Author Topic: Continue going to school at 34...?  (Read 1566 times)

JanetJackson

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Continue going to school at 34...?
« on: June 12, 2018, 05:18:46 AM »
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« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 05:47:14 AM by JanetJackson »

jlcnuke

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 06:42:13 AM »
The purpose of education is to acquire the knowledge needed for a career/job. Without a goal of some sort for the education to contribute towards, there's no reason to go in my opinion.

If you're education was working towards something that would benefit you, then there would be something to analyse. As your schooling seems to be for the sake of going to school with no tangible benefit to be gained right now, I don't see a good reason to use debt to finance it.

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« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 06:45:07 AM by jlcnuke »

mxt0133

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 10:08:01 AM »
Speaking as someone working in software development with the traditional 9-5 M-F schedule, I am pretty much ready to try work that is more physical and less cerebral in nature.  The money is good but I long to be outdoors or do something that uses more than just my brain, fingers, and mouth.

I would highly recommend that you do not get into any field that you feel like you have to force yourself to get competent on.  If it is that hard to try and learn something new, imagine what you will have to go through if you have to do it day in and day out once it becomes easy.  Especially in tech/coding where you can't just really learn one thing and think that is all you have to learn to have a successful career.  I have been doing this for almost 20 years and I have to continually update my skills and learn new technology to stay  employable with marketable skills.  Luckily I have a genuine interest in what I am learning, however I couldn't imagine doing that year in and year out for something I have to force myself to do.

Based on your post I wouldn't continue with school, you have marketable skills and a side business that will support you.  You are young and with a 50% savings rate, should be FI in 16 years assuming you have no assets and zero debt.  That puts you at 50 to be FI.  If you really do have to turn down clients, why don't you hire someone to be able handle more clients?  Learning to run a business that is profitable is worth 10 degrees in my opinion.


frugaliknowit

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 10:11:48 AM »
Without a specific strategy including projected new job title and salary:  NO!


acroy

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 10:23:35 AM »

I don't have anything specific I'm working toward, no direct passion for a degree,

I currently work in a nonprofit as an assets manager

I love the dog walking and will probably eventually either leave my day job to scale it up, or hire someone for the business so that I don't have to turn clients away.

- School: NO
- Nonprofits generally pay crap. brush up the resume, take the skills you already have and go get paid more somewhere else
- build the dogwalking business. $2k/mo side gig?? That is pure awesome side-biz mustachian badassity right there, nciely done!!

good luck!!

Calvawt

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 05:43:20 PM »
$24/hr for no degree is very good.  I'm in California and that would be above most of our ranges for non-degreed positions.

I agree school doesn't appear to make sense for you and would also echo the see if you can build the side business by adding some help (you organize but make it a side gig for a few other people after you vet them).

You have made it work so far with a 50% savings rate, that is impressive.  You are clearly more motivated and a much harder worker than me.

Laura33

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 10:40:15 AM »
There are a couple of reasons to get a degree.

1.  Get knowledge/skills to enable you to pursue a chosen career.  This is not you.

2.  Get a credential that many employers require just to get your foot in the door, whether it's actually necessary for the job or not, so that you can get a better job and earn more money.  This is you.  But I think you need to evaluate whether it would actually accomplish what you want.  My initial thoughts:

- You don't say the current job is bad, so there doesn't seem to be an immediate need to escape a hellhole, right?  It's just the hours/pay.

- You say you want to make $50-60K.  Cool.  But if you are making $2K+ from your main job and $2K from your dog walking, you're almost there already!  So do you really need a new job for that? 

- Consider that you are almost making $50K with a job that you work only 30 hrs/week.  If you get a new job that by itself pays $50K, it is likely to demand 40 hrs+/week.  How would that affect your ability to keep bringing in $2K/mo. from dog walking?  If you work the same amount, and earn the same amount, but trade the physical work you like for more hours at a desk, how is that a win?

- Have you looked into what jobs are available with your current degree, what jobs are available with a B.S., and what the pay delta is?  Have you looked at the cost of bringing in another walker who can help grow the business, so you get paid even if you're not doing anything?  How much can your side business actually grow if you focus more time/attention on it or bring other people in?

If you find something you enjoy and can do for a while, the B.S. is worth it.  But you shouldn't jump into it based on unsupported assumptions that it will allow you to make more.  Do the research, apply for other jobs now if you want, and then come back to the B.S. if you really are finding that the doors you are interested in are closed to you because you don't have that degree.

COEE

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 07:18:54 AM »
My thoughts are also that your almost at the money you seek between dog walking and your day job. 

Stay away from additional school until you are out of debt.  Pay off your debt and then reconsider, but cash-flow the expenses at that point.  Also don't chase a career for the Benjamin's.  Chase a career because you're passionate about it.  I know way to many software folks that don't really like it.  The majority are mediocre at their jobs too.

If you're turning 10 people down a week then you're charging too little.  Business is about supply and demand.  You have limited supply (your time) but lots of demand (people calling).  That's when you raise your prices.  There are different ways to go about this.  What I'd do is this: Charge all of your current clients 20% more every 6 months until they start squawking.  Start charging new clients 50%(?) more.  Find that sweet spot.  You want people to start squawking or rejecting your services.  If you're getting some clients and loosing others to competition then you're priced right.

I'd keep from hiring an employee until I found the right price point for your service.

Zikoris

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 02:48:17 PM »
I think it also depends on when you want to retire and with how much income. For example, I'm 31 and want to retire before 35, so it would be insane for me to invest in education of any kind that could not possibly pay off before I reach that age. It makes way more sense for me to just maintain a high savings rate at my current job and just power through. I also have very low expenses and intend to have low expenses post-retirement as well.

If you intend to work another 20+ years or retire with high income/expenses, the math comes out very differently. So basically, it really depends what your overarching goal is here.

brute

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 07:41:44 AM »
My thoughts are also that your almost at the money you seek between dog walking and your day job. 

Stay away from additional school until you are out of debt.  Pay off your debt and then reconsider, but cash-flow the expenses at that point.  Also don't chase a career for the Benjamin's.  Chase a career because you're passionate about it.  I know way to many software folks that don't really like it.  The majority are mediocre at their jobs too.

If you're turning 10 people down a week then you're charging too little.
  Business is about supply and demand.  You have limited supply (your time) but lots of demand (people calling).  That's when you raise your prices.  There are different ways to go about this.  What I'd do is this: Charge all of your current clients 20% more every 6 months until they start squawking.  Start charging new clients 50%(?) more.  Find that sweet spot.  You want people to start squawking or rejecting your services.  If you're getting some clients and loosing others to competition then you're priced right.

I'd keep from hiring an employee until I found the right price point for your service.


Thanks for your input here!  I've steadily increased my prices every six months and am at what "feels" like a price... um, cliff?

I'm in a city, but not a huge one (Richmond, VA) and currently charge $19 for a single dog walk ($10 per add-on dog if a household has more than one pet).  I feel mostly ready to bump it up to that $20 mark, but I also feel like that'll turn a lot of people away.  *And a note: I don't plan on staying in Richmond long term, and that $20/walk price will not work in a smaller city. 
There are lots of dog walkers (albeit less experienced, less trained, etc) in this city who work for $12/walk and I know I personally wouldn't pay $20.  I guess I'm just scared.

Additionally, it's hard not to chase a career for money... as in my head/mindset that's what a career is about.  They pay you because no one would do it for free... so... it's about money. :::Shrug:::  Perhaps that's not the healthiest way to go about it, but I've also never had a W2 career job that I enjoyed at all.  I enjoy working with animals about 70-80% of the time... which is an improvement.  I dislike commuting to clients houses, I hate the business paperwork, and sometimes it's challenging dealing with the human side of the booking (the pet owners) but when I'm working with the critters, I do like it.

Back to the day job: I'm that person who, if I arrive to my day job 3 minutes early I will sit in my car because I REFUSE to give them 3 free minutes.  I get sweaty if someone asks me to stay 1 minute over the time I'm paid to work.  I HATE giving them anything for free because I am there for their money.  I'm there to give them my labor/time in exchange for money, not because I enjoy being there.
Does that make sense?

It makes sense, but I wouldn't say it's a good way to go about it. I work for money, but I'm on the 5 hours a week extra is where I draw the line side. I'm never the first to arrive or last to leave, but I put in a little extra here and there to get things finished and get on with my life. It's served me well, and employers notice. Doing the minimum only keeps you employed, it rarely gets you to a better place.

As a small business owner, I would probably fire you immediately for time stealing. If you've ever taken a personal call, or been on the internet complaining about work, that's time I paid you for that you didn't do my work. I let it slide with my employees because I don't really care, and they get in early and stay late from time to time.

So, in the end, I guess I'm saying that you need to exit the formal workforce and start your own thing and see where it goes. I think that's the only way for you to be happy.

brute

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 09:47:28 AM »
My thoughts are also that your almost at the money you seek between dog walking and your day job. 

Stay away from additional school until you are out of debt.  Pay off your debt and then reconsider, but cash-flow the expenses at that point.  Also don't chase a career for the Benjamin's.  Chase a career because you're passionate about it.  I know way to many software folks that don't really like it.  The majority are mediocre at their jobs too.

If you're turning 10 people down a week then you're charging too little.
  Business is about supply and demand.  You have limited supply (your time) but lots of demand (people calling).  That's when you raise your prices.  There are different ways to go about this.  What I'd do is this: Charge all of your current clients 20% more every 6 months until they start squawking.  Start charging new clients 50%(?) more.  Find that sweet spot.  You want people to start squawking or rejecting your services.  If you're getting some clients and loosing others to competition then you're priced right.

I'd keep from hiring an employee until I found the right price point for your service.


Thanks for your input here!  I've steadily increased my prices every six months and am at what "feels" like a price... um, cliff?

I'm in a city, but not a huge one (Richmond, VA) and currently charge $19 for a single dog walk ($10 per add-on dog if a household has more than one pet).  I feel mostly ready to bump it up to that $20 mark, but I also feel like that'll turn a lot of people away.  *And a note: I don't plan on staying in Richmond long term, and that $20/walk price will not work in a smaller city. 
There are lots of dog walkers (albeit less experienced, less trained, etc) in this city who work for $12/walk and I know I personally wouldn't pay $20.  I guess I'm just scared.

Additionally, it's hard not to chase a career for money... as in my head/mindset that's what a career is about.  They pay you because no one would do it for free... so... it's about money. :::Shrug:::  Perhaps that's not the healthiest way to go about it, but I've also never had a W2 career job that I enjoyed at all.  I enjoy working with animals about 70-80% of the time... which is an improvement.  I dislike commuting to clients houses, I hate the business paperwork, and sometimes it's challenging dealing with the human side of the booking (the pet owners) but when I'm working with the critters, I do like it.

Back to the day job: I'm that person who, if I arrive to my day job 3 minutes early I will sit in my car because I REFUSE to give them 3 free minutes.  I get sweaty if someone asks me to stay 1 minute over the time I'm paid to work.  I HATE giving them anything for free because I am there for their money.  I'm there to give them my labor/time in exchange for money, not because I enjoy being there.
Does that make sense?

It makes sense, but I wouldn't say it's a good way to go about it. I work for money, but I'm on the 5 hours a week extra is where I draw the line side. I'm never the first to arrive or last to leave, but I put in a little extra here and there to get things finished and get on with my life. It's served me well, and employers notice. Doing the minimum only keeps you employed, it rarely gets you to a better place.

As a small business owner, I would probably fire you immediately for time stealing. If you've ever taken a personal call, or been on the internet complaining about work, that's time I paid you for that you didn't do my work. I let it slide with my employees because I don't really care, and they get in early and stay late from time to time.

So, in the end, I guess I'm saying that you need to exit the formal workforce and start your own thing and see where it goes. I think that's the only way for you to be happy.

Thanks for your input.  To get a better understanding of what you are referring to, can you explain/describe when I stole time?

The idea behind time theft is that any time you are doing something not directly related to your paid position, you're being paid, but not working.

Have you ever taken a personal call while on the clock? Are you on the clock right now, while posting on forums? Do you perfectly fit everything that isn't work into your scheduled breaks? These are considered time theft.

Now, most businesses don't care about people doing a little of this. It makes it a more pleasant place to work if you can take a call here and there. But when people come in with the attitude that they will only work from exactly 8am to exactly 4pm, that goes out the window. Being flexible has to go both ways. Again, I'm not talking working 10 unpaid hours a week, but an hour here and there is reasonable.

Laura33

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Re: Continue going to school at 34...?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 10:26:12 AM »
Thanks for your input.  To get a better understanding of what you are referring to, can you explain/describe when I stole time?

Did you go to the bathroom without clocking out or making up the time?  Did you take 31 minutes for your lunch break instead of the allotted 30?  Did you make a personal phone call during work hours?  I think those are the kinds of things @brute is referring to.  If you are going to be completely focused on giving your employer not one extra minute of your time, you need to be equally focused on giving them not one minute less, too.  [ETA: I see brute just said this]

But I think the larger point is that being so focused on doing the bare minimum is playing the short game, whereas you get ahead in a job by playing the long game.  We have a bunch of smart people here, and they all do what I tell them to -- that's sort of the bare minimum for sticking around.  The ones that get the bonuses and promotions are the ones who do more than that:  the ones who think ahead and try to give me what I need, even if I don't specifically ask for it; the ones who answer their phones when I call at 4:55 on Friday (which, btw, is always because the client just called me at 4:45, not because I sat on my ass all week); the ones who meet the deadlines I give them, even when it requires an unanticipated Saturday; etc.  In return, I am very loyal:  I do not take advantage of them; I avoid overtime and weekends whenever possible; and I advocate strongly for them to get raises, bonuses, and promotions.  So in that world, who do you think is going to get the raises and bonuses and promotions?  Compensation decisions are based on rewarding people for the value they have already provided to the company, so the effort and value you create always comes before the raise/promotion.  Because, really, why would they pay you more in the hope that you will work harder as a result, when they have 12 other people who need to be rewarded for the extra effort they have already been putting in? 

This isn't really a lecture/diatribe.  The bigger point, which is I think where brute was going, is that your mindset is not going to get you the money/success you want in the corporate world.  So if you want to get ahead, you have two choices:  (1) change your mindset; or (2) look for opportunities outside the corporate world.  And if you are not willing to give the "extra" that a boss will expect to see before considering you for a raise/promotion, then the decision has to be to focus on building your own business.

And that is very very relevant to your original question:  you want to know whether to pursue a degree, because you hope it might help you get a better job.  But if your path to success is not a "job," then shouldn't the question be whether a degree will help you make more money from your own business?  And I don't see anything so far that suggests that it would help at this point.

BTW, I don't necessarily agree with raising your rates.  There are two ways to benefit from having more customers than you can serve:  increase your prices until your demand drops to the amount you can supply (at a much greater profit per customer); or increase the supply to meet the demand (e.g., by hiring another person).  I prefer the second option, because if that works out, you have a business model that you can expand indefinitely simply by hiring more people -- and you begin making money off of the efforts of other people to boot, which is even better (who wouldn't want to get paid for sitting around while someone else does the work?).