How to downgrade your job but not your life(Read article summary)
Switching jobs may mean an initial pay cut, but there could be perks to doing it anyway.
Photo illustration/Don Hammond/Design Pics/Newscom
In March 2008, I walked away from a great job into a writing career path that, at the time, paid me about 50% of what I was making at my previous job.
To a lot of people in my life, this seemed like an amazingly difficult step. That move reduced our monthly household income (at the time) by about 30% and seemingly did away with a great deal of job security. Why would I possibly make this move?
I did it for several reasons.
I wanted to spend more time with my family. Over the last few years of my previous job, I felt like I was constantly traveling and away from my family. I also felt that, even when I was around, I was having my family time constantly interrupted by work needs. I did not want to be that kind of absent parent and, for me, talking about wanting to be a great parent was more than just talk. I was going to walk the walk, too.
This was probably the only window of opportunity life would hand me to become a writer. Writing is something I’d always dreamed of doing for a living, but it always felt like something that would never realistically happen. When I first went to college, part of me wanted to major in English lit, but I chose not to do that solely because I felt like there was no income-generating career path other than being an English teacher.
My career path was one where I would never be able to significantly increase my pay based on hard work. I had no chance of ever building a large income stream from my job, no matter what I did.
Our spending was under control. We were not only spending less than our combined salaries, we were spending less than our combined salaries after I switched career paths.
I did not feel as though my previous job was actually helping anyone improve their life. I spent most of my time exploring abstract problems and answering abstract questions. While it was intellectually stimulating, it was quite often spiritually depressing.
Page 1 of 4