Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When Quitting Makes Sense

This is kind of funny following Julia's last post but last week I quit my job of about ten years (if you count the time before the company I was actually hired at was acquired). It's not that anything was particularly wrong at the job beyond the normal frustrations- it's just that considering the value proposition that my ongoing employment presented contrasted with the opportunities that existed outside of my contract of employment the latter won out and I am jobless and happy (at least for now).

This weekend while painting the kitchen I was listening to the radio and serendipitously heard this program:

Hour-Long Special: The Upside of Quitting | Freakonomics Radio

The program articulated in economic terms most of why I had left my job. In particular the tension between sunk costs and opportunity costs were particularly relevant to my situation: the opportunity of being home with my wife and kids while the kids are on summer break and the prospect of mastering something new won out over an 11th year doing something that by all accounts was a great job but didn't have much more to offer me beyond money.

There is another aspect to my decision to quit that I think is also relevant here and it's more about slow living and seeking a richer lifestyle. I saw the ted talk by Stephen Sagmeister linked below a while back and it has been in the back of my mind ever since.

These two links are 80 min. of content so unless you are unemployed you are unlikely to watch/listen to them both. However, if you are considering quitting something or need some convincing that a creative reinvigoration could be the right decision for you too, you may want to sink some time and entertain your opportunity potential.

BTW to any and all of the unintentionally unemployed Ramshackle readers I know this probably sounds foolish. All I can say is I'm doing what feels right for me. I believe it will all work out for the best for me and sincerely hope it will for you too.


  1. I think it's amazing that you quit. Everyone on my team here was green with envy. :) And I'm definitely going to try and carve out time to listen to the links. Not that I need more fuel for my I-want-to-stay-home-and-be-creative fire...

  2. "Congratulations on your unemployment!"

    I've been trying to convince my girlfriend to use that as a book title.

    I'd like to see more posts on your blog about time management, money and new projects you are taking on with your additional 40 hours of time.

    It's been six years since I left the IT world to homestead. It is still the best decision I've ever made. Work comes in when we need it. As you know it's easy enough to make a living with a on-line sales of hand made goods.


  3. Congrats! I left the 9 to 5 in 2000. And if you dont mind my saying "the water's fine out here!" I'd love to hear your continued reporting on this change of life, if your willing to share.

    Best of luck. Now that you have some free time come visit us!

  4. Do you have something new to master in mind?

  5. Thanks everyone! I don't know how long it will last but I'm just excited to see where things end up. For a while I'm going to just take it easy and enjoy time with the family. In a couple of months I'll start to think about what to do next for income.

    @ Wendy, yes lots of things but not sure what's going to bring in income. That may take some exploration.

  6. http://www.theonion.com/articles/labor-dept-creates-20000-new-hobbies-for-nations-j,20971/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

  7. I just want to said that I am trying to work the lest possible,mostly to pay the rent,but thanks for this online selling tip.I am trying to began a book store for now.

  8. Congrats. My DH hasn't worked for anyone else since he left he army in 1971. I went to work for him in 1985. While we're not and have not been total homesteaders, our self-employment has done well for us. Matter of fact, we're busier than ever. All you need to do is find your niche! May it be so!!

  9. I think that unemployment is much cooler if you choose it yourself.

    Good luck and enjoy your time off, although if you're anything like me (probably not), you'll be way busier with more free time.

    But I'm glad you'll have more time to spend with young boys who are wise to dog philosophy.


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