Submitted by mowgli on Wed, 04/15/2015 - 21:34
Couldn't think of what else to call the topic...moving along.
Has anyone here ever changed careers completely? As in, been qualified in one thing, and caring about it to an extent, but still not "loving it", so you changed career/vocation?
They, whomever "they" is, say that you shouldn't go through life doing work that you don't love. If you, you'll get to the end and think (along with all the other regrets) "Fuck, I should never have become a commercial lawyer. It paid great but I hardly ever got to surf, it rarely put me in a good mood, and most of the people I work for or with I couldn't give two shits about".....But they also say "rent money is dead money", and "don't be left with the shit end of the stick".
Whether it's worked for or against you, would you share with me your reasons for changing?
The reason I ask is because I feel that I am at a bit of a cross-roads. I feel committed to the overarching goal of what I do - to make human society more ecologically and socially sustainable (because let's face it, there are A LOT of things wrong and getting worse), but I think I'm starting feel a big disconnect between the path I've chosen to get there (being a cog in a corporate machine), and who I am as a person (strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, lifestyle preferences, etc.)
Not to mention the whole sitting down all day thing, the whole working in a concrete jungle thing, the whole you-must-be-here-between-8am-and-5pm-or-else thing...
It kinda happened for me, although I dunno if I was actually on a career to begin with.
I always thought music was going to be it. I started music lessons early in life (aged 5), went to a special music high school, studied classical music at Uni, did years and years of hard work with my band(s) trying to get somewhere - but eventually realised early in the piece that music wasn't going to pay the bills in any way shape or form.
I also realised that having a 'career' as a musician would probably lessen my enthusiasm for actually doing it. I mean, I love playing, creating, recording, everything to do with music - but I don't know if I could do it five nights a week. It's a pretty taxing lifestyle too.
So, went back to uni to study weather forecasting and Swellnet evolved from that (albeit by accident.. I didn't have a business plan in mind at first).
However, it wouldn't have been possible if I'd been married/had kids/was paying off a mortgage etc - I was only able to make such a change because my circumstances allowed it. I'm sure there are a lot of people who'd love to try something different but simply can't because they're heavily committed. So I'm very grateful for the opportunity I've been given to do something I love. And I'm still playing in a couple of bands, so I get to keep that side of me satisfied too.
Interesting question. I have met loads of people that have just seen out the last 20 years in a job they didn't like because it paid ok and it was less pain to do what they were skilled at then retrain and start at the bottom. I know of someone that left a very high paying finance job and did a complete flip into software only to find that within a year or two they were on comparable money and a huge amount of work flexibility. Personally I think the grass is always greener but that should not be a reason to not change. I personally have been in my current career about 20 years and I have spoken to people at the same stage that are largely just over the same routine and want a new challenge. My plan, which I have started this year, is part-time work in my existing job (so I maintain the salary at a professional and experienced level) and pursue new endeavours on the off days. I reckon you need a good plan going into it and an understanding employer that recognises that all staff need to transition on at that mid stage of their career.
Life's too short and a working life is too long to be doing something that is not fulfilling your requirements whichever they may be.
As Ben says, if your circumstance allow, ditch it if you're not loving it.
You never know until you go.
Don't let fear run your life.
I'd agree with the advice that you shouldn't go through life doing work you don't love, if you are fortunate enough to be in a position where you can make changes then in my opinion you are being remiss if you don't. So many people are constrained by financial, family and social responsibilities and expectations that they just have got to get on with it and that's without looking overseas where so many more people are stuck with the situation they are born into.
My own career has morphed a few times, I always wanted my work to involve the sea so took a path which led to ocean science at uni which led to a job in aquaculture on the west coast of Scotland. Loved the environment but the ecologically dubious nature of the work and an urge to travel prompted change. I wanted to be able to work as I went and a trade seemed like a good idea so I swapped management for an apprenticeship in painting and decorating and three years later I was qualified. Painting allowed me to travel on and off for about ten years by which point I had a mrs and we settled in Oz, I was over the painting and keen to get off the tools so I started a business which was exciting but chasing the $ was never motivation for me and needing to do that to keep lads in work soon took the fun out of it. I'd seen a mobile wood fired pizza oven at a festival and the idea appealed to me so I started researching and after a couple of years and back in the UK I'd bought one and the associated kit which is where I'm at now. Bit of a risk to start afresh as we now have a mortgage and six moth old but it's definitely been for the best, the business is never going to make a mint particularly with the good old British weather but I enjoy the work, see plenty of the family and if there are waves I can surf so the most important things are covered.
If you can think of something you'd rather be doing which would enable you to live the life you want to live and you have the means to do it then just commit and with a bit of luck it will happen.
When ever I think of something I'd rather be doing than my current work it never involves any other kind of work.
Working sucks. My current career goal is to quit and take a year off doing the things I enjoy, with people I enjoy around me. Maybe after a year a door will open or a switch will be flicked and everything will come together. If not I've just had a great year off and I can slide back into the old career path without too much trouble.
Hi Mowgli -
I was an accountant for 6 years and at the age of 30 (a bit over of a year ago) decided I couldn't handle it any more - it didn't satisfy me creatively and it left leave me feeling depressed and disconnected from others (and that was working for a non-profit). I made the decision to go back to uni to become a high school teacher.
I was scared to let go of a career path that I knew, to be 30 and on Aus study while all my mates were having kids and buying houses. But then I just stopped comparing myself to them, and things got really good, really quick - call it living in the moment, call it self-acceptance. I simply committed to my own path and decided that was okay.
The last year of studying has been great. I moved to Coffs, I surfed every day, made good friends, got a fantastic girlfriend, read books, slept in - basically just took a year to shed all the negative crap piled on by years of being an office worker and having a loveless life. It's amazing how working a job that doesn't actualize you as a person can foment feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness. Sure I had to cut my expenses and lifestyle, but I don’t actually miss a thing (only my friends back in Adelaide - though now they have a great holiday location and a reason to visit). My life even feels richer for abstaining from many of the things I thought were vital.
A year and a bit later and I'm 4 weeks away from graduating and there are no regrets - the pracs were scary as shit and dumped me WAY out of my comfort zone (I thought I was gonna have a nervous breakdown at the start), but ultimately all the fear was baseless and I grew a ridiculous amount – forged by fire. I finished both pracs feeling connected and imbued by a real sense of care and warmth and duty to my students, which, for the first time in a long time, left me feeling good about myself. It also gave me the knowledge that I was on the right track, despite the nagging fears and self-comparisons my brain chirped.
Despite losing out on maybe $160k in income, and all the other opportunity costs that come with breaking from the working world and changing careers, I have never felt better about myself or where I am going - and I don't regret tossing the safe job for a second.
All the fears I had turned out to be empty.
Good luck mate - let us know how it is going.
PS. I also got loads of great waves while being a broke student - It's hard to feel poor when drenched in surf stoke.
Results may vary.
mowgli, i was on big dough working in advertising, getting all the perks, free entry night clubs, bands, sitting in radio studio smoking joints with a few then i got bit stale, started training, went back to newcastle while girlfriend did uni, then got offered contract to be paid to play soccer. THe day I was going to sign i contract, i sneezed whilst walking up steps, next thing I know I am in hospital getting told they are fusing my neck together with bone out of my hip-it works, i will have some function, it doesnt- quadraplegic.
THe moral of the story is i believe we are here to live our lives the fullest, from our hearts. I read once in my studies of quantum physics/mechanics that the universe life does not respond to our thoughts as much as it does to our feelings. So feeling good about yourself, your relationships, your life is paramount.
Even though I can no longer do a lot of things i love and i have my shitty days, I am well known for being one of the happiest people about these parts, and it's true- be happy to be healthy and wealthy.
all the best mate, create your life circumstances, dont react to them.
I was stuck in a job for years that I hated, really wanted out and couldn't get a redundancy which is the only way I could afford to leave
So I turned the whole job into how I could bluff my way around without actually doing long hours and maximising surf time, basically treated it like a joke that paid for my family to survive. That's the only way I survived. I couldn't afford to swap jobs or leave as I was too old to get another job with a salary decent enough to deal with a young family and a Sydney mortgage.
Don't take it seriously, if you have to stay like I had to make a game of it and stay in the moment by not dreading what MAY happen while at work and see how you can get to the beach earlier than normal
I was lucky, got my redundancy and now spend my time bringing a smile to peoples faces by helping them surf better. No better feeling...
Wow, so many good responses! Thanks Swellnetters/Swellnetizens.
Firstly, a quick background & update on my situation. You may have surmised from the first post and some of my others on this forum that I work in sustainability/CSR. I've been doing it for a few years now and am not all that far off hitting the big 3-0 and ending my glorious 20s (cue mix of sadface and cheshire cat grin when remembering all the debauchery). I got into it because during my uni days I figured there's plenty of grassroots level type stuff going on, but not enough at the top where a small number of changes can have a significant and measurable impact. I've worked mostly on what you may call the "industrial" side of things. An infrastructure company, a waste services company, and most recently an iron ore miner.
I say most recently because two days after my original post I was pulled into a meeting with my manager, our director, and a HR manager for "a talk that no of us wants to have". Due to market conditions blah blah blah, we have to let yours and a lot of other "non-essential" roles go. Be out of here by lunchtime. I was out by 10 and making a bee-line for Scarb to get wet, get my favourite bacon & egg burger and treat myself to a mint choc-chip ice cream yew.
This isn't as much of an issue as it may seem at first. The missus and I moved to Perth from Sydney last June for this/that role, and her team is all based back in Syd so that'll make the transition back much easier. Also we don't have a mortgage or any other major financial obligations/family commitments (though we're putting in place plans now for those) so it doesn't throw up any financial bogeymen. Also, I was tossing up whether to stay or throw in the towel soon anyway (which may not seem surprising given this thread!). The only downside was no severance package! You need to have worked somewhere for at least 12 months and I was 5 weeks short...bastards. Upside is day 2 of Redundancy Life saw me have my best round of 18 so far at Hammersley (yew), and see the prospect of scoring some uncrowded weekday Lancelin/Yallingup (yew X 2) before moving back to cockroach territory.
Getting back to the thread. It seems there are a couple of lessons amongst the responses above:
- understand why you're doing what you currently do (fulfilment, financial, family, "because it was there");
- why you would do that something else instead; and,
- understand the consequences (neg or positive) of changing paths.
It's good to hear that there are those that have made a switch and are better for it. But also the more devil's advocate type advice of "it ain't always easy/straightforward to switch" and "does the grass just appear greener?". Definitely along the lines of what I was hoping to get back. Though I guess it's one thing to talk about it and another to "take ya balls outta ya purse and just fucken do it" (as one of my mates is fond of saying).
So I guess a follow-up line of questions to those who did change tracks would be - how did you figure out which way to go? How clear was it from the outset and if not how did you figure it out? And finally, what did you do to convince yourself to keep going when things looked pretty daunting and it seemed like you were about to "eat a bag of dicks" financially/relationship-wise/other? (another favourite saying from the same mate).
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
On my third "career" at the moment, after 12 years cooking and another 8 or so in media and administration roles. Now a freelance writer and home-dad. It barely pays the bills, but it's allowed me to spend heaps of good quality time with my young kids (time I wouldn't have been able to get back if I'd missed it chasing a salary).
My youngest starts school next year, so I'm hoping to build on the business, do a few more feature articles and bring in a few more $$ once my childcare responsibilities relax a bit.
Wish I'd made the change years ago, to be honest. Would have been much easier without the mortgage + family. Writing was something I'd always wanted to do, but I never had the guts to drop everything and give it a crack. A conveniently timed redundancy helped with that particular decision and here I am.
Don't let the bastards grind you down
Got any links to your writings ?
udo wrote: Got any links to your writings ?
If I'm not mistaken, this is his work:
And, for those interested, his musings about surfboards and stuff:
Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.
You got me Wingnut. Fuck, now I'm going to have to write something...
I mainly do corporate copywriting for a crust - everything from real estate descriptions, to marketing collateral, to speechwriting, I even edited a kids' book this week, for something different - with little or no time for my own stuff. Hoping to branch out into more journalistic feature writing if I can find the time.
Love ya passion on your shaping surfstarved, keep it up ;)
Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .
"What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers."
Hahaha - “He’s bloody useless. It’s not like him refusing to do work today is different to any other day, usually he just sits there on his phone watching surfing videos, so nothing gets done anyway.”
question, at 47 own my own house and 600k in bank with no dependents. Not so much a career change but i'm thinking retirement to travel - surf while I still can. interested in others thoughts.
Go cd,what's to think about? you are fucking set.I've never had a career to change ,in Indo as we speak .Like it ,love it ,live it.
Same age, similar circumstances cd. Girl doesn't like the thoughts of me hanging around all the time ... I got plenty to do tho, we'll both be good at retirement cd. That's a career worthy of full commitment. $600 000, you'll get 12 years years at $50000/year + whatever you can make in interest or investments, gets you thru till 70 or so. Not going to get anything from bank interest for a while, you'd have to pretty optimistic to think you'll get good returns from shares at these levels too. Leaves some difficult decisions for your pile.
Not enough to retire.
Plenty enough to wring the most from a life which is shorter than any of us care to believe. Particularly if you would rather surf those bucket list waves whilst you don’t require a defibrillator on standby. Or an excavator ready to dig your carcass from the reef at low tide after your arthritic joints refuse to cooperate as the takeoff does the beyond vertical incline necessary for any genuine excitement.
Up to you.
Buy another house/apartment, rent both of them out and travel.
I’m with Patrick, travel so you can become rich
Really , it depends if you enjoy your work or not.
If you don’t, then you’ve got a very generous window to GTFO.
Life’s too short to be beating your head against a wall if you don’t have to.
47 no dependants, owns home, 600k in the bank. Sounds like christmas to me. If you're seriously looking for a career change then clearly you're in position to do whatever you want, and take plenty of time doing it. Maybe you just need a good holiday?
If that's what you really want to do.
You'll work it out just fine I reckon.
The only sage advice I can offer comes from within this most excellent thread itself,
"take ya balls outta ya purse and just fucken do it".
Blowin "Not enough to retire " maybe yes maybe no ,depends what you want and where.Rent the the house with 600 k behind you you're doing alright?A simple life is the best life in my book but yeh everyone is different in their outlook but it's a bloody good place to be in .Your'e right though it's up to cd ,go mate,cheers.
I'm more interested in how you got to that position CD?
Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.
Even though I would regard my job as a good job ( secure, in line with the average wage) I don't really enjoy it. I lucked into the housing market back in 2000 before that real estate boom in the early 2000's, without the need to go into much debt. So that set me up well with regards to owning my own house. I sold and moved to a location I love- walk to beach, low maintenance, and was pre planning for retirement as I could easier see out my years here.
Over the years I have always put some money aside from my wage to save and invest with, this has accumulated and grown to $200000. I live a pretty simple life, home cooked meals, take my lunch to work etc. I'm not a consumer, if i don't need it i don't get it. Don't need to impress with the newest , best and the biggest etc. Though i do need everyone of my 10 boards. Have always travelled and love getting out there and doing it .Then recently through unfortunate circumstances an inheritance of $400000 has come my way.
As Pat has mentioned i'm thinking of another house purchase and rent both out.
Or the other thing I was thinking was putting money into a managed fund, hoping to get 5 % return. Anyone have any experience with the managed fund option.
Yeah Blowin, I'm definitely keen to get out and about and get the most out of it before the body starts given in. And are well aware of not knowing what's around the corner- life been short.
Thanks for the explanation cd.
"Even though I would regard my job as a good job ( secure, in line with the average wage) I don't really enjoy it."
Those last five words are the guide to your answer, one way or the other.
As above, buy another house and rent 2 out sounds like a good option.
".....money into a managed fund, hoping to get 5 % return. Anyone have any experience with the managed fund option."
Sorry cd, can't help you with that one.
I'd be hesitant offering anyone financial advice, let alone being in a position to do so.
All the best and good luck.
I’m 47 now , retired in January 2017.
Some days I like to set an alarm clock and wake up way frickin earlier than I want to , then go some place I don’t want to be and do things I don’t really want to do just to see if I’m missing out on anything.
If you don’t enjoy your job ...... run like your life depends on it . If you get bored you can always go back.
Yes , that was a joke.
Find somewhere you’ve always wanted to surf . Go early, before the season starts , before the crowds arrive. Ease into it . Meet the locals . Discover the place behind the wave . Acquaint yourself with the wave before it goes mental . Then reap the rewards when the season fills in and you’ve got your spot in the lineup.
Best thing ever.
Because you’ve got time up your sleeve you can go somewhere fickle and off the radar and just wait for waves to turn up . Great way to score.
The book by Scott Pape, Barefoot Investor, sounds like it would up your alley CD
Regarding managed funds he recommends low cost Index Funds rather than the usual higher fee managed funds.
Left school and got a job as a junior sales executive at Farmers in Sydney, chucked that and got a job on a Hawkesbury river boat, chucked that and worked on the fruit farms in SA, chucked that and got a job at the Bondi Diggers, chucked that and got another at the Woollahra, chucked that and got another at the Centennial, chucked that and got a job digging holes in the road, chucked that and got a job as a slaughterhouse labourer, went to London and got a job in a wine cellar, chucked that and got a job behind the bar in a Gibraltar nightclub, chucked that, came home and got a job in the Sheaf Double Bay, chucked that and got a job bookkeeping in the city, then another, and another ... chucked them all and got a job writing ... the pay isn't good.
I'm trying to think of the jobs I've had over the years so here goes, some shortlived but to make my list I had to have been paid for it.
Worked in a fruit market, supermarket, bartender, cellarman, waiter, painter, plasterer, butler, car detailer, labourer, landscape gardener, sheepsfoot roller driver, D9 dozer driver, furniture removalist, fruit picker, model, driver, proofreader, translater, actor, event manager, wedding planner, deckhand, catering equipment sales, banquet and event sales, business development manager, doorman, dishwasher, restaurant manager, teacher, golf caddy, tour guide and of course where I am now, owner of my own little company.
All in no specific order and some jobs lasted a day, some weeks, some years but that's all I can remember for now.
I'm the complete opposite of you CD, I decided very early on that work was the most overrated and unnecessary waste of your life and I'd rather just surf. I drew up a list of the top 10 waves I wanted to surf, saved 10 grand and hit the road at 19. Finished the cash and the list and started a new one. Again and again. I never owned anything other than a full quiver and a beater car for the next 23 years.
5 years ago I met my wife who was happy to take on someone without an asset or dollar in the world but had a lifetime's worth of living and a worlds full of waves. We've now got a beautiful 3 year old boy, saved about $100k and will probably buy my first house in the next year or so at 47.
I wouldn't have it any other way, but everyone has their own path and you'll know in your heart what's best for you. The only mistake you could make is not to listen to it.
I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.
Cheers guys its good to hear the perspective sometimes from people you don't know or that know you. An unbiased view.
i will be bailing
Only problem is if the cash runs out at 70 and you live another 20 plus years.
ie the inlaws who retired at 65 and are now 90 and 93 and only just this year moved into a nursing home.
Sounds like you've got an inbuilt cautionary streak, CD, so running out of money/bad planning seems unlikely. You've also got enough curiousity to wonder what thell is out there.
I'd be trusting those instincts. Trade places and you wouldn't see me for dust.
I was talking to a palliative care consultant the other day and she said, ' at the end no one talks about what they did for work. Further more no one wishes they had've worked more'.
Cd you dont have to plan your life cause im a big believer in that your life is already planned for you,so when you come to that inevitable cross road as we all do, listen to your gut....it will work out ....good luck ...seriously your laughing mate.
Hey Robbo, I should be able to access my super at that time. Give me another kick along.
Seems like you are all set, time to book the tickets
You’ll be chewing through cash if you chase strike missions.
Leave that to the time poor / debt rich amongst us.
Good waves aren’t about timing......they’re about time in.
The funny thing about every Hollywood swell so hyped and smothered in cum in the modern age is that you don’t see the shit fight for sets . You don’t see the wash throughs and the desperation. You don’t see the concentrated surfing effort of many weeks in a period of a few hours.
Sure , a few crew get the hero bomb sets that break perfectly on Instagram and YouTube , but no one is bragging about the crowds and competition. No one is posting about the hassles and the overwhelmed breaks when the tide isn’t at it’s all too brief optimum.
When I was younger I realised that the three most valuable things in an increasingly crowded world were Happiness, Health , Quality food and water and privacy.
Privacy related to not just one’s intimate moments, but moreso access to personal space in pristine and enviable environments....including surf breaks.
The future arrived much earlier than I’d expected .
Now I know that the best times in a surfing life are those when the surf media and the vainglorious insta fuckwits are looking the other way.
Find your own space , in your own time. Avoid the peak circus of the CUM SHOT hyped swells - which are notoriously unsubstantiated, despite those few broadcast highlights I referred to - and find your slice of heaven.
Fuck your 2 pumps and dump porn movie routines.....go for a long time and a good time .
“When I was younger I realised that the three most valuable things in an increasingly crowded world were Happiness, Health , Quality food and water and privacy.”
You’re in a great position cd, go for it
You loving my numerical genius, Goofy ?
Ha mate I was pissing myself
I hear ya blowin,
I'm going to sort out a few things with finances/investment to set up a income and make a few house changes to organise a granny flat type thing. Might have a hol and get away for a few weeks in Oct. Then I have snow trip already booked in Feb. Then use up my long service, can get about 3 months from that. and then pull the pin. Fuck it (work) i'm over it.
not a financial adviser but have done a bit of investing (and had a lot of paid advice over the years). my thoughts (usual disclaimers)
1, buy house and rent it out . transaction costs high coming and going and illiquid. dealing with tenants (people) imo best avoided. you may get a good one but you may get one that ruins your life. if you have some local knowledge and anticipate capital gain (taxable of course) may be ok, but do you want emails at jeffreys bay telling you to buy a new water-heater, tenant has absconded, etc
2. investing in share market. pretty much the best investment over last 100 years has been industrial (not mining) shares. reasonable capital gain and franked dividends. you may miss a mining boom every 10 years or so but wont lose your shirt. agree with your friend re managed fund. one of the best ways to get involved there is get a list of a few (diversify!) listed funds with low cost (argo, bki type etc) . dont buy all at once, dribble it in every month or so, especially be wary at the moment with market at all time high. once you have decided which of several funds you like, each month they publish NTA (net tangible asset) backing. never buy any of them if they are above their NTA. pick the one you like with best NTA rating. you will get dividends and with luck some capital gain. i havent checked for a while but these listed funds often get above the nta in a boom (like now) so be wary.