In my last article, I hinted that I recently made a big decision in my life, and boy was it a difficult one. As the title of this article suggests, I recently changed jobs for a variety of reasons. The decision was not an easy one by any stretch, and I had many conversations with my fiance, family, and Lanny about the move. But ultimately, the pros outweighed the cons and handed my boss my resignation letter. Just like that, I closed one chapter of my life and began writing a new one. Here is some insight into why I changed jobs.
1. Improved Quality of Life. This was probably the main driver behind my unhappiness at my old job and my desire to find a new job. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the life of a public accountant, but the industry is a churn and burn industry with a high turnover rate. Why? Because the job requires long hours for a quarter of the year and for many (including the two of us) can result in a significant amount of travel. In my office, I was always one of the top travelers and after a while staying in hotels and eating out every meal for a week can take its toll on you. My desire not travel was further driven by all the excitement in my life that is going to occur in the next 18 months and these are events in my life that I do not want to miss.
In May 2016, I will be marrying the love of my life and I want to be home to enjoy the planning and the build up to my wedding. I do not want to have to plan all the exciting details with her via phone from a hotel room, I want to be with her throughout the whole process and attend as many meetings as possible. In addition to the wedding planning, my sister had her second child last week. I love spending time with my niece, who is about to turn three, so I can only imagine how much fun it is going to be to spend time with bother her and her little brother. We live only five minutes apart, so I want to maximize my time with them during the most fun and exciting years of their life. The was a quote from The Dividend Guy’s post last weekend that summarizes it perfectly for me and reminded me why this was such an important factor for me…”I truly value family as opposed to income. You know what? Your children will be young only once, and when this time is gone, it’s gone forever. Money can wait.” And while I do not have any kids of my own yet, I need to make sure I can enjoy these moments in my life because they will be gone before you know it. The last thing I want is to look back ten years from now and regret that I wasn’t around to do more.
The position I switched to is going to be locally based in the long-term. I am enduring a short-term period of travel over the next couple of months as a part of the project I was brought on to complete. However, after the first couple of months, the traveling will be minimal and I will be coming home every night. As long as that holds true, that alone will be worth the switch.
2. Joining a Company in an Industry That Interests Me. After three busy seasons, my interest in auditing had eroded. I found myself dreading going to work every day and the only thing that drove me to complete a project was knowing that it would be over when it was completed. The faster I would finish my work, the faster it was over. The only thing I enjoyed doing at work was trying to find ways to make my co-workers laugh and be in the best possible mood each day. Which was fun, don’t get me wrong, and I enjoyed many laughs with my co-workers as we found ways to keep each other happy and the mood light. But working as many hours a week on something that you are not passionate about is difficult for anyone and is a doomed strategy for long-term success and happiness. I enjoyed the industry that I audited, but I did not enjoy auditing itself. So it was time to try to find something that does interest me.
The true answer is that I am not going to find true happiness until I am my own boss, which will happen one day. I still have a lot of knowledge to learn though and valuable skills that can be developed in the short-term until I find that perfect opportunity. While I won’t dive into too many specifics, I will say that I am working in the accounting department in a publicly traded company that is in an industry that really interests me. I loved performing the research when I added a few companies from that industry to my portfolio over the years and I have always been interested in this industry (dating back to high school). I am excited to begin learning about the company from the bottom up and see how companies in this industry operate and make money. Sorry for the vagueness everyone!
3. Increase in Income. I won’t lie to you, I would not have switched jobs if there wasn’t an increase to my income as well. While it was important and considered in my decision, it was not the deciding factor and points 1 and 2 were considered first before money was brought into the equation. If the job wouldn’t have improved my quality of life or interested me, it would never have gotten to the point where I received a job offer. But overall, I received a very nice increase in my base salary, which increased 20% from the move. I was scheduled to receive a raise in August, but it definitely would not have equated to the increase I received from the move.
The 20% increase in my top line will provide an additional boost in my effort to achieve many of my 2015 goals. Some of my financial goals require a minimum investment of capital ($15,000) and to defeat the Dividend Diplomats’ Savings Challenge 6 times in 2015. Will having additional income guarantee my success, absolutely not. I still need to invest the capital and make sure that I am saving a sufficient level of income to fund my investing. But does having more income help…absolutely! These goals are centered around achieving financial freedom at an earlier age, which is the true end goal for me, Lanny, and so many of you in the dividend investing community. Increasing my income gets me closer to achieving these goals, which in turn gets me that much closer towards financial freedom.
4. Time to Pursue Other Interests . This is a branch of the “improving my quality of life” reason. But my new job has normal hours that will allow me more time to develop the Dividend Diplomats website and pursue other interests. For a full twelve months of the year, I will have more hours to commit to the website, writing articles, commenting on other blogs, and growing my knowledge of dividend investing. Lanny and I have also discussed garage sale flipping, vending machine routes, purchasing ATM machines, and other random business ventures that require time. Heck, now that I have extra time and will not be driving as much, I will have the time needed to find a way to reduce my monthly car payment, which I have been trying to do over the last 6 months! With my new role, I will have the time in the evenings necessary to seriously consider and pursue these ideas and possibly implement one of them. Will any of the materialize, who knows! But I am going to have a blast spending hours researching to see if they are.
Again, this was not an easy decision by any stretch. During my years at the firm, I met a lot of great people, built friendships that will last a lifetime, and created memories that I will be able to share with my grandchildren one day. I’ll just say this, without my old job there would be no Dividend Diplomats. But I was told by many that I will always stay in touch with the people you are close with, so sorry Lanny, you won’t be getting rid of me that easily. But I am confident that this move was the right move based on my current situation and my evolving life. It is up to me to make the most out of my life, and now that I home more, I promised myself that I would do everything possible to enjoy time with my fiance, family and friends and create those lasting memories. Because as we all know, memories are always going to be much more valuable than money.