Leaving the office?
October 31, 2012 10:01 AM Subscribe
Did you leave the office job for a year or more of trying to make it on your own? How did it go? Would you do it again? What would you go back in time and tell yourself?
I have enough savings to take at least a year off work.
I have a small income stream from established freelance work. I'm healthy. I would not have insurance if I left my job. My job will not be held for me. My only debt is one very low interest loan < $10,000, which I could maintain even if everything goes all to shit afterward and I'm unable to step back into a position similar to the one I'm leaving.
If I took a year off, I would be working more than I do now, but in a self-directed manner. I'm generally happy (not depressed, lots of great things in my life, etc.), but my workplace is mildly toxic and I think it would be a huge psychological and emotional benefit for me to kiss it goodbye.
Whenever I consider life, the reality and finality of death, and the limitations of middle-class success in America, I question the ultimate value of working for others in return for health care, retirement, a steady income, and two weeks of vacation a year. I think I owe it to myself to spend serious time in search of a better arrangement.
I believe the freelance work and side projects would be sufficient to explain any gaps in my resume if/when I resume looking for a job. I think there's a small chance (20%, maybe) that I could transition into full self employment, if one of the side projects pans out. I also think I could expand my network during this time and possibly leverage that into more varied and interesting opportunities to make ends meat.
I've generally taken very safe paths in life, and feel like this amount of self-reliance and risk is something that should be experienced, and soon. I want to fit this in before it no longer makes sense: I'm close to 30, and I have no family. There may not be a better time. I'm self directed and believe that it would be an exceptionally productive time.
What should I consider before taking any action? Do you have any horror or success stories to share?