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"9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
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fortysix Offline
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"9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Saw this article on vox.com today. (About: Vox is fairly liberal, but they do have great very-in-depth policy-oriented discussions through on podcast).

I wanted to post the article for young guys to read - its another case of a guy who did "everything right" by society's standards, but still completely failed to position themselves for long-term prosperity. The only thing this guy seems to have going for him is he hasn't been divorce-raped, yet. Truly eye-opening.

I think a great take-away from this article is:

(1) never get comfortable in your youth - relentlessly position yourself for prosperity!;

(2) persistently network and build connections to grow your career (note how the guy says he was never given the opportunity to take on meaningful leadership positions throughout his career -- to me this reads that he failed to build meaningful personal relationships at work);

(3) pay attention to how he just sits around at home, applies through jobs online, and never leaves his house - as has been written on this forum by guys much smarter than me, an online posting is one of the worst ways to apply for an interview (as a sidenote, we recently posted a position at my 15 person company, and received 300 resumes over the course of a month - ended up hiring someone that was introduced by someone);

(4) think about and position yourself for jobs/industries that will be available ten years from now - you don't necessarily have to get a new education, but its invaluable to build connections throughout your career to be able to learn about and take advantage of new opportunities and make $; and

(5) if possible, build your own business, and remember - branding/blogging/marketing is everything if you want to start your own business.

Quote:It’s not something most people in my life know about. My friends, acquaintances, the parents of kids on my son’s soccer team that I coach — none of them know.

I have a whole spiel worked out when the question comes up. I say that I’m thinking of changing jobs, or I mention that I’ve been spending my time organizing our house since we moved, or that I’m a “consultant.” Anything to avoid talking about what’s really going on.

I’m 47 and I’m unemployed. I’ve been in and out of work for seven years now. This latest stint without steady work has lasted for almost two years. After submitting what feels like hundreds of applications and going through multiple five-hour interviews only to be rejected, I am plagued every day with the fear that I’ll never find a full-time job again.

There are many men out there like me. 9 million prime-age working men in our country are out of work. 7 million of them have stopped looking for work completely.

Some economists point to the recession and the slow job market recovery as the source of the problem. This has certainly been the case for me. I was born and raised in Silicon Valley, and have ridden the waves of tech growth in this area. Since various companies I worked for shuttered during the recession, I haven’t been able to reenter the job market, finding the career skills I had honed no longer relevant.

Every day I go without a job widens the looming gap of unemployment on my resume. While my family is managing financially due to my wife’s job, the stress of uncertainty has taken its toll. The sense of shame, that I’m not providing my family like I’m supposed to be, continues to deepen. For this article, I’m not using my full name — I really don’t want my friends to know the truth about my life right now.

Sometimes, I feel like I want to give up completely. And I’ve gone through periods, months at a time, where I have.

Things didn’t used to be so bad

Work wasn’t always so hard to find. After graduating college in the ’90s, I was snapped up quickly by a young software company. While I majored in the humanities, I was still able to get customer support position quickly, learning skills on the job. Later, I started working in IT. Those were the optimistic days of the dot-com boom. There was plenty of turnover with companies moving out of Silicon Valley, but I didn’t worry back then — I was always able to land another job easily. Money flowed in the Valley, and I assumed that the future would take care of itself.

I never thought I would one day be in my 40s and struggling to stay afloat.

The first time I got laid off, in 2002, my wife was pregnant with our first baby. It was the most stressful time in my life. On top of the endless list of job applications, my wife and I would spend our evenings hunched over bills, discussing the logistics and finances of how we could pull off raising a child on my wife’s income alone. I eventually did land an IT job at a local company, only to find myself let go again when the company shuttered at the peak of the recession in 2009. Companies all over Silicon Valley were closing up shop. My wife and I, now with a second child and a mortgage to deal with, braced ourselves for financial stress once again.

And again, and again. I continued to get hired and laid off four or five more times over the next seven years. My background in IT and customer support, both considered the bottom rung at most tech companies, meant that I was expendable at all of these places, especially those struggling financially. Companies that hired me would shutter, taking me down with them. The only work I could get became contracted, temporary or part-time, offered with vague promises of a full-time option down the line that never came to fruition.

It became a cycle of unemployment followed by bouts of work. The issue was never performance. Often, the jobs I could get were so disposable that I was never given responsibilities that could help me grow into a promotion, no matter how hard I pushed. And my skill set continued to age; IT is a job that relies on managing whatever software the company happens to have, and with each layoff, I found myself turned out with experience managing a software that had already grown obsolete.

Eventually, the combination of companies going out of business and my fading skill set meant that I kept getting the axe. That pattern of joblessness and applications began to feel eerily familiar. I wondered why I was getting so used to it. Right now, the central issue is that I’ve tried to transition into a new software skill set, but without enough experience. What you’ve done is not nearly as important as which “buzzwords” you know, but if you don’t have the experience, you might as well be completely untrained. It’s a Catch-22.

Budgeting has become a well-rehearsed drill

Since my last lay off in early 2015, the cycle seems to have reached a standstill. I haven’t been able to find full-time work since. It’s been hard. Even though my wife works a steady job, money has been tight — we’ve gone through periods where we’ve had only $30 to support a family of four for a whole week. Slipping into neurotic budgeting mode has become a well-rehearsed drill at this point. We cancel our retirement contributions, downgrade our cable, cell phones, internet packages, cancel our gym membership. We stop hanging out with more prosperous friends to avoid expensive dinners, awkward conversations, and the occasional glint of latent jealousy.

We learned to pay in cash whenever possible to avoid overdraft fees. I’ve memorized the cost of our grocery store list, going through combinations of items in my head so that each trip is as cheap as possible. I’ve stopped taking my kids to the store with me. I hate having to turn down buying that cereal or lunch snack they might see and want.

There have been times where I’ve wondered if I should just get a temporary service or manual labor job to help out with extra cash. But I’m worried about getting stuck in a position with even less room for growth than my previous jobs. And to be honest, I would be too humiliated. Our social circle, made up of mostly well-paid tech workers and professionals, has no idea how bad our situation has been. It would be exceptionally difficult to work eight hours a day hoping with all my might that a neighbor or friend wouldn’t swing by to see me working the cash register or pumping gas. I’m already demoralized. I didn't need any additional anger toward the world.

Since moving to my mom’s old house after she switched to a retirement home, our living costs are considerably cheaper than the mortgage we once paid. And since our kids have gotten older, now 14 and 10, we no longer have to worry about child care. Things are better, but we’re still living paycheck to paycheck. We’ve cashed out most of our savings accounts, including retirement, and haven’t been able to replenish them. I worry sometimes if we could weather an unexpected expense like a medical emergency.

Now that we’re in a better situation, I’ve been able to pick up a couple of hours doing software consulting every week at a local company. It’s not steady, but it gets me out of the house, and might lead to something more permanent. At this point, it’s better than nothing.

The job hunting process is pure drudgery

Every day involves endlessly scrolling through a list of jobs on Indeed.com and applying here and there with full knowledge that 99 percent of the time, I’ll never hear back. I often wonder if anyone is even on the other side, reading the cover letter I crafted before hitting “submit” into the void of the internet
.

There have been quite a few times over the past two years that I’ve gotten really close to getting a job. I’ve been invited in for on-site interviews that last a grueling five hours. One of them went with someone else, and the other hasn’t contacted me since. I’ve wondered if it’s my age — I’ve come to strongly believe that age discrimination is a real and pernicious issue here in the Valley.

After each rejection, I would spiral into negative thinking, wondering how long I could keep doing this dance. What did I do wrong? What was it they didn’t like about me? I replay every hour of the interview over and over in my head, wondering if it was my personal presentation or some little thing I said that destroyed my chances. The self-doubt starts to creep in. After those interviews, I stopped looking completely for a few weeks, thinking I would never get a job. Why should I even keep trying?

I’ve had phone interviews with five different companies since the beginning of November. None of them has invited me to meet with them face-to-face.

The days are long and boring

I miss having somewhere to be every day. I miss interacting with adults other than my wife. I miss having a productive day scheduled out in front of me. Some days, I don’t even get out of the house, spending most of time reading online job listings and getting distracted by the internet.

Lately my thoughts have morphed into something resembling an existential crisis. What is the point of my being here on this earth? If I get a job, I will be able to afford a higher standard of living, I will return to the higher social status of the employed, and my family will respect me more — would all of that really be enough to justify my existence? Or would nothing really change? This alarmed my therapist when I mentioned it to him, although I am a long, long way away from self-harm of any kind. This hasn’t been a question I had ever concerned myself with previously; now I’m interested to see how I will answer it when I’m working again.

There is a perception that being unemployed means having free time to explore interests or get in shape. The reality is that it’s pretty hard to find the mental space to do that. I don’t want to get involved a hobby because it feels like a distraction. It would make me embarrassed if I felt like I was spending my time learning how to pilot a drone or something when I really should be looking for a job. I made a promise to myself not to watch any daytime television. It would feel shameful to find myself wasting away in front of the TV at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday morning. While I’m good about avoiding television, I still find myself not being as productive as I want to be.

Instead, I wake up, crack open my laptop fully intending to spend a day applying for jobs and sending reminder emails. That’s when the distraction starts. I promise myself, just a quick glance at Twitter to see what’s going on in the world, and then I look up and it’s 1:15 in the afternoon. Twitter is my heroin — it’s endless content, and if I’m bored by one tweet, I just go on to the next one.

For someone like me, a humanities major who loves to read, the internet is a dangerously absorbing environment. I’ve become incredibly well-read on the election, spending hours tweeting with strangers about esoteric political topics. I’ve started reading books about economic theories to help me better understand my daily news reading. At times it’s felt almost productive, but in the end, I recognize that it’s a waste of time. I could tell someone extensive knowledge about the composite of the 2016 electorate, but it won’t help me get a job. None of this stuff will ever help me become more employable.

There’s social stigma

It’s hard not to worry about what others think about me and why I haven’t been able to find a job. I can sense disapproval coming from my mother and brother, who tell me I should just try harder to not keep getting fired. I rarely socialize, both because I’m ashamed and because dinner with friends is a luxury I just can’t afford, and I don’t know anyone else who is in my situation that I could commiserate with. I’ve lost touch with former co-workers who might be in the same position as me.

I fret that I’m setting a bad example for my kids. I’m afraid that they see me as a cautionary tale, not a role model. When I talk to them, I try to emphasize the importance of hard work and being careful with money. I hope this is the side of me that gets through to them, not the man on his computer, endlessly clicking through applications, unable to muster up the courage to even tell most people the truth.

Most of all, I worry about my wife. I worry that I’m burdening her as the sole breadwinner of our family. Sometimes when she comes home from work, stressed by a bad day at the office, she sees me sitting on my computer in the living room and tells me she’s jealous that I get to stay at home all day. I tell her that she’s the lucky one, waking up and going to an office that needs her, taking home a paycheck for her efforts. But she can’t relate to my day-to-day frustrations, and I can’t relate to hers.

I’ve taken on way more cleaning, cooking, and chore responsibilities since I’ve been not working. I’m not really any good at it. I now have great sympathy for all the housewives out there expected to cover those duties: Housework categorically sucks. No one likes to do it.

There’s a sense of embarrassment that goes along with it too. It’s more socially acceptable for the wife to stay at home and do chores while the husband works. While I’m not ascribing gender roles, it’s safe to say my wife and I both feel somewhat uncomfortable that the situation is reversed in our case. She tells me she’s always pictured herself being the one to stay at home, which is hard for me to hear. I worry that she thinks she married a loser.

It's less the fact that I became unemployed that I want to hide from people. There's no shame in losing a job. The real embarrassment is when I can't get another one, especially in a thriving area like Silicon Valley. I worry that my gainfully employed friends will think there's something wrong with me when they realize how long I’ve been fruitlessly searching.

That’s where the irony lies. I know that the way you get jobs is by getting out there and telling people you’re looking. Using your acquaintances as a network and strengthening social connections is the best way to eventually land employment.

One day I’ll work up the courage. For now, my desperation is a quiet one, hiding behind school soccer pickups and the glow of a computer screen. For now, it’s still my secret.
(This post was last modified: 12-20-2016 12:02 AM by fortysix.)
12-19-2016 11:58 PM
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renegade Offline
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Post: #2
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Yeah? Expect it to become even worser with AI. Politics is a waste of time. And usually a way of escaping of one´s life. The most useless people I knew babble about politics incessantly. But they don´t pay attention to their own life. Don´t lose yourself in things you can´t control. Either it impacts your life, you have a way to determine it. Or forget about it. I care for politics which can impact my life. Basically economy part. But don´t lose sleep over it.
12-20-2016 01:18 AM
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Welcome to my world. Eventually I left my country for a place that would pay me. Remember we used to make fun of people from _________insert poor country here__________ ?? Now our young men in the prime of their lives have to go abroad just to get a job that pays a middle class life style.

Why so many cultures think the Jewish people are nefarious:
https://propertarianism.com/2018/08/19/w...nefarious/
(This post was last modified: 12-20-2016 01:25 AM by [email protected].)
12-20-2016 01:24 AM
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iknowexactly Offline
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Post: #4
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Don't forget probably the largest factor in success. Don't reason from exceptions, although it's fine to be one if you can.
   


"The goal of {amoral} capitalism is to reduce all human interaction to the cash nexus." L. D.
(This post was last modified: 12-20-2016 01:56 AM by iknowexactly.)
12-20-2016 01:54 AM
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Mayweather Offline
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Post: #5
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
One of the biggest problems with those graphs is that they don't take into account all the people who have stopped looking for work. There are people who literally lost their careers during the last housing bubble burst and haven't had a job since. Insane shit. Or they have a job but it's stocking groceries with the high school kids in their neighborhood part time. I know here in Canada they tried to report that unemployment was down during the election cycle but it was later revealed they were counting polling volunteers and part time positions heavily in the data.

Without the manufacturing base to serve as a fall back to the loss of white collar work this shit will become more and more common. There's ways to adapt but it's difficult as fuck. Men need to feel accomplished or have a goal to work towards. Whether it's selling enough kilos to get a Ferrari and a Condo on the beach in Miami or a food blog that turns into something with affiliate links or a simple management position. Without that a large part of your manhood is compromised. I wouldn't be surprised if his wife starts fucking the CFO or management where she works. Pity does nothing for those all-so-important tingles these hoes need. Being a young dude myself I'll take this as another cautionary tale to store up top for when I get complacent or fall into conventional thinking.
12-20-2016 02:16 AM
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ball dont lie Offline
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Post: #6
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
This issue is so complex but the bottom line is: somehow this couple is living in Silicon Valley on the wife's salary. Meaning she is making some serious money.

Solutions: MOVE! Leave the most expensive place on the west coast for anywhere else! Sell your $600,000 house (it says they have a mortgage) and move to Zanesville Ohio, buy 3 houses, rent them out, become a landlord.

Look to the Midwest like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, KC, somewhere with much lower cost and living. With their resumes full of Silicon Valley experience they can find jobs there, both of them.

It would mean coming off their high horse, seeing they are not the winners it takes to live in the most expensive place in the USA and acting accordingly. Good luck.

I left the USA and moved to China to make a career for myself. It has worked out well but sometimes I miss my family. I realized I made some terrible mistakes with my education so I acted accordingly, trying to find a place where I could make a better life for myself. China it was!
12-20-2016 02:21 AM
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Another issue with that graph is it conflates a lot of professional degrees and makes it look like attaining one is the key to monetary success. Getting a law degree is not in the same league as getting a medical degree (in the USA). One more or less gets you a middle class life, the other is likely to leave you destitute. A degree in underwater basket weaving is not the same as a computer science degree either. A lot of law school pimp out these low unemployment numbers but the employed ones are not working in law-related jobs... The graph is more misleading than anything in my opinion.
12-20-2016 03:38 AM
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iknowexactly Offline
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
"Those charts mean nothing/have problems."

It's possible and true in some cases I'm sure.

But at least I HAVE a chart showing some possibly useful data.

Nobody will pay you to say "it''s all bs ", they want to see supporting DATA, or a product you create, beyond conjecture --unless you're a nay-sayer political columnist making bank off predicting general doom.

Also, there's value in data that's somewhat skewed , it's not all or nothing , and reasoning from outliers or exceptions is junk reasoning.

For example, the above shows such a huge rate of reduction in unemployment for all bachelors degrees holders that even if it's half as much as shown it is probably significant.

Where are the data that an English degree is useless etc? "A lot of the time" assertions have very little value in life decisions unless you find other supporting data.

As someone with both STEM and humanities training, and who's worked in both areas , an English degree indicates the person can probably write coherently which is pretty important in someone I want helping me.

Valuable people do their homework, figuratively and/or literally.

That can mean welding or landscaping as well as primarily office work.

However the guy I knew with a bachelors in horticulture made $100/ hr 15 years ago , probably more than a tough-it-out "I leaned the hard way " anti-academic.

It's easy to improvise plausible sounding opinions. Show up with more extensive data if you want your arguments to be taken seriously.


"The goal of {amoral} capitalism is to reduce all human interaction to the cash nexus." L. D.
(This post was last modified: 12-20-2016 04:20 AM by iknowexactly.)
12-20-2016 04:16 AM
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DeusVult Offline
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Thanks for the read. Solid. I'm in the same boat, and it sucks.
12-20-2016 06:00 AM
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FireStarter Offline
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Quote:There have been times where I’ve wondered if I should just get a temporary service or manual labor job to help out with extra cash. But I’m worried about getting stuck in a position with even less room for growth than my previous jobs. And to be honest, I would be too humiliated

Here's part of his problem. Sure, it's understandable that he doesn't want to do these jobs long term. But right now he's more concerned about keeping up appearances rather than getting his family out of the hole it's in. A dead-end job is a massive step up from doing nothing.
12-20-2016 07:59 AM
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Suits Offline
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
(12-20-2016 06:00 AM)DeusVult Wrote:  Thanks for the read. Solid. I'm in the same boat, and it sucks.

Come to China.
12-20-2016 10:12 AM
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Post: #12
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
I did a search, most of the China travel information leans more towards girls and game stuff, valuable information but it would be interesting to see more about moving out there for a career.
12-20-2016 10:40 AM
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
I'd love to. Even have experience working with many Chinese nationals. However, I'm allergic to sesame, married, and have a mother to take care of.
12-20-2016 12:40 PM
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Perfect Stranger Offline
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Post: #14
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
I'm commenting solely on the guy who wrote the article; He has a loser mentality.

The battle has already been lost in his head.
12-20-2016 01:25 PM
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
(12-20-2016 07:59 AM)FireStarter Wrote:  
Quote:There have been times where I’ve wondered if I should just get a temporary service or manual labor job to help out with extra cash. But I’m worried about getting stuck in a position with even less room for growth than my previous jobs. And to be honest, I would be too humiliated

Here's part of his problem. Sure, it's understandable that he doesn't want to do these jobs long term. But right now he's more concerned about keeping up appearances rather than getting his family out of the hole it's in. A dead-end job is a massive step up from doing nothing.
If this guy thinks that his 10 and 14 year-old kids haven't spilled the beans (either purposefully or not), he's delusional. People know what the deal is. He needs to bite the bullet and do something. Kevin Spacey seemed to enjoy it!
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12-20-2016 02:57 PM
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Monty_Brogan Offline
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RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
(12-20-2016 01:54 AM)iknowexactly Wrote:  Don't forget probably the largest factor in success. Don't reason from exceptions, although it's fine to be one if you can.

Is this chart pre or post tax? Regardless, in the second year of my apprenticeship, I would fall in the top 3 of that list with the amount of hours and overtime I've worked this year. I've been doing 6-10s and a couple Sundays since the beginning of the year. It's a grind and it wears on you, but the money is there in the trades. And if you're smart with your money, you can really stack some cash and plan an exit strategy -if you so wish. I work with men in their 60's in construction and they show no signs of slowing down. There's something to be said of building machines and seeing your progress throughout the weeks of your blood and sweat.

Journeymen and Foremen wouldn't even register on that list, you'd have to add another grand and change for their category.

If you can't get in the trades, you can always shoot for the railroad, but that's a completely separate beast. But the money is there too, just an even rougher lifestyle -7 days a week and on call.

To any able-bodied man with his back against the wall... what do you have to lose? The trades are the last true vestige of manhood in our great country. It's a shame to say, but it's true. And I say that as a Veteran. When I was on the railroad, there were ZERO women in my department. ZERO. My current trade has a couple, but that is just because of .gov mandates.

.02 from someone who fell into a very rough patch some years back, but finally found my calling. And the best thing, if you get tired of construction, you can move into management if you have 1/2 a brain and an oz of charisma/leadership ability.
12-20-2016 06:23 PM
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scorpion Offline
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Post: #17
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
I generally have a good amount of sympathy for the unemployed, having been in their shoes myself in the past, but it's hard to feel sorry for this guy. He's doing way too much navel gazing and male hamstering and not taking any real action to change his situation. He refuses to take any sort of work he regards as beneath him, he's too lazy to bother getting in shape with his free time (preferring to waste his days on the internet instead), and his entire job search apparently consists of spamming applications on job boards.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is just stuck in a rut. What he needs to do (and what anyone else in his situation needs to do, I'm sure there are more than a few men reading this who are in a similar position) is either focus relentlessly on monetizing an existing skillset you possess, or else immediately begin re-training in another skillset you think you can monetize. But you've simply got to take action. I mean, there's no reason this guy couldn't have read half a dozen good books on sales and tried his hand at selling cars. With nothing but time on his hands he could have learned to program fairly well over the past few years. He could have spent time learning about online businesses and bootstrapped a small venture for himself. And maybe he just needs to humble himself. He should have taken a job as a bartender or waiter a long time ago. Maybe that would give him the motivation to get off his ass and stop his navel gazing.

To anyone reading this who relates to this guy: TAKE ACTION NOW. Get off your ass RIGHT NOW. Start thinking about what you need to CHANGE in your life to get back in the game. You can't keep doing the same things you've been doing. You can't just sit there spamming job boards and wasting your days on the internet. Focus on developing a valuable skillset. If that means re-training, so be it. If you're young and have no college behind you, look into the trades. If you're pretty well spoken and confident, consider sales. If you're introverted, look at coding. All great money making fields and wide open for ambitious men. Go get after it. The only one standing in your way is you.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” - Romans 8:18
12-20-2016 09:25 PM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #18
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
(12-20-2016 10:40 AM)Silver_Tube Wrote:  I did a search, most of the China travel information leans more towards girls and game stuff, valuable information but it would be interesting to see more about moving out there for a career.

Unless you are a valuable employee who is sent to China by your current employer, China is not the place to move to if you expect to make the big bucks right away.

It's a place where any Westerner can make enough money to live on if he is willing to hustle and where he can learn useful skills in the process if he applies himself.

We've got several forum members who are doing this. Fortis, VP, myself and probably others.

There are guys who have just taken the English teaching route as well, living cheap and saving most of their earnings. You do that for ten years and you'll stack up a nice bankroll.

Fortis, VP and I all used low paying "foreign instructor" type jobs to get into the country and pay the rent while we developed plans and moved in other directions.

I won't violate Fortis and VP's privacy by going into detail about what has been keeping them busy, but I'm sure they won't mind if you PM them for some tips.

I did English teaching as I had during numerous extended breaks from university study. I knew I could earn $30-40 USD minimum per hour, so it was a simple matter of hustling until I filled a full schedule of part-time clients.

I figured that I'd earn as much money as possible and then put that into a different type of business. I had a number of ideas, but all of them required start up cash.

In the process of teaching, I realized how piss poor the language curriculum used by virtually all schools here was. So I started work on creating something that would actual work in the hands of any somewhat motivated teacher.

I'm currently developing products that are practical, fun and play-based that I'm going to release in 2017. Even if that direction doesn't work out as well as I'm hoping, I can still easily earn $50K+ per year just doing teaching, as using the teaching products that I've been developing has made me very desirable to clients who are willing to pay top-dollar for my time.

I essentially work for myself (with 15 or so clients, so if one of them pisses me off, I can just drop them) and can live on 1/5th of my monthly earnings.

I estimate that someone wishing to replicate what I have going on would need to apply themselves for 2-3 years to build the skills necessary to be successful (teaching skills, classroom management, sales skills, Chinese language skills), but after that they would be able to earn as much as an electrical engineer if they hustled.
12-20-2016 09:57 PM
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Post: #19
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Been there, done that, identify with his depression, but he has to beat it. I was fortunate enough to have a father who warned me early on in life that the world owed me nothing. No matter how frustrated I am by life, I remember his words. We are born, we die and a lot happens in between.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
12-20-2016 10:10 PM
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Mr. Scumbag Offline
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Post: #20
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
Yeah... I don't think China is the answer, with the shaky RMB plummeting fast against the dollar.

I don't think most guys want to come over here and start out 'teaching' for minimum wage and grind that out for 2 years until they can start a business that may or may not fail. Teaching, what most people will end up in at the start, is dancing for peanuts while Chinese kids throw pencils at their ball sacks and call them hairy monkeys.

If I could do it all over again, I'd learn a trade or join the military.
12-20-2016 10:35 PM
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Post: #21
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them."
^ Laugh , damn man China out of any country on this forum has the most ups and downs of any country I have ever seen. It feels like even the guys that know it well... the list of Pros & Cons and the all the cultural rules it's reckless.
(This post was last modified: 12-20-2016 10:43 PM by Travesty.)
12-20-2016 10:42 PM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #22
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
(12-20-2016 10:35 PM)Mr. Scumbag Wrote:  Yeah... I don't think China is the answer, with the shaky RMB plummeting fast against the dollar.

I don't think most guys want to come over here and start out 'teaching' for minimum wage and grind that out for 2 years until they can start a business that may or may not fail. Teaching, what most people will end up in at the start, is dancing for peanuts while Chinese kids throw pencils at their ball sacks and call them hairy monkeys.

If I could do it all over again, I'd learn a trade or join the military.

Your post is absolutely spot on, but it doesn't change a central fact. VP, Fortis and myself all moved to China because there was literally no job market for us in North America. I could quite possibly be working in retail sales right now and living with my parents if I hadn't come here.

It was well worth putting up with some temporary indignity.

Military is tough too. You'll probably put up with more indignity there and it'll last longer than two years.

Trades are a great option that more guys should consider, but they aren't a good fit for a lot of people, myself included.

Regardless, if you are young and single and willing to hustle, it's still a option worth considering.

The three of us that I've mentioned are all working on business ideas that are bigger than just China and wouldn't involve earning money primarily in RMB, as should anyone with half a brain.

China is just our launching pad which has allowed us to learn faster about unexploited niches that we are in the process of turning into scalable businesses.
12-20-2016 11:11 PM
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Post: #23
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
I admit that was a good read but I have to call a bit of bullshit on it.

A man who has barely had a job in 7 years! And lives in SF? It feels like the article is trying to inflate the pain in order to get some empathy from those who are in the same place.

I know guys who could be considered in the same boat, but not for 7 years. Almost all the low motivation and low achievers took one of the many low skilled jobs and just stayed put. As it happens I only see what they are up to through FB or a chance encounter but they are all able to live their lives.

This guy talks about having a family of four and only $30 to last them a week. Thats insane, that is where most high school kids end up in regards to budgeting. A man with two kids and a working wife (which I will touch on) should never be in a situation like this for more time than it takes to go and dig a ditch. He has money, I can almost guarantee it. No man with a family would ever be this broke without taking a job doing something to change that $30 into $300.

Does his wife really have the skillset to make the majority of their income? If so, he should just move into support (fuck that). In 7 years the man could have become a doctor or have a dual trade like a welder/pipefitter and joined a union - they have a big hall right in the Mission.

When I read things like this I tend to believe it but not because I see the plight of the author but because I know enough stupid and lazy people who just cant seem to figure out how to get themselves out of shitty situation. These are the very people who think that throwing money at a problem is the best fix.
12-20-2016 11:15 PM
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ball dont lie Offline
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Post: #24
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
   


One issue with this kind of bar graph and median salary is that the USA/the west has become incredibly bi-modal.

Very few people are earning those median salaries, there are professional/law degree holders at Goldman Sachs earning 3-4 million dollars a year and there is just another chump earning 53k a year with 200k in loans.

Its the same with bachelors degrees. The median doesn't mean much. There are a sizable minority, the winners, cleaning up on the coasts or in upper management in the flyover areas, 200k, 300k, 500k, and then there the many tens of millions making shit, still paying off their students loans, with a mortgage on their house which is probably underwater.

As Tyler Cowen says (hes right on this) Average is Over! Its winners and losers. Bi-modal. Average means nothing anymore.
12-21-2016 05:50 AM
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Post: #25
RE: "9 million American men in prime working age can’t find jobs. I’m one of them...
(12-20-2016 06:23 PM)Monty_Brogan Wrote:  
(12-20-2016 01:54 AM)iknowexactly Wrote:  Don't forget probably the largest factor in success. Don't reason from exceptions, although it's fine to be one if you can.

Is this chart pre or post tax? Regardless, in the second year of my apprenticeship,

Bravo to you for investing in your future with education in something valuable.

I don't mean to sound like like a college type education elitist. Most car mechanics charge more than I do with my doctorate, and that is necessarily done with a lot of on-the-job training.

The trades have a contrarian appeal because a lot of smart people think they're too good.

My point is no one WANTS to pay you a lot, they only do it if they HAVE TO for some reason.

And that comes from YOU KNOWING SOMETHING VALUABLE THEY DON'T.


"The goal of {amoral} capitalism is to reduce all human interaction to the cash nexus." L. D.
12-21-2016 06:08 AM
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