Almost as quickly as the question came to mind, I had the answer. That answer meant making some big changes and taking control of my situation. I knew I wanted out, but I also knew I wanted something radically different. Leaving this job, just to get another one in a different industry which would pay less, didn’t seem like a good trade off. So I set about thinking and planning.
First, I quit my permanent job and took a long holiday. I came back energised, ready and reinvented my CV for a business analyst / project manager contractor role. I’d give up all the luxuries of a salaried job – paid holidays, private health cover, bonuses, job security, promotions, a pension etc. and instead, I’d go for a no-job-security, more stressful, paid by the day role. If it worked, I’d treble my earnings overnight.
I started applying for jobs which were way out of my league with little of the requisite experience. With determination and some good blagging skills, I landed my first role at Deutsche Bank on a 3-month contract. About 9 months in I got a call from a head-hunter. She was pitching a new role at Barclays Capital – I impatiently told her I wasn’t interested. Just before hanging up though, I had the good sense to ask her: “by the way, how much is it paying?” – when she told me, I almost fell off my chair. So, I promptly changed my mind, applied, got an interview and landed the job in Finance Change.
My plan was simple, I was going to scale down my lifestyle, spend less and save like crazy. I decided I was going to buy some property which I’d turn into an investment project to create a passive income which would buy me some time to plan my next move.
As no one would lend me the money for the building project, my wife Priti and I would have to save up the cash ourselves – (yep, she bought into my plan as well. I convinced her to quit a great job as an economist in government and come back to banking where she could earn more – “One step back for two forward” I told her and then sold her on a one year plan which I marginally overshot by five and a half years!)