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Old 04-29-2019, 07:42 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,381 posts, read 9,919,665 times
Reputation: 5427

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
How many of you gave up on a high-flying career?
Scientific, engineering, Hollywood, wall street, art, medical careers...
For example giving up on leading edge technology engineering for some more average engineering company. Or working in a famous top institution given up for a less known place.
I assume the reasons might be for moving to a lower cost of living or lower crime city, or have less stress or shorter working hours.
I'm in silicon valley (not too nice to live here), and want to move to a cheaper place with slower pace. Also my work is leading edge tech which is what I always wanted...

If you have been in a situation like that, what's your story?
Was it worth it in the long run? Any regrets?
I did, but I did it before I had the success. Now I am financially stable, comfortable life, but am not well-off or rich. I have free time, a family, lower stress than a high flying job. 100% worth it!
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:38 AM
 
5,924 posts, read 6,737,278 times
Reputation: 15277
Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
I wouldn't call my career "high flying," but after 13 years of stressful private practice work as an attorney in NYC, I took a 60 percent pay cut for a public sector attorney job in the suburbs. My daughter was 2 years old at the time and 3.5 years later I am much happier, as I am home every single night to have dinner with her and have had exactly zero weekends and vacations ruined by work since leaving law firm life.


The biggest difficulty for me is we still live in the NYC suburbs and cost of living is high. We are not flashy or materialistic people, but simply cannot afford the types of summer camps and luxury vacations that many of our neighbors can. I do not regret my choice at all, but I worry about money much more than I used to.

My ex was going to be a high flying NYC attorney, except none of the big firms would hire her. She ended up chasing ambulances, then out to NJ to do family law, then waffled into state gubment. She just couldn't play the game at the highest levels, which involves 100% commitment. It just isn't for everyone unless you are willing and able to dedicate your life to "the firm".


AFAIK she is happy doing what she is. Maybe makes 100 grand a year with little upside and very little downside. Could have been making seven figures but, for whatever reason, just couldn't commit and/or cut it at the top level.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:45 AM
 
629 posts, read 494,700 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
My ex was going to be a high flying NYC attorney, except none of the big firms would hire her. She ended up chasing ambulances, then out to NJ to do family law, then waffled into state gubment. She just couldn't play the game at the highest levels, which involves 100% commitment. It just isn't for everyone unless you are willing and able to dedicate your life to "the firm".


AFAIK she is happy doing what she is. Maybe makes 100 grand a year with little upside and very little downside. Could have been making seven figures but, for whatever reason, just couldn't commit and/or cut it at the top level.

Yes I worked in BigLaw for almost half of my 13 years in private practice, and you have to absolutely be willing to put your entire life on hold for the firm if you want to be there long-term. And even then, I have known countless talented attorneys who worked their butts off for 10 plus years as associates, only to be told they were not making partner and given x months to find a new job. And it's a very, very small few that make seven figures. Really just equity partners. Most attorneys who start their careers in BigLaw never make over a million dollars per year in their entire careers.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:42 AM
 
3,289 posts, read 5,071,015 times
Reputation: 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lekrii View Post
I took a $16k pay cut to come to the job I have now. It's less stressful, less demanding, etc. I settled on a mid-level corporate career instead of going for something higher purely for the better quality of life.

It was the best decision I ever made. Getting nights/weekends back, being able to sleep better at night, etc. is worth every penny of the pay cut.
Similar. I am 34 and have been in my current position for over 3 years.

But, at 30, I had spent the first basically decade of my career working my tail off at a very large worldwide engineering corp. It was a mixed bag of they had treated me well and I had more than doubled my entry-level salary (some years 3x with bonuses etc.) + I was putting in more and more hours with the carrot on a string of a specific promotion that just wasn't coming. I jumped up quickly and then stagnated even though I kept jumping through hoops and spending more and more time working and on the road. Eventually, it led to burn out.

I moved to Dallas to work a much, much smaller AE firm. Base pay was marginally higher (+ no state income tax) but the bonuses and extra benefits were not here as I was basically just taking a Senior Engineer position compared to a position with corporate attention etc. at my old company. With bonuses, paid OT, and 9% 401k match factored in for my old company, on my best year it was easily a 40k cut, on an average year it was probably 15-20k cut.

It was a tough call to make because from a fairly young age, culturally we kind of worship making more $ as a goal for motivated, driven people. So I felt a lot of anxiety taking such a big pay cut at a young age. However, the reality is that, even with the pay cut, I came to Dallas with a 6 figure base pay. Furthermore, I have always been a big save and investor anyway and lived off way less than I made at my old company. And I told myself that, if I couldn't find a way to live comfortably on 6 figures in Dallas, regardless of what I was making before, then I'm doing something wrong. Especially if it means a more laid back company, more personal time etc.

Been here over 3 years and not a regret since, after the anxiety faded a few months in. I work with great people. I have WAY more free time, and I've made really great use of the free time with more personal projects and traveling. It really even caused me to streamline my whole life. I came from a 2800 ft2 5 bedroom house to renting an 800ft2 studio apartment. And even now that I just bought a house, we only bought a 1000ft2 2 bedroom home. Less is more - just make the best use of the time you have - which for many people is not focusing on making the most money you can make or having the biggest house.

PS I'm not blind to the fact that grinding the first decade out of school and making that kind of money set me up to be able to relax some in my 30s either. So I don't necessarily regret my first decade. But it wasn't sustainable or enjoyable long term for me.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:51 AM
 
1,241 posts, read 1,503,181 times
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Thanks.
Most people seem to focus on money and workplace hierarchy positions when talking about high-flying jobs.
Did anyone give up a world class research, scientist or technologist position?
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,187 posts, read 3,028,017 times
Reputation: 13901
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Every college I know of takes cash and credit cards for payment. It is not the schools' fault if folks don't have the available cash AND insist on attending that school. Getting loans in a personal choice.

Folks have other options like attending a local community college for two years, live at home, work full time and pay cash. Maybe use the Pell grant to help. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement including Walmart, McDonald's, and Starbucks.

For the last two years, find an inexpensive local school, live at home, use tuition reimbursement, Pell grant, and savings to pay cash. No debt or very little.

Also, be willing to stretch out your schooling past four years to keep pace with ones savings and ability to pay cash. Better to get the degree in 5-6 years and be debt free.

Makes sense, right? Debt is 100% optional.

I went to college on the eight-year plan, mostly working full-time and taking about a 2/3 full course load. When I was through, I had five & a half years of course credits, no debts and $1,300. in my pocket. Of course, money was worth more than three times what it is today. I'd lived hand-to-mouth, with very little free time or disposable income for frivolous activities, but it was a good lesson in living with less.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:28 PM
 
4,892 posts, read 1,559,293 times
Reputation: 1437
I'm still trying to break into the movie business. Even Hollywood would be nice sure, but it would be nice working on the independent circuit as well. I haven't given up but taken breaks here and there.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Forest bathing
1,641 posts, read 974,614 times
Reputation: 3829
Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
Doctors start out working in a residency. The average salary for a resident doctor in the US is $59,300. Not $200K.

He might earn 200K now but he didn't after he graduated from med school with his debt.

If he set up his own private practice, there would have been massive expenses for that, too, (office rent, equipment, paying salaries for workers, etc). That would add to the debt of student loans.
Yes, he earns around $200k now and works in a local clinic with several others in his field. Yes, I understand that he wasn’t paid that salary when he was a resident.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:43 AM
 
6,903 posts, read 7,308,990 times
Reputation: 9803
Quote:
Thanks.
Most people seem to focus on money and workplace hierarchy positions when talking about high-flying jobs.
Did anyone give up a world class research, scientist or technologist position?
OP, perhaps you can add some details of your situation, considerations, and thought process.

Without that, I don't know why it matters whether a person was "a world class research, scientist or technologist" or an attorney, or engineer, or whatever......giving up a high-fly job is giving up a high-flying job.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,685 posts, read 17,651,107 times
Reputation: 27772
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
You don't have to go into management. Many senior level individual contributor roles.
That's around as bad as management where I am.

The senior individual contributors are working a lot of nights and weekends. We went through a large implementation cycle late last year and some of the senior analysts were working 70-80 hours/week routinely. There are patch cycles every other Saturday from 8 AM - 2 PM. There's also a quota for the number of seniors allowed per team.

It's unlikely I'll ever get that title here. After three years with excellent performance reviews, I haven't been promoted, nor is there really any role for me to "grow into." The best I could is transferring to another role outside of my division.
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