What’s your motivation to reach FI?

It’s a question that has many answers. I read other FI blogs and see how others approach this question and how they use it as a motivator to reach their goal.

Some approach FI by accident due to redundancy/windfall and look at the job market making them realise how they : hated the job / stuck in a rut / obsolete skills / want to do something else  (delete as appropriate).

Some approach it by having the ‘AH HA’ moment where they step back and look at their life and wonder :  why am I doing this job / ‘there must be more to life than this’ / where’s my life gone / how did I end up here? (delete as appropriate).

Others set out with an intention right from the start of their working life to step on and step off as quickly as possible. Generating enough income to step off the treadmill and walk another path for the remainder of their life.

My original thoughts were just a teenage dream before I really started working where I had the view that I just wanted to get a ‘high-paying job’ earn enough money to save a ‘pot’, leave my job and use this ‘pot’ to fund my craft activities and still survive knowing that I didn’t have to rely on my crafts to supply an income.

Work life began and I became trapped into the ‘status anxiety’ aspect of my life being defined by my job. I lived to work rather than working to live. I enjoyed it, working for a FTSE100 company, the responsibility, the long hours, the challenges, the push to perform at all cost. Then redundancy strikes, it spins you out of the circle and you look back into that bubble and realise how stupid you were. You are dispensable, your job does not define your life – well if it did, it doesn’t now.

That wake-up call made me focus again on saving hard, being frugal and changing my direction and views on where my life path goes. I am nearly there, so near and yet so far, reaching that final line is the hardest step. The light can be seen and its brightness is growing stronger by the month but it keeps running away like a rainbow’s end.

I took a ‘break’ from working and reset my focus. I took a new job – not ideal but ok – it started off well. I’ve been doing this job for 18 months now and it has had its ups and downs. I am saving hard and feel I am getting there now. ISA, SIPP and pension are all going in the right direction. The FI path is looking stronger, while the job itself becomes more traumatic by the week. I stick it out with the view that I just need to keep going for a bit longer to finally step over the finishing line.

Why this navel gazing? Well, the role is expecting me to lie (‘white lie’) to people. My boss has told me off once for telling senior managers the truth when I should have used ‘white lies’. I have received the “do what I’m told and I will protect you” chat too. Then I was told to ‘fudge figures’ on a spreadsheet to hide my boss’ mistakes/errors. Now, about to be reprimanded again for telling seniors the truth, telling lies only comes back to hit you later as you trip over them. Maybe I have had a charmed life, I have never had to experience this type of office behaviour. I don’t like working in this kind of office environment, it goes against my moral compass.

The job I do bores me, it’s not really my core role/skill-set, its a “nearest equivalent”, it does not thrill or inspire me. I am a creative/problem-solver type and I am not exercising my brain – I am leaving it at the door each day – playing office politics. I am feeling my brain-cells slowly dying in the process. Career-wise, I have ended up in a niche technical role for which jobs are few and far between. Recruitment agents have said they will struggle to find any openings for that role. Which is why I am doing this “nearest equivalent” job. I need to widen my skill set and re-train to get the certificates that employers now require you to hold. Do I really want to spend £5k+ of my own money on training for just a few more years of work in this field?

That’s why I want to get off the career treadmill, my current expertise has limited opportunities and employers are not interested in having someone like me, they make do with cheaper more generic types.

I want to revisit other skills that have laid dormant for years and re-awaken them and start getting that spark of inspiration and thrill into my life. Start by doing things for fun, then see if they could be turned into a side-line income stream.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You only live once and need to feel you have lived it to your best.




4 thoughts on “What’s your motivation to reach FI?

  1. Thanks for sharing your motivations.

    My parents both retired early so it was always something I dreamt of but not pursued because I didn’t think it would be possible for me. That is until I had the ‘ah ha’ moment after coming across the likes of MMM etc.

    That said, it wasn’t that I thought there was more to life than this or that I didn’t enjoy work. Even with my new job, which will never be the same as my old one in terms of the cameraderie, the friendship and also, I have to say, the expertise, I still enjoy working as the people are pretty decent and the work is challenging and I know my place and role in the business.

    My motivation to FI or retire early is because I want the option to cut down my hours or walk away if I stop enjoying working and I’m sure I will at some point.

    I’m horrified to hear that you are being put in such a position by your boss. Is there no compliance department where you work? If so, they would have a ‘no retaliation’ rule if you flag any compliance issues, so your boss couldn’t do anything detrimental to your career if you flagged your concern to them. At the moment though, although you are following orders, you are being complicit with the lie/deceit. Just be careful you don’t get dragged down with (or instead of) him, ie if you were ever audited, who would cop the blame for those dodgy figures, you or him?

    • Hi Weenie,
      Thanks for contributing your viewpoint. Its good to hear other people’s motivations, having role models is good be they friends or relatives.
      I remember reading some ancestry paperwork when my uncle was researching the family tree and I had ancestors who were ‘self-supporting’ which always intrigued me. It probably wasn’t a good label – but sounded good to me. I could be ‘self-supporting’ and not tied to an employer. That always got me thinking about FI, again, I thought this would be a big dream to achieve but some lucky breaks in earlier years have set me up well. It’s only now that I can benefit from this early activity. A big thanks to my younger self 🙂

      Working part-time sounds good to me too. Cutting my hours would be great, I would have to change job role as the role I do now isn’t normally done on a part-time basis. well – not unless you count doing 5 days work in 3 or 4 days as part-time – lol.

      Job – compliance? there is no such thing..its a small company, it doesn’t even have an HR department! Its staff handbook is a few pages long. I expect to be the scapegoat, its that kind of job (& company). The others in the team just comply too as they want to keep their job as it’s local. Not many well-paying jobs in the area so people put-up-and-shut-up. When they decide they have had enough, they leave.

      I sounds cynical but after the poor working environment I have experienced over the past few years – it seems to be the way of work now. It make me think of comments made by Ermine.
      In the same way, I agree with Ermine over the performance management operation that is now common policy in workplaces. It is killing motivation not encouraging it. Especially in roles where there is no career ladder or promotion paths. They keep dangling carrots at you, you achieve them only to find that the carrot does not exist and you are back at square one.

      The sooner I step off the better, I will take a break, have some FI time and then try to find a part-time job and getting through the barrier of being ‘over-qualified’. I’m downsizing my career!

  2. My motivation for FI is to be my boss and have the autonomy to choose the projects I like. I am in a project for 2 years with no motivation and full of hyper critical people. I can work if real technical work is more but working with people I do not like is horrible. I am about 38% in the FI path. I do take regular breaks from work to keep my sanity.

  3. Hi Sparklebee, I found your blog through Weenie’s! Your posts resonate a lot with me. It looks like you’re much closer to reaching FI than I am though!

    I can relate to a lot of what you say in this post, especially around work place culture and performance management. I’ve become massively disillusioned with my workplace over the last few years and that’s one of my main motivations for trying to escape it all. I wrote a post back in July about my problems with the company I work for, though it was more of a rant than a structured critique!

    I do find it’s good to air your grievances, write them down, then they’re not clogging up your mind so much. And it helps when you realise that most workplaces are the same and you’re not the only one suffering.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s