June 8, 2006

Instead of the short vacation your job offers, just quit.

Come back whenever you want, whenever the money runs out, and get a new job. The NYT says it's a trend.

I remember this sort of thing in the 1970s. People would work to pile up enough money to go "bum around Europe" for an indefinite period. The whole idea of working was to get to the point where you could stop working and go on without work. Not retirement, you square. Time off, as much as you could squeeze out, when you're young.

Get out there and live... Out where?... Any old where!

The experiences out there will be sharper if you go places when you're young, you'll have more years to enjoy them as memories, and the money will go much further, because you can put up with much less cushy accommodations.

Or do you worry about how it will look on your resume or your law school application. Just use some of that free time to concoct a slick way to characterize the material. Aren't you so much better than that drudge who stayed at that desk for years and accepted a two-week vacation?

(But don't come crying to me in five years if it doesn't work out. You're on your own. I'm just talking off of the top of my head.)


Simon said...

Well, that sure will solve the McDonalds employee pool crisis.

Jim said...

A person needs to travel and live overseas when young and healthy, because all those medicare and medicaid benefits you pay lifelong through the nose for are not available to the American overseas. The young folks will probably learn that they should seek work overseas and return to this country only when they are old and sick.

J said...

Another scoop for the Times. Taking a vacation between jobs; yet another newfangled idea those crazy GenXers have come up with. Who would ever have thought of that?
I would be curious to see the ratio of those taking " a bus trip through India? A climb up Kilimanjaro? A month studying Russian in Moscow" to those sitting in a La-Z-Boy in their underwear with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other.

Ricardo said...

"Sabbatical years" have been increasingly popular over the last decade, although it's not something that's very publicized. A sabbatical year is a wonderful way to transition between pre-programmed jobs and careers, but it's also an excellent way to "find yourself" and open doors that you never knew were there. It takes a certain kind of person to take "the risk" of a sabbatical year, but ironically these are often the people who ultimately end up happier, and richer, in whatever they end up doing later on.

Don't have any idea where to start looking? What's also not publicized is that the Peace Corps is actively seeking middle-aged individuals, since many recipient countries "prize" older people for the wisdom and life experiences they bring. Experiences such as this are like an expanded Outward Bound course, that force you to take "a leap" in directions which may have frightened you before. At the same time, it's like doing the trapeze with a net below, because you're part of a large organizations with all the blessings and curses that entails.

chuck b. said...

Being unemployed (with severance) is the best thing that ever happened to me (after settling down w/ my s.o. and buying a house). Not the same as quitting, but still.

The severance will run out in a few months, but I'm never going back to regular full-time work again, ever. It's short-term temp jobs and free agency from now on.

I can't believe it took me so long to figure it out. I just needed a little push (out the door).

vienalga said...

I had just turned 40, was bored with my high school teaching job, and my daughter had just graduated from college (yeah, teenage parent). So I joined the Peace Corps, went to Latvia, got married, got a graduate degree, worked in the UAE, and now 12 years later I'm back in Latvia, truly retired. Who would've figured? Your right Ricardo, I am definitely happier and richer in every sense of the word.

Pogo said...

Sounds like a good plan. Why amass any savings for retirement, for income when you are too old and frail to work? Blow it all now, and let the idiot young pay for you when you're old.

Aesop had a tale about this. But that was so long ago.