Career Change Ideas – Retire Early


Ian Rowlands

Fed up with the waste he saw in his industry, Ian Rowlands cut back his expenses to allow him to move into work that finally felt right for him. Here’s how he did it, and why, three years in, he’s sure he made the right decision.

What work were you doing previously?

I was working in group homes as a personal support worker.

I cared, supported and ran a range of different daily appointments, such as doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment, shopping and many more.

What are you doing now? I now work as affilaite marketer selling on Amazon, Walmart, EBay and more.

Why did you change?

There were three main reasons.

I wanted to spend more time with my family (working as support worker, meant I was away quite a bit and worked a lot of weekends and evenings); I’d become disillusioned with behaviors of different kinds of individuals in the industry; and I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

I thought about making the change for a few months but finally decided to go for it after go out for a meal with my wife for my birthday about four years ago.

I told her that I’d been researching the role affiliate marketing and was thinking of making a significant career change, which would mean less income and making changes to our lifestyle. When she told me that she would support me 100%, my decision was made.

Are you happy with the change?

Yes, it’s without doubt the best decision I have ever made.

I said to my wife recently that I’m now the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss?

The only thing I miss a little from my previous career is the friendship I missed from co-workers I had on-site together with the individuals we were working to serve.

I don’t miss the long hours, the traveling to and from events daily, staying away from home, dealing with annoying / rude clients and boss, and the stress of daily events.

Basically, I don’t miss the support work industry at all!

How did you go about making the shift?

Due to the stresses and strains of the job I was in, I fell into a vicious spiral of anxiety and mild depression.

I managed to take a step back and realized I couldn’t continue with the way things were going; it was having a very negative effect on me, my wife and my little girl.

I thought back over my life to the times when I’d been at my happiest in regard to work. I realized it was when I’d been teaching out in Taiwan in my early 20s. I’d really enjoyed seeing the kids learn and develop.

I did initially look into primary school teaching but was put off by the number of stories I heard about teachers trying to teach huge classes and leaving the profession after only a couple of years.

I then came across an advert on google ads for affiliate marketing training and started doing some more research into what the role actually entailed. I did a couple of online research and spoke to a few friends, who all suggested I will to become a good affiliate marketer.

After chatting to my wife about making the change, I attended few certification classes online. I got to chat to a range of different people from the platform, several of whom had also made significant career changes, and had been at the company for over ten years.

The role, the training on offer and the chance to make a difference to my family really struck a chord with me. I came away from the open day thinking: “This is what I want to do and this is the organization I want to work for”.

It was then full steam ahead. I filled in an online application form to become a Premium member, attended a one-day few more lessons and was then given the opportunity as a premium member. I took me six months to get my certifications done before handing in my notice at my existing job by then. It was an amazing feeling and I had no doubt in my mind that I was doing the right thing for both myself and my family.

I haven’t looked back since.

What didn’t go well? What ‘wrong turns’ did you take?

I’ve been very lucky in that everything has gone well.

There have been a few moments of self-doubt and slight concerns about the challenges brought by the Covid-19, but I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve found a career and a company that I love working for.

How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?

My wife and I sat down and reviewed all our bills and expenses.

We have to only have the most basic TV package (no Sky Sports), cheapest phone tariff, we shopped at places with lower process rather than other places of higher price cost, we’re more selective about go out, we’ll be holidaying in the Canada rather than going to any far-flung destinations, and we’re just a lot more careful with our weekly expenditure.

Although my salary has effectively halved, it hasn’t actually been that difficult to adjust (a lot of my old salary was going on petrol and eating out – these expenses have significantly decreased as I work at home now).

What was the most difficult thing at your previous career?

The two most difficult things were getting used to working with young people who can demonstrate challenging behavior (kicking, hitting, biting, shouting, etc.) and also working shifts (I either work a morning or an afternoon shift).

What help did you get?

I read a lot of career-change websites and read plenty of articles about being an affiliate marketer.

The training provided has been excellent. It’s given me the skills I need to be an affiliate marketer.

What resources would you recommend to others?

The Wealthy Affiliate website.

I’d also recommend a book called Career Change: Stop Hating Your Job, Discover What You Really Want To Do With Your Life, And Start Doing It, by Joanna Penn.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

I should have made the change sooner.

What have you learn in the process?

I’ve learn that life is way too short to be miserable doing a job that you really don’t enjoy or get any satisfaction from.

I’ve also learn that you really don’t need to earn a huge amount to be happy. Sharing a smile or a laugh is more satisfying than any pay cheque.

And, probably most importantly, time spent with friends and family is the most important commodity in the world and far outweighs any financial reward.

What would you advise others to do in the same situation?

Go for it!

If you’re not happy in your chosen career (particularly if you’re working long hours and not spending quality time with your family) then make the change. Do plenty of research and perhaps volunteer before making the move.

Life is too short to be unhappy.

We caught up with Ian recently to see how his shift was working out, roughly three years on. Here’s what he’s been up to, and the biggest lessons he’s learned.

What work are you doing now, three years on?

I’ve recently started my sixth blogging website.

The main aim of my role now is to help and support others with learning the skills I have acquired.

What’s changed for you in your career since we first published your story?

Initially I’d been working as an affiliate marketer for over three years now.
Each role has taught me a great deal, both about the people I have supported and myself.

How do you feel about your work now?

As far as this new role is concerned, it’s early days, but so far, so good.

Thank you for reading this article, if you do have any questions about it, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer you.

Your Product reviewer & Blogger

John J J


6 thoughts on “Career Change Ideas – Retire Early

  1. This story resonates very well with me, and I believe it does with a lot of people out there. Ian Rowlands has demonstrated that anyone can take the big bold step in a career change despite your present situation. What inspires me most is the fact that the career switch was from a higher income earning job to a lower one, yet he still got the career fulfillment that he wanted.

    Thank you John J J for this enlightening post! I think people should consider affiliate marketing as an alternative career. It gives flexibility and allows one to spend more quality time with family and friends.

    1. Absolutely buddy, online marketing is the future, and learning more about it is a necessity now to learn it. Thank you very much for your comment. Have a great weekend.

  2. Thank You John J j for this article it opened up a can of worms for me am I happy in my current job the answer no, does affiliate marketing appel to yes. Stop Hating Your Job, Discover What You Want To Do With Your Life, And Start Doing It, by Joanna Penn, this quote has genuinely inspired me. I love your story, and Wealthy Affiliate is something I must look in to being a free start-up sounds perfect to see if it for me. 

    Many Thanks   

    1. Definitely it is great to try things out for free before making real decision. Most of the up front price programs are not legitimate. Thank you for your inputs and have a great weekend.

  3. As a home business coach, I love reading stories like yours—people who finally found freedom operating their own home-based business. There’s no place like home and being your own boss is the smartest thing you could ever do with your life. Congratulations! Your story will inspire a lot of people especially those who are beginning to realize there’s more to life than working 9-5 for someone else.

    1. Awesome buddy, it surely feels great to have the freedom of doing your own things at your own time. Thank you very much for your comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *