Author Topic: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.  (Read 3519 times)

nottoscale

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Hello denizens for MMM Fourms,

I have been using this forum and have really taken a hold of my spending I went from maxed out cards to 0$ in CC debt and using a rewards card I pay off every month for everything. Which my shifting in spending has come a change in what I want to do with my life and I don't know how to confront it.

My debt emergency has ended and I am left in a pretty nice place. My issue is I am not happy. I have just about zero work life balance my weekdays are taken over from 7 am to about 6 pm with work. The exercise I get is my bike commute there and back. I arrive home too tired to really do much and the weekends I just try to make up for lost time and try to do too much.  I have several DIY projects that have been pushed back months because the weekend that was supposed to be a nice work day on a new desk or coffee table turns into a date night or something else things I enjoy but the 48 hours of the weekend never seems like enough.

I feel like I need to make a change. I live in Chicago and I work in construction management without a degree.  While I like the work the work place is starting to get on my nerves. I would look for a lateral change to a different company doing the same thing but my lack of a degree is a hurdle sometimes.

My real thought is to move somewhere and do something different. I want to see what the fine rational people of this forum think of my ultimate fantasy.

I am 24 years old and currently make $48K a year. I have about $5K saved after knocking down all my debt and that's really more of an emergency fund then anything else.
My only debt left is $48K in student loans at 7% I am on income based repayment, but I pay as much as I can afford towards that every month. Which is about $700 to $800.
My other bills are very limited internet, phone , utilities, save for property taxes.
I own my home outright.

Now you have an idea of where I am let me layout what I'd like to do:

The market in Chicago is starting to perk up a lot especially in my neighborhood.  I want to sell my house pay my student loans and move somewhere else using the rest of the cash to buy a modest house with ideally no mortgage.

I could most likely sell for $150K  I am unfamiliar with fees incurred with selling a home so lets say after debts are paid and fees I walk away with $90K

I would want to move somewhere outside of the city ideally a place where I could have some land. $90K might not be enough to buy outright but it might be a great 50% down payment and that would not be a terrible mortgage

I don't know how to start developing this plan better though.  I don't know where to look for place to move and most importantly I don't know how to find a job outside of a city with a lot of construction or how to move to a different industry to make myself more employable in a less dense community.

I'm just looking for discussion and ideas to bounce back and forth. Like I said this is just something I day dream about while I am working but I would love to make this a reality.

robartsd

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 11:34:44 AM »
I have been using this forum and have really taken a hold of my spending I went from maxed out cards to 0$ in CC debt and using a rewards card I pay off every month for everything.
Congratulations!

My debt emergency has ended and I am left in a pretty nice place. My issue is I am not happy. I have just about zero work life balance my weekdays are taken over from 7 am to about 6 pm with work. The exercise I get is my bike commute there and back. I arrive home too tired to really do much and the weekends I just try to make up for lost time and try to do too much.  I have several DIY projects that have been pushed back months because the weekend that was supposed to be a nice work day on a new desk or coffee table turns into a date night or something else things I enjoy but the 48 hours of the weekend never seems like enough.
That sounds like you need to cut back from work (at least temporarily). How manditory are your life sucking long hours? Since you work in construction is this a seasonal thing (busy summer construction season)? While you may be better off making other changes as well, just focusing on your long term plan rather than the day to day of where your're at right now can help a lot.

I feel like I need to make a change. I live in Chicago and I work in construction management without a degree.  While I like the work the work place is starting to get on my nerves. I would look for a lateral change to a different company doing the same thing but my lack of a degree is a hurdle sometimes.
You have the student debt but not a degree (or is the degree in something unrelated)? Experience trumps education in most cases. If no degree, what would it take to complete one? Your project management skills are transferable to many industries.

Fishindude

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 11:42:59 AM »
Move downstate somewhere and get out of that rat race in Chicago to a much more relaxed, laid back atmosphere with lower cost of living, less commute time, etc.
If you are good and have experience in CM work, you should have no trouble finding work, degree or no degree.   CM guys are in high demand in industrial and commercial work.
Further, you are being way underpaid for the Chicago market, $75K is more like it.

mozar

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 11:47:22 AM »
If you moved somewhere outside Chicago, do you think you will keep working in Chicago? It might not be worth moving if you have to increase your commute time significantly. I would get a roommate and kill those loans first, then decide what to do.

bestname

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 11:50:25 AM »
If you are happy to move, maybe investigate some smaller cities with strong economies - college towns are great for that sort of thing. Much less grinding than a giant city like Chicago. I don't know the construction business at all, but five years of experience can often compensate for a degree.

nottoscale

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 11:56:37 AM »
getting a bachelors would take 2 years filling in gaps to get an associates would take 1 year.

that assumes going full time to go part time double those estimates.

I was very excited to just go one class at a time for a few years and finish up gradually but I didn't have the time and I failed the class. It was at community college and didn't affect my GPA because I withdrew before it could hurt me.

It is partly summer busy season partly the owner of my company took on more work then ever and no new people so the 5 person office has to cope with an obscene work load. If anyone pulls less then a 10 hour day they are admonished by the other 4 because it hurts everyone. It's a toxic environment but with no degree and no real leads on new jobs (I've been looking for 3 weeks)   I have to stay. The long hours do give me a nice paycheck but I am starting to consider what the money is costing me mental health wise.

$75 K would be nice but without a degree and with only 2 years experience at this company and 2 years as an engineering intern I don't really have much to go on.

I would not want to continue working in Chicago but I don't know how to take commercial construction experience and make that fit a different field.

I like my living situation and my loans will be paid in 2.5 years I may kick payments into overdrive but that's not really pressing on me as hard as the 22% CC debt was. 

humbleMouse

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 11:56:59 AM »
Minneapolis has lots of houses between 75k - 200k.  Good quality of life here and not as spread out as Chicago.  I would look in area codes like 55406, 55407, and 55405.  South Minneapolis, Phillips, Powderhorn, Midtown, Uptown, Stevens Square, all good neighborhoods.   

czr

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 11:57:47 AM »
several DIY projects that have been pushed back months because the weekend that was supposed to be a nice work day on a new desk or coffee table turns into a date night

Date nights are more of a chore than DIY projects? I think I found your problem, right there.

Sounds like a lot of rambling. You are still young so still have your whole life ahead of you and can bounce back from any decisions you have made. Begin with your ultimate goal, whether its FIRE or what and break out a work and time schedule to accomplish your long-term goal.  If you want just a lateral move, you could attend networking events or talk to people in your industry and see if anything pops up. Is your resume up to date and are you on LinkedIn? Apply online to jobs that interest you or send it off to recruiters and see what happens. If I were you if you are serious about moving up in your career in that field, consider finishing up on your degree or getting your PMP certification so you could switch companies. Look at higher ups and see what type of education and experience they have and emulate it.

Also, having a completely paid off property is great and that is a great situation. Besides your fix-up costs to sell and 5-6% commission, you should be able to net $130k but I would stay put and knock out that student loan and build up a pile of cash equivalent to at least 6 months of living expenses before giving everything up and moving to an unknown place. Or at least just have the latter and have some money piled up but people tend to make sillier decisions if their backs are to the wall.

nottoscale

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 12:17:52 PM »
several DIY projects that have been pushed back months because the weekend that was supposed to be a nice work day on a new desk or coffee table turns into a date night

Date nights are more of a chore than DIY projects? I think I found your problem, right there.

Sounds like a lot of rambling. You are still young so still have your whole life ahead of you and can bounce back from any decisions you have made. Begin with your ultimate goal, whether its FIRE or what and break out a work and time schedule to accomplish your long-term goal.  If you want just a lateral move, you could attend networking events or talk to people in your industry and see if anything pops up. Is your resume up to date and are you on LinkedIn? Apply online to jobs that interest you or send it off to recruiters and see what happens. If I were you if you are serious about moving up in your career in that field, consider finishing up on your degree or getting your PMP certification so you could switch companies. Look at higher ups and see what type of education and experience they have and emulate it.

Also, having a completely paid off property is great and that is a great situation. Besides your fix-up costs to sell and 5-6% commission, you should be able to net $130k but I would stay put and knock out that student loan and build up a pile of cash equivalent to at least 6 months of living expenses before giving everything up and moving to an unknown place. Or at least just have the latter and have some money piled up but people tend to make sillier decisions if their backs are to the wall.

That comment came out rough, we actually work great together on DIY stuff last month we built a whole patio set (6 chairs 2 tables) for $120. It was actually a specific example where we went to Home depot before actually having the plans drawn. I had something very simple in mind(hence no plans) and she had something a little more complex. We couldn't make a decision on what to do in the lumber aisle so we left and went on a date instead of building the table.

My end goal is fuzzy. It is definitely FIRE but the details are very rough. I also don't really want to end up too far up a business ladder where I have to become personally invested and have to sacrifice my personal life for work. I see that everyday in my office. I work along side the owner and he is pulling 16 hour work days every other day. He never spends time with his family and works most weekends. I have stomped out working weekends and I now don't stay any later then 6pm because I am in at 7am most days.

I'm just so unsure which direction to take. I don't know what it is but when I had less money and more debt I didn't mind the long hours the grind was nice because I go to watch the bills decrease. Now I have a little bit of breathing room and I look around and I'm not happy.  As much as I want to sock away money I don't want to keep burning the candle at both ends like I did to get where I am now. My budget finally works I have everything getting paid and my savings is steady.

I apologize for the rambling my thoughts on all this are very disconnected since I never thought about it in detail that much.

Dicey

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 12:27:48 PM »
No apologies necessary. It's good to work these things out early. The sooner you do, the better your whole life will be. Keep working at it, ithe answers will come.

JLee

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2016, 08:54:00 AM »
Have you applied for other jobs? I'm not familiar  with that industry, but clearly a degree isn't required if it's what you're doing now without one.

Mrs. S

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2016, 11:47:22 AM »
Construction management is a tiring job actually most things related to construction are. Have you looked at getting into an online course? I believe a lot of universities in US have that as an option now. Plus it will give you something to focus on add your sort things out.
What part of CM do you work in? Is it planning, contracts or your presence on site is required? If you like the field you might want to get into a specialization which can give you the balance you need.

nottoscale

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2016, 01:29:56 PM »
I work at such a small company I get my hands on everything. From proposal to final billing. I do like conducting site visits a lot but another guy in the office has already gotten a monopoly on that. The specialization I am getting pushed into more and more(since I am the only on who will do it) is writing technical reports and safety reports for city approval.

So far applying to other jobs has been pretty rough. I send out my first real big batch of resumes on June 1st. I have had some interest and I have gone on 2 interviews. One was with a recruiter that didn't pan out into a job offer. The other the company hired a family member after all but promising me the position. I had another phone interview with a recruiter today and I have a phone interview with a company tomorrow.

robartsd

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2016, 01:40:42 PM »
So far applying to other jobs has been pretty rough. I send out my first real big batch of resumes on June 1st. I have had some interest and I have gone on 2 interviews. One was with a recruiter that didn't pan out into a job offer. The other the company hired a family member after all but promising me the position. I had another phone interview with a recruiter today and I have a phone interview with a company tomorrow.
Sounds like your're getting an OK repsonse to your resume. You did state that you sent out a big batch of resumes, sometimes it can pay off to spend time customizing your resume and cover letter to each particular job you are looking for. Also don't underestimate the value of having someone else give you feedback on your resume and help you practice interview skills.

Dicey

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2016, 02:20:35 PM »
What about looking for an older guy with a smaller operation who is looking to ease out of the business? My guess is that you have way more hands-on experience and hard won knowledge than someone who just finished college. That's a huge advantage. You may have to think outside the box (i.e. not recruiters) to find the position you want.

A guy I went to high school with missed our [insert number higher that twenty-fifth] class reunion last summer. Why? His graduation was on the same night. WTF? I thought Larry OWNED an engineering firm? Yes, he does and is successful beyond his (or anybody else's) wildest dreams. For many years, he just hired people that had the certifications he lacked. Now long FI, he decided to go back to school to get his own damn credentials, but he sure as hell didn't need them for anything but peronal satisfaction. Go Larry!

In my experience, most recruiters are looking for the easy match, the round peg in the round hole. That's not you. No one has more interest in your success than you do. I think you'll end up more like my friend if you carve your own path to success.

usoverseas

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Re: Change jobs, change location, change life, my not so great plan.
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2016, 10:01:41 AM »
Have you thought about getting your CCM?  I would recommend starting to attend the CMAA meetings in your area and doing some networking in order to get a job.  People are a lot more likely to hire someone they have met, especially if you can find someone to mentor you for you CCM (I think that it is a requirement for other who have their CCM to mentor) I am in that industry.  I was on the PM/CM side for several years and was able to get away with a pretty decent work-life balance of 7-4. (Unfortunately I have completely lost that balance by working overseas but that is a different story and as a side note a great way to get FIRE faster).  Anyways, find companies that do PM/CM work, stay away from working directly for contractors, and consider working towards a degree.  If you find the right company they may even provide some tuition reimbursement.  You said you were an engineering intern previously?  If so, if that's not what you're interested in, then maybe a CM degree - you could do it online.

Good luck, sounds like for 24 without a degree you are doing well for yourself, you should be proud of yourself.  I would be patient with the job hunt, three weeks isn't a long time, and it sounds like you have had some good responses.  Take the time to find the right job, not just another job.  Sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side....good luck!