Before I quit my job in 2016, the most common criticism went something like this:
“But Steve, you’ll never be able to get your old job back if times get tough!“
Meaning that with that giant gap in my resume, there’s no way another software company will pay me $200,000 to do a job I used to do in the “prime” of my career. My high-income days are over. Forever. Oh no!
While that’s true, here’s why I don’t care.
First, why would I want the same job back that I spent so many years trying to escape? That’s the last thing that I want. I don’t want 10-hour days working on someone else’s project back, even if that means a high salary. Been there, done that.
Second, corporate America will always hire those with marketable skills. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten more job offers after retiring early than when I worked a full-time job. I might not pull down $200Gs, but I don’t want a job with that type of responsibility ever again.
I’m done with that life. I want no part of it.
Here’s what I want: I want a life where I can pick and choose when (and if) I work. 100% remote. If I feel like I need a little extra money, I can work for a month and earn some extra cash. Or take a contract job that earns a few hundred here or there.
The beauty of asset accumulation is not working a full-time job unless you want to. Your assets pick up the vast majority of your lifestyle slack. If you want or need more, work a little to earn more. If you don’t, sit back and relax, enjoying the fruits of your labor.
So, they were right. I’ll never get my exact same job back making the same salary in the same industry. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a feature of financial independence, not a bug.