So last week, we talked about the cost of living comparison between where I was living and where I’m currently living. Today I thought we’d talk a little bit about the non-financial reasons for my move.
To put it simply, my former position was just a bad fit for me. I don’t think it was the job itself, but rather just the industry. I didn’t find the job very fulfilling. So sometime around summer 2022 after giving the job a try for a year I started looking for something different. Unfortunately, a lot of the jobs that I thought would be more interesting weren’t present in New Mexico, at least the areas I looked at. So I thought I would throw my hat into the ring at other areas to see if I could find a job I thought would be more interesting.
While my new company is paying for my move as a sign on bonus, and I think I’ll even make a little money out of it in the end, it’s still expensive to move halfway across the country and there are other costs beyond just moving. We’ll talk about those during my fiance update in February.
Something that’s stuck with me across all of the FIRE reading that I’ve done is that you should enjoy the journey. Being stuck in a job that’s not a good fit for you isn’t the best way to enjoy the journey, especially when you’ve got more than a year or two left to hit FI and there are other options out there. Will I enjoy this new job more? That’s hard to say after only a handful of days, but I’d never know what I might like more if I never took the risk. So far though, I’ve found it more interesting.
While there are some roadblocks that will make this move hard, namely living in an area I know nothing about, I think that being able to take such a risk will benefit me in the long run. I’ll learn new skills in a new industry at this new position, I’ll meet new people in an area I’ve never been in before, and I’ll gain new experiences that will help me decide where to settle if I do one day.
So how will each of these things actually benefit me and what concrete steps am I taking to obtain them? Let’s dive a bit deeper.
I took a job doing something radically different than I did in the past. To succeed at this job, I’ll have to learn new skills. This isn’t to say that everything I learned at my last position is useless, those experiences will still help me in my current position. It’s just that there will be a steeper learning curve at first than if I had taken a similar job. But diverse experience is something every engineer should have. During college, I used some knowledge I had learned from reading about how ship’s hulls were designed to assist with the design work for my senior design project. Many of the best engineers I’ve known have had a wide depth of experiences to draw upon.
I see a lot of posts in other blogs talking about how it can be hard at first to meet those social needs that people from work used to fill kind of end up drifting after they hit FIRE. I’m hoping being in a new area will allow me to make friends outside of work. As I currently don’t have internet in my rental, I kind of have to leave if I want anything other than data on my phone. While heading to a local coffee shop and buying a single tea twice a week is a couple of dollars that I could have saved, I estimate about $16 or so a month. While at these locations I’m also hoping I can take the opportunity to meet some people outside of my work network. This kind of skill will help me after I hit FI, and if I end up settling elsewhere.
While my current plan is to return to New Mexico after I hit FIRE, that’s mostly due to it being where I’m from. It is possible that I’d like some other area more. Getting to live in a new place while working will let me explore some of these options for settling elsewhere in FIRE, to some degree at least.
So overall, I think this move will be good for me, if a little expensive in the short run. Anyway, I think that’s a wrap for this week. Next week will be my Financial Update covering January.
Do you disagree with my reasoning for moving? If so, drop a comment down below with why.