Some background first:

I'm an engineering graduate but I don't enjoy it (Family, culture, economy made me chose it). Previously, I've worked as an engineer at another company for a year. I liked the culture here. Pretty laid-back and the engineering challenges are not insanely difficult to overcome. So, I tolerated working here.

However, I've got a much better offer from another engineering company (3 times my previous salary) and I've jumped ship to here. Little did I know that this company's culture is brutal with its long working hours (10-11 hours working day despite the official one being 8 hours) and the massive amounts of difficult engineering work dumped on me daily with very tight deadlines. This coupled with my 1 hour commute to work is slowly driving me insane although I've only been working here for a month. I've totally regretted my decision.

I've always wanted to leave the engineering industry some day and try teaching. But of course I would have to take a big hit to my income. Being a teacher would pay even less than my first engineering job but my work-life balance would be way better (in my country anyway) and I would be doing something that I actually liked.

I don't have much savings because I'm a big spender (I have to change this bad habit of mine) but I have no debt and not yet married. Should I take this leap of faith? Any precautions I should take?

  • We can't make a choice for you. – user85135 Jan 28 '19 at 2:02
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    leave high stress/high pay for high stress/low pay? Unsure it's the best idea. Are you qualified/certified as a teacher in any way? – Kilisi Jan 28 '19 at 2:37
  • Take the steps to become a teacher (become qualified to teach) in your spare time. You must also determine if you can afford the difference in salary. Based on the fact you don’t have a lot of savings and it sounds like spend what you do make, you might want to seriously think about your choice. – Donald Jan 28 '19 at 5:25
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    Teachers do not have a good work/life balance at all. Yes the hours might officially be 8h per day, but you cannot just up and stop reviewing exams and homework articles just because the hours are full. And the summers are spent preparing for the next study year. Not to mention self-learning. – Juha Untinen Jan 28 '19 at 6:44
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    If you have no savings after increasing your salary by 200%, after working more hours each day (thus having less time to spend it), you actually have a very huge spending problem... – Nelson Jan 29 '19 at 1:10

Any precautions I should take?

You noted two important details:

  1. "I would have to take a big hit to my income. Being a teacher would pay even less than my first engineering job."

  2. "I don't have much savings because I'm a big spender (I have to change this bad habit of mine) but I have no debt and not yet married."

While understandably you want to get out of a stressful job, it's likely you're not thinking things completely through. You're a big spender who's about to switch careers, make only 1/3 of your current salary and you don't have significant savings. I would start saving money first until you have at least 3 months of living expenses saved (or better yet 6 months).

Should I take this leap of faith?

Have you been a teacher in your country before? I really love teaching (both my parents were teachers too), but as a career, in my country, lacks work-life balance and pays very poorly when compared with my software engineer job. I teach as a side gig while my day job as software engineer pays the bills. I find the side gig route more fulfilling because it's purely optional fun for me. Some people believe that you should do what you love as a job, but to me jobs aren't inherently fun.

Given what you've listed, I recommend you find something part time to explore this teaching side. You definitely should save some money before you embark on dramatically changing your career.


The short answer is: we cant make decisions for you.

I'm a firm believer in following your passions, as long as your lifestyle can fit into whatever that career change is. If you are unhappy and as you say 'slowly going insane' then maybe a change is what you need.

Have you considered any other career changes? Perhaps going back to your old employer or spending some time applying to other similar jobs that are less demanding?

Overall, you need to make this choice yourself. It might be helpful to do a very old fashioned and kinda cliche move: a pros and cons list of all of the possible decisions you could make. Really think through your choice before making it.

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