Why Quit If You Love Your Job?

Many people seek early retirement because they hate their job. When we mention that we enjoyed teaching, people are naturally confused, so a common question we immediately get is: Why? If we loved it, why’d we quit? If we enjoyed what we did, why were we so eager to leave?

Our answer is simple: We loved teaching. But there are other things we love which we wanted to do as well. Traveling the world. Both of us being home to raise kids. Having a full time job inhibits these time-consuming things.

We may not be completely done with teaching, as it so happens. Ali still occasionally has dreams of being a teacher, and we think teaching overseas might be a fun challenge.

But we wanted to become financially independent so that we could teach if we wanted to, not because we had to. Don’t you think a student would benefit from having a teacher who has a burning desire to teach, rather than one who just needs a paycheck? (The two obviously aren’t mutually exclusive, but neither do the sets completely overlap.)

The thing is, though, we taught for nearly a decade. A decade is enough time to do anything, in my opinion. One of my favorite SMBC Comics explains why:

Teaching was one of our lives. We loved it, but we also love our new one of travel and kids. And I’m excited to see what other lives we may live. Financial independence gives us the ability to take the risks to explore these lives. Despite loving our jobs, we quit, and couldn’t be happier.

If you’re FI, did you quit a job you love? Or if you’re not yet FI, what lives do you want to explore? Let me know in the comments!

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