An American Millennial

Where are you and where are you going?
Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:19 pm

@classical_Liberal Sure, there are some varied stories, and it's easy to pick out some as examples. And I could just as easily pick 2 or 3 that are exactly how I describe as well - high income, educated, right degree. What I notice more than the inspiring stories and diversity, is the uniformity. I don't feel poor, I'm American, by default I am rich. Something living abroad has highlighted for me. As are others on this forum from wealthy countries, which I'd wager the majority are. We won the birth lottery, we get to live on easy mode and actually consider ERE. But on this forum, I'd say I'm an outlier in the net worth category. And there's certainly some reason to that.

This is all anecdotal, if someone wants to waste time drumming up numbers and counting through the journals - won't be me.

I still stand by 2017 when I said that low-earning, wrong degree, doesn't really belong here and that sort of situation makes ERE less attainable. It's certainly geared towards and seems to attract a higher earning, higher educated, wealthier group.

@bigato Sure you can. I find that posting graphs on my monthly progress is quite a waste because it doesn't really get me anything more than a feeling of, "Wow, this is moving slowly." And it gets reiterated each month. Especially when you consider it's a monthly "progress" graph. A graph on personal happiness would be more worthwhile.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:26 pm

@THF Nope, situation was we weren't 100% if we would go back or not. There were a couple months to try and find work in HK or Shenzhen. But if we did stay, she would want to stay with the same company. And then the contract decision was forced on us, so she re-signed. In hindsight, the decision was made based on "If I stay, would I want to do change jobs?" and we (she) should have instead made the decision based on, "If I don't stay, would I want to be locked into this contract?" Power to her, for being the type that can't go back on the paper and ink.

Ultimately job didn't come through (well, kind of did, but it's freelance for now). And now it's time for me to go back and find work in the US.

I'm not preparing for the difference. I'm not so worried about the difference. I already know what it's like. Moving abroad and all. The hardest will be not being with my girlfriend for 6 months and, more importantly, not seeing my cats (I kid). After 6 months she'll be rejoining me.

40 hour workweek we'll see how it goes. As it is, I already code >20/week. Last I remember, 40 hours/week meant coming home tired, fried, unfulfilled and unmotivated. That was my free time state. That's kind of how it is now anyway. I teach, then code, code, code. And eventually my brain says it's done and I watch TV shows with girlfriend, play football, or try a computer game (I get bored super fast of computer games, though). We'll see what happens.

Biggest changes to adjust to will be:
- workweek
- no girlfriend/cats
- US less convenient
- culture shock

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:27 pm

I reached out to my network on LinkedIn and FB (which nobody seems to use anymore). Targeted software engineers/devs. Told them about moving back to US and either searching Denver jobs remotely in LA, or moving to Denver and searching while local. Got a ton of good advice. As well, my self-taught dev community, where I've been the last few months I wasn't posting here, net-wise, has been extremely helpful.

This girl spent 60 hours/week on her job search for 1 month.

Sabaka
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Sabaka » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:03 am

Just been rereading your journal and came across the post when you first started considering learning to code. To get to the position you're in now, with people offering you jobs, is a fantastic achievement mate! :)

Also, just to add my two cents on how attainable FIRE/ERE is, I'm in complete agreement with you. Coming from someone with no degree and no other valuable skill-set, the path to FIRE/ERE looks an increasingly difficult one. And at some point, you have to ask yourself how many years' sacrifice is it worth to achieve this goal, which you cannot be certain will instantly give your life meaning. Of course, for some people the 9-5 isn't a sacrifice and therefore it is good to crack on towards whatever the financial target is.

When I read your journal, it reads as the journal of someone who has taken every opportunity they can get to explore their present life to the fullest. Supermarket jobs, insurance work, teaching. It's all part of the journey. I firmly believe you cannot truly know what you want your life to look like until you try these different things, which you have done. Regardless of where it puts you on the journey to FIRE/ERE, judging by the fact that you say you have not regretted any of the decisions for the last two years, it has worked out for you :) .

I guess what I am trying to do is to adopt more of your mindset, which is difficult for a few reasons. 1 being that I am naturally a quite conservative guy, who likes routine and dislikes change. And also, partly due to ERE, I have become somewhat fixated on a financial target. For the past 3 years, I have just worked, not been happy and have just focused on an increase every month in my NW. Now that I've finally taken a decision (I'm going to go to Russia for 3 months), which will mean going into deaccumulation mode for at least 6 months, I actually feel excited (and also super nervous and afraid) for the future.

TL;DR: Congrats on the coding, and personally I find your journal very inspirational.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:53 am

Ya, it's pretty sweet, but there's still a lot more to go. For example, this freelance gig is potentially just 1 job, and who knows when it will actually come through. Small company, dealing with the owners directly, who are busy... It took them more than 2 weeks to get back to me about my take-home project. It's been over a week since I agreed to doing a freelance one.

Good luck in Russia. It's always a rush moving abroad. I've got like 7 more days here. Crazy. Glad I inspired you, that's all I really hope to get out of this journal. No ragrets. Not even a letter.

This friend on LinkedIn gave me such good advice for the job search. But it's going to be tough. I think I'll check back in in a few months.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:11 am

I’m in California. It’s pretty nice. There was an earthquake.

The culture in the US is so obviously different. Luckily there’s pickup games just a couple blocks from my house. Lucky I have family to stay with right now.

It’s been two and a half weeks or so I think. Spending is pretty low. I have no rent or car so food and soccer fees is all I pay right now.

Ive applied for 29 jobs. I’m taking care to write cover letters and send them to the people working there in addition to filling out their online application. I’ve put an ad on a freelance website as well. In the meantime, I’m finishing up a coding cohort this week. Then I’ll have more time to work on other things coding-wise.

I haven’t gone to any networking events yet.

I’m spending about 4 hours/day during the week on my job search online, but I’m getting faster. Sometimes I code in between each job or cover letter or email. Sometimes I use something I heard Elon musk does where he spends 5 mins on each task. It works pretty well but I still only do it for the 4 hours. Other times I just start a timer, work as long as I want, pause the timer, relax, and by early afternoon I’ve still worked about 4 hours.

Anyways. My sister comes home from Texas in about a week. And I’m sleeping in her room right now. So I’ll have to figure things out soon. But I’ll spend some time here either way since I haven’t seen her in over a year.

Really satisfied with the food. Cost, quality, etc. And of course the air. So easy to take it for granted. But it’s so nice to have worrying about it off of my mind.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:13 pm

Just took a programming test for a job interview or part of their process. The test had Python, SQL, JavaScript, and HTML. The HTML question was pretty easy, using semantic tags. JavaScript was ok, there was a question asking for recursive function, which I don't use ever, but I was able to write one anyway and passed the tests. SQL was easy, even though I haven't written an SQL query since last Fall. Python is a bit longer of a story.

Since filling out job applications, according to various articles, is allegedly a poor way to find a job, a recent Youtube video sparked my curiosity. Because, this video showed a guy writing some Python code to auto-like tweets on Twitter. So I went ahead and downloaded Python and started coding something to automate online job applications. It's actually almost finished, but it looks like I may need to use Google Chrome instead of Firefox, since the website I'm applying on doesn't seem to work on Firefox. Anyways, around this same time I watched this video, I received the test invitation for this company which just so happened to have Python listed in their job requirements. Today was the last day to submit the test, so I started it this morning, having only more or less copied, pasted, and modified one Python script before.

So the 2 Python questions actually went ok. One I got right, woo! And the other I couldn't pass test cases, but the function I wrote did what I wanted it to do, so probably didn't understand the question (which probably has to do with not ever studying Python).

Anyways, this morning I also finally got an inquiry back from a company in HK that I had interviewed with back in May. They sent me a couple mock-ups (1 mobile, 1 same page desktop) and asked for a quote.

Plan is to rewrite the Python app for Chrome and auto-apply for newly posted jobs each morning. Start working on this freelance job. Attend some sort of meetup for professionals if the occasion arises and not too busy.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:57 am

I just got my first interview for jobs in CA. It will be later this week. It's on the low-end of the spectrum for pay. But that's just me getting ahead of myself.

Small snag in the Python script since the job website I was using has captcha on the actual submit button as well. I think next thing to try is either a) having it open each application so I can come in a fill out the last parts/defeat captchas or b) have it compile info from its search into a spreadsheet for my review. It will probably become a combination of these in later iterations.

slowtraveler
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:23 am

Dude you're kicking ass. Congratulations on it.

I find your progress very inspiring as it gives me hope that I can get another kick ass job once my current gig dies down. Plus, I love the mental stimulation progeamming provides.

How are you feeling happiness wise after your cultural shift living in China? I hear culture shock can be worse going back than coming to Asia in the first place.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:54 am

I'm feeling pretty good. Sometimes I'm a little bummed, just miss my girlfriend and my cats and friends. It's been almost a month now. Actually, I think it's been just 3 weeks, but it feels like longer. I don't really get to bad of culture shock. Grocery stores, supermarkets, those are kind of awkward since I feel like I can't be myself in public. Whereas in China, I could talk about my butthole itching or drop the f bomb without a second thought, here I can't because everyone understands me and people look at you and stuff.

Also the customer service here is a little awkward at times. It's really fake. I like the real clerks that don't really smile and are more straight-faced.

My neighborhood borders a sports complex with 15+ soccer fields and there are 2 different meetups playing there Mon-Thurs nights. So 2/week I can go there and that's a ton of fun. It's what I was doing in China, playing football a lot, and it costs about the same. That helps with culture shock as well.

Recently I've just got a little lonely. My mom is on vacation and my sister isn't home yet from Texas. After the football game last night, even though everyone is really friendly and welcoming, and it was a good game, I was just a little lonely on the jog home and after my shower. But I think that has a lot more to do with my current living situation and being away from my girlfriend and cats for the first time in a long time. This is also day 3 of my mom's vacation, so I've been pretty starved of human contact. There are no people outside too here.

I don't live in downtown L.A., but sometimes I wonder if maybe living downtown would feel a bit more like China. In the suburbs, it's like a ghost town. I see someone else outside about as often as I would see a foreigner in Shenzhen.

I'm so happy with the food, though. And the air quality.

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