Seamus's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Seamus
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:21 pm

Seamus's Journal

Post by Seamus »

Brief autobiography:
I graduated university in 2013 at age 22 with an engineering degree. At that time I had ~$0 net worth. I immediately started a job as an engineer and have worked the same job for the last 7.5 years. I have never enjoyed the job (or any of the jobs I'd had prior to graduating) and in general I dislike it more over time.

In late 2020, I am approaching age 30. The amount of money I have spent in any one year period since 2013 has ranged from x (lowest ever) to 1.4x (highest ever). My spending has on average trended up over time. The two main reasons for this are that I have gotten less extreme about seeking minimal rent (main reason by far), and I now buy ~1 round trip plane ticket per year, which I used to not do. These two reasons are responsible for essentially the entire increase. If not for COVID I would probably be somewhere around my peak spending currently, but as it is I have spent somewhat less in the last year. My net worth is currently ~42x (~30x my peak annual spending).

rube
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Seamus's Journal

Post by rube »

Welcome. What are your plans for the future?

Seamus
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:21 pm

Re: Seamus's Journal

Post by Seamus »

Thank you rube. 2021 feels like a good year for me to make a change. It now takes so long to save up enough to increase my investment income by, say, 10%, that trading off time from what is left of my youth to do so is beginning to feel like it isn't worth it. I think I will wait at least until I can gauge how society is reacting to widespread COVID vaccine availability, assuming that does indeed happen sometime next year.

I have friends in various parts of the US. I'm interested in spending some time living in a vehicle, visiting and staying in their areas for perhaps a month each. Hopefully this would give me a sense of where I would like my next long-term home to be. (I have a few friends outside the US as well and I have considered living abroad, but not seriously as of yet). I would also be interested in finding a low cost rental or setting up a wall tent on some cheap undeveloped land and really focusing on my studies, personal fitness, home economics hobbies, etc. I suspect I may regret it in the future if I never see how far I can go with some of my sports & hobbies. If I can devote 1000+ hours into one activity (or a few synergistic activities) over the course of a year or so, while having few time-committed responsibilities compared to right now, then at least I will know that I really went for it. And maybe I will choose to go even deeper, or maybe I will feel ready to try to find a job I enjoy, or maybe something else.

Partial list of things I am afraid or unsure about: dating, health insurance, resume gap, becoming destitute

Seamus
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:21 pm

Re: Seamus's Journal

Post by Seamus »

In my life, I have had 2 non-office unskilled labor jobs, and 4 office jobs (to be fair, all but one of them were short term/part time/internships, so I didn't really get the full experience), and at none of them did I think, "What sucks about working here is the office politics, and having to climb the corporate ladder." Yet these are two complaints that get brought up time and time again among white collar workers on forums & blogs like this one. Maybe part of the reason for this is that the most recent 3 jobs were engineering related, and engineering companies have unusually little of this kind of thing? Honestly, while it's definitely not perfect, I don't have a lot of bad things to say about the company I work for. It just feels like the structure of "having a job" does not work for me, and my complaints would look something more like this:

1) I find keeping busy for 4 straight hours, having a 30 minute break, and then doing it again for 4 more hours, to be mentally impossible if it isn't a task that is directly and extremely interesting to me. Plus, 2080 hours per year (and the majority of my willpower) is just a tremendous amount of commitment to devote to something.
2) I have this feeling of being trapped in "acronym hell;" the amount of acronyms used at work, each of which corresponds to some kind of intricate procedure and paperwork to go along with it, feels never-ending. Most of it seems non-obvious to me. I'm not saying it's just bureaucratic nonsense; all of it is there for a reason, be it safety, internal efficiency, legal, etc. It is tangential to the goal of designing and manufacturing real-world stuff that works, though. A big part of my job is finishing something, then getting asked "did you perform the MNOP checks and submit it for approval to someone with QRST cert?" and not knowing how to do that (or even that I was supposed to do that) and feeling like an incompetent idiot.
3) Not caring about the mission. I've never had a job where I felt intrinsically fascinated by what I was doing, or that it was important in any sense beyond "the invisible hand of the economy says that somebody needs to do this." (I'm aware that "caring about the mission" is a stereotypical unrealistic millennial expectation; in my defense, I don't expect it and I've worked all this time without it. I understand that things that aren't fun or inspiring still need to get done, and that's why people get paid to do them. I just don't feel motivated to work beyond the need for money without that intrinsic motivation.)

ertyu
Posts: 1520
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Seamus's Journal

Post by ertyu »

I’m not sure anyone ever cares about the mission but that might be just me. I do understand why one would want to, though. Having meaningful work is good.

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