Taking a Step Back

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by mike_v_s, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. How many here have taken step back in your career (whatever it may be) to be happy? By taking a step back, I mean switching to a job for less money or less responsibility or taking a job that will not lead you to the Golden Life of Retirement easily. Did you feel as though you had let yourself down? Any regrets?

    I'm an "executive" for a national organization. I'm seriously considering taking a 25% pay cut to be a Maintenance Manager for a small local company. Financially, it'll be rough, but doable.

    On the one hand, I'll only be working 40 hours a week (vs 60-70). On the other hand, I'll no longer be providing for my family in the manner that I was.

    My wife is completely behind this change. So....relay your experiences.
  2. NEVER ever take a job bassed on money alone, your health is way more important then money every will be. if you can aford to live doing somthing that you love as aposed to being rich doing somthing you hate always take the happiness. you will be less stressed, happier and generally a nicer person to be around. look for a job that is less to do with work and more to do with what you love.

    right now i am waiting to quit my dayjob, working for DCC (defence construction canada) to go and build bikes for a local bike shop, sure i will make less money but you know what i will be 10 000x happier!
  3. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I'm struggling with a very similar situation right now. I can't seem to get the nerve to jump. Money isn't everything but it sure is hard to let go of.
  4. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Taken a step back, no.

    Consciously decided NOT to take steps forward, yes. Withdrew my name from consideration for promotions, you betcha.

    I'm in engineering, and I've chosen to follow more of a "technical" career path, through which I work 40-50 hours a week with only moderate headaches, rather than a "management" track, which would kick both the hours and the headaches up considerably.

    I'm not hurting at all, but I *could* be making more if I chose to. It's just not worth missing the opportunity to play around with the kids on evenings/weekends, coach their playground teams, be a full, non-absentee member of the family. It's a trade-off, and each family has to decide what works for them.

    An older, wiser co-worker told me years ago.... "success at work is no substitute for success at home......."
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I've always put family, which to me means time with them vs- time with my job. This has hurt my "career", but I am happy with my choices. I like living where I live, and do not want to work so much that I miss my wife and miss seeing my kids grow up.

    If you see the change your proposing as a change to make yourself and family happier, then it's not a step back.
  6. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    I've done what you're thinking about. I was in sales and on the road 3-4 days a week. My oldest daughter was born and totally changed my perspective.

    My Dad passed up some very lucrative offers because he was a Dad first.......... everything else lined up behind that. He set a great example for me....... I resigned one week later.

    I'm in the car business now (Internet Sales Mgr at a Mercedes store). While I do 40-50 hours a week, I'm home every night. I'm able to go to any events (recitals, plays,etc) that come up. And quality of life is WAY better.

  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Your situation sounds eerily familiar to me - a friend of mine was just promoted to VP of his firm - moving from technical engineering and project mgmt over to sales and marketing. He's got new baby at home and he's been on the road quite a bit lately (Russia, Germany, England, etc).

    Less than 10 years ago, he was wringing his hands over whether to dedicate his career to music full-time or engineering full-time. He could have made it in music but he would have probably been away from home a lot more....

  8. This is why I'm doing it. I've often referred to my wife as a single parent. When my oldest daughter (2) wants to talk to dad, she asks my wife for the phone.

    I'm glad there are examples who've done it and survived.

  9. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Not only are there examples of having done it and survived....

    I have also seen several examples where the opposite choice is made, with the best of intentions... the hubby believes he's doing what's best for the family by pushing for the high position, high salary, et al.....

    .....only to find, years later, that he's paying alimony to an ex-wife.... paying for counselors and other programs to try to straighten out kids that went awry, etc.... paying rent for an apartment, since his ex-wife now has the house.

    Certainly the "career track" works for some families.... but for others, it can blow up in their face.

    I am a Husband and a Dad first. Everything else is moonlighting. :cool:
  10. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Back in October 2003, I resigned. I am now self employed(gigging and consulting) and am pretty darn happy with my decision.

    You can always obtain more money.. you can't obtain more time.....
  11. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I just interviewed for a postion with a 10,000.00 pay difference. It is salaried, but limited to 40 hours per week, with overtime (if that makes sense?) I am hoping that I get the call. I honestly don't know how I will act not being at work 24/7. The pay adjustment will be tough, but I just refinanced my house, and paid off some stuff to make the transition easier.
  12. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    Once upon a time actually several times, I went for it big time (job & $). It cost me big time and cost us our retirement, a much larger house, a cabin etc. Didn't pick up an instrument for 6 years!
    Did the fall back and regroup thing. Have a cabin again and recovery was a great and continuing journy.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  13. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Perfect summation of the REAL situation here.

    A part of the reason I am changing career tracks somewhat (from retail management to manufacturing management/sales) is just that: I will be able to walk out the door at a reasonable hour every day, not work 54+ Saturdays in a row (I did this last year), and make at least the same if not a better living doing it.

    I'm sacrificing a lot to do it, although not financially. I am moving 800+ miles, away from my elderly grandmother when I am the only family member that is presently nearby, and away from a woman that I seriously consider to be my potential future wife. I am also leaving a comfortable situation at my present job for one that may be much better, but may not - it is unknown (although I firmly believe based on knowing the company in question and it's owner VERY well, and for many years).

    Life is full of opportunity to improve your life (not necessairly your bank account), you need to choose carefully when those opportunities present themselves, then follow through with 1000% effort to make the best of that choice.

    The day I made my choice, I was nervous, frightened, and very sad (I cried when I told my girlfriend). However, once I decided to follow through, I felt as if a 1000 pound weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

    Mike, money is not everything, your kids though, are. I think you know the right choice here.
  14. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Both my wife and I are (were?) on the career track. When we had our baby in Dec 2003, we reevaluated. She's taking at least 3 years off from work to raise our little girl. So, we're willingly giving up a signficant amount of income to dedicate more time to our family. We were really hesitant to go the child-care route and we're glad we made the decision we did.

    So, we're making ends meet on half the income, but I'm doing pretty well and am poised to make a big jump up in April without sacrificing time. I bathe, read the bedtime story and tuck my girl in every night of the week.

    As an unexpected bonus, we don't have a fraction of the logistical headaches that our friends who have kids in childcare do....thank god.

    No regrets here at all. And its temporary anyways. My wife has got 5 years to return to work with a full-time position guaranteed.

  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    I remember the day that I showed up for work and my father (ownwer) said " today is our last day, tonight when you lock the doors, it is the last time. I just need to do it."
    It literally saved his life.
    We as afamily hurt a little for $. So I started gigging more. He reopened an identical business, but much smaller operation a month or less later. We were all the better for it.
    This thread has made think about the things that my father taught me and how I forgot some of them.

    Wesley R.
  16. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Mike, sorry to hear things still aren't great with the work, do what you have to do!

    Carreer changes can really suck, and mess things up for you though, choose carefully. I was doing okay for myself, and a couple of years ago decided to put pretty much everything I had into my own retail store in my own trade. Was something I had pretty much dreamed of from the beginning of my carreer in that trade. Well, after a year and a half, I lost pretty much everything I had, in debt out the wazoo. When the electric company turned off my power in mid-winter, I decided it was time to throw in the towel. 10 years earlier, I am convinced I would have been quite successful, but markets change. Likewise, 10 years ago IT techs had a wonderful future, but now make up one of the biggest unemployment lines. I now find myself 30 years old, stuck at a horrible next-to-no-pay job just to make ends meet. I've sent out about 30 resumes in the last 2 months, with only one call for an interview....which turned out to be an $8 an hour job, located 70 miles away.

    Just make sure your choices are going to be the best for the long term, not what is best for the moment. Don't put yourself in a hole like I am currently in.
  17. Though not quite the same, I'm doing something similar with the extra-curricular stuff I'm doing outside of school. I'm cutting back on everything I do, so I have a balance between my music (extra-curricular) and my studies. I was asked to do a lot of music-related stuff outside of school, but all the time I would have spent doing that would have been better spent on my schoolwork...

    I guess you could say that, in this situation, schoolwork = family, and music = work.

    Besides, I don't want to fail Spanish (again) and thus fail Carlos (teacher & mentor).
  18. Well Mike, lets add it up:
    25% less money
    for 50% less work
    and probably 200% - 300% more time with your wife and kids.
    It sounds like a huge leap foreward, not a step back!
    (and you get the satisfaction of working WITH a small company, not working FOR a large corp)

    You already know what the right thing to do is.
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    There are alot of smart people posting in this thread. I have noticed this trend to be more family oriented in recent years. When I was younger, the whole idea was to make the most money possible no matter what you had to do. The current trend is to focus more on your family. I see some of my favorite athletes with more money that I will ever have struggling with situations I do too. So, money isn't everything, and it never has been.

  20. It won't matter if you have 5 million for retirement if you die from stress at 60. Your own happyness comes first, and if your missing to much life in your present position then all the money in the world won't make up for it.

    I left a big corp for my own small buisness, and I'm MUCH MUCH HAPPIER, making less money . Actually It worked out better than I planned and I'm making more now, but it took several years to catch up.