If you follow me on Twitter: @barrychoi, then you’ve already heard the news. After 18 years working in television – all with the same company – I put in my resignation. Obviously, it was a very tough decision for me, but I did it for two main reasons. First, I wanted to spend more time with my daughter. Second, I was ready to grow my brand.
For most people, those reasons seem like a no brainer, but it was really hard to walk away from the only full-time employer I’ve ever known. I was paid well and received really good benefits. More importantly, I worked with amazing people who knew me more than half my life and were there for all my important milestones.
This post is going to be a bit more personal than usual, but hey, that’s the point of a blog right? Maybe my thought process will help someone who’s in a similar position and isn’t quite sure what to do.
I had other opportunities available
Here’s the other exciting news I haven’t shared much. I’ll be joining RateHub on a part-time basis as an Associate Editor. I’ve been freelancing for RateHub for a few years now and they offered me 3 days a week which is exactly what I was looking for. I’m excited with the fact that I’ll be able to do things I love on a more regular basis.
With the two other days, I plan on continuing my side hustles. I write for a variety of publications which includes travel so it’ll be nice to have some extra flexibility. This extra time will also allow me to do more media interviews as a Toronto travel expert and personal finance expert. These media opportunities tend to be last minute, so this flexibility only works in my favour.
Beyond my regular clients, I do intend to look for a few more clients as you never know how things will go in the freelance life. Ideally I’d also like to branch out a bit more beyond finance and travel. It would be nice to do a few lifestyle campaigns just for variety. If you’re a brand looking for an influencer to partner with, contact me now!
I seriously needed a change
I don’t usually talk about my day job here, but the term “day” is a loose term. You see, my shift is 3pm – midnight. I’ve been doing this shift my entire career and it just wasn’t sustainable with a child. Some friends suggested that I ask for a day shift, well in television, a day shift is 4:30am – 1:30pm so that’s not exactly a great shift either. Sure, there are some 10 – 7 shifts, but those are usually reserved for management. You’ll notice that in television our shifts are 9 hours long. Yes, one hour is an unpaid break, but that sucks.
Although my wife and I could have continued to make things work, it wasn’t an ideal situation. My parents had weird shifts too and raised my brother and I just fine, but that prevented them from spending more time with us and taking us to extracurricular activities. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are great, but they didn’t have a choice when it came to their careers. They were new immigrants and took jobs that allowed them to raise a family. I want to spend more time with my daughter and I also want to ensure that the grandparents are involved which is why I needed this change.
I was also in the fortunate position that my side hustles have grown quite a bit over the years. My income has steadily grown which is why I started to question if I even needed a full-time job anymore. If things don’t work out, I can always get another job later, but at least now I’m going for it – if you know what I mean.
Money was no longer a priority
I’ll be honest, the hardest thing about quitting my job was walking away from a high salary, defined benefit pension, and stock plan. As someone who was raised to be conservative with my money, this was really tough. Ironically, being conservative with my money is the reason I was able to quit. I’ve been working for close to decades I like to think that I’m good with my money. I have no debt and good savings so having a high salary wasn’t as important anymore.
Keep in mind that I’m married so having a dual income obviously helps. My wife is off on maternity right now, but she does plan returning to the workforce. Since both of us are big savers, we’ve been paying down our mortgage aggressively over the last few years so we didn’t really need to worry about that.
Despite all of this, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my job until I spoke to my financial advisor. He looked at our current income, savings, and expenses and came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to make nearly as much as I thought to maintain our lifestyle. That pretty much sealed the deal as I knew what my “number” was to leave my job. So yeah, I took a pay cut to leave and I have no regrets.
Leaving my job was about family and opportunities. My wife and I wished for a child for a long time so now that she’s here, I plan on spending as much time with her possible. That being said, this blog has presented opportunities I never thought possible so I want to make it work.