Currently I make about €4400 gross a month working as a geologist (salaried employment. THP is €2620). I don’t live in a big city, so monthly expenses are pretty low. At the end of the month, I’m left with ~ €800 that I put into savings, mostly stocks or ETFs. (Another €400 gets put automatically into a state-run retirement insurance, but ignore that for now)
I’m debt free, single, and don’t plan on owning a house for the foreseeable future. I have about €50k in savings. I’m in my early 30s.
Recently, my job has caused me a lot of stress. I do project work for commercial clients and due to the construction boom my boss keeps piling work on my desk no matter how much I tell him that we’re already completely booked up. One of my colleagues has been getting repeatedly sick recently which only adds to the workload, even though I make sure not to go much above 40 hours a week.
I find my mind being occupied by work-related things almost every hour in the evenings, on weekends and during holidays. I’m already prone to anxiety by nature, so it has come to a point where I fear for my long term mental (and physical) health if I continue like this.
I have a few time-intensive hobbies (photography, horse riding, scuba diving), I’d love to travel more, I’d love to learn more (recently bought an Arduino kit) and I’d love to resume dating. But currently all I can muster when I get home is do a bit of household chores, watch some Netflix and Reddit, cook a meal and fall asleep. On the weekends I often drive across the country to visit my Dad, who has been pretty lonely since my Mom died earlier this year.
Sooo…. (sorry for the long rant above, but I felt I needed to get that off my chest first)… I’m thinking of going slightly part-time and cutting my working hours from 40 to 32. This would mean a 4 day work week from Monday to Thursday.
It would also mean losing 20% of my gross salary. Due to progressive tax rates, the loss in take home pay not as big, but at the end of the month I would only be able to invest around €400 instead of €800.
Over the next 30 years, that difference might be millions. But if I continue like this, I probably have a lower life expectancy anyway due to stress.
It could also damage my career and reputation a bit, but I’m not to worried about that. My employer needs me more at this moment than I need my employer. The law gives me the right to reduce my working hours to any amount I wish without the approval of my employer, I just have to announce it 3 months in advance and don’t have an automatic right to return to full time.
What would you do?
Edit: Thanks for the responses! Even if I didn’t get back to every one of you, I did read and enjoyed them all. In hindsight, I probably described my job a bit too negatively, it’s not all bad and also has many benefits. I just wish my boss would be a little better in recognizing our workload. I currently don’t think switching jobs is a good option.