A Moment in Time

I recently had two interesting comments said to me this week, one was from a friend who said  “You’re really not going to stay with your employer for the long haul are you?”  To which I answered, “According to the blog the answer to that would be obviously no.” The second comment by a co-worker was “Well in 15 years time…not that you will be around here…”

What I found interesting about both of these comments was after talking to people about early retirement or financial independence for a while, the idea I won’t be around forever has finally started to sink into people’s heads.  In a typically workplace people often assume that everyone will be around indefinitely unless something comes up which people don’t expect, like a new job elsewhere. In my case this has changed.

In fact, this is so common knowledge the other day my boss commented I don’t act like most people at work.  I in fact act more like someone with a few years left until they retire.  I’m not scared to stir the pot on an issue and I’m utter fearless of getting fired.

On a psychological basis, I’m already free.  I know that my career is in fact just a moment in time, which in fact everyone’s is that way.  The idea that people will be around for ever is just an illusion of stability that we create in our minds to cope with the unending waves of changes the roll over our lives.  I already know I won’t be at my current jobs forever, life changes and so to this will pass.

What I find at being at this state is how wonderful it is to realize I can be just myself even at work.  I don’t care about impressing someone, I do my job because I find it interesting and I want to learn.  I value feedback to allow me to improve, but I don’t take it too personally. I’m nice to people, but I won’t hold back on what my opinion is to spare their ego.

In the end, I’ve already achieved one of the best things about working towards financial independence: I’m at work by choice, not because I have to be.   So I really can just enjoy my moment in time.

Where you you with your relationship with your job?  Are you still scared of getting fired or have you also moved on?

5 thoughts on “A Moment in Time”

  1. Interestingly, I was thinking the same thing today. I was telling a “junior staff member” about my newfound attitude.

    Much more vocal. Rid of some of the shacles!!!

    Great post..,

  2. In my final few years of working before I ERed in 2008, I was not open about my ER plan except to a close friend/coworker. I did have those same, “I don’t fear getting fired” feelings, though.

    It is possible that my gradual route to ER by twice cutting my weekly work hours in the last 10 years made them suspect I was going to leave soon. My bosses were not totally shocked when I finally resigned.

    In my last year of working, however, I was constantly asking myself, “Why am I still working here?”

  3. I do not disclose my ER plans to my co-workers. I’m sure they know I’m frugal and possibly expect I’m up to something, but I try to come across as if I need the paycheque almost as much as them. I feel I am very well paid, for the difficulty of the job, and as compared to my co-workers, and also get perks they don’t get, like working at home all but 2 days a week. So I don’t want to point out anything that might make them think I’m overpaid or make them more jealous than they might be already.

    I do have the attitude you describe – I will tell people what I think when asked. Am adequately friendly but will not hide my introverted, unfashionable, number cruncher tendencies.

    Oddly enough I am still sort of worried about being laid off or fired. Primarily because I could never find a job as flexible and well paid as this one, with my qualifications. And with it, ER is a definite possibility in 10-15 years. It would take a lot longer if I had another job. I also just don’t trust any person or any company.

    When I’m closer to ER I’ll be more open about my plans – the switching to part time will make things clearer for them.

  4. I reveal my ER plans to no one. I am sure they will be surprised when I finally do leave. My job is quite pleasant and well-paid so I am sure most in my position would plan to stay here until the end of their career at 65. Because of the good environment in my job, I have never felt fear of being fired or laid off, and if that did happen, it would not cause me any particular problems since I already have a plan in place that I could execute at any moment. Years ago, earlier in my career, this would not have been the case, due to my shakier financial situation.

  5. I am not scared of being fired, mostly because I am confident in my ability to get a similar job elsewhere if needed. I am more concerned about preserving the relationship with my current boss, also my mentor.

    I do not want to stay in my current position for too long, because it involves some travel and I value my time at home too much, yet I don’t want to damage my relationship with my mentor. She comes from the pharmaceutical industry and is a very career oriented woman and doesn’t know about my early retirement aspirations.

    It’s tough not to act like my career is not my main concern when others don’t know about my goals. Being only in my mid-20’s, it’s not something I share frequently as most people just don’t understand or won’t be willing to listen at this point.

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