28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

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purpleradish
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28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by purpleradish » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am

Hi.

I feel like I can and should be doing better as I know I am an intelligent and hard working individual but I am lost at the moment as to how to get there. I am 28 making around 70K in a major U.S. city with my rent approaching 2K a month.

I have a BS in Business Admin which didn’t really teach me any hard skills and obtained my MBA from an Accredited University which again, lacked in teaching me any hard skills aside from general business concepts etc.

I am well read, have an interest in sociology and psychology and have traveled extensively, at times by myself which has helped me grow as a person. I am a great public speaker as well… my weakness is that while I know I am intelligent the “skills” problem persists. I am willing to do whatever it takes to help ensure my success going forward in life but need some help and opinions as to where to start.

I currently work for a reputable financial investment firm doing back office work which again, is lacking in teaching me any hard skills and to be quite honest a robot can do 50% of my job. I have experience in the industry for the past 4 years but I’m unsure of having a love for it, my original path of working in hospitality got derailed when I suffered a few sports injuries and I resorted to the first financial job I could find. I have been facing this existential crisis for awhile now and need to make a change, I have an opportunity to transfer within my company that I enjoy working for which is where my first option is going to be.

In regards to my finances I have around 45K in between an IRA and 401k and about 10K in Checking’s / Savings. I really feel as if I should be doing better than this at this point in my life.

I am scared to completely start over and wouldn’t even know where to begin so I’m hoping to mesh a more fulfilling job with the network and skills I do have. I have enough self awareness that I can boil my issues down to 3 tasks:

1. Find Cheaper Accommodation
2. Learn a new skill
3. Transfer within my company and if that fails seek something else

Any perspective would help and hope to get me out of the rut I am in, thanks Reddit

docbrown
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by docbrown » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:49 am

You could challenge yourself by quitting your job and becoming an entrepreneur. Make your own dream come true instead of someone else's.
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livesoft
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:50 am

Sounds like you are doing much better at age 28 than my spouse and I were doing. Everybody's life is different and you have to live your own life. I don't see any insurmountable issues based on your short post, but I don't know you really.
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Billionaire
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Billionaire » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:00 pm

For myself and pretty much everybody I know, the 20's where a difficult time in the career department. When I was 29, I changed from the accounting field to selling new construction. When I was 35, I changed from selling real estate to computer programming. I made enough money in real estate to take 6-9 months off to reinvent myself as a computer programmer. I've been in IT now for 28 years. I think overall you are doing fine.

csm
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by csm » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:05 pm

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
I have experience in the industry for the past 4 years but I’m unsure of having a love for it, my original path of working in hospitality got derailed when I suffered a few sports injuries and I resorted to the first financial job I could find.
Could you elaborate on this statement? Is it your desire or passion to work in hospitality? How did sports injuries derail this?

You are young and in good shape financially and sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. If you do not have a love for the work you are doing now, at age 28, then make a change. You will not suddenly find yourself happier if you stick with it longer.

You mention transferring within your company. Would that be to something you really want to do?

Reducing your expenses (i.e. finding a less expensive place to live) and learning a new skill are both good moves that can only have a positive effect, so go for it.

delamer
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by delamer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:11 pm

Well, what kind of hard skills that you lack do you feel are holding you back?

It seems to me that the hospitality field -- your first goal -- relies a lot on soft skills, assuming that you are talking about dealing with the public.

Pacman
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Pacman » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:11 pm

OP,

You actually have a lot of wisdom in that you know your strengths and what options you might have. I will agree with Billionaire in saying that most ambitious people have a sort of 'quarter-life' crisis in their 20's and question the path they are on. I certainly did and still am at 30. Given your education, work ethic and communication skills, I'm curious if you have tried getting into one of the larger consulting firms? My MBA friends who don't have 'hard skills' but have a similar profile as you have done well in those environments. Good luck.

runner3081
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by runner3081 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:52 pm

First off, you are doing just fine. Assuming you don't have debt, you are heads and shoulders above most people your age.

You mention not gaining skills in school for business. This is where you come in. Be a little more pro-active, talk to people who are at a high level or your current desired field. Ask them what they most valuable skills is... then develop it.

School is nothing more than a hoop to jump through (just like buying General Admission at a concert - it gets you in the door), the rest is on you.

I would also definitely look for a roommate situation to lower your housing costs. Drop them monthly cost to near or under 1K, save 50% of your salary and watch how quickly it grows.

We are doing pretty well and were in a similar situation as you, late 20's and felt behind. We went to a whole other level of minimalism, cutting out unneeded costs and within 10 years have seen a significant increase in net worth and happiness (happiness due to focusing on what is important to us in life).

runner3081
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by runner3081 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:03 pm

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
thanks Reddit
?

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VictoriaF
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:12 pm

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
...
I currently work for a reputable financial investment firm doing back office work which again, is lacking in teaching me any hard skills and to be quite honest a robot can do 50% of my job. I have experience in the industry for the past 4 years but I’m unsure of having a love for it, my original path of working in hospitality got derailed when I suffered a few sports injuries and I resorted to the first financial job I could find. I have been facing this existential crisis for awhile now and need to make a change, I have an opportunity to transfer within my company that I enjoy working for which is where my first option is going to be.

I have enough self awareness that I can boil my issues down to 3 tasks:

1. Find Cheaper Accommodation
2. Learn a new skill
3. Transfer within my company and if that fails seek something else

Any perspective would help and hope to get me out of the rut I am in, thanks Reddit
- If your firm is large request a rotation to other departments. Check if rotations are supported for new hires and ask to join them.
- Find out which skills are in the highest demand in your firm and enroll in skill-focused courses.
- Find out if any certifications would enhance your career. Would it help if you became a CPA? A CFP?

A cheaper accommodation is a good idea, but not at the expense of the length of your commute. It seems that your main issue is not money but lack of a meaningful career path.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Watty
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Watty » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:22 pm

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
In regards to my finances I have around 45K in between an IRA and 401k and about 10K in Checking’s / Savings. I really feel as if I should be doing better than this at this point in my life.
Financially your net worth is likely far ahead of most 28 years olds, many who would love to have just a positive net worth. If you work with a lot of people who make a very high income then you may not have a good perspective on how well you are doing.

It sounds like you have two types of issues

1) Where is your career going?

2) Where is your life going?

One thing that struck me in your post is that you seemed to be pretty much defining yourself by your job and there was not any mention of a spouse, kids, friends, passionate outside interests, etc and that could be more of what you are looking for than a fulfilling job. There is no doubt that jobs can be interesting, enjoyable, and well paid, but as far a really providing lifetime fulfilment that might not be a realistic expectation of something you can get out of a job. Very few people in even the most desirable jobs would say, "I would still do my job even if they didn't pay me." and even doing something fulfilling like saving starving orphans would likely burn you out after a while.

You might try to figure out how much of what is going on can be fixed by your work even you had a magic wand that could give you your dream job.

It could be that developing your life outside your work is what you should be focusing on.
purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
I have an opportunity to transfer within my company that I enjoy working for which is where my first option is going to be.
I'm not sure what that means so you might try to explain that a bit more.

Right now you are only about 4 years into your working career and you could have another 40 of work ahead of you so there is very little risk in trying something new if the prospects of it working out well for you are better. I would guess that it is some sort of credible position so there may not be a lot of downsides for you working on it since you don't love your current job.

With some companies being rotated through a few different positions can work out sell since it give you a better overview of how the overall company works.

Part of your frustration could be because you live in a very expensive area where it might not be realistic to ever be able to afford a decent house when you are ready to settle down(there is no hurry to buy a house!).

You might consider if you finding a job in a less expensive part of the country might help reduce some of the pressure on you.
Last edited by Watty on Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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CaliJim
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by CaliJim » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:25 pm

Keep building on your strengths, and strengthen your weaknesses.

Network - build friendships and relationships in the office - use wise friends as mentors.

Consider focusing on a specialty area - perhaps something related to compliance, or project management.

- http://www.finra.org/industry/qualification-exams
- https://www.pmi.org/certifications
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Alexa9
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:45 pm

Sounds like you're in a comfort zone. Not much room to move up though? Maybe you need a new job. Sounds like you have a good resume. I'd work on networking and branching out into new areas to keep yourself from getting bored.

cherijoh
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by cherijoh » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:08 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:52 pm
Be a little more pro-active, talk to people who are at a high level or your current desired field. Ask them what they most valuable skills is... then develop it.

School is nothing more than a hoop to jump through (just like buying General Admission at a concert - it gets you in the door), the rest is on you.
+1
What runner is suggesting is called informational interviewing. I also think this would be beneficial as a starting point before committing to any additional education or switching jobs. Here is a link to some good informational interview questions. Once you narrow down where you want to go career-wise the path to get there will be much clearer. Since you were considering the hospitality industry, I would consider looking at a sales role - although not necessarily in the financial industry. Maybe as a manufacturer's sales rep where you are doing B2B sales.
runner3081 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:52 pm
I would also definitely look for a roommate situation to lower your housing costs. Drop them monthly cost to near or under 1K, save 50% of your salary and watch how quickly it grows.

We are doing pretty well and were in a similar situation as you, late 20's and felt behind. We went to a whole other level of minimalism, cutting out unneeded costs and within 10 years have seen a significant increase in net worth and happiness (happiness due to focusing on what is important to us in life).
With ~1/3 or more of your gross salary going to rent, I would also suggest focusing on reducing expenses. You are more likely to succeed in the short run with that, rather than trying to find a job that your increases compensation by a huge percentage immediately.

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Pajamas
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:41 pm

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
I have been facing this existential crisis for awhile now and need to make a change, I have an opportunity to transfer within my company that I enjoy working for which is where my first option is going to be.

1. Find Cheaper Accommodation
2. Learn a new skill
3. Transfer within my company and if that fails seek something else

Any perspective would help and hope to get me out of the rut I am in, thanks Reddit
This actually Bogleheads, not Reddit, but it's good that you're asking in different places to get different perspectives. :oops:

That sounds like a good plan but I would suggest switching the order of priority and modifying the actions some.

1. Advance within your company or look for a new job if that doesn't work out
2. Find cheaper and more suitable accommodations and look at other ways of maximizing finances
3. Learn new skills

If the new position in your company is not a clear advancement in terms of pay and non-tangibles such as the opportunity to acquire new skills and also position yourself for further growth, then look outside of the company, too. If you are going to change jobs, you might as well look at other possibilities in a wider search. Sometimes changing companies provides more opportunity than changing positions within a company. Talk to some people in your company, especially those in other departments like the one you will possibly transfer to.

There may be ways to improve your spending and investing in addition to finding a less expensive place to live. If you look for a job outside of your current company, you might end up moving, anyway, so focus on the job first. Maybe you can have a roommate in the meantime who is looking for a place for a few months.

You can learn new skills both in and outside of work, but since you have an MBA, your best opportunities will probably be at work. You might look at some additional coursework or certification in an area that you feel will really benefit you. For instance, some advanced accounting or marketing classes or similar depending on your career needs.

It's normal to feel the way you do at your age. It's good practice for later in life when you feel even more stuck and frustrated in an increasingly more complex life with more responsibilities, possessions, and experience.

sawhorse
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by sawhorse » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:26 pm

csm wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:05 pm
purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
I have experience in the industry for the past 4 years but I’m unsure of having a love for it, my original path of working in hospitality got derailed when I suffered a few sports injuries and I resorted to the first financial job I could find.
Could you elaborate on this statement? Is it your desire or passion to work in hospitality? How did sports injuries derail this?
A lot of hospitality jobs require walking around and standing a lot, so that would be difficult for someone with sports injuries. Some sports injuries take months upon months to walk again, and sometimes the problems and pain never totally go away.

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bottlecap
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by bottlecap » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:12 am

I can't tell you what job to move into.

But you are doing fine with savings at 28.

You sound like you need a change. Make those changes while your still young and don't have dependents. Transfer within the company. If that's not working out, leave and do something else that interests you.

Having been through that time in my career, I think the worst thing for you to do is stay in something that is not making you happy. Now is the time to move, change, and experiment in finding what does make you happy.

I would venture to say that people who do this, for the right reasons, are far more likely to eventually find the right career for them and are far better off for it later in life.

Good luck,

JT

sambb
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by sambb » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:18 am

you sound directionless, and that is a warning when i hire people - i want some direction. Hence, i would figure out what your goals are, and see if you can achieve them. However, the goals are not always achievable. is there an interiim state in which you can be satisfied. in the end, if you work hard and believe in the mission of your corporation, you will do better.

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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:43 am

You have the skills, you just need to channel them into the right job. Have you considered sales? Good speaking skills - you can use that to your advantage to sell a product or a service. How about consulting or project management - not easily transferable to a robot.
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:03 am

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
1. Find Cheaper Accommodation
2. Learn a new skill
3. Transfer within my company and if that fails seek something else
Being in a major city with a degree at a young age, do some research on local companies that have a leadership development program. It's common among large companies. These bring in young, educated kids and groom them into leaders.

Pros
You rotate thru different positions in the company, seeing what you like/don't like.
Likely a candidate for upper level positions

Cons
Likely won't start at $70,000

KlangFool
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:28 am

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
Hi.

I feel like I can and should be doing better as I know I am an intelligent and hard working individual but I am lost at the moment as to how to get there. I am 28 making around 70K in a major U.S. city with my rent approaching 2K a month.
purpleradish,

<<I know I am an intelligent>>

How do you know? As compared to what? Are you top 10 high school student for the whole country? Summa Cum Laude for your Bachelor Degree?

Are you average as per college student?

<<hard working individual >>

As compared to what? Do you work 40 hours per week and run a side business for another 40 hours per week?

Now, as compared to the other 28 years old person, you are an above average saver and in better financial shape.

What have you done so far besides working at your job?

<< I currently work for a reputable financial investment firm doing back office work which again, is lacking in teaching me any hard skills >>

Wake up!! The employer's goal is to make money out of your labor. Why would the employer want to increase your market value so that you can demand better salary and less profit for them? You have a business degree and MBA. This is Business 101.

It is your life and your career. If you want to improve your capability, you have to get it in spite of your job.

1) You do not need above average intelligent in order to be successful. It helps but it is not necessary.

2) But, you need above average passion and effort in order to get somewhere in life.

3) Or, you can hope and pray that your above average luck will get you somewhere.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:40 am

OP,

You need to know where and how you can win. The question is not whether you are intelligent and hardworking. It is how smart and hardworking you are as compared to your peers at your employer. Are you average or above average? Ditto on any parts of life.

Environment plays a major part in this too.

A) What are you good at as opposed to the average folks? You can do it easily as opposed to others.

B) What are you willing to work hard in? Aka, you would spend extra time and effort for free.

Know yourself and half of the battle is won.

KlangFool

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CaliJim
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by CaliJim » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:41 am

Klangfool: well said, yet again. Laying it down, telling it like it is, and coming back for more! :twisted: I *LIKE* it!
Last edited by CaliJim on Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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am
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by am » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:24 am

“In regards to my finances I have around 45K in between an IRA and 401k and about 10K in Checking’s / Savings. I really feel as if I should be doing better than this at this point in my life.”

I think you are doing fine. Your networth assuming no debt is between 10-25% for your age group!

https://assetbuilder.com/knowledge-cent ... scoreboard

I sometimes feel like I should be doing better as well when I visit these forums, see the conspicous consumption of some of my neighbors and hear stories of easy riches attained by less educated people. According to statistics, I have top 1% income and top 5% net worth for my age group. :sharebeer

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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:18 pm

Comments within
purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
I have a BS in Business Admin which didn’t really teach me any hard skills and obtained my MBA from an Accredited University which again, lacked in teaching me any hard skills aside from general business concepts etc.
You're not alone. Few of us were taught hard skills in school, that all comes from experience aka "On the job training."
I am well read, have an interest in sociology and psychology and have traveled extensively, at times by myself which has helped me grow as a person.
I am a great public speaker as well… my weakness is that while I know I am intelligent the “skills” problem persists. I am willing to do whatever it takes to help ensure my success going forward in life but need some help and opinions as to where to start.
Those are all good qualities IMO.
I currently work for a reputable financial investment firm doing back office work which again, is lacking in teaching me any hard skills and to be quite honest a robot can do 50% of my job.
You cannot depend on your job or your employer to teach you anything. They hired you for only one reason: You have some skill that they need at the moment and they're willing to pay you for it. Very few employers (if any) actually care about you or want to see your career grow. YOU must take responsibility for this - learn what you can in your current situation, then move on.

Entry level jobs are mostly very mundane, this is not unusual. I also did a lot of grunt work when I was starting out, it took years to find something more meaningful. You're still learning.
I have experience in the industry for the past 4 years but I’m unsure of having a love for it, my original path of working in hospitality got derailed when I suffered a few sports injuries and I resorted to the first financial job I could find. I have been facing this existential crisis for awhile now and need to make a change, I have an opportunity to transfer within my company that I enjoy working for which is where my first option is going to be.
If you want to get back into hospitality, make it happen. You may need to start at the bottom and work your way up but you can do it.

OTOH, I don't see hospitality as very lucrative in the long term. I know a couple people in that field and they're constantly job hopping and trying to find something better. It doesn't look like much fun. Finance likely has more variety and a better future.
In regards to my finances I have around 45K in between an IRA and 401k and about 10K in Checking’s / Savings. I really feel as if I should be doing better than this at this point in my life.
You're doing great! Really, you are off to a wonderful start. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
I am scared to completely start over and wouldn’t even know where to begin so I’m hoping to mesh a more fulfilling job with the network and skills I do have. I have enough self awareness that I can boil my issues down to 3 tasks:

1. Find Cheaper Accommodation
2. Learn a new skill
3. Transfer within my company and if that fails seek something else

Any perspective would help and hope to get me out of the rut I am in, thanks Reddit
That sounds like a plan to me.

Try not to worry too much about 'success', enjoy the journey. Figure out who you are, what you're good at, what you enjoy doing. It's a bonus if you also get paid well for it! :beer

new2bogle
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by new2bogle » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:29 pm

Find a job at GE somewhere in the country. Better if that place has a very large GE footprint (i.e., many divisions/employees). Get into their rotational program and try out a few choices. Pick one you like.

I've never worked at GE but many friends have/do and apparently the rotational program there is excellent. Pay may not be 70k to begin with though.

2015
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Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by 2015 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:17 pm

purpleradish wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am
Hi.

I feel like I can and should be doing better as I know I am an intelligent and hard working individual but I am lost at the moment as to how to get there. I am 28 making around 70K in a major U.S. city with my rent approaching 2K a month.

I have a BS in Business Admin which didn’t really teach me any hard skills and obtained my MBA from an Accredited University which again, lacked in teaching me any hard skills aside from general business concepts etc.

I am well read, have an interest in sociology and psychology and have traveled extensively, at times by myself which has helped me grow as a person. I am a great public speaker as well… my weakness is that while I know I am intelligent the “skills” problem persists. I am willing to do whatever it takes to help ensure my success going forward in life but need some help and opinions as to where to start.

I currently work for a reputable financial investment firm doing back office work which again, is lacking in teaching me any hard skills and to be quite honest a robot can do 50% of my job. I have experience in the industry for the past 4 years but I’m unsure of having a love for it, my original path of working in hospitality got derailed when I suffered a few sports injuries and I resorted to the first financial job I could find. I have been facing this existential crisis for awhile now and need to make a change, I have an opportunity to transfer within my company that I enjoy working for which is where my first option is going to be.

In regards to my finances I have around 45K in between an IRA and 401k and about 10K in Checking’s / Savings. I really feel as if I should be doing better than this at this point in my life.

I am scared to completely start over and wouldn’t even know where to begin so I’m hoping to mesh a more fulfilling job with the network and skills I do have. I have enough self awareness that I can boil my issues down to 3 tasks:

1. Find Cheaper Accommodation
2. Learn a new skill
3. Transfer within my company and if that fails seek something else

Any perspective would help and hope to get me out of the rut I am in, thanks Reddit
Although I really do like (and concur with) the informational interview suggestions above, I'm not gonna screw around giving you career advice as I don't have much respect for it overall, unless its coming from a mentor you respect and trust. Being successful in any area of life is an internal game. If you've got that down, one way or the other, you'll make it. You're only 28 years old and have detailed a list of impressive accomplishments, accomplishments that couldn't have been achieved without possessing the underlying competencies with which to manifest those accomplishments.

Take your time during this "existential crisis". Trust that the same competencies which served as the foundation of your present accomplishments will spur you on to your next ones. If you can find a mentor somehow, I would recommend that. In my life, no single action has been more responsible for my success and achievement than having an obsession with getting around people further down the road than me and learning all I could from them.

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Pajamas
Posts: 2780
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:25 pm

You should PM KlangFool to see if he will hire you and be your mentor. :beer

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