Just about everyone wants to say “I QUIT” to their boss. But what do you do if your boss asks you if you are going to quit and retire early?
Well, this happened to me recently.
Successful business owners realize that it takes a team of people to be successful in running a business. You should not solely rely on yourself to run and build your business. You never know when the next deal or idea might come up from someone you would never have expected.
Talking about your business is something that you must do if you are going to get ahead in business. Because you tend to talk about your business a lot with other people, word may get back to your employer that you plan to quit your job soon.
If you are creating a real estate investing business, creating a blog or podcast, or even writing books, you need other people on your team if you want your business to grow quickly. When you invest in rental properties, talking about your business just becomes a part of your natural language. Conversations tend to lead back some type of networking to how your business is doing, your plan for the future, and how you can etc.
Since most people retire around the ripe old age of 68, your plan to retire at the age of 35 will come as a shock to most people. Your coworkers can have a variety of different reactions to finding out about your plans. Some coworkers may be very happy for you, others may be very envious and look to harm your future with your employer. In either case, you need to prepare in advance what’s going to happen when you’re coworkers find out about your plan and then tell your boss.
How are you going to handle the awkward conversation when your boss asks you “I heard a rumor that you are going to quit soon.”?
Funny thing is that this just happened to me. Recently, my boss called me into his office and asked me to shut the door so we can discuss something. Apparently someone informed him that I was planning on quitting my job in the months to come. I personally don’t care who, what, or how my boss found out. He did, and that is all that matters. It does come as a shock to people since I will retire 30 years earlier than most people. Even though my boss and coworkers will probably read this blog post, it has no bearing on anything that I’m doing.
So let’s move forward!
It is no secret that I have been investing in real estate for over 10 years and everyone that I work with knows that I invest in rental properties. In fact when I first got hired at my current place of employment, I was specifically asked about my investment properties. I didn’t hide anything and never desired to. I even put down on my resume that I own a business that invests in rental properties. I even included my previous retail business that I started, I owned for four years, and then successfully sold.
My employer knew that I had many businesses and projects outside of my job before they hired me and they were fine with it. Even though they knew that I had businesses outside of my job, I never directly told them my plan to quit. I figured, why rock the boat? There was no need to tell them my plan so I kept it to myself. With my blog though, many people would be able to see my plan so I was prepared for the inevitable conversation with my boss.
When it comes time for you to have this conversation, be ready with these things in mind.
Decide What You Are Going to Say In Advance
Before you get to that conversation with your boss, know what you’re going to say before him. The last thing you want to do is going to this conversation making things up as you go. It may not be necessary to role-play, but be ready to respond how you feel best fits your situation.
I knew beforehand my answer to the question “Are you quitting sometime in the near future?”
“Yes and I am very blessed to be able to do so!”
Since I had already put my plan on my blog it was easy to be open and honest.Your situation may be different though. Your boss and coworkers may not have any clue what you’re going or how well you’re doing. I was straightforward and honest about my business and told the truth about everything. I personally believe there is no reason to lie even if my boss would try to fire me.
Analyze Your Current Employment
There are two things you need to look at when you analyze your employment.
Your job and your boss. Each job is different and each boss will have a different reaction to your plan to quit your job. Let’s start with what type of job you have him what company you work for.
There are generally two different types of jobs you can have: private sector and public-sector. If you work in the public sector, local, state, and federal government jobs, then you should not have anything to worry about. It is as if the public sector jobs are a protected class. The government does not like to fire people because they do not want to get sued.
I have worked in the public sector for over 14 years and have seen many people who should be fired, work year after year until they retire at age 68. There are many employees in the public sector that I would never hire and more than likely would never keep a job in the private sector. I will say though that there are many good employees that work in the public sector but these are far and few between.
If you work in the private sector, it is much easier for your employer to fire you. Depending on what state you live in, it may be easy for your employer to fire you. In California for example, the state is an at will employment state. This means an employer can hire or fire for any or no reason. (As long as it’s not discrimination). So if you work in a private sector company that does not have a union, you are at risk of your employer finding some way to fire you to get someone that will be more of a long-term employee.
The other factor you need to think about is who your boss is.
Is your boss the type that is easy-going and wants what’s best for you, or is your boss someone who only looks out for themselves? Does your boss take all the credit for the good work you do? Does he blame others when he screws up?
If your boss is the type that takes all the credit and place all the blame, then I would be fairly concerned if I were you. You may have a boss who is insecure and selfish and fire you when he figures finds out that you plan to quit. If your boss is a leader who gives all the credit and takes all the blame, you may be in good hands. If your boss desires the best for you, he may take it well and be encouraged by you.
The Human Relations Department Could Help Out
The human relations department is there to help you will do everything they can to make sure that you keep your job. If for some reason your boss wants to fire you because you plan to quit in a year, you have them to keep your boss playing by the rule-book.
The HR department try’s to keep the company from getting sued so they are always watching to protect from any miss-steps of their employees. The HR department is there to protect your rights from your employer. They should keep everything that you say confidential and not tell your boss. Even though that’s the case, you need to be very selective on whom you trust with your secret.
Just remember that they are not your friend. They work for the employer too and they want to keep their job. They keep their job by keeping the company out of lawsuits. Get information out of them but don’t consider them on your side.
I suggest asking questions that hint around your plan without actually divulging your plan to HR representative. When you talk with them, you don’t have to be specific.
You could ask questions like,
“As I plan for my retirement in the future, should I worry about my boss being upset that I am going to retire and fire me?”
“If my boss is trying to fire me for an unfounded reason, what recourse do I have?”
“How am I protected from unlawful termination?”
As always, your situation is different than everyone else and so you have to figure out the best strategy for your situation. A great head start would be for you to grab the employee manual and/or personnel manual for your company to read for yourself the policies that are in place for your job. You may get all your questions answered by reading the policy without having anybody get suspicious.
Honesty is the best policy
When it comes time for that awkward conversation with your boss, honesty is the best policy. Lying about you quitting your job will not make anything better. It might even make things worse.
If you have integrity and are upfront and honest with your boss, he may be surprised that you are .
I had thought about this conversation for a long time and knew what I was already going to say to my boss when he asked me about quitting my job. When my boss asked me about my retirement, I told him the truth. “Yes I am absolutely planning on retiring early because my rental properties and passive income make me enough money so that I don’t have to work anymore.”
I was asked a few more questions about my plan but all in all, it was a fine conversation and one that was almost easy-going. I personally am glad that my boss knows that I’m quitting early because of my rental properties. I shared with him all of my investments and plan to retire early because I really enjoy helping people to understand how great passive income is and how anyone can do it.
Say As Little As Possible
You don’t owe your boss an explanation for anything outside of work that you do that does not hurt the company. You also don’t need to give your life story if you do not want. If you feel like keeping your cards close to your chest (poker term for not showing what you have in your hand) then you don’t have to.
Keep the conversation lose and “matter-of-fact”. The conversation could be like this:
Boss: “So, there is a rumor that you plan to quit sometime in the near future.”
Boss: “Can you tell me when so I don’t get taken off guard?”
You: “Sure. Within a year or two. How much notice would you want me to give?”
Boss: “A couple months would be great.”
You: “No problem. Bye.”
It is up to you how much you want to share about your plans. It is your life and you are free to make your decisions the way you want.
Be Ready for Retaliation
What if you have a boss that is vindictive and resentful of your success? There are plenty of horrible bosses out there that only care about themselves and use people for their own benefit. If your boss is this type of horrible human being then you need to be ready for him to do everything he can to fire you before you have a chance to quit your job.
First thing is to keep it a secret as long as you can.
Take it from me, creating a blog, writing a book, and telling people that you are going to quit your job in six months is not the best way to keep it a secret. 🙂
Even though it’s hard to not talk about all the great things are going on, do your best to keep those things only to those that are closest to you will keep your secret. Only share with people that are outside of your normal community of friends and coworkers to build your business.
Set Your Date and Stick to It
You have no obligation to stay any longer than you desire. You may have a job where your boss believes he really needs you to keep the business running.
If that were the case, then he should pay you more!
No matter how much your boss wants you to stay working there for the next 20 years, you need to resist it. I would personally only continue working if I got two things:
- The job was on my terms. I could make my own schedule, come and go as I please, and make sure my work gets done better than if I was working there 40+ hours a week.
- If got paid for what I believe I am worth, not what my employer believes I am worth.
You should get paid for the value you bring, not the hours you put in.
Your life is your life and it should not revolve around your job.
Only when you are a business owner, building your own business, should your life revolve around your business.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Knowing that being fired prematurely is always a possibility. You need to have a backup plan ready to implement in case you do get fired before you quit.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Without a backup plan you may get stuck without a job as you are building your passive income business. As I’ve explained many times, it is hard to get financing for rental property when you do not have a W-2 job that brings in earned income.
Your personal situation is different than everyone else so having a backup plan can only be developed by you around your situation.
Example: My backup plan
Build my business as fast as possible.
Educate myself on more ways to make money in real estate outside of rental properties.
Know how to make cash quick from buying and selling houses.
Know what items I can sell that I do not need in my life and downsize.
Be ready to move out of my house and move into a smaller home that costs less.
Rent out my current home to make more income to pay for the smaller home.
Network with as many other investors as possible to possibly partner on deals.
Develop other streams of passive income through blogs, podcasts, books, etc.
Know where you have the possibility to get a job to earn some income while your business grows.
Don’t Burn Bridges. Unless you really want to…
No matter what situation you find yourself in with your job, do your best to never burn any bridges. Burning a bridge is effectively making sure your employer would never hire you again.
You never know what life may throw you and you possibly could go back to employer and ask for your job back if necessary. It may be wise to have the ability to go back to your job in the event that something unexpected happened with your passive income business.
You also never know where your next deal or partner may come from. Your employer, coworkers, or customers may be a great opportunity for you and your passive income business.
A Horrible Job – No return.
It could be the case where you KNOW you should never work this job again and you want to make sure of it.
Think of an army going into enemy territory. As the army goes over one bridge to engage the enemy, they burn down the bridge so there is no retreat. The only option is to move forward and conquer the next area. They burned each bridge after they crossed it.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
If you need to make money and can’t go back to your original job, then you will probably work hard at inventing other ways to make money. In your passive income business, you may just need to burn some bridges as you go to make sure that the only option is to press on and build a successful business.
It seems inevitable to me that your boss will find out that you plan to quit your job before you hit retirement age. The best advice I can give is for you to think through the conversation before you actually have it. When you have already thought through the conversation, you will not be caught off guard and be put on the defensive.
One other thing is; don’t sweat it.
Don’t worry about your boss finding out. Don’t let that stop you from building your passive income business to quit your job. If you let that stop you then you have already failed. You will never know what it’s like to not have to work for someone ever again.
What is your plan for that awkward conversation with your boss?
Leave me a comment below to let me know.