I’ve got a new boss and it’s not working out the way I’d hoped.
This post tackles a serious career future indecision as early retirement lurks just around the corner. After several years of working for incredible humans, you wind up with someone who just plain isn’t a good fit for your style and presto! Plans go haywire…
“Career Indecision” Is My Middle Name
The original Abandoned Cubicle target to retire early was February 2020. Now, I’m not suggesting that I’ll pull up stakes and be completely done with the whole work scene, but this could be the pivot point for switching to SemiFIRE, Accidental FIRE style.
So why isn’t this current boss working out you might ask? Well, I have a low tolerance for big egos and passive-aggressive/aggressive management styles. I prefer to work for bosses who are predictable, vulnerable, and experienced in the work I do. My new boss has none of those qualities. Ugh.
For example, emails go unanswered. One-on-ones are not a priority. Questions about me and my personal life never come up. There is no coaching.
A Very Uncertain Career Future
The good thing is my last boss isn’t too far out of the picture. There’s a healthy amount of restructuring going on at our little company and I could wind up being shuffled back with my old regime.
I’ll just say it – not having control over who your boss is could very well be the biggest factor in why folks want to retire early. Sure, commutes stink, and sitting in a cubicle all day is the pits.
But if you have a good boss, so much of a workday and work-life becomes incredibly tolerable. If hammering out this diary entry of a post can help me keep aligned to key goals (financial independence, low stress, and meaningful living) then it’s justifying why I have this blog in the first place.
I don’t have a good boss at the moment, but things are somewhat tolerable. That’s partly because I don’t care as much about what people think now that I’m this close to the goal line. I just have to be careful not to mess up any bonus that could be coming in Q1.
The options swirling in my brain at the moment:
- Stick it out and hope for the best. I could wind up back with my former management team. That’d give me another 2-5 years of juice to extend my run of cubicle life.
- Jump after Q1 rewards are doled out. Take a break and maybe learn how to write again. Staring at a computer at home working on a blog vs. staring at a computer at work for more money.
- Jump after Q1 rewards are doled out. Land in a different full-time job – maybe there’s a job that pays less but is more enjoyable? Do such unicorns exist??
- Jump after Q1 rewards are doled out. Go SemiFIRE on the situation and forge a slow ramp down into a productive, meaningful early retirement.
- Get serious about firing up a business or making something more out of this real estate side hustle.
Am I Even in Control of the Situation?
A twist to those options is that I could get canned before Q1 even comes around. Maybe they decide that there are too many middle managers and because my boss is keeping an arm’s length, I should read the tea leaves and get out of Dodge? My Spidey-sense is tingling…
If I were to get the cane in the next couple of months, at least there’s a severance package involved. I’m a bit behind in savings that are supposed to go into the Vanguard VTSAX fund and that’s why I’m a little nervous about this whole operation.
I need to drum up a bit more of that “gap income” to get us through the decade-plus until 401k dollars can be tapped. First-world problems, but they somehow manage to give us ulcers, right?
There’ve been other strains in the game for us. It took way too long to find a new tenant for one of our rentals this fall. Granted, not many people plan to move between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But the last tenants weren’t thinking about that when they broke their lease. Mrs. Cubert has been incredibly stressed with a clinic move that put a dent in her income and time.
Fortunately, we’re emerging from those clouds without any big impacts on the bottom line. I managed to sign on a tenant last night (a huge sigh of relief) to avoid the first month of vacancy since I started this racket back in early 2013. Mrs. Cubert’s new clinic is amazing, and she’ll be ready for her slate of clients tomorrow.
The Future of Abandoned Cubicle
Over the turkey break, I started to ponder the blog and where this little opinion factory is headed going forward. I have to learn over and over again that I kind of enjoy writing.
It’s amusing because I spend way too much time optimizing other aspects of running a WordPress site (theme tweaks, site speed enhancements, SEO riddles, and finding a sweet spot for ads…)
Getting back to simply sharing the ups and downs of the journey is the original DNA of this blog and I want to get back to that a bit more. I’m grateful to all of you readers. Your opinions and ideas are like gold. The conversation forces some decisions that otherwise I’d waffle over for far too long if left to my internal calculations…
Postscript 8/15/22: Who could have predicted the events that would unfold just a few months after I posted these words? The Coronavirus struck with lockdowns in March. Then George Floyd was murdered within a few miles of where we live. Around that time, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
To think that my biggest worry in December 2019 was whether to keep my day job after bonus time. Wow. Perspective is everything. I’m still collecting a paycheck and pondering my next move. But a little more mindful now that a lot can happen amid a long-range “plan”.
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