Thursday, January 6, 2011

Resolution 6: Prepare to leave my job

The sixth of my eleven New Year's Resolutions is to prepare to leave my job. 

Before anybody freaks out, I don't have any plans to leave just yet, but I know that it's coming. Peanut and I do not want to live in New York forever, and we'd like to start having kids in two to three years. Before I get knocked up, we'd like to move somewhere totally crazy for a short time or settle down somewhere we feel comfortable raising a family (preferably both). Which means, realistically, that I will be voluntarily leaving the job that I love within two years at the very longest.

Preparing to leave my job means developing systems and creating how-to documents to help ease the transition, taking away any guilt I might have about leaving to go live my life. It means getting really, really organized. It means training people to do some of the things that I've been doing because it's easier than getting them to be responsible for it (these things are their job anyway; I wouldn't be shuttling off things that are actually my responsibility). It means cleaning, sorting, creating processes, and streamlining.

It also means beefing up my resume, developing contacts that can help me find a job in the future, and building skills that can transfer to a new place. And, honestly, it means trying to increase my salary so that I have that to bargain with in my next interview.

There's a lot to unpack within this resolution and it's going to be done with mixed emotions. But I can see it coming, so I'd rather prepare for it than stick my head in the sand and pretend it won't be a big deal. And if, for some reason, we don't end up leaving New York within a year or two, hey -- I'll be even more organized at work!


  1. A couple of questions. I've always wanted to live in NYC, and so I'm curious as to why you and Peanut don't want to stay there. And where you might consider moving to. Are you moving to be closer to family?

    Also--can I apply for your job when you leave? :)

  2. Wow, Bonnie is ballsy! I like that. That said, unless you're going to another metropolis like Boston or LA, increasing your salary here won't do much for your bargaining power later down the line. Salaries are higher in NY because of the higher cost of living. I think you can expect parity in the sense that you might be able to negotiate something proportional, but if you're making a lot here, you might not be able to make that anywhere else.

    At least that's the main reason/fear I have about leaving NYC.

  3. @Investing Newbie, I thought the same -- but I know a number of people who have left New York and are making MORE than they were here, PLUS their money is going further in a lower-cost-of-living area. Moneyapolis talked about this when she left NYC (she's making slightly less than she was here, but her husband is making more, and their money goes way further). I'm not so sure it's an impossibility.

    @Bonnie, I always wanted to live here too, so I am kind of surprised at my desire to move, but there are a lot of reasons. Our closest family members are a three-hour flight or 12+ hour drive away. We have absolutely no support system for kids -- none of our friends have kids, none of them would be regular or emergency babysitters or have advice from raising kids of their own. We could not afford for me to stay home even for a year, and I have heard too many horror stories about local daycare, plus I don't want a kid in the New York City public school system. I do not want to deal with being pregnant or a stroller or toddler on the subway, much less in an apartment with all the neighbors hating you when the baby cries.

    Our standard of living kind of sucks. We have a crappy one bedroom apartment, and it would be hard to move up to a two bedroom -- it'd probably be smaller and not as nice as the one we've got now, or much farther from the train or from Manhattan. What's acceptable even in the nicer apartments here is just not tolerated in other parts of the country -- I'm talking about shoddy construction, consistent plumbing leaks, nonexistent soundproofing, garbage collection problems, bugs and rodents along with astronomical rent. All the hoopla about the snowstorm that happened nearly two weeks ago is true -- garbage on my street has still not been collected, and snowplows didn't come through for over a week. (And this is for a storm that was forecast and not as bad as one we had earlier in 2010!) All of these problems are endemic and consistent across the four neighborhoods and two boroughs I've lived in, and are the same for my friends in other neighborhoods and boroughs -- I haven't just had a string of bad luck.

    In short, New York has been an awesome and amazing place to live in my twenties, but it's not someplace I want to settle down and raise a family. Once we have kids, we're not going to be going out and taking advantage of all the things that are available here, just paying exorbitant rent for the possibility of doing so. It doesn't make much sense.

    As for where we will move, that's up in the air. We may or may not move closer to family -- I'd like to have a support system for me when we have kids, but there are places I'd be happy to live without family members close by. There are a number of cities that have opportunities for Peanut's career, but fewer for mine, so that will be a consideration. At least for the foreseeable future, we plan to stay in big cities since we like them and so we don't need a car. We'll just have to see where life takes us!

  4. I'm in the same boat for this year too. I keep avoiding updating my resume though... I just don't know how to boil everything I do into 3 or 4 bullet points.

  5. LMM--Thanks so much for your long and honest response to my nosy inquiries. :)


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