900k (illiquid) TC but severely burned out

Aug 28, 2019 75 Comments

Joined an early stage startup a few years ago when it was 20 employees and the business has been doing well with 300 employees now and valued at 500M.

But I’m super burned out and there’s no way to fix it, no changing team, nothing else. I dread going into work every single day and am depressed all the time. I’m stagnant, not growing at all and they just have me spend my time “mentoring” other people since I have a lot of historical context on the company, but there’s nothing in for me. Everyone grows and learns except me.

Current TC is 900k (250k base, 50k bonus, 600k equity). The equity is of course illiquid, but the company has been doing some buybacks for early employees and the price I’m basing the 600k value is the price at which I sold some of my previous equity (I realized ~1M in long term capital gains), but it certainly could still go to 0 from here (or higher, unlikely). Management is super bullish and not looking to sell for 2-3 years.

Clearly I can’t clear an offer like that. A few months ago FB offered me 390k TC for an E5 offer.

Am I crazy in wanting to quit, detox 3 months and then joining a company for 30% of my current TC?

If I leave, I bring with me ~1.5M of vested and exercised equity over the years (which again, could go to 0).

Age: 32
Yoe: 8
Net worth: 1.4M, all liquid and invested in Vanguard funds
Yearly Expenses: 50k
Target fire goal: 4M


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TOP 75 Comments
  • LinkedIn fEghiu
    Nice trolling
    Aug 28, 2019 14
    • DoorDash grdbnoknhj
      Now that he has proved it, you can eagerly take my place and suck it. While at it taste my spit on it too.
      Aug 29, 2019
    • Capgemini / Sales gtfobuddy
      Wow. You should be proud.
      Oct 31, 2019
  • Google NSFW4
    What would happen if you start rolling in at 10, taking a nice long lunch or gym break, surf Reddit for a bit, and check out at 5?
    Aug 28, 2019 2
    • Facebook Akkad
      Is that how it is at Google? (Genuinely curious)
      Aug 28, 2019
    • Google tUlh65
      At Google it more depends on the team/manager. Some groups work schedule is hectic when it's getting closer to the release.
      Oct 2, 2019
  • Google / Eng batmobile
    Mental health is way more important than money, and paper money at that. However, one question you should think about is why are you burned out? Was it the hours? Job related stress? People related stress? You need to find what's sustainable for you before making a decision. If you take a break and join FB only to get burned our again, it'll be even worse next time.
    Aug 28, 2019 2
    • OP
      Burned out by the company. I hate it with all my heart, I hate the feeling that all my net worth is trapped inside it and management just wants to keep going and take massive risks. And hate that I’m not growing at all in my position.
      Aug 28, 2019
    • Imperial College London / Strategy

      Imperial College London Strategy

      Sir, i think u should leave and take the cut
      Aug 29, 2019
  • LinkedIn bliz
    If $50k is your annual expenditure, then why $4 million is FIRE target ? Are you considering the possibility of living forever? (Even 2 percent annual returns/growth is more than your expenses)
    Aug 28, 2019 3
    • OP
      Not trolling at all, I don’t know what the Cisco guy has against me. Maybe he’s jelly? I have super detailed spreadsheets tracking my financial activity and needs. If I retire, I better be damn sure that I have enough money to last me forever.

      So, to those 50k add 20k healthcare (premiums without ACA are high!) + another 20k in taxes (50k is post tax after all). So that’s 90k pre tax, rounded to 100k.

      Now we’re talking about 2.5%, which, for someone retiring in their early 30s, is completely reasonable: 4% was just tested against 30y retirement period, and I want to make sure it’s robust even if we get to a phase where real growth will slow down, which I personally believe will be the case in the future due to US productivity becoming increasingly lazy.

      I am an avid reader of bogleheads, and nobody over there would recommend anyone to retire in their 30s with a cushion not as safe as a ~2% withdrawal.
      Aug 29, 2019
    • Microsoft iamletired
      Am also an active boglehead. Ignore those members. 3% is airtight for wven a 100 year retirement and 3.5% is 99% airtight. 2% is ridiculous. Hell, even 4% would be fine assuming you didn't get a bad sequence of returns in your 1st decade.
      Sep 19, 2019
  • Google NSFW4
    Ask for a sabbatical ? Take a bit of time off and get a nice long vacation
    Aug 28, 2019 3
    • Salesforce / Mgmt
      Ohana Gang

      Salesforce Mgmt

      Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google
      Ohana Gangmore
      Time to leave then
      Aug 28, 2019
    • Nintendo hvccvb
      Hate to say it, but you've made your buck time to move on.
      Aug 28, 2019
  • Intel


    Crazy? Nah. You're a successful millionaire at 32 with another million waiting in the wings. Arrow is pointing up. Offers at almost 400k on a 50k COL expense. Dude you're winning the game. Go do whatever you want. With expenses of only 50k making anything above 200k 300k is essentially irrelevant to your life and well being. But as Google batmobile said if you dont take a break and figure out exactly what's burning you out, joining FB or anywhere else could just lead to the same. I'd possibly approach the company about a 60-90 day sabbatical and give yourself some time to figure things out. Again, with your COL you can really take your time and be patient with your next move.
    Aug 28, 2019 0
  • Microsoft omgrly
    Some may think it’s trolling because a) you’re in a ridiculously good situation even if all of your paper money disappeared, b) even the 30% tc that you claim you may have to settle for is an amazing tc, c) you’re still asking if it’s “worth it” to make a move when you’re claiming your mental health is suffering badly because of your job.

    In other words, from the outside it looks like a clear nobrainer, peace of mind PLUS great tc any day over slightly great++ tc.

    Buuuuut what batmobile above said, do some soul searching to see what’s really going on and why it will be different elsewhere.
    Aug 28, 2019 1
    • Amazon VYFa25
      Not trolling - the dude sounds like an entitled A-hole. Play me a tune on your pity party 🎻 You make choices every day on what to do. If it sucks, leave. If YOU choose not to do so, then STFU.
      Aug 28, 2019
  • Facebook qwertyuip
    You'll be burned out at FB as well because E5 expectations are high as a developer and you've been only coaching others in your current job. It's very easy to land MM and you will still be depressed for the rating and also the TC cut.
    Aug 28, 2019 5
    • Facebook qwertyuip
      No. I didn't mean that. Firstly be prepared for slower growth and less compensation. These two things should never be the reason for depression. Secondly get a break for like 3-4 months and then start again in FAANG as a senior tech lead.
      Aug 28, 2019
    • Amazon snsnwiq
      op. please ignore the above Facebook joke. if you can survie the fast growing startup, then todays fb is nothing.
      Aug 29, 2019
  • Microsoft !MSFT
    OP - You’ve done better than most in the industry. Congrats!

    Look up FMLA and see if you are eligible and if it makes sense in your situation. Good luck!
    Aug 29, 2019 1
    • New Megal
      This ☝️. Explore FMLA
      Aug 29, 2019
  • Netflix agkW36
    Why are you burned out, how many hours you’ve spent working for the past few years? Tell us more pls
    Aug 28, 2019 1
    • OP
      At the beginning (first 3 years) I was working a lot, easily pulling 60h a week and I was super happy because I was feeling productive and a sense of purpose. Seriously I can’t remember being frustrated by long hours. I kept production systems up and running at all hours and coded til evening every day.

      Over the past two years or so I have checked out and I rarely do more than 40 a week, occasionally 45. I have no sense of purpose, like I said I am not growing because all that’s expected from me is to give context to other people about how technical things are done (sort of a inter team tech lead). I just stay here for that virtual TC.

      And even if I were offered better work, I am too resentful because after working for so many years execs have been churning a lot and the new ones are taking a lot of risks with what I feel is the majority of my net worth since that’s all locked in my equity, so I have this weird mental state where I really don’t wan to contribute anymore to the success of the company, I just want it to be over so I can cash out. They could sell (we’ve had acquisition offers) but they don’t, they just want to keep going, and they’ll likely fuck it up. We are hiring too quickly and the Bay Area talent pool is too competitive so we are hiring very inexperienced engineers who can’t tell their head from their ass.
      Aug 28, 2019


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