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Last year of work--Dilemma
Old 07-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
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Last year of work--Dilemma

I have been reading this forum for a while now. Thanks for all the great info.

I am in my early-fifties and counting down to hopefully ER-ing next year. My husband may continue to work full or part time, he hasn’t decided. We have done FIRE calculators both on FIRE-CALC and on other sites, as well as our own spreadsheets, and we feel we can have a good, happy and hoping healthy retirement with what our projected income will be. House is paid off and we are planning to downsize. We don’t have pensions or healthcare so the healthcare expense may keep my husband working longer so we have that coverage….we are waiting to see how affordable the AHA is...

My dilemma is my last year of work. I am presently very unhappy at my current middle management position, due to many changes that have occurred in the last year. I have tried to adapt but I can’t seem to accept the direction or (lack of it) that my company is pursuing, and the negative impact on my position as a result of the changes. My stress level is not good, the job is killing my ability to get a good night’s sleep, consistently. This is the toughest part, either going to work on a partial night’s sleep or taking some medicine to get the full night’s sleep. I keep thinking it’s not worth it to stay here for another year.

So even though I am about 12 months out from RE, I have started looking for a job and am actively interviewing. I am looking to move to a new job that I know I will probably leave in 12 months. Having worked in various megacorps for 25+ years, it’s hard to make the move knowing I will leave after such a short time. I have always stayed several years prior to moving on, but now I am considering doing something that I would never have done in the past. I am having “Guilt” before I even have a job offer!! I think it is “old school” mentality—now corporations dump people on less than 24 hour notice but I am worried about the thought of leaving after giving only a solid 12 month stint to a company.

So I would love to hear from others on this dilemma. I think to stay at the current job where stress is hurting me physically has long term consequences, but my sense of guilt tells me it’s wrong to go to a job knowing I wouldn’t stay more than 12 months.

What do you think? Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation?
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:44 AM   #2
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I used to be a middle manager myself, and then got 'down-sized' as an individual contributor. My roles and responsibilities have been reduced dramatically though my pay and benefits stay the same. Basically, I was moved from management track to technical track and I get to work from home. I no longer experience any work stress and I am on my last year before ER. DW calls it my 'retirement job'.

If there is an option within your megacorp, you might want to see if you can be moved to an individual contributor role for the final year.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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I don't think you "know" you'll leave a new job in only 12 months. Isn't it possible you might love it and stay longer?

Certainly the best way to get a new job is while you currently have one. I would say do just what you're doing and ditch the guilt, which might not even be appropriate.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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From what I see in looking at individual profiles on LinkedIn, the average length of time people are working at any one company has decreased dramatically since I started in the corporate world 30 years ago. And not just for 20 and 30 somethings working in startups. I often see old folks like us who are spending less than 2 years at each job.

Try not to burden yourself with unnecessary guilt. Try to find a position that is better for you than your current one and see what happens. As braumeister says, you might find you like the new position and stay longer. Even if you do only stay 12 months, no reason to feel guilty. Life's too short!
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Your mind and body are telling you to switch jobs. The stress level you describe isn't healthy for you. Also, a manager who doesn't like his or her job has a real effect on others. Believe me - people can tell.

I don't see any issue with switching jobs and then retiring a few months later. If a new hire doesn't "work out," the company lets them go after a few months, right? So you can just say things didn't work out, or that your circumstances have changed.

It's more dicey when you'll be looking for yet another job in the future, so if there is any doubt in your mind about possibly coming back to work after retirement, be careful how you handle leaving this follow-on job. But DO get out of the one you're in.

Good luck!

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Old 07-05-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
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I willingly became an individual contributor, to lower my stress level, didn't really work for me, hated what I agreed to. After 18 months I ER'ed. Took a while but now I can sleep, and feel much better.

There is nothing wrong with trying something different. If whatever Megacorp your at wants you gone, you're gone on their schedule.

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Old 07-05-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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How about looking for a job that you've always wanted to try? Or something you think you might enjoy? Even something part time that you would consider doing past your originally intended ER?
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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You may find a change to your liking. A friend of mine changed jobs while in his early 50s and even though he was FI, he is still working because he likes his new job and the people he works with so much.

I wouldn't feel any guilt. You can always just say it didn't work out to your liking. In any event it is their problem and not yours.

As others have mentioned, would a part-time or different role at your current employer be a possibility? I moved from being a team leader to a subject matter expert/technical specialist for the last 5 or so years I worked and it was great for me and mega.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate the support and the suggestions.

Regarding "same company slight change in job"--The company I am currently at is not so Mega, and there is no such thing as part-time--very rigid rules rules, no flexibility at all. Stepping down is probably not realistic--my right hand person who fills in when I am not there, doesn't want to be a team leader, really enjoys being a worker-bee. Also, I am not sure I can be redeployed within the organization, my skill sets are specialized and people don't think of me as doing other functions.

I wish this were a possibility, but it is not a probability where I work.

Regarding starting a new career, I did look into this but the economy is not so supportive for this. Also, if I were looking to work another 10 years, that would make more sense. Currently my earning power is much greater in my field of experience.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:44 PM   #10
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I had a horrendous last year with the downsizing of my group. I was not happy with the way management had handled the downsizing and I was very stressed all year. I eventually decided to ER. I gave 6 months notice and those 6 months were at a lot lower stress level. So maybe your last year wouldn't be as bad as you imagined if you can give a lot of notice. I also worked for an employer with a defined benefit plan. I stayed to rack up more service credits.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:40 AM   #11
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Personally I wouldn't be too concerned about accepting the new position with the knowledge you won't be staying long. In my career I've seen new employees quit at lunchtime of their very first day. I've seen many others not last a week. It happens all the time in corporate America.

You have to look out for yourself. I guarantee you that the corporation will put its needs ahead of you. You shouldn't feel guilty about doing the same.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by martyp View Post
I had a horrendous last year with the downsizing of my group. I was not happy with the way management had handled the downsizing and I was very stressed all year. I eventually decided to ER. I gave 6 months notice and those 6 months were at a lot lower stress level. So maybe your last year wouldn't be as bad as you imagined if you can give a lot of notice. I also worked for an employer with a defined benefit plan. I stayed to rack up more service credits.
That's risky advice. At some employers a 6 month notice could easily turn into them firing you after 2 weeks. It depends on your position and how valuable you feel you are to the company. Many companies may not like your lame duck status.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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Indeed, at my previous megacorp, if you disclosed that you intend to resign, the common practice was to immediately terminate the employee and walk him/her out. Not sure why- maybe for security reasons, maybe to not contaminate the rest.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:41 AM   #14
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I'll join the chorus in advising to look and hopefully attain another job for however long it serves you. Employment at will works both ways and your responsibility is to provide your best work for the "length" of your contract, which is day by day. If somebody wants to sign you for two years then that's a different story. Far and away though the clincher to me is your health is being seriously impacted. Under any circumstance with that being the case you should do all you can to get out, that you're financially sound and that's the case is simply crazy to stick around.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #15
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I'm also within the 12 months when I intend to retire, and though my job causes me some stress I would mentally have a difficult time moving to another job with another company knowing I would only stay there for 12 months. It is not guilt so much as mental focus - I would be more apt to be counting the days than focusing on the job, even it if were stress free. In the last 6 months I had had about 8 unsolicited interviews for other jobs, and while a couple have sounded interesting I knew that I'd want to spend at least several years on them due to the interesting work.

Have you considered looking for a "contract work" job that only lasts 6-12 months? More companies are doing this as it gives them more workforce level flexibility. If your skills are appropriate for this type of work it is worth looking at.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfudtuckerpucker View Post
Indeed, at my previous megacorp, if you disclosed that you intend to resign, the common practice was to immediately terminate the employee and walk him/her out. Not sure why- maybe for security reasons, maybe to not contaminate the rest.

My Megacorp give client facing employee 2 hours to leave. Once you give notice, they want you gone and never come back again.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfudtuckerpucker View Post
Indeed, at my previous megacorp, if you disclosed that you intend to resign, the common practice was to immediately terminate the employee and walk him/her out. Not sure why- maybe for security reasons, maybe to not contaminate the rest.
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Originally Posted by comicbookgujy View Post
My Megacorp give client facing employee 2 hours to leave. Once you give notice, they want you gone and never come back again.
I'm aware of this for certain sensitive positions where the employee is going to work for a competitor, but do they apply the same procedure to a long-time employee who is retiring? (even if the "retirement" is technically a resignation as it was in my case).

The megas I worked for it was situational - if you were resigning to work for a competitor or to start you own firm or had a contentious relationship with the employer then they would walk you out, but if one was retiring then no.

I had all sorts of client interactions in the month or so that colleagues and clients knew I was retiring.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #18
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If looking for another job takes your mind off the troubles in your current job, go for it. Maybe it will lead to something good and if not at least you will have an outlet for your anxiety. The good news is you only plan to stay at your current company for another year, not forever, and trust me once you are out of there that last year will not seem so long in retrospect.

Good luck to you.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:14 PM   #19
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I am leaving my j*b of 28 years 6 months early because of the stress, unhappiness and bs bucket. 6 months more would give me a bit more money but I'm afraid of what it will do to me. Health and happiness are worth so much more.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
Have you considered looking for a "contract work" job that only lasts 6-12 months? More companies are doing this as it gives them more workforce level flexibility. If your skills are appropriate for this type of work it is worth looking at.
Thanks, I am looking at this also, but right now there are no opportunities in my region.
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