Author Topic: Beginning Mustachian Seeking Guidence  (Read 1323 times)

RManXJ9

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Beginning Mustachian Seeking Guidence
« on: April 06, 2015, 08:42:00 PM »
Hi all, as my subject suggests I am looking for some advice and direction. I have just been offered my first salaried job as an Associate Systems Engineer 1 at a company that specializes in building ruggedized computers and display modules, and frankly I'm not sure what to do. Before I go farther in a little background:

I am a 23 year old physics and found MMM about half a year ago. Since the discovery I have read all the articles and am very excited to put the ideas within to use. It has been a good fertilizer for my already budding ideology. I began working at this company a few months before finding MMM, and while I was lucky to be paid as an intern it wasn't really feasible to move out of my parent's home (because I have been diverting a large portion of my pay to 401k...). Obviously I'd like to move out and be more independent but I have a couple dilemmas:

  • I enjoy being able to interact with people some when I work and the sense I've gotten is that I'll be doing a lot more independent work at my desk. Currently I coordinate with people and do a decent amount of moving around (depending on the stage of the project). This position seems like one where there will be less interaction and sitting. I will be getting more info from my manager before making a decision, but, do any readers have a sense of the responsibilities of this position and/or thoughts on the matter in general?
  • Frankly the offer is a lot less than I was hoping for, the offer is 53k/yr. The sense I've gotten is that this is on the lower end, but I'm curious what any professionals in related fields think of this as a more-or-less entry level salary.

    A very general calculation of expected monthly expenses vs take home puts me at ~24.4k invested/yr (just under 50%, which really isn't bad). I intentionally picked expense numbers that I think I can do better than. To a large degree it comes down to whether I believe I will like the job, but how much should I consider looking for somewhere that pays better? I do enjoy where I am at currently, my coworkers are very nice and I like all the management so it would be nice to accept for that reason.

I appreciate all who have taken time to read this, and an extra thanks to anyone who has contributed any thoughts on the matter!

velocistar237

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Re: Beginning Mustachian Seeking Guidence
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 08:21:00 AM »
  • I enjoy being able to interact with people some when I work and the sense I've gotten is that I'll be doing a lot more independent work at my desk. Currently I coordinate with people and do a decent amount of moving around (depending on the stage of the project). This position seems like one where there will be less interaction and sitting. I will be getting more info from my manager before making a decision, but, do any readers have a sense of the responsibilities of this position and/or thoughts on the matter in general?

I hear you on this one. I used to think I was an introvert because I can be socially awkward at times, but now I know that I crave regular meaningful interaction. I've had desk jobs since I entered the workforce, and that's mostly how it is in my engineering field. Since I'm so far along, I'm going to stick it out and change gears when I stop working. In the meantime, I'll do what I can to get those interactions, whether it's mentoring relationships, eating lunch, taking breaks, joining clubs, or pestering people for help (even if I don't really need it). I've raised the idea of trying pair-work, but it runs against the company culture and hasn't gained any traction.

Maybe these things could work for you, or maybe you could find a role that involves more interaction. Be sure to communicate what you want to your manager, because they won't know otherwise. Managers typically interact more than technical engineers, so consider directing your career toward management.

  • Frankly the offer is a lot less than I was hoping for, the offer is 53k/yr. The sense I've gotten is that this is on the lower end, but I'm curious what any professionals in related fields think of this as a more-or-less entry level salary.

Sounds like it's too late to address your initial offer. It's lower than what I got fresh out of undergrad a decade ago, accounting for inflation, but my industry is different. I got large raises for the first few years, so you could stick it out for at least a couple of years and use the opportunity to develop yourself, and see if it gets better. Keep an eye on salary comparison tools like Glass Door, and if your wages are below market in a couple years, start looking, and beef up your negotiating skills. Job hopping is considered (sadly, in my opinion) one of the best ways to boost your salary, but it's good to have some kind of base experience to start from.