 50-60 years ago to get an idea of what i mean.
Thanks for your suggestion. Are you then in the camp of those advocating 1% SWR for early retirement? Or not even that would be reasonable in your opinion?

Thanks

cashboy
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by cashboy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:56 pm

deanmoriarty wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:53 pm
cashboy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:50 pm
that you are in your 30s, well..... that money has to last potentially 50-60 years of economic downturns, political turmoil, medical issues, 'black swan' events, etc. look back at the world 50-60 years ago to get an idea of what i mean.
Thanks for your suggestion. Are you then in the camp of those advocating 1% SWR for early retirement? Or not even that would be reasonable in your opinion?

Thanks
imagine someone 50 years ago at age 33 stating that they had a large sum of money (for that point in time) and wondered how much they would need to live the next 50-60 years without working, and at what withdrawal rate. it would have been as hard to answer then, as it is hard to answer now. and by that i mean answer with complete confidence.
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retired@50
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by retired@50 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:03 pm

I once left a high stress job as a programmer, sat around the house for about 10 months... Got bored, then went and found a job at a hardware / lumber supply that was walking distance from my house. No stress, and I could easily live off of my new lower pay... No more 3am emergencies, etc. I've never regretted that move. Best of luck to you.

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deanmoriarty
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by deanmoriarty » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:07 pm

cashboy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:56 pm
imagine someone 50 years ago at age 33 stating that they had a large sum of money (for that point in time) and wondered how much they would need to live the next 50-60 years without working, and what withdrawal rate. it would have been as hard to answer then, as it is hard to answer now.
For what is worth, firecalc shows 100% success rate up to a $67k yearly withdrawal with a starting portfolio of $2M for a retirement duration of 60 years. Since that's all adjusted for inflation, this should in theory counting many 50-year past periods, right?

I very much appreciate your input, sometimes I just think opinions like these are way too conservative. I'd really like to think that 1% SWR (like I was hypothetically speculating) + a dual citizenship in a European country with free healthcare and plenty of generous disability benefits should be as bulletproof as one could get.

rj342
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by rj342 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:25 pm

Agree with two main points so far:

1) Go the unpaid Leave of Absence/sabbatical route if at all possible with current employer, just a few months to figure things out. Do NOT do anything irreversible at this point if you can help it.

2) Keep a possible family in mind in all your planning and scenario spinning. Young people are way too likely to make absolute declarations prematurely about their future (no wife, no kids, etc etc) and life IS NOT LIKE THAT. If you do get out of tech permanently, get some hedonistic pleasure from travel for a year so (and even tiring somewhat of that), you might easily find yourself re-assessing what the important things in life are after working hours -- and full human relationships are usually a big part of that.

oilrig
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by oilrig » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 pm

OP, I think you will be fine. Most bogleheads on here are assuming you will quit and never work another day in your life. For you to be so young and with a high net worth, you must be very bright and industrious. Im sure opportunities will come your way regardless: it might be consulting, part time work, remote work, starting your own business.

I am considering something similar as you but Im 34 and have a 600k net worth, and would only take a 3 month break. However, I have a few side hustles that bring in enough income where I could survive on that + dividend income.

Do whatever makes you happy, life is too short. I agree with others about taking a long vacation, wait a few months, and see if you still want to quit after that. Best of luck.

randomguy
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by randomguy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:58 pm

What if OP gets into a serious car accident, what if the sky falls, what if, what if, what if. What ifs are unlimited but our time on this Earth is not. $2 million and $40k-$50k a year spending is already 2% - 2.5% withdrawal rate. The funds will keep growing and growing allowing for lifestyle creep and your list of what ifs.

Although I agree with you that OP should clear their mind after a long sabbatical before making such a rash decision.

I have read a half dozen people who suggest that our time on Earth might be unlimited;).His money MIGHT keep growing. Depends a lot on what happens going forward. Linking rare event (i.e. odds of being in crash is like 2%) with common (i.e. getting married by 40 and having kids is probably up north of 50%) ones is also poor logic.:) Again if you knew you expenses over the next 10-15 years would only be 50k, then sure you likely have more than enough. But we are talking about a person who has never lived on that type of money when not working. We are talking about a person in thee age range when big personal changes often happen. Working 3 years to end up with 50% more money(should be saving 150k+/year and making another 150k+ off investments) eliminates these type of risks.

And he is working a tech job. Those are pretty low stress. People don't die when you screw up and getting fired isn't remotely a big deal when you don't need the money.

Those would be my arguments for putting in another 2-5 years. Obviously the other way of going is you have 2 million bucks. You will be able to adjust spending to make that money last forever. Worst comes to worst, you live on like 24k/year for the rest of you life which isn't remotely hard or unpleasant.

Stratotanker
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Stratotanker » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:34 pm

OP, I fully understand what you’re going through as I’m going through the same thing right now. Have you checked out the Mr. Money Mustache blog and forum? Some of the folks and ideas there are a bit “granola” but I think you’ll find the participants less cautious and far more sympathetic to your FIRE plans.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:42 pm

In glad your are seeking a sabbatical (if I read your plans to meet with your boss correctly).

This route could provide you with a nice chunk of time to see where your head is when the pressure is no longer present.

I was very lucky at MegaCorp, as I was able to go after and obtain jobs that were interesting, challenging, and gave me that " new job" enthusiasm.

My best contributions were made in the first two years of my assignment. It took about a year to get my head around my group's efforts, another year to really fine tune the group's efforts. THEN, I would get very bored. And, bored employees can get themselves into very bad decision making habits.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

cashboy
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by cashboy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:03 pm

deanmoriarty wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:07 pm
cashboy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:56 pm
imagine someone 50 years ago at age 33 stating that they had a large sum of money (for that point in time) and wondered how much they would need to live the next 50-60 years without working, and what withdrawal rate. it would have been as hard to answer then, as it is hard to answer now.
For what is worth, firecalc shows 100% success rate up to a $67k yearly withdrawal with a starting portfolio of $2M for a retirement duration of 60 years. Since that's all adjusted for inflation, this should in theory counting many 50-year past periods, right?

I very much appreciate your input, sometimes I just think opinions like these are way too conservative. I'd really like to think that 1% SWR (like I was hypothetically speculating) + a dual citizenship in a European country with free healthcare and plenty of generous disability benefits should be as bulletproof as one could get.
my parents grew up during the 'great depression' in the 1920s/1930s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression

one of many stories my father told me was of him and his father checking out railroad tracks for coal that might have fallen off of trains so that they could heat their home. things like that, and age (me 60s; you 30s), 'color' one's perspective on what is risky or conservative.

wishing you the best and much happiness in whatever you decide to do!

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EnjoyIt
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by EnjoyIt » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:18 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 pm

I have read a half dozen people who suggest that our time on Earth might be unlimited;).His money MIGHT keep growing. Depends a lot on what happens going forward. Linking rare event (i.e. odds of being in crash is like 2%) with common (i.e. getting married by 40 and having kids is probably up north of 50%) ones is also poor logic.:) Again if you knew you expenses over the next 10-15 years would only be 50k, then sure you likely have more than enough. But we are talking about a person who has never lived on that type of money when not working. We are talking about a person in thee age range when big personal changes often happen. Working 3 years to end up with 50% more money(should be saving 150k+/year and making another 150k+ off investments) eliminates these type of risks.

And he is working a tech job. Those are pretty low stress. People don't die when you screw up and getting fired isn't remotely a big deal when you don't need the money.

Those would be my arguments for putting in another 2-5 years. Obviously the other way of going is you have 2 million bucks. You will be able to adjust spending to make that money last forever. Worst comes to worst, you live on like 24k/year for the rest of you life which isn't remotely hard or unpleasant.
Here is the difference you say his money MIGHT keep growing and I say it SHOULD keep growing. a sub 2.5% withdrawal rate ($40-$50k) SHOULD grow even if some really bad times come around. If OP gets married and has kids then that will happen years from now and the $2 million will be higher and able to sustain that as well. Also, you said OP would be making $150k+ from investments in 3 years so you must agree that there will be growth to that portfolio. In addition an extra $600k does does nothing to decrease the risk of a 2.5% withdrawal rate because those events would devastate a 1% withdrawal rate just as well.

$2 million is more than enough to allow lifestyle creep and potential life altering events. Don't forget, just because OP leaves work today does not mean OP will never earn another dollar ever again for the rest of his/her life. It would be pretty silly to think so for someone who was able to amass $2 million at such a young age.

We all can always work another 3 years to make more money, but if OP is burned out and miserable, there may be health consequences for those 3 years which no amount of money is worth.

Again, we both agree that the ideal scenario would be to take some time off and re-evaluate one's choices with a clear mind.

There really is some ridiculously overly pessimist, fear riddled, unrealistic, thinking on the forum. According to those people no one should ever retire or downshift because "what if" can happen.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:38 pm

visualguy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:42 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:20 am
deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:06 am
Looking for a new job is not enough, and even if I wanted to I don't even have the mental strength to go out and interview right now.
If you don't have the "mental strength" to go on interviews, you should be working with a mental health professional, not taking vacations.

Once you are healthy again, you can objectively decide what you want out of life and find a job that is compatible with your new goals.
I don't think that's what "mental health professionals" do... Lack of mental strength to go to tech interviews can't be found in the DSM-5, so I think OP would be kicked out of the office of such professionals pretty quickly. :wink:
Nonsense. The mental health professional would get to the bottom of the OP's issues first, then work on those.

It doesn't take much to go on interviews. Someone lacking "the mental strength" to do so needs help.
Don't be a lemming.

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deanmoriarty
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by deanmoriarty » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:45 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:38 pm
It doesn't take much to go on interviews. Someone lacking "the mental strength" to do so needs help.
Respectfully, "it doesn't take much to go on interviews" is utterly false for tech companies. Technical interviews for lucrative positions are incredibly challenging in Silicon Valley, and often require months to prepare: sadly, what gets asked (puzzles focused on algorithms trivia) is completely unrelated to the actual professional experience of the candidate and more of a way to measure the "level of intellect", and that in itself is one big reason why I am starting to hate tech, decades of professional experience have literally no meaning when you are looking for a new job.

Source: I personally passed (and got offers in the $350-400k range) technical interviews with both Google and Facebook in the past at a senior software engineer level, it was an insane experience, 8 hours of deeply technical onsite interviews (5-6 different interviewers back to back), preceded by 2x1 hour long phone screen technical interviews to determine if you were worthy of being invited onsite, preceded by a 45 minutes technical screening done by a technical recruiter. I had to prepare for 2 months, studying and practicing every evening and almost all weekends. And, keep in mind, I have a BS + MS in computer engineering from a top European university, and graduated with top grades, so I'm not necessarily "too slow".

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:23 pm

deanmoriarty wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:45 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:38 pm
It doesn't take much to go on interviews. Someone lacking "the mental strength" to do so needs help.
Respectfully, "it doesn't take much to go on interviews" is utterly false for tech companies. Technical interviews for lucrative positions are incredibly challenging in Silicon Valley, and often require months to prepare: sadly, what gets asked (puzzles focused on algorithms trivia) is completely unrelated to the actual professional experience of the candidate and more of a way to measure the "level of intellect", and that in itself is one big reason why I am starting to hate tech, decades of professional experience have literally no meaning when you are looking for a new job.

Source: I personally passed (and got offers in the $350-400k range) technical interviews with both Google and Facebook in the past at a senior software engineer level, it was an insane experience, 8 hours of deeply technical onsite interviews (5-6 different interviewers back to back), preceded by 2x1 hour long phone screen technical interviews to determine if you were worthy of being invited onsite, preceded by a 45 minutes technical screening done by a technical recruiter. I had to prepare for 2 months, studying and practicing every evening and almost all weekends. And, keep in mind, I have a BS + MS in computer engineering from a top European university, and graduated with top grades, so I'm not necessarily "too slow".
You'd have an easy time passing most technical interviews in the rest of the country without preparation. You'd also get paid a lot less, but $120k in Nashville ain't bad.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by visualguy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:29 pm

deanmoriarty wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:45 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:38 pm
It doesn't take much to go on interviews. Someone lacking "the mental strength" to do so needs help.
Respectfully, "it doesn't take much to go on interviews" is utterly false for tech companies. Technical interviews for lucrative positions are incredibly challenging in Silicon Valley, and often require months to prepare: sadly, what gets asked (puzzles focused on algorithms trivia) is completely unrelated to the actual professional experience of the candidate and more of a way to measure the "level of intellect", and that in itself is one big reason why I am starting to hate tech, decades of professional experience have literally no meaning when you are looking for a new job.

Source: I personally passed (and got offers in the $350-400k range) technical interviews with both Google and Facebook in the past at a senior software engineer level, it was an insane experience, 8 hours of deeply technical onsite interviews (5-6 different interviewers back to back), preceded by 2x1 hour long phone screen technical interviews to determine if you were worthy of being invited onsite, preceded by a 45 minutes technical screening done by a technical recruiter. I had to prepare for 2 months, studying and practicing every evening and almost all weekends. And, keep in mind, I have a BS + MS in computer engineering from a top European university, and graduated with top grades, so I'm not necessarily "too slow".
+1

People who are not in this field typically have no idea what these interviews are like, and the amount of preparation needed. I have to say that seeing a "mental health professional" for it is a suggestion that I haven't seen before, though! :oops:

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bligh
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by bligh » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:40 pm

If I were OP I would take a sabbatical. 1 or 2 years. Come back and revisit. Either feel re-energized and motivated enough to get back into Tech and a high paying job. Or decide you cannot stand it, and perhaps take a low stress and easy job that offers time flexibility to pay some bills and not touch my principal.

If OP is good enough to be pulling that kind of money he is most likely very competent at what he does. Returning after a 1 or 2 year break will not diminish the marketability of his skills. If I had a strong candidate, and I saw he had taken a short sabbatical I would not bat an eyelid in hiring him or her. Everyone in tech already knows that the fundamentals are way more important than knowing the latest buzzword soup.

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max12377
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by max12377 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:56 pm

My advice is to listen to yourself. Gather as much advice as you want or need but realize only you know your unique situation. It’s perfectly fine to seek advice but in my experience when I spend too much time looking to the internet or others for answers I get paralyzed because everyone says something different. Set a hard deadline as to when to stop seeking advice and then take some long walks and let your brain tell you what to do.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by EddyB » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:52 pm

smectym wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:54 am
Addendum: when the jobs came back the firms were looking to the next crop of law school stars, not those with the 1-year gap in the CV
I was right there with you, but I think this addendum (or my recollection of what I saw, at least), is not entirely relevant to the OP—many of the people who left as junior lawyers were locked out of biglaw forever, true, but the OP here has a lot more experience in his field than the people I knew who pulled that. The one person I knew had a comparable amount of experience when he left to wander had no trouble coming back (as a transactional lawyer).

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Stick5vw » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:06 pm

You only live once and there is a big world out there to see! Go. If your gut is telling you to take a break, do it.

You have a huge financial cushion and based on your education/experience I reckon you’ll be able to find a job rather easily whenever you come back.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by randomguy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:36 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Here is the difference you say his money MIGHT keep growing and I say it SHOULD keep growing. a sub 2.5% withdrawal rate ($40-$50k) SHOULD grow even if some really bad times come around. If OP gets married and has kids then that will happen years from now and the $2 million will be higher and able to sustain that as well. Also, you said OP would be making $150k+ from investments in 3 years so you must agree that there will be growth to that portfolio. In addition an extra $600k does does nothing to decrease the risk of a 2.5% withdrawal rate because those events would devastate a 1% withdrawal rate just as well.
We are in agreement. My post was in response to your use of WILL which implies a certainty which isn't there and not between the difference between might and should:). Over the next 15 years (i.e. when you would expect to have family), you might expect to get positive returns but there is no guarantees. 15 year periods of negative real returns aren't unheard of. And yes there are some events where 600k doesn't matter. But we aren't talking about those. The concern isn't about if a 3% SWR is safe or if you need to be at 2%. We are talking about if your expenses will be 50k or 90k. The uncertainty of expenses worries more a lot more than if the portfolio is going to pump out 60k or 80k for the next 50 years. There is some connection between the two in that higher income might require higher SWR. On the other hand you do control expenses. You can decide to give up on things you decide you want because of the financial choices you made earlier.

And yes he can work again. But working for 40k/year instead of 400k/year (i.e. not sure how easy it will be to rejoin the rat race if you take say 5 years off), costs you an incredible amount of time. Might make the current job seem a lot more appealing:). Having been there, it is real easy to amass 2 million. That is just joining one start up and getting bought out. Or joining a company, getting a bunch of RSU's and watching the stock go up 10x. It is a combo of luck and hard work that is often hard to repeat. I thought my friend's 2nd start up was a much better idea than the first. But one sold for 25 million while the other resulted in the VCs diluting out the founders and taking over. Just slightly off in the timing/ability to execute/luck is often the difference between success and failure a lot times.

There is no right answer. You have to think about all the risks and decide which ones you can live with and which ones you can't. And obviously none of us can really evaluate level of job unhappiness. I have worked with people that talk about stuff like this and after the project end and a 2 week vacation, they are fine. Others take the vacation and quit. Some times change is needed.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:38 pm

retired@50 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:03 pm
I once left a high stress job as a programmer, sat around the house for about 10 months... Got bored, then went and found a job at a hardware / lumber supply that was walking distance from my house. No stress, and I could easily live off of my new lower pay... No more 3am emergencies, etc. I've never regretted that move. Best of luck to you.
:sharebeer

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by 2commaBH » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:43 pm

It seems like there are really 2 questions in 1 here: (1) Do I have enough money to FI and (2) I hate my job, what should I do? To the latter, I can offer a story from my life for you:

I was in a very lucrative, highly-sought after job that was making me completely miserable. I also envied the hourly workers I saw (for me it was the Starbucks baristas, not cashiers). And like some on here, my wife told me if I thought I was miserable making 7 figures a year, just wait until I made $7.50/hour! I entertained fantasies of quitting my job, picking up my guitar and busking for lunch money. I was totally burned out, incapable of making smart decisions.

So I made finding a new job my job (and one I spent 20+ hours on weekly) until the right job came along. It eventually did! That was 5 years ago, and life is so good. I'm still making very good money and my job is still very demanding, but I'm much more happy.

What I realized was that the environment at my previous job was toxic, and while I was financially well compensated I did not feel appreciated enough. Changing to a different company was a lifesaver for me.

My advice to you would be to put your head down and not draw attention to your condition. Take whatever steps (self-controlled hours, exercise, etc) you need to get back into the frame of mind to look for something better, and dedicate your energy to that rather than a fantasy of escape.

Wish you all the best in getting through this rough patch and back to the blue skies that are ahead.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Prettyfrtnt » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:56 pm

I left my extremely lucrative tech job at 23 after a very cash friendly Goldman IPO in 1998 and everyone thought I was insane (before .com bubble then more acceptance). I went for a graduate degree and a job I would respect myself in. I left 10+ years of earnings on the table. I was burned out and not satisfied. It’s very much worked out for me.

Dream your future while in your right mind and then make it. Know if you’re a person who can handle 40 years of idle time and the identity of a person who is idle (hopefully you love golf). Some can. Some can’t. But make your future what your dreams are consistent with, what you know yourself to be. Align this with your SO.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Wannaretireearly » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:07 am

Go for it OP. No brainer. No debt, no ties or dependents. Plan your trip.
Try the sabbatical route first if poss. Else, ce la vie.
You will always be able to make a dime.

If your post was in Europe, you would get more favorable responses. I'm waiting for kiddos to be off my payroll and mortgage paid off. Count down. I also came from Europe, and that passport with its public health benefits is looking a better option each year for me and my family.

Keep your options open (coming back to US etc) but I'm envious of your plans! I want to also spend an extended time in se Asia (just to plan my retirement 🤣)
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by ohit1 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:02 am

deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:06 am
I would like to quit (more likely: talk to my boss and see if they can lay me off and give me some severance, they did that with someone else before) and rest for at least a year, possibly traveling around the world (South East Asia specifically) with my girlfriend, but I can't help feeling the massive guilt of walking away from such a "great" career. I grew up deeply resenting lack of financial security and the thought of voluntarily walking away from ~$30k a month (my current total yearly compensation is in the ~350k-400k range, and I don't expect it to go down unless there is a major downturn) is simply crazy!

Any financial advice from fellow bogleheads?
After 10 years of working hard and achievement, it is perfectly reasonable to want to take some time off. The guilt is difficult, but will need to be addressed. Try to reframe it as taking a long holiday after some real success.
During your time off: try many different things. Read about topics other than tech that you had not before. Get a coach (physical and mental) and just work through positive health areas.

I did something similar last year and it transformed into the next chapter of my life/career.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Freetime76 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:13 am

deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:40 am
Hazel-Rah wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:11 am
You have lost your motivation. It seems the primary motivation for earning a good living was financial security. Reaching $2M net worth robbed you of that? No spouse or kids to provide for eliminates the other typical substitute motivators. Nobody can give you motivation, it is intrinsic. It enabled you to develop the skills necessary to excel in your field and develop coping strategies to navigate the difficult aspects of the career.

There is no harm in walking away. You hurt nobody but yourself. Traveling is a diversion. Failing to reach your full potential and electing to reset your career makes zero sense to me. You can remember how hard you worked to put yourself in your current position. And you are choosing to walk away for non-sensical (to me) reasons. I’m not saying tech is Utopia but I know I would regret walking away from that income - and then to travel around among folks who would do anything to reach that level of financial success - it is so far from anything I understand.

Your skill is in demand now. You are choosing to not exercise that skill. The only analogy I can think of is a rebellious teenager who sabotages his academic promise because of an attitude problem. At least that’s what I did in middle school. As an adult I accepted a growth mindset and keep aspiring towards more aggressive goals. Maybe you need to re-frame your question into transitioning out of tech and coming up with a real plan instead of day-dreaming about bagging groceries.
Thanks for your opinion. You are right, I currently lost my motivation. Regarding "reaching full potential", when would it then be less "non-sensical" to "reset one's career", in your opinion? I am absolutely certain that I would never work this job if I had enough money to live on for the rest of my life: I would spend my days travelling, spending perhaps a few months a year visiting my aging parents in my home country, reading, volunteering and perhaps obtaining another degree.

So, imagine I reach a level of net worth that allows me to get to a SWR of 2% (let's say a very generous $3-4M in my case): in your opinion, would it be ok to move away from corporate life and waste my tech skills then, regardless of the age? If not, when then? Just trying to gain some perspective.

Thanks again.
Have you read the book Your Money or Your Life (Vicki Robin) and Thou Shall Prosper (Daniel Lapin)? If not, please read them ASAP. I suspect...that they will absolve you of guilt and offer alternative perspectives so you can make good decisions for YOU. Like you, I have highly “honed”, specialized skills in a certain area, which can generate plenty of income for my needs. I walked away from it and never looked back. Money serves a purpose in society and so do skills. I’ve found other ways to “contribute” and be a part of the world and my community...beyond sitting at a desk, in meetings, working project plans and deadlines and troubleshooting...whatever. That is all only one measure of a person. Having “bank” allows you to choose.

Also, I second the motion for being careful to discuss the boring side with your girlfriend. We’re all adults, so if she makes the trip, that is her adult decision. Enjoy! Find other things you love doing in life, if that is what you need.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by oilrig » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:37 am

I have another suggestion: Look for another highly compensated tech job, preferably one where you know a few people. Be VERY picky in which offer you take, make sure its the right culture/boss, not too much work or hours, and see if you can find out what its like to work there from a friend or former colleague. Be willing to take a pay cut if you find a really laid-back job with less demanding work/hours.

When you get into the pre-offer talks let them know that you have a planned 2-3 month trip coming up, and if you could delay your start date until after the trip. Let them know you have family overseas (and aging parents) and would like to spend some time with them since you have been unable to the past few years. Im sure they would be a little annoyed at first, but would ultimately understand and say ok since good tech talent is hard to come by.

In the meantime take as much vacation as you can at your current employer while you are out interviewing. Take a relaxing 2 week trip and get paid for it! Hopefully you find the right job for you, work there a few years, get to $3 million net worth and then FIRE or take the year sabbatical. Who knows, you might like your new job enough that you dont mind working there long-term.

Best of luck OP, I can sympathize with you. I have been thinking about doing the above scenario while we are in a hot job market.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by random_walker_77 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:56 am

deanmoriarty wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:07 pm

For what is worth, firecalc shows 100% success rate up to a $67k yearly withdrawal with a starting portfolio of $2M for a retirement duration of 60 years. Since that's all adjusted for inflation, this should in theory counting many 50-year past periods, right?
Somewhat of a side issue, but wanted to point out to OP that firecalc isn't so useful for 60 yr periods. There aren't too many independent 60 yr historical periods, so I'd take that with a big grain of salt. Arguably, a better bound is to take a 30 yr period and use its lowest ending point as the seed for a 2nd 30 yr evaluation. Note that results vary hugely if you try this with 15/20yrs instead, which also a clue to take this (arguably conservative approach) with a huge grain of salt...

Also, for a 60 yr period, consider reading up on perpetual withdrawal rates to establish a lower bound, which iirc will point to a floor of ~ 1.8 - 2.5%. I found Otar's paper to be informative: http://retirementoptimizer.com/Whitepapers/PerpDist.pdf

OP's going to be fine, but taking a break and then working in a better environment might be advisable. Not because he "needs" the money, but because a few more years of even reduced earnings in a healthier environment will allow his nest egg to compound and/or buydown risk

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Horton » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:21 am

deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:23 pm
Just wanted to thank everybody who took time out of their busy schedule to give their perspective. I won’t be able to reply to all of you but rest assured I read each individual post, and internalized it. I keep being grateful for this community.

I am set to start the conversation with my boss about sabbatical and/or layoff, and I am fully ready to give my notice on the spot if the conversation turns south.

I will update the thread when I have news.

Thanks again.
Have you had the conversation yet?
🏃 since 2005

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by rj342 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:03 pm

bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:40 pm
... Everyone in tech already knows that the fundamentals are way more important than knowing the latest buzzword soup.
Everyone except HR screeners and generic noob technical recruiters. :annoyed

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm

rj342 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:03 pm
bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:40 pm
... Everyone in tech already knows that the fundamentals are way more important than knowing the latest buzzword soup.
Everyone except HR screeners and generic noob technical recruiters. :annoyed
Tech recruiters at top companies are actually very knowledgeable and extremely well compensated.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by halfnine » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:40 pm

OP, you'll be fine.

I have left employment on three occasions to take a year or more off. And all times I had less NW than you and was probably younger than you the first two times as well. With a 40-50K lifestyle and 2M you are going to be just fine. Your biggest financial risk would actually be becoming a father and ending up without custody of the children and having to pay for support.

I only have two recommendations. Don't burn any bridges with colleagues so finish what you started before heading off. And, skip SE Asia. You and your girlfriend are young. SE Asia can be traveled any time.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by YogurtRunner » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:49 pm

I also work in tech, but in the Midwest. I'm 46, and have been working since I finished a PhD in 2003 (subject to about 6 months unemployed due to the massive tech bubble bursting). I loved academia, but I could not justify working for 1/4 to 1/2 of what I could make writing enterprise software. It was a choice based on money and allowed me to get by and have a halfway decent lifestyle for much of the time.

I hit the wall due to a death in the family and just total accumulated burnout that was created by the 2008 financial crash, some health issues, wife's fertility issues, and a hugely stressful healthcare industry "principal engineer" role I had from Aug 2011-Nov 2014. I managed two more years as a freelance consultant, but by Dec. 2016 I was wiped out physically and emotionally.

Having enough cushion to spend some time exploring what else I might do, I quit consulting on Dec. 31, 2016. I then hired a career counselor to assess my options while taking a "sabbatical" I believe is the term I used. Nothing panned out from that, all the jobs I explored were $15/hr no matter what direction I looked in and I wasn't wanting to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Already too late for that, I reckoned. The counselor told me the career I was best suited for was "software engineer"--ultimate irony there. After about four months I ended up in a FTE individual developer role at a smaller B2B type company. I lasted there about a year before I was right back at full burnout and depression. I started looking and got recruited by a Fortune 10 (300,000 global employees) as a lead developer. I've been in my current role for 15 months and am feeling better with the change.

The trends in the software industry are about commodity labor: Either importing H1Bs or offshoring the work entirely regardless of the outcomes. Most of the people I work with are not American citizens and much of my team is contractors, not FTEs. It's never going back to how secure and potentially lucrative it once was. As I get older, despite the skillset and excellent track record, there is ageism. You suddenly become "too expensive" as an individual contributor and thus marketing yourself becomes more difficult, although most of my friends and colleagues who are in their 50s are doing very well but work a lot. I am now a "leader" and "mentor" and I know how to get things done correctly and efficiently. Still, it's difficult to argue with "cheap."

Overall, it's been a fine career but I want to be out of it around age 50 for real this time. I could downshift right now if I just had a plan for making ~$50K/yr. It's kind of weird place to be financially--I don't need to accumulate, just don't want to draw on. I keep working and looking at FIRECalc and evaluating. And yes, accumulating.

I would prefer that my children not take up software development as a career. If my kids wish to play the game right and be founders at startups or whatever that's fine, but they have choices I lacked and hopefully can go in better directions.

Hope this helps, best of luck to you.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Wannaretireearly » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:55 pm

halfnine wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:40 pm
And, skip SE Asia. You and your girlfriend are young. SE Asia can be traveled any time.
Ha, good point on SE Asia. The long term travel bug seems to be more popular with the Europeans.
I've a friend from school who recently quit his tech job in London and travelled all over South America for 6 months with his gf.
Another friend who settled in Bali & is now doing some fun Yoga/retreat/mediation stuff in Ubud.

The pics make me envious. Not just some 2 week trip. But longer term trips where you get to live like a local.
The world is a big place to explore...
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by rj342 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:04 pm

YogurtRunner wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:49 pm
...
The trends in the software industry are about commodity labor: Either importing H1Bs or offshoring the work entirely regardless of the outcomes. Most of the people I work with are not American citizens and much of my team is contractors, not FTEs. It's never going back to how secure and potentially lucrative it once was. As I get older, despite the skillset and excellent track record, there is ageism. You suddenly become "too expensive" as an individual contributor and thus marketing yourself becomes more difficult, although most of my friends and colleagues who are in their 50s are doing very well but work a lot. I am now a "leader" and "mentor" and I know how to get things done correctly and efficiently. Still, it's difficult to argue with "cheap."
...
FYI - Here down in Mobile we actually have branches of two different national companies whose push is basically onshore outsourcing (forget what their cutesy buzzword is) -- doing contract work with programmers in small to mid-size more LCOL cities as a way to keep costs down while avoiding the cultural, language, and timezone challenges of India, etc. One is CGI, other is RSI ("Rural Sourcing") - and I've heard of at least one other.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:07 pm

rj342 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:04 pm
YogurtRunner wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:49 pm
...
The trends in the software industry are about commodity labor: Either importing H1Bs or offshoring the work entirely regardless of the outcomes. Most of the people I work with are not American citizens and much of my team is contractors, not FTEs. It's never going back to how secure and potentially lucrative it once was. As I get older, despite the skillset and excellent track record, there is ageism. You suddenly become "too expensive" as an individual contributor and thus marketing yourself becomes more difficult, although most of my friends and colleagues who are in their 50s are doing very well but work a lot. I am now a "leader" and "mentor" and I know how to get things done correctly and efficiently. Still, it's difficult to argue with "cheap."
...
FYI - Here down in Mobile we actually have branches of two different national companies whose push is basically onshore outsourcing (forget what their cutesy buzzword is) -- doing contract work with programmers in small to mid-size more LCOL cities as a way to keep costs down while avoiding the cultural, language, and timezone challenges of India, etc. One is CGI, other is RSI ("Rural Sourcing") - and I've heard of at least one other.
The kind of work these domestic insourcers do is not in the same universe as what a FAANG dev would do.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by rj342 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:49 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:07 pm
rj342 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:04 pm
YogurtRunner wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:49 pm
...
The trends in the software industry are about commodity labor: Either importing H1Bs or offshoring the work entirely regardless of the outcomes. Most of the people I work with are not American citizens and much of my team is contractors, not FTEs. It's never going back to how secure and potentially lucrative it once was. As I get older, despite the skillset and excellent track record, there is ageism. You suddenly become "too expensive" as an individual contributor and thus marketing yourself becomes more difficult, although most of my friends and colleagues who are in their 50s are doing very well but work a lot. I am now a "leader" and "mentor" and I know how to get things done correctly and efficiently. Still, it's difficult to argue with "cheap."
...
FYI - Here down in Mobile we actually have branches of two different national companies whose push is basically onshore outsourcing (forget what their cutesy buzzword is) -- doing contract work with programmers in small to mid-size more LCOL cities as a way to keep costs down while avoiding the cultural, language, and timezone challenges of India, etc. One is CGI, other is RSI ("Rural Sourcing") - and I've heard of at least one other.
The kind of work these domestic insourcers do is not in the same universe as what a FAANG dev would do.
Didnt say it was. Was talking about rise of more onshore vs offshore outsourcing.

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Cycle » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:13 pm

Walk or bike to work. Get in early and leave after 8hrs. Perhaps you get laid off, perhaps not.

Sometimes I just walk to the coffee shop followed by library and work there, it is a peaceful and productive day. I get more done in a day than I get done in a week at the office

Another option would be to work at a non-profit, I have a talented friend who does that. It is low stress and rewarding.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:22 pm

Cycle wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:13 pm
Walk or bike to work. Get in early and leave after 8hrs. Perhaps you get laid off, perhaps not.

Sometimes I just walk to the coffee shop followed by library and work there, it is a peaceful and productive day. I get more done in a day than I get done in a week at the office

Another option would be to work at a non-profit, I have a talented friend who does that. It is low stress and rewarding.
In a previous life, I worked as an auditor. A lot of our clients were not for profits. I can tell you that the pay was higher and workload seemed to be much lower than at a corporations or small businesses. There is a lot less accountability. Similar to government work in some places. I was often shocked at what people made for what their jobs where. Most of the places I audited were not charities but associations. Doctors or whoever pay in because of whatever benefits and they don't look at what someone is paid. They want to say they are members of the XXXX Association and not looking at the financials closely. I am not singling out doctor specialties...it was across the board. People want to say they were a part of the Soybean Council or Iowa Farmer's Association or Orthopedic Nurse Association (all of these are not actual previous clients).

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by AerialWombat » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:28 pm

Congrats, you have won the game.

You’re FI, so RE.

Most Bogleheads despise the FIRE concept. But it’s your life. If you want to quit and travel the world, do it!

I spent three years of my mid-30’s traveling, and I don’t regret it for a second. In fact, I miss it.

YOLO.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by Cycle » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:39 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:22 pm
Cycle wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:13 pm
Walk or bike to work. Get in early and leave after 8hrs. Perhaps you get laid off, perhaps not.

Sometimes I just walk to the coffee shop followed by library and work there, it is a peaceful and productive day. I get more done in a day than I get done in a week at the office

Another option would be to work at a non-profit, I have a talented friend who does that. It is low stress and rewarding.
In a previous life, I worked as an auditor. A lot of our clients were not for profits. I can tell you that the pay was higher and workload seemed to be much lower than at a corporations or small businesses. There is a lot less accountability. Similar to government work in some places. I was often shocked at what people made for what their jobs where. Most of the places I audited were not charities but associations. Doctors or whoever pay in because of whatever benefits and they don't look at what someone is paid. They want to say they are members of the XXXX Association and not looking at the financials closely. I am not singling out doctor specialties...it was across the board. People want to say they were a part of the Soybean Council or Iowa Farmer's Association or Orthopedic Nurse Association (all of these are not actual previous clients).
Sr. Developer at the Burned Out Software Engineers Association
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

EnjoyIt
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Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by EnjoyIt » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:57 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:36 pm
EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Here is the difference you say his money MIGHT keep growing and I say it SHOULD keep growing. a sub 2.5% withdrawal rate ($40-$50k) SHOULD grow even if some really bad times come around. If OP gets married and has kids then that will happen years from now and the $2 million will be higher and able to sustain that as well. Also, you said OP would be making $150k+ from investments in 3 years so you must agree that there will be growth to that portfolio. In addition an extra $600k does does nothing to decrease the risk of a 2.5% withdrawal rate because those events would devastate a 1% withdrawal rate just as well.
We are in agreement. My post was in response to your use of WILL which implies a certainty which isn't there and not between the difference between might and should:). Over the next 15 years (i.e. when you would expect to have family), you might expect to get positive returns but there is no guarantees. 15 year periods of negative real returns aren't unheard of. And yes there are some events where 600k doesn't matter. But we aren't talking about those. The concern isn't about if a 3% SWR is safe or if you need to be at 2%. We are talking about if your expenses will be 50k or 90k. The uncertainty of expenses worries more a lot more than if the portfolio is going to pump out 60k or 80k for the next 50 years. There is some connection between the two in that higher income might require higher SWR. On the other hand you do control expenses. You can decide to give up on things you decide you want because of the financial choices you made earlier.

And yes he can work again. But working for 40k/year instead of 400k/year (i.e. not sure how easy it will be to rejoin the rat race if you take say 5 years off), costs you an incredible amount of time. Might make the current job seem a lot more appealing:). Having been there, it is real easy to amass 2 million. That is just joining one start up and getting bought out. Or joining a company, getting a bunch of RSU's and watching the stock go up 10x. It is a combo of luck and hard work that is often hard to repeat. I thought my friend's 2nd start up was a much better idea than the first. But one sold for 25 million while the other resulted in the VCs diluting out the founders and taking over. Just slightly off in the timing/ability to execute/luck is often the difference between success and failure a lot times.

There is no right answer. You have to think about all the risks and decide which ones you can live with and which ones you can't. And obviously none of us can really evaluate level of job unhappiness. I have worked with people that talk about stuff like this and after the project end and a 2 week vacation, they are fine. Others take the vacation and quit. Some times change is needed.
Randomguy,
I’m sorry, but you just are not seeing the whole picture. You are so fixated on the potential of higher expenses you are missing everything around it. This is all about SWR because if one increases expenses the withdrawal rate increases. Also, OP does not need to make $400k ever again. But if he does find some gainful employment, even a few years of $40k as you said, doing something he loves can make a difference even if spending increases to $90k at some point in the distant future. Look at it this way, all of the fearful things you are worried about, all have to happen at once. Sure it’s possible, but if one is looking for multiple low probability events to happen all at once, the odds are multiplicative and not additive.

Fear of the “what if” can be paralyzing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Eventually one just needs to choose to live their life and enjoy it.

ohit1
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:20 am

Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Post by ohit1 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:19 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:28 pm
Most Bogleheads despise the FIRE concept.
Really? Why? And are the sources/links available on this?

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