Do you know anyone who gave up a very high paying

but stressful gig as a law firm/accountancy/IB/fund partner/MD for something paying far less but for a better work/life balance? How did they find it?

I know someone who quit a job in corporate at a US law firm and bought a boat and moved to Scotland where she now spend her life sailing and making ceramics.  She seems extremely relaxed and happy.

Former senior partner I know became a history teacher, loves it. Suspect doing these low-income lower-stress jobs is made somewhat easier by having a couple of lions in the bank and no mortgage. 

I know two people who did it, aged about 35.  They were proper high fliers and left with enough to never need to work again.  One set up a charity.  The other just travelled for 5 years, and then went back to doing the same role with a smaller organisation and a lot less stress.

A former partner in a magic C started his own commodity trading co. Ran for a few years and went bust but made enough to go and live in a tax friendly jurisdiction and do small angel investments. 

Stepped down a couple of levels to get out of PP, but the adjustment to being a minion again has been tougher than expected. Probably stepped down too far looking for less stress, which has just created different stresses (without the comfort of getting compensated enough for them).

Is being a teacher really low-stress though?

I think if you get a cushy small private school gig it could be. This was pre-tories so was probably better. 

I did that aged 40 and was bored stiff within a year. Stuck it out for another 3; took a risk elsewhere which backfired badly and within 2 years had organised a wfh self employed situation. Often wonder what would have happened if I’d stayed - heart attack, divorce maybe??

Teaching at any sort of school is stressful.

When the OP asks how they find it, do they mean the role or its nature day to day?

I know a senior associate who was being groomed for partner who one day just thought "fook this" and headed off to Thailand with his girlfriend to be a yoga instructor. As far as I can tell from his ridiculous Instagram profile, he's still there and looking pretty relaxed with his half Thai, half Swedish girlfriend, possibly wife. 

Also a fellow trainee ear-marked for easy qualification job chucked it all in and went into oil painting.

He still organises fair few exhibitions of his art in London now and then (and in a few other European cities). 

it’s great, if you aren’t the sort of person who defines yourself by your work

but definitely this “doing these low-income lower-stress jobs is made somewhat easier by having a couple of lions in the bank and no mortgage.”

Friend of mine qualified at Links and worked there for a while before jacking it all in and becoming a history teacher. He seems pretty happy with his life choices. I jacked in the Bar and took a big salary hit (but get paid every month for a change) for a regular 9-5 ish quasi sales job. Don't recommend. Like minkie above, I am pretty bored and am looking to get into a self employed position so I can stop working for the man. Just need to build up enough dosh to have a 6 month comfort blanket.

The key here is not to mistake "different / more junior" for "easy / low stress".

The only people I know who've done it are either rich(-ish) already or married to someone high-earning.

 

 

I know a few who've been very careful with money for 20 years or so and have now effectively retired mid-40's to manage their investments and indulge their hobbies.

Yes successful jacking in entirely dependent on being rich or having a rich partner, or moving somewhere that your existing resources mean you are rich. Ultimately work only becomes truly stress free if you are so good at it you don't have to think, or you are so comparatively rich (e.g. mortgage free house and passive income to pay for food and utilities) that you can tell everyone that might make your life harder to FO. 

My m7 gave up her job to be a yoga/pilates teacher. But she built a brand out of it, was running retreats pre-pandemic, corporate shiz and developed wellness video content for upmarket hotels to offer as part of their in room entertainment. She seems to be doing alright.

I was a partner - not the highest-paid ever, but not poor.  Jacked it in to go work for a client, for less money but an easier and different life.

Well, the different bit of that worked out.

Went self-employed.  Now earn more than I used to as a partner, for much less work and stress.  

I didn't have loads of money as a safety cushion, and you can see my mortgage from space, but I just figured that if it all went pants, going back into private practice as a senior lawyer wasn't an awful Plan B.

(Yes, I know that partners are technically self-employed as well, but in reality that's bollox.)

I don't think I know anyone who stepped outta tha' game. Most are doubling down if anything.

Oh there was a m8 who went to qualify as a teacher once he had paid his gidge off. But then the wife wanted a big new extension so he had to go back to slingin' dox to pay for it. But he was more bored for his tunfiddy a year than stressed.

No; everyone stays

i know someone who left for banking, who was then worked twice as hard and was miserable

i know people who did structured finance and securitisation who left for service providers earning little money, they hated the law job and the jobs thereafter

I know someone who left to start their own business as a senior associate

But it’s really rare as everyone stays

I don’t know what happens to everyone

i think most people end up in house at US firms as it’s not worth the bother of becoming partner at a mid rate firm

I left and can’t come back to London outside of an in house role. But I am likely to retire from Iaw in 5 years and will give somethjng else a punt

you can’t come to Dubai and get rich overnight but it’s such a better alternative proposition to US firms in London 

 

 

Lots of people do . One of my twins' teachers was a City lawyer and then became a teacher (in their fee paying school).  A colleague became a clergyman - I don't think he has had that easy a life actually so I don't think he made the right choice but that is not for me to say. I set up on my own but that was never to earn less money - it was so I could keep all the money I earn! I know lots of people who moved in house or to regional firms or to lecture. The person who wrote one of the law textbooks I am about to update left law for being an art historian.

 

Law is a god basis for lots of totally different careers. i think the Weatherspoon man was a lawyer first as was a lady who founded a coffee house chain. (never mind the countless UK politicians from Raab, Blair to all the others.....)

2 years ago I moved from MC to in-house at 5PQE.  Made complete sense at the time but given the sky-rocketing PP salaries I do now regret it.  I took a small pay cut 2 years ago but my in-house salary has barely moved yet my MC salary would have increased substantially.  Yes, it's more interesting work, less stress and fewer hours in-house but ultimately the extra $$$ means if I could turn back time I wouldn't have left.

2 years ago I moved from MC to in-house at 5PQE.  Made complete sense at the time but given the sky-rocketing PP salaries I do now regret it.  I took a small pay cut 2 years ago but my in-house salary has barely moved yet my MC salary would have increased substantially.  Yes, it's more interesting work, less stress and fewer hours in-house but ultimately the extra $$$ means if I could turn back time I wouldn't have left.

I know a few. None of them regretted it. Including teacher, smaller provincial firms, and the priesthood. Plus a couple so became judges. One went full time. The other stayed part time. 

Absolute megaheh at Lydia making sure everyone knows her kids go to private school.

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