Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

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

Post by TopHatFox »

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.

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The staffing agency meant 30-40k/yr, not $30-40/hr (_(
Last edited by TopHatFox on Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by OTCW »

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.

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

Post by wolf »

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)

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

Post by TopHatFox »

LATE NOVEMBER 2017

The new job was not a work match. The people and culture were way better than my first post-grad job. They were more relaxed and seemed like regular people. The work itself was still analytical and task-oriented, as opposed to focused on people and ideas. I've decided to venture down a few different paths from here:

1. To begin researching two-year graduate programs for a degree that qualifies me for work that is suited to me, that I'm good at, with people I like, in a place that I like, and that has a market.
2. To continue trying different temp agency jobs to gain more data points as to what work is suited to me and that I'm good at.
3. Rent a van this upcoming weekend or the next and stay at a state park for the weekend with C. It'll be good to try the lifestyle out.
4. See if jaw surgery is covered after COBRA clears in the next week or so.

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Networth: 65K

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

Post by TheWanderingScholar »

For path one, also take into consideration about the possible new tax law for graduate students as well, as that is definitely something to look at as well. That is definitely affecting my decision whether or not I get my PhD in the US or not.

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

Post by theanimal »

I'd also be wary of #1 if you are just using that as a way to return to the more familiar and comfortable role as a student.

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

Post by BRUTE »

brute votes strongly for sticking to a job for at least 1-2 years. the software sales job sounds like a good entry into that market, which can be extremely rewarding.

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

Post by TopHatFox »

theanimal wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:24 pm
I'd also be wary of #1 if you are just using that as a way to return to the more familiar and comfortable role as a student.
It seems many of the jobs dealing with people and ideas are easier to enter with a master's. I'm going to spam alumni with a bachelor's alone and see what turns up. It would also be nice to finish school for the foreseeable future. I've re-read Walden on Wheels so that may be an influence too. Heh. I would of course take this route only if it is very inexpensive to free.

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

Post by SustainableHappiness »

May be worthwhile reading the MadFIentist on the topic of getting a Masters for free by getting a job at a university first if you haven't already.

https://www.madfientist.com/free-ivy-league-degree/

DW and I looked into doing this and it is a viable route if you really want more education, but it means you work AND go to school. With your background you may be able to get into business development for a college doing a bit of wheeling and dealing, or doing financial analysis of some sort, or business analytics? These jobs look to pay fairly well too (in Canada anyways!).

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

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Working through a temp agency might limit the jobs that are available to you. As far as I know, temp agencies get a certain sort of position.

I'm surprised you are considering going back to school. I'm not saying it is a bad choice, but it doesn't seem like it aligns well with the early retirement plans I thought you had. It seems like a bad investment to put two more years into school if you really only plan to work for a few years once you settle on a job.

Based on the background and interests you have described maybe you should try to find a position with a consulting company that works with the softer side of organizational development. There's lots of meeting with people and talking.

It may be difficult getting a position that works with "people and ideas" straight out of college. From what I have seen people who are experienced in an industry don't care what ideas the new college grad has. In most fields they are looking for the new hire to complete the mundane tasks they themselves are not interested in doing. It takes time to prove yourself and earn respect so in the meantime you have to format spreadsheets and print documents for meetings or whatever. Of course, you need to align the job with the type of work you are looking for; don't become a therapist if you don't want to listen, don't become a programmer if you hate working alone, etc.

Good luck, these decisions can be tough.

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

Post by TopHatFox »

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.

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

Post by steelerfan »

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.

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

Post by TopHatFox »

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.

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

Post by TopHatFox »

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?

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

Post by bryan »

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

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

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

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.

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

Post by slowtraveler »

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.

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

Post by disparatum »

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).

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

Post by theanimal »

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.

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

Post by jacob »

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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