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comment by zebra2
zebra2  ·  312 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 13, 2018

I could use some of that professional and financial optimism right now. Currently I'm having trouble not counting the reasons I have to be jaded with my career situation. I'm making about double what I was two years ago, and living nearly the same lifestyle, but after student loan payments, retirement, owning a car (which I never used to), and a bit more on rent, I'm basically not any better off than when I was living off a measly grad student stipend. I’m not ok with that.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm not that bad off, but meanwhile I have friends who never went to school and are making 2+ times what I am and own houses already. Theoretically I should be able to squeeze a lot more money out of my career compared to what I am now, but that possibility shows no signs of materializing at the moment. Right now I’m stuck in a position when I know that I’m underpaid but can’t escape just yet because I’d be burning bridges and that’s just how the academic/scientific world works.

kleinbl00  ·  312 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You gotta ask yourself: what do you want?

If you want to make money, academia is a shitty place to do it. If you want to explore the boundaries of knowledge and inspire new generations of inquiring minds, stay away from brokerage firms.

You also gotta realize that when you level up the game gets harder. Things were easier when you were a grad student on a stipend. Okay, but now you have a car. Now you have an IRA. Now you have a quest path. Of course the game is aggravating you got through one boss battle, you sat through the cut screen and now you've got a bunch of sidequests in order to get one marginally better sword.

The guys who graduate from my CNC program are looking at 65K a year without overtime. It's a 2-year degree. That's pretty awesome. But they're looking at a future of making parts for somebody else. I'm not even going to get a degree out of that program - I will finish unqualified for that 65k a year job. But I'm putting my time towards what I want to do - I already have the degree that makes me qualified to be their boss right fucking now and I turned my back on that career eighteen flippin' years ago.

Got a buddy. Worked for Go2Net. 2000 was not great for him. But he cashed out all his chips and went to helicopter school. If he'd stuck around in the hardscrabble dotcom world that was left after the collapse of the NASDAQ, he'd probably be a director at Microsoft by now. Instead he's gonna spend the summer dropping retardant on forest fires.

What do you want? The trick to keeping up with the Joneses is picking the right Joneses. I determined long ago that I effectively have no peers. It was liberating AF. I still fall into a rut sometimes but I've been able to push the world in the right direction enough that I mostly get to do what I want. It helps that "what I want" no longer includes "write big-budget sci fi movies" or "play Glastonbury." And when buddies of mine get written up in Variety it still causes that twinge... but their lives suck. Mine doesn't.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  311 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I determined long ago that I effectively have no peers.

How did you figure?

kleinbl00  ·  311 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There are no other former mechanical engineers with two screenplay options who are using their money mixing for Hollywood to launch a luxury brand which they have the luxury to do because they have a successful half million dollar medical practice.

Yeah there are other guys my age. yeah there are other guys doing some of the things I do.

I had a conversation with a nice girl named Molly. Molly was a sound mixer. She was busy getting her prerequisites out of the way so she could become a nurse. We were talking about what we were doing after the show wrapped. I mentioned I had a movie that needed mixing, but I also had a couple screenplay drafts I needed to get out of the way and I was also rewriting a novel for my agent.

She looked at me for a minute and said "you know... for the rest of us... this is kinda it, right?"