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Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
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fiasco360 Offline
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Lightbulb Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
I’m 29 years old, I have a master’s degree in engineering. If I could take back the degree I would. I incurred quite a bit of debt in getting this degree and would have been better off just learning to code after my bachelor’s degree in physics. I have friends with no college experience making 6 figures from learning to do web development. Yes I bought into the college degree = job propaganda but I definitely tried to hedge my bets by going into an in demand field.

I spent the last 3 years networking, developing a skill set, beefing up my resume with research projects and working on getting relevant job experience. Throughout the journey, I managed to snag a contract position (for terrible pay) in my last semester at a well known company. I was scratching my head a bit as a lot of my peers got decent paying jobs right away, with having both lesser GPAs, experience and only a bachelor’s degree. Paradoxically, I have heard I’m both under-qualified and overqualified.

I swallowed my pride and asked quite a few of them what they did in order to land x or y position and a majority of the time it was no different to what I did or it was practically thrown in their lap. A family friend works in a separate engineering industry but told me that companies and governmental agencies are forcing diversity hires, which I am obviously not part of that narrative. But I don’t want to chalk it up to that.

So here I am about 7 months out from graduating without a job. I’m always told my resume is impressive and that I should have no problem getting hired but it just seems like either companies are low balling the crap out of me or I don’t get the positions. I’m not exceptional, I didn’t attend MIT or have a stellar GPA I know which is my fault but at the same time it seems quite odd I don’t have something yet. I thought to myself “is this what the current market is valuing me at?”

I’ve gone door to door on occasion and called up companies and done walk ins. Told to apply online. I’ve gone to career fairs in state and across country. I’ve always been confident in my interviews but am not ashamed to admit if I don’t know something. I don’t know the exact number of applications I’ve filled out but I know it’s easily in the hundreds, ranging from internships to level 2/3 positions. A friend has given me referral access to internal company postings that I can apply to. I have even had past women I’ve dated hook me up with their fathers/grandfathers as an “in” to larger engineering firms. Am I missing an angle here? I’ve been “hustling” for quite some time now and I’m exhausted.

Now I’m sitting here – I have quite a bit of debt from my schooling. I’m slowly atrophying from not using my technical skills and growing generally depressed. I want to be able to at least start making capital and a return on investment before I start a side business of my own. I also am slowly becoming more apathetic toward engineering in general. I’m pretty much in an existential crisis and feel this massive debt crushing my soul.

My course of action I want to take is as follows:

-Secure a position that pays within an average realm of what someone with my schooling/experience should have.

-Pay down my debts as soon as possible.

-Work on becoming a bit more independent of a salary lifestyle.

-Prepare for my parent’s retirement and assist them if I am able.

Outside of that – I don’t know what I really want to do. I can’t even seem to get the first step completed.

Is there more I could be doing? I do admit that my positivity over the last few months has definitely waned.
02-02-2017 06:27 PM
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jj90 Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
Does not compute.

1)You are 7 months away from graduating, plenty of time.

2)You had an internship/job, but say you lost your technical skills. How do you lose technical skills while still in school?

Points to note: 1)Welcome to the new economy. You are grad'ing in 2017. You should see how bad it was back in 08-10. Be grateful

2)Life is tough. You think it's bad now, wait till you completely leave school and have real responsibilities.

3)Debt can be reduced, drawn out longer, or outright disregarded based on lifestyle choices. There are ways around it.

Lastly, you could look into retraining as a web developer. It worked for me and many others.
02-02-2017 07:37 PM
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fiasco360 Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
(02-02-2017 07:37 PM)jj90 Wrote:  Does not compute.

1)You are 7 months away from graduating, plenty of time.

2)You had an internship/job, but say you lost your technical skills. How do you lose technical skills while still in school?

Points to note: 1)Welcome to the new economy. You are grad'ing in 2017. You should see how bad it was back in 08-10. Be grateful

2)Life is tough. You think it's bad now, wait till you completely leave school and have real responsibilities.

3)Debt can be reduced, drawn out longer, or outright disregarded based on lifestyle choices. There are ways around it.

Lastly, you could look into retraining as a web developer. It worked for me and many others.

Thanks

I mean I graduated 7 months ago. I guess I could rewrite that.

I'm not complaining as I'm actually trying to figure out what I did wrong compared to others and it makes no logical sense. Better grades, exp, technical aptitude, people skills. There seems to be a disconnect somewhere, maybe I'm blind to it.

Did you go through a coding bootcamp for that? Or just self taught?
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2017 08:49 PM by fiasco360.)
02-02-2017 08:49 PM
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Christhugger Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
^ I think he's 7 months AFTER graduating, not before. Didn't use the word "out" correctly...

You've identified properly OP that many colleagues have gotten their jobs by luck or connections or good timing. There is often no rhyme or reason to these things. Just keeping putting yourself out there and eventually you too will find a job where some other guy will look on and say "how'd he get so lucky, what's wrong with me."

You're right that engineering is shit. It's hard when the world is increasingly corrupt, crass, hedonistic and near-sighted, and you are forced by legal obligation to be honest, professional, put the needs of your client and society first, and take thoughtful, low-risk, future-oriented action, always. Otherwise you're a bad engineer.

All this for an average salary, way above average legal liability, zero social benefits, and -1 SMV with women.
02-02-2017 08:50 PM
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dallasguy Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
Why did you not have a job lined up already?
02-02-2017 10:40 PM
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jj90 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
@fiasco360: I went thru a technical program at a well respected local college meant to crank out entry level developers. Not a bootcamp, but I know others that have come out of bootcamps that are up to par technically. Other here on RVF have done well coming out of bootcamps as well.
02-03-2017 01:41 AM
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Nordwand Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
Do you have any foreign language skills, or overseas connections?
02-03-2017 02:45 AM
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fiasco360 Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
(02-02-2017 08:50 PM)christpuncher Wrote:  ^ I think he's 7 months AFTER graduating, not before. Didn't use the word "out" correctly...

You've identified properly OP that many colleagues have gotten their jobs by luck or connections or good timing. There is often no rhyme or reason to these things. Just keeping putting yourself out there and eventually you too will find a job where some other guy will look on and say "how'd he get so lucky, what's wrong with me."

You're right that engineering is shit. It's hard when the world is increasingly corrupt, crass, hedonistic and near-sighted, and you are forced by legal obligation to be honest, professional, put the needs of your client and society first, and take thoughtful, low-risk, future-oriented action, always. Otherwise you're a bad engineer.

All this for an average salary, way above average legal liability, zero social benefits, and -1 SMV with women.

Yeah, I would have just self taught myself coding until I could get enough capital.

I'm trying man, just hard after so many years to keep it up.

(02-02-2017 10:40 PM)dallasguy Wrote:  Why did you not have a job lined up already?

Did you not read the part where I said I had been searching for years already? The second I started grad school at the end of 2013, I was out searching, networking and working towards finding a position. I landed 1 contract position and they didn't extend my contract.

(02-03-2017 01:41 AM)jj90 Wrote:  @fiasco360: I went thru a technical program at a well respected local college meant to crank out entry level developers. Not a bootcamp, but I know others that have come out of bootcamps that are up to par technically. Other here on RVF have done well coming out of bootcamps as well.

Community College level? I know that bootcamps can be quite expensive but I could assume the community college level it would be a lot cheaper.

(02-03-2017 02:45 AM)Nordwand Wrote:  Do you have any foreign language skills, or overseas connections?

I can speak another language but it's not exactly useful since it's nearly extinct and as for overseas connections - not so much.
02-03-2017 05:00 AM
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Hypno Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
you need to reframe your thinking.

comparing yourself to others can be useful at times to motivate you, but in your case its destroying your self worth.

you are putting too much pressure on yourself.

remind yourself that in the long run, the advanced degree will be worth it. also, don't worry about your parents. that their your job, and not something to concern yourself with when you are just out of school.

a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Just find a job in your field to get experience, and then find a better job while in that one.
02-03-2017 06:30 AM
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fiasco360
fiasco360 Offline
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RE: Stuck in Life - Advice Appreciated
(02-03-2017 06:30 AM)Hypno Wrote:  you need to reframe your thinking.

comparing yourself to others can be useful at times to motivate you, but in your case its destroying your self worth.

you are putting too much pressure on yourself.

remind yourself that in the long run, the advanced degree will be worth it. also, don't worry about your parents. that their your job, and not something to concern yourself with when you are just out of school.

a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Just find a job in your field to get experience, and then find a better job while in that one.

Thanks. It really has been a hit to my confidence the past few months.I'll try to keep that in mind.
02-03-2017 06:18 PM
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