Quitting a Job that pays over $150,000

It was 2013 and I was just out of college and looking for my first job. So I did what a lot of new graduates did and looked for one that paid well—my rent and student loans weren’t going to pay themselves.

After a brief search, I landed a job paying $35,000. But not long after I started, I took a long, hard look at my situation. I looked at the company’s inner workings, mapped out where I wanted to go and calculated how long it would take me to get there. According to my calculations, and if everything went to plan, I figured it would take me five years to get where I wanted to be. Five years! (That’s longer than all of college)

Not great. I quickly decided that that wasn’t fast enough, so I did what only a brave but ambitious young man person in the land of opportunity might do: I quit my job and started looking for another. I was living on my friend Adam’s couch at the time, and he provided sage advice:

“You know, Josh, you probably shouldn’t have quit your job until you knew you had another one.”

Especially since I needed to make money to pay him the $250/month we agreed upon for me to sleep on his couch.

AND he was right, but I just knew that I was going to get the next position I had applied for, which was a financial advisor position, which I didn’t know was actually a sales job. Soon I had an interview, and during the interview, they asked me the big question:

“How competitive are you?”

My answer:

“I would cheat in a game of Monopoly against my Grandma to win.”

I got the job. Now, I’m not condoning cheating to get ahead in life, but I had told them that I was willing to do whatever it took to be successful, and they liked what they heard. Within eight months, I went from making $35,000/year to making over $150,000 plus bonuses.

During the introductory meeting where I received my second promotion, they told all the new associates that we were required to buy the team breakfast. As part of some sort of initiation phase to newcomers on the team.  I don’t think so. Instead, I said,

“I’m not going to buy you breakfast; you’re going to be buying me breakfast.”

To some, my approach may seem arrogant, but it’s not. The truth is that when you really want something, you need to go in 1000%. No second-guessing yourself. No thinking, “What if I fail?” When it comes down to it, there is no failing, because failure isn’t an option. Not now. Not today. Not ever.

But after working at that job for over three years, winning numerous awards, and making more money than any 25-year-old should, I quit. Why? Because I realized that this isn’t what life is about. I had hit the proverbial ceiling where I realized that no matter how much I grow or how hard I worked, I wasn’t going to be able to move onto the next level. As soon as I realized that, I knew I needed to find an alternative.

Today, I make less money and my savings account is a fraction of what it once was, but my life is better. Yes, I quit a job paying $150,000/year that allowed me to live the good life and take exotic vacations to Ibiza, Spain. But I left it because I knew I could do better. And I’m right. I can do better, and so can you.

Your Guide,

Joshua Krafchick, “Unconventional Money Guy”

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