Author Topic: Feeling Stuck  (Read 3903 times)

jaysg7

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Feeling Stuck
« on: October 17, 2016, 05:31:22 PM »
Excuse my rant but this seems like the best place to do this and I'd love any input.

After reading the blog I have many changes I'd like to make. One is to work closer to home. Right now I'm 8.4 miles from one job and 7.6 miles from another. I'm allowed to bike to the one that is 8.4 2 of the 4 days I work, and none to the other job which requires additional travel each of the 2 days I work there of about 2 miles in the opposite direction of where I live. I know that the daily commute of 20-30 minutes each way is standard for pretty much anyone that isn't on these boards (and even some who are) but it drives me nuts to do this as I really want to work closer to home so that I can walk/bike each day.

The 8.4 mile job is $12 an hour and the other is $10 but the $10 is in accounting which I'm trying to make a career. I'm entry level right now and hoping to move up to higher hourly or salary but I'm not even enjoying it so far to be honest. I'll be learning more soon with my boss and I'm hoping that will spark more interest but as of now I'm pretty much thinking it would be better to ditch both jobs and find 1-2 jobs closer to home which would be around $9-10 an hour anyway but cut out the car clown'ing I'm feeling forced to participate in.

What I really want is to live in a small town like MMM describes but my 4 year old son's mother and I are separated and I don't want to move away from him. Right now I live about 30 minutes away and I'll be moving as close as I can once my lease ends but I'll still have the feeling of being stuck in a city that doesn't reflect what I really want which is a more simplified life in a quiet and more natural area. I won't move too far from him but I'm considering small towns nearby as an option that is less than 2 hours away. This would bring me back to the clown car habit though even if it is twice a week or twice every other week and I'm not sure this is the way to go.

I keep my expenses very low but I also don't earn much so I'm thinking I can at least cut out the commute and be happier with a job much closer to home but I may be stuck with living in this city. I guess my questions are: Should I take a small (harder to go lower than low) pay cut and cut out the commute on both jobs, where one has potential to earn more in the long run but that I don't even enjoy, and should I at least attempt to move out to a small town and see if I'm happier there even with the drawback of driving really far to pick up my son? ~5 hours a week of commuting vs maybe 4 hours of driving for him so it's potentially less driving anyway. 

If you actually read all of this I'd love to hear any suggestions, especially if you're experiencing anything along these lines.

mozar

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 05:51:23 PM »
I think first you should stop being so hard on yourself. Are you recently separated? If so you should take a few months to get used to the status quo, figure out if you like accounting and focus on your son.

jaysg7

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 06:03:10 PM »
Thanks for the response. No, we're not recently separated it's been about a year now I'd say. However, accounting is new for me. It's been about 3 months of working as a bookkeeper but the repetitive nature and low pay has made me wonder if it will be worth it. I only have an associate's degree in accounting and as of right now I don't plan on going back for my bachelor's until I decide if it's right for me or not first.

mozar

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 07:07:18 PM »
I started out in bookkeeping and it doesn't really get much more interesting. If you move up you take on more responsibility, AR, AP, financial statements, it never stops being repetitive. But if you find accounting itself interesting you could go into accounting policy depending where you live.  You need at least a bachelor's for that. And a masters or cpa would be better. You don't usually get to the interesting stuff without being credentialed, but that's how it is for everything.  Associates is seen as not that difficult to get, so your work isn't going to be that interesting.

Grizzly Dad

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 10:17:06 PM »
I agree with the above. Stop being so hard on yourself, you're doing okay and trying to be a good dad. Good for you.

What I would say is that right now I'd worry less about saving 8 miles a day in commuting and more about how to boost your income. Commuting is terrible, cars are expensive, but your problem isn't that you have a godawful 60-mile commute one way. It's that you only make $10-12 per hour right now, without a clear path to increase that.

I'd recommend finding a way to go back to school for cheap in order to finish your bachelor's in accounting. Operative words are 'for cheap'. No taking out massive student loans to attend some for-profit college. We're talking about community college as far as you can go and then cheap classes at a state school in your area. Apply for financial aid, grants and scholarships are often available if you hustle. But the key here is getting to a level at which accounting is actually going to be interesting. I wouldn't judge the profession by the current drudgery of you bookkeeping job. And even if you end up finding accounting terrible, a lot of paths start opening up if you have a bachelor's and a CPA certification.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 10:18:51 PM by Grizzly Dad »

Slee_stack

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 11:06:48 AM »
I'm confused at being 'allowed' to bike.  You said the second job is 7.6 each, plus an additional 2+2 RT on some days.

That's 19.2mi total, 9.6mi each way.  Maybe its just me, but that seems like a pretty easy bike commute unless you are going up and down mountain grades.

Is 30-35 min each way that off putting? 

There must be something else going on...do you have to shuttle people or large packages on those days that prevent you from biking?

AMandM

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 03:45:53 PM »
Feel for you!  I am not in your situation but I have been in others where I felt stuck, wanting to change lots of things but feeling like they all interfere with each other.

Since you asked for suggestions, here are mine.  First, think about your relationship with your son, because his well-being is the most important of your responsibilities.  How would moving away affect that?  Would you be less likely to see him?  Perhaps not, if you see him regularly for scheduled times. Would that change when he's older? If he has school concerts, soccer games, plays, etc., would you drive the 4 hours to see one?  Also, what is the likelihood that his mother and he will move somewhere even farther?

Second, I'd give the accounting a bit more time.  Pretty much any job is boring at entry level, so wait and see whether more advanced work is more interesting.  Meanwhile, investigate alternative jobs you could apply for, and consider how they compare in terms of pay, chance for advancement, location, bikeability.  If you turn out to like accounting once you get beyond entry-level bookkeeping, would you drop the 8.4-miles-away job and do accounting only?  Would you have the possibility of opening your own business some time in the future so you could choose your location?

Third, think about the commuting.  How does the speed of bike commuting compare to driving in your area?  Are the jobs you'd be looking at suited to biking?  (Or, put another way, how much does requiring a bicycle commute restrict the jobs you can look at?) How important is time vs gasoline as a commuter?

So, no answers, just questions for you.  Good luck!

jaysg7

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 09:12:31 PM »
I'm confused at being 'allowed' to bike.  You said the second job is 7.6 each, plus an additional 2+2 RT on some days.

That's 19.2mi total, 9.6mi each way.  Maybe its just me, but that seems like a pretty easy bike commute unless you are going up and down mountain grades.

Is 30-35 min each way that off putting? 

There must be something else going on...do you have to shuttle people or large packages on those days that prevent you from biking?

Thanks for all of the responses, I was pretty frustrated when I wrote this. As far as not being able to ride my bick to work on certain days it's because I have manager duties and have to run the deposit (usually $3-5k) to the bank and they understandably don't want me to be biking on those days. For the other job, I have to travel to another company for bookkeeping so that would cost my employer money while I'm on the bike I guess. The actual distances are perfectly doable and in decent time with the ebike I bought (which was a mistake at my income level, but damn fun to ride).

After searching around, I can find the small town feel not far from where my son lives actually. Like I said, the post was written out of frustration, but I didn't actually look up where I felt would suit me better until after I had written it.

I definitely haven't given my current bookkeeping/accounting job enough time yet and it's a great opportunity for knowledge in the field and I'll know in a couple of months whether it's the right fit for me. I also have a potential managerial opportunity from my other job that may be a great fit and more money (still not much) but most likely more than I've made so far. I'm very interested in the finance side of things and I'll have the chance to learn that from both jobs so I need to stick both out and see where they lead before making any changes.

@AMandM, you're absolutely right about any after-school activities that I would most likely miss out on if I moved an hour+ away so I'd definitely look for something closer or accept where I'm living now. I didn't even consider that, thank you.

@Grizzly, I agree my hourly wage is so low that it's the main concern. Right now I'm hoping to learn what I can and make sure it's what I want to do. I didn't enjoy going for my associate's though and I'm not entirely sure I'd finish a bachelor's if it's not in something I'm seriously interested in. The thought of more student loan debt is stomach turning with my low income also! I would definitely  aim for keeping the costs as low as possible this time around and going for any scholarships I could though.

Thanks for all of the responses. I'm just going to work hard at what I'm doing, learn as much as I can, and if I enjoy it enough to pursue further then I'll heavily consider going for a bachelor's degree to hopefully boost my income. I'm used to living on a low wage and with everything I've learned I've dropped it even lower so even a halfway decent wage would get me FI pretty easily...

former player

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 02:49:41 AM »
Just to say, if the bookkeeping is not engaging you and you are not keen on more college study that doesn't have to be the way to go.  It looks to me as though you have already got yourself into a position with potential: you seem to have a boss interested in teaching/mentoring you, a ground level look at the finances of running a business and the prospect of moving into management.  Lots of business owners and managers and entrepreneurs do not have much in the way of formal qualifications, they have an interest in business, an ability to form productive relationships with other business people and customers and a basic knowledge of finances.  So perhaps the way for you to go is not to become a formally qualified professional accountant but to become someone who knows how to run a profitable business and will either be able to find good-paying jobs running other people's businesses or strike out on his own.  Keep learning, keep looking for opportunities.  I think you will do fine.

AMandM

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Re: Feeling Stuck
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 02:32:25 PM »
Something else to consider if you find an area you really like and you'd want a bachelor's: depending on your employer, once you've been there for a while they may pay some or all of your tuition if they are also interested in you getting a degree.