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Are you rich? Have you landed your dream job? If so, how did you do it?

Socivol

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,688
Far from my dream job and while my husband and I make significantly more than most Americans I don't feel rich. I feel like we are upper-middle class at best because we live well below our means and save. I'm fine with being where we are being rich would be nice but I don't think either of our career paths will afford us the "rich" lifestyle.
 

Kaji AF16

Member
Nov 6, 2017
829
Argentina
Rich - No. Not even by the low standards of my country. I do live relatively comfortably (lower middle class: house, car, quality food, gaming as a hobby, etc.).

Dream job - Yes. I managed to be a sociology professor.
 

Jellycrackers

Member
Oct 25, 2017
135
I wouldn't say dream job (retail, selling videogames, but it's in the Netherlands so it's not even comparable to Gamestop), but I'm very happy here and they treat me well. Also, I wouldn't say rich, but definitely well-off. I own a house (fully paid for) and a car (also bought) and have a decent amount of savings set aside.
This fascinates me. Are you in a management position with a good salary? Or does retail just pay properly in the Netherlands? Did you buy the house with help of a spouse's income, or maybe a previous job with higher income? The idea of working in video game retail and being able to own a house sounds unachievable for me, so I'm just curious. Sorry for all the questions!
 

Servbot24

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
18,961
I'm not rich by any means, but I make more money than I need and I have no debt. I just lucked into my job since a friend at the company gave me a recommendation (just entry level support, nothing big). From there I just put forth some effort and after 5 years I'm nearly at a 6 figure salary, should be there in 2 more years or so.
 

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,980
Rich? No.

Privileged? Yes, at least for the moment, definitely. I make enough I don't have to worry about too much except if the business were to go under and I'd have a long lasting time without a job. The business isn't in great shape now, so that is a real possibility, but as it stands I still feel privileged with my place in life.

My wife makes a decent amount but works her ass off. I don't have my dream job in the least, but the setup is incredibly lucky as hell to have while my son is still a baby. I work reduced hours and mostly from home so I can help out and have some flexibility. I can exercise while I work, too (bike/desk combo) so that helps with time management and health. I'd love a better paying, more prestigious job in the industry, but that can wait if I ever do get there. Dream job is probably something I won't have until retiring, which is writing fantasy novels. Used to write when I was young but didn't think that would pay the bills so I went to school for something else. My other 'dream job' was playing basketball for a living. That's dead and buried.
 

Violet

Member
Feb 7, 2019
1,803
dc
Rich? No, but very comfortable and currently buying a home I'll probably want to live in for the next couple decades.

Dream job? Yep.

How? Luck, taking a few financial risks, having a spouse who has pushed me, and a very nice professor who gave my resume to the right person.
 

Emwitus

The Fallen
Feb 28, 2018
908
We're not rich, but we're comfortable. I think a lot of people would look at what we make as a couple and say "YEah, that's rich," but it's one of those things that you don't feel rich even though you certainly have more financial security than I did ... 10 years ago and especially ~15 years ago. In truth, I "feel" no richer than I did 5 years ago, or 10 years ago... I never feel "secure" in income, but we are, and we have certainly have more "wealth" than I did 15 years ago. My wife's a teacher so we're not making bank there, but I do pretty well as a software engineer in the Boston area. My yearly income now is a little more than twice what it was 7 years ago.

Still, we have my wife has student loans (~$800/mo or so), we're paying $2000/mo for daycare. Our housing expenses are less than most who live in a major metropolitan corridor. FOr the last 8 years I've compromised on a lower mortgage vs. a longer commute... I spend at least 2 hours a day in the car most days driving in towards Boston from the burbs. The flipside is that our house is about 1/4th the cost of what it would be if I lived within a 15mi radius of Boston. Public transportation sucks in Massachusetts for 90% of residents, so we're part of that 90% where if I took public transportation, it'd take.. ~3+ hours for me traveling and it's just not worth it, especially with an infant that I bring to daycare each day before work.

SO... how I landed my dream job. I don't know if it's a "Dream job," I don't know if I believe in "Dream jobs." I don't believe in the "If you do what you love you won't work a day in your life..." because even when you're in a field that you love, a major portion of your day is spent doing things that you hate... It wouldn't be called "Work" otherwise and you wouldn't get paid for it otherwise. You're doing shit other people don't want to or can't do. I'm a software engineer, I like doing development, I enjoy it most of the time, I like building things ... but 80% of what I do is moving stories around in Jira and updating requirement spec documents, having meetings with senior management, and documenting bugs/features. A lot of the actual coding I do is shitty, frustrating development... Another junior dev is stuck on something and so it kicks over to me to figure out, and it's usually the worst types of problems. Still, this is a field that pays me a lot to do an activity that I like doing -- developing applications -- but the day to day tasks is work.

I've written about this before, but I didn't study computer science in college, but I think I grew up in the right time and had the right access to technology as a kid. I grew up beside the internet in the 90s, started building websites in the mid-to-late 90s, and was doing paid development as a teenager. I never intended to go into technology when I was in college.. I thought I'd do the liberal arts thing and probably become a professor or go to law school. Law school was out of the question for me financially... I had too much student debt after college and couldn't take on $100,000 more. Incidentally around the same time I got offered a job for an organizationt hat I had been working for when I Was a student. They massively undercut me on pay (my first "career" job was $27,500/yr), but I was naive and was just happy to get paid for working. Of course I thought I Was like rich at $27.5... Until I got my first paycheck, paying rent, and it was ~$1336 a month or something and I was like ... "oh fuck... that's... not gonna go very far...." Got into massive credit card debt my first 18mos out of college (~$10,000 in CC debt with high APR), ended up having to move out of my apartment and back in with my parents (my dad was also in and out of the hospital at the time so ... I kinda made myself feel better by saying I was helping out, in truth, my parents were helping me out financially).

Work wise, I always think of myself as lucky... but in truth it's a mix of being lucky, having resources to be lucky, and putting myself in a position to be lucky. I'm an avid self-learner, I've always done a lot of freelance development on the side which has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and learn things that I didn't know otherwise... Which then in turn I spin into new professional opportunities. I also think my basis in the liberal arts has helped me excel at my job faster than if I was a computer science major or technical major. I have strong gaps in computer science, like preparing for a recent interview I had to crash course a Udemy on Algorithms because I just don't have a foundation on such a basic concept in computer science/programming. At the same time, my work and hobbies pushes me into topics that end up becoming relevant... I lucked out by being a JavaScript developed 7 years ago when Node skyrocketed... I was into Ember and Meteor when JS on the backend and frontend became a thing... I happened to follow the founder of 37signals on Twitter and got into Rails when Rails was dominating web application development.

I've had a knack for ingratiating myself with people who then want to bring me onto their teams. When I Got hired out of college it was because I worked with a Web Developer and after I graduated the place he worked for was giving him a team instead of him being a solo guy, so he hired me. That guy was kind of a fuck up, but when he left that organization he offered me a job at his new place (which I ultimately turned down, wisely, but I used that interview to boost my salary by $20,000 or so). He left that other org and then recruited me at that company, where I work now. He was kind of a fuck up and I had to crawl out from under him, but then another person at that company recruited me to his team, etc... and I always kind of say it's luck how this has worked out, but it's a mix of luck and putting myself in the right position to be lucky.

At the same time... I think... like something I feel a lot is that even though we're in good financial position as a family, I feel as though you will never feel more rich than do you at ~25. Or at least, that's how I feel. You make more money but the expectations of expenses go up. I took on my wife's student loans just after I finished paying off mine. I pay for the two vehicles and the bills. I pay for her grad school. She's almost done with grad school now and last year we traded that tuition for daycare. Now that we have a baby the house I bought on my own which I lived in with two roommates for a decade is too small for us and baby so we're moving to a bigger house with a sightly higher mortgage payment. Also this is a weird way to put it but I feel like your financial floor moves up, the base level of expectations moves up. So, like, when I was 23 or 24, my financial floor was... can I pay my rent... can I buy food in the discount isle... can I pay for heat... can I make minimum payments on my credit card... Will my checking account not go negative this month. If those things happened, it was a success for me, and I felt good about it. As time as gone on, my financial floor has shifted, obviously with more expenses, but also with things like ... Am I putting away enough money into my 529 plan for my daughter's education, am I saving enough so when I retire we have enough for monthly expenses, do I have an emergency savings so if I did lose my job, we wouldn't default on our mortgage until I could get a new job...?

Like, now I have an "emergency savings" and "rainy day savings." Emergency savings when I was in my early 20s was like the jar of quarters I was saving to pay for the tolls to go to the beach, and I'd tap into that to buy beans and rice for skinny months. These days I've got a lot more than that in emergency and rainy day savings, but the anxiety of those being low is the same as it was in my early 20s... My responsibilities are higher, the stakes of financial ruin are higher, I've got two people that rely on me for financial stability of their own, where as "when I was broke" financial ruin only ruined me. If you just look at the numbers it'd be so easy to say "wow, yeah, you guys are rich," but ... I dunno, I feel about as rich as I did when I was in my mid-20s; I'm not, I'm absolutely wealthier, but part of me thinks feeling rich is a mindset and I don't think I'll ever have that mindset. Though, I also never complain about what we have and I know that we're a mix of lucky and blessed to be where we are, and so that means giving back because that luck or blessedness was only because others gave to us.
Incredible post. Thanks for the insight
 

eXistor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,493
This fascinates me. Are you in a management position with a good salary? Or does retail just pay properly in the Netherlands? Did you buy the house with help of a spouse's income, or maybe a previous job with higher income? The idea of working in video game retail and being able to own a house sounds unachievable for me, so I'm just curious. Sorry for all the questions!
Retail is one of the worst paying jobs here actually, but I've always been able to save throughout my life (I'm 38 now) and I admit my parents also helped a lot. I never had to pay them anything when living at home and I only moved out at age 34 or something. So being really conservative for most of my life really helped. I realize I'm lucky though and my situation isn't exactly the norm, even here in the Netherlands.
 

defaltoption

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,943
Orlando, Florida
You definitely have a spending problem if you need 6 grand a month as an individual, unless you're in a crazy expensive real estate market.
No not need 6 grand that’s crazy, 6 grand would allow me to have the car of dreams invest monthl, save monthly, pay for my home, pay for parents home and have money for bills and spend for myself. it’s like how much I need to be completely set.
 

smisk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
992
Kinda in the same situation - trying to figure out what I want in a job. I think big things would be a job that more closely matches my values and a position where I have more agency. Anyone who's really happy with their job have some insight?
 

Jellycrackers

Member
Oct 25, 2017
135
Retail is one of the worst paying jobs here actually, but I've always been able to save throughout my life (I'm 38 now) and I admit my parents also helped a lot. I never had to pay them anything when living at home and I only moved out at age 34 or something. So being really conservative for most of my life really helped. I realize I'm lucky though and my situation isn't exactly the norm, even here in the Netherlands.
Thanks for clearing that up! It's good that you were able to do that. You got yourself into a good situation with a fully paid off house. I'd love to have mine fully paid within 5 years!

Anyway, since it's been a year now since I posted in this thread before; still have my dream job as a composer. This year has been really good to me. So good that I am always paranoid about when it might all come crashing down, bringing me back to the "real job" reality.
 

Stryder

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,227
US
I have close to my dream job. I'm one promotion away form being totally comfortable with where I can be. Still not there financially, but at least I got into the industry (and department).
 
OP
OP
DJwest

DJwest

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,963
That sounds almost rich to me. I'm a student and right now I could stay afloat for maybe ONE month tops with no income. So definitely not rich. Actually on the contrary, I have to turn every penny and ordering pizza is like a month's highlight in terms of expenses.
I am 32, single with no kids and with a decent job. I certainly couldn't stay afloat for a week as a student. If you're in your early 20s, I don't think you're on the wrong path.
 

Wok

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
2,496
France
After reading parts of this thread where everyone is "comfortable", "well-off", but nobody is "rich", I feel like I am not even part of the lower middle-class. It is painful.
 

captive

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,127
Houston
SO... how I landed my dream job. I don't know if it's a "Dream job," I don't know if I believe in "Dream jobs." I don't believe in the "If you do what you love you won't work a day in your life..." because even when you're in a field that you love, a major portion of your day is spent doing things that you hate... It wouldn't be called "Work" otherwise and you wouldn't get paid for it otherwise. You're doing shit other people don't want to or can't do. I'm a software engineer, I like doing development, I enjoy it most of the time, I like building things ... but 80% of what I do is moving stories around in Jira and updating requirement spec documents, having meetings with senior management, and documenting bugs/features. A lot of the actual coding I do is shitty, frustrating development... Another junior dev is stuck on something and so it kicks over to me to figure out, and it's usually the worst types of problems. Still, this is a field that pays me a lot to do an activity that I like doing -- developing applications -- but the day to day tasks is work.
i feel you.
except for me its not Jira its Azure Devops and im not even a "developer" in the true sense of the word.

Like, now I have an "emergency savings" and "rainy day savings." Emergency savings when I was in my early 20s was like the jar of quarters I was saving to pay for the tolls to go to the beach, and I'd tap into that to buy beans and rice for skinny months. These days I've got a lot more than that in emergency and rainy day savings, but the anxiety of those being low is the same as it was in my early 20s... My responsibilities are higher, the stakes of financial ruin are higher, I've got two people that rely on me for financial stability of their own, where as "when I was broke" financial ruin only ruined me. If you just look at the numbers it'd be so easy to say "wow, yeah, you guys are rich," but ... I dunno, I feel about as rich as I did when I was in my mid-20s; I'm not, I'm absolutely wealthier, but part of me thinks feeling rich is a mindset and I don't think I'll ever have that mindset. Though, I also never complain about what we have and I know that we're a mix of lucky and blessed to be where we are, and so that means giving back because that luck or blessedness was only because others gave to us.
this is why i say being truly rich is having so much money you don't have to work. For sure there are millionaires and billionaires that still work. But they could quit their jobs and do whatever the fuck they want and not have a care in the world. Thats rich to me.

Having enough money to pay a monthly mortgage and bills, occasionally buy things you want, its definitely not rich.
 

LanceX2

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,320
2 kids. 2 cars. Good house but we make slightly less than 100k a year in Oklahoma.

no 401k but have 27k in the bank for rainy day.

well....she has a shitty 401k as teacher we camt touch til retirement

not rich at all but we are okay
 

Kayotix

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,379
Not rich IMO but we are pretty well off. I work for the railroad and make 6 figures. Wife is a stay at home mom.

I lucked into the job 15 years ago lol.
 

Biggersmaller

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,728
Minneapolis
My wife and I have a household income of $140k in the Minneapolis suburbs. We have a 4bd/4ba home, two kids, and we are going to Disney World this October.

My parents worked at Burger King/Daytons when I was a kid. So I feel fucking loaded.