How do I increase my income? (UK)

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tzxn3
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How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by tzxn3 »

Current income: ~£6,000 per year from part time clerical work (~25 hours per week)
Current expenditure (upper bound): ~£2,500 per year (live with parents rent free with most living expenses paid)

I have a reasonable amount of savings for a person in their early 20s, most of it from gifts and bequests from family, but I also have some student loan debt from a failed attempt at university (repayable on a PAYE basis, I'm currently far below the minimum income requirement to pay anything).

I feel that my biggest weakness is that I lack the ability to dedicate myself to any goal in particular, but nor do I take much pleasure in being idle. I realise that doing nothing to improve my position is itself a choice with an associated cost. However, it's also psychologically the easiest choice. I'm quite lazy and tend to prefer not to exert mental effort if I can help it. [Cutting this paragraph as it may not be entirely accurate?]

If you were in my position, where would you start looking for opportunities, with a view to realising a decent income over the next decade?
Last edited by tzxn3 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

George the original one
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by George the original one »

If it's not mental work you're looking for, then it's labor or sales. Are there factory shifts where you live?

tzxn3
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by tzxn3 »

George the original one wrote:If it's not mental work you're looking for, then it's labor or sales. Are there factory shifts where you live?
I think I would be more suited to mental work than labor or sales, actually.

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Egg
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by Egg »

Join the army, or if you're fit the Royal Marines. Makes lazy boys into men (and gives a sense of direction to the directionless)

Noedig
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by Noedig »

First, define the problem. It's not about making more money, it's about having no motivation and not having launched as an independent being.

I find when in that state, arranging to put myself in a situation that inherently requires I do something, is required. Sufficient to make the default choice "to do" rather than "not to do". This is a technique to circumvent your own tendency to be passive. So, find a job far away and move out, is my 2c, as a catalyst to kickstart your life. I know easier said than done but frankly you are stalled, and know it. The suggestion about joining the forces (well structured environment! no choices to make!) is quite a good one.

tzxn3
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by tzxn3 »

Joining the military is something I have considered on a few occasions, but I came to the conclusion that I would rather not. (I believe I am unlikely to meet the health requirements; various people would find the risk to my life extremely distressing; I'm not ethically comfortable with it.)

The problem may be wider ranging that low income, but low income is the most measurable side effect of the problem. It's more difficult to measure whether I "have motivation", whereas I can be fairly sure I have sufficient motivation if I observe long term upward trends in my income.

George the original one
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by George the original one »

tzxn3 wrote:
George the original one wrote:If it's not mental work you're looking for, then it's labor or sales. Are there factory shifts where you live?
I think I would be more suited to mental work than labor or sales, actually.
LOL, so you better take back your original premise!

JamesR
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by JamesR »

tzxn3 wrote: I feel that my biggest weakness is that I lack the ability to dedicate myself to any goal in particular, but nor do I take much pleasure in being idle. I realise that doing nothing to improve my position is itself a choice with an associated cost. However, it's also psychologically the easiest choice. I'm quite lazy and tend to prefer not to exert mental effort if I can help it.
Sounds like you might be an INTP. Honestly.. try to focus on developing some sort of rare & valuable skill. By developing a skill that's in high demand, you'll have more control over the type of work you can get.

Check out Cal Newport's "So good they can't ignore you"

Personally I used to run Linux on my home computer for fun, then later I got interested in Ruby on Rails (a web dev framework) and did a few side projects, did a short job, and just kept farting around with it off and on over a few years. I was able to get the high-income job I currently have due to having skill in something that's in high demand.

I would figure out what type of work you're interested in, and identify something that's new/upcoming/growing fast/growing demand, and learn that. It doesn't take much to learn it either, a couple of months or so to get a foothold, then could get an entry job in that, and before you know it, you'll be able to start commanding higher salaries based on the demand for that skill. (You'll also find it easier to get that entry job with a small company or startup, then can use that work experience to leverage up - no need for a degree).

Hope that helps!

BeyondtheWrap
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by BeyondtheWrap »

George the original one wrote:
tzxn3 wrote:
George the original one wrote:If it's not mental work you're looking for, then it's labor or sales. Are there factory shifts where you live?
I think I would be more suited to mental work than labor or sales, actually.
LOL, so you better take back your original premise!
Not all mental work requires significant mental effort.

Fiddle
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by Fiddle »

I would suggest you consider what type of work you might like to do for the next 10 years? Then check the occupation types have clear career development opportunities available to experienced competent people in the roles, if they do, pick one and have a go.

With your low cost lifestyle you are in a excellent position to try out different options and see which fits you best.

Noedig
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by Noedig »

I think a certain amount of "just do something and see how it turns out" may be required to bypass your tendency to inertia. For money: perhaps shift work of some type? You do not sound as though you require much work based social interaction (I could of course be mistaken).

Don't give up on the forces idea - you don't have to be a squaddie, there are many support specialities, technical and otherwise, that are not dangerous. Also, spend a few minutes on the job sites and just see what's there. Have you done that? Otherwise, with no information as to your strengths and weaknesses you may be trapped in indecision.

Also: Software tester. With experience this is quite well paid.

saving-10-years
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by saving-10-years »

@tzxn3 at the risk of taking this in a touchy-feely direction can I ask how you are feeling about the University try-out? Was that connected to some career or interest which you have now set aside as unsuited to you or did you simply not like university. Or not like _that_ university. That can happen and may not mean that you cannot or should not do what you went to Uni to do. What did you think you were going to be doing for a career at that time. Why did you think that? True love? School pressure? Peer pressure (its what's expected nowadays)? Parental pressure? Why have you changed your mind and what does that tell you about what you want to do now.

If you think that you would like to do the academic stuff but are scared off by the fees then you could look at working for a university. They will generally pay for you to study while working there. Its not high pay and you will need to be disciplined to study while working. Staying with parents can be a good thing financially as long as it helps your saving and you have access to good jobs within easy commute. And you get on with them. I imagine that if you live down South it could be the only way to have somewhere to live without drawing housing benefit (on your current income). But its not a long term solution.

Good luck.

tzxn3
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by tzxn3 »

@saving-10-years I signed up to do chemistry when I would rather have been doing mathematics; I didn't understand what I was getting for the £9,000 per year tuition differential between the UK and continental Europe aside from the privilege of being able to delay developing another language for a few years, and getting a more prestigious name on my degree.

If I could get fees waived for working at a university I would consider it, but I don't know where I'd find such opportunities.

(Searching for/finding opportunities is one of my weaknesses.)

saving-10-years
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by saving-10-years »

@tzxn3 If you go to jobs.ac.uk you can look at the jobs available at your local unis and see what the terms and conditions say and what rates of pay are (they tend to be standard across unis) and what the terms are. To become a more senior admin in Uni culture you need a degree so only the clerical/technical jobs would be open to you without one. The plus side is that they see getting a degree as professional development so will support you. Not so much time but the leave at universities is pretty good too. You would have to do the learning part-time, evenings and/or distance learning and if you need full time and face to face tuition to thrive at University then this is not the option for you. Bear in mind that if you fail to progress its not a plus for your employer either so you have to be serious about succeeding. Its the cheap but not the easy option for HE study.

Worth researching what study you do well so no surprises. So try things like FutureLearn (UK) or OpenLearn courses at the OU (also UK-based) These will give you an idea of the what topic so that you know you want that. Also consider apprenticeships and work in sectors such as Accounting or Insurance where they will support you in further study although this is vocational quals. Armed forces are good too as @Egg comments. Don't assume that you have to go to Uni to carry on learning. Often the stuff you learn there is not that useful for later life so in ERE terms is a poor investment.

If you are ERE-minded you should be thinking about what you want post-qualification. So Maths degree then what? And improve your research skills. You will need them as a student. You found this forum so you can't be _that_ bad. Good luck with the search.

TenYearsOrLess
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Re: How do I increase my income? (UK)

Post by TenYearsOrLess »

Have you considered the Open University? If you do want to pursue a degree you could fit it alongside your current job with TOU.

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