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Career change at 30. Leaving cushy job. Am I crazy?

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Career change at 30. Leaving cushy job. Am I crazy?

Old 03-14-2019, 10:42 AM
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The only things you can't undo in your 20s and early 30s are felonies and kids. Do it!
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:49 AM
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There are only two options to making a career change. You can do it on your terms or you can do it on the company's terms (fired or laid off).
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
i would get it going as a side business, that way you could support your family during the transition. once you have built up the business enough, make the jump.
What fun is it doing that!?


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Old 03-14-2019, 10:51 AM
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You're not crazy at all. I work in construction management and know quite a few men that have vacillated between management positions and attempting to start their own gigs like you are. Some make it, some don't. From what I've seen having the broadest contact network possible will be your best asset. Very few people will hire an unknown rando but if you have any other kind of pre-existing relationship it can be leveraged into getting work.

Hell I'm 32 and am considering changing careers too. I've been looking at operations positions in refineries. I might have to take a small pay cut initially but it will catch up in a year or two. Sometimes you get tired of being a chief and want to just be an indian for awhile.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Locke N Load View Post
I used to dread going to work. Then as I got older I realized work is not where I should be looking for fulfillment and life enjoyment. Work is to earn money to do things that bring me enjoyment. Much more satisfying going to work, getting paid and doing fun things outside of work. There are very few people that actually get paid to do what they like.
Are you single, married, have kids and other large future commitments? As noted above and by "Surfside" the perfect job that makes you and your family happy pays all the bills with disposable income is rare. While I understand you only have one life to live, if your the responsible bread winning person in the family understand your decision should be based on what is best for you and your family. No spouse wants to see their significant other come home and be all pissed off and kick the dog around every day they come home but remember it's called "work" for a reason. Your own business will still be "work" and there will be a ton more of it as if you own a business there is NEVER any time off until you are very established and that is at least 5 years away.

For every person that makes it in their small business there are 10 others that should have listened to "Sick and Stay and Make it Pay". If you screw up now you will probably tear through much of your retirement or at a minimum not save for 5 years now add up that cost and work looks great.

Start out on side jobs and if that works well then venture out otherwise chances are leaving is a mistake.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by joshd472 View Post
I'm hesitant to even post this because my identity isn't exactly hidden on here. Anyway is here the spill, I'm going to try and make a long story short.

I have been a Civil Designer/Surveyor for the last 10 years. In that time I have worked for 5 different companies. I usually left for more money, I have been working at the firm I'm at now for the last 5 years. It's a great job, good pay, company truck, ESOP, etc..... I honestly feel silly for even considering this, I understand I have a great job and I'm very thankful for it. I have ZERO passion for it, and dread going to work everyday. I got into this field because my Dad is a Surveyor (works at a different firm) and I really didn't know what I wanted to do.

Am I crazy for wanting to get my contractor licenses, get a skid steer, and leave my cushy job? My dad and I actually own an older skid steer now (bob cat 864) so I know the expenses associated with heavy equipment. I've done several side jobs with the one I own now for friends and family. Built driveways, cleared lots (it has a bush hog), etc. One of the reasons I am considering getting a newer machine instead of using mine is it's an 1999 model and has over 4k hours. Repairs and down time would absolutely kill me, especially the down time. I could use my machine at first but I know it wouldn't last long and let me know when I need it most.

Being in the field that I am, I understand grade, design, cost estimating, scheduling, and the repairs/money that would be associated with it.
Civil Engineer here....43 years old. You can't get rich unless you own the company.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:09 AM
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I could have started my business about 7 years ago, but only did 3 years ago. Not a day goes by i donít wish that I started sooner.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:11 AM
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I'd say you're crazy not to.

If you hate your job at 30, imagine how bad it will be when it's almost too late at 50?

Make the move and don't look back. If you hedge your bet a little that's fine but going all in is what I'd be looking for.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:20 AM
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Itís about taking charge of your own destiny. I owned a business for 20+ years and made a lot of money and sold it for more money. By my mid 40s I was financially set. Nice house, nice vacations, nice boats, etc.

All this being said i was I was a slave to the business, I could never disconnect. I was fortunate that I was not married or had kids for most of the time so I can could dedicate myself, but it really sucked. Would I do it all over again, yes sir.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
i would get it going as a side business, that way you could support your family during the transition. once you have built up the business enough, make the jump.


Set everything up (LLC, Insurance, Permits, DBA,......) and use the old machine. Do it evenings, weekends and take sick days. Feel it out.

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Old 03-14-2019, 11:24 AM
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My $.02: Glad I took the risks I did . . . even when they didn't pan out. Not taking many risks now and won't until retirement (8 years) because too much to lose; but when I'm done with the office gig, I'll be stretching for new mistakes to make; just not big $$$ mistakes.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:24 AM
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If you do this, you can still list yourself as a surveyor so your customers can do 'one stop shopping' to ensure they aren't encroaching on any boundaries or lot line limitations. It sucks to pour your slab 9.5 feet from the line and your town requires 10 feet minimum!
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:29 AM
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Why not do this, start this as a P/T business working evenings and on the weekends, see how this works out for you. I work FT for local government and have a P/T business which now produces about 70% of my annual income. I am finding it extremely difficult to take the jump to just running the business, while leaving the security of the FT job.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:08 PM
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Do it. You can always go back to surveying. Don't let your license lapse.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:36 PM
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Iím in a similiar situation except 1 year younger. Job that most 30 year olds would kill for, flexibility, generous compensation, and Iím pretty good at it - but I donít enjoy it. Iím torn between trying to find a similiar gig with another firm or going out on my own in someway.

Part of me thinks Iím crazy to even think about leaving, I also am hesitant to change firms because the whole ďdevil you knowĒ deal, but then some days Iím completely ready to say screw it and go out on my own.

Sorry i cant offer any real advise other than to say when I see what looks like the right opportunity Iím probably going to jump in with both feet.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:23 PM
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I work at a job that I absolutely hate.

40 hours per week. Plenty of vacation. I’m home 90% of the time, and when I travel it’s to great places... I’m with my family on the weekends, plenty of time for friends and hobbies, can take off at will to do something g with my kids.

Make decent money, will retire with money... nice house, nice “toys”. Family needs nothing...

But I hate it.

Could I give up all the above to do something I like?? Be a fishing guide for 7 days a week and barely make food money?

I can tough it out for 40 hours a week.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:36 PM
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Is there enough potential work in your area, or will you have to travel halfway across the state for a 1/2 acre clearing job?
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:57 PM
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If I read you post correctly you had 5 jobs in 5 years. Have you always had a desire to have your own business more than anything else? It's better to try and fail rather than never try. That was my motto at age 27 with 2 kids. I retired less than 20 years later because that was my goal and obsession. Good luck...
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:03 PM
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If you don't love what you do you need to find something else to do. Life is too short to have a big part of it suck. As others have said, Business Plan, Budget, and Restraint are some of the keys to running your own business. Business Plan to know where you are going, Budget to finance it, and Restraint to stay on budget and within the bounds of the business plan when that crazy idea comes up. Lastly, are you doing this to start a new job for yourself, or to start a business that can grow and be sold or handed down later in life. If it's the latter, continually ask yourself the question, "Am I working on my business, or simply working in my business?"

I'd go for it.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:19 PM
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I quit my job and graduate school, moved out to Colorado from Boston, and became a ski instructor. Summers I started doing construction. I soon realized I was smarter than most in the business, and started a construction company with my new wife. Ups and downs, big loss in 2006, but made it through and am enjoying life these days. No planning, just jumped, and built the wings on the way down. Do it.
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