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Downsizing MegaCorp to social service
Old 12-06-2007, 07:59 AM   #1
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Downsizing MegaCorp to social service

Maybe my dilema sounds familiar to some?

At the Megacorps that I have been working at for the past 20+ years they have adopted catch phrases that temper the act of terminating employees like "down sizing", "right sizing", "realigning", "reorganizing", etc.....

I've managed to survive many of these reductions and terminations and essentially remained at the same desk while the company name that I work for changes on what seems like a continuous basis.

In a strange way, this termoil is what availed me to a desire to seek an alternative way of living (at least alternative from the perspective of most of my coworkers) and utimately the goal of reducing my work time and hopefully retiring early.

My early retirement will take the form of reduced hours and hopefully more personally satisfying work that is closer to home. I don't have the money to outright retire at 49 but a career change is definately a possibility.

As this change approaches and I seriously look at opportunities closer to home, away from Megacorp, I can now see just how scarey this decision is. As I interview for positions that involve reductions in salary from what I am accustomed to, some 50% - 70% less than I make now, pulling the trigger will be difficult simply due to the financial risk involved. What if I can't make it? What if this is a mistake?

I've found at least one opportunity last Spring that I resisted "pulling the trigger on" simply due to my lack of confidence that I can make it work. I doubted myself and questioned whether I am "just burned out" or maybe over reacting to life at Megacorp.

Now, another opportunity is on the horizon this Spring and I hope to be able to apply.

Can some of you possibly share your experiences making a change like I have tried to describe, giving up the money at Megacorp for a simpler, more enjoyable lifestyle? I am quickly coming to respect those that can walk away or have at least tried to walk away from Megacorp money for retirement or at least semi-retirement in a carreer/job that they like.

Working for Megacorp is a bit like prostitution. Toiling for the money alone doesn't make me feel very good about myself anymore but the money does make life easier in a financial sense. At Megacorp I don't have to worry about the bills but life is a grind. A sincere thanks to this group, it is very helpful.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:54 AM   #2
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This comes from a very analytical point of view. Start with a hard analysis of your expenses and what it takes to maintain the future life you envision.

We have been budgeting for over 20 years and always living on about 1/3 of our take home. We know exactly what our expenses are and what types of changes we might need to make if either of us lost our jobs or change careers.

So consider each facet, housing, cars, personal, entertainment, misc. and what you could do to change them to simplify your life and also reduce costs in each of these areas. Kind of like living with a mortage payment being put in the bank each month to see if you can make the payment in the future.

Then when an opportunity comes around, you will be prepared to take advantage of it. My husband always said opportunity plus preparedness equals good luck.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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A friend of mine saw the greener grass...looked real sweet. He was burned out in his overseas assignment (where he made pretty good bucks). He and his DW took the plunge. She had been a stay at home mom. When they got there, the work was harder than imagined. The pay was what he thought, but the bills were higher. She wanted to continue as a stay at home mom, but couldn't if she expected the bills to be paid. They had to put their three small kids in daycare so she could go back to work at a relatively low-payng j*b. With the two of them w*rking, they are now just barely able to pay the bills AND the daycare. They are far less happy with their situation than when they were when they were here.

Moral of the story is "do your homework, and get all the answers right"...then be satisfied that the answers are what you want...before pulling the trigger.

Good luck to you in your consideration and decision!

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Old 12-06-2007, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATAMAN View Post
Working for Megacorp is a bit like prostitution. Toiling for the money alone doesn't make me feel very good about myself anymore but the money does make life easier in a financial sense. At Megacorp I don't have to worry about the bills but life is a grind.
A lot of jobs stink. Some pay more but don't necessarily stink any more. The well paying ones may even stink less. But if you are putting aside more money, you can escape earlier.

I would only make the change if you feel very sure that the new job won't be just as bad, but in a new way. Not only that, there is likely no turning back and you will be stuck for a long time.

However, if you would qualify for a government pension and health care at the new job, that may be something in favor of the change.

ha
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:08 PM   #5
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In the title you mention social service. What kind of social service? Some of it is really thankless work.On the outside it sounds really great but once you start work... If it's government then pension might be worth it. But lots of bureaucracy similar I'm sure to megacorp.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:31 PM   #6
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Having been in the social service and government world, I will add that there are many of the same problems as found in megacorp - continous management change, funding disruptions, understaffed and overworked. Social service is not a world for the faint of heart. Manage the struggles of business while trying to solve the struggles of humanity.

This does not mean you should not shift gears. A lot will depend on what personal interests and values draw you to that type of work and how that work will help you meet those interests and values. Combine that with reduced $$ and how that will fit with a cold analysis of your expenses and continued savings needs. Financially, kind of like practicing for ER - between now and the time you would need to make a committment, try living on what you expect the take home will be. See if it works.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATAMAN View Post
Maybe my dilema sounds familiar to some?
Can some of you possibly share your experiences making a change like I have tried to describe, giving up the money at Megacorp for a simpler, more enjoyable lifestyle? I am quickly coming to respect those that can walk away or have at least tried to walk away from Megacorp money for retirement or at least semi-retirement in a carreer/job that they like.
My husband and I are planning to do something very much like this -- give up the money at Megacorp for a simpler and more enjoyable lifestyle. BUT...and this is a big BUT....by the time we do this 2 years hence we will have saved an enormous amount of money for retirement (nearly 7 figures). We plan on downsizing to a simpler lifestyle and much less income, will let the retirement accounts grow on their own for another decade, before retiring for good. We have used Quicken to track our expenses for the past several years and have a good handle on how much money we need in our portfolio to achieve a full retirement some day.

I've been working for MegaCorp for over 20 years. It isn't fun any more. I can sympathize with the desire to pull back to a simpler lifestyle! Your inquiry has received a lot of great response posts so far - I hope you read and think about each one of them.

Best wishes,
--Linney
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:15 AM   #8
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Cataman:

I am going through this now....but it is called "productivity transformation" which is a bunch of crap. I am nowhere ready to retire.....but I am thinking of going to grad school to get out of megacorp. I definitely don't make as much as you, but whatever I make.....makes me feel yucky.....I like how you said that it is akin to prostitution...
Let us know what you decide.....I will be applying to school.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Linney View Post
I've been working for MegaCorp for over 20 years. It isn't fun any more. I can sympathize with the desire to pull back to a simpler lifestyle! Your inquiry has received a lot of great response posts so far - I hope you read and think about each one of them.
MegaCorp is rarely fun even at the beginning. Simplifying your life is a great idea, but it is one that many people still frown upon as they try to keep up with the Joneses. My wife and I live a pretty simple lifestyle, and while we would like to upgrade our standing of living (and can afford it), we aren't going to do so at the expense of our future. I'd rather have the freedom to enjoy my life than a 50" plasma television hanging on the wall.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:36 AM   #10
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MegaCorp is rarely fun even at the beginning.
I must have gotten lucky then. Young engineer, no kids. Secure job with good pay and benefits at a well-respected MegaCorp. Pounding out Pascal code to create forms-based UI screens. Occasional travel to Europe.... on an expense account! Beer busts to celebrate during the summer. Office chair races in the halls on Friday afternoon. Gonig on customer visits with 6 magnetic tape reels racked up on my forearm.

Yeah, I had fun back then.
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