This week’s post is less about advice and more about a change in my personal life.
For the first 5.5 years of my career, I worked in the Group & Health insurance sector (The types of insurance offered by your employer). I began the journey as an analyst and capped off my career in Health (or so I thought!) as a consultant about 8 months ago.
As an Actuary, I studied Group & Health specialized exams on my way to becoming a Fellow to the Society of Actuaries. All my experience was in this one sector aside from 1 exam that I wrote on Enterprise Risk Management. I really enjoyed the material on this exam and thought I’d try my hand at what is called “non-traditional” Actuarial work.
So 8 months ago, I handed in my letter of resignation and started on a new journey for a Crown Corporation working in an analytics team. Suffice to say it was pretty unbearable and not what I had imagined! Some things that come to mind…
- The team was dysfunctional at best and the negative attitude / culture was discouraging;
- Innovation across the organization was stifled and not welcome;
- The work was pitched to me as being forward-looking and ground-breaking. It was not. We acted as firefighters and were forced onto project work related to transferring over insurance systems.
This was NOT the type of work I wanted to do, and slowly but surely my mindset shifted from “Maybe I could make a long-term career here” to “I need to get out ASAP!”. Anyone else been there?
Recently, I was extremely fortunate to receive an exceptionally generous offer from a consulting firm to move back into the Group & Health sector. This firm was a competitor to my old employer. It didn’t take long for me to reminisce about what I missed from private sector consulting and the wheels began turning. Maybe there was a way back into the light!
Fortunately I did not burn any bridges with my former employer (try not to do that!) and was still close with my old boss and colleagues. I called them up letting them know I was thinking of returning to consulting and a competitor had made an offer. We got to talking and had a couple of meetings. After some negotiation about my role, responsibilities and compensation, I received the best offer from my old employer (position, compensation, and vacation). I begin my new adventure in mid-October and couldn’t be happier about my decision!
The Impact on FIRE and My Own Well-Being
When all was said and done, here is how the revenue (before tax salary + bonus) adjustments panned out:
- First move to Analytics: +11% revenue;
- Second move back to Consulting: +30% revenue + extra week of vacation;
- Start to end of year: +45% revenue + extra week of vacation;
In addition, I’m coming back to a familiar role, network, and client portfolio. There will be more responsibility and the job will push me out of my comfort zone. But I believe opportunity lies outside one’s comfort zone; more risk and more potential reward!
I did not feel challenged at my new job and felt that I was adding no value. This was weighing on my subconscious and impacted my mental health. Moving back into consulting where I can advise my clients and do a bit of everything, not just data-related work, suits me best.
All this to say, FIRE has a laser focus on living frugally and cutting expenses. While it is important to know where your financial capital is going, don’t forget the other side of the equation, revenue. If one has the opportunity to grow their income stream while providing quality work that they’re proud of – CAPITALIZE ON THE OPPORTUNITY! It can be daunting to try something new, but it can turn out to be a great move either because:
- You find a new passion; or
- You realize how good you had it! And you didn’t burn your bridges so future opportunity awaits!
I know I’ve been very fortunate with this turn of events and am looking forward to the new challenges and revising my FI calculations!