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Anyone give up a high-paying, high-stress job for a significant pay cut?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DrGnosis, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I gave up a $100,000 job as a college lecturer in Electronics and the Maths that went with it. I had a 97% pass rate and an average of 97% but the stress led me to drink, marriage breakdown at.al. So as I had a government pension scheme I quit @ 58.
    I miss work, or rather, the people at my work, but not the stress.
     
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  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sounds sensible enough but my biggest single expense is groceries.

    No mortgage or car payments though.
    Maintaining what I've got does add up.
     
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  3. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I was laid off from a large company that was high stress about seven years ago. I have been working for a smaller company with less than half the stress since then. It actually pays the same but the benefits aren’t quite as good. I would not go back. I have talked with other ex employees of the large company and they feel the same way.

    I am retiring in the next month and am excited about that. I currently want my time to be my own more than more money.

    Your trade could be excellent.
     
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  4. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I went from a high stress management position into teaching special ed at age 40.

    Teaching isn't exactly stress free but there's more autonomy and is more fulfilling.

    I'll be retiring at the end of this summer. Pension is nice. It's been a great run. Had time for playing my music and, along with my wife, raising my wonderful daughter.

    One very cool byproduct: I was too busy getting my teaching Masters degree and learning a new trade to go into the mid life crisis thing.
     
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  5. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have never had a high paying job, but every single one I've had has been incredibly stressful.

    The most stressful was being a self-employed musician when the economy tanked and for several years following.

    I stopped taking gigs where I was not treated fairly, now I have much less stress.

    Tonight's gig the drive was only an hour and a half, the people were so kind and fun, I was tipped very well, and I still had time to do all kinds of stuff around the house.

    I cannot fathom the level of stress associated with different careers, I imagine I would not handle them well.

    I admire other peoples ability to do so many things that seem absolutely impossible for me.

    I think that's how I got to where I am, just took one look at the world when I was a kid and said "nope."
     
  6. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gave up a salary starting with a 2. It almost killed me.
     
  7. Just-Jim

    Just-Jim Tele-Afflicted

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    I did. I have always struggled with job stress. I think a lot of younger people at my work wonder why I am content doing what I do and don't take the next step. I had taken that next step. I don't really know what a nervous breakdown is, but I sensed I was seriously on the verge of one. Though I was making better money, it was worth taking a pay cut to relieve some stress. I feel my health and family life are more important than the money.
     
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  8. Boblets

    Boblets Friend of Leo's

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    Yes I did, it was part of my transmission to retirement.

    A very effective way to relieve and reduce stress. I changed from full time management to part time service delivery in the relationship counselling field.
     
  9. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

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    I left the insurance industry to be a stay at home dad and it been the best thing that ever happened to me.
     
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  10. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not really, but I threatened to do so.

    I was starting what turned out to be a four year consulting gig, and early on they wanted me to work all kinds of hours, and essentially live away all week, and fly me home on weekends. Some of the project was in NYC, a 6 hour round trip train commute for me. It sounds ridiculous, but a lot of people do it. I did it for another job. I sleep good on trains :lol:. They wanted me to essentially move into residence at the Times Square Marriott Marquis, and go home on weekends. When the project moved to the next city (Chicago?), they expected me to live there, same deal. All expenses paid, of course. The hourly rate was obscene, 3x my normal, and the billable hours would have been through the roof.

    I didn't even hesitate. No thank you.

    My son was about eight, and I wanted to be home most nights before he went to bed, and on Thursdays I had to be home by 6:30 for the weekly Boy Scout meeting.

    Once they realized I wanted to help out, but had my priorities, they actually rearranged the project, so I could work remotely most of the time. Not work from home - that wasn't really a thing yet, and security for this gig was a big deal. But they set me up in a satellite office an hour from my house, and I worked there for four wonderful years.

    It's funny how good things can happen when you stop chasing them.


    Similarly, a few years after that gig ended, my son was now 17, and we planned to hike the whole Appalachian Trail together before he went to college. Any sane person would have kept their great job, cruised it into retirement, and then hiked. But I realized this time with my son wouldn't come again (and in fact two years after the hike I became too ill to hike anymore). When I told that employer, they looked at me cross-eyed for a moment, then spun it "well OK, a couple months, that's a cool thing!". I stood my ground. "No, it'll be a full six months. I will offer my resignation before I leave, and fully expect to have to job hunt when I return."

    "Oh, no, wait, don't do that..."

    :D

    So, I chucked my earnings for six months, but they graciously continued my family health insurance for the period. Their portion, and mine. Good folks.

    Yes, I'd have more money now if I'd worked both of those situations to their maximum. But I'm much, much happier for having done things this way.
     
  11. Just-Jim

    Just-Jim Tele-Afflicted

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    Construction can be brutal in the office or laboring on the job site. Dealing with general contractors for me was something I could never get my arms around. I went into design to try and stay clear, but architects and contractors are tied together more than ever these days so I never truly got a way from it.
     
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  12. DrGnosis

    DrGnosis TDPRI Member

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    Great advice... Thanks!
     
  13. DrGnosis

    DrGnosis TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories, insight, and advice -- greatly appreciated! You guys are spot on.

    As an update, after taking everything into consideration and number crunching with my wife, I've decided to drop the high stress, great paying job for a remote working position (my current commute is 2 hours round-trip) that, while it pays less, we'll be able to make it by.

    Life's too short, and you never know when your number is going to be called.
     
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  14. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    cant wait to retire if blessed in next 2 years and do similar(was 3/4 way through to becoming a minister). Had most of the courses done but got called another direction. My company blew up and i became involved with non profit org's. So organizing tours and working with some of the non profit org's is really what drives me. Some of my friends have quit major jobs to do this and it is awesome to work with passion and not for the dollar
     
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  15. Johnkir64

    Johnkir64 TDPRI Member

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    This thread is basically about success. Money is a cruel mistress. It will come and go.Family and relationships are the most important thing. If your job affects one of those two things. It’s probably time to re-evaluate your life style. That’s my motivational bit for the day. Now go out and hug a smurf, or something.
     
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  16. trahx

    trahx Tele-Meister

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    I went from upscale restaurant General Manager to being a support tech for a restaurant POS company. About 1/3 of the pay but the reduced stress was worth it.
     
  17. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Well said.

    And I admire people who stay with the muse, full time.

    I looked at my full time musician career at age 30 and realized I didn’t have the temperament to continue working full time. I’d angst out big time when the times were lean. And that was during one of those very lean times, similar to yours.

    But I’ve always kept up the music. Bands, solo, home, whatever. Keeps me going.

    Cheers, mate!
     
  18. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    No, but I left low paying, stress filled and ridiculously time consuming day jobs for even lower paying work playing music.
    Glad I did, too.
    Like my headstone (if I have one) will read, Not Smart, Not Pretty.
     
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  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm really glad it sounds like it worked out to your satisfaction, moosie, but I'm sure you're aware many, if not most, employers aren't as reasonable as yours is.....they would be more likely to say, "Adios, mofo." Most people are captives....not to their salaries per se, but to their health insurance.
     
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  20. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    A contrarian perspective. Miserable jobs are, no doubt, life-draining. My 10-year-old self certainly didn't imagine the adult me sitting in an office 12 hours a day kowtowing to fake deadlines, half-baked "action plans," distracted colleagues, and the precarious flights of fancy of bosses and clients. It's the not the glamorous life that I assumed I'd be enjoying all those years ago.

    But apart from family members suffering from medical issues, there is nothing I know that causes more wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night type stress than financial issues. So you can take the salary cut for "quality of life" reasons, but don't kid yourself. There's no magic bullet. My two cents.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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