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Sometimes life and job pivot in a snap.
Even when you feel you know a change is coming, when it finally happens, it can feel like a smack in the face.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been working quite a bit lately, 40-50 hours most weeks since the spring (and sadly summer is the best time to be outside at home in my climate).
I’ve alluded to it a bit as well, but, I really wasn’t happy with my main employment. I was ready for that job pivot.
That’s part of the reason this blog started! I was beginning to feel the effects of burnout. I was tired of getting emails and calls when I was supposed to be off work (and thinking about work all the time). I felt like as a working mom, there just wasn’t enough time in my days.
I’ve weighed a lot of non-monetary costs in deciding if I should stay on working my main job, or call it quits. So far, it was barely on the side of stay on.
I’ve been obsessively tracking net worth and running early retirement simulations these last few months using Personal Capital (a sure sign I’m not happy at work).
There’s been some serious thought on this almost monthly for the last year.
As of this spring, it seemed to me that things were unlikely to change, and I decided it was time to beef up the emergency fund and savings. I hadn’t really put my mind to ending my main employment, but the thought was there. My plan had really been something like, hold out for a few more years, and then be totally set to go down to per diem only employment (ditching the main job).
Professional circles are small, so though I really wish I could go into all the details, I feel it’s best not to do so.
I had made my dissatisfaction with management clear shortly after taking over the position. There really wasn’t much choice- I was the newest hire and part time, and if I didn’t do it, there may not have been hours for me if they had to hire externally to fill the position.
They told me they were looking for someone who they could take on without displacing anyone, but due to locale etc., they were simply not finding anyone.
Suffice it to say by early summer, I gave my employer an ultimatum.
Things must improve or I will leave.
In my line of work, and the position, as a manager, I am personally and legally responsible for most anything that goes on, even when I am not there. I was no longer willing to assume that risk and stress when it was clear that the level of change that I needed to see happen was not going to take place.
Then, things were quiet for a few months. Suddenly, higher management informed me that they had finally found someone to work my location (at even fewer hours than I was working), but that meant there wasn’t a spot for me there anymore. And, there wasn’t currently a stable spot for me anywhere within a few hours distance either. So effectively, I was out of a job.
They’d finally found a way to fulfill my request after my … thorough… communication and subtle ultimatum. They told me I had scared them and they couldn’t afford to have someone quit. I’m still employed (if I want), technically, if and when hours become available.
So, they called my bluff.
I let them know I wasn’t happy and wasn’t willing to continue assuming the risk. Luckily, I had the foresight to predict that something would be happening. For that reason, I had been working extra and inquiring with my back up job about a more stable situation for months. (Read more on this guest post about how I leverage and have backup plans in place).
The frustrating part of this is that it wasn’t completely on my terms. I would have preferred to make the decision and given notice… but, when?
My flaw is being too transparent.
I should not have been so clear to them that I had a backup plan and I was willing to use it. I consider my integrity to be a strong suit. And even this this didn’t play out exactly how I planned, they still told me they would recommend me for any job. They just couldn’t stand for me to quit without them having a backup plan.
Is this good or bad?
In the end, good, I think. Someone finally pulled the trigger and made a decision I had been mulling over for months. Who knows how long it would have taken for me finally decide.
I’m not one to give up, so even though it was quite clear to me that things were not improving it felt like a failure on my end if I were to quit, even if it wasn’t under my control.
I’ve got my backup plans in place. I’ve got money saved. I already have enough work to meet the minimum needs of my family. Life is good.
The stress of that job has rolled of me amazingly quick. I’m sleeping better. I’ve been getting more things done around the house.
I’m excited to have time to pursue interests and passions… and try to make some money doing it. And get back on that accelerated path to financial independence.
Regina is That Frugal Pharmacist. She’s a PharmD, mother to a son with cancer, breadwinning wife, personal finance enthusiast, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Regina’s single-income household has been debt-free, including her home, since she was 28 years old.
Her money approach is “holistic financial health.” She encourages mindful spending, awareness of the non-monetary costs of choices, and aligning personal values with money habits. Regina sees a frugal lifestyle and mindset as an important part of environmental stewardship. As such she’s interested in ongoing efforts towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.
5 thoughts on “Job Pivot, Like That.”
As you said, it wasn’t on your terms, but it really does sound like a good thing in the end. You have so many options now, and you deserve/need some time for fun, non-work things.
Lesson learned. I will play my cards closer to the chest! Or at least I’ll try. I have such a hard time not being forthcoming. I’m really hoping I can find some new interesting paths using my skills in what is a pretty niche field.
I’m glad you had back-up options to fall back on! That is very smart!
Happy for you that this has been a blessing and not a total blindside that has you reeling.
Hopefully, your life can continue to improve now that you have more time and positive feelings to guide you.
Congratulations I guess?
I wonder how the new person is going to manage the location working less hours than you?
In my many years of retail employment I have eventually learned through a few mistakes of my own, that upper management are not your friends. In saying that I don’t want to imply that they would go about purposely trying to not let you succeed, but the company always comes first.
When you gave them the ultimatum their thought was this person is not a ‘team’ player and they need to be replaced ASAP and on our terms. Which I believe you alluded to in your post.
I have learned to keep my plans to myself and give general answers as to my plans in the future….where do you see yourself in 5 years they may ask….my answer is “doing the same thing I am doing now, as I feel like I have a good team and we have continued growth” is what I would tell them but my real plans are to be FI in 5 years and looking to quit or drop down to part time.
What about 10 years out, don’t you want to be a district manager or move on to corporate? Well maybe in 10 years, but right now the amount of travel that is required wouldn’t fit in with my family life, but maybe when the kid(s) are grown, when I am thinking to myself I will definitely be retired by then….
Good luck in your future job search. I wish you could tell which chain you worked for as I am thinking some of your descriptions sound like a Walgreens or CVS.
So the new person is actually going to be working more “hours,” the manager that is. But the person they hired to replace the hours I vacated is set to work even less hours than me, if that makes sense. I don’t know how it’s all going to work and I wonder if those late nights are going to get a whole lot later.
I’m learning to be less transparent, I hope. It’s been interesting to describe my reasons for leaving to anyone in my job search. There is truth in it, but not the whole truth!