Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Where are you and where are you going?
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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:53 pm

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:40 am

I'm surprised you are considering going back to school.
It's been a bit of a rough time. ": P

I agree with you on the temp agencies, to a degree. They are offering me very different types of work, so I get to see what work is a good match. I got offered a front desk post at a mental health clinic, and a job as a child counselor today. I think the former could lead to a matching job, and the latter could very well be a match. The only problem is that both positions pay 26k-30k/yr.

I'm going to spam local alumni tomorrow to see if they may have anything available, or advice. I'd honestly prefer not to go back to school. I'm having a tough time getting a matching job with just a bachelor's atm.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by steelerfan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:01 pm

When I graduated long ago, I had a bachelors in psychology and businesss minor from a generic mid-west state college. My plan was to get a job in HR as an industrial psychologist. Like a lot of new grads, I thought good paying jobs would be plentiful. My first interview was with a lawn service outfit called Chemlawn - which had nothing to do with my background. I have seen new grads arriving at my work place thinking they would be in an office with a door in six months. It doesn't work that way and lots of people at my work never earn more that 20/hr even after 20 years.
Take a look at the median wages where you are looking. I bet they are low.

I never figured out how to land that HR job but eventually started despising HR people as they truly are/were weasel tools of the man like Catbert if you remember Dilbert (not likely). I eventually got an entry level accounting job in government through connections, took accounting courses and sat and passed the CPA. I hated accounting at first but eventually I became a pretty good one and came to like it. The point of this rambling is to tell you that with a liberal art degree from a good school you may very well score a good job but be prepared to do anything in an office. Your co-workers will not care or be impressed unless you get things done. A lot of young people telegraph their disdain for a job which will anger the career worker drones. The old office manager lady (who really runs the office) can torpedo you if they have the bosses ear and they often do. Sometimes if you are not in the in-crowd you will never move up and will be better off looking for a new gig. Life is not fair. Just saying...

You have been on this board for years. Exercise your frugal skills and you won't need to earn 60K out the gate. It won't matter if you are making a little less if you live cheap. Jacob EREd on very little as you know. You want to quit in 10 years anyway. Many engineer tech INTJs here will make big $ with hard skills right out of school. This board is an outlier with plenty of 6 fig salaries (not me). With soft skills you may have to pay your dues and prove yourself as your skills may not be apparent. I could retire now even after all of my mistakes if I did not have dependents - which you don't have or want. You are way ahead of me. Do not despair. Consider any job you take part of your journey. Some jobs will be a slog - but you can always keep looking. It is easier to look when you have a paycheck. You will learn something from EVERYBODY even those you can't stand. Smile a lot and develop a relationship with people. Don't mark yourself as an elitist regardless of your background. I moved out here to Denver with no contacts. I always worked temp and somehow I always was offered more than my temp wage - generally much more. You can do it. Good luck fox.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:36 pm

I'm going to try a counseling job that comes my way. I've been appreciated for listening and being supportive in the past. I'll at least get a better lay of the land once I'm in such a post.

I feel like I'm in a bit of a looping bad dream. I can see why retirees can get depressed and die earlier: nothing to do, feeling of stagnation, not enough saved up, and friends far apart. In the grand scheme of things, it could be much worse I suppose.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:40 pm

Another line of thinking I've been having is to just start going on long trips. I can't keep staring at a wall in a room hoping to find the "right" job. I'll need to monetize these trips somehow and keep the costs as low as reasonable. I mean, there has to be a way to make a reasonable living while living a life of adventure. Let's say I hike the PCT, AT, and CD trails over a period of 2 years. I could:

1. Write a book about the experience and receive royalties
2. Maintain a podcast on everything about trail life and FIRE, while concurrently promoting and selling products I've used
3. Receive sponsorships from outdoor companies
4. Get paid to give speeches on the subject at colleges or Ted Talks
5. Start a Patreon campaign from my podcast
6. Do consulting work on trip planning for other people

Am I off my rocker or? Can I reasonably make 30K doing something like this?

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by bryan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:48 am

I wouldn't bet on a book.. YouTube vlog probably better. How would you get subs??

> Am I off my rocker or?

Probably. Though some folks are truly like-able, interesting, funny, whatever and you want to listen/watch them.. Are you as cute-attractive as Hobo Ahle, at least?

Maybe live in a van and seek out odd jobs around the country (e.g. laborer on weed farm or van up-fitter)? It may align well to your personality :D :P

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:16 am

Consider a job as a guide. For some guiding jobs you will needs skills and certifications you don't have but for others you may be able to get started by being a reliable person who is willing to work hard and learn the skills as you go. I think it would give you the adventure you are looking for though it is low paid and seasonal.

Some examples are bike tour guide, river guide, climbing guide, ski instructor, camp counselor, park ranger. I'm sure there are a ton of other jobs like this I'm not thinking of.

Example that is hiring: https://trektravel.com/employment/be-a-guide/
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:47 am

Sorry to hear life is getting so stressful. At least your love is still working out well.

I don't think you're off your rocker but building a following takes time. If you're serious, I think you should start asap. You have the skills to live on little and likely a couple years of savings. I don't think you need 30k income. Once you reach 5k, you can almost do it indefinitely and go from there due to living off a Jacob.

But move, life is a daring adventure or nothing. I didn't break free of depression till I left my parent's house. You could also try some of the low paying adventurous jobs that require no new certifications like Gilberto pointed out.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by disparatum » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:06 am

Maybe you are giving yourself too much freedom? You can keep changing the environment to suit your personality/desires, but you can also hold your environment constant and see how you change. There may be variation there (potential for growth, insight) that you wouldn't see otherwise.

Is there some job you could commit to for at least 2 years that has low barriers to entry (ie doesn't require more school) but high barriers to exit (ie your employer is physically isolated, you sign a contract, would feel spectacularly ashamed if you left etc.)?

Some of my greatest growth occurred when I had no other options (or convinced myself there were no other options).

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by theanimal » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:33 pm

I think you are in the same place I was coming out of school a few years ago, so many options and so unsure what to pursue. But you are in a much better position financially speaking than I was at that age.

If you really want to be an adventurer, just go out and do trips. The way most make money is by taking on seasonal jobs from time to time doing menial work. This could be working as a tour guide/backpacking or other sport guide/cook/cleaner/waiter etc. You aren't going to make much money but that's not why most people pursue these jobs. Sometimes your room and board costs will be completely covered and you can sock away nearly 100% of your income. These are rockstar professions as Jacob would say. Meaning most of your coworkers will be from their early 20s to their mid 30s with a couple folks that are 60+. Most will be terrible with money, have a YOLO mindset and no grand strategy for life. They are usually great people otherwise and fun to hang out with though :D .

Get wilderness first responder certified. That'll take you a long way.

There are only so many people who can make their money solely from adventuring and it would take a while for you to build to a sustainable level of income. Lots of people hike the AT and lots of people write books about their experience. But most only read Bill Bryson's account. Same thing with the PCT and Wild. It's a niche community and much more difficult to appeal to the masses. There are those like Andrew Skurka who has worked this well, tackling all the long trails and making up some routes of his own. Trip planning packages, guided trips, writing and speaking make up the most of his income but he worked seasonal jobs for years until he was able to build up a large enough income base.

Forget about sponsorships. There is no money in backpacking or most adventure sports besides those at the top. You may get some free gear from time to time but I wouldn't expect any monetary compensation.

There are others who are able to make a full time job work with lots of trips. I think this is the best route if you can swing it. These people are professors or work in the corporate world with generous time off allowances. It also provides the mental stimulation and thought that isn't quenched by analysis of gear or route strategy.

That's some of my thoughts. I haven't really been able to make it work as I'd like. I think it'd be best to have a base level of assets (like you do) then some type of skill that allows you to come and go as you please. That may take a few years to build to but then you'll have the rest of your life to wander while others who pursue a similar path are insecure financially, forced to eat top ramen or cat food and have to go back to some job.

Since it's winter, why don't you look south? Check out the Arizona Trail. That'd be a good start.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:52 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:49 pm
It seems many of the jobs dealing with people and ideas are easier to enter with a master's.
Truedat. For example, one will not get much beyond pouring coffee with a bachelor in psychology or philosophy. OTOH, for something like software engineering or physics, a masters or phd is overkill insofar income is the main objective. You'll be spending 4 years postgrad making $25k/year while working 60+hrs doing something incredibly hard when you could be solving much easier problems in industry for higher pay.

BTW, I just remembered the company DW connected with (several years ago) when she suddenly developed "a passion for accounting". It was called Accountemps(SP?). I dunno if they're national or just Chicago. It takes a while to build up enough for a dependable source of income. Ultimately, she became a tax-preparer and is now working corporate (promoted upwards regularly).
TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:40 pm
1. Write a book about the experience and receive royalties
2. Maintain a podcast on everything about trail life and FIRE, while concurrently promoting and selling products I've used
3. Receive sponsorships from outdoor companies
4. Get paid to give speeches on the subject at colleges or Ted Talks
5. Start a Patreon campaign from my podcast
6. Do consulting work on trip planning for other people

Am I off my rocker or? Can I reasonably make 30K doing something like this?
Answer: Yeah & Not likely, without experience, probably more like $1-5k/year. Check out some new blogs and see how long before they celebrate their first $100/month check and party like it's 1099. With few exceptions (rockstars), such experiences is more something you could capitalize on years later after you've already done it. Not saying that it's impossible, but in terms of robust strategies, "lifestyle blogging from a beach in Thailand" is about as brittle as they come.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:14 pm

C40 is doing the blogging/Instagram about travel to earn money thing. He's good at it too. Check in with him to see if he is making money.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:28 pm

Sigh. I think what I'll do is find a 40 hr job that's sustainable for me, live in a van, and park the van at a state park on weekends. Maybe reach 200k before doing anything long-term. I don't like the idea of starving for attention/income streams. I already have my stuff down to a closet, a folding bike/scooter, a backpack/camping gear, and food. Good news is, I've developed an indifference to death over the past couple of months. Should help with dealing with the perception of bear threats. (Y)

I can see it now: helping people during the day, listening to Gregory Alan Isakov in the van, exploring new natural spaces on weekends.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:03 pm

News! I reached out to SEA Semester, a study abroad program I did. Turns out they offer a Wilderness First Responder (WFR)/USCG Medical Care Provider certification course this Dec. 7-13. The cost is $850 normally, $765 for alumni. Food and lodging are free.

Considering the upcoming deadline, I'd need to tell them as soon as possible if I want in.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:58 am

brute suggests:

1)getting a job, any job
2)slogging through for at least 2 years

everything else is procrastination at this point

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Tyler9000 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:07 am

Forgive me if this has already been mentioned elsewhere, but I remember that you had two final interviews. Have you considered simply calling the one that didn't originally work out and letting them know that you would be interested if they have another position available? Obviously there was some strong mutual interest there. Worst case, they have nothing available but will keep you in mind if something pops up. Best case, they're thrilled to finally land the one that got away. ;)

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:41 am

disparatum wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:06 am
Maybe you are giving yourself too much freedom? You can keep changing the environment to suit your personality/desires, but you can also hold your environment constant and see how you change. There may be variation there (potential for growth, insight) that you wouldn't see otherwise.

Is there some job you could commit to for at least 2 years that has low barriers to entry (ie doesn't require more school) but high barriers to exit (ie your employer is physically isolated, you sign a contract, would feel spectacularly ashamed if you left etc.)?

Some of my greatest growth occurred when I had no other options (or convinced myself there were no other options).
The military checks all the boxes. Tophat can even pick a specialty that offers training for once he gets back to civiliantude.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by C40 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:30 pm

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:14 pm
C40 is doing the blogging/Instagram about travel to earn money thing. He's good at it too. Check in with him to see if he is making money.
Nope. I basically only get some free stuff. If I count the free stuff at full retail price, I've probably made like $0.08 per hour or some other minuscule amount.

I don't work at it all that much, so more is possible, but IMO Instagram and blogging are poor ways to try to make money, except for an elite few. If you do want money out of them, you really have to kick ass at it and become the elite few, and that takes a lot of work and expertise. For me, for making money, I'm much better off doing other types of work (like making T-shirt designs, or simple photography like senior portraits, pet portraits, weddings, etc).

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:12 pm

Wellllll, I give up. I agree with brute. Adventure gigs sound awful too tbh. Minimal pay, extensive hours, out in all weather conditions, making adventures nice mostly for other people.

No, I'm just going to get a 40-50k paying job and do that. All jobs seem to suck one way or the other. I may apply to financial planning gigs again at a different company. Maybe that's what's been happening over the past 1.5 months: a grieving process. Denial of "real world" realities, anger at the education system, bargaining with different alternative paths. I think I'll accept the next full-time gig and stick with it for at least a year while saving every dime I can. The harsh reality is that money and the skills to replace money are the key distinguishers between those with freedom and those stuck. I think if I go in without giving myself the option to leave, I'll be better off.

Now to again figure out how to best thrive in the grind. I don't have any excess stuff. I just have to worry about sleep, laundry, and food prep. Meditation will be essential. Forming good relationships with co-workers will be important. Getting good at the work helpful. Listening to podcasts every day will be vital.

------

I got an interview doing flight crew scheduling next week 4.5 miles away (C works for an airline company). 4 days on at 12hr/wk, 3 days off. $17.50 per hour. Overtime at 1.5x if I work any additional days.

So: 4x12x$17.50 = $840/week, or $40K
And: 1x12x$26.25= $315/week, or $15K

Expected Room expenses: $720, or $8640
Expected Van expenses: $250, or $3000

If I get it, I'll give it a go. Time to join the zombie horde in full gusto. Just can't make any mistakes this time around. (And time to basterdize meditation for profit).

Welcome to the real world, aye?

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:57 pm

One of us! One of us! :lol:

I can't say much. Went through the same thing after graduation. From the denial to wanting to write a blog for income.

Just be the best weekend warrior you can be.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:26 pm

@Tophatfox
Sigh... I was hoping you'd figure out a way to avoid it, I certainly haven't; but you are far more intelligent and resourceful than I.

In any event, I think you are making the correct (ie only/best) choice given circumstances. You are far ahead of the game re lifestyle, don't let full-time employment force you to compromise.
TopHatFox wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:12 pm
The harsh reality is that money and the skills to replace money are the key distinguishers between those with freedom and those stuck. I think if I go in without giving myself the option to leave, I'll be better off.
Please remember the second is far more difficult to attain than the first. Do not give into lifestyle inflation for convenience. Your time will seem horribly limited and the day will come when the thought of buying pre-made bulk food, or a car to cut cooking/commute times will seem very appealing. Do not give in! These are hard habits to break once established. 200k in savings will come quickly, having to re-learn skills and web-of-goals thinking to replace money will prove more elusive.

Also, don't let "the man" get you down. Dig in and find something about your job you enjoy, something to improve, goals to achieve, etc. This process may take many months to a year, but sticking with/learning a single job will help you find them.
Last edited by classical_Liberal on Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Tyler9000 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:30 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:12 pm
Now to again figure out how to best thrive in the grind.
Step one: Stop calling work a "grind". Focus on the positives!

Many years ago I moved all the way out to California for a new job. I was super excited about the opportunity and the pay was fantastic, even though there were many warning signs. After three months I knew I had made a terrible mistake and quit. That place was horrible. In the week after I quit, a friend got me an interview with a nearby company in a similar industry that also happened to have a ton of ex-employees of the place I hated. They offered me a job, and I turned it down. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I knew it wasn't that.

Fast forward a few months, and I was struggling to find a job that suited me. I totally empathize with your emotions, as they read very similar to how I felt during that timeframe. Eventually I realized that the job I turned down was actually a pretty darned good one, and called them back. I figured they had moved on, but it was worth a shot. Yada, yada, yada -- I got the job with a 30% raise over their original offer! Timing worked in my favor in ways unimportant to the story, but the core point is that some bridges take time to properly build.

After I was settled in, my boss and the friend that got me that interview went out to lunch. The topic of me turning down the original offer came up, and I said that I really don't know why I did that but the timing just felt wrong. My friend joked that it must be like going through a tough breakup with a psycho ex where you just can't see anyone for a while. I laughed because he totally nailed it. Fast forward a few months, and the new company was one of the best work cultures I've ever experienced. Same industry, same pool of people, completely different outcome. Bad bosses really are a thing.

Long story short, I believe things happen for a reason even if you can't discern it in the moment. Don't overreact, don't assume all work relationships are like your ex, and don't dwell on the past. Keep your head up and focus on building on your strengths (of which you have many!) and you'll be fine.
Last edited by Tyler9000 on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by BRUTE » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:22 pm

brute can confirm that work can be lots of fun. at the moment, brute really enjoys his job. it is creatively challenging, the co-workers are nice and teach him a lot, the projects are often interesting and fun.

this was not always the case, but it definitely can be.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by FBeyer » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:34 am

BRUTE wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:22 pm
brute can confirm that work can be lots of fun. at the moment, brute really enjoys his job. it is creatively challenging, the co-workers are nice and teach him a lot, the projects are often interesting and fun.

this was not always the case, but it definitely can be.
I just wanted to quote this for posterity, given how many times you've expressed your disdains for humans on these forums.
Of course your massive amounts of posts per day give you away, but I still wanted to keep this little treasure for myself.


Now, back on topic.
THF's next question would probably be how to avoid going absolute insane after two years in the same job, so I'm just going to ask that question for him :)

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:02 am

Key takeaways from the past few months:

1. The real world is shit for people without money
2. The money is where the people with money are
3. Graduate education likely leads to downpayment in money and no nice job anyway
4. The working world is usually a horrible place
5. Living simply and saving is the key to making the above as short as possible
6. Finding friends and partners takes deliberate and determined effort in none-college world
7. Showing up to job and doing good work while focusing on positives is best path forward; embrace the suck and all that

--------------------

I'm going to apply to finance gigs full force again. Let's see if it was the company, me, or just real life. And make some $$ while we're at it. Should be easier to find something now that I have a direct internship in the industry. :P

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by theanimal » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:16 pm

I tend to have a similar view as you do, but I have come to see things aren't as bad as they seem. I think there can be a downside to learning about ERE too early. Especially with learning about ERE and not fully comprehending it. That being associating all work as being bad and something to escape from before even spending much time within it.

I have no problem with working, but I am finding that I've had to fight this bias of thinking all jobs suck.

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