ERE & (professional) human capital

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FrugalPatat
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ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by FrugalPatat » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:51 am

I was wondering how you people balance the temptation to maximize your long-term professional human capital with the desire for an ERE lifestyle?

For me one path would be to stay in my current role at work and start working 80% in the near future. However I have the nagging feeling that by doing so I will be eating away at my professional human capital. I am getting more expensive for the company; but I will not keep getting more productive for years to come in my current role.
On the other hand;
1) I live in Europe; this seems to be more accepted in Europe than in the US; and even more in my semi-government company.
2) There's plenty of 'old' people in my company that have been in my role for 20+ years

However things can change; and the alternative path would be to try to 'move up the ladder'. But this would mean working full-time and probably more hours and especially more stress.

How do you deal with this?

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unemployable
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by unemployable » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:57 am

Work sucks and they don't want me anyway

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Lemur
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by Lemur » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:28 pm

I just set a limit to be an individual contributor/team player. Its the ultimate anti-growth mindset. A very unpopular opinion for a careerist. I decided that I am content with my current salary, roles & responsibilities. My focus is on hard-skills...What I mean is I decided that I'm not climbing the ladder further. Climbing the ladder a few more rungs means having to manage people, tons more meetings, less time on skills, and more time on stress.

Should MegaCrop finally enact its up or out on me, I'm choosing out. Being some degree of FI has helped considerably with making this decision. I am also lucky to be in a field where job hopping is incredibly easy.

Everyone's threshold is different for stress.

To answer your question, the former has been answered. I'm not looking to maximize; I stopped where I found contentment. Priority is more of the latter...trying to get better at the ERE lifestyle.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:34 pm

I just left a relatively high paying job with insane income potential over the next 5-10 years ($250-400k/yr)

You can always make more money. You cannot buy minutes, hours, and days of your life back.

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unemployable
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by unemployable » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:40 pm

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:34 pm
I just left a relatively high paying job with insane income potential over the next 5-10 years ($250-400k/yr)
You know that's a false equivalency for a couple reasons. For one if you were prioritizing ER you wouldn't have hung around those 5-10 years anyway.

I was in that position too, until one day the Anointed Guy at work was someone else.

IlliniDave
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:01 pm

I don't see my human capital solely as exchangeable for money. So if I reserve a portion of it for other endeavors once I have enough money, I don't see it as having missed out on or lost anything.

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Lemur
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by Lemur » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:46 am

unemployable wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:40 pm
You know that's a false equivalency for a couple reasons. For one if you were prioritizing ER you wouldn't have hung around those 5-10 years anyway.

I was in that position too, until one day the Anointed Guy at work was someone else.
Would it be a false equivalency if say, for instance, adding more money to the networth pile was seen as more of a game? Like trying to get the highest number of coins in a Mario level...but then really what is the point of all those coins (and the high score) if the end goal is to just get to the castle at the end anyway.

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unemployable
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:12 am

Lemur wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:46 am
Would it be a false equivalency if say, for instance, adding more money to the networth pile was seen as more of a game? Like trying to get the highest number of coins in a Mario level...but then really what is the point of all those coins (and the high score) if the end goal is to just get to the castle at the end anyway.
ERErs are doing speed runs, not coin runs. They are completely different; collecting coins is antithetical to speedrunning.

I had another point there, in that you can project your career and assume all the pretend money and status you want, but the promotion doesn't happen until it happens.

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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:39 am

Kierkegaard said that life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. Methinks that Kierkegaard was process-oriented. A goal-oriented person has a better "understanding" of "the forward"---to the point of it containing contingencies. For example, I find the excess optimism about extreme salaries disturbing in the same way that every freshman student thinks that success is guaranteed by merely working hard. (The casual discussions on the forum about going to grad-school are a case in point.)

In any case, these considerations smell somewhat of one more year syndrome.

NEWS FLASH. ERE is about maximizing your long-term human capital. However, one's professional capital will probably take a backseat to a more well-rounded distribution of capital. There are therefore two questions to answer:
  1. To which degree is money still a motivation?
  2. To which degree is further professional work still a motivation?
The first tends to go away in proportion to "having enough". This can actually be somewhat detrimental to one's enthusiasm for work. Some recommend semi-retirement as a way of staying hungry. I personally find it hard to be motivated by any promises of salary at this point. There'd have to be something else in it for me ... (like free coffee and cookies) and few jobs focus on that.

The second seems very personality dependent. Most people seem to have no problem doing the same thing or have the same one interest for decades of their life. I have yet to figure out why this is. Perhaps they don't have time to develop other interests. Perhaps they have no interest? My problem is the opposite. Too many things I want to do with a tendency to spread myself too thin---the web-of-goals is intended to derive some benefit from this.

In any case, consider that with high savings rates (75%+) the first problem quickly takes care of itself. If you oversave, there will come a point after 10-20 years where your capital gains > salary.

The second question should be answered not by how much you make but whether you're going for some senior role that can only be achieved through decades of tenure. This might be important if you want to hang with CEOs, professors, ... later on or want to get lifetime achievement awards, etc. See e.g. https://www.getrichslowly.org/fifteen-y ... etirement/ on downsides.

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fiby41
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by fiby41 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:08 am

Taxes is one way. As you work your way up the progressive tax ladder, a larger portion of your income gets taxed.
Instead you could grow tomatoes and eat up the yield with no one taking a cut/ dipping its beak.
Professional human capital is not a universal end of human endeavour. For those people who think it is the end all be all of human existence, even they might not define it as we do. How about maximizing total happiness over every lifetime

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Lemur
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by Lemur » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:56 pm

fiby41 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:08 am
Taxes is one way. As you work your way up the progressive tax ladder, a larger portion of your income gets taxed.
Instead you could grow tomatoes and eat up the yield with no one taking a cut/ dipping its beak.
Professional human capital is not a universal end of human endeavour. For those people who think it is the end all be all of human existence, even they might not define it as we do. How about maximizing total happiness over every lifetime
Tough to quantify. And happiness, in itself, is sort of fleeting. Even millionaires/billionaires and other people who seemingly 'have it all' deal with occasional bouts of sadness and depression. The latter can even be considered normal emotions in human beings even if the Maslow pyramid is filled.

Perhaps the word you're looking for is contentment? A focus on limiting the downsides and occurrences of sadness/depression. I have found this to be a more effective approach in my life. Example - setting my own work expectations and goals and thing I want to achieve. Reminding myself of what I do have now (certain $ in the bank, shelter, food, etc.) ; this is a daily practice.

Also I'm reading too much into this and extrapolating what is in bold...just a strong believer in that happiness is tough to measure. But I think you covered that in how professional human capital is defined differently between individuals, same with success, same with happiness.

Jean
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Re: ERE & (professional) human capital

Post by Jean » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:43 pm

I don't like min maxing, because they lead to solutions like killing everything or druging everything. I'de rather aim at creating a context, where your instinctive behavior contributes to a context where other beings' instinctive behavior contributes to the context your aiming to create to make your instinctive behavior contributing to a context in.....

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