Sep 20

I'll Make You Quit Your Job - Childfree Wealth Podcast Ep. 42

​​The Childfree Wealth Podcast, hosted by Bri Conn and Dr. Jay Zigmont, CFP®, is a financial and lifestyle podcast that explores the unique perspectives and concerns of childfree individuals and couples. In this episode, Bri & Dr. Jay discuss quitting your job.

Many clients have come to us burnout with their job or simply wanting to make a change. After being in multiple client meetings, Bri started to notice a trend. If someone said they were unhappy with their job, Dr. Jay would tell them to make a change often in the form of quitting their job. After a few conversations, Bri jokingly said Dr. Jay’s new tag line should be “I’ll make you quit your job.” While they don’t recommend quitting your job on a whim, with the right financial plan, it is possible to leave a job you don’t like.

Are you needing to make a change? Listen as they discuss things to think about when it comes to changing your career & quitting your job.

Podcast - Ep. 29: Let's Talk Pride with Ashley Maready
Podcast - Ep. 33: The Gardener & the Rose with Heather & Scott
Podcast - Ep. 20: Breaking Free from the 9-5: FIRE vs FILE
Article - Choosing the FILE Lifestyle - Financial Independence, Live Early
Article - The Gardener & the Rose
Article - The Sabbatical
Website - Make My Move

Be sure to join the conversation by emailing us at [email protected], following Childfree Wealth on social media, or visiting our website!


Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational & entertainment purposes. Please consult your advisor before implementing any ideas heard on this podcast.


Dr Jay

Hey, all you Childfree Wealth listeners. So the other day, Bri kind of, I dunno, set me off, let's call it that. So Bri and Ashley had recorded a session and if you haven't caught it back on Pride, catch it. And both Bri and Ashley worked with me in different roles and Bri's been attending a whole bunch of meetings with me and they had come to the conclusion that if you meet with me, I'm gonna tell you to quit your job.

Is that fair, Bri?  


Yeah, that's fair. That, that is what I said. Your tagline should be, I'll make you quit your job. 

Dr Jay

I was like, what? What? Well, yeah, I've made a lot of people quit their jobs. 


Yeah. See, I am not wrong. 

Dr Jay

There's a session we did with Heather and Scott and talk about, actually Heather quitting her job and she goes on a sabbatical and writes her book.

Ashley quit her job, started her own business. Bri went from marketing, running her own business to working with me. I'm like, uh oh. I guess I do make a lot of people quit their jobs. Very true. So what was this conversation, Bri, tell me about this in like, I don't know. I'm having trouble with this because like, I don't know, it was ever intentional.

I actually think my answer is if you hate your job, you should quit it. But you just went with, just quit your job. 


Ashley and I were talking, it was like the first time we really got to know each other. So we recorded that session. Then we were just talking afterwards and. She was telling me all about how she used to be a museum curator and worked in museums and then quit and is now a freelancer.

And I was like, you know, in most of our meetings he'll be like, “Well, why don't you quit your job and start a business or become a consultant or do this or do that?” And she's like, really? I'm like, yeah. I'm like, I think his tagline should be, “I'll make you quit your job.” So the next day when we had a meeting, I told him that and he goes, what?

It's true. Think about it. And the amount of people. Just in the past month that some version of that has come out and been told to them. I'm like, you can't say that I'm wrong because I have notes to back up what I'm saying.

Dr Jay

Bri's right. Okay. I do tell a lot of people to quit their jobs, and I never really thought about it in that way because I'm really saying, all right, if we're gonna embrace this FILE lifestyle, so we're trying to find the right balance of work at the right time, the right type of job.

That often means people need a change. When we meet with couples and we often, I mean 70% of the people we know, the couples or so one person in the couple usually needs to change something in their job. It's really interesting. I mean, I probably, and now as I'm thinking through it, I dunno, probably 10% of people that reach out to us are perfectly happy with their job and keep doing it forever.

The rest are like, well, I really wish I could, or you know, like, and I used to use, when I was teaching a lot a question I used to ask people, I said, If you could do any job in the world, it doesn't matter. You get paid the same amount of money, what would you do? And they would cover these great answers. My answers would be a boat captain.

What's your answer, Bri? 


My answer is exactly what I'm doing right now.

Dr Jay

Oh, come on.


It's, it really is. I like it. 

Dr Jay

She's only saying that because I pay her, but like, yeah. Right. So here, here's where I'm going with this. All right, I'll ignore Bri for a second on this one 'cause she's gotta have something bigger.

But like I had people, like one person said they wanted to be the bartender to swim up bar. I'm like, that's an awesome idea. Now they wanna open an ice cream shop, or I want to do this. So I'll ask people, what would you do if you could do anything? And then they'll tell me, and then I'll go, so why don't you do that?

And they're like, uh, uh. 


I guess if you want a different answer, my answer would be not work. I'd wanna have a foundation that pays for swimming lessons for kids across the country, kids and adults.  

Dr Jay

Nice. At least we came up with an answer. 


Yeah. Well, it's not work. That's why I was like, it's not an answer I could use.

Dr Jay

Well, it is. If you had enough money, that's what you would do. 


That's true. I'll be there one day. I'm not there today.

Dr Jay

But that's the whole point of the FILE lifestyle is you can make that choice. I think the hard part with that is because we're childfree, we have the time, money, and freedom to do what we want.

So if you are not happy with your job, quit. Now. If you're listening to this by way, make sure your financial plan is set, you know, you have the right budget. You know, we do all the numbers first, but I'm like, and then quit. And people are like, well, but I, I was trained in this. And I'm like, that's nice, what the 18 year old of you chose to do is not what you should do for the rest of your life. If you enjoy it, great. But I can tell you the 18 year old version of me was a whole lot dumber. Shouldn't have been making life choices. I mean, that's just kind of how that works. 


Very true. 

Dr Jay

Same here. I have people, like I look at their numbers and I meet with people on a monthly basis and I'll do their numbers, take a couple months to kind of figure out what their goals are and I'll, I'll run through all their numbers.

I'm like, so you two could quit your job, or you could quit your job and live off your money. And they'll push back me and go, no, I can't. I'll do the numbers. I'll run over and they'll ask me every question in the world. And I'm like, you can. Like, well, well, but what about this and what, and they started asking me a hundred questions.

And by the way, like my favorite is, well, healthcare, you can buy healthcare outside or get a job that has healthcare. Well, but… but what? And then that gets stuck. 'cause I take away all their excuses. And my answer is, if you don't like what you're doing, change it. Now. Retranslated, I just tell people to quit their job.


It's more direct and to the point, you know? 

Dr Jay

Well, you're, you're not wrong. It's just, I'm just looking at it with a little more nuance and saying, we spend about a third of our time at work if you're gonna spend a third of your time at work and be miserable, quit. 


Yeah. And if you ever come to a meeting and you say, well, I make this much, he'll say, “So, what you're telling me is that whatever your salary is is enough to make you miserable.” Guarantee every time.

And if there are clients listening to this, they've probably heard him say that. 

Dr Jay

Okay. And I do, because people will say, well, for some reason their a magic number, a hundred thousand dollars. If I make a hundred thousand dollars, it's gonna fix everything. Well, by the way, spoiler it doesn't. And they'll go, well, I make a hundred thousand dollars a year.

I'm going, and you're not happy. No. Well then the magic number is a hundred thousand dollars and you're willing to be miserable. And they'll go, well, that wasn't what I said. And I'm like, yeah. It kinda was like, you might not have said it in those words, but, or they'll say, well, the benefits are so good.

Like, so the benefits are good enough for you to be miserable at work? Well, they, but well there are good days. Yeah. What the one day they bring pizza to the office or something like, go buy pizza yourself. People. I think the hard part is there is some guilt. Other things where like, I can't give up this great job that I work so long for.

I've worked at going up the ladder. I've got, I see other people who are struggling. I'm like, that's true. That is all true. That does not mean you should be unhappy. Yep. And Bri, you know, so I say this to people and you've seen the reactions. Do you agree with me that they need to quit their job? 


Oh yeah.

Some of them you can tell they're miserable and then some of 'em are like, oh, well, I'm like, you could probably stick it out for a couple months while you figure things out. But other ones I'm like, you should have been out yesterday. 

Dr Jay

Yeah. So here's a fun one. So when I get couples. We talk about the gardener and the rose.

One person's providing support, the other one's growing, taking turns, and that’s what my wife and I work through. And I'll ask the person that's gonna be the gardener, how long has the rose needed to make a change? The answer is always years like they've known they needed a change for 1, 3, 5, 7 years.

And I'm like, so let me get this straight. Not only are you unhappy what you're doing, but you've been doing it and unhappy for five years? Change. Now a whole lot easier to say than do. I'm just like, oh yeah. But I'm trying to challenge people because I say you just figure out your life first, then your finances, then your taxes.

Most DINKS, dual income couples can live on one income if as long as they're not like doing something, you know they don't spend a lot more on housing then they need or something like that. Well then that means one person can grow and find themselves and they go, well, but we like having two incomes. So do I.

If I'm just gonna make it up, in my life, if my wife is unhappy, well then let's change. 


You don't have to stay stuck forever.

Dr Jay

And they go, well, you know, let, I'll think about it. Okay, cool. And by the way, we meet with people. We do initial meetings, we do ongoing, all that. I have people reach out to me a year later going, yeah, I wasn't ready at this point, but now I am.

Okay. Whenever you're ready. I'm here. I'll walk you through the steps. Let's figure it out. You know? And sometimes it is starting a small business, sometimes it's another job, sometimes going back to school. It's whatever. I usually recommend to people that if they can afford it, take a sabbatical six months off, figure out what you wanna do.

Now, that's a luxury. Let's be real on that. That's not something everybody can do. But the way I do a sabbatical is the first two months you take off and you watch Netflix, you do nothing. And now I tell people that and they always laugh at me. And I'm like, no, seriously. Pick a streaming service. Run through their catalog.

And they go, well I prefer Hulu. Well, that's fine. I don't care. I'm not talking about the streaming service. The point is I want you to stop thinking about work for a while. The truth is, for most people, you get to your thirties, forties, fifties, whatever it is, all you've done is work your entire life.

You know, I get people that even just came outta college. They get a few years in and I'm like, you've been going nonstop. What do you want to do? They'll say, I wanna do X. Cool. Why aren't you doing it? Well, because I was trained in Y I'm like, so change it. So what we do is two months, do nothing. 

The next two months, figure out what you wanna be when you grow up. Now I use that comment a lot, and that's probably closer to my tagline. What do you wanna be when you grow up, I guess? But it has nothing to do with age. It is what do you want the next 40 years of your life to look like or whatever it is. It's interesting 'cause you're gonna spend the second set of two months in your sabbatical trying to figure that out.

And then the last two months, I want you to just try it. Like if you wanna open a cupcake shop, and I say cupcake shop all the time. Whenever my wife's mad at her job, she wants to open a cupcake shop. And if you're going to go do that, I want you to go work for a couple weeks in a bakery when you're getting up at three o'clock in the morning to make cupcakes.

All of a sudden the cupcake shop is a little less interesting. Or you might love it. I don't know. Go be an intern. Go try things out. Go shadow somebody. You know? Go find somebody who's doing the job. Ask them how they got there. Ask if they would do it again. And what advice they'd give you. And that's a luxury you can do.

You can take the sabbatical to figure out what you want to do. Now people go, well, but, but I gotta pay my bills. We'll go over the budget. We'll make sure you have an emergency fund. We can put a little cash cushion even for the soloist out there. You can do it. You know, if you wanna start a small business, maybe you make it at the same time as you're doing your full-time job and then make a small jump over to it like Ashley did.

I don't know. But there are ways, if you're unhappy to make the change. Now, Bri, when you said, Hey, I just told everybody to quit their job, was that what you meant? 


No, it's not. That's just more of a direct way of saying it. It sounds more fun, but it's a very thought out process, but he'll kick you in the butt.

Dr Jay

Oh yeah. I love that. I love kicking people in the butt. Let's be real. I mean, people joke about it's absolutely true. You sit down with me, I flip open your brain, scramble a little bit, close it back up, and then say good luck. It's like, you know, like what happens if I do this? Because people have never taken the time to think about it.

The way I look at what I do is I hold up a mirror to what people say they want. Versus what they're actually doing. That's hard because we get very used to people telling us what to do. We don't listen to ourselves. Oh yeah. So I did this to somebody the other day, and it's one of those skills that I've picked up and they were talking about their job.

You know, they coming out of college trying to figure out what the next step was and they said they wanted to do this job. And I'm, I'm staying vague intentionally to respect privacy. And I hold back the mirror and I said, okay, so this is what you said you wanna do. And they said, yes. Okay. Why aren't you doing it?

Well, because I've got good grades, so I should go be a lawyer or an engineer and I'm like, that's not what you said you wanna do. Well, but, but you know, I had somebody who was a, uh, medical resident last couple years, miserable, hating his life. We didn't wanna do art. Worked with him for while, found out later he actually did go to do art.

He's happier than ever making a whole lot less than any money is. He could’ve made it as a doctor, but he's happier. I don't know. I call it Marie Konding your life. Do what brings you joy. That's more important to me. Joy or, or what makes you happy versus what brings you the most money? 


Absolutely. And you know, we see people's numbers and I don't think that the people who have more money are any happier than the people who don't.

And maybe sometimes they're a little bit more unhappy because they're in a job that they don't like. 

Dr Jay

Yeah. The data says, and there's a couple different studies on this recently. Original study said about $85,000. Any penny over that? You don't make much more happiness. I've seen some that say $100,000/$120,000.

What happens in the US, depending on where you're living, once you get your basic needs met, it doesn't make you, and I suppose toys. Toys don't necessarily make you happier. Yeah. Okay. So here's a great example of this. I get people I love to travel. Cool. What do you wanna do to travel? We’ll go with the travels.

Well, they say my job is so stressful. I need two weeks to travel every six months. Okay. That two weeks is for your own sanity. Yep. What if you quit your job instead? Well then I wouldn't need to travel as much. Like, so what you're saying is your job is worth you giving up your sanity and living with the stress and the travel is just a way to compensate.

Well, like, well what? That's the cycle we're stuck in. You know, it's a hedonic treadmill, a hedonic adaptation, the gerbil wheel, whatever you wanna call it. We just keep going up and up and up in salaries hoping that it's gonna make us happier up and up in job titles. And if you want to do that, cool. You know, I had somebody who really didn't need the money, but had a great job opportunity up ahead, moving up the ladder.

And I said to him, I said, look, if you would do that for free and enjoy it, do it. But this job gives me a whole lot of better salary. The better, better. Ignore that. Would you still do it? 


That's hard to ignore.

Dr Jay

And I'm with you. I get it. It's hard to ignore. I mean, we all wanna make more money, but at what cost?



Dr Jay

That's the hard question. Now, if you're listening here, by the way, you know, just, well, as I do that, you need to quit your job. Just like…


There it is!

Dr Jay

…they’ve come this far into this discussion. We're, you know, whatever, 15 minutes. If you are in a couple, ask your spouse, how long have I needed to quit my job?

They'll tell you. If you're a soloist, ask your friend, how long have you needed to quit your job? And they'll tell you, don't ask your peers. By the way, don't ask the people you work with. 'cause that's, that might cause trouble, but like true. How long have you needed a change? And the answer is, I've needed it for quite a while.

Well then what are you doing to get there? And then I have people, well, but I'm working on this project, you know? So if you listen to Heather Scott's podcast, have they even talked about it? Well, I have to put off quitting my job for this project. Guess what? If you got hit by a bus tomorrow, your job would go the next day.

They'd be at the funeral asking if anyone has a referral and the project would go on. Well, I owe my employer. No, you don't own employer anything. They pay you. You do the job. You don't owe them a thing. 


That is something that's really hard to break, especially if you grew up with parents who have been in their jobs forever, or people like all your friends' parents have that you're not your parents' people and you're child free. So you don’t need to follow their life script. Change.

Dr Jay

Exactly I’ll get people, well, I hate where I'm living. Well then move, there's a website called Make My Move. Like literally they're paying you to move. Yeah. Like, well, but I can't leave my job. Get a different job.


You may notice that Jay and I are very passionate about this.

Me, personally, it's because if you have the ability to make a change and you're not, and you're just complaining about it, it drives me nuts. Do something about it and be happier. 

Dr Jay

And I, by the way, I, I joke, but it's true. I go back and forth between patting you on the back and kick you in the butt. I try to give you the tough love, but you know, if you are childfree and you are struggling financially, there's ways to change.

If you're childfree and you're doing well financially and you're not happy with your job change, change your looking shape where you are. But that opens up the other issue, which is, but what do I wanna be when I grow up? I don't know. I have no insight in that. All I do is ask you questions and see where they want to go and we'll figure it out.

And I got some people starting businesses. I got people, you know, Heather's a great example. She wrote her own novel. Ashley started her own freelance business, writing for all different places, whatever. It doesn't matter, but you get to follow your dreams. They go, well, but I don't know what my dreams are.

That's what we need to work on. You know, there's a reason why I do what we do is called life and financial planning. Figure out life first, then your finances. People go, well, but can I retire? Well, do you want it? Well, no, I wanna do something else. Well then go do that. Well, I always wanna work in a nonprofit.

Well then go do that. Well, nonprofit doesn't pay well, that's okay. Downsize your house. Downsize your, your living, and you're gonna enjoy that. And it's funny because I've done this so much, like people fight me for a while. I, and I got some people that really fight me. We get six months in and, and they will make a change.

And by the way, the change is always messy. Let's be real. Yeah, you're shifting jobs. Something goes wrong, you know, like a hot water heater blows in their house or something. Like always something goes wrong in the move or whatever else. And then we get to the end and I will be sitting across them and we meet via Zoom and you can just see the light coming off them, like the stress is gone.

Like they are just a different person. And I check back on 'em like, how are you doing? Awesome. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And they'll just cool. And all they had to do was make that change they wanted to do forever, but they needed that kick in the butt to do it. Yep. Now, are you ready for that change? I don't know, but here's the thing.

What's holding you back? That's the bigger question. And what's mostly holding people back is their own head trash. That is the garbage We tell ourselves, well, if I leave this job, I'll never find a better job, and I'll know I'll be, you know, I'll never be able. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, fine. That's all the stuff you tell yourself.

That's not reality. That is not what's really gonna happen. What's really gonna happen is you might fail, you might, but you know what? You might be happier 'cause you tried. And I get into discussions with people and one of my favorite to dive in is two parts. First question is, whose voice is in your head telling you what you have to do?

Which by the way, we all have some voices in our head that is, you know, like our parents, our culture, our life, our professors, our, well, you should do this. That's nice. They don't get a vote. So that's the first part. But as you start picking it apart and saying, well, whose voice in your head? You start going, well, what's my voice?

People just don't know. You know, I'll, I'll ask people, well, what does Bri wanna do? And they'll be like, oh, I've always been, and they'll fill in the blank. I've always done. Cool. That's looking back. Give yourself credit for that. Where do you want to go? That's the fun part is to dive in with people and say, well, let's figure that out.

So I guess Bri, you're right. Quit your job, make a change. It's just a little bit more nuanced.