Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

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

Post by George the original one » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:01 pm

The office side of bikes is going to be in the manufacturing sector. Bike shops are customer-oriented sales & service, nothing large enough to have an "office", such as you might find at a car dealer.

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C40
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by C40 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:27 pm

The bigger, online bike stores do. (Like, say, Competitive Cyclist)

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ebast
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by ebast » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:37 pm

Seconding the rivendell idea just because it's rivendell. I once stopped by (on a bike that although of its own peculiar french-japanese lineage in street price was worth less than just one of their prized japanese stems) and the folks there were kind and gave us a friendly guided tour of the small place. Their print catalog is better reading than any bicycling rag.

I stopped by mid-journey in hopes of scoring a local area bike map to which they kind of chuckled. Have to admit, Walnut Creek is not exactly the storied land of elves and cycling walkabout paradise my traveling companion was promised.

More to your case and just off the cuff, I have run across far far many young cute office workers in what I guess is the "bicycle-advocacy" industrial complex (urban bicycle development, bike-share, non-profit advocacy, etc.) than manufacturing. I would imagine they could be a better fit for an unconventional skill set of someone who doesn't want to actually wrench for a living, and hey, from what I understand of bicycle manufacturing, more profitable besides.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:14 pm

NOVEMBER 2017

Employment: I've visited 5 employment agencies in the area in-person. I've updated and improved my resume. I've uploaded a resume to four job board sites. Thus far, most of the offers I've been getting are for 35-45K/yr jobs. Usually data entry or administrative assistant type work. I tried applying for unemployment, but apparently that won't work since I only worked for one quarter. I did work during the school-year, so I may appeal. I'm more likely to just take one of the temp jobs instead, ideally in HR to try that out. Two agencies told me to try graduate school to be a therapist. I told them to go #@$@ themselves. I'm sure I'd make a great therapist, but I would prefer to not have to go back to school.

Living Situation:
I'm still living in in a room downtown. It's okay. I've already explored much of the surrounding area within biking distance. This means I spend half the week looking at the computer or playing video games. It's been difficult meeting new people I want to spend time with. I've been trying Meetups, but there aren't many around. It gets depressing fast. The other half of the week I spend with C going on adventures, cuddling, etc. That is a lot better. I'm seriously considering buying a mini-van and living in that. I'll get a YMC gym membership and a PO box. I'll also be able to camp out at local state parks for my half of the week. Not to mention reduce annual expenses to about half of what they are now. I think I'm just happier when living a mobile life.

Health Insurance and orthodontics: Still need to transfer health insurance through COBRA to see if jaw surgery would be covered. Fun fact, FSA contributions are lost if you get canned. Yuppie. My only reason for staying in NY area right now is C and this surgery. If I find out there's no potential to cover it in the next month or two, I'll likely move elsewhere or go travel a la minivan.

Musings: I don't really feel very special for having gone to a brand name college. Honestly, I'm overwhelmingly upset with the education system. If I could do it again, I would have home-schooled myself and gotten my BA at 18, then a masters until 20. All while working part-time to now have years of experience. I think the way forward will be to be scrappy and unconventional as usual. This has been the defining success factor in my journal. I don't need to hold down a high-powered job to be FI. I just need to ride my damn bike, hack housing costs, and grind at a low to moderate-stress "whatever" job. I'm deeply considering reducing my FI # to 200K--rather than 500K--before traveling in the van full-time. I emphatically never want children or marriage, so I think this is adequate.

Monthly Expenses:

Rent: $550
Food: $150
Phone/Data: $20

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

Networth:
65K (thnx taxes)

classical_Liberal
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:51 pm

@THF
From an emotional perspective; realize you are young, with an excellent savings buffer and remain tenacious. It may seem difficult, but try to enjoy this time of your life. The employment situation will resolve if you remain committed. I'm excited to see how this adventure turns out for you!
TopHatFox wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:14 pm
I'll get a YMC gym membership and a PO box. I'll also be able to camp out at local state parks for my half of the week. Not to mention reduce annual expenses to about half of what they are now. I think I'm just happier when living a mobile life.
I live highly mobile and suggest you obtain a UPS mailbox or similar. It's an actual street address vs PO box, meaning you can have non-USPS packages delivered and (for shipping charges fee) they will even forward mail or packages to wherever you are vs you having to go back to get them. Also, since they are physical address you can file taxes with/us as primary address for other purposes and in many states (I'm not sure about NY) you can maintain residency with a physical UPS address (as long as you don't have anther residential address in other state(s)) because it is deemed as an"intent to return". This will avoid many hassles as most companies or government agencies will not accept PO boxes as a primary residential address (only as mailing address). Also re health club (I do not currently live in a vehicle, this is second hand info from friends who do), choose one that not only has a variety of locations, but one that is actually open more often, in most of the locations. Free internet is also a plus with health clubs as mobile data can be expensive and letting the laptop download/upload in the parking lot while you shower can be a big plus. YMCA is probably one of the more unattractive options.

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C40
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by C40 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:29 pm

YMCA might be very cheap (or even free?) for him right now while he doesn't have income.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:57 pm

C40 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:29 pm
YMCA might be very cheap (or even free?) for him right now while he doesn't have income.
Very true (they provide 6 mo grants, if I recall) and @C40 is likely much more an expert than I. If it's free and/or he has better advice and personal experience on gym memberships; definitely follow his advice over mine!

I still highly recommend the UPS address if you do not have a physical home address. One will run into a multitude of issues trying to use a PO box as a primary address; this I know from experience

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C40
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by C40 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:27 pm

and yeah, if a UPS address looks like it could be an apartment, that's a lot better than a PO box. I've been able to use my mail forwarding address -
which is essentially a private mailing box, but the address looks like it could be an apartment - for everything except investing accounts (they are super strict because of patriot act laws)

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Viktor K
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Viktor K » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:52 pm

I can relate to how you feel. The first year out of college was one of the lowest times in my life. In college, I felt like successes were around every corner, whereas when the working life started, it just seemed like one big black hole. I took a finance job which I essentially flunked out of after 6 months (all commission, sales job), leaving me without enough cash to pay rent. Within one week I lost my job, found a subletter on Craigslist, left all my friends and college memories behind, moved in with mom, and took a job washing dishes. I eventually reached a slightly better position after paying off my credit card and getting some money back into savings, moving in to my own apartment, and finding a $15/hour job.

Still, that job was where I found ERE, so I was still missing a great deal of "something" in that situation. Like you, one of the biggest improvements to my happiness was when I met someone to spend time with. The next big spike was when I moved to China and went from 40 hours/week to 15 hours/week. I still dread the day if/when I go back to the US/accept a job where I have to work 40 hours/week again.

Work-life is a lot different than college-life. I don't know about you, but I truly enjoyed my major. So at least all the hours spent studying and researching and writing essays was on a topic matter I appreciated. My job was mindless and I had good friends at it so we joked around all shift, making it a breeze. Outside of that, it was attending classes and hanging out with friends. Making the switch from that to working 40 hours at something that is generally at best mildly interesting, a new city where you don't know anyone, and the typical job that doesn't really have huge successes a la "I got an A on my paper!" or "I made dean's list" or even "I learned something :shock:" is a rough transition.

TLDR; if you don't love what you're doing, do it less while cutting expenses to still maintain a decent savings rate. Spend more time and energy on current or new relationships, and your own personal hobby/interests/studies. Of course, that's my advice, I'm sure the wiser advice would be to power through the best (see highest-earning) job you can for 4-5 years and find solace in that your timeline for doing so is a fraction of what the average American's is. It's not something I could do then, though, and still don't know that I could or would want to now.

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bryan
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by bryan » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:35 pm

Yeah, that first year out can be tough.

Sorry about your FSA.

Have you tried your universities career center, or various networks? They will probably be more helpful than an agency; I think they have some incentive to see graduates gainly employed within the first year. In your search, pretend like you are just graduating instead of just being laid off.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:10 am

This means I spend half the week looking at the computer or playing video games.
I don't mean to get you sidetracked from getting a real job, but could you spend this time making money somehow?

trailblazer
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by trailblazer » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:58 am

@Gilberto de Piento

I agree. I know more than one person who post-college has taken a random short-term job like holiday retail, and stumbled into an entire career.

I think even one shift a week at a some random job would open you up to all kinds of positive wild cards: 1) it will be another data point in your search for the ideal job - totally opposite of what you just experienced; 2) give you a mental health reset once or twice a week; 3) introduce you to all kinds of random people; 4) give you stories to tell in interviews; and 5) give you know-how/confidence to pick up short term/low wage work if you want to bum around the country at some point.

I fully endorse half the week on computer/video games, but with your expenses even one shift a week at McDonalds would go a long way.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by thrifty++ » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:53 pm

+1 - I agree just start doing things you want to do and a job will fall into place eventually. What about delivering pizza's. I heard that can pay well. Although working in hospitality is low paid it can be a fun job, a few shifts a week, speaking from experience working as a barista can be quite a nice job.

Could be an opportunity to explore all sorts of hobbies you have never had time to do. Have you ever wanted to learn to sail? Dont know about NYC but where I live you can basically rock up at a certain time of the day and sailors are stoked to have some free labour on their boats. Have you thought of Toastmasters? Its a very cheap club to join and fun way to develop public speaking skills as well as meet lots of other people to network with - young professionals, entrepreneurs, performance artists etc - was in my group anyway. There were 3 professional comedians in my club. Or what about joining theatre groups etc. I am just giving you things I am interested in but you will have you own interests. Just ideas.

What about entrepreneurship possibilities. Are there any buy and sell arbitrage opportunities you can identify online which you can create a market for? Buying and selling expensive university books for example - without using much of your capital yet, just a gradual process. Maybe some ideas from the 4-hour work week. Do you have any specific writing expertise you could write to specialists publishers to offer to write for. What about growing some food and/or baking some food and selling it for a high price at a trendy market stall. This time of the year cutting down Christmas trees and selling them at the roadside.....

Maybe you could brainstorm your particular skills to determine whatever random jobs, pieces of work or entrepreneurship options you have.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by halfmoon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:11 pm

I have zero experience with what you're going through right now, but I know someone who faced a similar situation years ago. He graduated with an economics degree and went to another state to work for a high-pressure commodities firm. It was a very poor fit on both sides, and he didn't stay long. The experience made him feel like a failure, even though it was just a matter of having accepted an incompatible job in the first place.

His solution was to return to the last job where he'd been successful and happy, aiming for a reset of his mind and career. This was a place he'd worked part-time while in school. They were happy to see him, the environment was comfortable and affirming, and after a year there he had a solid reference to overshadow the bad one from the commodities position. He eventually found another job in his field, but one that was more suited to his skills. He was able to take his time getting that good match because he had a job.

On the other hand: this person is not the adventurous type. If you really just want to live in a van and travel around, I have no doubt whatsoever that you can make it happen. I just thought of this story because you mentioned having a part-time job while you were in school, and you seemed to be a pretty happy fox back then. :)

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:25 pm

MID-NOVEMBER 2017

Interviews: I've been getting some interview offers lately from the staffing agencies and my resume uploads. Here's what I've got so far:

1. Flight Crew Scheduling Specialist. 4 days on 12 hr/day, 3 days off. $17.5/hr. Help with flight crew operations and scheduling.

2. Estimator-Take Off Specialist. 5 days on 8 hr/day, 2 days off. $15/hr temp for 3 weeks, $30-40/hr perm. Look at office architecture schematics, determine the amount of material needed for a job, create Excel sheets itemizing these materials, and send the sheet to manufacturing.

3. Bi-lingual Analyst in M&A with a well-known bank. Probably 5-6 days on at 10 hr/day. I guess they liked my previous analyst post.

4. Sales Role with a Law Software company. 5 days at 8-10 hrs/day. 50K base + 10-20K commission. Selling software to law firms.

5. Transition Manager. I didn't get an interview with this one yet, but it seemed cool. 5 days to 8 hr/day. Help transition office culture to an open office environment. Listen to people, make strategies, de-brief.

I am going a bit crazy with nothing to do for about a month now, so I'm thinking of trying on #2. I'm not sure if I'd make a very good salesperson as INFJs are apparently the worst sale people, so I'm hesitant w/ even interviewing w/ #4. #3 sounds like high finance, so no. #5 seems like it could be a great fit, but I haven't heard back from them yet. Scared of going into another firm and bailing after a few months.

I suppose I'm caring too much?

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TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by TopHatFox » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:52 pm

NEW JOB:

Got a new job at the architecture firm. $15/hr for 3 weeks, then $30-40/hr thereafter. M-F 8-5. Gonna get a van to travel on the weekends and minimize expenses.

OTCW
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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by OTCW » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:56 pm

Good job on the job. I've done my fair share of quantity take offs. Takes a lot of focus, can get tedious/redundant, but there is enough in building the spreadsheets/optimizing them that you can put up with it 8-5.

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Re: Fox's Journey: Out of the Burrow

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:08 am

Great TopHatFox! Good to hear that you have an income source again. When I was reading it, I thought about "one foot in the door", which is not only an English saying but also a German one. What kind of job is it? What do you do? Does it meet your INFJs personality characteristics?
(edited: corrected a typo)

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