Careers: Your Greatest Asset (While You’re Working)

I’m not sure when it happened but I’ve become completely disenchanted with my career.

When I got out of college, I was excited to get to work. I had an internship with a giant mega bank writing software for billionaires and I was doing pretty well for myself. Never mind the fact that I didn’t negotiate my starting salary, a mistake I’m still feeling the repercussions of today.

Regardless, I was happy with working and I envisioned myself leading a long and prosperous career, ending it with a life of leisure and a giant nest egg. That could still happen but I’m working towards the alternative: ending my career with a life of efficient leisure and a decent nest egg, but a lot sooner than 65 (or 70…)

Career to Job

I’ve come to the point now where I don’t see myself working for more than 15 more years. I don’t think I’ve revealed my age up until now but 15 more years of working would put me well ahead of the typical retirement age. I’m working at my second company now and I’ve come to the realization that in my head, my career is over.

I’ve demoted it to the position it held before I got my degree: a job. It’s a means to an end, a stream of income and I’m trying to divert much of that stream into cash-flowing assets so that I can reach the point where I don’t need it anymore. And then what will I do?

Job to…?

Like every thing in this universe, your career is temporary. The length of will be determined by a few of factors:

  • Your ability to lead an efficient life and save money
  • Your ability to grow your career quickly to save more money
  • Your willingness to continue with it even when you don’t need it

As you develop the first two factors to their completion, there will come a point where you have to make a choice: now that you don’t have to work anymore, how are you going to fill up your time?

Some people can’t imagine themselves without a job and that’s totally fine! Everyone needs something to fill up their days whether it’s a hobby, volunteering, employment or any number of things. Personally, I’d take at least a month off. If my employer would give me a leave of absence, I’d take it and see how I felt about it after that. Otherwise, I’d put in my two weeks notice.

After the month was up, I could see myself continuing to work but you can be sure as hell I’d approach it a little differently. If you didn’t need the money, you could say what you needed to say and do what you needed to do to be truly effective in any position, even if it wasn’t what people necessarily wanted to hear. And if thing started to go south, you could have the freedom to request a transfer or switch positions without worrying about if the bills will get paid.

Job to Job

I actually had a phone interview today which went really well. It’s for a position doing pretty much what I’m doing now but I would be designing property management software for apartment complexes and such. I’ve been dreaming about a job in real estate somehow but there aren’t too many opportunities to unite software and real estate so this seemed like a really good fit.

They must have liked me because they want to bring me in for an in-person interview early next week. I’m excited but I definitely have some reservations. I have a great job now so if I’m offered a position I’m going to have a few terms. I don’t know if they will go for it but even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t matter. I’m actually happy where I am, I just wonder if I would be happier somewhere else.

Especially if it can speed up my progress towards the highest financial goal: not needing a job at all. Wish me luck!

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13 Comments

  1. Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Working a job you enjoy doing is extremely important! Even if you can’t find a vocation, finding something that intrigues you (even for a short period of time) is definitely better than just having a job where you’re only going through the motions on a daily basis.

    Good luck on your interview!!
    WorkSaveLive recently posted..Recipe: Slow Cooked Beef BarbecueMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Agreed. My job here had started to turn into one of “going through the motions” but I recently asked for a transfer to a new team with more interesting work. So even if I don’t get this new job, I will hopefully enjoy my work more anyway.

  2. Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    This so perfectly describes my feelings as well. I’m over 15 years into a great career. I work very hard, but realized about 5 years ago that megacorp is not the meaning to life. I am now focus on leaving mega corp and pursuing my passions and interests. My sense is if you feel this way now…that feeling will only grow over time so make the sacrifices to become financially independent now.
    BusyExecutiveMoneyBl recently posted..The Importance of Rebalancing your PortfolioMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      That’s exactly what we’re trying to do. This overall dissatisfaction has only grown over the years. I like my job, I just don’t like that I’m obligated to work it!

  3. Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Good luck on the job! I’d definitely like to retire early – working forever sounds like a nightmare – but I like my job right now. I’m new to the field though.
    Daisy recently posted..No Spend Days: What’s The Point?My Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      It gets old fast, trust me!

  4. Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I on the other hand am just starting out on my career path and so am naive, filled with the excitement of career progression in the big corporate world. I always wonder if there will come a time when I will become fed up with working for someone else.
    MultiMillionaireRoad recently posted..Quick Supermarket Saving TipsMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      You remind me of my brother in law who is just about to graduate college. He’s good with his money. Better than I was! But he still guys a lot of gadgets and video games and such.
      I don’t want for him to wake up in 10 years from now and realize that he would be 10 years closer to retirement if he had put that money to good use!

  5. Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Good luck with the job. It’s hard to work a job you don’t like. I just wrote a post about the things I like about my job because I was starting to get frustrated by all the things I don’t like.

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I try not to focus on the stuff I dislike but it’s hard when there’s no satisfying work to do. Every job will have tedium but when it starts to grow and grow, that’s when I get dissatisfied!

  6. Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Good luck with the job interview! That’s pretty cool that you found something that unites software and real estate :)

    Maybe a new job will help you become more enchanted with your career again? Or perhaps you should try to stay home when you have kids?
    Leigh recently posted..Should I really be using a stable value fund as my fixed income allocation?My Profile

  7. Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    A career or what you thought was a career can turn into just a job real easy. Take it from someone that has worked for over 38 years in the same field, for a couple of different companies. Sometimes it takes a lot to get thru the days. Now that we are debt free, it’s really hard some days to go to work. Good luck with your new adventure.
    Charlotte@Everything recently posted..4 Creative Ways to Make MoneyMy Profile

  8. Posted April 12, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    good luck DD!

    many years ago I faced a similar crossroad. I had just begun successfully investing in RE, as opposed to my condo saga, when I was offered a promotion I keenly wanted. I took the job and never looked back. No regrets. but, knowing what I know now, I’d have made more money over the years investing.
    jlcollinsnh recently posted..You can eat my Vindaloo, mega lottery, Blondie, Noa, Israel Kamakawiwo ‘Ole, art, film and a ride on the Space ShuttleMy Profile

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