The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #5, Part 1

Deeper and Deeper


Do I really have to go down there?

So I’d concluded that all jobs suck.  Simplistic, sure, but there it was.

I no longer thought there existed any job in any corporate environment that would make life fun and enjoyable again, given the systemic problems with employment.

It may sound crazy, but this realization actually made me double down on work. My objectives are clear.

I’m thinking Okay, I get it.  Work sucks completely.  So let’s do as much of it as we can, as early as we can in life, so we can be rid of it as quickly as possible.

I’d learned that there are two ways to reach the finish line faster:1)  Cutting spending and 2) Earning more.  Both things increase your core savings rate, speeding things along in the journey to FI.

So I was also pretty sure that I could make more money than I did at SoftwareCompany. Therefore I targeted only the best-paying jobs in my field, given my skillset.

I stopped asking the question:  Will I like that job? 

And instead, I started asking:  How much does that sucker pay?

No surprises — I found that financial companies paid a premium to their employees, so I focused on them like an ambitious Adderall-jacked teen on the SATs.

At some point during my search, I call my best friend from college.  He’s in the same industry as me, and has just been job-searching himself.  Luckily, he mentions one opening in particular that sounds perfect for me.  (No, I didn’t steal the position from him — he’d already applied and it turned out wasn’t a great fit for him.)

The opportunity is to work for a bank on the East Coast, in Boston.  It’d satisfy all of my requirements — close to family, close to my ex, close to a few old friends who hung around the area after graduation.

So I work on my resume, customizing it in such a way that I appeared to be an absolutely perfect match for their need.

In addition, I create a cover letter with an embarrassing amount of suck-up language, something along the lines of Oh how I love finance!  I just adore your company!  I can’t wait to be given an opportunity to contribute my skills in the name of banking!  Please please please pick me!

Amazingly, they give me a call, and I find myself on a plane to their headquarters for a grueling full-day of interviews. I can hardly believe it, but it’s happening.

I’m on my way, deeper down the rabbit hole of corporate life.  I’ll shed some light on what it was like down there in the next post.

Don't go in there, Alice!  It's dark and you'll have to endlessly work!

Beware Alice… Therein lies an infinite amount of work.


The Job Experience, Tech Support: Year 4, Part 2/2  << >> The Job Experiece, Tech Support:  Year 5, Part 2/2

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12 Responses to The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #5, Part 1

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’m really loving this series. You have become one of my favorite bloggers up there with others on your blogroll. Keep up the great writing.

    • livingafi says:

      I really appreciate the comment, which is about as nice as they come. I don’t know what to say other than thanks(!) and I’ll keep the posts coming.

  2. Where can I get that Clippy? Seriously though, I think changing jobs and locations has helped me tremendously. Sometimes you just need to shake everything up and see how it falls out. Tough to do ‘on purpose’, but necessary. I look forward to seeing where this is going…

    • livingafi says:

      Hey EV, nice to see you stop by! I totally agree, mixing it up by going to a new employer has helped every time except once (in year 11 I picked a real dud), and many of my friends and peers have similar comments — that it’s like hitting the reset button on job stress, at least once you’ve made the initial transition. On that subject, FinancialCompany turns out to be, like most jobs, good and bad, but mostly just different.

  3. Dwayne Hoover says:

    If this series were a book, I would have read it in one sitting. Keep up the great work, and I’ll do my best to patiently wait 🙂

  4. Whitney says:

    Hah. I love the fake enthusiasm you added to your resume…and the fact that it worked! I really love this series. I can really connect with the emotional roller coaster you seem to have gone through, although I think my burn-out rate is much faster (a year and a half).

    • livingafi says:

      Right, cover-letters really are effective for many places to try to differentiate your application from others. Of course my actual suck-up language was a little more tactful but that doesn’t change the nature of it all, which is gushing over your new company. Like you, I’m burnt at FinancialCompany after 1.5 years but I gutted it out a little longer anyway. I must like suffering 😉

  5. This post is sooo good. Shared it with DW, because I think your analysis of corporate life-suck really nailed what she’s going through this year.

    I’d buy the e-book of this 😉

  6. Pingback: Confessions from a High-Paying Job | microBillionaire

  7. Reepekg says:

    I’m one of those rare unicorns that actually did love my job… and you’re notes are spot on:
    1) It was my first job so I loved learning about all the cool technology in the field
    2) It was a startup company making a new product, so I had a ton of flexibility and creative input that made it into the product
    3) I was just out of school with no family while living abroad, so putting in extra hours because I was enthusiastic didn’t create personal conflicts

    However, after 5 years, things change. The industry takes a downturn and budgets get slashed/projects cancelled. Your boss changes. You’re asked to do tasks you don’t like on top of the ones you do. Customers relentlessly attack like angry goblins. The list goes on.

    The state of loving your job is so fragile. Luckily I found FI or else I’d be the most depressed person on earth having seen how fun it can be only to then be stuck in a more typical situation.

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