Golden Handcuffs

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BradJ
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Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am

Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?

I’m currently working at a stable company that offers pension (fully funded by employee), 4.75% 401k match, and bonus......but the job is slow and not very challenging.

Considering giving all that away for a challenging careeer at an equally stable company that has good, but not great benefits.

Silk McCue
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Silk McCue » Wed May 16, 2018 8:39 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?

I’m currently working at a stable company that offers pension (fully funded by employee), 4.75% 401k match, and bonus......but the job is slow and not very challenging.

Considering giving all that away for a challenging careeer at an equally stable company that has good, but not great benefits.
You have posted twice recently about moving. It seems to me that you have an itch and all itches shouldn't necessarily be scratched. At this point in your life the needs of your family - wife, daughter and newborn (or soon to be born son) are paramount. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a more fulfilling/rewarding career but I would encourage you to be slow make this change. Life is not always greener on the other side when you actually get there.

Wishing you wisdom as you consider your way forward.

Cheers

nexesn
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by nexesn » Wed May 16, 2018 8:53 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?

I’m currently working at a stable company that offers pension (fully funded by employee), 4.75% 401k match, and bonus......but the job is slow and not very challenging.

Considering giving all that away for a challenging careeer at an equally stable company that has good, but not great benefits.
Depending on your age, I'd say go for the more mentally rewarding job. Sometimes we don't realize how many doors are truly open to us, until we move to something we find more fulfilling. Also, the added investment in yourself with the additional challenges could potentially offer a longer term payoff in health, wealth, and happiness. You just never know. As a good friend of mine once said "Life doesn't offer rematches".

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Ged
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Ged » Wed May 16, 2018 8:55 am

Depends on your age and family situation.

nexesn
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by nexesn » Wed May 16, 2018 8:58 am

Silk McCue wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:39 am
BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?

I’m currently working at a stable company that offers pension (fully funded by employee), 4.75% 401k match, and bonus......but the job is slow and not very challenging.

Considering giving all that away for a challenging careeer at an equally stable company that has good, but not great benefits.
You have posted twice recently about moving. It seems to me that you have an itch and all itches shouldn't necessarily be scratched. At this point in your life the needs of your family - wife, daughter and newborn (or soon to be born son) are paramount. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a more fulfilling/rewarding career but I would encourage you to be slow make this change. Life is not always greener on the other side when you actually get there.

Wishing you wisdom as you consider your way forward.

Cheers

I just saw Silk McCue response. I agree with Silk, didn't now that there was also family to consider. Family definitely adds to the decision dynamic.

bloom2708
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by bloom2708 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:03 am

Consider the entire picture, not just the benefits.

Things you can't know, but maybe can guess at. Longer work hours? How does this affect family? Longer commute?

Over the years, very few jobs have exactly the amount of work to keep you steadily busy/challenged daily but not over-challenged. You either have periods of slower times and periods of very busy times. The alternative is you have too much work, all the time. Too much work, all the time is what I have learned to avoid.

It may depend if you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. Your gung ho, let's do more work attitude in your 20s/early 30s may give way to. I just want to do quality work, develop a routine and have good enough pay/benefits.

Have you asked for "stretch" work or goals at your current company? Ask your manager or skip level manager for a challenge?

The results of your next job are kind of like future stock market results. You can't know until later looking backwards. Too much work, a bad boss, working weekends, long commutes, troublesome co-workers. You can't predict those type of things and when they pop up.

The benefits you talk about aren't necessarily the golden handcuffs some speak of. If you have 5 years worth of unvested stock awards that total $100k, that is a handcuff as compared to a 401k match. A pension funded by the employee may or may not be a handcuff. A 401k with a good match is also a retirement plan funded by the employee.

This may be a great time to jump to something new or it may be a "go slow" moment.
Where to spend your time: | 1. You completely control <--spend your time here! | 2. You partially control <--spend your time here! | 3. You have no control <--spend no time here!

BradJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Wed May 16, 2018 9:05 am

Current family situation:
Wife does not work, but close to finishing her Masters in Teaching.
2 kids under 4 years old.
Debt free besides home, we have about 60k in equity, could pay off in 3 years once wife starts working again.
Net Worth of about 250k, a big chunk is that from a previous employers pension I was fully vested in.
We are both in our early 30s.
I make a little over 100k.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Cyclesafe » Wed May 16, 2018 9:09 am

You have a financially sweet situation. Find fulfillment elsewhere.

BradJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 am

I’ll go ahead and vent my biggest fear:
I was with a good company for 10 years, moving up but felt like it was time to move jobs (a bad manager helped with that decision). I switched to the company im with now, but a totally different role. The company is great, but I feel like I went from doing everything under the sun to having slow days where almost no work is presented, no matter how much I try to find/create. My big fear is that my skill set is diminishing, and I’m not sure how that is going to look in 5-10 years. My company encourages me to take leadership classes because they “see something” in me.....but isn’t every employee told that?

Rupert
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Rupert » Wed May 16, 2018 9:20 am

In your situation, I would remain in the safe job until my spouse started working again and the kids were a few years older. Then I would reconsider making a move. If the new job doesn't work out, leaving that job and re-entering the job market wouldn't be so painful with your wife working and providing some necessary benefits. I'm thinking particularly of health insurance. Teacher jobs usually offer decent health insurance, which you don't want to find yourself without with two young children.

coupleofcents
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by coupleofcents » Wed May 16, 2018 9:28 am

My thought is set a time limit on how long you will stay in your current position. Mine is 2020. We have a very similar profile. You can see my post and responses for a similar situation. One update is I've been given an additional role at my current company which has made things better for now.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=224402&p=3467962#p3467962
Last edited by coupleofcents on Wed May 16, 2018 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Silk McCue
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Silk McCue » Wed May 16, 2018 9:29 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 am
My company encourages me to take leadership classes because they “see something” in me.....but isn’t every employee told that?
That may be the case at your company but does not reflect my experience. Even if they don't really "see something" in you I expect that you do. Therefore, take leadership classes with the sole goal of advancing yourself personally and professionally. They will see those results if you apply them. If they truly "see something" and you don't follow their suggestion by taking leadership classes it will most definitely hinder your future. I would ask the appropriate folks at your company if they have recommendations on such classes they feel would benefit you and the company.

Cheers

evestor
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by evestor » Wed May 16, 2018 9:31 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?
I can tell you to the day (and almost minute) I decided how to handle this. I was driving home the week before Christmas on Friday afternoon in 2011 from my well paid big co job. Most people took off the week of Christmas and New Years so I was heading home for what amounts to 2 weeks off. And as I drove home around 5:30pm I thought to myself "I made it, vacation time."

And I decided in that moment I did not want feel like that ever again.

I went home and over the course of the break warmed my wife to the idea that I was going to quit. After finishing my commitments, a few months later I was outta there.

I had what amounts to no plan. I had some ideas but nothing lined up. But no plan.
It worked out super well. Over time I more than made up for what was lost. And I had a ton of fun and learned a ton.

YMMV. That is just my experience.

mak1277
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by mak1277 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:53 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:03 am
The benefits you talk about aren't necessarily the golden handcuffs some speak of. If you have 5 years worth of unvested stock awards that total $100k, that is a handcuff as compared to a 401k match. A pension funded by the employee may or may not be a handcuff. A 401k with a good match is also a retirement plan funded by the employee.
I agree with this. Personally, I would never accept an unfulfilling situation because of a good 401k match or good health benefits. Now 6 figures of unvested equity...that's a different situation.

mx711yam
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by mx711yam » Wed May 16, 2018 9:59 am

I left law enforcement with only 8 years left until a full pension to start my own company. Worth it in my opinion, but everyones financials are different.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:01 am

error 404: Golden handcuffs not seen.


Golden handcuffs are that you have $1,000,000 in RSUs that won't vest for 5 years. Leaving means you give up significant money. Not just good benefits.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

BradJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Wed May 16, 2018 10:05 am

My question to anyone who has taken that leap of faith.....if anyone asked you your hobby, would your response be work? I’ve been working since I was 14, and I find achieving results rewarding. I would never want to own a business because I would never go home. Everyone tells me to find a hobby......but I’m too cheap and too focused on work to search for an activity.

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nisiprius
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by nisiprius » Wed May 16, 2018 10:07 am

(Someone should write a book entitled "What Color Are Your Handcuffs?")
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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HomerJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by HomerJ » Wed May 16, 2018 10:14 am

Rupert wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:20 am
In your situation, I would remain in the safe job until my spouse started working again and the kids were a few years older. Then I would reconsider making a move. If the new job doesn't work out, leaving that job and re-entering the job market wouldn't be so painful with your wife working and providing some necessary benefits. I'm thinking particularly of health insurance. Teacher jobs usually offer decent health insurance, which you don't want to find yourself without with two young children.
This.

The OP is young enough that he definitely shouldn't stay in a job he doesn't enjoy, but with two small children, and wife finishing school, I'd wait another year until the wife gets a job.
The J stands for Jay

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HomerJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by HomerJ » Wed May 16, 2018 10:19 am

evestor wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:31 am
BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?
I can tell you to the day (and almost minute) I decided how to handle this. I was driving home the week before Christmas on Friday afternoon in 2011 from my well paid big co job. Most people took off the week of Christmas and New Years so I was heading home for what amounts to 2 weeks off. And as I drove home around 5:30pm I thought to myself "I made it, vacation time."

And I decided in that moment I did not want feel like that ever again.

I went home and over the course of the break warmed my wife to the idea that I was going to quit. After finishing my commitments, a few months later I was outta there.

I had what amounts to no plan. I had some ideas but nothing lined up. But no plan.
It worked out super well. Over time I more than made up for what was lost. And I had a ton of fun and learned a ton.

YMMV. That is just my experience.
Heh, I know a few people where it didn't work out "super well" when they quit with no plan. Plus the OP has two small children and a wife in school.

But I do appreciate your point of view about not working at a job you hate. That's a powerful moment when you realize you're not happy, and you decide to change your life. I am surprised you had nothing lined up in the few months between deciding to quit and actually quitting though.
The J stands for Jay

BradJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Wed May 16, 2018 10:23 am

My wife only has internship left to finish out her degree, a class she can finish anywhere. I won’t leave my job unless I have one lined up.

Jags4186
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Jags4186 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:25 am

Cyclesafe wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:09 am
You have a financially sweet situation. Find fulfillment elsewhere.
+1 Nothing wrong with making decent bucks without having to kill yourself. Get a hobby. Not everyone needs to "live to work" or needs to find fulfillment in what they do for a living.

My wife and I don't make a ton of money but we try to save a lot and believe me, the second we have enough to not need to work anymore, we're out of the rat race.

If you hate your job, look for a new one. But don't "blow up" everything because your bored at work some days...

DJP1944
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by DJP1944 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:35 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:05 am
My question to anyone who has taken that leap of faith.....if anyone asked you your hobby, would your response be work? I’ve been working since I was 14, and I find achieving results rewarding. I would never want to own a business because I would never go home. Everyone tells me to find a hobby......but I’m too cheap and too focused on work to search for an activity.
I wrote a response earlier that vanished somehow.

Like others have said, you seem to have solid benefits, not golden handcuffs. In my experience you either have a "job" that comes with benefits or you have an "opportunity" that comes with risk/reward. The latter can be more fun and exciting (and possibly rewarding) but clearly comes with risk. Sounds like you have the former and are a bit bored and complacent.

Without knowing your field, is it easy for you to find stable but early stage companies that offer a degree of risk/reward?

Silk McCue
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Silk McCue » Wed May 16, 2018 10:52 am

DJP1944 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:35 am
I wrote a response earlier that vanished somehow.
Most likely when you pressed Submit you didn't notice that someone had posted while you were typing and the system shows you any posts that arrived while you were creating yours. You must Submit a second time before yours will actually post. There have been a number of mentions of this by others being caught unaware, you just have to watch out for it.

Cheers

LawyersGunsAndMoney
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Wed May 16, 2018 11:26 am

I've been around this carousel a few times without jumping off.

I was fortunate to discover (through self-reflection, talking with mentors, and working with an executive coach) that the vast majority of what was contributing to my itch/ennui was my own mindset. Learning how to change that and doing so allowed me to move forward with renewed energy and satisfaction without leaving my firm.

While this is certainly not true of every situation, many times a change of scenery without changing your own mentality will only be a temporary fix.

I wish you the best of luck with your decisions and journey!

Mike Scott
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Mike Scott » Wed May 16, 2018 11:42 am

Why not spend some of your energy and the employers time and money to get some of that training and update skills? See if they mean what they say while you are preparing to either move up or out. Give it some more time. I've got about 4 more years to complete the requirements for a fully vested employer provided pension. I'm already thinking about options but will have to wait and see what happens for a while longer.

80125
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by 80125 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:18 pm

Your'e not wearing hand-cuffs, your in a reasonable place. Continue to make rational decisions for you and yours, let life play-out and if dissatisfied, don't hesitate to make a well-planned change.
nisiprius wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:07 am
(Someone should write a book entitled "What Color Are Your Handcuffs?")
My handcuffs are tarnished silver, some days I wear scratched aluminum to show my versatility. Plan is to “rip em’ off” come April 2020 though.

Fun industry, decent role, great comp & benefits past and present but was caught in a down-draft in late 2016 when a [smaller] Global parent company bought their [much larger scale] US business unit in its entirety (they assumed 100% ownership, we/I lost our autonomy). While I’m somewhat appreciative for what I have I hate my new lot in life…from the craptacular daily rail commute in/out of “the city” to the chaos of yet another corporate integration to the personality jockeying & politics and…well… Net—I’m engineering my exit but I’m trapped (hand-cuffed) by age, comp laying on-the-table and common-sense.

1/1/19 Milestone 1: Calendar year I turn age 55. Not that I’ll necessarily tap into it but…IRS rule of 55 kicks-in, 401K accessible w/o penalty should I choose or need to leverage. Not a fan of leaving a 401K behind but…will do that for awhile to mitigate risk (it’s a good plan and compliments my rollover IRA)

3/15/19: Milestone 2: Next annual short-term incentive payout (annual bonus) and just prior to that, my next scheduled long-term incentive payout vests (good chunk-o-bucks)

12/8/19 Milestone 3: I reach age 55. Company offered “55 and 10” rule effective (age 55 and 10 or more years of service – retirement door opens), very cost-effective benefits at my disposal until Medicare eligible

3/15/20 Milestone 4: Next wave of annual short-term incentive payout, long-term incentive payout vests (another good chunk-o-bucks) and…I’m there…leaving whatever additional LTI to rot away

4/1/20: “The Milestone:” Yes…yes…April Fool’s Day 2020…considering this as my retirement date. Just “feels right” to insert a little irony into my plan

Then...ride-off to live life on my terms. Plan on remaining a productive member of society and maybe picking-up a few bucks here and there but after decades of grinding, investing, leading a moderate and controlled financial life-style, etc.…I'm bailing as fast as practical. I could do the ~2 years standing on my head but at this point…takes everything I can muster to keep playing the game without beating some moron to death (I’m kidding…I’m kidding…).

DISCLAIMER: I reserve the right to change my plan and the color of my handcuffs over the next 2-years because "ya' just never know what tomorrow will bring." 8-)

Katietsu
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Katietsu » Wed May 16, 2018 12:31 pm

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 am
I’ll go ahead and vent my biggest fear:
I was with a good company for 10 years, moving up but felt like it was time to move jobs (a bad manager helped with that decision). I switched to the company im with now, but a totally different role. The company is great, but I feel like I went from doing everything under the sun to having slow days where almost no work is presented, no matter how much I try to find/create. My big fear is that my skill set is diminishing, and I’m not sure how that is going to look in 5-10 years. My company encourages me to take leadership classes because they “see something” in me.....but isn’t every employee told that?

I am concerned when I read your posts that switching jobs may not solve your problem in the long term. Your words seem to make me think of a student who is doing class assignments and is bored or not challenged. This is not the mindset I would expect from a thirty something year old who wants a forward moving career. I would get some counsel on your professional development before changing companies.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed May 16, 2018 12:36 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:01 am
error 404: Golden handcuffs not seen.


Golden handcuffs are that you have $1,000,000 in RSUs that won't vest for 5 years. Leaving means you give up significant money. Not just good benefits.
This is what I was thinking when I read the OPs post. I thought he would mention options/RSUs. To me - a good 401K and the "rare" pension is okay - but true Golden Handcuffs give you a LOT more than this. The only time I stayed at a job due to a feeling of having "Golden Handcuffs" was when the value of my monthly Option/RSU vesting was significantly HIGHER than my salary. It is hard to leave a job when you are making 3X your annual salary due to equity award valuation - those are golden handcuffs.
OP - you should look around if you don't feel rewarded. You might be able to get a salary boost that will compensate from the lack of a pension at another company.
Last edited by DaftInvestor on Wed May 16, 2018 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BradJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Wed May 16, 2018 12:37 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:31 pm
BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 am
I’ll go ahead and vent my biggest fear:
I was with a good company for 10 years, moving up but felt like it was time to move jobs (a bad manager helped with that decision). I switched to the company im with now, but a totally different role. The company is great, but I feel like I went from doing everything under the sun to having slow days where almost no work is presented, no matter how much I try to find/create. My big fear is that my skill set is diminishing, and I’m not sure how that is going to look in 5-10 years. My company encourages me to take leadership classes because they “see something” in me.....but isn’t every employee told that?

I am concerned when I read your posts that switching jobs may not solve your problem in the long term. Your words seem to make me think of a student who is doing class assignments and is bored or not challenged. This is not the mindset I would expect from a thirty something year old who wants a forward moving career. I would get some counsel on your professional development before changing companies.
Could you expand on “This is not the mindset I would expect from a thirty something year old who wants a forward moving career.“? Thank you.

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Watty
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Watty » Wed May 16, 2018 12:45 pm

One option is to look for a new position in your company. Even if it is a lateral move doing something a bit different might make your job more enjoyable.

It might take some time but you might figure out what it would take to get a significant promotion or to have a new position created that you would find more interesting.
BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Considering giving all that away for a challenging careeer at an equally stable company that has good, but not great benefits.
One thing I found was that after working in the same field for 15 or 20 years it really was not nearly as interesting as when I was just a few years out of college.

There were of course always new problems and new technology to learn but at some point it was mainly just a job and not something that I could get really excited about even though there were interesting aspects to the job.

Unless it is a big career change I would be cautious that the new job might not really be all that much more interesting in a few years when you have gotten used to the differences.

A lot depends on your age but if you are not in your 20's or 30's then you might want to look for your excitement in life outside your job.

stimulacra
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by stimulacra » Wed May 16, 2018 12:45 pm

Consider looking into side projects or passion projects. They're self-initiated projects outside of your day-job that lets you explore and develop new skill sets that you might be unable to within the bounds of your current role at work.

I pursue at least one of these a year to stay sharp, expand my network beyond my employer node, or just enjoy the change of scenery. It can be a volunteer or board role for a local non-profit. A new website, blog or small venture or a wide variety of things that can't easily be categorized.

Also check out the concept of “Intrapreneurship” or the ability to spearhead a personal project or initiative at work.

evestor
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by evestor » Wed May 16, 2018 11:04 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:19 am
evestor wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:31 am
BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?
I can tell you to the day (and almost minute) I decided how to handle this. I was driving home the week before Christmas on Friday afternoon in 2011 from my well paid big co job. Most people took off the week of Christmas and New Years so I was heading home for what amounts to 2 weeks off. And as I drove home around 5:30pm I thought to myself "I made it, vacation time."

And I decided in that moment I did not want feel like that ever again.

I went home and over the course of the break warmed my wife to the idea that I was going to quit. After finishing my commitments, a few months later I was outta there.

I had what amounts to no plan. I had some ideas but nothing lined up. But no plan.
It worked out super well. Over time I more than made up for what was lost. And I had a ton of fun and learned a ton.

YMMV. That is just my experience.
Heh, I know a few people where it didn't work out "super well" when they quit with no plan. Plus the OP has two small children and a wife in school.

But I do appreciate your point of view about not working at a job you hate. That's a powerful moment when you realize you're not happy, and you decide to change your life. I am surprised you had nothing lined up in the few months between deciding to quit and actually quitting though.
Everyone will have their own story. Mine is one of triumph in the face of no plan. :)

As for why I left with no plan, the truth is that I was pretty knee deep in work and simply didn't have the time to figure one out. When I left I was able to dedicate the time required to figure out what I wanted my next chapter to be.

gotester2000
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by gotester2000 » Thu May 17, 2018 12:00 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:03 am
Consider the entire picture, not just the benefits.

Things you can't know, but maybe can guess at. Longer work hours? How does this affect family? Longer commute?

Over the years, very few jobs have exactly the amount of work to keep you steadily busy/challenged daily but not over-challenged. You either have periods of slower times and periods of very busy times. The alternative is you have too much work, all the time. Too much work, all the time is what I have learned to avoid.

It may depend if you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. Your gung ho, let's do more work attitude in your 20s/early 30s may give way to. I just want to do quality work, develop a routine and have good enough pay/benefits.

Have you asked for "stretch" work or goals at your current company? Ask your manager or skip level manager for a challenge?

The results of your next job are kind of like future stock market results. You can't know until later looking backwards. Too much work, a bad boss, working weekends, long commutes, troublesome co-workers. You can't predict those type of things and when they pop up.

The benefits you talk about aren't necessarily the golden handcuffs some speak of. If you have 5 years worth of unvested stock awards that total $100k, that is a handcuff as compared to a 401k match. A pension funded by the employee may or may not be a handcuff. A 401k with a good match is also a retirement plan funded by the employee.

This may be a great time to jump to something new or it may be a "go slow" moment.
+1

If you really are itching go ahead and change the job - more than job it is the mentality that has to change. You may feel the same job exciting and fast which was in 20s and 30s.

I am in 40s and enjoying life after giving up on technology and leadership(mentally challenging killing fast paced work) and doing something different which is slow.

denovo
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by denovo » Thu May 17, 2018 12:11 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 am
. My company encourages me to take leadership classes because they “see something” in me.....but isn’t every employee told that?
Is it possible you're a "line" worker , sorry terminology may be different depending on your industry, and they want you go to a management track?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

BradJ
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by BradJ » Thu May 17, 2018 12:31 am

denovo wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:11 am
BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 am
. My company encourages me to take leadership classes because they “see something” in me.....but isn’t every employee told that?
Is it possible you're a "line" worker , sorry terminology may be different depending on your industry, and they want you go to a management track?
That’s a great question, I’m positive I want the experience of leading others, but I fear i would be bored doing that as well. I did physical trading for 10 years, I think I became conditioned to having to be proactive and seeing those results almost immediately. Also, I’ve been through so much change in the 10 year tenure of my industry (utilities), I became used to things not being stable (work flows changing, not work).

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woof755
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by woof755 » Thu May 17, 2018 12:41 am

My former university employer offered 8 years of college tuition for my kids. I worked there for 9 years.

We moved to Hawaii. Haven't regretted it for a second.

(of course, kids aren't in college yet... :happy )
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J295
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by J295 » Thu May 17, 2018 2:02 am

Simple. Don’t let $$$ be the primary factor in this decision. It’s a fine tool but a terrible master.

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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 17, 2018 6:25 am

J295 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:02 am
Simple. Don’t let $$$ be the primary factor in this decision. It’s a fine tool but a terrible master.
This is the thought that true golden handcuffs fight. Hold the employee in place with the future reward hanging out there like a carrot on a stick. In my company eTrade account, when I log in, it gives me the total future value of my RSUs. Currently it's a 6 figure number. Every quarter, more RSUs are granted on top of existing RSUs so the future number always grows. My colleagues who have been there for 10 years have 7 figure future values dangling out there......vesting over 5 years.
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by JoeRetire » Thu May 17, 2018 6:40 am

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding career?
Yes, several times.

For me, a rewarding job made getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile.
Once you reach a certain threshold of pay/benefits, then "more" isn't always better.

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Quantum
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Quantum » Thu May 17, 2018 2:56 pm

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?
I bailed the crappy, soul sucking job and founded my own tech startup.
With that decision I had a large reduction in salary (down to a founders salary) and a 200-250% increase in workload and stress, and 1000% increase in satisfaction and fun.

I paid the price exiting a dead end marriage, which was traumatizing in its own way, but gained freedom and inspiration in other ways.

Every decision you make in life will have its risks and rewards, but if you are comfortable in a dead end life, stifling and boring and mediocre, let those golden handcuffs bind you. But otherwise, choose the more terrifying path, and reap the rewards, tangible and intangible.
“The advantage always favors the one who is trying to create fear, over the one who is trying to erase it.” | Howard R. Hughes JR.

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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by n00b » Fri May 18, 2018 12:40 am

I'm up reading this after my boss woke me with an irrelevant text message. Want to trade jobs?

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Fri May 18, 2018 5:11 am

I'd also like to trade jobs, Brad1. The last half dozen or so jobs/positions were essentially 24/7, the sky is falling, the company is bankrupt/on fire, or there were constant Mergers/Acquisitions. Or people were quitting/laid off, and I'd swoop in like an idiot and absorb their workload without any of their pay, working a bazillion hours for free (on salary) with no end in sight.

I'd *kill* for a 6-figure position where there was down time, and my brain wasn't fried, and I was "bored" and looking for things to do. I understand it's boring and intellectually unfulfilling, but wow, realize just how good things are.

I'd stick it out until the wife is done with her graduate degree and can start teaching and earning money. And maybe until the kids are old enough to be in preschool or kindergarten. That might be a good time to look for a more amazing job. In the meantime, you can take your [free?] leadership courses, which may propel you into a management role at your current company, which would only be icing on the cake when you decide to look for your next fulfilling job.

Short-term? Stick with boring and stable.
Long-term? Go for something that excites you, of course.

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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by saj » Fri May 18, 2018 5:51 am

I'm close in age, my wife is also finishing up school, but we don't have kids yet. My golden handcuffs are RSU vests in the mid $xx,xxx range every 6 months. The great salary and benefits just add to it. Most would say that is a great problem to have and I don't disagree.

My thoughts on this have been:
  • stick it out at a minimum until my wife is done with school (seems you're already here)
  • try to get involved in new projects
  • try to become more friendly with people in the office. I've always believed that your colleagues can't be your best friends, but I think that I could open up a bit more. I remember reading multiple articles indicating this this is a retention factor.
  • look for opportunities for internal transfer / promotion
  • start a side business that doesn't require tons of time/capital. This could give you some extra income and a taste of other types of work. Who knows, it could lead to new jobs, become your primary source of income, or supplement income such that you could take a lower paying job.
  • if after another X years things aren't getting better, then start looking for other opportunity. Unfortunately in my case, there are few companies that offer $xx,xxx-xxx,xxx RSU vests per year. That being said, at some level, money isn't everything. I'd be very picky because leaving a job I don't love for a job that I don't love with a 50% pay cut would be unfortunate.

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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Muri » Fri May 18, 2018 6:36 am

OP, I am really conservative, so I am going to say stay where you are. I made a career change to teaching after a long career in another industry. Does your wife have previous teaching experience? Half of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years due to the low pay and feeling overwhelmed. I love teaching, but it was the right change at the right time in my life. I would wait until your wife has at least three years of teaching experience before assuming that she will continue teaching.

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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by chrisjul » Fri May 18, 2018 1:09 pm

I was in that scenario. I retired at 57 and left LOTS of money on the table.

I'm 66 now and have never regretted the decision once.

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burt
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by burt » Fri May 18, 2018 5:43 pm

Gut it out, unless the new opportunity provides better security for the family.
With a family... it ain't about you.

burt

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randomizer
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by randomizer » Fri May 18, 2018 9:32 pm

BradJ wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
Has anyone been in a situation where the job was not rewarding but the benefits/pay were outstanding?

Did you unlock the handcuffs and go search for a rewarding careeer?

Or did you tighten those suckers and just go with the flow?
Yes, yes, and yes, but not in that order.
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RetireBy55
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by RetireBy55 » Sat May 19, 2018 11:20 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:25 am

This is the thought that true golden handcuffs fight. Hold the employee in place with the future reward hanging out there like a carrot on a stick. In my company eTrade account, when I log in, it gives me the total future value of my RSUs. Currently it's a 6 figure number. Every quarter, more RSUs are granted on top of existing RSUs so the future number always grows. My colleagues who have been there for 10 years have 7 figure future values dangling out there......vesting over 5 years.
Ditto. I also am sitting on six figures of unvested RSUs, and my company stock has been pretty much vertical for the past year and a half.

REAL "golden handcuffs" are very hard to walk away from. I'm seriously thinking of ER this year as there are a lot of things about my job that are for the most part totally intolerable and the stress is completely unmanageable most days. Come Friday night, I'm burned to a crisp and exhausted - every single week, without fail. I can only imagine the damage being done to my health. So, walking away from true six figure unvested RSUs is very, very hard but also probably the "right" thing to do. Unfortunately, I'm mid 50s and not quite entirely mentally ready to be "done" - even though we're FI and I have a plan that tells me I absolutely CAN RE 'now'. Finding another job is possible but I just don't want to go through that gauntlet another time at this point in my life as I've had a series of one bad job after another, and am convinced there is no "greener grass" out there.

I'd absolutely kill for a "I'm bored" type of job. I could work 24x7 and not get to half of what I need to do. An hour of free time is the most precious thing in the world as I get so little of it. Appreciate what you have!

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: Golden Handcuffs

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Sun May 20, 2018 4:40 am

RetireBy55 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 11:20 am
I'm seriously thinking of ER this year as there are a lot of things about my job that are for the most part totally intolerable and the stress is completely unmanageable most days. Come Friday night, I'm burned to a crisp and exhausted - every single week, without fail. I can only imagine the damage being done to my health.
RetireBy55 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 11:20 am
I'd absolutely kill for a "I'm bored" type of job. I could work 24x7 and not get to half of what I need to do. An hour of free time is the most precious thing in the world as I get so little of it. Appreciate what you have!
*empathy hug*
I feel ya on everything you've said. :sharebeer

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