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Big life change, been there done that wisdom?

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HurtsButImOK posted 2/28/2014 13:24 PM

I had posted previously a list of what I wanted to accomplish in 2014. Then I took a holiday. It was supposed to be a fun and exciting one in which I tried and succeeded at new activities. What I found though was that I have deep self belief issues that need to be addressed eg SCUBA was an issue I think because I don’t trust myself to save myself in troubled circumstances. It made me take stock of my life.

I have managed to achieve an incredible amount of success. Take my current position. Female, under 40, no background in manufacturing or engineering, no degree, and yet promoted to manager of a prototyping engineering company. Sounds great right?

After much consideration and introspection I have decided to chuck in my job, free fall and complete my education (degree). The wake up call was realising that even just stepping out from my job for 2 weeks caused me to lose the ‘edge’ of surviving in the toxic environment. Its not a case of not being able to do the job (I rock it) its that I don’t want to be there, it feels like my soul dies a little more each day. I also don’t know what ‘I want to be when I grow up’. What is my purpose in life? What I do know is that I don’t feel I can discover my purpose staying in my current company. It is truly a horrific place that I feel I run interception on to prevent the toxicity spilling too much onto my staff. I end up feeling depleted and unable to enjoy what time I do have outside of work, as its all about recharging the batteries to go back into the fray each Monday.

I will be handing in my resignation on Monday. I have decided to take a year out of ‘life’ to live somewhere remote and complete my final year of my degree. A ‘river change’ if you will. It is scary and exciting all at the same time. So different to the ‘normal’ that has been my unhappy life for so very long. I don’t know if it is a good decision or a bad one. I just know I need to try something and now is the best time in my life to do it (no kids, no house mortgage, no destructive relationship to financially support). Will be going from 6 figure salary to nothing. Even with the unknowns I feel more peaceful than anything else at this point.

Anyone else make big life changes and regret the decision or, did you reflect that it was the best thing? Whilst I am committed to this change as being necessary for me, it is always helpful to hear BTDT wisdom.

hexed posted 2/28/2014 13:37 PM

I have made several major changes in my life. None have ever turned out as expected or been w/o surprise challenges. I don't regret any of them. I'm not adverse to big change though.

I hear you about the job. A few years ago, I got what I thought was my dream job. Big raise, nice title, cool start up..ect. Yeah I hated it from day one. Every morning pulling into the parking garage, I felt a little bit of my soul dying. I lasted 3 weeks and quit. That was a GREAT decision.

Enjoy your leap!

StillLivin posted 2/28/2014 13:49 PM

I'm back in school full time. I'm working full time, but giving up my contract to another in 2 more weeks.
I'll be on a tight budget, but I will finally be doing something for me instead of for everybody else. I wanted to do this years ago. STBXH wanted more expensive toys, so plodded away at a job that paid peanuts, doing something that gave me absolutely no joy.
Clink, Salud to big life changes!!!! Raising my margarita glass to us all taking the big step!

FaithFool posted 2/28/2014 14:08 PM

That is a great idea if you have the funds to support a year away.

I'm sure you will find all kinds of doors opening in your mind once you get away from the crazy.

HurtsButImOK posted 2/28/2014 14:30 PM

Thank you for the responses.

I don't know how this will end up, I just know I want to change something on the roller coaster that is my life.

I have enough funds to keep me for at least 6 months (closer to 1 year) but intend to seek a casual job during this time for income.

I also intend to try living 'naturally' and being a hippy! Such a change from my unhippy current existence

StillLivin posted 2/28/2014 14:32 PM

You are sooo funny Hurts!
You should apply for financial aid and scholarships too. No doubt you will do fantastic in school.
I'd wish you luck, but you got this!
So, have fun on the path to self improvement!!!!

HurtsButImOK posted 2/28/2014 14:47 PM

Unfortunately StillLivin in Oz your previous year income is used for all benefit assessment (learned from previous experience) so I will do it on my own.

I am blessed that I can even think of doing that.
I am just looking forward to being able to study without dipshit actively working against me.

StillLivin posted 2/28/2014 15:00 PM

Oh, yes, I get that. But the 2d-4th year when you won't have much income, THAT might get you plenty!
Plus depending on what your major is, there are internships for the summer semesters.
Still, best to stay frugal and not count on aid, but I think you will be good once your income isn't showing so high.
I'm excited FOR you!

HurtsButImOK posted 2/28/2014 15:14 PM

Its final year of degree to finish and no placements necessary. I can use previous experience if ever required (although its not).

Oz degrees largely suck IMHO (had to expend a lot of internal training money to get grads up to scratch). I hope that is solely restricted to aerospace but I don't think it is.

norabird posted 2/28/2014 15:25 PM

I've never BTDT but I doubt you will regret this. It sounds exhilarating! Kudos to you.

fireproof posted 2/28/2014 16:06 PM

I would take a leave for 6 months- unpaid but you still can stay with the company name.

Why? Because when you don't have a job or take the time bills and life can pile. You get an unrealistic expectation of life and unless you are able to retire you will have to go back to work.

This gives you the option if something happens. Trust me it is hard to go back unless you have a good explanation- this is keeping the door open and investigating a new life.

Good luck and enjoy!

gardenparty posted 2/28/2014 18:28 PM

I did a 180 degree career change a year after my divorce. Went from a landscape designer to a plumber, working and coming home every night to a 21 day on/7 day off rotational schedule in a different province. I also worked for 6 months in Afghanistan. I regret none of it. I am currently a journeyman plumber in a supervisory position, enjoy my job AND make enough income to live quite well. So go for it. Enjoy the journey. I don't think furthering education can ever be a bad thing.

Amazonia posted 2/28/2014 19:18 PM

I'm very risk averse, so take my input with a grain of salt... I felt the same way about my last job. It was such a toxic environment and I felt a weight off my shoulders when I put in my resignation (after getting my current/dream job lined up), so I get the need to get out.

I do wonder though, if you are good at your job and successful enough to be earning such an impressive salary, is there a way they could convert your position to one you could telecommute and work part time while completing your degree? Without having to go into the toxic environment...

Bluebird26 posted 3/1/2014 03:20 AM

Good luck I hope it pans out well for you. You are extremely brave.

I wish I could have a massive change like this but children to feed etc. I crave it, I feel kinda trapped in my own life.

Best of luck.

stronger08 posted 3/1/2014 04:36 AM

From my own personal experience these types of things is some of the scariest shit one can face. It takes a huge leap of faith to chuck your life and begin anew. After my D was final, I took some of the most severe personal, emotional and final hits in my life. But I knew deep down in my heart my life was screaming for change. So I set forth on a journey of self discovery and for the first time in my life decided that I needed to be a priority. I came up with a plan to get my financial house in order first. Because as we all know money does control our lives at a certain extent. In 2 years I was out of debt totally. No CC, auto, mortgage etc. I took a look at what I had and what I needed to achieve my plan. As I had just turned 50 by then and as luck would have it my firm offered early retirement packages for employees of said age of 50. Its often done as a last resort to layoffs. So in my prime earning years after clawing my way up the corporate ladder to a lower level of senior management. You know the spot where your next step up would be your last. But it would set you firmly in the upper management ranks. I decided to bail and call it a day. This surprised the shit out of my managers, peers and subordinates. And myself for that fact. I was actually encouraged to stay, but I had made my decision and everyone thought I was nuts.

As I have worked fulltime since the tender age of 15 and spent 32 years of that time in my field I was lucky enough to have a few bucks stashed away. Even after losing almost half of my retirement to my D I ran the numbers and they looked doable. I have a 14 yo that was my number one priority, so I made sure his continued support was taken care of first. I then used funds to purchase another home in a much less expensive part of the country for cash. Having no mortgage all I needed was enough money to pay everyday bills and expenses. My fairly new SUV was paid off before I left my job so I have no outstanding revolving debt. The home I bought was cheap and a true fixer upper. Took me a year to get that place together but I'm all settled in and happy I made this decision. I do what I want, when I want. I certainly don't miss the stress and the bad habits that caused. I live my life day to day, week to week and so far Its going well. Its been 2 years now and I'm happy to report that while I'm a bit lonely things are good for me. I do not regret doing this and that's the best part of it all.

After all of that I still have some decent money in the bank. I subsidize my income by doing what I always did, trading stocks except this time it was for my own benefit. I "work" probably a total of 10 hours a week and I'm doing all right with that as well. You would be surprised on how little one actually needs when the big stiff is taken care of and you cut out most of life's luxuries that really never made a difference anyway. I live in a decent home, in a good community and I'm happy. I figure if life throws me a curve the worst thing that can happen is I go back to work. Its very scary at first, but of you plan it out prior its very rewarding. I have rediscovered old passions and hobbies. You know the good stuff you set aside when your M just to keep the peace. Right now I'm set for life if I keep an eye on my finances. Its not an exciting or glorious life. But it is a happy one. With gods help and some serious work on my end things are pretty good. I hope that my little story can inspire and set you at ease. But ya never will know how deep the pool is until you jump right in. I feel the number one culprit that gets in the way of ones personal happiness is fear. Once you overcome that, you can do almost anything. Best of luck to you and I look forward to hearing updates on your life.

HurtsButImOK posted 3/1/2014 13:56 PM

Thanks again for the insightful and thought provoking responses.

Fireproof and Ama - I have considered taking a leave of absence but ultimately I really hate working for the company. I am the epitome of a disgruntled employee only, because I am management, cant show it and have to keep spruiking the joys of the company. It makes me feel duplicitous and fake. It is sad as I once loved working here, its been the longest job I have worked in (almost 10 years). Unfortunately a new CEO has introduced values that I do not agree with and stacked the place with like minded people. Think bullying from the top and 'yes men'.

Gardenparty - sounds like the change worked out well.

Stronger08 - sound advice on the financial side.

I am lucky in that I will be living in my mum's holiday house. Its solar powered, fed by rainwater and I don't have to pay rent. My bills will be reduced to feeding myself and my dogs, horse agistment, text books and running costs of car. I have crunched the numbers and can comfortably live for more than 6 months and still have an emergency fund should vet bills etc be required. I intend to get a casual job to pay my way so that I don't deplete all my savings.

Thanks so much for the encouragement everyone else who responded. It is scarey and exciting. I haven't been unemployed since I was 17

I also spoke with my former general manager (who recently left) and am in contact with the former CEO. I will keep my networks alive and can call on them for references or, most likely a job after completing my study.

I think I will learn a lot from the experience.

persevere posted 3/1/2014 16:15 PM

I'm excited for you Hurts and it sounds like you've thoroughly considered your plan. Good luck!

dead_inside posted 3/1/2014 21:28 PM

I've quit a good paying, permanent job for a contract job, because it ate away at my soul, and I even had a child to support. I ended up with another permanent job, in a leadership position which was a promotion all around! I truly believe if you are enthusiastic and a hard worker, you can always find something. Go for it, it sounds like just the right move at the right time to me!

BAB61 posted 3/3/2014 13:33 PM

ooooh, an adventure!!! You've done your homework .. sounds like you will be fine. The worst that can happen is you'll need to take a job to make ends meet, but you won't have the toxicity and that means you're already better off!

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