I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

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WillingtoLearn88
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I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by WillingtoLearn88 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am

You’ve heard it right Bogleheads,

At this point in my life, I’m a loser. I just feel stuck, really could use some solid advice. I’m 30, net worth is about $150-160k (mostly cash, as my 401k at my job is not even 3% of my net worth *laughs*).

I was going to school and I obtained my AS in business management, but did not finish to get my bs after a year in university. During that time, My father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, so literally i would work 8 hours, get stuck in traffic traveling to MD Anderson (Houston traffic is atrocious), get home late, study, and repeat. It was a very stressful period, and soon as they passed, I had a relative with special needs that lives with us who had the same terrible news as well (stage 4 kidney cancer). I tried my very best to do what I could to save these two, but it takes a toll to see your loved ones slowly dying in a comatose.

I think that’s the reason I kept this terrible job so long. It gave me flexibility, but the pay is terrible, the staff looks down on me and hardly anyone ever speaks. Let’s just say this is like working for Ross or McDonald’s. Getting up at 5-6am and getting home in traffic at 5-6pm. It’s a rat race where I’m just getting water and bread so I can have enough of energy to attempt to get the cheese lol.

I did pursue a career in music production, but I guess my music wasn’t up to par or just I didn’t make it. Managed to land music on 100+ tv shows (I get several hundreds of dollars every other month from royalties, some dating back to 2012, it’s a similar amount to owning a SFH in real estate).

Also during this period I fixed my credit. I went from derogatory and no credit, to last year having a 800+ credit score and no debt. No car notes, not student loans, no payments for my braces, and less than 1k on a credit card balance (which i did to get over 100k points with a chase cc) I’m about to pay off.

My goals are to start a business that adds value to other people lives. It feels like one aspect of my life is going right, but I have a income problem?

As for what I bring to the table/skills, during all of my free time on this job and on the weekends, I taught myself how to code, program, sales, and anything that could improve my skills in business. I’m in the process of learning Swift for IOS development, and last year I actually started charging for web work. I am still trying to learn how to market myself and price accordingly as I charged a client $2500 less for a serious project, and not only optimized the site and coded better that the original developer who didn’t even know what a cdn was, but implemented better features for it and boosted their gt metrix score.

What good advice you have? Im assuming I can’t get a much better job with the degree I have, and I have family who not only mocks me for not finishing school, but the job I have as well.

Just would like to hear your thoughts, don’t have a friend or someone I can talk to about it.

jb1
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by jb1 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:45 am

You sound just like me. Grad degree and working a dead end job. Most likely will get my real estate license this summer and give a shot at it. Best of luck to you.

jacksonm
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by jacksonm » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:50 am

Doesn't sound like the story of a loser to me.

Random Poster
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Random Poster » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:51 am

If you still live in Houston, and you don't want to be self-employed, have you considered an IT-type role with one of the (very many) oil companies in town? The pay would probably be better.

I'm not sure that $160K net worth at 30 with no debt is anything to feel poorly about.

Topic Author
WillingtoLearn88
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by WillingtoLearn88 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:56 am

jb1 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:45 am
You sound just like me. Grad degree and working a dead end job. Most likely will get my real estate license this summer and give a shot at it. Best of luck to you.
That was something I was thinking as well, but I always wondered if the competition is fierce like how it is in music?

Last year I did join FEMA for it’s independent inspection program. It seemed like a step up and with all the recent disasters one would think there’s work to carry you throughout the season. I completed all the courses, training, etc, went to the adjudication location in Dallas twice, but never got deployed.

yohac
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by yohac » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:57 am

A loser is someone who quits trying. That's not you. If you're that good at coding, don't feel like no degree means you can't get a job in IT. Good web developers are in high demand. (Even bad ones are getting jobs.)

stoptothink
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by stoptothink » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:02 am

You have just an associates degree and a networth of $150k+ at 30. Dude, you are doing amazing considering the circumstances. To be frank, it doesn't sound like you have the education, relevant experience, or really any sort of plan to do anything different. Start with that first: what do you want to do?

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WillingtoLearn88
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by WillingtoLearn88 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:03 am

Random Poster wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:51 am
If you still live in Houston, and you don't want to be self-employed, have you considered an IT-type role with one of the (very many) oil companies in town? The pay would probably be better.

I'm not sure that $160K net worth at 30 with no debt is anything to feel poorly about.
Thanks. Really feel better from all the advice in this thread. I really felt like my degree and job was holding me back. Even as I type this, I’m reviewing different functions for swift on my 5 minute break.

Do you have any oil company recommendations (like shell, Exxon, Valero)?

Thanks.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:07 am

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am


Just would like to hear your thoughts, don’t have a friend or someone I can talk to about it.
You don't sound like a loser. From what you've said, you clearly have your act together.

You sound like someone who hates his job, doesn't know where to go next, and would probably benefit from finishing his education so that he can get a better career.

delamer
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by delamer » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:10 am

You are working from behind since you don’t have a bachelor’s degree.

Assuming you are single and no one else is dependent on your income, have you considered working part-time while getting your degree?

btenny
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by btenny » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:11 am

You are doing amazing according to all I read. You are a good son. I would be proud of you if you were in my family. Yes you do not have the best job but you have done wonders with your life. Sometimes plugging along and working at a mediocre job is necessary in life. For a while. You helped your Dad and your relative with their end of life problems. You saved a lot of money for a young guy of 30. You have a great credit score. You have a BIG positive net worth. I bet you are just really nice person.

Now you need to decide if you want to get a different job in the computer field that pays better or go back to school to finish that degree or start a small business. From the skills you describe I think just getting a better job is solid choice. So I suggest you start looking around.

Good Luck.

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Tycoon
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Tycoon » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:13 am

You are no loser, and you aren't stuck in a dead-end in job. Make finding the job you want a full time job. Focus on where you want to be.
Last edited by Tycoon on Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Emotionless, prognostication free investing. Ignoring the noise and economists since 1979. I see the world as it is; not how I wish it to be.

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Cycle
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Cycle » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:13 am

When I was 30 my net work was ~250k and I had my undergrad paid by my parents. I started working with an engineering degree at 22. I feel like your net worth is way, way, way above average.

I code in my free time, but have a megacorp job bc the benefits and pay are much better, given my novice coding ability. Mostly just able to use Android studio and Matlab.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

LiterallyIronic
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:15 am

At age 29, I was working in a menial office job, making $13/hour, with a net worth of maybe $10k. You sound like a hard-worker who puts effort into everything he does. I'm going to suggest to you the same thing that I suggested to myself at that age. Go back to school. Sounds like you have an aptitude for coding, is there some education you can get in that field? That will really bring in the big bucks.

nyclon
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by nyclon » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:18 am

Have you tried marketing your services on fiverr or upwork? You may be able to build a solid business as a freelance developer on those two platforms.

You can then set up a solo 401k, dictate your hourly rate, etc, and begin to be selective about the work you do. That could turn into a fulfilling career.

You're certainly not a loser. It appears that you've got a lot of hustle, it's just that you've identified the path that you're on isn't the one you want to take. So figure out where it is you want to go and everything will fall into place.

TIAX
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by TIAX » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:24 am

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am
I’m 30, net worth is about $150-160k (mostly cash, as my 401k at my job is not even 3% of my net worth *laughs*).
Why are you not contributing more to your 401(k)? You have plenty of cash so you can max contributions to your 401(k) for several years while depleting your cash reserves if necessary (down to some emergency fund level). There's plenty of time to do it this year.

BradJ
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by BradJ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:26 am

You are not a loser, you are an individual who has been stretched thin due to external issues. Here is my advice: go back to school online, and come up with an achievable timeline to finish. Go to work early and stay late, using those hours to complete school work. Hopefully this will eliminate the headache of traffic. Give your family a schedule of times you are available to help them with their issues, but come to the realization that you are not Superman and you are unable to help 100%.

jharkin
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by jharkin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:30 am

Loser? Hardly.

Your net worth is higher than 80% of your peers. When I was your age my networth was barely 50-60k (and that was being creative and counting the value of the car), AND I was still carrying 30~40k of high interest student loans.

Life happens... I am SO sorry about you Dad, and let me tell you I can relate... everyone in my family ends up with some cancer or another it seems. My mom is on her second round, my MIL is on her third. My dad has heart trouble. Even my SIL goat a diagnosis before 40. Its OK to vent about it and be stressed.

You have 150k in cash. You are still young. Consider going back to school and get a degree that is in higher demand right now. Especially if you can some how get your current job to help pay for it. If you taught yourself some basic coding, how about getting a CS degree? (or some other STEM field)... The job market in tech is booming right now, best I have ever seen in 20+ years working in the industry.
Last edited by jharkin on Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ddurrett896
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:40 am

You've got...
1) Job
2) $150k in the bank
3) Family you deeply care about, so I'm going to assume the love you a lot

Job, cash, good relationship with family....what more could one want? You're far from a loser. Don't get caught up in the rat race and compare your life with others, then say your a loser. There are millions of people in the world that would literally kill to have your life.

My advice: Get your bachelors - even if it's online. Find a better job. Continue working hard.

zimmer0
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by zimmer0 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:49 am

IT jobs should be plentiful in the Houston area. Utilize LinkedIn for job opportunities, reach out to a professional staffing agency for more technical roles in IT. The larger oil/gas companies will certainly require some sort of formal education for their IT department although most outsource it anyway. Have a friend who does this, works for a smaller oil/gas service company that provides IT support for the larger corps.

Random Poster
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Random Poster » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:50 am

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:03 am
Do you have any oil company recommendations (like shell, Exxon, Valero)?
Well, I wouldn't recommend bothering to apply at Anadarko.

Other than that, however, I don't have any specific insight as to any particular company.

It should be noted, though, that if you want to work for an oil company in Texas, being willing to relocate to Midland (whether to work in a satellite office or for the head office of a smaller independent) would likely provide more opportunities. Cost of living is high though. Also, you have to be willing to accept the boom and bust cycle of the oil business.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:05 pm

In addition to the good advice so far, pick up a book or two on goal setting and life planning. Hard to beat the classic "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", especially the first chapters on figuring out where to want to end up in life and creating plans to arrive there. What's to lose but a few hours reading?
Retired 2018 | Every day I choose how I spend my energy | One Vanguard TDF except for bunch of individual stocks...still recovering from my Fidelity AUM days years ago | Now sleeping well at night

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greg24
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by greg24 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:18 pm

Your job may be less than ideal, but you sure sound like a winner to me.

Keep plugging away.

:sharebeer

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WillingtoLearn88
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by WillingtoLearn88 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:22 pm

Really appreciate the advice given so far, and to the op that posted about their family going through similar circumstances, I pray and hope things get much better, completely understand what you are going through.

As for the degree, I had went for general business at the university of Houston, so even if I was to complete it, have I picked the wrong major?

Programming skills wise, I started at 12 learning basic and c in my spare time, and just moved forward. Database management and structure would probably be the hardest for me, but as for web development, that’s where I excel. In fact word of mouth is how I obtained my last client.

I guess I have to keep pressing forward and change career lanes?

mattyslice
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by mattyslice » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:23 pm

You are not a loser so let's set that straight. You might want to work on your self esteem issues if you think that but...regarding your job. I would make your resume more of your historical project work and what you can get done and what you have accomplished with these projects. A lot of companies will have a coding test before being hired so if you can get your foot in the door, pass the coding test, you are golden.

Sorry if I missed it but what languages can you code? I'm in DFW and the job market is crazy for good coders. Keep your head up. Just start looking and I would recommend LinkedIn Premium and search for IT head hunters in Houston, Austin, DFW, etc. Coders can work from home full time so your shouldn't restrict your job search to just Houston.

Triple digit golfer
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Triple digit golfer » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:29 pm

A $150k net worth at age 30 puts you in the 80th percentile. You're richer than 4 out of 5 people your age.

You work a job and contribute to society.

You were there for family when they needed you.

You are highly talented in music and make money from it.

You have a great credit score. You pay your bills responsibly.

You taught yourself a number of things on your own time and made $2,500 already.

I really don't see how you are a loser. What, because you work a crappy ass job that makes you feel terrible? That's much more common than you probably think. Your work is not your identity. You don't have a degree? So what? In fact, I think people who do identify this way ("I'm a Harvard Law graduate and work in a prestigious law firm") are more likely to be losers than you are. Their sole identity is often their education and work.

You sound like a winner to me. You just need to see it that way.

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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:37 pm

jacksonm wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:50 am
Doesn't sound like the story of a loser to me.
I agree. I had 10k ef and no retirement at 30.

You just need to concentrate on your work life. It is hard work. Maybe spen $$ on a career counselor. A friend did that and it helped.

Thegame14
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Thegame14 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:38 pm

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am
You’ve heard it right Bogleheads,

At this point in my life, I’m a loser. I just feel stuck, really could use some solid advice. I’m 30, net worth is about $150-160k (mostly cash, as my 401k at my job is not even 3% of my net worth *laughs*).

I was going to school and I obtained my AS in business management, but did not finish to get my bs after a year in university. During that time, My father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, so literally i would work 8 hours, get stuck in traffic traveling to MD Anderson (Houston traffic is atrocious), get home late, study, and repeat. It was a very stressful period, and soon as they passed, I had a relative with special needs that lives with us who had the same terrible news as well (stage 4 kidney cancer). I tried my very best to do what I could to save these two, but it takes a toll to see your loved ones slowly dying in a comatose.

I think that’s the reason I kept this terrible job so long. It gave me flexibility, but the pay is terrible, the staff looks down on me and hardly anyone ever speaks. Let’s just say this is like working for Ross or McDonald’s. Getting up at 5-6am and getting home in traffic at 5-6pm. It’s a rat race where I’m just getting water and bread so I can have enough of energy to attempt to get the cheese lol.

I did pursue a career in music production, but I guess my music wasn’t up to par or just I didn’t make it. Managed to land music on 100+ tv shows (I get several hundreds of dollars every other month from royalties, some dating back to 2012, it’s a similar amount to owning a SFH in real estate).

Also during this period I fixed my credit. I went from derogatory and no credit, to last year having a 800+ credit score and no debt. No car notes, not student loans, no payments for my braces, and less than 1k on a credit card balance (which i did to get over 100k points with a chase cc) I’m about to pay off.

My goals are to start a business that adds value to other people lives. It feels like one aspect of my life is going right, but I have a income problem?

As for what I bring to the table/skills, during all of my free time on this job and on the weekends, I taught myself how to code, program, sales, and anything that could improve my skills in business. I’m in the process of learning Swift for IOS development, and last year I actually started charging for web work. I am still trying to learn how to market myself and price accordingly as I charged a client $2500 less for a serious project, and not only optimized the site and coded better that the original developer who didn’t even know what a cdn was, but implemented better features for it and boosted their gt metrix score.

What good advice you have? Im assuming I can’t get a much better job with the degree I have, and I have family who not only mocks me for not finishing school, but the job I have as well.

Just would like to hear your thoughts, don’t have a friend or someone I can talk to about it.
Sorry for your losses. Sounds like some depression issues in there or grieving you still need to deal with, but that is normal after losses.

It sounds like you aren't a loser, just circumstance and lack of direction.

I keep seeing this side business course for running facebook ads for business, and they say each client you can charge $2K per month, and I think the course is like $400, maybe something up your ally, I think M$M is the guy who runs the course. IT seems like you just need direction, maybe that course will give you some new focus and direction and you can start as a side hustle and go from there.

orenishi
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by orenishi » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:44 pm

For American households with a head of household under the age of 35, the mean net worth in 2016 was $76,200. But the median net worth was just $11,100. This is skewed by some extremely wealthy families. Even so, you are more than double the average. So, by comparison, you are far from a loser. I have friends the same age as you who have been given a much better launching point and you are beating them handedly (if you want to compare). However, life is not about that, it is about the relationships we make and the lives we touch. I am certain that you will look back on your life and realize the time you spent with your loved ones was better spent than sitting in front of a computer or book to add a few dollars in the short term.

The good news is, you are young and have plenty of time to build up your net worth (if that is what you want). If you want to focus on career progression, I think a great start is to talk to an recruiter. They should be able to give you the lay of the land and perhaps some ideas on how you could attain a better paying job. In addition, get your bachelors and most important, stay positive. Our attitude is sometimes the only thing that we can control.

You are already crushing it, and I think you will look back on this in 5-10 years and see the worrying as wasted energy. Go get after it!

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Darth Xanadu
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Darth Xanadu » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:00 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:15 am
You sound like a hard-worker who puts effort into everything he does. I'm going to suggest to you the same thing that I suggested to myself at that age. Go back to school. Sounds like you have an aptitude for coding, is there some education you can get in that field? That will really bring in the big bucks.
I agree. Do me a favor. Put a reminder in your calendar, right now, to revisit this thread in 5 years and provide an update. I fully expect a massively different story and perspective.

You'll be just fine. Congrats on your not insignificant accomplishments so far.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

onourway
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by onourway » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:20 pm

In your location and situation I would give the oil and gas business a hard look. It is filled with people with less education than yourself making 6 figures and more. You will likely need to work in the field for a number of years, and the work will be hard and the hours long, but you will have the potential to make a lot of money, and eventually most people in the industry have the option of moving to office jobs. I would perhaps suggest inquiring with Wireline companies - the big ones are Schlumberger and Halliburton, but there are countless smaller outfits as well. Be willing to take on every job they offer, learn everything you can, and you will have the opportunity to become very successful.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:21 pm

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:22 pm
As for the degree, I had went for general business at the university of Houston, so even if I was to complete it, have I picked the wrong major?

Programming skills wise, I started at 12 learning basic and c in my spare time, and just moved forward. Database management and structure would probably be the hardest for me, but as for web development, that’s where I excel. In fact word of mouth is how I obtained my last client.

I guess I have to keep pressing forward and change career lanes?
My first BS degree was in Business Management and was completely useless when I graduated into the 2008 depression. I graduated and took a job making $9.50/hour in a call center. This doesn't necessarily mean that if you complete yours that it will also be the wrong choice. Completely different set of circumstances. I worked my way up to $13/hour over a few years before deciding that I was on the wrong path and went back to school to study CS at 29. Started working again at 31 as an intern, making $16/hour. Then I was working full-time at 32 at $48k in 2016. Got bumped to $55k after six months. Then I was at $63.5k in 2017. Then $75k in 2018.

I'm not saying you have to follow the same path as me, but I'm saying the "dead end" you're finding yourself in sure looks familiar, and it's certain not too late to reassess and figure out what you want to given your skillset, location, and opportunities. And you seem like the kind of guy who can do it. :beer

ladycat
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by ladycat » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:31 pm

I took the liberty of rephrasing your post. What do you think when you read your ideas phrased as accomplishments?
Edit - post title could be "looking for advice to take my career to the next level"
WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am

At this point in my life, I just feel stuck, and really could use some solid advice. I’m 30 and have built a net worth of about $150-160k (mostly cash, and have a 401k with my employer)

I obtained my AS in business management, while at the same time juggling family responsibilities during my father's battle with liver cancer. A second family member in our household died from the same disease shortly thereafter, so it took a lot of perseverance for me to complete my degree during this stressful time.

I've maintained my current job for a long time because it gave me flexibility. But I think the skills I've developed will allow me to obtain a more challenging and rewarding position that pays better.

I had a successful career in music production dating back to 2012 that allowed me land music on 100+ tv shows. I earn several hundred dollars every other month from royalties.

I have worked hard to fix my credit. I paid off my braces, car, and have an excellent credit score. I have no debt or loans, and carry less than 1k credit card balance (which i did to get over 100k points with a chase cc) I’m about to pay off.

My goals are to start a business that adds value to other people's lives. But I'm concerned about my income potential and need guidance or mentoring on the steps to achieve my goals.

I'm strongly self- motivated. I taught myself how to code, program, sales, and anything that could improve my skills in business. I’m in the process of learning Swift for IOS development, and last year I actually started charging for web work.

I am still trying to learn how to market myself and charge fees that match the value I deliver. For example, I charged a client $2500 less for a serious project, and not only optimized the site and code, but implemented better features and boosted their gt metrix score. I don't want to undervalue my work again!

What good advice you have? I'm assuming I can’t get a much better job with the degree I have, and my family's criticisms and lack of support is making me doubt myself.

Just would like to hear your thoughts, don’t have a friend or someone I can talk to about it.
Last edited by ladycat on Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Texanbybirth
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:34 pm

I just want to say from the non-financial part of your life you've posted, I wouldn't say you are a loser. Who cares what your net worth is, although it's good that you're not in debt and do have some spare cash, when you literally spent yourself caring for family? In the end, how you treat people is what will matter the most.

Definitely keep chugging away at the side gig stuff, and learning, and trying to market yourself. I'm not even so sure a college degree is necessary if you can keep gaining new skills (really sounds like you enjoy the web coding stuff, which is awesome to hear someone talk about what they enjoy doing) and start ginning up a network. It doesn't sound like you've been at this for a terribly long time (maybe a year or two?), and you're obviously motivated if you had that music production thing going a few years ago.
"Knowledge and innocence are both excellent things, and they are both very funny. But it is right that knowledge should be the servant and innocence the master." - GK Chesterton

Elena
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Elena » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:35 pm

You sound like a very caring person. Maybe the issue is that you read some of the threads about "I am 30 and my net worth is such and such", and you feel like you are not progressing fast enough. Have you given any thought about slowly investing some of your cash position, so that those dollars begin making more dollars? Maybe making a small financial plan, like putting some monies in a CD or other fixed securities, and opening a brokerage acct. with modest funds? (you seem to have an education plan, albeit self-taught).

Barsoom
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Barsoom » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:44 pm

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:22 pm
Really appreciate the advice given so far, and to the op that posted about their family going through similar circumstances, I pray and hope things get much better, completely understand what you are going through.

As for the degree, I had went for general business at the university of Houston, so even if I was to complete it, have I picked the wrong major?

Programming skills wise, I started at 12 learning basic and c in my spare time, and just moved forward. Database management and structure would probably be the hardest for me, but as for web development, that’s where I excel. In fact word of mouth is how I obtained my last client.

I guess I have to keep pressing forward and change career lanes?
Having a degree is more important than not having a degree. Having a degree outside of IT is not necessarily a roadblock.

You should review www.dice.com. It is a site for searching for IT contract positions. It should give you a feel for what jobs are out there, even if you don't meet the qualifications at this time. It will at least expose you to what's hot, what's not, and what companies are looking for in terms of experience and skills.

-B

mikemikemike
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by mikemikemike » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:01 pm

Not to seem too flippant, but if you want a good new job, I'd recommend that you not describe yourself (or think of yourself) as a "loser".

Seriously, a positive attitude can go a long way, in making you more marketable, and in helping you see new opportunities.

Good luck!

abc132
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by abc132 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:01 pm

It sounds like you may define yourself through your job. My best advice would be to define yourself through the things you do outside of work, and to see work as a means to do those things you enjoy.

150-160k invested in stocks and bonds might be enough for you to retire on by age 65-70. Do some research here, and consider to cost/benefit of sitting on almost all cash at age 30.

Lastly, people want to hire people that are both hard working and that can focus. You need to be 100% confident of what you are doing and why when you seek a new/better job. That focus/confidence seems to be missing right now, so I would try to solve that question.

What is the better job you desire, and what are the steps needed to get there?

Luckywon
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Luckywon » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:04 pm

You're clearly a smart guy with many admirable qualities, including being a hard worker and someone who has been a source of great support to his family. It is early in the game for you and I have no doubt great things are in store for you. Have you spent much time educating yourself about personal finance? Consider devoting some time to this by reading-see the suggested reading list on this forum, such as "The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing." As you progress in your career and earnings, following simple Boglehead principles in your personal finances will keep you way ahead of the game.

Keep up the great work!

student
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by student » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:22 pm

As others have said, you have done very well up to this point. You are not a loser. I will leave it to others who can give better career advice.

Nowizard
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Nowizard » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:22 pm

You have the attitude to do well, but you are just entering a period where you can begin to focus on your own needs rather than those of loved ones who were very ill. You have revealed a very strong value system that should serve you well in the future, and have done quite well to now while dealing with difficult circumstances. Why wouldn't you be at least somewhat confused about a new direction? You might benefit from contacting a local university counseling center. Not necessarily for traditional counseling but for some personal preference and vocational evaluation to give you food for thought as you move forward. Universities often offer this, and the costs are minimal compared to private evaluators. Hang in there.

Tim

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BL
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by BL » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:31 pm

I see there is an updated version of
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2019: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
This is a classic book for figuring out what you want to do, and it has some updated practical suggestions that could be very useful. Your library may have at least a somewhat recent version of it; I found this at Amazon.com.

Best wishes to you.

Wakefield1
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Wakefield1 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:55 pm

A dead end job,if it puts roof overhead and food on a table and allows something left over for saving,is much better than no job.
Remember that (as I understand it) most new businesses don't work out.
Assuming that the job is likely to continue. Benefits,health insurance?
I think the vast majority of jobs can be described as "dead end". But many of them allow people to raise families,retire,and have some personal time for such as running/racing,vacation/travel,and taking in an occasional course or seminar such as the old
"Summer on the Lawn" program.

entropy2017
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by entropy2017 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:31 pm

You are far from a "loser" as multiple posters have pointed out.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting a person about your age. He finished high school and was working retail and barely making ends meet. He realized he needed to do something different. He spent a year teaching himself coding in whatever time he had. He first got a job at a very small company working in IT, and then a year later went to work at a very large tech megacorp. He then moved to one of the hottest tech startups today. He will likely be wealthy once they go public. So, there is a way, and a lot of it depends on choosing the right direction and then on execution.

At the same time, I know multiple people who studied computer science at expensive universities, fully paid by parents, who have certain lifestyle expectations and thus have not found the "right job" (are unemployed).

So a lot of success depends on hustle. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

stoptothink
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by stoptothink » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:53 pm

entropy2017 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:31 pm
You are far from a "loser" as multiple posters have pointed out.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting a person about your age. He finished high school and was working retail and barely making ends meet. He realized he needed to do something different. He spent a year teaching himself coding in whatever time he had. He first got a job at a very small company working in IT, and then a year later went to work at a very large tech megacorp. He then moved to one of the hottest tech startups today. He will likely be wealthy once they go public. So, there is a way, and a lot of it depends on choosing the right direction and then on execution.

At the same time, I know multiple people who studied computer science at expensive universities, fully paid by parents, who have certain lifestyle expectations and thus have not found the "right job" (are unemployed).

So a lot of success depends on hustle. Best of luck in your future endeavors.
My brother in law is 30, he has a GED, and hadn't ever had a legitimate job in his life. He was jumping from couch-to-couch at friend's homes and working under the table doing maintenance at a "charter school". He was literally making $12k a year for the last handful of years, had never owned a car or lived on his own; just a total mess. He is an extremely intelligent and naturally tech-savvy individual, but he has a problem "adulting". He took some sort of computer certification program through the local university extension and finished in about 6 months. Within a few weeks he was offered a job making $60k+ as an entry level developer and the certification program offered him $35/hr as a part-time instructor. In 2019, he'll likely make ~7x what he did the previous year.

My last few weekends have been spent with him looking at apartments and test driving cars; things he had never done before.

bernoulli
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by bernoulli » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:16 pm

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am
You’ve heard it right Bogleheads,

At this point in my life, I’m a loser. I just feel stuck, really could use some solid advice. I’m 30, net worth is about $150-160k (mostly cash, as my 401k at my job is not even 3% of my net worth *laughs*).
That is very good that you are able to save this much money despite having a job that does not pay well. This shows you are frugal and good with money.
WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am


I was going to school and I obtained my AS in business management, but did not finish to get my bs after a year in university. During that time, My father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, so literally i would work 8 hours, get stuck in traffic traveling to MD Anderson (Houston traffic is atrocious), get home late, study, and repeat. It was a very stressful period, and soon as they passed, I had a relative with special needs that lives with us who had the same terrible news as well (stage 4 kidney cancer). I tried my very best to do what I could to save these two, but it takes a toll to see your loved ones slowly dying in a comatose.
You took care of family - with terminal illness and went to school at the same time. This shows you are a kind person who puts others' needs above those of your own. You have a kind heart. I am sorry about your father's illness, and I am sure it would have been much worse for him if he did not have you. Same for the relative. You tried your best and they know you did. You gave everything you had for them. It is cancer after all.
WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am

I think that’s the reason I kept this terrible job so long. It gave me flexibility, but the pay is terrible, the staff looks down on me and hardly anyone ever speaks. Let’s just say this is like working for Ross or McDonald’s. Getting up at 5-6am and getting home in traffic at 5-6pm. It’s a rat race where I’m just getting water and bread so I can have enough of energy to attempt to get the cheese lol.
Who cares about what the staff thinks? What the staff thinks says everything about the staff, and nothing about you. Did the staff take care of cancer patients like you did while going to school? You know what, who cares if he did. The important point is what he thinks does not change who you are, a kind, hard working, frugal, responsible person. Getting up at 5-6 am and working 12 hours is hard work, and you did it for so long because you are responsible.
WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am

I did pursue a career in music production, but I guess my music wasn’t up to par or just I didn’t make it. Managed to land music on 100+ tv shows (I get several hundreds of dollars every other month from royalties, some dating back to 2012, it’s a similar amount to owning a SFH in real estate).
You have talent, a lot of talent. I don't think I need to say much more here. The numbers you gave above speak for themselves. 100+ tv shows, a continuous stream of royalty. I would be happy if I could read sheet music.
WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am

Also during this period I fixed my credit. I went from derogatory and no credit, to last year having a 800+ credit score and no debt. No car notes, not student loans, no payments for my braces, and less than 1k on a credit card balance (which i did to get over 100k points with a chase cc) I’m about to pay off.
Again the numbers speak for themselves. These are landmark achievements, an impeccable credit score, almost all debts are paid off.
WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am

My goals are to start a business that adds value to other people lives. It feels like one aspect of my life is going right, but I have a income problem?

As for what I bring to the table/skills, during all of my free time on this job and on the weekends, I taught myself how to code, program, sales, and anything that could improve my skills in business. I’m in the process of learning Swift for IOS development, and last year I actually started charging for web work. I am still trying to learn how to market myself and price accordingly as I charged a client $2500 less for a serious project, and not only optimized the site and coded better that the original developer who didn’t even know what a cdn was, but implemented better features for it and boosted their gt metrix score.

What good advice you have? Im assuming I can’t get a much better job with the degree I have, and I have family who not only mocks me for not finishing school, but the job I have as well.

Just would like to hear your thoughts, don’t have a friend or someone I can talk to about it.
Other BH have given better advice than I could. Maybe if you are more specific about the business you aspire to have, more brainstorming can be done. What are the budget requirements of this business? Before you have a business plan, I feel the conclusion that you have an income problem is premature - at least not as definite as you think.

I am sorry that your family mocks you, they should not. But that does not change who you are either. Not finishing school is not a deal breaker in any circumstance. And in your situation, you had something more important and more urgent to deal with - you needed to tend to family members afflicted with terminal illness and by any standard, you did the right thing and made the right choice.

Without knowledge in your particular fields (music and coding), all I can say - at the risk of sounding like a hippie (no offense I love hippies!) - is that please recognize that you are far from a loser. Probably the opposite of one. With your proven track record, talent, kindness, loyalty, and all these qualities BHs are pointing out here, you will get to where you want to go. Please don't let other people's mockery or negativity cloud your understanding of what your capable hands and head can do. Please recognize that you are a high achiever with endless ways to apply your talent and kindness.

lostdog
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by lostdog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:30 pm

150k+ networth at 30. You're doing better than most Americans at any age and I really mean MOST.

Shop around for a different job. It always works out.
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

betablocker
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by betablocker » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:40 pm

WillingtoLearn88 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:22 pm
Really appreciate the advice given so far, and to the op that posted about their family going through similar circumstances, I pray and hope things get much better, completely understand what you are going through.

As for the degree, I had went for general business at the university of Houston, so even if I was to complete it, have I picked the wrong major?

Programming skills wise, I started at 12 learning basic and c in my spare time, and just moved forward. Database management and structure would probably be the hardest for me, but as for web development, that’s where I excel. In fact word of mouth is how I obtained my last client.

I guess I have to keep pressing forward and change career lanes?
I run a business and my guess would be you have lots of skills but just need either work experience in web design/programming to point to and/or certifications. One idea might be to get on LinkedIn and find a couple of IT recruiters in Houston and ask them for a phone call, coffee, whatever. Ask them what you need to get the job you want and if you have it they’ll get you the job or you can find a community college or private program to get you whatever credential you need. Tech talent is in short supply but you have to be on target with whatever the thing people in your market (oil companies, etc.) are looking for. After you have the corporate experience then you can start a company.

finite_difference
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by finite_difference » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:45 pm

Complete your Bachelor’s, perhaps in CS, and then apply for coding jobs? Sounds like you like to code so the sky is the limit.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Amart
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Re: I’m a Loser Stuck in a Dead End Job

Post by Amart » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:27 pm

I am your age, you are not a loser my friend. You have the ability to read, write, think critically, reason soundly, and are have a proven track record to postpone gratification and work toward your goals. You are just in a rut, which is easy to fall into when you frequent this forum and read stealth brag posts by 30 year old millionaires. It happens to me too. One thing we both have to remember is that you can't always look at those who are ahead of you to determine your place in this world. Statistically, you are are one of the most advantage people to have ever been born on this green earth. You are doing great, you aren't in debt and the fact that are thinking about these problems shows that you have the ability to take the right path forward to make the best of your life.

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