Ask For a Demotion and Retire Rich
One of my friends recently took a $20k pay cut – and she couldn’t be happier.
Jess had spent years climbing the corporate ladder. A few months ago, she was holding the title of “Commercial Partnerships Executive” for the Collingwood Football Club – and earning close to six figures.
But she wasn’t happy. In fact, she was seriously unhappy. Many nights, she went home in tears, thinking: “Is this really all there is?”
Jess described herself as a middleman between the CFC and its corporate sponsors. Her job was to make both parties look good – and make her club some serious dosh in the process.
Her days were dictated by latte-laden “meetings”, while her evenings and weekends were chewed up by wanky functions and fundraisers.
Then one day, she decided she couldn’t do it any longer.
So, she went to her boss and asked for a transfer – to the HR department. She’s now “HR Partner” for the CFC.
Of course, some people struggled to understand her career change. Why would you throw away such an amazing job for a role in HR?
It’s a valid point.
From the moment you start your career, you’re expected to worker harder and want more – all in pursuit of “reaching the top”.
But what happens if, once you get there, you realise it isn’t what you want?
You have two choices. You can stay in the top-dog role and be miserable, or you can ask for a demotion.
“Demotion” is a dirty word in some circles, but it needn’t be. Especially as you’re nearing retirement. In fact, this is the time when you should be asking for a demotion.
Getting demoted will free you up for bigger and better things
Mark Ford retired for the first time when he was 39. He’d spent years working his butt off in the publishing world, which enabled him to set himself up for life.
But he grew bored – real quick – so he came out of retirement.
Rather than recommitting to the nine-to-five slog, he found other ways to occupy his time and continue to build his wealth. He started small businesses, invested in stocks, purchased real estate, grew his art collection… the list goes on.
Would he have had time to do all these things – and grow his wealth to in excess of $60m – if he’d been the CEO of some big company?
By getting out of the office and doing his own thing, Mark was able to build a retirement nest egg that exceeded all his expectations.
You can do this too.
And, surprising as it sounds, your launch pad for all this could be asking for a demotion.
Think about it. The time and energy that would normally go into an executive role can be directed towards other wealth-building strategies. That could be a part-time business, a consultancy, some investments – anything you like.
How to ask for a demotion (and keep your dignity intact)
Asking for a demotion might seem quite daunting, simply because it’s counterintuitive to everything you’ve been taught about the workplace (challenge yourself, look for opportunities to advance, blah, blah, blah).
But, there is a way to do it that’ll minimise any awkwardness (on your part) or confusion (on your boss’s part).
It all comes down to five simple steps:
Step 1. Schedule a meeting with your boss. In this meeting, you’ll need to explain your reasons for wanting a demotion, so make sure you allow a decent chunk of time (half an hour to an hour) for the meeting.
Step 2. Write a letter requesting a demotion, to present to your boss at the meeting. Much like a resignation, a demotion is an official procedure, so you should treat it as such. State the reason/s you wish to be demoted, and close it by thanking your boss for the opportunity to serve in your current position.
Step 3. During the meeting, tell your boss exactly why you want to step down from your current position. Stress the fact you’re still 100% committed to the company, regardless of whichever role you may be transferred to. Your boss will appreciate your honesty.
Step 4. Assure your boss you’ll remain in your current position until they find a replacement. You should offer to do the job for as long as it takes to find a replacement (even if that’s not your preference). Your boss will appreciate your flexibility and cooperation.
Step 5. Confirm the terms of your demotion. Your boss may decrease your salary and revoke any “special access” to certain company resources.
It may seem scary. I get that. But remember, by taking a less stressful, less time-consuming role, you’ll have extra time and energy to build wealth on the side, and give yourself a great shot at creating a much richer retirement for yourself.