A lot of companies are laying off employees, slashing salaries or just not giving annual increases like they did in years past. It's one thing when an employee is the victim of a downsizing, but it’s another when an employee makes a decision to leave a lucrative position and take a cut in pay to change his lifestyle.
It may be a case of just having enough. In the case of Bruce Merevick, as reported in the New York Times, it was a case of trading a life on the road with one that gave him more time with his wife and a less hectic lifestyle.
At 51, Bruce found a way to use his technical expertise working at home. He took a 20-percent cut in pay for a far less stressful lifestyle and time with his wife and friends. In the tech field, he still can make a decent salary. This type of decision in another field may not be as easy to do. But the choice to trade a stressful career away from home for five days out of the week was worth the cut in pay.
The realities of today’s workforce are making workers re-examine their commitment to employers and count the cost of giving all to a job. There are costs. If you decide to cut your salary and not cut your lifestyle or spending habits, you may find yourself running back to the same stress-filled environment.
Bruce and his wife have paid a price. No more fancy dinners out every night. They haven’t taken a vacation in a while. These are not just one-time changes or cutbacks. This is the beginning of a totally new lifestyle.
At 51, many people are just hitting their stride career-wise. They’ve gone through the learning and climbing stage, established themselves in an industry and gained some notoriety or at least presence in the company or industry. The decision to leave it all behind can be coupled with a life-changing incident, like a divorce, personal illness, family crisis, or just waking up one morning and realizing you’re 50 and going bald and life is short. Mid-life crises aside, it’s a major decision, not to be taken lightly.
It can be just short of heroic to walk away from a lucrative career with a lot of years to grow and go even further to the top. It takes some planning and courage.
Check the financials. No sense in losing the house and cars to take it easier. Have a conversation with your financial planner or broker to be sure that you can live your dream, no matter how different or downsized it is. You may not be able to come back to square one if you don’t get it right. You want to be able to live your new lifestyle and still enjoy a comfortable retirement.
More time at home is great. Strong relationships can handle more togetherness. What happens when being apart with separate jobs was the thing that kept the relationship going? Life changes need to be examined from all angles before making a major decision.
The world of work is changing dramatically, with new solutions for businesses and employees. Planning, conversation and commitment can make for a winning relationship and happy future.
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