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to give up my well-paid job?

(26 Posts)
christinecagney Sun 05-Jun-11 11:40:27

Ok, will try to be brief. Have well-paid job in public sector, but really don't like it at all, despite it being everything I have worked towards for twenty years! Is stressful, huge accountability, long hours, often dealing with distressing situations etc. However I work with lovely people and in a great environment (i.e nice building, good location, easy travel). I am the main earner in our family but DH and DCs have asked me to give it up as they know I am very unhappy. Worried about how we will survive financially as our family income will more than halve: from about £70k to £25kish (don't flame me, I know it's a lot of money, but also live in expensive area, big mortgage, council tax etc). Can't go part-time - not allowed in my role.

AIBU to give up a 'good' job just cos I don't like it?

rainbowinthesky Sun 05-Jun-11 11:41:35

How will you survive? How will you pay the mortgage etc?

Punkatheart Sun 05-Jun-11 11:44:18

Why not find another before you dump this one? It seems very drastic to go cold turkey, although I appreciate your reasons.

atswimtwolengths Sun 05-Jun-11 11:44:28

I'd plan an exit strategy. I've found that once I know I'm leaving (even if it's in a year's time) the job becomes much easier - the relief kicks in immediately.

Is there something you could do that's a sideways move? What else could you do with your qualifications and skills? Do you deal with other professionals at work and envy them their jobs?

The impact on your family will be huge if you just pack in the job. Why not aim to leave in 3-6 months, giving you time to look around?

nenevomito Sun 05-Jun-11 11:45:53

I could have written your post except our income would go from 57k to 17k if I quit and it would involve us selling our house (at a loss) and a huge change in our standard of living. This is why I am still plugging away.

Would it be possible to look for something on a lower grade with less stress and accountability?

TidyDancer Sun 05-Jun-11 11:46:46

I think you need to give this MASSIVE consideration. Right now, it's a grass is greener type situation, and you're seeing it from the perspective of getting out of somewhere you don't like. But that's only a small part of it. How on earth will you pay a big mortgage on only £25k salary? It's difficult for a single person to survive on that in some places, let alone a person with children!

christinecagney Sun 05-Jun-11 11:50:28

Thanks you are all so sensible - I think I want out so badly I can't see any way other than to chuck it all in...

Exit strategy sound like a good plan, thanks.

karmakameleon Sun 05-Jun-11 11:52:11

I've been in the same situation and it's awful.

I found that once DH and I had sat down and worked out the finances and how we would cope I immediately started to feel better. We decided what we could go without if we needed to, and I started to look into temp work so that at least I was bringing something in.

We decided to give it three months for me to look for something else and if I didn't find anything, agreed that I would resign and temp if I could. Just having a time limit and a plan was such a relief and made going to work slightly more bearable because I knew there was a deadline.

TidyDancer Sun 05-Jun-11 11:54:07

It really is crap when you're in a situation you don't want to be in, I sympathise massively, I've been there (although on a much lower scale money-wise).

How would you be placed financially if you were to quit? Could you survive on a huge paycut?

penandpaper Sun 05-Jun-11 11:57:53

just posted on going back to work - i'm in the reverse situation, been on benefits for a while as i resigned from previous job as found it too stressful (not as well paid as yours tho!) debating when to go back to work, and whether going back to high stress for money reasons is better than being at home and living off less. i will go back to work but not sure if aiming for highly paid jobs which are stressful is the best thing for me and my children. feels like wasting your skills, qualifications etc but i think you have to put your health first, stop trying to live up to some lifestyle magazine ideal and enjoy the simple things in life.
keep swinging from one decision to the other tho! not easy!

ExpatAgain Sun 05-Jun-11 16:04:15

you've worked hard to get where you are, don't chuck it in now! What's a half-way measure - move sideways in your organisaiton, ask to drop a day (even temporarily), hell even book a week's holiday to take stock?? how long have you been in this role, if it's less than a year, i'd say not enough time to give it a chance.

Earlybird Sun 05-Jun-11 16:12:10

How old are your dc?

We're always reading about how fortunate public sector workers are due to gold-plated pension plans job security, and other perks of the job (no idea if it is true) that simply aren't available to 'regular' workers in 'normal' jobs.

How much longer do you have to work before you qualify for all those good things - or do you already? (Or are they Daily Mail exaggerations? grin)

Maybe hang in there until you're eligible, 'retire' and then begin a more gratifying/less stressful second career elsewhere?

fifi25 Sun 05-Jun-11 16:18:34

Just think how much your life will change with the huge loss of money. Im skint, job hunting and cant do anything with the kids through lack of funds.

mumnotmachine Sun 05-Jun-11 16:28:39

Public Sector workers are not that fortunate, trust me!

The pension is radically changing over the next couple of years, job security is a joke, and there are absolutely no perks.

In the last few years everything has become focussed on stats stats and more stats. If you dont hit your (unrealistic) targets you're made to feel like shit.

Sometimes the stress is unbearable- its only the people you work with that sometimes get you through the never ending week

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 05-Jun-11 16:34:31

I gave up my job because I was not happy which had a major impact on our family. I took a pay cut of about 75% to go into teaching. We kept our home as we never had a big home to start with. But we had to take most of the children out of their schools which caused some upset at the time. I also went into training and had no clear job offer although at the time it was not that difficult to get a job. I am not sure I would the same in this climate to be honest.

I think you also need to research thoroughly the job that you are going in to. I chose teaching, thinking it would give me more time with the children. I now see just how ridiculous that is. If we have any more children I will leave teaching and as things stand I think I only have about 10 years.

Do I regret leaving my old job? - sometimes but mainly for financial reasons.

Do I love my new job? - yes but I would like to work part time and that has been refused so I wonder how long that love will last.

Scuttlebutter Sun 05-Jun-11 16:38:54

It's manageable. If you are earning around £70K, then you're fairly senior. So think strategically. Can you look at a move into a position with a regulator/devolved administrations/Whitehall? Can you look at being attached to a project team within your employer? Do you have good management qualifications as well as your specialist ones? For example, do you have an MBA? You can also do these days an MPA which is similar but geared to the public sector. These would broaden your options. Sign up for automated job alerts in LGC or similar public sector publications and ensure you are signed up on all the other websites where potential vacancies could be advertised. Make sure you watch job ads carefully and understand where the vacancies are.

What is it about your current role that you don't like? This will be helpful in giving you a steer into future options. Is it the stress, confrontation, unions, commute, etc? Think about how your ideal job would be different and which of these issues you would like to remove.

If you stay in the public sector, then your pension and length of service will be transferable, which could be an important consideration if you have built up a good accumulation so far.

Get application forms for jobs which look potentially do-able and do the forms as a good exercise. Save answers in Word, as when you do them regularly, you'll see that the "desirables" often crop up time and again e.g. experience in managing budgets, that way you can just cut and paste into your forms. It's also worth applying for a few jobs that you meet the criteria for as not only will this sharpen your application skills, but if you get to interview, this is excellent practice. Even if they don't offer you the job, think of this as ensuring you are "battle ready" when THE perfect job comes along.

Look carefully at your family budget and think about where you can save money. Try to build up some savings, clear down debts if at all possible (such as cards). Think about how your budget would vary if your salary was at say £50K, 40K, and 30K. Do some modelling in Excel. Experiment with a much more basic food budget for instance - how do you find this as an experience?

Good luck!

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 05-Jun-11 16:42:02

I did not know about transferable pensions. If I leave teaching but eneter another public sector job can I transfer my pension?

BikeRunSki Sun 05-Jun-11 16:48:50

ROFL at concept of how fortunate public sector workers are. I am one! into 4th year of no pay rise; office moving to somewhere cheaper and far further away; pension going to pants; flexi hours much reduced (this usefd to outweight finances massively and was main reason I joined the organisation I work for)....

If you can survive on £25K then do it. No one ever died and wished they'd spent more time at work. Think about what is really essential - good basic food, yes; fancy restaurants, no; time with your DC, yes; skiing holidays, no. That kind of thing. Could you change to an interest only mortgage for a while, or extend the term of your mortgage?

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 05-Jun-11 16:57:07

I quite like a fancy restaurant and holidays.

mumoverseas Sun 05-Jun-11 17:21:12

I can totally understand why you want to do that OP. DH has very very unhappy in his job for the past few years. His boss is a nasty bully and since making a complaint about him a few months ago he has been victimised even more and the company is simply turning a blind eye. It has affected his health, he has trouble sleeping and is suffering from stress and depression.

Last week he had enough and handed his notice in and the change in him is HUGE. He is back to his old self again and is much more relaxed. Things will be difficult, he is currently working his notice, has no job to go to and potentially we will be losing in excess of 4k per month however we will manage. We may not have the luxury holidays we used to enjoy or private school fees but life is too short. Fingers crossed for you OP and us grin

mumnotmachine Sun 05-Jun-11 17:47:34

I laughed too RunBikeSki!!!!
I only stay because of my working pattern (which I got in before most other things went tits up!)

EssentialFattyAcid Sun 05-Jun-11 17:54:24

Don't understand why you wouldn't find another job before leaving this one? Quite reasonable to decide to earn less for overall quality of life reasons imo, lots of people do this.

I work part time in a well paid job that I wouldn't like to do full time although it would increase our family income if I did.

BikeRunSki Sun 05-Jun-11 21:33:50

Mumnotmachine Me too.

I quite like restaurants and holdiays, but I love time with my young DS. I have been in the highly paid, high stress job and hated it.

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 05-Jun-11 23:06:36

I must be an utter bitch, I quite like gong to posh restaurants without four kids inline!

Lizzabadger Sun 05-Jun-11 23:17:10

I think the OP is on 45K, Scuttlebutter (her current family income is 70K and will drop to 25K if she gives up work).

OP - I sympathise. It can be soul-destroying doing a job you hate. I agree it's best to have a plan before you quit, though. Is there somewhere you can get some independent careers advice about other areas you can transfer your skills to, retraining etc.?

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