Author Topic: Insecurity about Low Salary  (Read 5049 times)

valueventures

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Insecurity about Low Salary
« on: January 14, 2019, 04:37:50 AM »
Hi all!  First Mr. Money Mustache post for me.  I wanted to gather your thoughts on an issue that has plagued me for a while.  Growing up, I was always known as the "smart" kid. I graduated as valedictorian of my high school class and was accepted to every school I applied for, ultimately attending a top 20 university.  By all accounts, I thought I was on the path to a high-earning career.

In college (I was a finance major), I did not perform at the level I had hoped to.  With a ~3.6 GPA, I fell short of most high-paying jobs and had to settle for making ~$65k out of college.  I am now a little over 25 and making just under $100k/year in NYC (fortunately, my firm is relocating me to cheaper Chicago this summer).

While this salary may not appear low, much of my identity and self-worth is tied to how I'm doing relative to others (unfortunately, I am a competitive and somewhat one-dimensional person).  I have lost a lot of confidence in myself and continuously feel discouraged when I see my friends in finance (who were better students than me but not THAT much better) already earning 3-4x my salary.  I also have friends in other fields (medicine, computer science, etc.) who are on the path to much more lucrative careers than mine.

While I do enjoy my job, I feel a bit "stuck" in the sense that I don't have much time to focus on significantly increasing my top line (I work 70-80 hour weeks on average).  Therefore, I feel pressure to cut my bottom line at all costs. I spend next to nothing besides rent (buy almost all meals using coupons, never go out, etc.), ultimately leading to a meaningless lifestyle focused almost exclusively on working and saving/investing money.

At age 25, I'm starting to feel the pressure of wanting to date and transition into adulthood.  I've always loosely believed that men should satisfy at least two of the primary three criteria (personality, looks, income) women judge them on.  While I would consider my personality and looks average, I always expected that my earning ability would work to my advantage.  Now that this is not the case, I feel tremendous anxiety about somehow filling the void.
 Some of this stems from my upbringing, as I was raised under the belief that husbands should be the breadwinners of the family.

Hoping to get your take on my situation and any thoughts on how I could restore my confidence.  Any help is appreciated.  I apologize in advance if this post comes off as pompous at all, as this is not my intent.  Thank you!

Maenad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
  • Location: Minneapolis 'burbs
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 05:15:06 AM »
What the hell, I'll attempt to do my good deed for the day (this is self-criticism, not a dig at you!).

I'm almost 20 years older than you, but I clearly remember the feeling of being "the smart one" and not "living up to my potential" after graduating. It truly does suck. However, there are a few realities that life is starting to teach you, and hopefully you'll learn them quicker than I did:

1. There will always be people doing better than you. Yeah, you know this intellectually, but you haven't really accepted it. Therapy may help with this. A competitive nature is helpful if it spurs you to do your best in your chosen activity, but when it makes you miserable it's no longer an aid to you. I know there's some generational forces at work here, since I think Millennials do have a harder time fighting off the lies of social media, etc. So it may be harder for you than it was for older folks, but it's still necessary work.

2. These "highly successful friends" of yours - how do they treat you? If they're rubbing their success in your face, they are not your friends. I know I sound like your mother, but as adulthood progresses and the real hard shit kicks in, you need people who will actually support you.

3. Speaking of hard shit, a lot of outwardly-successful people have tragedies in their lives that you can't fathom. Abusive families, bitter divorces, miscarriages. Really. Bad. Stuff. All the money in the world doesn't help when you just lost a beloved person to cancer at a young age, or you/your spouse miscarried your much-wanted child.

4. Women - well, I've got first-hand knowledge of this one, so I'll just say this: what kind of woman do you want? Who do you know who generally fits that mold (not necessarily that you want to date, just the "type")? Talk to them, ask what attracts them to a man. Become that type of man, and go to where your "type" of women are. I'm biased towards working on personality, since looks fade and money can disappear, but I also acknowledge that other people have different priorities.

5. Perspective - it may do you some good to spend some time with people who live very differently from you, to help with this. We all tend to live in our bubbles, and our only alternate exposure is TV/movies/internet, which isn't really real. This is why a lot of people advocate travel, or volunteering for the Peace Corps. Just get out of your own head and help others in very different circumstances from your own, it can help you identify your core values.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4334
  • Location: CT
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 05:24:20 AM »
Don't tie your self worth into comparisons of others?

Don't tie your self worth into a number or how much you make?

You even point to the exact things that rob people of happiness. Don't do those things.

Hi all!  First Mr. Money Mustache post for me.  I wanted to gather your thoughts on an issue that has plagued me for a while.  Growing up, I was always known as the "smart" kid. I graduated as valedictorian of my high school class and was accepted to every school I applied for, ultimately attending a top 20 university.  By all accounts, I thought I was on the path to a high-earning career.

In college (I was a finance major), I did not perform at the level I had hoped to.  With a ~3.6 GPA, I fell short of most high-paying jobs and had to settle for making ~$65k out of college.  I am now a little over 25 and making just under $100k/year in NYC (fortunately, my firm is relocating me to cheaper Chicago this summer).

While this salary may not appear low, much of my identity and self-worth is tied to how I'm doing relative to others (unfortunately, I am a competitive and somewhat one-dimensional person).  I have lost a lot of confidence in myself and continuously feel discouraged when I see my friends in finance (who were better students than me but not THAT much better) already earning 3-4x my salary.  I also have friends in other fields (medicine, computer science, etc.) who are on the path to much more lucrative careers than mine.

While I do enjoy my job, I feel a bit "stuck" in the sense that I don't have much time to focus on significantly increasing my top line (I work 70-80 hour weeks on average).  Therefore, I feel pressure to cut my bottom line at all costs. I spend next to nothing besides rent (buy almost all meals using coupons, never go out, etc.), ultimately leading to a meaningless lifestyle focused almost exclusively on working and saving/investing money.

At age 25, I'm starting to feel the pressure of wanting to date and transition into adulthood.  I've always loosely believed that men should satisfy at least two of the primary three criteria (personality, looks, income) women judge them on.  While I would consider my personality and looks average, I always expected that my earning ability would work to my advantage.  Now that this is not the case, I feel tremendous anxiety about somehow filling the void.
 Some of this stems from my upbringing, as I was raised under the belief that husbands should be the breadwinners of the family.

Hoping to get your take on my situation and any thoughts on how I could restore my confidence.  Any help is appreciated.  I apologize in advance if this post comes off as pompous at all, as this is not my intent.  Thank you!

Bolded for emphasis. Let go of that shit and the rest flows.

Freedomin5

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2077
  • Location: China
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 05:49:20 AM »
What you’re expressing is common for high achievers. You need to re-evaluate your values and what you tie your self-worth to. Otherwise you’re in for a life of “I need More” rather than “I have Enough”, and true happiness and contentment will remain elusive.

And I would question that whole “women care primarily about personality, looks, and income” idea. It sounds a bit shallow. I certainly did not marry my DH for his personality (annoying/goofy), income (very low when I met him), or looks (skinny nerd). I married him for his character, integrity, confidence, idealism, and values. It’s been 11 years, and I haven’t regretted my decision yet.

Start educating yourself on what it takes to build true confidence. I just started reading The Happiness Equation, which was written by a Harvard grad and speaks to the pursuit of “success” that you describe. So far, it’s been an excellent read.

By the way, you don’t come across as pompous in your post. You come across as insecure. But then again, you’re still young. Keep working on making yourself a version of you that you are happy with. After all, how can you expect a potential significant other to like you when you don’t even like yourself?

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1471
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 06:27:28 AM »
Oh boy.

Yeah... a lot of bullshit seems important in your 20s, it's normal. The good news is that none of it is actually important and the feeling that it is usually passes.

What you make doesn't really matter to anyone unless they don't actually like or respect you.
This is a HUGE life lesson that is completely counter intuitive, but it's absolutely true. The only people judging you for your income are people who want to judge you for your income.

No amount of income will protect you from that judgement either. If they aren't judging you for not making more money, then they're judging you for the sacrifices you made to get that money. It's lose lose, so don't bother making life decisions based on how people judge you, because if they want to judge you, they will.

When it comes to wealth and prestige, hilariously, those with high or higher incomes won't care at all what you make and those with lower incomes either won't care or will feel uncomfortable. So regardless, no one is going to have really positive feelings elicited by you having a very high income. The best you can hope for is indifference.

People who like and respect you for who you are won't give a flying fuck what you make. In your 20s, you've been surrounded by peers for so long where you are all living pretty similar lives and the things that set you apart like grades and job prospects feel sooooo important.

Well, as the time passes, no one cares anymore. People spend their lives surrounded by all sorts of other people, not just peers, and who has accomplished what in their careers really just ceases to matter.

Also, when you are young, you spend a lot of time socializing with your peers, as you get older, everyone becomes very selective about their time, and people will only want to spend time with you if you enrich their lives, they absolutely won't care what your salary is. They will care if you are funny, emotionally generous, non judgemental, a good listener, insightful and give good advice, etc, etc.

The cool attention seekers from your 20s usually rapidly fall off in terms of popularity and the really solid good people who never got a lot of attention tend to sky rocket in terms of peer esteem. By the time you are 40, the most coveted descriptor from your friends is "they're just a really good person". The "really good people" practically become rock stars as you mature.

The same logic goes for women. If they like you because of your looks and your income...well...good luck with that.
You are not wrong, those things do attract people, we all know that, but they have little to do with compatibility.
You work very hard, you are smart, and you make a very respectable income. If a woman doesn't respect that, then she's not the woman you want to be with.

Don't worry about attracting as many women as possible, go out into the dating world with a goal of attracting the kind of women you can really connect with.

Honestly, the only concern I have for you is how much you are working. It's really hard to build a happy and balanced life when you are working such long hours.

If I were you, I would focus less on maximizing income and more on finding balance.

You are far more likely to attract amazing quality women and be liked and respected by your peers if you are living a rich and happy full life with fulfilling work and plenty of time and energy for activities and hobbies that give your life a well-roundedness that working 80hrs prevents.

I know this stuff feels so important right now, but trust me, it so isn't. You are barreling head-first into a trap that could distract you for many years and significantly negatively impact your happiness.

Money won't make you happy, "prestige" definitely won't make you happy (trust me on this one), and figuring out what does make you happy is actually a really complex process that you should get started on *now*

Good luck.



Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1620
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 06:30:26 AM »
You’ve already received great advice, especially to do some therapy to get at the root of this while you are young.  You were #1 at high school.  I expect that led you to a challenging university, and there you were not #1.  I have a theory that the older one is when one is not “the star,” the harder it is to not see that as a failing.  Most people have a “not #1” experience long before they are 19.
 
The key is to figure out what you actually want now, as opposed to just being #1, or close to it.  I recommend the “Desiging Your Life” book often cited on other threads. 

At the same time, you might talk with the therapist about whether there are things that are keeping you from reaching your potential in the workplace, if you actually are not.  Do you not like the work?  Are you less effficient than you could be because of anxiety about your work product?  Are you in a situation where there is competition and the scheme is set up to steadily weed people out? Are you making work (and more specifically salary) the measure of your life?  With school one is always moving up to the next grade, but life is not like that.  A therapist friend of mine says she spends a lot of time talking with high achieving clients about how they have reached the plateau they were climbing to, but can’t seem to enjoy that they are there. (And sometimes reading MMM posts where people report amazing salary increases makes me question my own success, despite having consciously chosen a less financially rewarding path in my career in exchange for great autonomy and lots of free time.)

Use the move to Chicago as a reset.  Find some activities you will enjoy in your free time.  Places to meet women?  A “couch to 5k”running group, or (best of all), dance classes.  There are always extra single women at dance classes.  Try ballroom or swing.  The women there aren’t concerned about your salary.  Sign up for regular, weekly classes so you won’t just go from work to home.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:26:39 AM by Dee18 »

chemistk

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 423
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 06:34:13 AM »
Listen, you're doing just fine.

I'm 27, earn a lower salary than you, am married with two young kids, and though I live in a lower COLA than you and than my friends do, I'm doing just fine too. Nearly all my HS and a good chunk of my college friends earn much more than I do.

You need to accept yourself, your faults and strengths alike. Until you do, you won't have any clue what really makes you happy.

Once you do that, you need to stop competing with others and start competing with yourself. Did valueventures of last week fail to achieve his goals? Valueventures of this week is going to whoop his ass. Hopefully he won't be beaten too badly by valueventures of next week.

The only person who has the power to grant you happiness is you. You also solely hold the power to make yourself really fucking miserable.

I book I can't recommend enough - The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F***

Padonak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 485
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 06:57:35 AM »
Holy shit, cry me a river. Making 100k in mid 20s. Poor thing.

Unique User

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 650
  • Location: NC
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 06:59:36 AM »
When I opened this up, I thought it would be about a real low salary, like in the 20s or 30s.  I too graduated in the top ten of my class and then went to a university that is consistently in the top 20 in the US.  Graduated in a  recession and would have done anything to get a $65k salary right off the bat, or whatever the equivalent was in the early 90s.  Met dorky, fun loving, risk taking, low income DH who is the perfect compliment to my neurotic, introvert self and we've been married 25 years.  I've met some of those women that judge on looks and income, but do you really want to be with a woman that uses those criteria to decide whether to date you or not?

I hope you use the move to relax, Chicago is pretty laid back compared to NYC.  One small recommendation I would make about where you live in Chicago - avoid neighborhoods like Lincoln Park or the Gold Coast.  I haven't lived in Chicago for 25 years and I'm quite sure everything has changed, but if you end up working in the Loop, seek out neighborhoods on one of the L lines that have a mix of residents.  We chose the Bucktown/Logan Square neighborhood so many years ago because in the early 90s rent was dirt cheap there.  I'm sure current Chicago residents can advise on good neighborhoods, our choice inadvertently led me to a group of friends that had a variety of interests and backgrounds.  Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I was the only one working in the Loop.   
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 07:01:48 AM by Unique User »

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1471
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 07:10:55 AM »
Just to add:

I'm a huge fan of therapy, but I think you would gain a lot just from reading some pro-happiness resources like the MMM blog or the book "Your Money Or Your Life"

I'm also really fond of "7 Habits", which really helps with designing and implementing your best life AND helps you be professionally optimal, which I think would appeal to you.

Penelope Vandergast

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 101
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 11:18:33 AM »
Um, $100K in your mid-twenties is a HUGE salary. Huge. It's a huge salary in any phase of life. You make more money than at least 90% of the U.S. population at any age. I thought you were going to say you were 35 making $30K or something!

If earning at that level makes you feel insecure, I suggest finding new peers/friends. Hang out with say college adjunct professors (or college professors period, especially in the humanities, where starting salaries of $45K are common), people who work in museums, writers, artists, teachers, or editors. You will very quickly find that you make two or three or even four times what they do.

Lots of hot, brainy, and interesting women in those fields too, though you might want to rethink the women-only-want-men-with-lots-of-money or following some formula to Attract Women, as it will scream Men's Rights Activist/pickup artist to any of them who are even remotely savvy.

Seriously, if you have talent in finance, consider heading into academia, the arts, healthcare (hospitals/health plans) or foundation work if you want to get away from the (from what I can tell) very obnoxious social world of banking. There are good and interesting jobs there that will expose you to a much broader array of people, many of whom care a whole lot about something other than money. And as the finance guy at the university, museum or whatever you can be at the top of the earning heap. For instance, a 2-second search found me this at Harvard: https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGnewUI/Search/Home/Home?partnerid=25240&siteid=5341#jobDetails=1431634_5341

Good luck!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:26:17 AM by Penelope Vandergast »

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6859
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 11:30:14 AM »
Holy shit, cry me a river. Making 100k in mid 20s. Poor thing.
You know, it can be a big shock to a high school valedictorian when they go out to the world and realize they aren't the shit that they thought they were.

My recommendation: get over it.

Just need a little perspective that yes: it's a huge salary.  If you are too busy comparing yourself to your friends: find new friends.

SKL-HOU

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 11:51:54 AM »
Is this a joke? So you make 100k in mid 20s and you are upset over it because your less successful friends (not 1 but multiple) are making 300-400k in mid 20s? Sorry but I call BS on this.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1197
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 12:19:11 PM »
If this isn't a troll, then this would be my advice. Stop comparing yourself to others, there will always be someone who earns more, is hotter, has more stuff, whatever. None of it really matters.
Let go of the idea that women want high income/hot/good personality(whatever that means). Sure, some women do, but if that's all they care about, you shouldn't want them. Focus on finding a partner who complements you, who you have chemistry with, who has similar values and good character, because those are the things that last.
Finally, get a life outside of work. You will burn yourself out working too much, and have nothing to show for it other than a fat bank account. Develop hobbies, interests, friendships, because that's what matters. That will also lead you to see people as fully formed beings, and not just a walking price tag. Maybe you need therapy, maybe you need introspection, maybe just reading this thread will show you that you're chasing an impossible and unfulfilling path. It's great that you are frugal and work hard, but you need to also find ways to get enjoyment out of life. Good luck!

tozier

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 12:23:08 PM »
Apart from being well-groomed, women care far less about looks than men do.

A guy that can take care of himself and meet his own responsibilities will be much more attractive, especially if you add listening skills and a sense of humor in the mix.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3183
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2019, 12:55:51 PM »
Your insecurity is your choice, there will always be others to compare yourself to.  There are successful CEOs that compare themselves to billionaire founder/CEOs and feel inadequate

You need to learn to live life on your own terms.

Recommend reading Mark Manson - "How not to give an F" for further reasearch.  Or download a podcast interview he's done for free

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1604
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2019, 01:20:47 PM »
Hey man, I relate to some of this. I'm also 25 and grew up a gifted kid - in some ways I hit the reality check even later than you did. I was smart in high school so I went to a very good college, where I was smart, so I went to a very good grad school, where I felt like a failure because I wasn't on track to become a Harvard professor before 30. The expectation was that I would throw away every other part of my life in pursuit of this goal: work nights and weekends, make $30-50k throughout my 20s, fight for my right to competitive fellowships and job offers.

Then I had to realize that I didn't WANT to be a Harvard professor, even slightly, and that that was a legitimate choice and not just the inevitable path of a failure.

Every career path - every social circle - has something that it values, sometimes rabidly. And the longer you buy into the idea that that thing is what YOU need in YOUR life, the further down that rabbit hole you're going to get before you realize it doesn't make you happy. You're saving a lot, so you've rejected the consumerist idea that you need to spend a lot of money for a good life, but you've swallowed whole the lie that you need to MAKE a lot of money. Those are opposite sides of the same coin, and you're still holding tight to it.

Invest in your job. Does it have room for advancement? Do you find satisfaction in your work? If not, can you look for another job? How about hobbies? A fulfilling social life, where you enjoy the company instead of feeling inferior? Where can you find a sense of upward mobility in your life? What parts of it make you happy? Not "I like the taste of chocolate" enjoyment, but "I just climbed this mountain and I can see everything from here" happy?

$100k is more than 86% of people in the US make, and you're at the BEGINNING of your career. Congrats, you've made it, you're a high earner. Check the box. If you're being this frugal, you're probably accumulating more wealth than your higher-earning and higher-spending friends, but that doesn't matter if you're not working toward something you care about. Now focus on how to find joy in your life. In this community, frugality is a path to happiness, not a competition. If you want a little perspective, try reading through some of the "Low Income Group Journal" and realize that people are finding meaning and living good lives with FAR less money than you make.

Also, good lord, out of the trifecta of looks, money, and personality, I would take personality in a dating partner every single day of the week. You've achieved at least a minimum in looks and money - invest in developing yourself into an interesting, generous person, and you're going to make yourself happier and attract better partners to boot.

peeps_be_peeping

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2019, 01:40:56 PM »
I have had a similar struggle. It was only at about 35 that I finally was able to let go of it (I'm 40 now). I wasn't my high school valedictorian but I went to an Ivy League university and got middling grades by Ivy standards (3.5 GPA). I never aspired to be a "high achiever" in the way my classmates were, though by any other standard I am one. Almost 20 years after graduation my classmates are tenured professors, best selling authors, award winning documentary producers, cancer researchers, etc. Instead I am a lawyer in my hometown (not even a partner in a law firm), making a little more than $100k, and aiming to FIRE by 45. I am okay with that because I have had a lot of rich experiences that I couldn't have had were I pursuing a conventional life and career. I've been to 45+ countries, bicycled across Africa, skied a volcano in Russia, and have a view of the tallest mountain in North America from my office. I know I wouldn't be happy living in a city chasing a higher salary. I'd be miserable.

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1604
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2019, 01:45:10 PM »
I am okay with that because I have had a lot of rich experiences that I couldn't have had were I pursuing a conventional life and career. I've been to 45+ countries, bicycled across Africa, skied a volcano in Russia, and have a view of the tallest mountain in North America from my office. I know I wouldn't be happy living in a city chasing a higher salary. I'd be miserable.

That's quite a testimonial!

patchyfacialhair

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Age: 30
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2019, 01:53:41 PM »
If this is your version of failure, consider yourself lucky. I failed at age 18 during my first year of college (also a top 20). Ended with a 1.7 GPA and nothing to show for a year of tuition, just broken memories of drinking and smoking. Before that I was very well rounded and high achieving in academics and athletics compared to my peers.

My redemption: re-starting school at a community college, then unremarkable state school, while working full time. Now I'm 29 making about the same as you, married, with a kid, and house, and zero non-mortgage debt. Pretty darn successful if you ask me when you look at the big picture.

Your redemption: Maybe you redefine what makes you happy. Maybe you turn your love of money into a love of learning. Work on yourself.

I had a wonderful childhood thanks to parents to maybe combined made $75k in HCOL southern California. You can easily have a wonderful life on $100k in Chicago, it will just take some shifting of your ridiculous worldview.


Little Aussie Battler

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2019, 01:53:52 PM »
Comparison is the thief of joy.

Or just find some new friends that actually have low (or even average) salaries, and you will probably feel a lot better about yourself.

teltic

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2019, 02:02:14 PM »
Take a step back.  Breathe.  Money isn't everything (reread that sentence).

Fuzz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2019, 05:49:39 PM »
1) If you want to be an investment banker, it's not like that door is shut. Do some networking and make it happen. Or go to B school.

2) But...read the posts on happiness and stoicism. Maybe check out The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. You can do better than the IB route.

Laserjet3051

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 754
  • Age: 91
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2019, 05:55:59 PM »
Low? I'm a STEM PhD who excelled in school. At 25, I was earning a cool $14K per year. Let that sink in.

tyler2016

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
    • Tyler's Guides
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2019, 07:34:41 PM »
There is some solid advice so far about therapy, women, balance, etc.

70-80 hours per week is ridiculous. Ford isn't famous for the 40 hour week because of the kindness of his heart. It was implemented because that is the maximim hours a human can work on a consistent  basis before productivity declines and mistakes increase.

Do not start dating or get married because you think you are supposed to! A relationship with the wrong person can wreck your life. Looks and money are overrated. I would take a woman with good communication skills and good mental health any day of the week over good looks and money. Read some horror stories about divorce, abuse, personality disorders, etc. It happens to men too, you just don't hear about it as much.


GUNDERSON

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2019, 07:53:43 PM »
Man, working in finance will do a real number on you.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1769
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2019, 08:45:10 PM »
I met my wife when I was 23 and am now 30. I made about $60k a year in Texas, which at the time I felt like was a lot considering LCOL and no state income tax. I never had any issue meeting or dating women. I had easily been on hundreds of dates, it was kind of a gross hobby. My job was average (I made far more than my job title indicated), not overly good looking, but have a pretty outgoing personality when it comes to dating.

Now, at 30, I made around $260k last year. If I was single, I guarantee my income would open up an entirely different opportunity in the dating world. That is the LAST thing I’d want. I’d much rather have a woman happy with a man making $50k than $250k. When I made $60k my wife really thought I had it made. Now, my income is 5x larger and we’re happy with a budget that has only increased around 1.5x.

I promise, you do NOT want a wife that wants the version of you that makes $250k and not the version of you that makes $100k. Not saying you can’t find the right partner when you make less, but you should be concerned if a partner is concerned with your income.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9812
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2019, 09:05:53 PM »
Agree that counseling/therapy might help you work through/deal with some of the underlying issues here, if you are open to that.

It isn't about what you make, it is about what you do with those resources.  I only had a 15-year career -- started working my first professional job at age 30, after finishing a PhD (no debt, thankfully), starting salary of 55k in NYC in 1999.  Non-profit sector, my highest salary was around $75k.  Between us the most my DH and I made was around $150k/year (he was also non-profit).  But we FIREd in 2015 when I was only 46, with a NW of over 3mill.  Over 1 mill of that was retirement accounts.  The rest savings and real estate/real estate profits (BAM! Thank you NYC and Beijing property markets).  So it can be done, even without high salaries.

A few podcasts you might find helpful/inspirational:

The Tim Ferriss Show (start with the current ones and work back -- he is much more honest/empathetic and less self-promoting/bro-ey in the past 2-3 years since he opened up about his near suicide)

The James Altucher Show -- I actually like his earlier ones better

The Jordan Harbinger Show -- might also want to listen to some of his side interviews from earlier this year about how his former "partners" kicked him out of a show he had been developing for 11 years.  Dude has some serious resiliancy!

How I Built This -- great show about how iconic businesses started, and their ups and downs

Without Fail -- Alex Blumberg's new interview series with various people, discussing their successes and failures.

Success is sometimes a roundabout journey.  Maybe hearing the stories of other people who have been through challenges and come out on top will help you find your own path.    I hope so.  You are very lucky already, and it would be a shame to waste the resources and talents you have been given worrying the rest of your life about keeping up with other arbitrary indicators of success.


OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2019, 09:15:25 PM »
I’m 40. I have a PhD in a biomedical science field from a prestigious university and several publications to my name. I have yet to crack $50k per year. At 25, I was earning $22k per year working in cancer research. I have no real complaints about my life.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Find new friends and a hobby.

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1773
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2019, 09:36:27 PM »
Some great advice here. I'll only add a caveat: if hanging out with arty folk, don't do it to feel better about your salary or to meet women ffs. It's transparent. Bring something to the conversation when meeting creative people. Do it because you're interested in what we do, and are up for the rich / conflicting / human experience the arts can bring to your life if you let it.

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2019, 11:05:13 PM »
I’m 40. I have a PhD in a biomedical science field from a prestigious university and several publications to my name. I have yet to crack $50k per year. At 25, I was earning $22k per year working in cancer research. I have no real complaints about my life.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Find new friends and a hobby.

Dam, $22k per year for a PhD working on cancer research, what the hell did they pay the janitorial staff?  I guess that just goes to show no one is seriously working on trying to cure cancer, to much money to be made in cancer drugs that just let you live long enough to take more drugs.  That was semi sarcasm.

mrmoonymartian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Brisbane
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2019, 11:59:55 PM »
Yep, you're basically screwed if you're only making $100k at 25.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2019, 06:31:13 AM »
I’m 40. I have a PhD in a biomedical science field from a prestigious university and several publications to my name. I have yet to crack $50k per year. At 25, I was earning $22k per year working in cancer research. I have no real complaints about my life.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Find new friends and a hobby.

Dam, $22k per year for a PhD working on cancer research, what the hell did they pay the janitorial staff?  I guess that just goes to show no one is seriously working on trying to cure cancer, to much money to be made in cancer drugs that just let you live long enough to take more drugs.  That was semi sarcasm.

I didn't have a PhD at 25, just a bachelor's of science in biochem. I made $40k as a postdoc (i.e., new PhD) at the same cancer center 10 years later. There's definitely big money to be made in cancer, but it isn't being made by the researchers.

frugaldrummer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2019, 07:44:39 AM »
You've received a lot of great advice here and I'd just like to reiterate one point. Those friends of yours making $300k are probably also spending $300k (or more). You have a tremendous advantage in your ability to save.

When I was married I used to live in one of the wealthiest beachside communities in San Diego. By the time we divorced ten years ago my ex was making $300k. This was enough to support our family of five in our modest (1700  sf) $650k 50's ranch house with some ocean view, one annual ski trip with the kids,  some other travel, paid off student loans, kids in college, retirement savings of about $30k per year. (This was before I read MMM but also me pulling against a speedy spouse).

My point is - we had a very comfortable life far above most people but were surrounded by people with much more ostentatious lifestyles. Some had way more money but some were just spending more than they made and had shocking amounts of debt. So you can't really judge by what you see. Financial stupidity is rampant among the rich as well. Knowing how to save and manage your money is key.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2019, 07:54:32 AM »
^^^ This. I have friends who make a very good household income in our area ($130-140k per year). They spend every penny of it, borrow from family and on credit to finance their upscale suburban lifestyle, and complain about being broke. I am sure that they think husband and I are poor because our household income is much lower and we have a much less fancy lifestyle (they’ve made a few comments to that effect), but our only non-mortgage debt is the $1200 remaining on an auto loan at 2% interest and we’re actively saving cash in various places. Income is far from the whole story.

MaaS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2019, 08:34:13 AM »
The move to Chicago may do you a lot of good beyond the lower COL. As you spend more time there, I think you'll find less of a fixation on superficial success metrics (relative to NYC). NYC is a bubble culturally in a lot of ways. I suspect that.. unique.. culture is making these perspective problems worse.

*Before you @ me, I understand this doesn't apply to many people in NYC. But, in the aggregate, it's true.

Tuskalusa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2019, 08:52:09 AM »
Agree with MaaS. The move to Chicago might give you a new perspective.

Ok. The thing that struck me about your post is your assumptions about what women want. Woman here. When I was in my 20s, I wanted a partner who was fun to hang out with and who had some kind of a plan for his future. He didn’t need to be a high earner.  He just needed a plan and a good attitude. I don’t think I’m all that different from most women.

Going through life can be great with the right partner. My advice would be to stop worrying about how you stack up to this mythical criteria for women and just start trying to have some fun. You’re doing well. Your salary is excellent for your age. (And for any age,honestly.). Go enjoy it!  I bet your positive attitude will attract a like minded person who would like to hang out with you too!

I know how hard this is.  I think I’m sharing this because I worried a lot about this stuff when I was your age. I feel like a wasted a lot of energy on things that eventually worked themselves out.  So try and realize that things are going well and try to find some more fun!

Laserjet3051

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 754
  • Age: 91
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2019, 09:54:13 AM »
I’m 40. I have a PhD in a biomedical science field from a prestigious university and several publications to my name. I have yet to crack $50k per year. At 25, I was earning $22k per year working in cancer research. I have no real complaints about my life.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Find new friends and a hobby.

Dam, $22k per year for a PhD working on cancer research, what the hell did they pay the janitorial staff?  I guess that just goes to show no one is seriously working on trying to cure cancer, to much money to be made in cancer drugs that just let you live long enough to take more drugs.  That was semi sarcasm.

I didn't have a PhD at 25, just a bachelor's of science in biochem. I made $40k as a postdoc (i.e., new PhD) at the same cancer center 10 years later. There's definitely big money to be made in cancer, but it isn't being made by the researchers.

With all due respect, my PhD scientist friends working at Celgene, BMS, and Sanofi might beg to differ.

Penelope Vandergast

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 101
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2019, 09:55:07 AM »
Wanted to add to my post about looking for finance positions in the arts, museums, healthcare, academia.

1) In the arts/museums and now often academia, there are basically 2 kinds of people from a financial POV.

One is people who are actually starving artists and have little/no cushion or family money to help them, and who struggle to survive on their tiny salaries. (Even very large famous museums pay extremely badly, and 70% of all college teachers are now adjuncts making like $18K a year working FT.) These people often have another job waiting tables or something.

The other is people with family money or wealthy spouses. The trust fund folks. These are the genteel classes who originally 150 years or so ago created many arts, museum, publishing, and similar institutions (including academic), and some hospitals too, from a worldview where working for money was considered gauche but who either wanted to "give back," improve the family reputation (a lot of this was before nonprofits were a tax break) or give the ladies, who might have actually been relatively well-educated, something to do (limited to like giving docent talks or supervising their fellow lady volunteers of course, not actually making decisions.)

This attitude is kind of baked into these places still, which is why museum and publishing jobs -- which have a lot of cultural prestige -- pay so badly. When you have a nice trust fund and will be inheriting millions, your $22K museum or publishing job is basically pocket money.

This is all to say that if you are interested in finding a mate who has a lot of money herself, you could find one in the arts/academia if you screen your dates carefully and make sure not to fall in love with one of the starving artists by mistake. It can be very difficult to tell the difference by appearance, but if you say find someone in these fields who has a nice apartment and only one or no roommates, has a new car, goes on vacations, eats in restaurants regularly, and never mentions student loan debt, you could be in luck.

Yes I am being slightly sarcastic, but if this is really important to you it is actually good advice.

2) If politics matters to you, most people in the arts / academia lean left politically. Law schools, medical schools, and business schools are an exception.

In healthcare you are more likely to find conservatives, both among practitioners and in administration. Finance people everywhere tend to lean conservative.

In the arts, you are probably more likely to find a conservative POV (or at least a blandly centrist/standard-white-liberal one) in very classical areas like opera, ballet, symphonic music, etc, but that is just a guess on my part.

This is all assuming you would like a girlfriend/wife who is educated and has her own life/career. If you want a woman who wants to be "taken care of" but who also has a lot of money, you might start looking into the wealthier Christian fundamentalist groups, conservative think tanks, right-wing political funding machines, etc. where you could meet someone's daughter. Those people have more money than God.

If you don't care if she has money, then probably any church would do, except maybe Unitarian Universalist.

3) In the midwest you should be able to locate all of the above kinds of people. Contrary to popular belief we are a very diverse place.





Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2129
  • Location: Florida
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2019, 11:26:29 AM »
Goodness gracious, boy, you are not alone in this by a long shot! Everyone worth their salt questions their situation in life from time to time because smart people know that sometimes a course correction is required.
GOOD!!! - You have just realized at the ripe old age of 25 that "comparison is the thief of joy", live and in color.

Step one in becoming an adult is fully understanding for the first time that while you are at the top of the heap compared to 75% of America it doesn't "feel" like it to you. Your expectations haven't been met and you blame yourself.

I don't think your expectations are exaggerated since you are in a field where huge salaries are possible. The question truly is whether you have what it takes to advance into that league and/or if - within your company or this head office - you are faced with such stiff competition that the top brass has better candidates than you to choose from.

You know how to get around that, don't you?
The best way to shine is to find either a different company where your talents and dedication are appreciated or find a different industry but still work in finance where you can be the top dog with little to no competition. Such as a different field where you are the one and only undisputed finance guy. Someone already mentioned a slew of industries where your skills would be in demand.

A bit of competition is good to keep you on your toes:) Never become complacent in your job - there is always someone nipping at your heels, including that $117K job that you don't think is good enough, you would do well to remember that:).

Perhaps you are unconsciously punishing yourself for your "perceived" ineptitude by working 70-80 hours a week and denying yourself all the pleasures of a well lived, balanced life - filled with joy and companionship, fun and family and friends, travel and adventures.

That move to Chicago may just turn out to be your ticket to a great career and a well-balanced life filled with fun and friends and joie de vivre. All you need to do is be fully prepared to embrace your new life! Make the most of this move, establish yourself from the beginning, be smart about office politics and from the start never work those 70-80 hours again. Adjust to the new office expectations and try to stick to 50 hrs max.
It is a golden opportunity, especially if you are the guy from the home office who has connections to the right people, your old school chums.

You will be surprised how different a new office environment even within the same company can be. Use what you've learned and make sure that you take your time to understand the lay of the land before you forge alliances or look for a mentor.     

Sometimes in life it is a good thing when we don't get what we wanted or expected - it may well be a gift in retrospect.
It forces us to rethink everything. Consider our personal core values. Take a different road or a different approach.
Play the what if game.
What would be worst case scenario and how would you deal with it?
Is it time to bow out of a chosen career or are you simply on a slower path, with benefits and joys unique to you?
Those are legitimate questions, although I would argue that first and foremost you give that Chicago opportunity your full focus and attention. 

As far as all that extreme avoidance and denial of a joyful personal life - stop it right now!
There are literally millions here in the US who would love to live your reality. Learn to appreciate what you have, then continue to build on it. You'll be fine.
It is just part of adulting, the world at large doesn't care about our dreams, aspirations and certainly not about our expectations.

You are the one in charge of your life.
Hiding in your apartment on a subpar existence level is the height of foolishness and accomplishes nothing, except fueling more misery.
It is time to stop beating yourself up, it isn't good for your spirit or your confidence level or your mental health.

You need your full strength to carve out a good life for yourself. You already have all the tools at your disposal - so get with the program!
All you have to do is choose to live a good life on every level, not punish yourself when things are not working out as expected.
Life will throw you many curveballs, this one may turn out to be a lucky break.

As soon as you feel better about yourself and are more settled and content in your career you have my permission:) JK to look for a suitable lady for yourself. Good Luck with the ladies down the line.
Congrats on using MMM inspired living to make the most of your income.

MMM at it's best is nothing but living below your means - as in optimizing everything, having a FIRE plan in place and in the meantime living the good life, including travel and spending time drinking beer with your friends and in general doing whatever is important to you.
It may be relentless savings and focused execution, but it is not about denial of joy and it recognizes that sh$t happens and that sometimes you have to change your plans or put them on hold temporarily.

You will have no problem in reaching FI in record time, unlike a true low-income earner. So get over your fixation about what others have. No matter how well your career may turn out, there will always be people who have more than you, many of them totally undeserved and as far as opportunity, only one degree removed from you.
Start packing for Chicago and work on your image - you want to be remembered as a talented, capable and likeable person. Networking ...

Greyweld

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
  • Get healthy, save money, kick ass
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2019, 12:11:42 PM »
As a woman not much older than you, the one thing you would likely fall most short on for my preferences was time for me. You work 80 hours a week, where is the room for a relationship?

Even if you think women want looks, personality, and money, these are all things that you can probably work on. You can improve your looks by ensuring the basics of hygeine, finding a good haircut and facial hair style for your face and how much of each you can grow, and gradually improving your nutrition and fitness levels if they aren't great. You can improve your personality by practicing being kind, optimistic, and genuinely interested in the life of whoever you are talking with. You're doing well on the money front, though it probably doesn't feel like it in your cohort and location. I would say with your 80 hour weeks you may be putting too much time into your career because you think money making is the only thing you can improve.

Lady SA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2019, 01:54:49 PM »
People have given some great advice about the salary comparison. But as a person of the female persuasion and just 2 years older than you, I figure my advice/perspective could be helpful with the dating/what women want thing.

When I was dating, I was firstly looking for someone who would be a good life partner and friend. That meant I was looking for someone who was solid/dependable, kind, funny and approachable and interesting, able to take care of himself and others/responsible, and had a solid plan for his future but is also willing/able to be flexible if needed. In the back of my mind, I was also looking for someone that I would be proud to have as a role model for my future kids, and who demonstrated abilities that would indicate he would be a great co-parent. I had never seen my DH with kids before we got married, but I had seen him in action being completely willing to learn new, difficult things and jumping in feet first to help, his conscientiousness in general, and his caring especially while nursing me when I was sick. Those actions demonstrated that he was not only a dependable partner to me, but also would be a kick-ass co-parent.

Basically, I wanted to find a best friend--the type who is the first person you reach out to in a crisis because you know they are dependable and safe, one who is fun and interesting and has a personality that compliments yours, and overall KIND. Just a good, GOOD person who inspires you to try to be a better person too. THAT is the type of person people want to build a life with.

So if you read what I wrote, none of that is dependent on having a gigantic salary. I was actually more attracted to people who had more modest salaries but also more time/presence in my life. Workaholics who I would never see was a turnoff. I prefer a life partner to go on adventures with, not a economic firehose who is never available to be fully in the family.

Maybe revise your 2 out of 3 requirements to: Personality (yes, this is important! No one wants to live with an asshole) vs Looks (don't be a slob obviously, but if someone is only attracted to your looks that is a recipe for heartache) vs skills or ability to learn skills to provide towards a joyful, good-enough life (at the heart of this is the ability to take care of their family both fiscally and emotionally; this does NOT mean having the biggest paycheck).
I should hope that the kind of partner that you yourself are seeking would be looking for a combination of personality and a good-enough life. And good news for you, those two are the ones that you can actively improve.


OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1580
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2019, 02:01:19 PM »
I’m 40. I have a PhD in a biomedical science field from a prestigious university and several publications to my name. I have yet to crack $50k per year. At 25, I was earning $22k per year working in cancer research. I have no real complaints about my life.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Find new friends and a hobby.

Dam, $22k per year for a PhD working on cancer research, what the hell did they pay the janitorial staff?  I guess that just goes to show no one is seriously working on trying to cure cancer, to much money to be made in cancer drugs that just let you live long enough to take more drugs.  That was semi sarcasm.

I didn't have a PhD at 25, just a bachelor's of science in biochem. I made $40k as a postdoc (i.e., new PhD) at the same cancer center 10 years later. There's definitely big money to be made in cancer, but it isn't being made by the researchers.

With all due respect, my PhD scientist friends working at Celgene, BMS, and Sanofi might beg to differ.

I should have specified “academic research,” particularly at the basic/translational level. The cancer center was affiliated with a university and the labs were mostly funded through research grants. Big Pharma is certainly different.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2310
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2019, 02:18:50 PM »
First, go to a therapist.  There are many of us who have dealt with the kinds of insecurities you are dealing with, so get help to work through them instead of struggling through on your own for years.

Second:  work less.  Seriously.  Your single-minded focus on keeping an "ok" job is sucking the life out of you -- it leaves you no time for hobbies, for friends, for dating, for volunteering, for putting in the time on the "future development" you mention.  All of these things are the things that make you happy and content with who you are and the life you are living.

Some people are happy with a single-minded focus on the job, if that is their sole priority and they feel like they are doing important work or achieving important personal goals.  That's not you.  You chased the job for the money -- hell, sounds like you chose your major for the money, and not because of any innate interest in the subject matter (which IMO likely contributed to what you saw as "underperformance" in college -- people tend to do better when they are working on shit they actually care about).  And to top that all off, you don't feel like the job is good enough for you, or that you are "succeeding" at life (because you aren't making as much money as you want).  So it seems to me that you're clinging to this job because you feel like it is the only thing that you can do to meet at least some minimally-acceptable salary to prove (to yourself) that you're at least worth something.  And in return, you are giving up all of your available time and energy, so that you have none left for things that actually do matter to you.

This is a Giant Treadmill O' Bullshit.  You are churning and churning and churning and giving up all free time to live the life you want in the pursuit of a job where, if you succeed, you will have even less free time to live the life you want.  Doesn't that sound exhausting?  Spending so much of your life energy only to "win" the prize of a boring, lonely, one-dimensional life?  So the best thing you can do for yourself is to figure out how to step off of the Bullshit Treadmill.  Stop spending so much time and energy hanging on desperately to a job that you don't like and that isn't providing any joy, satisfaction, or fulfillment.  Take time to do at least one thing a week that is personally satisfying.  And then, when you have a little head space, start looking around for other jobs that may not pay as much but might allow you to have a life.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6859
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2019, 02:32:14 PM »
Quote
This is a Giant Treadmill O' Bullshit.

I found a new catch phrase!

valueventures

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2019, 09:04:31 AM »
Wow!  Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts.  I can't say I expected to receive 44 replies.

Objectively speaking, I understand that my salary is notably higher than the average American.  However, the average American does not spend ~$250k on a college education.  In this context, from a ROI standpoint, I feel that I have done poorly.  I'm very fortunate to have parents who covered my college costs and who encourage me to think more positively about my situation.  And I do want to point out that I worked hard in college and was not the partying type (as you can probably tell from my frugality), but just couldn't quite reach the level needed for more lucrative jobs.  Also, for those questioning whether I'm trolling with my comparisons, just do a quick search on investment banking associate / private equity / hedge fund starting salaries.

Regarding your comments to cut down on hours, this is difficult to do considering my firm is perpetually understaffed.  However, my firm is making a push towards automation to try to lessen our workloads.  Hopefully, this will allow me to have a more balanced lifestyle.  I agree that the pace I'm on is not sustainable and does not allow time for much personal growth.  With that said, I like my job/co-workers and am intellectually curious about my work.  I feel that, generally speaking, my firm is a meritocracy and that there is potential for advancement if I continue to perform well.

Having gone to one of the most prestigious East Coast universities and now working in NYC, relocating to Chicago should be good for my sanity (and wallet).  I grew up in the Midwest and have found Midwesterners to be much more down-to-earth than East Coasters (especially those in finance).  Surrounding myself with better people should help my perspective.  I appreciate all of your suggestions for improvement.  I agree that the best starting point is to do some reading / listening on happiness and will check out some of the books and podcasts you recommended.  I appreciate the insight from women here as well; it's reassuring to see that a man's salary does not always need to dictate how he is perceived.

Let me know if you have any other thoughts and, once again, thanks for your help!

Tuskalusa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2019, 10:02:12 AM »
Thanks for following up. It sounds like you have some good changes coming. When you have a moment, pick up the book “Mindset.”  While you might not be at the top of your earning potential now, I would recommend changing your thinking. You’re not at the top of your earning potential...yet. Time and experience are your friends. I have no doubt that you have the intelligence and desire to get where you want to go. It’s just gonna take more time and work. In the meantime, enjoy yourself a bit. Corporate America is a marathon. You’ll get there, but there are dues to pay.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2310
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2019, 11:53:37 AM »
 
I appreciate the insight from women here as well; it's reassuring to see that a man's salary does not always need to dictate how he is perceived.

FTFY.

Any woman who judges you lacking because you “only” make $100k is not worth the time of day.

Sadly, when you judge yourself as lacking because of the amount of money you make, that is what others will see in you as well.  We see what we expect to see and get what we expect to get.  Once you stop defining yourself by such shallow criteria, you will begin to find women who do as well.

Tuskalusa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2019, 04:01:02 PM »
Well said Laura33.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2426
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2019, 09:19:54 PM »
Wow!  Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts.  I can't say I expected to receive 44 replies.

Objectively speaking, I understand that my salary is notably higher than the average American.  However, the average American does not spend ~$250k on a college education.  In this context, from a ROI standpoint, I feel that I have done poorly.
While you probably could have achieved similar pay with a much less costly college education, I'd estimate that the ROI by the time you're 30 will still be well ahead of where you would have been without any college. You're doing fine, you didn't waste your parent's money.