I just set a date to quit my job. To be transparent, I don’t actually hate what I do. But since I realized an office job long term is not for me, I have not cared as much about work as I have in the past. It was an antsy feeling of what is next, I have a billion ideas but couldn’t focus on any. Recently, I came to know that a big reorg at my company is going to happen soon, and I cannot foresee myself surviving in that environment due to differences in beliefs. When I heard about this, my immediate reaction was to plan my exit. I’m giving myself nine more months at the job. This allows me time to for a few things before quitting.
- Vest more RSUs (restricted stock unit, part of the compensation package in the form of company stock commonly found in Tech companies)
- Timeline is far enough ahead that I can work backward of what I want to do next
- Arrange things at work properly so the people I care about are best positioned to succeed.
This doesn’t mean complete retirement from the rat race, I’m not ruling out another job as my next opportunity. This simply gives me a chance to get comfortable with NOT having a job as an option. I can take some time off and travel for a while. I can take a few months off to work on things I’m passionate about (building passive income streams). Options are limitless, but the learning from any of those would be high. I would have to figure out health insurance coverage, I would need to plan out my expenses better in the absence of a steady income, I would need to maximize my rental income, so on and so forth. When I figure those out, I will no longer be slaved to the insecurity of always needing a job.
The most surprising thing of all is my reaction to quitting. In my prior experience, I would have at least some slight hesitancy, wanting to know what could be my next job. This time, however, I’m completely at peace. In fact, I’m excited about not knowing what’s next and a job is not necessary the only move. Over the years as I read about journeys of people who have achieved financial freedom and talked to those who left their job for other endeavors, I became much more comfortable with the idea.
There were three people that really inspired me. I had two colleagues who gave a six and a two-month notice before quitting respectively, with no idea what they were going to do next. It was incredible to see their resolve. They were two of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with. Both rising stars in their career, they could very well be on their way to bigger team, bigger pay, and bigger fame. They didn’t bite, it was just not their passion to be confined by a job, and they’d rather fail taking risks than regret not trying.
Another source of inspiration was a close friend who just embarked on a travel-the-world sabbatical. In many ways, he’s very similar to me: we graduated in the same year, he has mortgages to pay, and a lifestyle to maintain in the Bay Area. Somehow we came to a similar realization about meaning of work. He was laid off after his company was acquired by a competitor, and getting another job was not on top of his mind. Sometimes we need a catalyst for us to make a change in our lifestyle, stories like these reassure that changes are going to be okay.
My target resignation timeframe is some time in March 2019. No one knows what lies in the road ahead. The key is to be content with that decision and embrace the unknown. I have a feeling that quitting is going to be the best thing that happen to me, yet.