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  • Doing what you love?

    Has anyone out there given up their full-time office job to find a higher-passion, albeit lower-income, kind of work? There are so many things I'd rather be doing, but the salary and benefits I've got now make it so hard to walk away. How did you do it?

    All I know for sure is that sitting in my little cube for 9 hours a day staring at a computer screen is making me crazy. I am designed for play, for sunshine and the outdoors, and for so many other things that are the exact opposite of what I'm doing with the majority of my time.
    "Imagine all the people, living life in peace..."

    "Nothing will work unless you do."

  • #2
    I work from home and love my day job but a close second is my gardens. I've gone berserk for permaculture and have been building swales and terraces and hugle-beds like a crazy woman. If I had a job I hated the gardens are what would keep me sane. And with a permaculture system you end up growing most of your own food anyway, a huge expense that can be elimated after a few years, maybe allowing one to quit the full-time rat race.

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    • #3
      I did. I made pretty darn good money being a manager of folks, but managing folks ain't in my DNA. I went back to school, got another degree and am pretty happy where I am for the time being. I had to start on the bottom rung again, so things can only go up from here. I love what I WILL BE ABLE TO DO, once I get this work experience in the new field logged in. There's an opening for just what I want about 3 freaking miles from where I'm planning on building a house next year...luck? Anyways, yeah, a 20% cut in JUST SALARY, not counting all the equity/bonuses of last job will cause you to rethink what you need in life. I did all this with 3 kids. The last was 6 weeks old when I changed jobs. Do this change while you still have the balls. We have less money coming in, but we cut way back on the goings out, so we cut coupons to help make up the difference. I've never been happier. YMMV
      If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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      • #4
        I did. I gave up a 6 figure income. My husband and I decided that quality of life is much more important than the quantity of stuff that we own. Once you make that decision, you find ways to make everything work. So I say, go for it!

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        • #5
          I walked away from a good job at the start of the downturn and went for two very long walks. Hoped I could decide what I really wanted to do with myself while I walked out there alone. Meanwhile I enjoyed the sunshine and wildflowers. I never felt more wealthy than I did then. It was like being paid in wildflowers. Eventually I went back to the same line of work. It was great to have that year and a half off. The best thing is that now I don't take it all so seriously. I enjoy what I do but it's not who I am and honestly, I just don't give a sh*t anymore about any of it. This has made me a happier person that employers like even better than before for some strange reason.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            I quit training to be a teacher as lost all faith that the system was doing anything more than controling lives and turning out drones, not educating and inspiring. We no live on exactly 1/2 a bugger all, and are finding our way with part-time work, odd-jobs and living very cheaply - we have given up everything that is not essential (water, power, heat, food, housing) apart from a car and the internet, but without those we would be able to provide a suitable education for the spawn. We are in the process of selling up and buying a somw land to live on and grow/raise various things to eat and sell. Again we have never been happier dispite being propper poor, it's a bit stressfull when the washing machine breaks or something else like that comes up, but we find a way. The fact that as a family we like being together helps alot.
            You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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            • #7
              I found that having the FU money saved put an entirely different perspective on my mindless, boring job. "Why are you always smiling?"

              I think I'd resent any job that I had to do just to get by.
              Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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              • #8
                I didn't give up an office job, but I do have a low-paying job that I absolutely love. I make almost enough to get by, but I like what I do.

                Today involved lifting a 100 lb spool of cable onto my desk, then climbing onto said desk to remove the top.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                  I found that having the FU money saved put an entirely different perspective on my mindless, boring job. "Why are you always smiling?"

                  I think I'd resent any job that I had to do just to get by.
                  Yep. I've only been working as an engineer for about a year, and I already know that I could not care much less about what I do, I don't really want to do it 40+ hours a week, and if I keep doing it for a few years I will not only hate the job, but probably myself too.

                  So my wife and I are figuring out what we should do about that.
                  Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                  My Primal Journal

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                  • #10
                    Nope, I do it strictly for the money. I like it, it pays well and almost zero stress.
                    "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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                    • #11
                      I have a job similar to yours. Sitting on my tail for 9hrs a day. It's not the most enjoyable thing in the world but it pays the bills and allows me to come home to those I love. That's what is most important. I love to write and to become an author has always been my dream, but until that happens I'll be driving into work and sitting down.

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                      • #12
                        Hobbies often become great businesses. Begin studying for what you want to do while you're working that job you hate. Just sitting and wishing won't cut it.

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                        • #13
                          We decided that we are okay with less money so that I can SAH with our children. DH is looking for a new job that pays a little better or lets us move to a cheaper area. We won't be able to buy our kids everything they want or go on extravagant vacations, but our goal is for me to remain at home until they're in college so there's always someone here for them if they're sick or have trouble at school. I've even joked about homeschooling.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chatty View Post
                            Hobbies often become great businesses. Begin studying for what you want to do while you're working that job you hate. Just sitting and wishing won't cut it.
                            I wouldn't want to make my hobby into my main job, though. That would just create unnecessary pressures on things I should be enjoying to do, not obligated to do.
                            My chocolatey Primal journey

                            Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for sharing, everyone!
                              I am so inspired by people who take risks for their own happiness. I really admire that.

                              I'm a very, very cautious person. I grew up in a low-income family, scraping by, worked since I was 14, you know the story. Because of this I am a little over the top about saving money. Ok, maybe VERY over the top.

                              My co-workers were cracking up at me the other day...someone was talking about grocery shopping and I mentioned that I refuse to pay more than $1 for this, or $2 for that. If it's not on sale or a good deal, I don't buy it, no matter how much I want it. It's just absolutely ingrained in me to live like a poor person, even though we are doing totally fine financially.

                              So, there's a little internal conflict going on here

                              But the time to make a change is near, so I'll just have to get over it and take some risks! My husband is going on the job market in a few months (grad student at the moment), and we've discussed that when he gets a job it's my turn to find out what makes me happy. If I can make some decent money at whatever that is, then great. If not, we'll be fine. The way he put it is: "The way I see it, now's my turn to bring home the bacon. You can bring home the eggs...or the cheese, whatever's cheaper." Love him.
                              "Imagine all the people, living life in peace..."

                              "Nothing will work unless you do."

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