If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

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SagaciousTraveler
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by SagaciousTraveler » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:50 am

Plutus wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:23 am
This post really resonates with me. I am only 30 (will be 31 later this year) and I am already starting to have the same feelings. I had a pretty quick rise in my career and earnings. I am now trying to decide if I want to keep shooting for more or stay level where I am at. I have gotten my job to the point where I have a lot of down time during the day, I have a lot of PTO days, and I don't stress too much when I leave the office.

I have actually turned down a more lucrative job at a different company because of my current situation. I won't lie though, I still think about the "what if" I had gone to the other job. It would have meant more work, at least for the first couple of years, less vacation, and more time in the office. But it would have also meant probably 20-30% more in pay initially, a fancier title, and probably a higher ladder I could climb. The problem with me is that I am always wanting a little more so that is why I still think about the what could have been.

Right now, my current job pays all of my bills and I am able to max my 401k and roth and still save a decent amount for my yet-to-be-born children's future and for my own enjoyment. Couple this with the PTO and low stress, and I am pretty happy staying the course. I do think some day I will grow bored and will want a new challenge, but not yet. It really just comes down to weighing the pros and cons and how they fit into what you really value and want in life.

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness” - Albert Einstein
While I'm a couple years older, it was refreshing to read your post as I'm in the same boat.

I completely understand the 'new challenge' issue. I'm in IT and i thought new projects or new frameworks would take care of this. It has not. So I'm trying to find those challenges in the form of a hobby. Currently though, my two small kids prevent me from even finding a new hobby. :oops:

DC3509
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by DC3509 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:58 am

Starfish wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:40 am
DC3509 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:48 pm
SQRT wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:54 am
mrspock wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:27 am
SQRT wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:34 am
I reached my ultimate goal in my career at age 48. It was what I always wanted and worked for. After 3-5 years of working in this position I was FI by quite a wide margin. Did my work ethic and drive diminish? Disappointingly it did. I regret this even now after 12 years of retirement. Wish I could have risen above the “FI” and continued at my previous pace. Who knows what I could have accomplished. But I retired at 56 to live the life of “rich retired guy”. It’s been a great retirement but in retrospect I think I could easily have done even better.

Life isn’t always just about money. At this point I feel a bit like I “sold out”. Took the money and ran. Silly I know.
I think you made the right choice. Consider had you stayed, you might very well have looked back and asked yourself "I traded X years of freedom for Y dollars or career accomplishment." or maybe your wouldn't have I don't know.
I think on balance I did make the right choice but the longer I am retired the less sure I am. I suspect it might be due to gradually “forgetting” how stressful the job was.

In any event,I was trying to point out the relatively rare point of view (around here at least) that one can derive satisfaction from one’s career. Or that the “obvious smart choice” once one reaches FI may not be to retire. For many it is, of course, but not for everyone.
I have posted about this before, but this is a major issue I have with this board in general. Many -- many -- of the posts about FI or FIRE or savings in general involve a lot of grumbling and complaining about work, careers, etc. and assume that being "retired early" will resolve all of these issues. I thought this was a refreshingly honest post.
To me is exactly the opposite, a shockingly large number of people clearly FI talking about retiring at 70 and "work ethic".
I understand to love your job, but really, nothing else? No other interest in life? Family, kids, fishing, traveling, climbing mountains, friends, boats, whatever.
What is the chance that the only thing you could like in life is exactly the job you have?
Where in my post did I say that I have "nothing else" in my life? All I said was that I love my job and that like the other poster I find it very rare to find people on these boards who derive significant satisfaction from their career. FWIW, I have a lot of hobbies and outside interests -- I love baseball, football, film, and international travel. But I also really love my job too. I work way more than the average person I think -- there is no 40 hour work week or calling off sick just for the sake of using PTO days or something. I am passionate about what I do and doing it right and at a very high level. But it doesn't even feel like "work" in the sense of drudgery or something and I have no need to reach some "number" and then call it quits.

J295
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by J295 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:09 am

With all sincerity, it is so cool when someone has the right fit and really thrives and enjoys their work. I like to call that a vocation. It seems fairly rare.

Personally, I ended up in law by default because back in the day someone who had high academic performance, at least in my world, gravitated towards medicine or law. I don’t like blood. And, as the first family member to ever attend college, I was a bit of a guinea pig.

So, I was a successful lawyer. It was a job, and that was fine because my real vocation was a provider, husband and a father. I would’ve gladly dug ditches to provide for our family

I retired at 53 leaving some pretty peak earning years behind me with no regrets. Since then, I have really hit my stride and my life feels more like a vocation. If someone derives the sense that I have now from their work, I completely get why they would work for a long long time. It just wasn’t the case for me.

bgf
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by bgf » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:29 am

DC3509 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:58 am
Starfish wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:40 am
DC3509 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:48 pm
SQRT wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:54 am
mrspock wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:27 am


I think you made the right choice. Consider had you stayed, you might very well have looked back and asked yourself "I traded X years of freedom for Y dollars or career accomplishment." or maybe your wouldn't have I don't know.
I think on balance I did make the right choice but the longer I am retired the less sure I am. I suspect it might be due to gradually “forgetting” how stressful the job was.

In any event,I was trying to point out the relatively rare point of view (around here at least) that one can derive satisfaction from one’s career. Or that the “obvious smart choice” once one reaches FI may not be to retire. For many it is, of course, but not for everyone.
I have posted about this before, but this is a major issue I have with this board in general. Many -- many -- of the posts about FI or FIRE or savings in general involve a lot of grumbling and complaining about work, careers, etc. and assume that being "retired early" will resolve all of these issues. I thought this was a refreshingly honest post.
To me is exactly the opposite, a shockingly large number of people clearly FI talking about retiring at 70 and "work ethic".
I understand to love your job, but really, nothing else? No other interest in life? Family, kids, fishing, traveling, climbing mountains, friends, boats, whatever.
What is the chance that the only thing you could like in life is exactly the job you have?
Where in my post did I say that I have "nothing else" in my life? All I said was that I love my job and that like the other poster I find it very rare to find people on these boards who derive significant satisfaction from their career. FWIW, I have a lot of hobbies and outside interests -- I love baseball, football, film, and international travel. But I also really love my job too. I work way more than the average person I think -- there is no 40 hour work week or calling off sick just for the sake of using PTO days or something. I am passionate about what I do and doing it right and at a very high level. But it doesn't even feel like "work" in the sense of drudgery or something and I have no need to reach some "number" and then call it quits.
loving your job makes you a very small minority, unfortunately. that's a great thing. after family and friends, i think having a true passion for what you spend the majority of your time doing is the most important thing. for me to feel that way, i would have to stop doing my job and do something else. i think there are positive aspects about my job, but i am not passionate about it, and i do not feel fulfilled in a grand sense by doing it. sure, i provide a service to people that need it, but, cmon, we can rationalize just about anything that way. i dont think i would feel fulfilled by the jobs of many of my peers either. consultant? hell no. banker? nope. sales? lol.

in my experience, most people who say things like "id be so bored" or "i just can't imagine not having work to do" or whatever, can't retire because they don't have enough money or are at least sufficiently afraid that they do not have enough money.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

bgf
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by bgf » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:30 am

J295 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:09 am
With all sincerity, it is so cool when someone has the right fit and really thrives and enjoys their work. I like to call that a vocation. It seems fairly rare.

Personally, I ended up in law by default because back in the day someone who had high academic performance, at least in my world, gravitated towards medicine or law. I don’t like blood.
you just wrote my life.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

investingdad
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by investingdad » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:43 am

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has a similar view as I do on this. Our CEO is in his late 70s, has a published net worth of close to $100 million, and (per colleagues of mine that interact with him frequently), works constantly...on his chauffeured commute to the office, back home again, at night, and on weekends.

He never stops. He's married and has kids and grandkids, and I'm sure they'll all enjoy his money when he dies. Because based on what I know, he does nothing but work.

Hey, whatever. I'm thrilled to have had the financial success we've had (start early!) while being able to do what I'm doing this afternoon, leaving a bit early to watch my kid's school soccer match.

mak1277
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by mak1277 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:00 am

If I took my favorite hobby and made a job out of it, but I was obligated to do it 40 hours a week no matter what, I'm sure I would be tired of it within a year or two. I just don't enjoy the obligations of having a job. I want to retire early so I can do whatever I want whenever I want to do it (or to do nothing).

But really, I think most people are unable or unwilling to accept or understand opposing viewpoints. It's not "sad" if someone loves their job and never wants to retire. Nor is it "sad" if someone is excited about early retirement because they don't want to work. It's only sad if someone does something they hate because they're afraid of what other people will think if they stop doing it.

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Cycle
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Cycle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:02 am

By conservative measures, we could retire today at 35 since we don't spend a lot. Our target is 10 years out though. If my DW were to get promoted to director at megacorp in 3 years and we were able to save an extra 100k per year, we could retire at 44 instead of 46. She would absolutely take the promotion and should.

I have no desire to be middle management. I have to manage as many as 10 engineers on a team, but I don't have to do their performance evals besides a little update to their boss. I have no desire to manage entire teams, as I like doing the actual engineering work, not the program management.

I do have a desire to be self employed, so am working towards that. Already have some "passive" (lol) income from real estate. Best case scenario in two years I am running my own small internet business and DW can quit working. This is a fun hobby for me as well, and the skills I develop also benefit my megacorp position. Worst case scenario I keep working in my individual contributor engineering role that I enjoy till I'm 46.

I just work 40hrs a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I use the side door, that way Lumbergh can't see me.

SQRT
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by SQRT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:16 am

bgf wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:29 am
DC3509 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:58 am
Starfish wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:40 am
DC3509 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:48 pm
SQRT wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:54 am


I think on balance I did make the right choice but the longer I am retired the less sure I am. I suspect it might be due to gradually “forgetting” how stressful the job was.

In any event,I was trying to point out the relatively rare point of view (around here at least) that one can derive satisfaction from one’s career. Or that the “obvious smart choice” once one reaches FI may not be to retire. For many it is, of course, but not for everyone.
I have posted about this before, but this is a major issue I have with this board in general. Many -- many -- of the posts about FI or FIRE or savings in general involve a lot of grumbling and complaining about work, careers, etc. and assume that being "retired early" will resolve all of these issues. I thought this was a refreshingly honest post.
To me is exactly the opposite, a shockingly large number of people clearly FI talking about retiring at 70 and "work ethic".
I understand to love your job, but really, nothing else? No other interest in life? Family, kids, fishing, traveling, climbing mountains, friends, boats, whatever.
What is the chance that the only thing you could like in life is exactly the job you have?
Where in my post did I say that I have "nothing else" in my life? All I said was that I love my job and that like the other poster I find it very rare to find people on these boards who derive significant satisfaction from their career. FWIW, I have a lot of hobbies and outside interests -- I love baseball, football, film, and international travel. But I also really love my job too. I work way more than the average person I think -- there is no 40 hour work week or calling off sick just for the sake of using PTO days or something. I am passionate about what I do and doing it right and at a very high level. But it doesn't even feel like "work" in the sense of drudgery or something and I have no need to reach some "number" and then call it quits.
loving your job makes you a very small minority, unfortunately. that's a great thing. after family and friends, i think having a true passion for what you spend the majority of your time doing is the most important thing. for me to feel that way, i would have to stop doing my job and do something else. i think there are positive aspects about my job, but i am not passionate about it, and i do not feel fulfilled in a grand sense by doing it. sure, i provide a service to people that need it, but, cmon, we can rationalize just about anything that way. i dont think i would feel fulfilled by the jobs of many of my peers either. consultant? hell no. banker? nope. sales? lol.

in my experience, most people who say things like "id be so bored" or "i just can't imagine not having work to do" or whatever, can't retire because they don't have enough money or are at least sufficiently afraid that they do not have enough money.
Interesting points of view. I agree that “loving your job” types are probably in the minority-certainly on this site. But I doubt they are as rare as many people think. Most of my friends and associates seemed to like their jobs quite a bit. “Like” vs “love” is always open to debate of course.

The assumption that all people who like/love their jobs don’t have any other interests in their lives is clearly false. For this to be true everyone who enjoys their job/career would have to be a “workaholic”. I had plenty of “outside interests” while working and hardly ever worked more than 50 hours a week (unless a big deal was underway). In fact, I would say that the most successful of my work associates often had the most interesting outside interests. Most would not be viewed as “workaholics”.

To divide working people into two groups “workaholics with terrible quality of life and no outside interests” or “people who don’t care about advancing in their careers but have a great quality of life otherwise” seems obviously wrong to me. There are plenty of intermediate positions in the spectrum. Might be a little too “nuanced” for anonymous chat rooms though where opinions often seem polarized.
Last edited by SQRT on Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

flyingaway
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:21 am

mak1277 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:00 am
If I took my favorite hobby and made a job out of it, but I was obligated to do it 40 hours a week no matter what, I'm sure I would be tired of it within a year or two. I just don't enjoy the obligations of having a job. I want to retire early so I can do whatever I want whenever I want to do it (or to do nothing).

But really, I think most people are unable or unwilling to accept or understand opposing viewpoints. It's not "sad" if someone loves their job and never wants to retire. Nor is it "sad" if someone is excited about early retirement because they don't want to work. It's only sad if someone does something they hate because they're afraid of what other people will think if they stop doing it.
This is well said. One does whatever one loves to do. Being the richest man in the graveyard is not that bad, very likely the man was the richest when he was alive and enjoyed all that richness could bring.
I could not, unfortunately, be that man no matter how hard I work and how late I retire.

Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:24 am

bgf wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:30 am
J295 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:09 am
With all sincerity, it is so cool when someone has the right fit and really thrives and enjoys their work. I like to call that a vocation. It seems fairly rare.

Personally, I ended up in law by default because back in the day someone who had high academic performance, at least in my world, gravitated towards medicine or law. I don’t like blood.
you just wrote my life.
+2

investingdad
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by investingdad » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:27 am

I will also add that my feelings on the subject have been shaped by the specter of corporate layoffs.

From the time I started working as an engineer in the 90s, the companies I've worked for have done layoffs for various reasons. I got caught once. My previous employer was bought and our division shuttered.

But up to that point, every few years it was being on edge as new reductions were announced.

I've been through the threat twice with my current employer in the 12 years I've been here, the most recent two years ago was particularly harsh. The irony being the VP that was in charge of the reductions was himself let go a few months ago.

I'm sick of it. It has followed me for 20 plus years I've been working. The sooner I can bid it farewell, the better.

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unclescrooge
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:37 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:09 am
Bogleheads:

When I felt I had reached FI (Financial Independence) in my job as chief of SBAs South Florida Financial Division, I decided I would blow the whistle on an agency program that was wasting millions of taxpayer money "42% of SBA borrowers ended up in default and out of business".

Accordingly, on October 27, 1981, I testified before a Congressional Small Business Hearing in Washington that the government should do-away with our largest program. I was successful (along with a few others) in eliminating the SBA Direct Business Loan Program -- but it subsequently cost me my job.

Best wishes.
Taylor
If you haven't seen Parks and recreation, I highly recommend it. You'll enjoy the role of Ron Swanson, a government employee who hates waste, among many other things.

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unclescrooge
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:41 am

cantos wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:34 am
investingdad wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:25 am
I'm curious if folks that are FI, or close to it, and who have fought to climb a corporate ladder have found their desire waning.
Early 40s, same thing. I'd rather have work from home than a higher salary/more responsibility any day. Since that's not possible at this antiquated shop, I instead take all sick days and vacation days and don't think twice. I need to look for a challenge at work otherwise I'm bored doing the day-to-day. I know my net worth is already probably higher than the CEO's. Hoping to be done at 50.
I'm in the same boat.

I should switch jobs and make an extra $25k/year.

But that would mean spending an extra 8-10 hours a week driving, plus a few years longer work weeks.

I currently get to work from home, and get to spend a lot of time with the kids. Company has great benefits, but I feel my title should be a little higher. but the next step will involve managing people, something I detest greatly.

But getting the next job will be harder if it looks like I've stagnated in my current role.
Last edited by unclescrooge on Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

SQRT
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by SQRT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:49 am

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:21 am

Being the richest man in the graveyard is not that bad, very likely the man was the richest when he was alive and enjoyed all that richness could bring.
Agree. But “Being the richest man in the graveyard” is usually a metaphor describing someone who doesn’t like to spend money while alive and end up leaving it to others when they die. I certainly don’t plan on this and am enjoying any wealth I have while alive. Having said that, it will be impossible to “bounce the last check” so I will very likely leave quite a bit behind.
Last edited by SQRT on Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by mrspock » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:17 am

SQRT wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:49 am

Agree. But “Being the richest man in the graveyard” is usually a metaphor describing someone who doesn’t like to spend money while alive and ends up leaving it to others when they die. I certainly don’t plan on this and am enjoying any wealth I have while alive. Having said that, it will be impossible to “bounce the last check” so I will very likely leave quite a bit behind.
Ironically, I think many Bogleheads will still have *really* nice headstones as a result of their heirs learning of the eye popping :shock: inheritance they are to receive. Maybe not the richest in the graveyard.... but well up the leader board.

Pretty frugal prudent bunch here... I suspect this mentality & habits are hard to shake even in retirement :).

SQRT
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by SQRT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:29 am

mrspock wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:17 am
SQRT wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:49 am

Agree. But “Being the richest man in the graveyard” is usually a metaphor describing someone who doesn’t like to spend money while alive and ends up leaving it to others when they die. I certainly don’t plan on this and am enjoying any wealth I have while alive. Having said that, it will be impossible to “bounce the last check” so I will very likely leave quite a bit behind.
Ironically, I think many Bogleheads will still have *really* nice headstones as a result of their heirs learning of the eye popping :shock: inheritance they are to receive. Maybe not the richest in the graveyard.... but well up the leader board.

Pretty frugal prudent bunch here... I suspect this mentality & habits are hard to shake even in retirement :).
Yes,agree. Nothing wrong with being frugal as long as you can understand that others may be in a much different position and spending level and don’t morally judge them.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by BrooklynInvest » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:34 am

Great question.

I'm 51, 4 years away from my FI target, retirement from megacorp and phase 2. I'm occasionally mildly bitter that I won't make the last jump to managing director for several reasons, some of them on me. So I've kind of embraced it and pivoted a bit -

- I leave a little earlier

- I try not to sweat others attaching themselves to my team's successes

- I'm gonna ask for more money regardless of the lack of promotion

I achieved a lot of what I hoped to career-wise, but not everything. But I should be able to retire fairly young with a good nest egg, so y'know, win the war not the battle as they say!

LiterallyIronic
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:44 am

GoldStar wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:57 am
Many people climb the corporate ladder because they enjoy having more responsibility, more control, etc. - not everyone is doing it purely for financial reasons.
If you are comfortable at the level you are at I wouldn't go out of my way to move forward if the additional responsibilities don't interest you.
This is me. I don't want to work a minute more than 40 hours and I don't want to make decisions. Just someone make a list of things for me to do, then I'll do it and collect my paycheck. Zero interest in climbing up to "Senior Developer" or "Team Lead" or any of that. Give me the lower responsibility and the lower pay - I'm good. I'll just cut my expenses to the bone, work enough to get by, and bounce my last check. It's all about doing as little work as possible before I die. Note: that doesn't necessarily mean the fewest hours of being at work, it means the least amount of work.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:22 am

Not near FI yet, but reached a major career milestone last year and not sure what my next steps are. I've pretty consistently picked autonomy over income my entire career, and autonomy is more valuable to me than ever before with young children around. Spouse could be making more money, but doing so in his industry probably requires job-hopping, and his current situation is just comfortable enough that he's hesitating (or at least will be picky about offers.) Two people with work-from-home situations means a lot of time for the kids.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by FIREmeup » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:59 pm

I worked hard high school college first several years of my career. Still work hard. I am a day trader by craft...which is odd because long term personal investing I am so boglehead it hurts. I think nobody, except those with inside knowledge or ability to push stocks around, Buffet, Icahn...has the ability to predict the future of stocks. So boglehead away. The longer I sit staring at stocks the more sure I am of this.

My day ends at 4pm...with some reading and research leisurely throughout the night. I got lucky, I made a lot of money right out of college, while still living home and keeping a college student budget. Saved up a lot quickly. Married, bought house, now 2 kids. Figured one day I'd get a real job in the corporate world. My style of trading has definitely waned and I am finding it hard to pick up a new style.

Income down but still pays the bills and then some. Fund 529s, a lot in taxable, mortgage almost done and overall we keep our spending in check.

Always pictured I'd be in investment banking...but graduating in 2009 blew that "dream" up. Always wondered if i should get back in to keep up with those who will probably pass me earnings wise in mid 30s.

With my job I had weekends free and nights too. Played many more rounds of golf with my dad than I ever would have if I was a banker. Had more time for family than I would have if I was a banker. He passed away when I was 29 from cancer. I was so grateful I lucked into work life balance and didn't slave away thinking he'd be here for longer. I think I would have been kicking myself.

Now I have 2 kids and a great wife. I am home early and spend the evenings with them. Nothing makes me happier and though I probably should look into other jobs, I am just riding this out paying the bills. The amount wife and I have saved if it grows at an assumed 4%, will allow retirement early 50s.

Have had so many conversations with myself. Am I short changing myself? Was I meant for better? Do I do that rat race because I should? But when my kids yell my name when I get home, I can't imagine not having those hours at night with them. In a few years they will care less about me, so I will reevaluate then.

So yeah I guess I am on coast right now. Could do better, but will come at great cost of time, which is invaluable.

MathWizard
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by MathWizard » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:47 pm

My wife thinks we are FI, I think we are still 1-2 years away.

My fighting to climb has slowed down. I last moved up 5 years ago, now reporting to a senior VP.
That position has turned over twice since then. The president was replaced last year,
who then replaced my boss, who expects to be replaced within the next 2 years.

I'm ambitious, but there is too much drama at the top, I'm keeping my head down.

My customers like what I do, I worked my tail off to build a great team from nothing, and
my area is expanding, so why would I want to go through that again?

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Cycle
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Cycle » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:04 pm
I'm only 33 and already feeling stressed to the max in my engineering consulting firm. Not enough time, not enough resources, company resistant to hiring, not enough time to train people up. I would gladly take a 24-32 hour/week job, if that existed, and decrease my pay accordingly.
Denmark. Lots of engineering jobs.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Starfish » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:48 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:58 am

Where in my post did I say that I have "nothing else" in my life? All I said was that I love my job and that like the other poster I find it very rare to find people on these boards who derive significant satisfaction from their career. FWIW, I have a lot of hobbies and outside interests -- I love baseball, football, film, and international travel. But I also really love my job too. I work way more than the average person I think -- there is no 40 hour work week or calling off sick just for the sake of using PTO days or something. I am passionate about what I do and doing it right and at a very high level. But it doesn't even feel like "work" in the sense of drudgery or something and I have no need to reach some "number" and then call it quits.
I did not make myself clear.
The question is how that particular job can be the only thing you can do with pleasure for >40h/week?
Obviously it is not, we just don't have time to explore other things in life. We don't even know how to live outside the constraints of employment.
I have a long list of hobbies and things to do but I have no idea if I could occupy 40-80h/week every day for next 30 years (at least).

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Starfish » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:15 am

mak1277 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:00 am
But really, I think most people are unable or unwilling to accept or understand opposing viewpoints. It's not "sad" if someone loves their job and never wants to retire. Nor is it "sad" if someone is excited about early retirement because they don't want to work. It's only sad if someone does something they hate because they're afraid of what other people will think if they stop doing it.
And you managed to contradict yourself in consecutive sentences.
Yes it is sad, even objectively speaking.
If you really like only one thing in life which happens to be exactly a corporate job, to land exactly on that job given all the random events in the choice of a career is very improbable.
So for sure we like more things, areas etc. The problem is that we won't ever find out.
Not knowing simple things about ourselves because we did not see the "outside world" is sad.

FI should be an opportunity to do something new and interesting in life, not continue the same thing.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Starfish » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:22 am

SQRT wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:16 am
The assumption that all people who like/love their jobs don’t have any other interests in their lives is clearly false. For this to be true everyone who enjoys their job/career would have to be a “workaholic”. I had plenty of “outside interests” while working and hardly worked more than 50 hours a week (unless a big deal was underway). In fact, I would say that the most successful of my work associates often had the most interesting outside interests. Most would not be viewed as “workaholics”.
What plenty of meaningful interests can you have with 40-50h of work plus commute and obviously plus the family life? Even adding the American vacation which is what... 4 weeks?
I can barely find 2h to ride a bike or go sailing with my friends, but only once every several of weeks. I go to a "men's night out" every several months. I could read a book now, and I do it sometimes, but it does not satisfy me enough. I do travel for vacation but is way too short.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by tooluser » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:04 am

Every month on the corporate website my company lists the current and former employees who have died. They used to list the age at which they died, but stopped doing that several year ago (so these days I have no idea how old they were). Reading this is both a sobering and instructive experience.

A few die in service, many die within 10 years of retirement, and a few die 30 or 40 years after they retired. For whatever reason, I regard those at 30-40 years in retirement as my heroes and desired peer group. But that's largely a lottery draw. I would like at least 20 years in retirement, do-able for most if they retire early enough. I have known a few who wanted to die at their desks, and only one who partially achieved that. Others left earlier or were forced out for various reasons beyond their control. I gave up on the corporate ladder for other reasons entirely, after having been successful at that endeavor for many years.

I think it's instructive to make a sobering table of "age and projected retirement income" versus "expected percent of remaining life sacrificed to wait to that age".

Assuming a life expectancy of 83 years, at age 55 each remaining year is 3.6% of your life. Waiting until age 58 to retire is about 10% of your remaining life. That's rather depressing. At age 70 it's more than 50%. How much is "success on the corporate ladder" or "financial safety in your retirement years" worth to you, compared to the freedom and individuality associated with leaving earlier? Would you give up 5% of your life to be a VP instead of a Director? Why?

Some people have no choice, through no fault of their own. How does that feel in comparison?

And many never make that calculation, and die happy or sad regardless. There's also an argument for doing whatever makes you feel best in the moment.

Given the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it seems to me that gut feel is best, but back it up with planning and calculations to make sure you don't back off too early. l have only one story of folks who retired early and regretted it due to insufficient fun and funds. But as far as I know they did not go back to work.
"A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness." -- Albert Einstein, just before he won the Nobel Prize.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by truenorth418 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:50 am

When I was approaching FI, what little interest I had in my high-paying corporate job was turning into outright contempt, and it showed. Like an old actor who was no longer interested in the role he was supposed to be playing, I could no longer keep up any pretense that I cared at all about what was going on around me. And it showed. Financial independence ruined me for corporate America.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by bironology » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:06 am

Is the goal of life to be spending your days in liesure activities? Have a hobby - cool. Go fishing. OK.

But what kind of impact do you want to make on the world?

Establishing a leadership role in a company is not purely about climbing the ladder to make more money. Making more money is a fringe benefit!

Why would you want more responsibility? You don't. You want to make more impact! Responsibility is both a power to wield and a burden. It cuts both ways, but you take it on because you want to see your organization accomplish great things and be part of it.

I could easily take a backseat role making less money and have more free time and free mental cycles. But at my age I have the experience, energy, and reputation to make a dent in the universe. I'm not going to sit at home watching movies all day with that opportunity in front of me. But my own choices are a result of working in an environment that I find rewarding. Not perfect, but rewarding and impactful overall. If you aren't at a place that gives you that sense of purpose/passion/satisfaction, then find one (or create one) ASAP. When I've been in boring, dispassionate environments, I've left them. I was an independant contractor for years, and that was cool, until it wasn't. Job or no job, VP title or not, if you hate it, stop. But if it is rewarding work, if you have the vision to help the company grow, but you choose to take a backseat and let some other person step up instead, you lost your right to complain about their performance. Get in the ring.

FI is a checkmark. Purpose is your life.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by NextMil » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:56 am

investingdad wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:25 am
I'm curious if folks that are FI, or close to it, and who have fought to climb a corporate ladder have found their desire waning.

I'm in my mid 40s and this is probably prime promotion and climbing years. But given our financial situation, I don't see the point. I enjoy working and what I do, but I think I've outgrown the petty politics and crazy work weeks that I see in those my age and a bit younger that are fighting to get a bigger piece of the pie by pushing for higher tier roles.

I think our early discipline may have exempted us from this ridiculousness. You hear about the cliche of people getting a big promotion and buying luxury cars, but we got quite a few folks here that do this. They are all in on the whole thing.

If I bump savings by another 100k a year in FIREcalc, I only gain about 18 months in my time to full FI. For my wife or I to have had a role by now that adds that much income we'd have to have been pedal to the metal every day for the last 15 years... about the same length of time we've been parents. Instead we've had a nice balance.

And so, with our early 20s being our starting date for retirement saving, I believe we can leave this stuff to our colleagues.

Have others had similar epiphanies?
What’s the alternative? Could you see yourself stuck in your position until you call it quits and not be bored? That’s the question for me. I need to keep finding new challenges, otherwise M-F is just awful. That may not mean climbing your company’s corporate ladder. Could mean something entirely different.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by investingdad » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:30 am

Workload in my role cycles up and down. When I'm busy I find that I'm engaged and enjoying my work. So the key will really to be kept busy.

But I'm finding my tolerance for the egoes of the promoted to be waning.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Silverado » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:54 am

I know we all respect and value Taylor for his service to the country and us, but I will point out a small issue with his experience. He waited until he was FI to blow the whistle. I do not blame him, and would likely do the same. However, the truly noble way is to blow and blow loudly the first instance you become aware of cheating regardless of personal situation.

I have enjoyed the varying viewpoints in this thread. Our household is a little half and half. We are essentially on an easy cruise to FI in a couple short years, and I am more than happy to put aside the ambition for a lot of the reasons cited. Spouse still has a lot of drive for a few more steps up, which is also great.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by hfj » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:12 am

I'm in my mid-40s, and being at a technical level I like with good work/life balance, I don't seek further promotion, especially since I have a desire to avoid management. But what I do day-to-day does evolve as technology advances, so there's always new stuff for me to learn and apply to current projects. I also have a fair amount of autonomy, which is important to me.

To be honest, I'm not sure if being FI is a large part of my thinking. Mainly, it gives me the feeling if that if things start to go badly at work, I have plenty of options. I can take my time to find a company/manager/position I like, I can scale back (I've contemplated switching to contracting and working 6-on/6-off after my kids are off to college as a transition to full retirement), or maybe I'll just fully retire. But it does allow me to be particular about the work and work environment.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by staythecourse » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:16 am

I don't think you should poo poo those that are ambitious at work even it is just to make more money to buy material things. Its great folks are out there that are like that otherwise no one would be gung ho of getting stuff done at work to impress others. I do agree that my drive at work has decreased significantly that I have realized I am on pace to have more money then we need.

I run my own physician practice and am the boss, but have found NO interest in growing my practice outside of the natural organic growth. If I grow it I just work harder to make more money that I don't even need. Doesn't make much sense. I do feel guilty when I see younger or even older docs in my field working MUCH harder then me, but then again I did work hard to put me in a position to let my money do some of the hard work for me.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by EddyB » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:53 am

bironology wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:06 am
Is the goal of life to be spending your days in liesure activities? Have a hobby - cool. Go fishing. OK.

But what kind of impact do you want to make on the world?

Establishing a leadership role in a company is not purely about climbing the ladder to make more money. Making more money is a fringe benefit!

Why would you want more responsibility? You don't. You want to make more impact! Responsibility is both a power to wield and a burden. It cuts both ways, but you take it on because you want to see your organization accomplish great things and be part of it.

I could easily take a backseat role making less money and have more free time and free mental cycles. But at my age I have the experience, energy, and reputation to make a dent in the universe. I'm not going to sit at home watching movies all day with that opportunity in front of me. But my own choices are a result of working in an environment that I find rewarding. Not perfect, but rewarding and impactful overall. If you aren't at a place that gives you that sense of purpose/passion/satisfaction, then find one (or create one) ASAP. When I've been in boring, dispassionate environments, I've left them. I was an independant contractor for years, and that was cool, until it wasn't. Job or no job, VP title or not, if you hate it, stop. But if it is rewarding work, if you have the vision to help the company grow, but you choose to take a backseat and let some other person step up instead, you lost your right to complain about their performance. Get in the ring.

FI is a checkmark. Purpose is your life.
Great, but the vast majority of people finding their “purpose” in “climbing the corporate ladder” are kidding themselves if they think that’s creating a meaningful “impact,” IMHO. Some other worker bee would do much the same thing as a replacement,if any given person were to fall off the corporate ladder.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by EddyB » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:07 am

Starfish wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:22 am
SQRT wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:16 am
The assumption that all people who like/love their jobs don’t have any other interests in their lives is clearly false. For this to be true everyone who enjoys their job/career would have to be a “workaholic”. I had plenty of “outside interests” while working and hardly worked more than 50 hours a week (unless a big deal was underway). In fact, I would say that the most successful of my work associates often had the most interesting outside interests. Most would not be viewed as “workaholics”.
What plenty of meaningful interests can you have with 40-50h of work plus commute and obviously plus the family life? Even adding the American vacation which is what... 4 weeks?
I can barely find 2h to ride a bike or go sailing with my friends, but only once every several of weeks. I go to a "men's night out" every several months. I could read a book now, and I do it sometimes, but it does not satisfy me enough. I do travel for vacation but is way too short.
I share your skepticism (or what I at least read as skepticism in a rhetorical question, rather than only a question). While one may fit a couple of things around his or her 50 hours at work, and commuting, and may enjoy some vacations, when one’s job is far and away the number one use of time (and, really, the first priority), the disparity between work and other interests significantly limits what one gets out of (or puts into) those outside interests. Really, to pursue a successful career is almost certainly to make it the primary shaper of one’s time and identity. To deny that tilts much closer to the one-dimensional than not seems, to me, overly defensive.

sambb
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by sambb » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 am

SQRT wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:54 am
mrspock wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:27 am
SQRT wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:34 am
I reached my ultimate goal in my career at age 48. It was what I always wanted and worked for. After 3-5 years of working in this position I was FI by quite a wide margin. Did my work ethic and drive diminish? Disappointingly it did. I regret this even now after 12 years of retirement. Wish I could have risen above the “FI” and continued at my previous pace. Who knows what I could have accomplished. But I retired at 56 to live the life of “rich retired guy”. It’s been a great retirement but in retrospect I think I could easily have done even better.

Life isn’t always just about money. At this point I feel a bit like I “sold out”. Took the money and ran. Silly I know.
I think you made the right choice. Consider had you stayed, you might very well have looked back and asked yourself "I traded X years of freedom for Y dollars or career accomplishment." or maybe your wouldn't have I don't know.
I think on balance I did make the right choice but the longer I am retired the less sure I am. I suspect it might be due to gradually “forgetting” how stressful the job was.

In any event,I was trying to point out the relatively rare point of view (around here at least) that one can derive satisfaction from one’s career. Or that the “obvious smart choice” once one reaches FI may not be to retire. For many it is, of course, but not for everyone.
I really like my job too, i hope i can stay at it for awhile, whether i am FI or not.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by aspirit » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:15 am

Silverado wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:54 am
I know we all respect and value Taylor for his service to the country and us, but I will point out a small issue with his experience. He waited until he was FI to blow the whistle. I do not blame him, and would likely do the same. However, the truly noble way is to blow and blow loudly the first instance you become aware of cheating regardless of personal situation.
I suspect your are slightly mistaken. Nuances do matter.
My understanding was that Taylor was in fact working for .gov/IRS whilst blowing the whistle in a Congressional Testimony!

AFAIK He was working for the IRS and appointed to analyzed the SBA's loans and lending stats. SBAs loans had a round figure of 45% defaults. Thats unsustainable. He did not kick the can down the road on 45% defaults, he blew the whistle.

After his testimony he was underhandedly fired because he in fact blew the whistle. Gov. corruption is a industry uninto itself. He then sued the .gov for firing him undeservedly and won in court against .gov/IRS.
I suspect this verdict finalized his accumulation and FI. :happy

Thats just my understanding from following many of his posts.
I suspect thats 95+% accurate assessment.

I do not believe looking the other way is in Taylor's persona. It usually never ends well.
After all, he's part of this particular sites founding fathers so to speak, not to mention years on the M* forums.

Were you aware that both Lincoln & JFK wanted and tried to remove the Fed as this countries currency provider? Both were assassinated for something important. Thats afaik.
In big money theres bigger power.imo.

As for the threads theme.
After ones FI what ya going to do?
Have a plan.
Platitudes fail fast.

Good luck!
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

kd2008
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by kd2008 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:32 am

This a great thread. My personal story: laid off from megacorp earlier in the year. Joined a startup. Didnt get equity. 50% pay cut. Grown and doubled the company in 4 months. More vacation. Steep learning curve. Loads of new things to learn. Late thirties. Close to preliminary FI in 6 months. They call it lean FIRE or something.

The lower pay and no equity hurts. I will be honest about it. But the thrill of building up is cool. Given we are near to FI, I value more vacation. Hopefully, pay will go up in years to come.

Finding a setup that fits well is the key. Rest of the pieces will fall in place in due course.

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by spahkee » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:38 am

With FI, I'm finding that I am more willing to challenge things going on and taking risks without worrying about the consequences to my career. I don't deal with petty office politics or jockeying for the next promotio. Ironically, that has let to me being promoted and recognized by senior management.

If by saying something that someone doesn't like, my attitude is, "so what" - what's the worse thing they can do? Fire me? I suppose this could have gone the other way and may lead to my being let go at some point - at which point, I'll have had a fulfilling career doing what I think is right and not tip toeing and dealing with the office politics. Sort of liberating....

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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by SQRT » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:56 am

EddyB wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:07 am
Starfish wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:22 am
SQRT wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:16 am
The assumption that all people who like/love their jobs don’t have any other interests in their lives is clearly false. For this to be true everyone who enjoys their job/career would have to be a “workaholic”. I had plenty of “outside interests” while working and hardly worked more than 50 hours a week (unless a big deal was underway). In fact, I would say that the most successful of my work associates often had the most interesting outside interests. Most would not be viewed as “workaholics”.
What plenty of meaningful interests can you have with 40-50h of work plus commute and obviously plus the family life? Even adding the American vacation which is what... 4 weeks?
I can barely find 2h to ride a bike or go sailing with my friends, but only once every several of weeks. I go to a "men's night out" every several months. I could read a book now, and I do it sometimes, but it does not satisfy me enough. I do travel for vacation but is way too short.
I share your skepticism (or what I at least read as skepticism in a rhetorical question, rather than only a question). While one may fit a couple of things around his or her 50 hours at work, and commuting, and may enjoy some vacations, when one’s job is far and away the number one use of time (and, really, the first priority), the disparity between work and other interests significantly limits what one gets out of (or puts into) those outside interests. Really, to pursue a successful career is almost certainly to make it the primary shaper of one’s time and identity. To deny that tilts much closer to the one-dimensional than not seems, to me, overly defensive.
Well, I guess it depends on the person and where he works. There is no doubt that holding down a responsible full time job or career will take up a lot of energy. Probably the majority of personal energy ,or close to it, for most people. I agree it will often shape one’s identity. Certainly did for me. However, for many people there can be a fair bit of personal energy left for family, travel,outside interests,etc. In short “a life”.

I remember my boss (CEO)telling us(senior exec team) once that he expected us to have “lives outside work”. Looking around that table I saw people who ran the Boston Marathon, took bike and hiking trips all over the world, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. Most were married with children and gave significant time to charitable organizations. Every year we would build a Habitat for Humanity house as a group.

I agree this is probably not common or representative of most businesses or careers. Just pointing out it can happen. I was very lucky and I know it. In this way and many others.
Last edited by SQRT on Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

KlangFool
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:34 am

Folks,

To each its own. The following is one of my stories.

Right in the middle of the Telecom bust, my employer did quarterly lay off of 5% to 10%. My division was hit repeatedly. In spite of all that, we triple our revenue and profit. As a reward for our productivity and excellence, we were shut down and outsource to India. I was a product manager. I worked very hard with our team to make sure that we weren't shut down right in the middle of Telecom Bust. We delayed the shut down for a few years and many folks found a job after the shutdown.

I worked hard and stressed out with the constant reduction of resources for 5 1/2 years. The pressure was on me to try to keep 100+ folks on our location employed as long as possible. It took a lot out of me. In the end, I was so relieved when I was laid off. I promised myself that I never want to be in the management anymore.

It was a success for me not because of the revenue and profit triple. It was a success for me because our team stays employed a few years longer.

People matters. Corporate success is irrelevant.

KlangFool

TheNightsToCome
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:02 pm

tooluser wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:04 am
Every month on the corporate website my company lists the current and former employees who have died. They used to list the age at which they died, but stopped doing that several year ago (so these days I have no idea how old they were). Reading this is both a sobering and instructive experience.

A few die in service, many die within 10 years of retirement, and a few die 30 or 40 years after they retired. For whatever reason, I regard those at 30-40 years in retirement as my heroes and desired peer group. But that's largely a lottery draw. I would like at least 20 years in retirement, do-able for most if they retire early enough. I have known a few who wanted to die at their desks, and only one who partially achieved that. Others left earlier or were forced out for various reasons beyond their control. I gave up on the corporate ladder for other reasons entirely, after having been successful at that endeavor for many years.

I think it's instructive to make a sobering table of "age and projected retirement income" versus "expected percent of remaining life sacrificed to wait to that age".

Assuming a life expectancy of 83 years, at age 55 each remaining year is 3.6% of your life. Waiting until age 58 to retire is about 10% of your remaining life. That's rather depressing. At age 70 it's more than 50%. How much is "success on the corporate ladder" or "financial safety in your retirement years" worth to you, compared to the freedom and individuality associated with leaving earlier? Would you give up 5% of your life to be a VP instead of a Director? Why?

Some people have no choice, through no fault of their own. How does that feel in comparison?

And many never make that calculation, and die happy or sad regardless. There's also an argument for doing whatever makes you feel best in the moment.

Given the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it seems to me that gut feel is best, but back it up with planning and calculations to make sure you don't back off too early. l have only one story of folks who retired early and regretted it due to insufficient fun and funds. But as far as I know they did not go back to work.
"I think it's instructive to make a sobering table of "age and projected retirement income" versus "expected percent of remaining life sacrificed to wait to that age".

Assuming a life expectancy of 83 years, at age 55 each remaining year is 3.6% of your life. Waiting until age 58 to retire is about 10% of your remaining life. That's rather depressing. At age 70 it's more than 50%. How much is "success on the corporate ladder" or "financial safety in your retirement years" worth to you, compared to the freedom and individuality associated with leaving earlier? Would you give up 5% of your life to be a VP instead of a Director? Why?"


Here is a sobering (interactive) graph of the relative risk of running out of money versus running out of life (see the "wedge of death" in the link below). I need to revisit this data frequently to maintain the proper perspective.

http://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/

Starfish
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Starfish » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:38 pm

tooluser wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:04 am
Assuming a life expectancy of 83 years, at age 55 each remaining year is 3.6% of your life. Waiting until age 58 to retire is about 10% of your remaining life. That's rather depressing. At age 70 it's more than 50%. How much is "success on the corporate ladder" or "financial safety in your retirement years" worth to you, compared to the freedom and individuality associated with leaving earlier? Would you give up 5% of your life to be a VP instead of a Director? Why?
It's even worse.
Years of life have different value.
If I assign 10 points for a year of life when I was 20, at 40 that year is worth maybe 5 points, and the value decreases rapidly after 60. My mother who is in her 80s and suffers from continuous pain from chronic conditions would give a very small value for a year, maybe 0, but she can still move around. Other people with worse problems can say a year of life is even negative, worse that death.
So life is a replaceable rapidly depreciating asset and the curve of depreciation is opposite than cars: flat for a while but it drops rapidly after a certain age.

Starfish
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Starfish » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm

bironology wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:06 am
Why would you want more responsibility? You don't. You want to make more impact! Responsibility is both a power to wield and a burden. It cuts both ways, but you take it on because you want to see your organization accomplish great things and be part of it.

Unless you work for Medicins sans frontieres you impact is between 0 and negative. What impact do most companies have? If any, usually the impact comes from the low people, the innovators, not the number crunching business people who are easily replaceable by other number crunching people.
I can make a huge list of companies from which I cannot name any reasonable positive impact.

FoolMeOnce
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by FoolMeOnce » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:18 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:15 am
mak1277 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:00 am
But really, I think most people are unable or unwilling to accept or understand opposing viewpoints. It's not "sad" if someone loves their job and never wants to retire. Nor is it "sad" if someone is excited about early retirement because they don't want to work. It's only sad if someone does something they hate because they're afraid of what other people will think if they stop doing it.
Yes it is sad, even objectively speaking.
If you really like only one thing in life which happens to be exactly a corporate job, to land exactly on that job given all the random events in the choice of a career is very improbable.
So for sure we like more things, areas etc.
That is an unfounded assumption. If someone likes their job enough to keep working well past FI, that doesn't mean they like nothing else. I like Snickers and Kit-Kat, but will still chose Snickers nearly every time.

That said, I think the American focus on work defining and dominating one's life is sad. But if someone loves what they do, it doesn't mean they wouldn't love something else, and it is ridiculous to call it objectively sad for them to continue doing something they love.

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Taylor Larimore
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Enjoy your job?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:29 pm

Bogleheads:

There can be few things worse than spending half our waking hours unhappy in what we are doing.

I believe that people who enjoy their jobs are among the most fortunate. Unfortunately, it seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Pinotage
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by Pinotage » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:39 pm

Interesting thread, I have enjoyed reading the variety of responses. I experienced similar feelings within the past few years and decided to make a career change as a result. Mostly I feel good about the decision. I have different responsibilities now, make similar money, and am learning a lot of new skills. Not a drastic change but enough to shake things up and provide new challenges.

But the comments re: grass always being greener are spot on. In fact, there is a semi-recent thread on this very board started by someone who is sick of doing what I (now) do. Working high stress, low stress, or retired: you are ultimately the only one who controls your own happiness.

It is also worth considering that some worlds of work offer access to people, technology, and situations that can't be bought at any price.

One last thing I haven't seen directly mentioned in this thread: you may want to be really confident about FI before you dial too far back. Confident to the point of adjusting your AA, bond tenting, stashing cash... whatever you want to call it.

Imagine the economy taking a step back, you are *no longer* FI, but you've dialed out at work. Pretty hard to restart your mojo once you've become complacent. Laid off/unmotivated/rusty skills and competing with younger, hungrier talent is not a recession-time scenario older me ever wants to deal with.

EnjoyIt
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by EnjoyIt » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:03 pm

The realization that you just don't need more and more money to be happier is a blessing. It simplifies life and buys you options. You are one of the privileged few who have realized it at a young age and pushed your way towards financial freedom. I watch my colleagues playing politics, buying new shinny things in the thinking that this is how they should live their lives. It is sad honestly, watching them build their own prison of mindless consumption.

A few years ago I hit the role of management which lead to significantly more money and also much more stress. Hitting this title has been a huge goal of mine when I set out on my career path. I thought I would hit it in my mid 50s but instead got there in my late 30s. Although we made significantly more money we did not upgrade our spending much. Today in my early 40s we are just about financially independent and also have realized the value of our time and what our money actually purchases. Earlier this year I was asked to do some training to progress in my management career but instead of moving up I will be stepping down and going part time within a few months. We have decided that our lives are way too short to waste it away stressing over the problems of other people. We would rather spend it together with our family, with our friends, and also traveling and experiencing fun new places. There are so many things we still want to do and learn. Work is just getting in the way of life these days.

We actually both like our jobs but not enough to do it every day. Semi-retirment will do well for us. Although some people when getting close to retirement age wish they worked a little harder to have more money, I suspect it is because of this mindless consumption earlier in life leaving them with less than adequate retirement funds. No one ever in their very old age says they wish they worked harder and made more money.

OP, good luck with your direction whichever way you choose to go.

mnnice
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Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

Post by mnnice » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:24 pm

I semi-retired and left a longstanding k-12 gig. I am not interested in climbing anything. I do want to hike the Camino like Victoria. :D
I also developed a distrust and unease with some of the older administrators I worked with. They seemed like grouchy micromanagers. I often couldn’t figure out if they were bad at their own finances and couldn’t quit or just enjoyed the minor power trip of bossing underlings around. Both seemed like possible personality flaws.

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