Why I Changed Jobs

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.

Summary

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.

-Bert

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32 thoughts on “Why I Changed Jobs

  1. Hey Bert!
    first; congrats on having the balls to make such decision. I’m a few years ahead of you (I’m 33) and I wish I had understood that earlier! Back in 2009, I almost lost my wife because I was working too much. I just finished a MBA, got a great (and demanding) job while having my first two kids. After this tough period, I decided to work 4 days a week and spend more time with my family. Next year, I’m taking the final step to do what really matters to me; spending time with my family.
    Don’t worry about the people you met at your previous job, you will met many other great people at your new job! You will surely keep in touch with people that are close to you no matter where you work :-).
    As for the new job, I bet you work in the oil industry (I doubt you have a passion for smoking (PM) or eating burgers (MCD) and you have many holdings in the oil industry. Am I right? 🙂

    • Thank you very much, I really appreciate your kind words. I’ll be honest though, it was a very difficult decision and I was very indecisive until the end. It was hard and it was probably the first major decision that I have made in my life. A certain someone told me (a possible fellow Diplomat) that if worse comes to worse, the experience gained from having the balls to leave behind your current situation and the close friendships I developed over my three years will be invaluable. Once I had one under my belt, all other similar decisions will be easier. I think the two of you are right about that haha

      I was pumped as heck to read your last article and see that you are focusing on what matters. I have had some doubts, as is natural with change, but hearing stories like yours helps me realize that I ultimately made the right decision. No job is worth losing the ones you love, and I am glad that you were able to make the changes before it was too late. Now, staring financial freedom in the face, how happy are you that you made the change? You will get to watch your kids grow up, that’s what it is all about.

      And no, you are not correct about the industry haha Check your email though, I’ll give you a little more detail!

      Again, thank you very much for the kind words. I will hopefully be singing the same story when I am 33.

      Bert

    • FerventFinance,

      Thank you very much. Advisory is a great avenue as well. You still get a lot of client interaction and you get the opportunity to work with them to solve any variety of problems that may arise. Sounds like you made a great move and I am glad it is working out well for you.

      Bert

    • R2R,

      Thank you very much, I appreciate the kind words. This next year is going to be a great year for me, and I am happy that I am going to be home the majority of the time to enjoy it. What’s funny is I was initially going to disclose a little more information about the company, but I got cold feet at the end. So I wimped out and decided to just give a generic description haha

      Bert

    • Thank you very much Henry, I appreciate the kind words. While the tax benefit was not considered in my decision to propose, it is an extra benefit that will come with tying the knot! More passive income coming into our pockets haha

      Bert

  2. I totally understand you. Public accounting is a very tough field to be in, and most people work there for a few years, before they jump ship. The hours, stress, deadlines and very often those above senior level are a little too much at heart. Plus, they have all sorts of restrictions on what you can invest in and who you can bank with etc. On the positive side, if you stay for at least 3 whole years with some public accounting firms, you end up with a pension.
    Either way, I think you made the best decision. You will have so much more free time now, and you are making more at the new place than you would have made in 3 years.

    • DGI,

      Thank you for the kind words. Unfortunately my firm did not offer a pension, but man would that have been nice! Many of the items did not bother me for a while, but once my passion for it eroded, it became difficult for me. I don’t mind spending a ton of hours working on something that I am passionate about, and I definitely do not mind pushing myself for the sake of the Diplomats. I cannot wait to leverage all of this free time to get involved in the community, the dividend growth community, and spend time with friends and family. And doing so while making more…of course.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      Bert

  3. Congratulations on making the move and I wish you nothing but good luck! As long as you follow your heart where is lead you, you will be the happiest. Money is not always an issue (just number 3) but the top 2 reasons alone are sufficient enough especially freeing more time to be spent with families and loved ones.

    Take care!

    • FFF,

      Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Following your heart is great advice. Simple, but very effective. Wow, I really like it. What is the point of spending all this time amassing wealth if you do not have anyone to enjoy it with? You can’t put a price on memories and family, right?

      Bert

  4. Strong move Bert! You are absolutely correct that in life you are presented opportunities only one time and you need to take advantage of what you have today. Here’s to your pending marriage and financial freedow.

    Deets

    • Deets,

      Thank you very much. I’ll cheers to those every day of the week and twice on Sunday! You are absolutely right. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so you have to make the most of today and ensure that you are enjoying every second of it.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

    • Tawcan,

      Thank you very much. I am hoping you are right haha But things are going well so far and it is very interesting. I can’t complain. Plus, I am home with my fiance right now, which is the best part of it all.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Bert

  5. Bert – I hear ya. I gave auditing a shot for one year and found it wasn’t a good fit for me: long hours doing work I could care less about, working on clients I didn’t enjoy (governmental), oblivious management stuck in the 19th century, and traveling to not so desirable locations. My favorite part: the company paid meals…but even that can get old. I love accounting but didn’t enjoy going down a checklist and just checking the boxes. I like to see what’s under the hood with a business and help make it better. Starting a new chapter is fun. I hope you enjoy the new quality of life!

    • Lifestyle,

      What type of position did you transition into? It seems like you are very happy with your point. You are absolutely right, the one benefit about public accounting was that you were able to save a lot of money while you were on the road. But that lost its luster after a while and the pro of saving money no longer outweighed the cons that you listed. It has been different starting a new chapter, especially because I have been so entrenched in the pubic lifestyle for such a long time. But as you said, it is going to be a lot of fun building myself up in a new organization and finding new ways to make a difference.

      I am looking forward to your response! Thanks again for stopping by.

      Bert

      • From public, I transitioned into a corporate accounting gig and have been doing that for the last 3.5 years. I work for a great company but I will be leaving my job next month to take a little more unconventional path. I’ve improved just about all that I can at my company and have learned all I care to learn, and now it’s on to something better. Us darn millennials, have to fulfilling work that makes a difference, right? I’m happy for you that you made the transition sooner than later, because some of my friends haven’t made the jump from public but continue to be miserable in it. I think public is a great place for any accountant to start their career, but will soon find that if they aren’t partner material, they are better off leaving to industry/advisory after 3-5 years. Good luck to you!

        • haha congrats on making the switch, especially to take the unconventional path. I am sure that it will be something that you are much more passionate about and are excited to do everyday. You are correct. Just working isn’t enough for us millennials, we always need to have the perfect job haha I agree with you about public, excellent place to start. You learn so much stuff in such a short period of time. But everyone usually reaches a point where they feel like they have gotten the most out of the experience that they want to. For me, I hit that point after 3 busy seasons and had to try something new. It wasn’t worth it for me at this moment to continue being miserable to stick it out to manager another 2-3 years.

          Best of luck on your new journey as well. Make sure to keep us updated with how you are liking it!

          Bert

  6. Bert,

    Congrats, man! Better hours, more enjoyment, and a raise? That’s a big win across the board.

    Glad to hear you’ll have more time to enjoy life. That’s the whole point of FI and everything else anyway. The money is just there to buy the time.

    And congrats as well on the engagement. Firing on all cylinders. 🙂

    Enjoy the new role.

    Cheers!

    • DM,

      Thank you very much, I appreciate it. I can’t believe all the changes that have hit me recently, and it seems that all of them have been positive too! I can’t really complain about anything right now to be honest.

      I don’t want to spend so much of my life working to accumulate money that I miss out on all of the fun events along the way. FI is centered around enjoying life, after all. And while I am not quite there yet, this move was a step that put me closer to achieving FI and having a better lifestyle along the way. You can’t get to the finish line without running the race, so the important thing is to make sure you are moving forward and getting closer with each life decision. I can happily say that I made two steps forward with the engagement and the switch!

      Thanks again DM!

      Bert

    • Thank you very much. Making this kind of a decision was definitely a learning decision for me, as I have never made a a difficult decision of this magnitude. Leaving a comfortable situation for an unknown situation is not easy, but now that I have done it once and am finding my way in this new role I will have no problem doing it in the future!

      Bert

  7. Wow, quite a few changes! Congrats on your engagement, and congrats on the new job! Both are huge changes, and kind of scary, but I’m sure both will be more amazing than you ever dreamed. Best of luck in this new chapter in your life!

    • Thank you very much DividendDeveloper. Both are definitely major changes, but great ones! I cannot wait to really get going with the wedding planning and I am getting more and more excited with each passing day.

      Bert

  8. Congrats on the move!!! Hope you enjoy it more than you could have ever imagined. Youre quote about having kids and being there to see them grow up is why I am pushing my wife and I to save and invest so aggressively right now. I want to be in a position that I can quit my job and do part time work to support my family if need be. Living off of dividends and having no weight on my shoulders as they grow up will be a fantastic feeling.

    Now take that 20% raise and get investing! haha

    Congrats again

    • American Dividend Dream,

      Thank you very much. You hit the nail on the head and I believe that’s why the majority of us in this community are so passionate about building this growing dividend stream. You are on the right path and have a great mindset. If we all keep pushing, the fruits of our labor will be worth it. I am sure we can’t wait to be there for as much of their childhood as we can. Let’s focus and keep on building that dividend income stream now so the snowball can get rolling early!

      Don’t worry, you bet yourself that a nice chunk of that raise is going straight to my portfolio haha

      Bert

  9. Hey Bert,

    This is a great decision I think. Gaining back a decent amount of time for yourself would’ve been enough of a reason for me, even if the salary hadn’t improved. I value my time really highly, and I resent wasting it on busy commuter trains and so on. So, I think you made a fantastic choicem and I wish you all the best with the new position.

    Cheers

  10. Congrats on the change! I agree that it’s more important to prioritize your life over your professional career. I think too often we live to work – we should take a step back and think about the truly important things in life.

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