Why I’m Ready To Go Back To Work After…

I awoke to a very telling dream this morning.

One that was both startling and revealing of my truest inner thoughts.

It made me want to focus on my work again and got me thinking deeply about life.

Before I get into it, I do have to say that taking a year off has been totally necessary for me.

But If I’m honest, I’m beginning to long for more again.

On the personal side, I’m back to my old self again. Maybe I’m a tad immature now (haha), but I’ve managed to avoid all the things in life that force people to grow up anyways.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog, but I’ve got no kids, no mortgage, no car payment, no insurance, and I’m not even in the same galaxy as most when it comes to my thoughts on marriage.

All this was intentional though. I haven’t wanted to grow up yet.

On the other hand, I also realize that I could easily adapt and get practical if need be.

I could adjust the same way I’ve had to in other aspects of life.

One things for sure though. The more I blog and the longer I’m off the more I’m back to being one of the dapperlifestyle boys I once was.

For those that don’t know, I’m referring to dapperlifestyle, which was an earlier blog of mine.

In essence, it was a blog about music, fashion, up-and-coming artists, and stuff we thought was cool.

I’m not becoming like that again, no. I’ve realized that I’ve actually always been like that.

I just got sidetracked along the way.

Howbeit, every part of the journey has been a necessary part of the process.

It’s all led me to this post I’m writing today.

That said, my behaviour has been a little bizarre lately.

I’ve been saying a lot of random shit on Twitter recently because I no longer see a need for a filter.

What was interesting, though, was that I received a random email yesterday from a fellow who was concerned about my behaviour.

I have to mention how incredible of a person he is.

Imagine there were more people in the world that would take time out of there own day to concern themselves with others?

Not even others, total strangers actually.

I’m sure all those senseless shootings would decrease. And there would be less of the trivial bullshit we all face in life every day.

But unfortunately, that’s just not the planet we live on nowadays.

Be that as it may, I do want to take this opportunity to point out that I’m fine.

I’m totally ok guys.

In fact, from a personal standpoint, I’m the best I’ve ever been.

All of the hardships I’ve faced have led to a more improved sense of who I am.

It’s made me fall back to the things I like.

Though I do like being frugal and growing my dividend income, I care so much more about the quality of day-to-day life.

My new strategy is to find the right combination of both.

But I gotta be honest with you, buds, I’m starting to really care about MONEY again.

And it’s my interests as well as the lifestyle I want that is the driving force behind it.

Here are 5 reasons I’m ready to go back:

Why I’m Ready To Go Back To Work After Taking A Year Off Click To Tweet

Fall Fashion

One of the main reasons I want to go back to work, believe it or not, is fall fashion.

I’ve realized, to an intense degree recently, how much I care about clothes.

You see, I live in Toronto and it’s jam packed with beautiful women, bearded hipsters and stylish wealthy folks.

I know it’s not smart to keep up with the Joneses, but I’ve always thought of fashion as an art form.

The ensemble selected on a particular day embodies so much about how we feel. It identifies how the weather is on that day. The colours chosen reflect the mood. And the effort to try hard or try less says a lot too.

There was a point yesterday where I was out on a stroll and saw some trendy looking MF’er in a burgundy classic lapel coat.

I instantly wanted it. I wanted to walk into the closest store and shop right away actually.

However, given the fact that I’m mostly trying to preserve capital now, that would be an insane thing to do.

If I’m telling you the truth, though, new clothes make me feel 100 times better about myself.

Maybe I’m a vain person, but whatever, there’s nothing like putting on new clothes and crushing the day.

Pressure Of Success

You know what? I’m not an emotionless cyborg.

I do feel the pressure and condescension from others coming my way.

All in all, I really don’t care because I have my own vision of what I want.

However, I’ve always been attracted to success.

I want to hang around people that have achieved more than me.

It sucks in a way, but we live in a money focussed and status orientated society.

And realistically, people with similar achievements in life mesh much better than those in lopsided relationships.

It’s just easier to relate.

Furthermore, I’m not really that basic of a guy. I’ve always wanted to be successful and financially independent.

There are still many things that require money in my life.

Things like trips and being able to elude the bitter cold Canadian winters.

Admittedly, the pressure of success is beginning to eat at me.

I’m Not A Full-Time Blogger Yet

Obviously I’d love to stay home and blog full-time, but I haven’t figured it all out yet.

I’ve learned a ton about blogging over the last 10 months, however, I’ve still got a long way to go.

Every bloggers journey is different. Some are successful in under a year and others take 2-to-5 years.

Going forward I know what I need to do.

I need to step up my Pinterest game since it seems to be the ultimate traffic generator for bloggers.

Further, and although this is a personal blog, I need to offer more value.

Lastly, I need to get more aggressive with freelance writing and stick to more of a posting schedule.

I’m still very set on eventually reaching a place where I can call myself a full-time blogger.

Now though, it will become more of a side hustle the same way it is for most bloggers out there.

Dividend Income

I’ve stated countless times on this blog that I’m extremely progressive in nature.

It’s been hard to just neglect my dividend portfolio.

You see, for nearly 5 years I was adding to it religiously with every single payday.

But now, I haven’t added to it in a year.

I’ve even depleted some of it to be honest.

However, the good news is that I’m still on pace to grow my dividend income over 2015.

Even after taking the entire last year off…

I keep meaning to write the dividend income report for August, but every time I make an attempt, the writing comes out another way.

For the record though, dividend income was up in August, and I’m still planning to publish a post discussing it.


One of the strangest outcomes resulting from my year off is that I like being around people again.

It may not seem like it from my online presence, but I’m a very quiet guy.

If you met me in person I probably wouldn’t say a word.

But that seems to be changing too.

For some reason, I like people again.

I’ve realized that I met a lot of cool people while working in the finance industry. I’ve met some of the best people of my life while working at jobs earlier in my career.

Frankly, it’s one of the best ways to get to know people. Especially for introverts.

Because you’re forced to be around a select group and work together for a specified amount of hours per week.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I miss it a little bit.

The online community is great, but I can’t really hang out with y’all.

Most of the readers are coming from the U.S. and I’m no travel blogger, so that’s out of the question.

Hopefully one day I can sit down with a few of you for a beer. Wouldn’t that be great?

Moreover, I’ve kept a close circle most of my life, but after this year long excursion, my lust for engagement is seemingly at an all time high.

Question: What’s the driving force, besides shelter and food, why you go to work? What makes you tick? Do you think time-off work could make you more grateful?

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  • TJ

    Your reasons make perfect sense! Are you going to try to get back into the finance industry or try something different?

    My answer is I’ve always worked because I never imagined not working. Work is just what adults do. That’s not a good reason to work, though I suppose it’s a bit of luxury to have a “right” reason to work.

    I always wanted to try working at a different type of company where I would have more peers vs. where I’m a quasi-management figure. As an introvert, I feel like work would be a place that I could very easily make friends in a more organic way.

    I’m hoping that by removing work from my life for a year, and the associated work coping mechanisms, that I’ll be able to better focus on answering that question about what makes me tick. Even better if it makes me feel more grateful.

    At the moment i get excited about work because I know it increases the stash for the road trip.

    1. Graham

      Hi TJ,
      I’ve been looking at a variety of different work, finance jobs included. My preference is to work in an area where I can use some of the skills I’ve been using on this blog. I also studied business marketing during school so maybe something in the realm of social media.

      For me, I worked after school to begin paying off my student loan. I never really thought I’d ever take a year off. It just kind of happened.

      And I completely agree about having peers to work with. It would be nice to have a less micro-managed environment too.

      I think the year off will do you good. You’ll have time to think and time to spend time on the things that matter. I found it to be a natural progression. The things you like will just start making sense.

      That’s a good feeling to have. I honestly might work for a period of time again, then take more time off. Best of luck TJ 🙂

  • Mustard Seed Money

    Congrats on knowing what your next step in life should be.

    Currently I work because I want to reach FIRE in five years. I want to be able to maximize the amount of time that I spend with my kids and my wife.

    So it’s a trade off of spending time at working for the next five years so I can spend the rest of time with them.

    1. Graham

      Hi Mustard Seed Money,
      Thanks for commenting! It is great knowing the what the next step will be.
      I love that you have such a defined goal of 5 years. It’s also great that you already know how you want to spend your time.
      It’s definitely a trade off, but an easy one. I bet you go to work feeling great every day because of the direction and purpose. Thanks again 🙂

  • Jeff

    Thanks for the candid article, Graham. It’s neat to have watched your thinking evolve over the last year. And,given my own experiences working a job I like, I’m confident you’ll still be able to find something meaningful that you enjoy. The banks are not the only place to work! Hopefully you can find a company that shares some of your values.

    Along the same lines, I once heard an interview with the author of “The Happiness Equation” and he said that work gives us 4 S’s we can enjoy: Stimulation (intellectual challenges), Story (fulfillment and narrative), Social (friends!) and Structure (routine and normalcy). So on those dreary Monday mornings when I’m not super enthusiastic about going to the office I try and remember the positive things I get from work. When I changed my thinking from something I “have” to do, vs. something I “get” to do it has had a big impact. I hope that could make a difference for you too (especially combined with your ongoing side hustle).

    1. Graham

      Hey Jeff,
      There’s definitely been an evolution to my thinking in the last year. It’s cool that you’ve been one of the commenters offering trading tips and other advice along the way.

      I promise you I still like investing and stocks too by the way. I’m going to get back to that at some point. Whether it be on this blog or another, I want to continue the dividend reports. I want to eventually get more candid with those too.

      That said, appreciate the vote of confidence. I feel the same way lol I’ve always been a good worker whenever I was working.

      And as usual, thanks for sharing another interview! That sounds like it makes a ton of sense. I really liked when you said ( “I “have” to do, vs. something I “get” to” ). That way of looking at things changes everything. I’ve been even relating to that more everyday right now with blogging. I realize things are about to change, but I’m looking forward to it. Thanks brother!

  • Dividends Down Under

    Graham I’m excited for you, being excited by any new change/direction is a great feeling. Please keep us updated on the journey towards going back to work.

    The one thing you might struggle with is having to take a bit of a step-back from the blog, it’s hard to do when you’re used to a certain level of productivity on the blog. We’ve had a few changes in our life recently and have had to really evaluate the amount of time we can commit to the blog now (don’t worry, we’re not slipping into the darkness). It’s hard to balance all of the aspects of life! especially when you’re building/working towards something bigger.


    1. Graham

      Hey Jasmin,

      Thanks for commenting! I agree. I’m looking forward to the change.

      It’s going to be very hard for me to take a step back from the blog, but I’ll probably have to a little bit. It should force me to be productive with the free time I have. It’ll be a challenge for sure.

      When I read, “We’ve had a few changes in our life recently and have had to really evaluate the amount of time we can commit to the blog now”, I was worried for a second. I thought the next line was going to say you and Tristan were calling it quits. I’m glad you’re not!

      It is difficult. But at least this time I can look for a job I’m allowed to blog at. The last one required approval. Thanks again 🙂

  • Ditching The Grind

    Graham, that was quite an interesting exchange with one of the commenters above. I’ve only had one snarky comment before, but not quite to that extent.

    FWIW, I think it’s pretty inspiring that you decided to take a step back from the corporate world for a year to find yourself and do your own thing. Like you said, you prepared yourself financially to do this. It’s not like you’re mooching off anyone.

    As far as work goes, I definitely feel where you’re coming from. I’m a little over two months into a mini-retirement of sorts. I have that same drive to be successful, but I can’t see going back to a traditional work environment. It’s just not for me. I’m exploring options every day and who knows what will happen.

    1. Graham

      Hey DTG,
      Yeah, that was an interesting exchange. I could’ve chosen not to publish it, however, I found it bizarre that someone would even take time out of their day to write that. If you don’t like it then you don’t have to read it.

      I realize it probably looks like a crazy ex-gf situation but it’s definitely not. After looking into it further, let’s just say I understand the situation a little better. Something I said must have offended people I’ve crossed paths with before. I was surprised this commenter even cares the slightest bit about my life. I’m also surprised how well they think they know me. I’ve never met that commenter or those that she associates with in my life. I understand the connection, but none of my posts are meant to be malicious. None of them target specific people. I write what I’m inspired to write and a lot of things go into that.

      And thanks for seeing things the same way I do. Why not take a year off to try something different. I’ve had a chance to meet so many other cool liked-minded people online such as yourself. I think I’ve got a foundation for a community started on this blog. I’ve had a fun year to say the least.

      Hope all is going well with your mini-retirement. And I’m with you on more of a flexible lifestyle. I’m still looking for something different. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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  • T@TheTirelessWorker.com

    Personally for me, I feel that in life its most important to be happy. I know money is important and we shouldn’t spend on things that might seem vain or unimportant to others.

    However we are all different, we all have different interests, passions and opinions. There is not one fixed route to follow that will make us all happy. What works for someone else might not work for you.

    So I applaud you in having the courage to do what you want. Oh and err, welcome back to work!

    1. Graham

      Hey T,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      I agree 100% on being happy. Of course we all have to be practical and money cannot simply be disregarded, but life is too short to chase dollars. Money won’t do anything for you without health or happiness.
      And you’re exactly right on the different paths. That’s one of the advantage of getting older–you realize that life is not cookie cutter and you can make it whatever you want. Everyone’s path is different and that’s why comparing yourself to others makes no sense. The only person to compare yourself to is your former self.
      Thanks for the support! It was quite the eye-opening experience. One that will stay will me going forward. Thanks for the warm welcome back 🙂

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