I…just…can’t…bring…myself…to…do…it…L For those new to the show recently I’ve been posting a fair amount on my hunt to change directions in my career. Thankfully the phone has been ringing, emails have been returned and I’ve been on what feels like a marathon of interviews the last few weeks, but have yet to find that perfect fit. And to keep the old ego in check, I will add that a few managers I interviewed with more than likely felt the same way about me. I feel like I’m trying to balance two full-time jobs, working my current role and scanning and searching for new roles. And one tangible option that is before me also terrifies my soul: quitting the day job to hunt full-time for my dream job.
Mathematically it makes sense. Currently after our household breaks down monthly expenses, we live off one income and save/invest the rest. And even then we still net roughly $500 - $600 in disposable income on just one salary. We also have our emergency fund in place and low six figures in investable assets. So why in the world does pushing pause for a few months scare the life out of me?
A longer pause than expected
I voiced this concern to my wife last week, and then realized how stupid it sounded as soon as I said it, “What if for the next 40 years all I do is apply and get rejected and no one wants to hire me?” While it seems unlikely that I could go the rest of my life without drawing another paycheck due to a general lack of interest from employers, the idea of willfully stepping away from the workforce gets me choked up inside (not in the good way). We have been on an awesome financially plan over the last few years and I dreadfully feel that by using my walkaway power with my current employer that I will put a dent on our goals and momentum. Right now the 401k is building every month through contributions, we are keeping our options open to move and increase our rent as well as purchase a car and I feel that if my paychecks stop that I will put a delay on our goals. Plus there is no guaranty as to how long my paycheck sleep off would last. Yes these are the things that run through my mind and yes, at times, it is scary in there even for me.
Another what if that trips me up is the what if concerning pay rates. Our goals and projections for reaching goals are based on what we currently earn. What if I take such a severe cut in pay that it hurts our abilities to travel the way we want, eat the way we want, to have a kid in the backdrop of financial security the way we want and **GASP** it takes me longer than expected to reach one million dollars in net worth.
I shared this concern with my wife, coupled with the concern that I am being greedy and just want a paycheck for financial goals as opposed to career fulfillment. She reassured me that my concern for our family’s financial well-being is just one of the many reasons that she feels I am a great husband and that I will be a great father.
This is probably the biggest of the three. My biggest fear is leaving the dock and in due time being in the exact same rut that I find myself in today: Doing work that does not harness all of my skills and personality. Even more so, I’m looking to do work that I believe in with my heart and soul and is a mission and not just a job.
At one time in my life I would have looked at these fears, become paralyzed and stayed exactly where I was while convincing myself that everything was not as bad as I made it out to be. What I find interesting is that at this point in my life, while the fears still exist, that I am continuing to search and put myself out there to find the new direction that my career will take. That means regular check-ins with recruiters, participating in networking (yuck!) and regularly checking and following up with job boards at companies I am interested in and networking (yuck! yuck!) like crazy to get referrals in. “Trudge On” has become my motto, and even though I am hesitant on causing a disruption to our household’s current cash flow, I still like I am moving in the right direction one day at a time.