Considering Quitting My Job. Am I Crazy? UPDATE: I Quit!

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The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 12/19/2017 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
If I were considering quitting my job, in order to spend more time focused on my health, how crazy would that be? I’d be leaving a "steady" job (as much as that's possible, these days) with reliable income that allows me to work from home, not travel, and rarely work more than 40 hours per week. Plus, Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance and other benefits like 401(k).

The flip side is I hate the job and company. I'm beyond burnt-out, there are so many inefficiencies and broken processes, the company will not hire more people (there’s just me and one other guy), the Software Development team doesn’t put much effort to improving the software I support, and, thus, we have many unhappy customers. I also hate being On-Call, despite getting extra money for that, too. Some years, there are no pay raises. When there are, the most I've ever received was 3%. Usually, it's 2% or less.

I have a little money in cash, to help me live for a while. But, of course, it won’t last forever and I don’t want to spend it all. My main concern is being able to get back into the workforce, at some point, and earning at least as much as I do now. It seems crazy to stay in a job that I hate and makes me mentally and physically sick at times. On the other hand, I’m not 20 years old with my whole life ahead of me. I’m just trying to get to retirement. Best case, that’s 13 years away. Worst case, it’s 18 years or more. Either way, I sure can’t stay in my job until then.

No matter which scenario I consider, there’s a lot of fear. Truly, I worry about ending-up with no job, and, eventually, no place to live. That would probably seem crazy to most, but I know the folks here uniquely understand that possibility. Sadly, I know some have lived it. Medical bills are a growing cause of bankruptcy. As a veteran, I could get healthcare through the Veterans Health Administration.

Does anyone have a Magic 8-Ball? What does it say? Crazy or Not Crazy?

Thank you for any words of wisdom.

Post Edited (The Dude Abides) : 12/21/2017 12:47:09 PM (GMT-7)


Szabo246
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Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 12/19/2017 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Not crazy smile life is too short to stay in a job that’s making you miserable, that alone can’t be good for your health? I stopped working as I was on maternity leave when I got my tick bite and never went back, I’ve not worked for 18 months and money is wearing very thin now, not the best situation with Christmas around the corner. I’m considering starting up something of my own.

Is this something you could do, from the skills you gained from your job? If not believe that you will find another role when you’re ready and you will. It’s so easy giving this advice but I know what a huge decision it is. Do what will make you happy. You probably already know the answer smile

tickbite666
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1664
   Posted 12/19/2017 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Crazy... Never quit a job without a new job lined up. I was in computers 27 years before the tech bubble hit in 2001. Jobs were tough to come by.

Many folks now a day have gone a long time without a raise since the 2008 crash, and when they come 2 to 3 % is the norm.

A new job may end up adding much more stress than your current situation, and more stress is not what you need thru Lyme treatment.

Just my 2 cent for what its worth.

How is your treatment progressing?

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 12/19/2017 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Szabo246,

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I know I will gain a lot of insight from the answers I receive, as the folks here have had the toughest of times.

I also want to be sensitive to those who, as you mentioned, may not be working at the moment. Or, those trying to get back to work but may find it difficult, due to competition, finding the right job, trying to get enough income, and other factors.

On one hand, I'm sincerely grateful to be earning an income, but, on the other hand, as you wisely stated, life is too short to keep doing something that brings misery. I've been in this job for over 10 years. The first two were great. Then, we were purchased by a larger company. That was the kiss of death. Seven years later, we were acquired by an even larger corporation and things only got worse.

Anyway, my concern about quitting is that the stress of staying will be replaced by the stress of being unemployed. I live fairly frugally, but still have $1,000 to rent, $400 to my student loan, and the usual expenses like electricity, etc. I don't have Cable TV, no credit card debt, my car is paid-off, and I have no kids. I do live alone, though, so there's no second income.

Finally, yes, I could do what I do now at other companies, but the job is really part of the problem. I'm in Technical Support and have done this for at least 22 years that I can recall. I'm burnt-out. That's why I feel like to need to completely step-away from everything and focus solely on healing. I know that's what I WANT to do and I THINK it will make me happy, but still worried. Basically, I want to know that everything will be okay and work-out fine. Of course, that's impossible to know. sad

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 12/19/2017 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
tickbite666,

That's just the best screen name. Thank you for your honest feedback.

I remember the insanity of the 90s and went through the dot com bubble and the telecom bubble. I was laid-off from my job in 2002. It took me six months to land another job, which, at the time, was pretty good. But, I switched industries from Networking/Telecom to Healthcare.

My health is stalled, at the moment. I'm not really doing any treating. My thought was to visit the Hansa Center in Kansas, in hopes they could get me on a treatment plan. I have a local LLPA, but her suggestion is a regimen of four antibiotics at once. I'm just not convinced that's the best route for me at this time. I'm not ruling it out completely or forever, just not now.

The initial two weeks at the Hansa Center is $10k USD plus travel costs, hotel, food, supplements, etc. Probably $12k USD, all-in, for the first visit. There would need to be follow-up visits, too. That will add-up fast, and, of course, is not guaranteed to work. Nothing is, but I feel more drawn to that facility.

My sleep is terrible. Getting-up early for work is not helping matters.

Szabo246
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Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 12/19/2017 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes impossible to know unfortunately. My company went through a similar thing, new owners trying to turn a private hospital into a hard sell culture, I was dreading going back, leaving my little and with my health uncertainty I didn’t need that added pressure. Not working can also be a stress, too much time to overthink is not good for my anxiety hence looking into starting something up.

No doubt you will think long and hard, I believe in going with your gut, but of course everyone has to do what is right for them.

I was even considering working part time in an entry level role, where I can leave work at work.

Also started playing the lottery weekly smile (not advocating gambling!)

PeteZa
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 9729
   Posted 12/19/2017 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm old school so my advice is like tickbite, don't quit unless you have a job lined up.

If you quit, you could have a hard time finding a job and you could end up being pushed into something for money and it is the same conditions you are leaving.

Jobs are called jobs for a reason. They aren't called happy times or vacations. They are jobs. Like I told my daughter when she was young and excited to get a "career." I told her a career is only a career for about 2 years and then it is a job, just like everyone's.

If you want to go to Hansa and you can swing it financially why not take family medical leave? I think you might heal better if you KNOW you have a job to come back to.

I don't know that I would heal well if I was spending thousands and thinking about what will I do when the money runs out. Very stressful.

I also say, you can't be sure what you would do unless you have walked in those shoes.

This is a tough decision. I can only tell you what I would do. I can't tell you what you should do. You get to make those choices.

Best of luck and my fingers are crossed for you.

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 12/19/2017 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, PeteZa.

I do know people that love their jobs, but, for sure, it's very uncommon. It would just be a shame to get to retirement (assuming I live that long) only to have regretted doing something that I've hated so much for so long. It seems like a wasted life. Anyway, your points are well-received. Thank you.

I probably should have written my initial post a bit differently, as I do agree it's always better to have a new job lined-up, before one quits the old job. But, there are two reasons for me thinking about quitting.

First, and most obvious, is because I hate my job.

Second, is my free time could then be dedicated to taking better care of myself: more sleep, cooking more at home, seeing Doctors as needed, etc. If I quit my current job and go into a new one, then I've again lost those hours in my day and I again have to juggle my work and personal lives.

I've been in the workforce for 33 years. That seems like enough! smile

PeteZa
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 9729
   Posted 12/19/2017 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Well good luck whatever you decide.

I honestly feel blessed that if I had to get lyme it was nice to have it when i was retired. After I retired and got lyme I was working a part time job as a bookkeeper. Oh gosh how I had to add those numbers over and over because I could not trust my brain fog.

I had to keep a journal at home of my lyme and I had to keep a journal at work for my work. It was so hard dealing with spreadsheets and bills and rentals and ........ I had to write everything down so I could remember what I was doing or had done.

I could not imagine me doing a full time job at that point.

I feel for those that work full time and have lyme. I also feel for those that are parents. What a struggle that must be.

Girlie
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Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 33876
   Posted 12/19/2017 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Dude - how about going off on sick leave and see how you feel after you've been to the Hansa centre (if that's what you choose to do)

I've not worked since 2013 - but I haven't quit the job - not sure I want to go back there - but will make that decision when the time comes.

I think it's great to work at a job you like.

My father raised us kids to not quit a good job - that was how his generation saw it.

But my son sees it differently - he chooses where he wants to work - then applies for the job. He loves going to work everyday and I am so happy and proud of him.
His father worked at a mill job for many years - until it closed. Good money but crappy work conditions.
We spend a huge chunk of time at our jobs - wouldn't it be great to actually like our jobs?
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
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Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

Lymie24
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 12/19/2017 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Dude,

I feel like you are my spirit animal right now. I have been contemplating the same thing. I've been dealing with Lyme and co for over two years now and I've pushed through working a full time job and finishing college in that span. I have been telling myself the whole time I will thank myself later when I recover and I had been working the whole time. Unfortunately, my health is regressing, despite being on treatment, and I am left to wonder if I wouldn't be better served quitting my job for a short amount of time or leaving my job and taking part time work to promote better healing. I feel like I'm hitting a wall with my full time job. Every month I have to work 12 straight days in a row. Going to work 40+ hours a week, waking up early, trying to take care of the house, cook food, grocery shopping, trying to make time for my wife, family and friends....it's running me into the ground.

I'm miserable due to the illness and in turn that makes me miserable at work. I completely understand where you're coming from. It feels like a darned if you do, darned if you don't situation. I can't help but wonder if I would heal better with a couple months off to give my body some TLC.

I don't have the answer for you but I wish you best of luck.

sickofbeingsick00
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 12/19/2017 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Dude...
I quite my job 9 years ago to start my own business. Crazy? Absolutely! But I felt I had to, needed to, and could do it for that matter. Or had to do it, is more like it. I was a single mother of 3 and desperately needed and wanted to be in control of my life. I am a believer in, where there is a desire, there is a way. I am even more thankful now for being on my own (don't get me wrong though, there are always worries). We do what we have to do. End of story. All the best!

CatLady18
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/19/2017 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Dude,

Could you take a leave of absence or PTO instead of walking away from an income completely?

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
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   Posted 12/19/2017 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Girlie said...
Hey Dude - how about going off on sick leave and see how you feel after you've been to the Hansa centre (if that's what you choose to do)

I've not worked since 2013 - but I haven't quit the job - not sure I want to go back there - but will make that decision when the time comes.

I think it's great to work at a job you like.

My father raised us kids to not quit a good job - that was how his generation saw it.

But my son sees it differently - he chooses where he wants to work - then applies for the job. He loves going to work everyday and I am so happy and proud of him.
His father worked at a mill job for many years - until it closed. Good money but crappy work conditions.
We spend a huge chunk of time at our jobs - wouldn't it be great to actually like our jobs?


True, I could certainly go on unpaid medical leave (FMLA) and possibly even Short-Term Disability (STD) again. But, at the end of it, I would still have to go back to the job that I hate and which causes me mental and physical stress.

If on STD, while attending the Hansa Center, at least I would still be getting paid. I could really push to get paid as long as possible. That would require me to check-in weekly with my manager, while on STD. This wasn't the case with FMLA.

Ultimately, though, even if I were healthy, I wouldn't want to stay. I agree with you about not quitting a good job. To me, my job is not a good one. Interestingly, I've had two colleagues (one in Australia and one in Germany) ask me if I thought my job could possibly be making/keeping me sick.

So, that's interesting about your job. You're still on your employer's payroll? (Obviously, this is a personal question and you don't have to answer, of course.) Honestly, if I could take Long-Term Disability from my employer (66.67% of my salary), I would take that deal.

I had to go look-up my benefits and refresh my memory. This is what I found:

__________________________________________

"Short-Term Disability (STD) Income Plan

The Short Term Disability (STD) Benefit Plan provides employees with salary continuation for each day they are absent due to illness or injury, up to a maximum of 26 weeks in a period of 12 consecutive months depending on your date of hire and hiring division. You are eligible for this coverage on your first day of employment.

The benefits provided under this plan are offset with any Social Security Disability Income or Workers Compensation payments, or both. To receive STD benefits, employees may be asked to provide supporting documentation. In the event employees become totally disabled, they receive maximum benefits under this plan before benefits begin under the Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan.

Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan

The Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan provides employees with important income protection if they become sick or injured for an extended period of time. The plan offers the following options:

• No coverage
• 50% of pay
• 66 2/3% of pay (this is the plan I have)

Coverage is offset with other sources of disability income, such as Social Security Disability Income or Workers’ Compensation, or both. The LTD period begins on the date immediately following the expiration of the STD Income Plan coverage."
__________________________________________

It seems that LTD payments would be taxable, in my case, as I pay for my monthly premiums with pre-tax dollars. That's a bummer, because my payroll deduction for the 66 2/3% option is only $8.60 per month. I'd rather pay that with after-tax dollars and not get taxed on the LTD income! But, it wouldn't be America, if we weren't getting taxed to death.

Of course, this is all academic, as I'm not on either option at the moment. But, it's good that I learned something.

Anyway, Girlie, I think your Son is doing it right - decide where you want to work and then go work there. If only we were all so lucky.

Thanks, as always, for the feedback.

gfields
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Date Joined Oct 2015
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 12/19/2017 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Dude, I don't know what state you live in, but in Mass you can get unemployment insurance if you get laid off. If you can collect in your state, just tell your boss you're suffering from a disease, and ask him to lay you off. You'll get 7 months UI. See if your company contributes to disability insurance through a private insurance agency. If they do, file for disability too. And also file for disability through SSA. It's worth a shot.

If you feel like you're burnt out, then you should probably take some time off. I've never been one of these people who is petrified to lose a job. Trust me, there is always another job waiting for you somewhere. It's just a g-dam job for chr*st sakes. It's not the end of the world. Maybe you could start your own business selling stuff on Amazon or something.

k07
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Date Joined Sep 2015
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   Posted 12/19/2017 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
At first I was like “No! Don’t quit!” But then as I read on I see your point about not liking your job and it having an effect on your health. It does seem like a decent set up though (home, <40 hrs, benefits). But there are a few lyme docs that stress the importance of the mental piece in getting better.

Keep thinking on it and I am confident you will make the right choice.

magoo2
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Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 1302
   Posted 12/19/2017 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Just my two cent- money is so important to curing this disease.
I have dropped almost everything but my job but that allows me to do any therapy needed.
I think money is part of healing just as important as detox. Not having enough moeny seems way more stressful that anything I can think of

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
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   Posted 12/19/2017 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
gfields said...
Dude, I don't know what state you live in, but in Mass you can get unemployment insurance if you get laid off. If you can collect in your state, just tell your boss you're suffering from a disease, and ask him to lay you off. You'll get 7 months UI. See if your company contributes to disability insurance through a private insurance agency. If they do, file for disability too. And also file for disability through SSA. It's worth a shot.

If you feel like you're burnt out, then you should probably take some time off. I've never been one of these people who is petrified to lose a job. Trust me, there is always another job waiting for you somewhere. It's just a g-dam job for chr*st sakes. It's not the end of the world. Maybe you could start your own business selling stuff on Amazon or something.


"It's just a g-dam job for chr*st sakes."

hahaha Very true, gfields.

I'm not too concerned about getting "a" job. It's being able to find something with earnings and benefits comparable to what I've been getting for a while. There seems to be a lot of competition in the job market. And, of course, employers only care about making the most and paying the least. So, why hire an middle-aged guy with great skills, when you can hire two college graduates for the same price, train them the way you want, and then work them like dogs!

Obviously, there's no magic answer. It's kind of a crap shoot, no matter what one does. One of my problems is trying to forecast for all possibilities and then selecting the solution that's closest to the outcome that I desire. Good luck and fat chance.

Anyway, I think you're right about taking time off. I had two months of Short-Term Disability, through my employer, and, with no other changes to my lifestyle, I did feel a bit better. A lot less stressed. Once I reached the halfway point, though, I felt the stress begging to increase each day, because I was getting closer-and-closer to returning to work.

Hey, by the way, thank you for the suggestion of requesting to be laid-off and drawing unemployment. Based on your note, I checked my state and it seems the most I could get is $350 per week for a maximum of 20 weeks. That's a total of $7,000. That's better than nothing, of course. Any extra income would reduce the burn rate of my savings.

As for disability, I'm not sure what qualifies for being "disabled." I'd have to look into that one. I can certainly do some stuff on the computer for a while, but I do have physical pain in my arms and legs and sitting too long is a problem. My sleep is terrible, maybe four hours of actual sleep per night - not consecutive hours, though. Oh, duh...I forgot where I was typing. I have many of the same things that EVERYONE ELSE here is dealing with. That's why I'm grateful for this forum. People understand.

Thanks, gfields, and be well.

The Dude

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
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   Posted 12/19/2017 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
k07 said...
At first I was like “No! Don’t quit!” But then as I read on I see your point about not liking your job and it having an effect on your health. It does seem like a decent set up though (home, <40 hrs, benefits). But there are a few lyme docs that stress the importance of the mental piece in getting better.

Keep thinking on it and I am confident you will make the right choice.


Hi, k07:

Thank you for taking the time to read the details. My apologies to your eyeballs.

You know, for the first two years, this was pretty close to being a perfect job. Maybe it wasn't what I would have chosen. (I would have been a comedy writer.) But, I really liked my boss, co-workers, and customers. Of course, I also wasn't sick. That, obviously, made a huge difference. Today, I literally felt like I could have laid down and died. Some days, I think that might be the better choice.

Tomorrow is another day. Maybe it will be better. Hope springs eternal.

The Dude

The Dude Abides
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   Posted 12/20/2017 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
CatLady18 said...
Dude,

Could you take a leave of absence or PTO instead of walking away from an income completely?


Hi, CatLady18:

I could certainly take some PTO again, after January 1st. Unpaid FMLA and paid Short-Term Disability are options, too. I may go the STD route again, once we're into the new year. My main concern is getting better. I do have some money set-aside in an emergency fund. It's liquid, so I wouldn't have to withdraw from my 401(k) or IRAs. I have those as additional backup, but, of course, I don't want to touch them.

Meow,
The Dude

The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
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   Posted 12/20/2017 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
magoo2 said...
Just my two cent- money is so important to curing this disease.
I have dropped almost everything but my job but that allows me to do any therapy needed.
I think money is part of healing just as important as detox. Not having enough moeny seems way more stressful that anything I can think of


Hi, magoo2:

You're right - just about everything hinges on money. Sad, but true. We didn't have much money, when I was growing-up. So, I have some understanding of the stress that comes from not having enough. After being a bit reckless with my spending, in my youth, I got things straightened-out. These days, I live pretty modestly and spend less than I make. Thankfully, I do have an emergency fund set-aside.

I wish you the best,
The Dude

Girlie
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Date Joined May 2014
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   Posted 12/20/2017 1:09 AM (GMT -6)   
The Dude Abides said...


So, that's interesting about your job. You're still on your employer's payroll? (Obviously, this is a personal question and you don't have to answer, of course.) Honestly, if I could take Long-Term Disability from my employer (66.67% of my salary), I would take that deal.



hahaha - no, I'm not getting paid....I wish!
I haven't quit though...when I'm ready to go back, I can go back.
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

goshawk
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Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 2299
   Posted 12/20/2017 4:44 AM (GMT -6)   
What's the ole' saying...one door closes and another opens up.

Search your heart and soul...listen for the answers

Prepare to be able to survive for at least a year or more

Go to Hansa... if you don't you will always wonder....could it have helped

Life is too short and I think it would be worse to be 65 yrs old and wonder what if


Stress and unhappiness can be our worst enemy and weaken us

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16558
   Posted 12/20/2017 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, the age old question of whether to leave a job. I think about this ALL the time. I have a similar situation, lots of flexibility and work from home. The difference is that I like the company and I don't mind my job, so it makes it much easier to hang on. The reality of it, though, is similar to yours, will I retire from this company? Probably not. it's not THAT stable of a company. It's not like I work for AT&T, this place may not be around...

Well anyway, the point is, if you leave, how will you afford the medical considerations of living with an illness? doctors, medications, treatments, tests... That's one aspect that's always kept me hanging on. The other is that life is expensive. I personally am not in the position to be without income very long. I have a lot of expenses and financial responsibilities. I have enough money to go a year, or two, or ten maybe, under the right circumstances, but yes, eventually the dreaded will happen, I will be back to the same ol' rigmarole. I get your point too, in the industry of technology, new, hungry people pop up often and they will do "the same work" for less. The thing is, you're an experienced person, and you can lead these new folks. There will still be need for seasoned people like us. It's just stiffer competition. I wouldn't worry about getting another job when you're ready - it will require keeping up on your skill-set, doing training, and being committed, but if you can stay on top of tech, you should be fine.

The bigger issue is how to pay for expenses, and how far back will it set you on your retirement goals. Even bigger picture is you own individual situation. Do you have family who rely on your support? Aging relatives, kids, pets? If so, it becomes a question of whether they can maintain a decent lifestyle without your income. Stinks to worry about all that, but those are the things that concern me the most about being without income.

Another consideration, if you can get UE benefits, if it's $350, you can't make any money outside that money if it's getting reported. COBRA insurance is majorly expensive too. You can't afford it on UE usually. Does VA pay for everything or a %? Do they pay rx? Does it require you use a specific facility and if so, do they have what you need? I would definitely be looking into all that.

it's a lot to think about, but of course when it comes to your health and happiness, you should do what is best for you. Doing disability and trying to get some income until you feel more capable is not a bad idea, perhaps you can find a different job in that time, and return to working at a place you like and never lose all your income. Wouldn't the world be great if we could all take a sabbatical? or darn, I want a maternity leave - seems discriminatory that a healthy person can only get paid leave if they have a child.
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The Dude Abides
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Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 12/21/2017 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Update: I just submitted my resignation!

I sincerely thank everyone for their direct, thoughtful feedback.

Fingers crossed...
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