Is it wise to quit and learn a new language?

My situation: 24 years old. BA and MSc in Accounting and Finance from an average university. Approaching 2 years of work experience in financial services audit with a big 4 firm. Passed CFA Level 1 (and hopefully 2).

At the moment, I’d say I’m earning and saving relatively well. Due for promotion and a raise. I did have to work hard and sacrifice alot to get where I am so I appreciate being able to work especially in the current economic situation.

However, despite all this, I’m not sure if continuing in 2013 is the best use of my time. My work can sometimes get very demanding. During the busy season, I was averaging 10 or 11 hours per day at the office and all I could look forward to when coming home were the CFA Level 2 books. Lately, I’ve been feeling really burnt out / bored / disinterested at work. I have absolutely no social life (I mean that!) and am not known for keeping in touch with friends. This was the cost I was prepared to accept for career progress - but didn’t realize how costly this would be until I actually experienced it.

Now that the workload is less, I’m reconsidering whether this the type of life I really want or if I should try to develop the other areas. What I had in mind was going back to university to learn a language for a year, try to join some societies and get to know people, learn to drive, and generally just take care of all the other areas of life I neglected in the name of professional progress. Some will agree, some will think I’m crazy.

Cons: I would forego some good money. I face the uncertainty of having no job at the end.

Pros: I’m free :slight_smile: .I can hopefully learn a new language and use that to boost my CV along with the extra curricular activities. I can focus more on the other areas of life, do the things I keep putting off.

Would appreciate if someone with more life experience could comment on my situation. Thanks.

if you want to learn a new language, request an intercompany transfer to a foreign country don’t quit your job unless you have another job lined up — some companies also allow people to take a 6mo - 24 mo sabbatical or LOA — if you really want to learn a language or go to the university, make sure your job is still there when you finish.

I work for a Big 4 firm too. If you have 2 years of experience, I’m guessing you’re about to be promoted to senior, which means pay bump and looks better on your resume when you leave. Do you have your CA/CPA yet? If not, I’d stick it out and take it like a b*tch in audit, as my friends would say, and then just look for a new job once you have that credential. Also why quit during summer? If you don’t care about leaving on good terms, quitting in December is the way to go.

You don’t need to go to school to learn a language. If you have the work ethic to get yourself through the CFA curriculum, you can teach yourself a language with the right resources. I know for a fact this is doable, but the CFA puts a major hurdle in the way.

I would probably stay the rest of the year and take it during the summer and winter. Are you saying it looks bad to leave in December?

I’d have to agree, quitting your job to learn a language is not the best plan of action. Learn on the job, or after hours, but don’t quit to do it.

“learn a language for a year, try to join some societies and get to know people, learn to drive, and generally just take care of all the other areas of life I neglected in the name of professional progress”

It seems like you should be able to do these things without quitting your job. I agree that some outside activities are healthy, but you’ll just get more stressed out when you’re unemployed in a year or so from now.

Don’t quit – just try to learn a language in your spare time. Rosetta Stone software is pretty solid, but the best way to learn is ust to practice with someone that’s fluent in the language you want to learn. Best is if English is their second or third language and you can practice your English with them.

I repeat, don’t quit your job outright – you may think that working sucks, but unemployment is even worse.

I appreciate the candid responses. When I wrote this post I was a bit overwhelmed. There are days when I feel I’ve had enough and then there are others where I think could stick it out another year.

I see why quitting just to learn a language is bad trade. But the thing is, there are times where I really just don’t feel like putting up with it … and I’ve put up with a fair amount already.

Dont quit unless you have a better plan. I have done it so I know. It took me lots of hardship to get back on my feet.

It looks like you need a hobby. In every job, there are long hours and short hours. you just need to balance it. When you have good days like now, go for a vacation or join gym, yoga or dance class.

I can imagine one might feel the suffocating monotony of a job at some point…but do remember there are many many people willing to take your place at any point in time…so maybe it would be better to just hang in there until you get your qualification and attain a more senior role before breaking away…you will regret it otherwise!

OK. Someone who’s experienced it. I’'m defintely gonna have another think through it all. Interesting that you say I shouldn’t do it unless I have a better plan.

I was thinking of looking for a job more related to investing but don’t if jumping ship will really help. Anyway, just gonna take it day day.

I also wanted to learn a new language, Russian. So, I quit my job in Turkey (I hated the job and yes, it was auditing) and found a job in Russia in a Turkish company that doesnt require russian in the begining. It is much smaller company, but gives me a chance to know Russia and Russian markets. So, my advice, if you really have a plan to learn a new language, get a job in the country whose language you want to learn, even if the job is not that prestigious. Do not just go back to university to learn a new language. Suprisingly, I also gave a thought to it when I was working in PwC, but concluded that it wasnt a wise decision. I definitely advise you learning a new language, but only while working. Otherwise, your marginal benefit will be low because the employers will not appreciate the 1 year or so unemployment, even if you learn a new language during this period. Additionally, you won`t be able to learn a new language in a year unless you live in a foreign country and I am telling you from experience. Good luck!

Good advice on this thread.

Here is my contribution: l really don’t mean to be an ass, but do not overestimate the value on your CV of speaking a language at a basic level. IMO, to get past basic level skill in a language, you need to live in that country for a while and be forced to speak the language.