The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: SkiStache on July 23, 2016, 08:00:03 AM

Title: Early career/job struggle
Post by: SkiStache on July 23, 2016, 08:00:03 AM
Hello MMM forums. I am long-time lurker and this will be my first post.

The job: I work in agriculture (overtime exempt), my job title is pretty specialized. I am not going to post my title because it will be too revealing. I took this job right out of college after doing a similar job for 2 years while I attended school. The benefits are good, I have subsidized housing, healthcare and vacation. I have gotten two raises and think it's going to pretty much stagnate from this point. I make a little less than 50k a year working about 2500 hours.  I work pretty long hours sometimes and usually do not know what time I will get home. (I do not enjoy this as I like some personal time in my day.) The hours can vary greatly depending on time if year.

After settling in and establishing my job I have tried to take on some more responsibility to ensure being busy and possibly getting a raise. However, most of the things they have me doing seems like dumb tasks to keep me busy while the person above me spreads himself too thin and is constantly running around like a chicken with his head cut off. It is hard to explain as the dynamics of the owner and his helper (the person I go to) are somewhat strange.

Basically I have 20.6k student loans paid down from about 40k after graduating in 2013. (Paying 3x minimum or more depending on montly income) I have avoided lifestyle inflation as much as possible. However, I am afraid to leave as I may not have cheap of rent and moderate income to put towards my loans again. (So maybe that is a form of lifestyle inflation) I am losing my mind at this job though. I interviewed for a similar job earlier this year, but did not get it. (Jobs similar to my title are few and far between) I really don't have a specific career path in mind, but I now know I don't want to be a farmer. I feel like there has to be something more out there or they could use my abilities more efficiently.

tl;dr: 20.6k loans, making around 50k. Losing my mind at work, feeling pretty hopeless, afraid to leave because maybe this is the best I can get with my degree and just want my loans gone. No idea what kind of job I would do next (I don't want to be a farmer).

Any suggestion/tips/ideas are much appreciated. I am sorry if this was more of a rant. I have been internally struggling with this situation for almost a year and it's hard to articulate at this point.
Title: Re: Early career/job struggle
Post by: neophyte on July 23, 2016, 08:37:05 AM
At 50k with subsidized housing, could you buckle down and kill off the loan within the next year?
Title: Re: Early career/job struggle
Post by: SkiStache on July 23, 2016, 08:50:33 AM
The 50k is pre-tax. I could potentially do it within a year. I would have paid it down even more in the past 2 years, but I also established an emergency fund and life events happened. I just do not know how much more I can take of this job.
Title: Re: Early career/job struggle
Post by: COlady on July 23, 2016, 10:05:56 AM
What if you changed the job more to your liking? It sounds like the main issue is hours. Just start working less. You may let them in on the change or you may not. If you have too much work to do in the reduced time frame, then ask for them to help you determine what is a priority and what isn't. Did you agree to work 2500 hrs per year when you were hired or has it just been creeping up? I worked in public accounting and got totally burned out and I wish I would've just said, I'm not going to work so many hours.
Title: Re: Early career/job struggle
Post by: mozar on July 23, 2016, 11:24:43 AM
I worked in public accounting and got totally burned out and I wish I would've just said, I'm not going to work so many hours.
Well you might want to test the waters first, see what you can get away with. I know that if I had told my boss at my public accounting jobs that I couldn't work so many hours, I would've been fired on the spot.

Unfortunately, without having any idea of what kind of work you want to do, you're going to have a tough time finding better job. One thing you could do is learn how to operate really big machinery. If you understand algebra you can get high quality manufacturing job, operating machinery, or specialize in operating heavy machinery at a construction site. Or something like welding. Farming is going super high tech, are there agricultural consulting firms you can work for, or an agricultural robotics company? Sales of farming machinery?
Title: Re: Early career/job struggle
Post by: Choices on July 23, 2016, 12:36:35 PM
+1 to both major ideas above.

Eliminate the debt to give yourself more wiggle room as you search for a new career. Can you cut cable, cell phone, etc.? Can you sell anything? Downsize your car? Get a roommate?

Set some boundaries at work. What do your coworkers who have been there a long time do? Do you like your boss? Is your boss open to reconfiguring your responsibilities and expectations or are you a cog in a major anonymous machine?

When these stressors are lifted, you'll have more mental energy to come up with other long-term ideas.

Best of luck!