Smelly Swiss Dilettante

Where are you and where are you going?
Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Things are still going fine. I have my 3 weeks army tests tarting on monday. I dont know what ill do if it doesnt work, because engineer job search is still completly unfruitfull.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:58 am

I made it to the end of those 3 week selection.
They liked me, my performance were great, but told me that I was too likely to have trouble with orders coming from stupid people they have to work with, and that those people may have problem with my character.
That's very coherent with my experience in academia, and in interviews for jobs in the industry.
But it really seemes to means that my chances to get and hold a job are close to zero, depiste all my qualities.
Do you have any idea about how I could generate income in my situation?

Jean
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Spliting time

Post by Jean » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:20 pm

Time for an update.
I still don't have a job, but I'm feeling quite sure about what I wan't to do.

I splited wood with a spliting axe for about two year of heating. Starting with 4 meter long trunks.
I really enjoyed it.
Well, I'm not just going to start a firewood business.
I'de very much like to start an apprenticeship as a lumberjack.
I'll be paid poorly during the apprenticeship (800.- a month for 2 or 3 years) but above my expense level, so I'll be fine.
I'm sure about it, because I got an offer for what I could describe as a dreamjob in my trained field, and I'de still prefer the aprenticeship.
I hope to be close to sign for it. I'll see.

Do someone think I'm a fool? An entry level job for me now would be paid 80'000 a year.
I'de really like an input on this

In a different domain, my roomate is leaving in 2 weeks. We are in very good terms. I'll finish some work on the house, and then I'll see if I wan't an other roomate. The internet conection is at her names, so it'l be gone too. No more surfing and gaming. I'm very scared about this. I'll be forced to go, skiing, climbing, paraglinding, playing music with friends, windsurfing, swimming, hiking, going to free concert crowded with the same caring and loving person i knew for 10+year, visiting family, and other boring stuff. This sucks but I don't have much else to do within walking distance. What will happen to my so beloved skyrim characters and forum persona?

jennypenny
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by jennypenny » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:10 am

How much does the 'dream job' pay? How long would you have to work at it to build up a big enough nest egg? Could you do that for a couple of years and then do the lumberjack apprenticeship?

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:23 pm

I'de say about 90'000 a year
My nest egg is already kind of big enough. I just have to sell my house.
But I'll be left with the same amount of free time with both option.
In two year, with one option, I'll have about 150'000 more stashed, with the other, I'll be at the same point.
So I'm virtually paying this amount to spend time in the forest doing some kind of workout.
So I don't exactly know. I want to do it. But under a certain angle, it seems stupid.

Once you own the gears (a few hundred for ski and climbing, litlle more for paragliding), they are free.
You can of course spend much more money in trips to far away spots and brand new gears every year, but that's not a must.

jacob
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:44 pm

This is a HARD question.

I think it depends on how desperate you feel about increasing net worth vs how much you can tolerate doing work that's not optimal. That's a lot of conflicting variables.

If you're anything like me, my tolerance for suboptimal/boring/frustrating work is limited. I observe that most people seem to be able to deal with this [comfortable misery] for years on end. Not me though :(

A 90k job would solve the NEED to suffer permanently in short order. Then again, if low-income jobs are easily available (which was the case for me) you can always take the long road and maximize interest/engagement. I did.

Whenever my nest egg has been "already kind of big enough", I haven't cared much about compensation.

However, there's a huge difference between needing income and wanting income!

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:27 pm

I don't want or need the money (more than what I'll get with the apprenticeship anyway).
A small part of me think that if the job is paid so well, it must be very usefull to society, and that I kindof have a duty to do it.
I read your post about it already. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/a-duty-to-work.html and russel's essay.

I cannot part away completely with any form of collectivism. Because since the world is limited, all property is property because someone deprived the rest of the world from benefiting of this property. And therefore I have a duty to use my property (in this case my body) for the benefit of other. This position does not hold to the extreme, but as neither the opposite, I'm stuck.

But I'm relieved that you too found the first part of the question hard.

jacob
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:44 pm

Jean wrote: A small part of me think that if the job is paid so well, it must be very usefull to society, and that I kindof have a duty to do it.
Perish the thought!!

If a job is paid well it simply means that demand currently outstrips supply by a significant margin. There are lots of highly compensated individuals whose net contribution to society is zero or negative. They are paid well because their contribution to a select number of individuals (shareholders?) is sufficient on the margin. I assure you, that net contribution to society is the least of anyone's concern when it comes to highly compensated individuals. The [causal] "arrow" points the other way.

As an example, James Clerk Maxwell's work have been attributed to 25% of the entire world's GDP. How much did he ever get from that? Not much.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:23 am

Thank you!
What about the part that think that if people expect me to do this, then I should do this?

Slevin
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Slevin » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:47 am

Jean wrote:Thank you!
What about the part that think that if people expect me to do this, then I should do this?
I'm going to first pare down the argument a little bit. I think the heart of what you are contemplating is "Should I sacrifice my own happiness to try and make those around me happy?" I would argue that you certainly shouldn't. Take this argument to its logical limit. For one, your sacrifice of your own happiness will not necessarily make others happy. If I sacrifice my happiness to make my father happy, and he sacrifices his happiness to make my mother happy, and my mother sacrifice her happiness to make me happy, what have we done to the system? Everyone is unhappy trying to make the others happy.

As a second point, you are the arbiter of your own happiness, and the easiest way to achieve this happiness is through direct actions of yourself. If being a lumberjack and cutting wood will make you happy (and cover your expenses), do it. In one year if you dislike the job you thought that you would love, that's ok. You can go back and try to find another job in the field in which you obtained your PhD. Or choose another job that may make you happy. This road is much longer in terms of FI, but that should not matter if you enjoy it.

henrik
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by henrik » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:00 am

Whichever it is, I hope you can make the decision and stick with it, good luck with that!
I was in a similar situation (with the income disparity not quite as big, but big enough), went with the low income / high engagement option, and still occasionally find myself needing to re-justify the choice to myself (and others who care enough to ask). I think reading about people's progress and impressive savings rates here might be part of the problem:)

I don't believe there is a universal measure for "value to society", it's relative, depends on culture and what not. You might see being a lumber jack as valuable and useful, some might view it as killing nature. Like you and Jacob though, I have a very low tolerance for activities that I myself, according to my values, perceive as pointless or counterproductive.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:53 am

My last option for an apprenticeship as a lumberjack in a bikable distance won't work.
Relationships with the other people at the place weren't good enough.
So I'im going the complete opposite way.
I'm applying for internships in finance and for a master of financial engineering.
Don't know if the master is necessary, but I have to apply now. I hope to get an internship. If I get one, it'll be paid greatly, and I'll be able to know if it's a good direction to pursue.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:00 pm

I applied for a master degree in financial engineering.
I'm extremly interested in the field.
I just have some troubles evaluating the job prospects.
I read it isn't ideal for a quant position.
Any opinion on this?

jacob
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:08 pm

It is specifically directed at quant positions. The degree was created because quant positions could only be filled by people with hard math skills who were then expected to learn the financial stuff on their own. (The other way around doesn't work as well.) The MFE is intended to fill this void. I forget if you already have strong quantitative skills. If stochastic calculus seems comprehensible to you, you can learn the finance stuff on your own. No degree needed. You just have to find a way in. The MFE is one way to get foot in over someone with a science degree. However, ask your science professors. It's quite likely that quite a few of their former students are working in finance now.

Job prospects are cyclical. Sometimes there's a lot of hiring. Other times, there's a lot of firing. Also keep in mind that there are very many different kinds of quant positions, kinda how there are many different kinds of "doctor positions" in medicine.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:11 pm

Thanks a lot! That's exactly the info I wanted.

jacob
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:16 pm


Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:18 am

Thank you.
It seems very usefull.
I'll read it.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:44 am

I'm acepted for this MFE.
Has the job really become dull as you said in another post?
I know I'll enjoy the degree, but maybe my picture of the job is inacurate.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:01 am

Well, i still have the same question for jacob (has being a quant become uninteresting). I'm still planing to do the mfe. I did some scouting to live in a nearby forest. I plan to ride my bike back to my homearea every week end (about 100km one way), which should keep my body fit enough to rely on it for mountaineering.
I'm now living in a trailer next to other people. Most of them are close friends. Things are great. I'm done with unemployment benefits, but i saved a lot from it, and my expenses are now bellow the net income i'll get from the house(about 500 a month).
I will start letting the house to a young guy. He is very happy about it because the rent is cheap there is a garden for his dog to run and its in his home area. I'm happy because he shouldn't cause me any trouble, and i'm now fire. Plus, his gf is very smart, she already thought about biking to school (despite the distance being above what is deemed reasonable), and she might pressure him to take advantage of the low rent to save and aim for fi.
In addition, i read one of david deida's book. I am now much less frustrated about women i can't have. I am in addition much less ashamed of my drive toward them.
I also started writing poetry, which is the kind of thing i hoped to happen by depriving me of distraction.

Jean
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Re: Swiss PhD student

Post by Jean » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:48 am

Some update. And request for advice.
This summer has been great. I was in Canada one month with a friend, and came back to my trailer. Relationships with other people at the place were I live are great. They are now practically family to me. We spent the whole summer climbing, hiking, scavenging food. Probably my happiest time since childhood. My motivation to go to the school violently dropped. I went there on the first day, classes are ok interesting. Living alone in Lausanne really sucks. 4 hours a day in transport sucks too. I don't see any reason to do this master except that I can. And my parent would be disappointed. And I lose the opportunity to get good grades and show the world how smart I am. I'm finally happy in my life now, and although this degree looks like a great opportunity, it seems extremely stupid to break the balance I managed to create at home.

So, Do you think I'm a fool to give up on this degree before even starting? Doing it from home is not an option.


And to Jacob, could you please rename this topic into "Smelly Swiss Dilettante"
Last edited by Jean on Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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