Mid life crisis

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Anyone gone from a well paid job to a lesser paid job as part of a mid life crisis in a bid to regain some sanity and work life balance? 

How'd that work out for you in the long run? 
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2777
    Wasn't as part of a mid-life crisis but I did the downsizing thing and haven't regretted it.  I really needed a change.
    It's been about five or six years now.  I work about 2.5 days a week, very different type of work, and enjoy my work much more.


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  • VeganicVeganic Frets: 473
    I just stayed in the better paying job and stopped giving a shit.

    I don't think there is a correlation between pay and stress.  Low paid jobs can be just as stressful.  And the more likely you are to be treated like shit. Unless maybe if you are doing something vocational or are really self employed.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11746
    For work I think you need to find somewhere that you enjoy being, it takes up so much time, you can't waste your life away
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  • jonnyburgojonnyburgo Frets: 6343
    axisus said:
    For work I think you need to find somewhere that you enjoy being, it takes up so much time, you can't waste your life away
    True, if you don’t like it leave, do a job that means something to you, better for your mental elf.
    "OUR TOSSPOT"
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9895
    edited January 13
    It was nothing to do with any kind of crisis as it happened by accident, but yes, and I've never been happier. I currently work 15 hours a week in a job which is very sociable.

    From previous well paid jobs I have a few old motorcycles and plenty of spares, the band pays for any music gear I want and I only have ten years left on the mortgage.

    We don't really have any savings, but twenty year old cars are pretty reliable these days and only 300 quid to buy another if you get a problem.

    Combine that with living in a beautiful rural area and you start to wonder what you actually need many tens of thousands of pounds for. 

    Kids and grandkids are a financial drain and not necessarily an unwelcome one, but when it dawns on your offspring that they earn much more than you do they somehow seem to find a way to cope better financially. 

    I earn about a third of what I was earning in 1990, and when I think back to how I was just looking for ways to waste it (three Harleys, four Alfa Romeos plus so much more I can't even remember) it makes me shudder. 

    I've always travelled a fair bit and now we only go abroad every two years, but some of our most memorable holidays have been recent cheap ones, like biking around the mountains of Crete for a week, or staying with friends in India.

    If you have strong family ties to an expensive area and young kids who need a decent school I can fully understand the rat race mentality just to keep your head above water, but if not, why on earth does anyone bother?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19925
    Yes I did this.
    I was working in IT in the 90's and early 00's.

    Fast forward 15 years I'm much happier than I would have been and I don't believe I'm any worse of financially, although once you close a door like that you tend to lose any ability to assess what would have happened.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 778
    Not as part of a mid-life crisis (officially still a year or two to go) but certainly the wife and I regularly and seriously discuss the long-term goal of both working part-time (ideally 3 days a week) to ensure a better work-life balance. We foresee this being within the next five years and are both quite comfortable with having less disposable income but more time as a family.

    I wouldn’t call that a crisis you see, I’d consider that a rational choice to change your lifestyle (in the same way we exercise, alter diet, etc). 

    Good luck, whatever choice you eventually make.
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 6136
    edited January 13
    I skipped the middle man and went from UK PR Manager for part of IBM to retirement at 42! Now everyday is potential Guitar Day or walk in the woods day...
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 648
    Not me but Mrs RSV has. She is a GP and was working 13 hours each day, putting up with physical and verbal abuse, and was shat on by the establishment when she whistle blew. reaching a point where a meld down was imminent, we made a decision and she moved on. Now she does pt salaried work and appraisals. She earns half of what she used to but she is so much happier in herself.
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 387
    I did it a little over 2 years ago - left a well(ish) paid job I'd been in for 15 years but was sick of, and started teaching guitar for a living instead. It's something I'd done on & off for 20 years anyway, and I had an opportunity to make it happen, so I did. One of the best things I've ever done. I do not miss a single thing about the old job, and would never ever go back. I'm on a lot less money now but I could not give a shit about that - doing the thing I love for a living is so much more rewarding, and it's opened lots of other doors to stuff I'd never have gone near before (or had the time to). More time and the opportunity to actually enjoy life are much more important!
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  • nothing to add to this thread apart from my name. sorry :)
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3494
    I took a pay cut and dropped to 4 days a week.  6 months on and I don't regret it.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • thomasross20thomasross20 Frets: 3716
    I'd love to do a 4-day week. 
    Question is, how comfortable (financially) do you have to be before you can downsize.. 
    But then you do only get one life. 

    Outside of work, what do you REALLY want out of your one life?
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  • markblagdonmarkblagdon Frets: 867
    I'd love to do a 4-day week. 
    Question is, how comfortable (financially) do you have to be before you can downsize.. 
    But then you do only get one life. 

    Outside of work, what do you REALLY want out of your one life?
    Tricky one to answer that! The financial question can probably only be answered in hindsight, but I’m interested in others experiences!
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3494
    I'd love to do a 4-day week. 
    Question is, how comfortable (financially) do you have to be before you can downsize.. 

    Only dropped 5hrs /week - I now do 4x8hrs - impact wasn't too painful at all.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • webrthomsonwebrthomson Frets: 410

    Not so mush a mid-life crisis, I’m still hoping for one of those thought, but more after some self-reflection I decided where I was in my career was not for me.

    I work in the software industry - it's generally great fun – but I decided to move from management back to on tools - best decision I ever made. Like @Jalapeno I plan to try and move to part time in a few years, fingers crossed!

    It definitely helped my sanity level as I no longer have to interact with as many psychotic / idiotic managers and I can now just concentrate on what I have to deliver, rather than on what everyone else has to deliver.

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  • OssyrocksOssyrocks Frets: 886
    Yep, almost three years ago. Left my job at Manchester University which paid £50k a year. Sold the big house, bought a smaller one, ditched the mortgage altogether. We founded a charity and I now work three days a week as the Director. It doesn’t pay much, but I don’t need much. Work is now a 30 minute walk away instead of a one and a half hour commute. 

    It’s the best decision I ever made regarding work.

    Rob
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1520
    edited January 13
    I know a lot of people who've done this and don't regret it and it didn't always involve downsizing, but being mortgage-free has got to be a great thing.

    What price can you put on your health and quality of life? As long as you've got enough to eat, pay the bills and put a roof over your head, and there's time for yourself/yourselves, there are many of life's pleasures out there that cost nowt.

    Whilst my own job is currently 'at risk', so interesting times, the biggest change I made a few years ago was working from home 4 days a week and one day in the office. Less stress, saved on daily outgoings, such as travel & food, more productive and it gave me a better home/work balance.

    Another possible option, does your employer offer sabbaticals? Most aren't paid but if you plan for these things or are financially secure, it might give you the breather you need to take time out for yourself or look for something else or even study whilst knowing you do have a job to return to.

    All the best in whatever you decide
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3716
    edited January 13

    It's all about quality of life and living. I like a high standard and having to be somewhere at 9 in the morning and having to stay there till 5 every day is not a high standard of living. Plus most places of work frown upon things like cracking a beer open mid day or taking a nap .... I like the freedom to do that Time is precious and the last thing anyone should do is think they should run themselves ragged so they can enjoy a high standard of living when they are old ...... some people won't even get old, those who do will in the end spend their days dribbling in a chair with only their thoughts for amusement .... they don't regret a lot of things they did but they do regret the things they never did .... all work and no play makes Jack a boring memory!

    I actually earn about 1\2 of what I used to when I was heavily involved in I.T but the funny thing is when you stop and think about it around a quarter of peoples wages is generally spent on their job ..... cars or rail, phones, clothes and all kinds of treats to make a shit life more tolerable.  But I get up when I want (cept on Wednesdays when I get rudely waken by the dustman) do as much or as little as I want, spend time preparing decent healthy food, cycle around to stay fit. Enjoy swimming in the sea and sunbathing at Southsea in the summer, walking through the woods across Butser hill with the dog, drinking in local pubs at £2.45 a pint till 6pm. 

    I have friends with brand new beemers earning 6 figure salaries but I wouldn't swap my job for there's ... there's more to life than money  
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9895
    Well said @Danny1969 it's more about time than money. 

    We've had an odd year or so which has highlighted it - my ex and my wife's ex were both very keen on planning for retirement compared to us, we're both pretty casual about it. 

    My ex died last year in her early 60s, and my wife's ex (a super fit racing cyclist) has just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and given about 18 months to live. 

    Whatever you enjoy doing, do it now - don't sit in an office until 8pm every evening thinking you'll reap the rewards "one day". 
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 4185
    I think it depends if you have children and how many..
    ie ;You want to provide as much as possible for them 
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 314
    nothing to add to this thread apart from my name. sorry :)
    @midlifecrisis ;I was hoping you'd have all the answers. 
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 314
    This thread is really interesting.  Some great experiences being shared.  Unanimously in favour of improving the work life balance as soon as possible vs slaving away until the bitter end.  

    Guess my dream job would be editing videos,  playing guitar and not having to talk much, all whilst earning enough to pay off the mortgage,  put the kids through uni and go on decent holidays. 

    Dream on......
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19925
    Guess my dream job would be editing videos,  playing guitar and not having to talk much, all whilst earning enough to pay off the mortgage,  put the kids through uni and go on decent holidays. 

    This describes most of my 'contribution' to the planet, although for guitar also add on 'bass, drums, piano and synthesiser'.
    I'm also getting into filming (corporate stuff, I'm not making feature films or anything)- I'm on my first independent video shoot in India in 3 weeks which will be exciting.

    I don't have kids though.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 787
    edited January 13
    This thread is really interesting.  Some great experiences being shared.  Unanimously in favour of improving the work life balance as soon as possible vs slaving away until the bitter end.  


    OK. In the interests of balance

    Maybe those that stuck it out (like me) are embarrassed to admit it because it doesn't sound very cool. There were many many times when I thought about it, but things went in the opposite direction. In the early days I resisted promotion and was very happy designing antennas. But then I got married, had two daughters, got divorced, had maintenance payments, got married again, acquired a stepson etc etc and there were always bills to pay. So the upwards spiral of technical management roles started, taking on increasing levels of responsibility. At least I could take early retirement a couple of years ago at 61.

    It's worth thinking about whether there's anything you can do to improve the situation in your current job. I came to the realisation that a lot of the pressure I was feeling was actually being generated in my own head and not from external sources, plus I had to learn to get a lot better at delegating and not feeling personally responsible for everything. Being able to switch off and partition work and home life is also important.

    Now I'm retired I actually miss the technical aspects of the work I used to do. Being honest I have far more natural ability at engineering and mathematics than music, so I was in the right profession even though I might have dreamed of other things.

    It's not a competition.
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 5179
    As I hurtled towards my 40th I had a senor finance role for a very large privately owned property group. I also never used to unwind before about 4pm on a Sunday. Crisis? Probably.

    I walked.

    In the intervening 17 years (how the fuck did it get to be that long?) I've done a lot of consultancy work and a lot of travelling. My life has become periods of often intense (but very well paid) activity punctuated by weeks/months seeing the world.

    It's been fantastic. I've been to places which the younger me would have thought impossible, impractical or just downright stupid. And much of it comes down to reading the next sentence, and the profound effect it had on my thinking.

    Nobody ever lay on their deathbed and said "I should have spent more time in the office".
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9895
    Wis'd @stratman3142 , even though my life took the opposite turn to yours. You're absolutely right about a lot of the stress and pressure from work being internal - whatever you do it's helpful sometimes to take a step back and quote your own job description to yourself.

    "I turn up, I do ------- (fill in the blank), I go home." 
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 314

    It's worth thinking about whether there's anything you can do to improve the situation in your current job. I came to the realisation that a lot of the pressure I was feeling was actually being generated in my own head and not from external sources, plus I had to learn to get a lot better at delegating and not feeling personally responsible for everything. Being able to switch off and partition work and home life is also important. 

     This is so accurate.  We could all take note of this. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7488
    Anyone gone from a well paid job to a lesser paid job as part of a mid life crisis in a bid to regain some sanity and work life balance? 

    How'd that work out for you in the long run? 
    I managed to bypass this worry by never having a well paid job in the first place. 


    I do know someone who went from being a coroner to being an Ocado driver and he couldn't be happier. But the nice house was paid for by being a coroner, the driving job just keeps him in quinoa. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • quarkyquarky Frets: 2434
    edited January 13
    I start my new job in a month (it was three months notice). I am taking a £20k+ pay cut but going from an (almost) 2hr commute, to being 15 minutes up the road, and hopefully a job that I will enjoy much more.

    I work in IT, and for the past 12/18 months, my "day job" has been looking after my career (learning new skills, and remembering what it is like to enjoy IT), as part of a roadmap to ensure that I can take the positions that I want, rather than where my career was heading (more management and end-user compute, which I didn't want really). The office job has become just a "side gig" to pay my bills, and give me the chance to try different things. I was still professional and committed (designing a deployment of  SCCM, O365, and Windows 10 to over 10k clients at over 300 sites), but it was no longer my #1 priority, I was. My ambition is to get back to "sexy" cloud stuff. To be honest, I expect to be earing more again in a few years than I was last year, but if I stay at the new job, that is fine too.

    If you can afford it, go for it. In terms of being able to afford it, you can almost certainly live on less than you think!
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