Micro-retirement

So I recently left the job I have had for 8+ years! It was a tough decision, of course, but ultimately there were many factors leading up to this change. Things like departing bosses, departing long-time coworkers (friends) and just some general stagnation. Honestly, after that many years it was time to at least make a decent effort to see what is available.

I looked for about a month. I applied to a handful of places. A number of companies and recruiters found me. Finally an opportunity came along with a handful of intriguing changes. Higher compensation. Broader and increased benefits (bonus program, health reimbursement, cheaper 401k options, tuition reimbursement, etc.) And finally a chance to change industry and expand my experience. The only downside might be a longer commute. But honestly I enjoy driving back roads. (Of course now it has me thinking about a more fuel efficient vehicle… used Prius C perhaps?)

After a some phone screenings and on-site interviews I knew the move was about to happen. Honestly it happened much faster than I anticipated. At the start of the year, I had made a few financial changes in preparation for a possible job change. I front loaded my 401k in case the new place didn’t offer immediate enrollment. (This came to bite me back as now I might miss out on some improved 401k matching. But at the onset the decision was the right move in terms of risk.) I also made sure to use every benefit I could, loading up on appointments, surgery and networking opportunities. Unfortunately, I was unable to front load my HSA.

Where am I now?

Day 4 of my micro-retirement. I accepted a later start date to get 2 weeks off. And with vacation payout it will almost be like I never stopped working.

So far the days have been slow and I guess full of decompression. I have seen a lot of my family. Been to a few events and overall just taken it slow. But now is the time to get some housing projects done! Instead today I went for a long walk in the woods with the dog. Soooo quiet in the middle of the week. Normally you’d see someone every few hundred yards. We saw one other person!

This weekend coming up will be a true vacation as we head out of state and to the coast for five days. Hiking, eating tasty vegan treats and relaxing. I have some special beers I will be bringing along for the trip (Great Divide!) This trip will mean I once again miss out on Sunday Shorts posts. That is three in a row! D’oh!

Hopefully once everything gets settled into the new job I will get in a routine again. I feel torn all over the place the last month and unable to create time for writing anything down. So there we go… thought blast. :p

4 Replies to “Micro-retirement”

  1. Congrats on the new job!

    I like the idea of a micro-retirement! Ever since grad school I have had the idea to plan a sabbatical every 8-10 years to help me step back and reassess where I am at with my life and career. After seeing so many people sleep walk through their careers I wanted to be more intentional about getting myself out of a routine so that I can see things more clearly.

    However, I realize now I am almost 5 years into my career and I can finally understand why people are hesitant to switch jobs. Although I like my company, my work, and my coworkers, I find it is more stress than I may care to have over the long-term. Yet, when I think about the possibility of looking at different career paths I am pretty reluctant to explore other options.

    Though I will say part of what is really appealing about my current job is that my commute is pretty great. So I did cringe a little when I read that your new job will mean a longer commute. I just recently wrote about the cost of commuting (http://bit.ly/20Y7l0L ). Hopefully you can work from home periodically?

    1. It was not easy stepping away from a job into the unknown. For a generation known for “job-hopping,” this was not natural for me. So far, so good!

      Oh boy… commuting.

      Honestly, my commute is LONG. 50 minutes one-way long!!! Early on in my career my commute was this long. The company then moved and it was an improvement to only 25 minutes one-way. Going back to 50 minutes is painful, but honestly it’s not terrible for me.

      Am I losing time from other things? Yes. Is it costing me physical money? Yes. Can I no longer bike to work? Realistically, yes. But, I of course went through all these thoughts before deciding to do it all over again.

      It’s been one month (or so) since changing to this new commute. So far, not at all bad. I think I will have to get some more space in a post to discuss this though. Maybe in another month once I realize what I’ve stepped in… :p

  2. Love the micro-retirement concept! My biggest regret when I switched jobs was not taking any time off whatsoever in between. It would have been awesome to see what life was like when you don’t have the 8-5.

    1. Wow, sorry this comment took me forever to approve. Apparently I am getting email traps.

      Anyway, yes, taking time off was AMAZING! Not really productive, but that is my own fault. I lost track of days of the week, slept in a bit more, took my time doing things… reminded me of summer vacation during school. I did miss the structure of work by the end. Maybe it was more the camaraderie or “being productive” that I enjoy. Whenever I change again (maybe 3 years) I will do the same. And be more productive!

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