Author Topic: First mustachian steps as college grad  (Read 6960 times)

apprenticemm

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First mustachian steps as college grad
« on: March 03, 2016, 04:44:25 PM »
Hello fellow mustachians,

I am a 21 year old recent college grad who recently started working as a software engineer at a startup. I have been an avid reader of MMM's blog since my college years and have finally taken my first step towards the Mustachian lifestyle.

After graduating I found a job that is close to my home in California; a distance I can bike to. I am living with my parents so I can save on food and rent. Right now I can take my full paycheck and invest it into my 401k and Vanguard Index funds. I am excited to see my savings grow.

However, my job (which I love) is very demanding and often requires 12-13 hours of work every day. Perhaps it is because I have been too laid back with my work during college (although my friends considered me hard working), but I have been unable to feel happy during work. Especially during mornings- I feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness and anxiety knowing that this will only rinse and repeat and that I will not have much time to spend with family and friends. Having been a student for the past 20 years of my life, the working life definitely comes as a shock me and I haven't been able to deal with it positively. I know that Mustachians are advocates of hard work and I hope to follow in your footsteps, but I am unable to feel optimistic about my current life. Please let me know if you have any advice that can help me tough out this period.

P.S. I must confess that I spent part of my first paycheck on a new shiny electric bike conversion kit.

Best,
Apprentice Money Mustache

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 05:49:06 PM »
12-13 hour days would be rough. Very rough.

We're advocates of hard work and saving, but I don't think any of us here that would be up for doing what you're doing. Advice: keep saving like a mofo but start looking for a new job. Having a job that is meh is acceptable in my book. Having a job that sucks your soul away from your poor, shriveled body is not.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 06:36:56 PM »
Ridiculous hours the first couple months in a job? Okay, if it's to learn the ropes, I suppose. But look at people 1 year in. Or 5 years in. How is their work life balance? Is it acceptable to you? If not, start planning an out. Even if it's "stay 6 months then..." or "stay 1 year then".. at least it'll give you a light at the end of the tunnel to know where you're headed.

mareofnight

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 06:52:59 PM »
I'd say get out. Maybe stay a few more months if you can stand it and are worried about looking flaky when hunting for a new job. 60 hour weeks will probably be bad for your health (at least mentally), and that's not worth sacrificing when there are so many other software jobs.

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 07:15:28 PM »
thank you everyone for your advice. Everyone in the office seems to work just as long, despite that they've been around or a while. My boss practically lives in the office and works until 1-2am everyday. It'll be a challenge but I will stick around for now. It is really bizarre, but I only feel depressed during the first 4-5 hours of work. the remaining 8 hours I feel motivated and relaxed.


Bracken_Joy

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 07:25:22 PM »
thank you everyone for your advice. Everyone in the office seems to work just as long, despite that they've been around or a while. My boss practically lives in the office and works until 1-2am everyday. It'll be a challenge but I will stick around for now. It is really bizarre, but I only feel depressed during the first 4-5 hours of work. the remaining 8 hours I feel motivated and relaxed.

In that case, my advice would be:

1. Set a deadline. A "get out now" date. Complacency is a powerful force, and you want to head that off at the pass.
2. Set up a reward system to make the beginning of the day more bearable. Set an alarm and go for a quick walk after two hours. Let yourself have one piece of candy. Watch a video of a kitten playing. Some built in system that will make it slightly less sucky, but be a work-only reward.
3. Keep your resume up to date at all times. Add any big projects you do. Heck, I keep a database of quotes about my work. If nothing else, it inspires me that I am worth it during job app time. Because job apps suck. So do as much ahead of time as possible, to reduce the sucky-ness.

Good luck.

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 07:47:42 PM »
thanks! I will keep this in mind. really appreciate your efforts to help me get through this starting period.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 08:01:03 PM »
Absolutely! I had a "false start"- graduated with one degree, worked a while, life was hell, life fell apart, eventually went back to school to become a nurse. I'm hoping I can keep other new grads away from the misery I went through! The idea of "look to your future" in other employees was one that occurred to me too late to avoid major burn-out.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 09:19:56 PM »
thank you everyone for your advice. Everyone in the office seems to work just as long, despite that they've been around or a while. My boss practically lives in the office and works until 1-2am everyday. It'll be a challenge but I will stick around for now. It is really bizarre, but I only feel depressed during the first 4-5 hours of work. the remaining 8 hours I feel motivated and relaxed.

The hours are likely related to working for a start-up. You'd probably find more reasonable hours and a less stressful work environment with an established company.

The good news: you're doing all of the right things. You're getting good experience and saving as much as you can. The bad news: Many recruiters will consider it a "red flag" if you don't stay long with your first professional employer. Yes, this is even true in tech. How do I know this? I'm hearing it myself from recruiters who are willing to be honest/ blurt out whatever they think.

For reference, here's a quick, generic summary of my background: Graduate school, an assistantship and a related part-time job in my field ("public affairs"). Two and a half month job search after graduation. Over 3 years in a high profile, but low paying job in my field. Then a family relocation and 10 month stint with a union that was a complete disaster. Decided to do something different after that. A year in sales and marketing management for a company that got bought out by their biggest competitor. I was at-risk of being laid off, so I found another (better paying) job. Just under 2 years in a technology implementation role with a marketing services company. Left and am currently freelancing because my previous employer was requiring 60/hours a week, 50%+ travel and extended my role on my last project by over 6 months without discussing it with me first. I have significant no gaps in my employment history, but many potential employers believe I "jump around" too much.

DL; DR: Unfortunately, leaving a job after only a "short" (totally arbitrary and subjective definition) duration is often viewed negatively even if you moved on to another position and/or had a justifiable reason for leaving. Personally, I would try to stick it out for a year if at all possible. Even then, some potential employers will still judge you, but your well-being matters more than their opinions.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 09:22:28 PM by DebtFreeBy25 »

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 10:54:47 PM »
thank you everyone for your advice. Everyone in the office seems to work just as long, despite that they've been around or a while. My boss practically lives in the office and works until 1-2am everyday. It'll be a challenge but I will stick around for now. It is really bizarre, but I only feel depressed during the first 4-5 hours of work. the remaining 8 hours I feel motivated and relaxed.

The hours are likely related to working for a start-up. You'd probably find more reasonable hours and a less stressful work environment with an established company.

The good news: you're doing all of the right things. You're getting good experience and saving as much as you can. The bad news: Many recruiters will consider it a "red flag" if you don't stay long with your first professional employer. Yes, this is even true in tech. How do I know this? I'm hearing it myself from recruiters who are willing to be honest/ blurt out whatever they think.

For reference, here's a quick, generic summary of my background: Graduate school, an assistantship and a related part-time job in my field ("public affairs"). Two and a half month job search after graduation. Over 3 years in a high profile, but low paying job in my field. Then a family relocation and 10 month stint with a union that was a complete disaster. Decided to do something different after that. A year in sales and marketing management for a company that got bought out by their biggest competitor. I was at-risk of being laid off, so I found another (better paying) job. Just under 2 years in a technology implementation role with a marketing services company. Left and am currently freelancing because my previous employer was requiring 60/hours a week, 50%+ travel and extended my role on my last project by over 6 months without discussing it with me first. I have significant no gaps in my employment history, but many potential employers believe I "jump around" too much.

DL; DR: Unfortunately, leaving a job after only a "short" (totally arbitrary and subjective definition) duration is often viewed negatively even if you moved on to another position and/or had a justifiable reason for leaving. Personally, I would try to stick it out for a year if at all possible. Even then, some potential employers will still judge you, but your well-being matters more than their opinions.

Thanks for the warning- I really like my company and the work it does. It's just that mornings and early afternoons are hard to get through for some reason. It's almost 10pm and I am still in the office, but in much more optimistic/motivated mood. It's my intention to stay in this company as long as I can- I can't find a better company fit for me, to be honest.

mxt0133

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2016, 11:29:42 PM »
Heck, I keep a database of quotes about my work. If nothing else, it inspires me that I am worth it during job app time.

That is badass!  I thought a word doc or even spreadsheet would be enough for something like that.  But if you need a database then you must be getting a shit load of compliments?

Is it indexed by date, rank, or project?  Do you have it load balanced on a cluster to improve query performance?  What about geographical redundancy in case the region you are in is hit with a EMP or natural disaster?  =)

former player

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 01:49:30 AM »
It is several decades ago now, but I remember the transition from student to full-time working as a real shock.  Unlike you I was only working regular office hours, but the lack of freedom, and having to follow the same regime as everyone else (you have to go to and come back from work while the roads are busy, you have to shop for groceries when every else is shopping, you have to visit attractions when everyone else is visiting them).  The good/bad news is that you will quickly become institutionalised: good because it won't hurt as much, bad because it might stop you from looking around at all the other ways to spend your life.

It sounds to me as though the job you've got is an excellent fit for you apart from the hours.  Work a little on getting to know your colleagues: that "we're all in the trenches together" feeling helps a lot with the more difficult bits of anything.  Do what you can to arrange your working day to cope with the times you find more difficult: plan to do things that are more easy/enjoyable for mornings and post-lunch and pack the difficult productive stuff into the times when it's easier (e.g. I was always more productive in the afternoons so came in late, took an early lunch, and powered through twice the work in the afternoon).

If you can stick it out for a year it will look good on your CV and you should have a decent idea as to whether the start-up is going to get anywhere and on what timescale, which will inform whether or not to jump ship.  If you are going to jump ship, having an easily accessible emergency fund will give you options as to how and where.

Congratulations on the bike and the kit.

BetsyS

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 05:09:53 AM »
I used to work crazy long hours on campaigns so I feel your pain, OP.

If you consistently love your job but feel awful in the morning you might want to go talk to your doctor. Maybe that feeling in the morning is just lifestyle based - are you eating well? Sleeping enough? Getting any exercise? Getting any sunlight? But it's possible there's something else going on, and you'd do best to find out from someone who can give you the support you might need.

Good luck!

little_brown_dog

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2016, 06:29:05 AM »
Great job on being so pragmatic about your finances at such a young age. You are wise beyond your years.

It is 100% normal for the transition to the working world to be a bit of a shock. Many, many new grads go through this.I used to manage alot of young new grads in their first real jobs right out of college and grad school. Every one of them struggled with this sense of disillusion about work and they really missed the college environment. School is so unusual – you change classes every semester, you are always learning cool new things, and you are surrounded by a huge peer group. There is immediate satisfaction and gratification at the end of the semester when you move right along the ladder, up the tree towards your degree. Then the working world comes crashing in with its long days, strict schedules, sometimes tedious tasks, and long delays between promotions, and the entire thing feels like a huge let down. In school we are taught that we are on our way to a huge fulfilling career that will give us immense satisfaction. The truth is, most of us just really don’t LOVE our jobs, even if we do like them well enough and even if they are in a field we enjoy. The key is to make sure that other aspects of your life are rewarding and positive to make up for the fact that you might not find deep fulfillment in your work life.

You first need to just sit down for a few minutes (or a couple hours) and let yourself feel disappointed. Accept that this sortof sucks and doesn’t seem like what you thought it would be. It is important to recognize our discontentment and to also understand that we are certainly not alone in feeling this way. This is important so you don't go around thinking there is something wrong with you, or berating yourself for not enjoying work more. After you let yourself feel what you are feeling without any judgement, move on to an action plan to optimize your happiness in other aspects of your life. I would recommend trying to make time for things you enjoy every week: hiking, going out with friends, etc. If you are an avid traveler, save for a nice trip as a great goal to work towards. Exercise, healthy eating, and sleeping are obviously top priorities because it is much easier to get depressed when you feel like crap. You need these things in particular due to your long hours.

Once you make changes to your out of work life, see how things feel. Do you feel more positive? Hopeful? Does work not bother you much anymore? Or do you feel the same way? If things haven't changed, then you can dig more deeply into what is happening with work specifically that is affecting you, and you will have a clearer vision on what to do.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 06:32:24 AM by little_brown_dog »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2016, 08:18:19 AM »
Heck, I keep a database of quotes about my work. If nothing else, it inspires me that I am worth it during job app time.

That is badass!  I thought a word doc or even spreadsheet would be enough for something like that.  But if you need a database then you must be getting a shit load of compliments?

Is it indexed by date, rank, or project?  Do you have it load balanced on a cluster to improve query performance?  What about geographical redundancy in case the region you are in is hit with a EMP or natural disaster?  =)

Heh. Yes, database wasn't the right word. Tired brain couldn't get "document". But they both start with D! I think SirB has been talking too much about work, and the words are saturating my brain =P

mxt0133

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2016, 10:44:40 AM »
Did some of you miss the fact that he said he was working 12 hour days and that his manager works until 1-2am in the morning?  I don't think it's his diet or exercise that is causing him to dread waking up in the morning.  I think it's his unsustainable work hours that is probably causing him to not get enough exercise and have a poor diet.


apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2016, 11:31:09 AM »
Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses! Strangely, I am sleeping and exercising pretty well. I wake up with lots of energy and have a nice commute on the way to office and back home. Eating is a bit troublesome- I think i lose appetite in the morning because of the anxiety I feel, and it sort of carries over to lunch. I feel great during dinner though and can eat a crap load :P

It's another morning at the office, and I am feeling the same repeating anxiety again. but I will do my best to convince myself that working hard now will lead to a better, more relaxing future.

I am glad I looked for help here- really grateful that many Mustachians are looking out for me.

little_brown_dog

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2016, 12:19:34 PM »
Did some of you miss the fact that he said he was working 12 hour days and that his manager works until 1-2am in the morning?  I don't think it's his diet or exercise that is causing him to dread waking up in the morning.  I think it's his unsustainable work hours that is probably causing him to not get enough exercise and have a poor diet.

Unfortunatley 12 hour days are common with many engineering positions. Switching jobs is obviously an option but this type of work work work culture is extremely pervasive. I dont agree with this mentality at all but my engineer  husband works 12 hour days routinely because that is what is needed and because he is paid well for the stress of it. Quitting is a huge step and theres no guarantee the next place will be vastly better so its important for op to focus on what can be changed outside of work in the meantime to stave off burnout until a decision can be made.

pagoconcheques

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2016, 08:25:50 AM »
I only feel depressed during the first 4-5 hours of work. the remaining 8 hours I feel motivated and relaxed.

Explore the possibility that this effect may be related to your scheduling, natural sleep preferences, eating habits, etc.  Perhaps you really just need to manage the transition from not being at work to being at work. 

Some thoughts:
--Try shifting your arrival and departure times. 
--Is the transition from depressed to motivated and relaxed concurrent with a meal or other break?  Try shifting that around. 
--Try taking a few breaks.  Specifically, get out of the building and take a walk around the parking lot or something.
--Find ways to get sufficient social interaction.  Part of the transition away from college is dealing with the loss of a highly social environment that colleges deliberately foster.
--Look for other tweaks relevant to you and your setting, a little change may go a long way
--You're actually enjoying about 2/3 of your time at work--that's a pretty solid foundation for getting to 80% (you do know Pareto's law, right?)
--Many organizational cultures expect and reward presence as opposed to actual productivity.  Build some of your non-work activities into your work time in order to gain some of your private time back.  You know that old guy who strolls to the men's room with the newspaper under his arm so he can be paid to poop?  Sometimes that's just a compensatory strategy to accommodate for a culture that demands time over productivity.

I'm also going to be a little politically incorrect here, but try just sucking it up for a while.  Yeah, life is hard at times but getting through tough transitions is a key life skill that you will need many times.  Take this opportunity to hone your transition skills.  It's not called "the real world" for nothing, and transitioning from the the joyous, care-free life and schedule of undergraduate education to the real world is probably your first big transition and first real test.  Frankly, you are also transitioning from child to grown up, from learner to producer, from receiver to contributor.  Of course it's hard. Life gets harder at an accelerating rate.  To be trite: think of this not so much as a problem but as an opportunity. 

I say tough it out for a full calendar year or a bit more.  One of the things you'll sell to future employers is the ability to stick it out through projects over time, to be reliable, to show that people can count on you.  You need to do this now.  A typical college semester is about 4 months with a generous break before the next semester; real life isn't like that. 

If nothing else you'll learn that start-ups aren't for you and look for other things later on. 


mskyle

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2016, 09:07:13 AM »
Did some of you miss the fact that he said he was working 12 hour days and that his manager works until 1-2am in the morning?  I don't think it's his diet or exercise that is causing him to dread waking up in the morning.  I think it's his unsustainable work hours that is probably causing him to not get enough exercise and have a poor diet.

Unfortunatley 12 hour days are common with many engineering positions. Switching jobs is obviously an option but this type of work work work culture is extremely pervasive. I dont agree with this mentality at all but my engineer  husband works 12 hour days routinely because that is what is needed and because he is paid well for the stress of it. Quitting is a huge step and theres no guarantee the next place will be vastly better so its important for op to focus on what can be changed outside of work in the meantime to stave off burnout until a decision can be made.

Common, maybe, but by no means universal. I am a software developer at a small (but not startup) company, and I am only very rarely at work more than 9 hours (and very often less), and several of the more senior engineers at my company actually work part-time (2-4 days a week). And I think people at more sane companies are actually very sympathetic to people who have worked at really intense startups - most people have done it at some point in their lives, and EVERYONE knows people who have done it.

Try to stick it out for a year if you can, but keep an eye out for something calmer. Also, though, these really intense start-up people can sometimes turn on you if they discover you're not as committed to their project as they themselves are, so be very cautious about job-searching, especially if your package includes any kind of bonus that they can fire you to avoid paying you.

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2016, 02:17:04 PM »
I only feel depressed during the first 4-5 hours of work. the remaining 8 hours I feel motivated and relaxed.

Explore the possibility that this effect may be related to your scheduling, natural sleep preferences, eating habits, etc.  Perhaps you really just need to manage the transition from not being at work to being at work. 

Some thoughts:
--Try shifting your arrival and departure times. 
--Is the transition from depressed to motivated and relaxed concurrent with a meal or other break?  Try shifting that around. 
--Try taking a few breaks.  Specifically, get out of the building and take a walk around the parking lot or something.
--Find ways to get sufficient social interaction.  Part of the transition away from college is dealing with the loss of a highly social environment that colleges deliberately foster.
--Look for other tweaks relevant to you and your setting, a little change may go a long way
--You're actually enjoying about 2/3 of your time at work--that's a pretty solid foundation for getting to 80% (you do know Pareto's law, right?)
--Many organizational cultures expect and reward presence as opposed to actual productivity.  Build some of your non-work activities into your work time in order to gain some of your private time back.  You know that old guy who strolls to the men's room with the newspaper under his arm so he can be paid to poop?  Sometimes that's just a compensatory strategy to accommodate for a culture that demands time over productivity.

I'm also going to be a little politically incorrect here, but try just sucking it up for a while.  Yeah, life is hard at times but getting through tough transitions is a key life skill that you will need many times.  Take this opportunity to hone your transition skills.  It's not called "the real world" for nothing, and transitioning from the the joyous, care-free life and schedule of undergraduate education to the real world is probably your first big transition and first real test.  Frankly, you are also transitioning from child to grown up, from learner to producer, from receiver to contributor.  Of course it's hard. Life gets harder at an accelerating rate.  To be trite: think of this not so much as a problem but as an opportunity. 

I say tough it out for a full calendar year or a bit more.  One of the things you'll sell to future employers is the ability to stick it out through projects over time, to be reliable, to show that people can count on you.  You need to do this now.  A typical college semester is about 4 months with a generous break before the next semester; real life isn't like that. 

If nothing else you'll learn that start-ups aren't for you and look for other things later on.

I definitely agree with your insights and will definitely tough it out for a full calendar year. I didn't know about Pareto's law so thanks for telling me about it! This is my 3rd week into work and I can definitely see why it makes sense.

You said that life gets harder an an accelerating rate. What are some of the things that I will run into later in my life that is even harder?

It's monday and I am feeling this morning/noon depression again and working hard to overcome it. Here goes nothing.

mxt0133

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2016, 02:23:26 PM »
This is just your 3rd week and you want to tough it out for another year?  It's going to be a long year if things don't improve significantly.

Considering that you have been at your employer at such a short period of time, you might want to consider looking for another job and not even list your current employer on your resume.  Do list all the things you learned and can do but again, don't even put your current employer on your resume.


use2betrix

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2016, 03:12:33 PM »
I didn't read all the responses, but is it 12 hrs a day 7 days a week, or 5? Big stretch between 60 hrs and 84. In fact, I have probably averaged around 55-60 hrs the last 6 years (I'm 27). This year has been mostly 60-70 hr weeks.

It all depends on the person, The job, and the goals. Do you have other options? Is the money good? Do you enjoy it?

All you can do is get feelers for other jobs. If you find a much better one, then leave! If not, then you're stuck. Those are the only two options I see, and you don't have a choice until you have other offers in hand.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2016, 03:29:21 PM »
This is just your 3rd week and you want to tough it out for another year?  It's going to be a long year if things don't improve significantly.

Considering that you have been at your employer at such a short period of time, you might want to consider looking for another job and not even list your current employer on your resume.  Do list all the things you learned and can do but again, don't even put your current employer on your resume.

This is a good option if you've only been with an employer for a short time and already know it isn't going to work out. I wish I had done this years when I immediately realized that I made a big mistake accepting a position. Just be aware that even if you don't list an employer on your resume, you may be forced to list a full employment history sometime during the application process. Even if you don't plan on talking about your current job, have a story prepared in the event that you need to address it.

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2016, 04:03:51 PM »
I didn't read all the responses, but is it 12 hrs a day 7 days a week, or 5? Big stretch between 60 hrs and 84. In fact, I have probably averaged around 55-60 hrs the last 6 years (I'm 27). This year has been mostly 60-70 hr weeks.

It all depends on the person, The job, and the goals. Do you have other options? Is the money good? Do you enjoy it?

All you can do is get feelers for other jobs. If you find a much better one, then leave! If not, then you're stuck. Those are the only two options I see, and you don't have a choice until you have other offers in hand.

For now it's 12 hours 5 days- so about 60 hours a week. The job has really good money and I do enjoy it- which is why it's somewhat inaccurate to say that I'm going to "tough" it out. Since I live in the bay area, I definitely have plenty more software options. However I doubt I will find a better choice than what I have now. Are you also doing software work, since you are working really tough hours as well? How do you deal with managing work-life balance? I appreciate any tips you have for me.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2016, 04:06:10 PM »
Honestly, finding out you're at the 3 week mark makes me think this is just the "growing pains" period. It SUCKS to spend a bunch of time at work, and as a poster mentioned above, it is incredibly hard to adjust after the freedom and relative ease of school schedules. And if you're in the bay area at a start up... honestly, it's just nice you have weekends off. It isn't exactly an area that respects work/life balance. I don't know if a different company would be much better, unless it's more established.

NYCWife

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2016, 04:18:03 PM »
I'm in a similar workload position (12 hour days) and have sometimes battled some of the feelings that OP describes, although, like OP, I also find enjoyment in my job.

Here are a couple of thoughts I had as I was reading:

1. Perhaps since you are new at your job, you are feeling tense/anxious/nervous about your work or work product? I know that when I get to work and am feeling nervous or anxious in the morning, it's because I'm either doing something new, did not finish all my work the night before, or know that I'm about to walk into a tense situation. Like you, I find that once I "get into the flow" of the day, my nerves calm down and I do find enjoyment and fulfillment in the work I am doing. I find that these nerves are most prevalent right after I have switched jobs/employers. Since you are new to this company, perhaps it is still nervous jitters as you get acclimated to the new company and its workflow.

2. Would you consider yourself introverted? I am an INFJ on Myers Briggs and find that my introverted tendencies also sometimes cause me to feel nervous or anxious when I'm heading to work. I am working on stretching myself to be more outgoing, but perhaps as you are getting used to a new social situation at work, the feelings of discomfort stem from someone who is an introvert getting used to a new social situation? If this is the case, again here I think with time in the work environment, the feelings of anxiety or stress will dissipate. As you get used to your co-workers and the structures of doing your work each day, the routine will allow your introversion to take a back seat. Or, that's what happens for me.

So, I'd say maybe give it some more time in the job. I have switched employers multiple times in my career and have found that it takes me about 3-5 months to feel really comfortable, at home, and like I know what I'm doing/talking about at each new company.

Best of luck!

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2016, 08:09:34 PM »
I'm in a similar workload position (12 hour days) and have sometimes battled some of the feelings that OP describes, although, like OP, I also find enjoyment in my job.

Here are a couple of thoughts I had as I was reading:

1. Perhaps since you are new at your job, you are feeling tense/anxious/nervous about your work or work product? I know that when I get to work and am feeling nervous or anxious in the morning, it's because I'm either doing something new, did not finish all my work the night before, or know that I'm about to walk into a tense situation. Like you, I find that once I "get into the flow" of the day, my nerves calm down and I do find enjoyment and fulfillment in the work I am doing. I find that these nerves are most prevalent right after I have switched jobs/employers. Since you are new to this company, perhaps it is still nervous jitters as you get acclimated to the new company and its workflow.

2. Would you consider yourself introverted? I am an INFJ on Myers Briggs and find that my introverted tendencies also sometimes cause me to feel nervous or anxious when I'm heading to work. I am working on stretching myself to be more outgoing, but perhaps as you are getting used to a new social situation at work, the feelings of discomfort stem from someone who is an introvert getting used to a new social situation? If this is the case, again here I think with time in the work environment, the feelings of anxiety or stress will dissipate. As you get used to your co-workers and the structures of doing your work each day, the routine will allow your introversion to take a back seat. Or, that's what happens for me.

So, I'd say maybe give it some more time in the job. I have switched employers multiple times in my career and have found that it takes me about 3-5 months to feel really comfortable, at home, and like I know what I'm doing/talking about at each new company.

Best of luck!

Thank you for your kind suggestions- I believe that you are spot on about me. I do consider myself an introvert and I do think that it attributes to my anxiety during these early stages of work. I am slowly getting to understand my environment and work life and I think I will be able to work on this job happily. Or, perhaps I'm saying this because it's 7pm right now, which is way passed my anxiety period. However, it is definitely not within my intentions to find a new job. I believe I am fortunate to have this job.

use2betrix

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2016, 07:28:06 AM »
I didn't read all the responses, but is it 12 hrs a day 7 days a week, or 5? Big stretch between 60 hrs and 84. In fact, I have probably averaged around 55-60 hrs the last 6 years (I'm 27). This year has been mostly 60-70 hr weeks.

It all depends on the person, The job, and the goals. Do you have other options? Is the money good? Do you enjoy it?

All you can do is get feelers for other jobs. If you find a much better one, then leave! If not, then you're stuck. Those are the only two options I see, and you don't have a choice until you have other offers in hand.

For now it's 12 hours 5 days- so about 60 hours a week. The job has really good money and I do enjoy it- which is why it's somewhat inaccurate to say that I'm going to "tough" it out. Since I live in the bay area, I definitely have plenty more software options. However I doubt I will find a better choice than what I have now. Are you also doing software work, since you are working really tough hours as well? How do you deal with managing work-life balance? I appreciate any tips you have for me.

I am in management in the industrial construction field. I do spend most my day behind a computer and reading documents, however.

I've always worked these hours so finding a balance has just been the norm. The good news is when you work more you have less time to spend. Take advantage of weekends. Go out with your friends or do whatever else you want to do. Most people don't do much during the week anyways, so you're not missing out there much. I'd use the week to relax and catch up after work, exercise, etc. just make sure you're getting 7ish hours of sleep and it'll make a huge difference in your energy levels. I usually get closer to 8 hrs. I work out every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday for about 90 minutes. I go out to eat with my wife every other weekend.

When I was single I worked these hours and still partied hard (too much) worked out a lot and did everything else. I just sacrificed sleep a lot more.

It's really no biggie especially when you're young. At least I don't think so. The more you work, the more you learn, the faster you get ahead, the more you make, the sooner you can retire :) I contribute my hours worked and my work ethic a big part of what has gotten me to where I'm at, at such a young age.

Guesl982374

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2016, 07:48:45 AM »
When I was single I worked these hours and still partied hard (too much) worked out a lot and did everything else. I just sacrificed sleep a lot more.

It's really no biggie especially when you're young. At least I don't think so. The more you work, the more you learn, the faster you get ahead, the more you make, the sooner you can retire :) I contribute my hours worked and my work ethic a big part of what has gotten me to where I'm at, at such a young age.

I agree with use2betrix, plow through it in your early twenty's when you have the energy and flexibility. It will suck but it will make you significantly tougher. My wife and I both worked these kinds of hours (actually longer) through the better part of our twenty's as we were working full time (50+ hours a week) and going to school full time at night (20-30 hours). We ended up at 25 with 4 degrees between the both of us with no debt.

It will help you in so many ways (career-wise, financially, personally) for the rest of your life. I also attribute most of the success we've seen (top 5% HHI, FI by mid 30's with more money than what most on this board need) to what my wife and I did in our 20's. Just be careful not to lose yourself or to define yourself by work and you'll be fine. Lastly, use your vacation time and COMPLETELY unplug from work.

apprenticemm

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Re: First mustachian steps as college grad
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2016, 12:10:06 PM »
I didn't read all the responses, but is it 12 hrs a day 7 days a week, or 5? Big stretch between 60 hrs and 84. In fact, I have probably averaged around 55-60 hrs the last 6 years (I'm 27). This year has been mostly 60-70 hr weeks.

It all depends on the person, The job, and the goals. Do you have other options? Is the money good? Do you enjoy it?

All you can do is get feelers for other jobs. If you find a much better one, then leave! If not, then you're stuck. Those are the only two options I see, and you don't have a choice until you have other offers in hand.

For now it's 12 hours 5 days- so about 60 hours a week. The job has really good money and I do enjoy it- which is why it's somewhat inaccurate to say that I'm going to "tough" it out. Since I live in the bay area, I definitely have plenty more software options. However I doubt I will find a better choice than what I have now. Are you also doing software work, since you are working really tough hours as well? How do you deal with managing work-life balance? I appreciate any tips you have for me.

I am in management in the industrial construction field. I do spend most my day behind a computer and reading documents, however.

I've always worked these hours so finding a balance has just been the norm. The good news is when you work more you have less time to spend. Take advantage of weekends. Go out with your friends or do whatever else you want to do. Most people don't do much during the week anyways, so you're not missing out there much. I'd use the week to relax and catch up after work, exercise, etc. just make sure you're getting 7ish hours of sleep and it'll make a huge difference in your energy levels. I usually get closer to 8 hrs. I work out every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday for about 90 minutes. I go out to eat with my wife every other weekend.

When I was single I worked these hours and still partied hard (too much) worked out a lot and did everything else. I just sacrificed sleep a lot more.

It's really no biggie especially when you're young. At least I don't think so. The more you work, the more you learn, the faster you get ahead, the more you make, the sooner you can retire :) I contribute my hours worked and my work ethic a big part of what has gotten me to where I'm at, at such a young age.

thanks for the suggestions and words of encouragement. Out of curiosity, are you still working those hours? or are you retired by now?