Author Topic: First job during FIRE?  (Read 1695 times)

Montecarlo

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First job during FIRE?
« on: January 21, 2019, 06:09:51 PM »
Okay, I know that sounds like an oxymoron.  I plan on starting my FIRE life by getting a new job.  Partially to let the 'stache compound a little more, but mostly for the skill building.

I grew up in a trailer park from a not handy family.  Since buying my own home I've done some masonry building a firepit and I've run a new electrical circuit.  Other than that I consider myself very not handy.  I'd like to be able to remodel a kitchen or a bathroom.  That's some skills!

I'd also like to have my own dog training business.  I'm pretty good with dogs and I know a lot of the theory around conditioning, but even so with my new lab I found myself hiring an expert.  He gave me a couple of tools in my belt and they've been magical.  So why not find a way to get paid as a junior dog trainer and learn from the best?

So those are my two thoughts.  Some sort of laborer/apprentice for construction or skilled trade, or dog training apprentice.

What would you consider?

reeshau

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 02:39:41 AM »
How do you feel about the time commitment you will have, in order to pursue these roles?  Assistants don't generally get the plum vacation slots or shifts.  And you have to consider all weather conditions, as well.

If you are interested in construction experience, and are FI, have you thought about volunteering for Habitat for Humanity?  Or even as a service trip internationally?  While those experiences will be quite intense, I would expect that you would have a lot more control over your time commitment and task makeup.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 05:05:07 AM »
@reeshau, thanks to your suggestion I just signed up for Habitat for Humanity in my area!

reeshau

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 06:55:22 AM »
:)

FIREby35

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 07:03:00 AM »
I might also suggest non-credit classes at a local community college. I plan on doing that whenever life allows.

Also, lots of small subcontractors are sort of solo type guys who could use a hand and if you let them pay you minimum wage they probably won't mind you showing up even if you don't have lot of skills. You just have to find the right person.

trollwithamustache

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 07:23:03 AM »
I'll vote for the handy man route... the side benefit of it being you get to write off your tool costs. but that doesn't prevent you form using them next year for your home projects.

JoJo

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 07:43:22 AM »
I'll vote for the handy man route... the side benefit of it being you get to write off your tool costs. but that doesn't prevent you form using them next year for your home projects.

You can sign up on TaskRabbit and list your price.  I used that last year and quite liked the handyman I picked out.  You can set your hours.  Probably would be popular if you made yourself available on weekends for the working types.

infromsea

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 09:38:28 AM »
I just signed up for Habitat for Humanity in my area!

Good on you!

Now, the trick is to get known as someone who is reliable, willing to learn, and might show up when no-one else will.

In my area, the more knowledgeable experts at Habitat are called "red-hats". I'm not sure if that's habitat wide or just around here.

I was able to "gain access" to this group by showing up when others were not able/willing (sheathing a two-story in wind and snow, on a janky set of scaffolding etc.).

Once I was "in the group" I was invited to show up on days where only red-hats and other highly skilled workers contributed, this took my knowledge level up by 10X. Eventually, you'll be the one showing the group volunteers how to do things!

Your results may vary based on the quality of the local volunteers/permanent volunteers and any contractors being used (many builds have a contractor to oversee everything and ensure quality).

I was able to take the skills I improved upon (had a decent set going in) and add a bathroom, enclose a carport, and re-furb our kitchen, it was well worth the time and effort spent volunteering and getting to know the ropes of the system.

Best of luck to you.

infromsea

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 09:42:36 AM »
Coming at your question from another angle:

I too "retired" and started looking for side gigs etc.

I browsed the craigslist help wanted sections, just about all of them, and found some cool gigs.

I installed dish-washers for a day, and then educated the contractor on how foolish his expectations where, and we decided it wasn't a good fit. I also do some day-labor stuff for local contractors since they are almost all over-booked and have a hard time finding good help, even folks to just show up and clean up a job site. In my area there is tons of work like this, it's pure "take it or leave it" from our standpoint (those of us FIRE/RE/FI etc..).

Good luck!

Montecarlo

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 08:33:37 PM »
Thanks all!

MasterStache

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2019, 04:27:48 AM »
I am a handyman myself. Purely self taught (YouTube is fantastic). Developed my skills over the last 4+ years rehabbing our own house. I've been hired by friends, family and many of my wife's co-workers for all kinds of stuff from simple painting to entire gut and remodel. I love the work and they pay me well to do it. I pretty much do it whenever I want as well. It's a great little side gig.

davisgang90

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2019, 04:31:40 AM »
I've had 2 paid positions since I fired.

I was an election official for my new county (15 hour day on election day). - $175
I'm a substitute teacher in my county's school district. $100 a day

I'm open to the right part time gig, but I'm still getting networked into the community.

walkwalkwalk

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 10:11:41 AM »
I've had 2 paid positions since I fired.

I was an election official for my new county (15 hour day on election day). - $175
I'm a substitute teacher in my county's school district. $100 a day

I'm open to the right part time gig, but I'm still getting networked into the community.
I'm not FIRE'd but I'll second both of those jobs. I've been an election clerk off and on since high school (not my full time job just something I do if I take a day off for election day now that I am working full time). My mom is a substitute teacher and it allows her the flexibility to work as much or as little as she wants, with a minimum number of days per school year in the district she works for (I think its 15 or so?)

soccerluvof4

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2019, 08:03:26 AM »
I have a mental rule of thumb as being Fire'd up to 25 hours a week max still makes it ok. I took my first gig delivering Pizzas and its been fun, the tips where I live are outstanding and I get mile reimbursement. But as I said on another thread another week or two and I will be done with that experiment. I like learning new things and was getting a bit bored. So much work out there so why not play around a bit, get paid and learn a few new things.

infromsea

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2019, 10:08:43 AM »
I like learning new things and was getting a bit bored. So much work out there so why not play around a bit, get paid and learn a few new things.

This! This! This!

I've been in this scenario and even wrote something about it long ago. I'm a firm believer in "stacking skills" and some of them are harder to learn from home/on your own OR will take much longer to learn VS working somewhere (close by of course, within walk/bike distance..).

For example, I'd love to be a bartender, not for income, but to learn the role and interact with folks (though I'm an introvert...).

I'd love to operate heavy equipment, yes, I could rent a small backhoe from HD but I'd rather get my mitts on something substantial, graders/cranes/you name it... Not many chances to do that outside of a "job".

I'd love to clean windows at the tallest buildings in my area, being outside, up in the air, it would be worth it (very flat here, 2 hours to nearest chance to do any climbing/repelling).

I don't see a future where this desire (to build more skills and maybe travel, on someone else's dime) goes away, I'm working on being happy just being ME right HERE and NOW, BUT, the internal drive to continue to learn/grow/expand seems to be innate and very hard to "shush", so I continue to seek opportunities to try new things, and if I earn an income/get benefits.... ok...

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2019, 10:47:59 AM »
What’s holding you back from doing both? The great thing about FIRE, you can do whatever you like s long as like, whenever you like. Work on your house and walk dogs. Enjoy.

trollwithamustache

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2019, 08:29:13 AM »
I have a mental rule of thumb as being Fire'd up to 25 hours a week max still makes it ok. I took my first gig delivering Pizzas and its been fun, the tips where I live are outstanding and I get mile reimbursement. But as I said on another thread another week or two and I will be done with that experiment. I like learning new things and was getting a bit bored. So much work out there so why not play around a bit, get paid and learn a few new things.

This is sort of a strange fantasy of mine, to quite working and "try" a whole bunch of jobs like this that many would consider "shit jobs"

mjones1234

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2019, 10:21:58 AM »
I'm trying some different things since retiring early. I worked at Home Depot stocking shelves at night. It's the only job I could find there that didn't require weekend work. I worked 9pm - 1am every night and brought home almost a grand a month. Super-chill job until I fell off a ladder at home and broke my arm. I then moved on to a job selling tech services for a few months which netted me about $5k per month, but put me back into the corporate world and the commute to the office was almost an hour. I'm now looking into getting my CDL license and driving something like a dump truck (gravel/rock/fill dirt) locally. The course is 37 hours and only about $1800. So many options out there, I just need to lock down on my next move.

infromsea

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2019, 02:42:58 PM »
This is sort of a strange fantasy of mine, to quite working and "try" a whole bunch of jobs like this that many would consider "shit jobs"

Not strange at all!

While deployed to AF for a year we had a list of "dream jobs" on a whiteboard, things we'd like to do when income was no issue, things we'd do for the experience rather than pay. Things like:

- Taxi driver (uber was not a thing back then)
- Zoo worker of some kind
- Wilderness guide/councilor
- Night club bouncer

Those kind of things, cause life is short ya know...

Montecarlo

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2019, 04:03:16 PM »
Wanted to thank everyone for great discussion.  I am still 1-5 years out, but I love the idea of using ER to develop some awesome skills of independence

freeat57

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2019, 04:48:12 PM »
Here are a few things to consider.  Currently, I don't really want any more income.  With the dividends from my taxable account investments, any income I earned from a low paying job would be wiped out by a loss in ACA insurance subsidy.  This is the classic "perverse incentive" scenario. 
Also, I would caution anyone to thoroughly investigate the expectations of the employer.  Here's my post FIRE job experience.  I had always thought that I might enjoy teaching.  About1.5 years after I FIREd, an old friend informed me that a professor in my field was retiring at the private university where he worked and asked me if I would consider applying for the job.  The initial discussion was that I would teach all the sections of one course with no other obligations.  After I got the job and started, I was begged to teach the following summer term, because they were in dire need of someone to do it.  There was a meager amount if pay for the summer and it was a full 40 hour week due to the laboratory part of the course. (I had expected to have summers off.) I realized I had been suckered when two of the older profs took the summer off for travel abroad.  Also, the course I inherited was horribly out of date and the old prof left hand written notes and no electronic media whatsoever.  Did I say this was a science course?  I worked as long and hard as I ever did in my industry career.  I had been led to believe that everything was in place and I would just walk in and teach.  Ha!
Not bragging here, but right out of the gate, I became one of the highest rated profs in the department and there was absolutely no recognition of that.  I was, however, asked to do more and more.  After 3.5 years, I was utterly disgusted with the situation and quit.  I stayed that long because I did enjoy teaching and loved my students!  Too bad the management of the place was so abysmal. 

So, know exactly what you're getting into and set limits.  Often the lowest person on the totem pole is taken advantage of. 

reeshau

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2019, 08:35:44 AM »
Also, I would caution anyone to thoroughly investigate the expectations of the employer.  Here's my post FIRE job experience.  I had always thought that I might enjoy teaching.  About1.5 years after I FIREd, an old friend informed me that a professor in my field was retiring at the private university where he worked and asked me if I would consider applying for the job. 

Teaching is a dream retirement job for me as well, but I have heard a number of horror stories, similar to yours but with their own twists:  politics among departments, funding shortfalls, broken promises, disrespect to those not on tenure track, etc.

I'm hoping there is some way to crack the academic culture and find a happy place.  Or maybe it needs to be through a disruptive setting, like an online learning session, to get what I want without the overhead that smells like corporate inertia.  We will see.

soccerluvof4

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2019, 02:23:27 PM »
I have a mental rule of thumb as being Fire'd up to 25 hours a week max still makes it ok. I took my first gig delivering Pizzas and its been fun, the tips where I live are outstanding and I get mile reimbursement. But as I said on another thread another week or two and I will be done with that experiment. I like learning new things and was getting a bit bored. So much work out there so why not play around a bit, get paid and learn a few new things.

This is sort of a strange fantasy of mine, to quite working and "try" a whole bunch of jobs like this that many would consider "shit jobs"




I called and told them I was done last Friday. Looking for my new adventure. I would of done the Pizza gig a little longer than originally expected because i really liked the people and it was actually pretty fun BUT what I didn't like was how people didn't adhere to the schedule and management was fine with that. In other words guys would just come in a couple hours early and take deliveries away from me that I easily had time for. I received two calls after I left I think they were pretty disappointed and I basically explained its one thing to call a guy in if you need help its another to just show up and be ok , why have a schedule than at all. Wasn't being a dick but figured they should know. So I have been randomly applying for this and that. No rush plus before you know it spring/Summer will be here and I don't see myself working in the summer.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2019, 05:54:49 PM »
@soccerluvof4 , have you thought about habitat for humanity? I just signed up for the one in my county, and looking forward to learning how to build houses while doing some good for the community!

soccerluvof4

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2019, 03:53:13 AM »
@soccerluvof4 , have you thought about habitat for humanity? I just signed up for the one in my county, and looking forward to learning how to build houses while doing some good for the community!


I havent being honest. I have an interview tomorrow to work at one of the big box stores tomorrow PT. Going to see what that is all about. Kinda not sure I want to start something with spring around the corner as I get really busy then.

patrickza

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Re: First job during FIRE?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2019, 05:42:21 AM »
I have a mental rule of thumb as being Fire'd up to 25 hours a week max still makes it ok. I took my first gig delivering Pizzas and its been fun, the tips where I live are outstanding and I get mile reimbursement. But as I said on another thread another week or two and I will be done with that experiment. I like learning new things and was getting a bit bored. So much work out there so why not play around a bit, get paid and learn a few new things.

This is sort of a strange fantasy of mine, to quite working and "try" a whole bunch of jobs like this that many would consider "shit jobs"
Weirdly it's one of mine too. All sorts of things.