Does picking job A over B matter less than the process of keeping expenses low and income high?
Too many variables, IMHO.
Look: if you could make $50K a year shoveling horse poop in the
hot sun for 8 hours a day, or sitting in an air conditioned office for the
same amount of time and the
same amount of money, which would you do? Most people are going to take the
AC and the
chair... but there are some people who hate being indoors, love being around horses, and don't mind the
To me, ERE is about establishing the
process and the
system inside a lifestyle you can live with. Maybe it's about picking a point on the
continuum that works for you. You COULD, theoretically, find a job that you HATE but that will pay you $200k a year and keep your expenses super low by couch surfing at friends and dumpster diving for food and sourcing free clothes and other needs and save 99% of your income and retire in 2 years to do whatever that amount of money will afford you. You COULD also, theoretically, work at a job that you enjoy 70% of the
time that pays $25K a year in a small town where it's really cheap to live, and save on expenses by living with a compatible roommate, growing your own food, and shearing your pet llamas and weaving cloth for your clothing. You are able to save only 50% of your income this way, but in 6 years have sufficient income to support your lifestyle and can retire.
Is choice A worth it if every night you hunker down lonely on a pallet in the
corner of some acquaintance's living room and cry yourself to sleep because you're alone and also have a stomach ache from eating scavenged food and you're depressed because you have to go tomorrow to spend another day at that shitty job? Or is choice B more attractive, where you live a pretty minimal life, but eat lovely salad from your garden every night with a nice companion and can go to bed looking forward to a decent day at a job you mostly don't hate? I know I'd pick something closer on the
continuum to Choice B than Choice A. (The
trick is sometimes you don't recognize Choice A until it's too late...).
I'm repeating my advice from another post here, but do a job, any job for a year or so. See what you like, see what you hate. Fill your life with lots of experiences--see what you like, see what you hate. When you have a negative experience (like the
date you wrote about on the
other thread), instead of complaining about it, learn from it. "Next time I'll suggest coffee instead of a meal, and if the
conversation turns to politics, I'll politely say I'd rather not talk politics and change the
subject." Hey, another life tool in the
toolbox. Remember, too, that having a recruiter "reach out to you about a job" is NOT the
same thing as being offered a job, is not the
same thing as being able to do the
job, and doesn't mean you'd LIKE the
job. Do any of those jobs sound like anything you'd really LIKE to do? if so, explore them. If not, don't.
Here's a secret: very few people end up with their dream job, dream life, dream income, dream partner. Some do, and it's certainly worth seeking. But there are times that you end up having to make a choice between two crappy options--you just pick the
best one and make the
most of it. So maybe you take the
job shoveling horse poop, or the
other job you hate. You learn something and then use it to eventually move on and find something better, and while you're doing that, you use your ERE skills to sock money away so that one day, when faced with 2 crappy choices: "Hey, I can either move to Topeka and keep this job I'm not crazy about or take the
buyout and quit," you check your bank balance and realize "Hey, I can take the
buyout and quit for good!"