To ditch my job because life is too fucking short?

(120 Posts)
ReallyOverThis Thu 28-Nov-13 14:46:44

Regular poster, have NC for this. In a very small nutshell - I have a pretty fancy job which pays exceptionally well. Got a major promotion earlier this year (yes, boo hoo for me. Feel free to ditch thread now).

I really enjoyed about 50% of the job pre-promotion. I now only enjoy about 30% of it. I have never been cut out for certain aspects of the job, but I was in the past able to balance my failings in those sides of it by excelling in other areas. Now the expectations in all areas are about 200% higher and I have been told I really need to "up my game" if I am to achieve what's expected. It's not that they've misrepresented the promoted job to me - I knew in theory what it involved - but the practice is way harder than I anticipated. I could probably do the game upping but it would be seriously hard work and time consuming (e.g. having a week's holiday without full attention to Blackberry every day is just Not On, required to do weekly evening dinners with clients). Pressure is relentless. I am starting to think that I simply can't be arsed.

To give some context my Mum died a few months ago. Dad had died several years previously. Both died young. Neither is here to be disappointed in me if I ditch it (or proud of me if I succeed). I just turned 40. I am financially fine because I inherited a property and a small lump sum, plus I have my own savings. I don't have expensive tastes. In the last 3 years I've gained a fab fiance who is my rock. He's always known me as a high-flyer and is proud of me for that. He earns plenty money of his own and we have no children.

I feel my identity is very tied up in my job. When I do well in it I feel very validated and glad to have a good brain. Ditching it now would mean wasting many many years of study and slog and obviously mean giving up a lot of potential earnings.

This is not so much an AIBU because the answer is obviously "Do what's right for you" but more of a "Did you do it and do you regret it?"

Thanks for reading.

ReallyOverThis Thu 28-Nov-13 14:48:20

PS. The nature of the job is that it's not possible to go back down to the pre-promoted level, at least not in the same organisiation and probably not the same industry.

Timetoask Thu 28-Nov-13 14:51:09

What would you do instead?

whois Thu 28-Nov-13 14:51:55

Um, tricky one! If you had a kid it would be easier to say 'oh I need more flexibility/reduced hours' and use that as an excuse to move to an easier role.

What would you do of you quit? I think that is an important thing to figure out first.

Roshbegosh Thu 28-Nov-13 14:52:18

Could you take some time out, a career break or something?

It also depends on what your options are. Would you be in a shit job but earning a lot less if you left? Are there jobs out there that would suit?

I would not jump ship without somewhere to jump to.

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 28-Nov-13 14:52:52

Crikey!

Well, I didn't so much ditch the Career type job as decide not to return to it after my SAHM break - mainly as the company went bust once I wasn't there to look after things grin

I'm much happier with my self-employed role now, but how I'll feel when dtds move on to university etc in a few years is another matter.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 28-Nov-13 14:52:59

Hello OP.

Yes I did similar when we had ds1, from being pg I knew I wanted to be a sahm and dh also wanted a parent at home. We discussed it and I couldn't imagine him being in childcare and there wasn't a lot about at that time neither.
The similarity is I had a business and had a huge salary from this, but it involved 16+ hours a day to manage. The phone would always be ringing and I'd had enough. My dhs profession doesn't pay much and we lived on min wage for many years.
neither of us regret the decision, it was right for us.
I think if you are determined to do something, or make huge changes, once you have thought it through you have to go with it, or you could regret it.

PuppyMonkey Thu 28-Nov-13 14:55:19

Could you go freelance in your line of work? Choose your own hours?

nitrox Thu 28-Nov-13 14:55:23

Life's too short in my opinion... Do something that will make you happy.

But, try to think of a direction you could move into that would make you happier.. otherwise, you might make yourself unhappy by ditching something that is challenging. It sounds like you like a challenge, so to be left with nothing would be torture.

You need to say what you would do instead for people to give better opinions.

ReallyOverThis Thu 28-Nov-13 15:06:25

Thanks. Was a bit wary of outing myself but sod it. I'm a Partner in a law firm.

DidoTheDodo Thu 28-Nov-13 15:08:32

if I was in your position I would chuck it all in now and go for a peaceful and rewarding life. I'm working towards this but don't have the money to do it yet (and I'm 55) so I say follow your heart on this.

Timetoask Thu 28-Nov-13 15:10:25

Make a plan, what would you like to do? Once the plan is in place, go for it, but don't ditch your amazing job just like that.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 28-Nov-13 15:11:10

I'm in the same position but have no idea what to do instead.

Toying with the idea of living on a beach in the carribean for the rest of my life. grin

MothershipG Thu 28-Nov-13 15:19:04

If your identity is tied up in your job how would you feel about yourself if you ditch it? I had a pretty mundane IT job that I did to pay the mortgage yet I was surprised at how much of my identity had been tied up in it when I was made redundant.

So I think you need to make plans, take some time out if you can, but get something else lined up. You are in the enviable position of being able to indulge yourself. Do you want to move into a less pressurised area of the law? Retrain for a different career? Go back to studying?

Wasting your life on a job you don't enjoy is plain silly if you don't have to but it sounds to me like you need to do something so start dreaming and planning!

I figure you cannot regret trying. However it goes.

Having lived in 4 houses in two counties in 12mths I feel confident in that advice. We couldn't see our present life 12mths ago. But it's turning out great. Hard road in between sometimes but if we hadn't tried we wouldn't be here now.

Everyone whose anyone has studied law. Question is more what can't you do, not what can.

Good luck

VerySmallSqueak Thu 28-Nov-13 15:25:51

You work to live,not live to work imho.

Well done! If you are financially able to do this,there's a world of opportunity out there and very little time to do it all in.

I cannot see how you can be wrong!

Mumsyblouse Thu 28-Nov-13 15:28:39

I'm not in law but I've heard this tale before, that you spend years and years trying to make partner, but the pressure is often worse after partner than before, and the long hour culture just continues.

Can you move sideways, set up on you own, move to a legal position in the public sector, consult?

Or get out of law altogether and do something else? (most of the lawyers I know do say it is boring to be honest).

mummymeister Thu 28-Nov-13 15:32:22

I did it around 8 years ago. never looked back. wish I had started my own business up years ago. don't earn anywhere near as much as I did, work longer more unsociable hours but much much happier.

Noideaatall Thu 28-Nov-13 15:35:39

don't know if this would be at all suitable but Timewise jobs have often got part time jobs for legal types. might be worth a look?

TheQuietCricket Thu 28-Nov-13 15:37:02

Do you and your Fiance want to have kids ?

If yes, get on with it (you're 40 after all) and decide after maternity leave.

If no, you could look for alternative sector legal work jobs and when/if you find a role you'd rather do, just do it. People who know you well enough to know your circumstances, (early death of both parents) will understand the need to not be all consumed by a high powered job. People who don't know you well, who cares what they think !

eofa1 Thu 28-Nov-13 15:41:30

I had a really well paid job when I came out of university, but one that involved extremely long hours and the kind of pressure you describe. I moved to something that paid quite a lot less, still with quite a bit of pressure, but not as unremitting. There are jobs out there that can make you feel like you're using your brain, doing something useful etc. without eating up every minute of every day! Good luck.

ReallyOverThis Thu 28-Nov-13 15:43:01

We're both on the fence re kids. Something I've been wrestling with. Am scared my motivation for a baby will be to get a break from my job. That can't be right!

You read The Undomestic Goddess OP? wink

I think Sophie Kinsella should have the floor with this one but couldn't you just do it for a few more years, work towards a goal, like a lump sum of money you can use to rest on your laurels a bit and figure out what you want to do next? Do you have to make the decision and leave at the same time?

oscarwilde Thu 28-Nov-13 15:49:55

You've had a material life change so you are reassessing your priorities. All completely normal.

I've done something similar post mat leave and it's fair to say, that my priorities are now my kids, and not the office. Not so easy in a law firm. I'm not a lawyer but I'm familiar with the environment.

Do you feel that you'll get your mojo / enthusiasm for the job back?
It's unusual to have this sort of promotion if there were concerns about your abilities. What support is available to you from business development, HR partners etc etc.
Uping your game? Is it mostly revenue related?

Do you intend to have children ? Where do you want to be in 10 yrs time? Retiring?

If you became seriously ill in 10 yrs time, would you regret not stepping off the treadmill now?

Some partners job share / work 4 days - few and far between but it does happen even in the major firms. Anyone out there with complementary strengths? Even a senior associate who might be ripe for promotion but can't commit to the lifestyle?

Can you make a sideways move (even as a % of your time) into internal Risk Management/general counsel etc? Not client focused primarily? Or do you work in a sector that's not possible in?

Is it really not possible to step down? Would you have lost your job if you had not been promoted? Can you renegotiate the financial terms of your partnership or is it one size fits all?

oscarwilde Thu 28-Nov-13 15:57:23

Oh - and start taking holidays in places with no mobile signal grin

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