Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When to quit the day job?

Sorry for the late post. It’s been one of those weeks and it’s only Tuesday. Only one day in Corporate America this week and I feel like I’ve worked a month.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching of late. After almost twenty-three years in Corporate America, I’m tired. I’ve made some amazing friends and been given amazing opportunities. For the most part it’s been a fun ride. But Corporate America has changed. And I’ve changed. Now we work in constant fear of losing our jobs. We get pay cuts instead of raises. Benefits are reduced and more expensive. And watching talented co-workers lose their jobs has been the icing on the cake.

Okay, enough whining. On the flip side, I love writing. I’m on vacation the rest of the week and writing full time. It makes me feel good. It provides a feeling of accomplishment. I’d love to earn my living writing. But when is it time to take that plunge? Anybody else spooked by that giant step?


Juliet Burns said...

Hey Pam. It's sad to see corporations bow down to the all mighty bottom line. They hire non-Americans for cheap labor who barely speak English and/or don't really know what they're doing, OR they lay off all but one or two people in a department and expect those left to do the job of 5 for LESS money, and be thankful for their job! All the while the CEO parachutes out with a multi-million dollar bonus! I don't know how they sleep at night with their mansions and luxury life-styles while ordinary folk lose their homes and pensions to corporate greed. Ok, rant over... I know not ALL corporations are that way. But it sure is the norm more than the exception, it seems.

PamStone said...

Thanks Juliet. I realize Corporate America is threatening your family also right now. But I think the bottom line is that I really want to make a drastic change and write full time. The financial aspect of not having a regular paycheck makes tossing the day job and following my dream too spooky. Hang in there!

Mint said...

I'm not a writer but I've worked like what seems like forever and I am now living on disability. It takes some getting used to with a much lower income. It's very scary to go from a larger income down to below poverty level. Any big change is scary. Hang in there and things will work out how they are meant too.

Linda Henderson

Sara said...


I took the plunge 11 years ago - it was sort of a forced one - my mother had three strokes in a row - and we were told that she had to have constant supervision. My partner and I agreed that since I made the least amount of money that I would quit work and become a stay at home person. (Now I have worked since I was 16! - so it was hard)

Our income dropped by 1/3! Two years ago - my partner and I split up - and it was my mother and I living on her social security (since I wasn't old enough yet) - and we managed.

A year ago my pension began and I signed up for SS - my mother had another stroke last July and she is now living in a nursing home where they take wonderful care of her...

And, I am happy and have enough to be able to enjoy my life - I don't want for anything! Yes, I've cut back on high end vacations - yet this year I spent a week in Maine visiting Acadia National Park and stayed in a wonderful cabin...I just don't go during peak season! And, it is more fun - cause there's not so many people..

Guess what I am trying to say - is that it is what you make of it and you can do it - if you it is what you really and truly want to do!

Good luck with your decision...

Anonymous said...

I think it boils down to having your bases covered from a financial perspective. Figure out how much you need to keep afloat ie) monthly bills, house payment, medical, food. Just the basics. Then factor in emergency money and savings. If you can afford to quit your day job...more power to you.

PamStone said...

Linda, I have a close friend who is now living on disability and she pretty much mirrors your situation. But she's managing and her health is better with less stress.

Sara, the aging parent issue is the other piece of my equation. My husband and I just sold our house and my mom sold hers and we all three are living together now in a moderate sized home more in the country. Mom is 83 with a slight heart condition, has been through breast cancer a year ago and is still in better shape than me, except she's deaf. Totally deaf, maybe hears one in ten words if she's looking at you. But she doesn't read lips. Ha! So yes, being home with her was part of the deal and with this job I do work from home. Long hours, but I'm here.

Anonymous, that financial thing is truly the key. I've debated that with so many friends, I've lost count. We're in good shape compared to most and will have no debt after we close on the house we just sold. But there is no way to eliminate those monthly costs. We like to stay comfortable and eat, not asking too much here. Getting older and health care costs are another biggy.

But I do appreciate the input from everyone. Good to know I'm not alone.


CC Coburn said...

Oh Pam I do feel for you. You sound so tired and fed up with corporate life. To say you've worked a day and it feels like a month is truly telling. It sounds as though you have a supportive hubby. And FWIW, I think your health and happiness is so much more important than a weekly paycheck.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

PamStone said...

Thanks, CC. Appreciate the positive thoughts. I am strongly considering making a change in the near future. Not working the past few days has helped de-stress and made me realize how uptight the day job can make me. Luckily those bad days aren't often. But living under the stress of loss of job is always there. Control freak that I am, I'd like to make that decision when it's right for me, not them.

Thanks all for letting/helping me vent.