Grr…well, as y’all know, I’m not back at college *solely* for the challenge. I’ve gotta start thinking about how to ply this CS degree into a job…
But here’s the thing. What kinda job do I really want? And what kind do I really need?
A few years back I was pretty obsessed with money. Now, though? I honestly couldn’t care less. All I need is enough to live comfortably. Comfortably, and without stress. So those will be the first of my considerations in this post, where I ruminate to myself about what sort of employment I should be looking for.
First, how much do I need to live comfortably? After doing some math, it seems that even with going out to eat on a regular basis, I don’t have too many personal expenses. I spend about 600 dollars a month. Let’s bump that up to 700, just in case. So that then just leaves bills. Back in grad school, it was about 50 bucks a month for Internet, and then 50 bucks for electricity, heating, cell phone and water each. So just to be safe, let’s say that’s 300 dollars, +700 per month (1000) for a total of 12,000 dollars per year. To be even safer, let’s add another 1,000 to the yearly total for any unseen circumstances. So 13,000 dollars a year. Now, in terms of housing, I live with my parents right now, but we’ve almost paid off the mortgage on our house–once that’s done with, housing should be pretty easy. But let’s add another 2,000 dollars per month assuming there’s rent after the mortage and say I’d need 36,000 per year as a relative minimum.
That’s not exactly a ritzy lifestyle, I’d say. But even if I were to get much more than that, it wouldn’t be worth it if my work was too stressful. See, I’ve found I can’t stand cubicle-type jobs. Too depressing and frustrating for me. And I don’t want the pressure that comes from government jobs, or jobs that have people’s life on the line–national security jobs, medical jobs, and so on. On the other hand, as the old saying goes, find a job doing what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
So, what do I enjoy? I mean, not the obvious–writing, playing videogames, watching anime, and listening to music. I mean, what kind of lifestyle is most tolerable for me?
I think at this point in my life, I’ve become a freedom addict. I don’t mind working hard, very hard, or even feverishly, but above all, I no longer want to be at someone’s beck and call for several hours of every day, or even several hours of *one* day. I love being able to spend afternoons going out to eat, even if it means I have to spend hours grinding into the night. I love being able to wake up whenever I want. And above all, I love the feeling of liberation, of self-ownership, that comes from not having to go to the same place every single weekday without fail. In terms of my daily habits, yeah, sometimes I’ll go to like the same restaurant several days in a row at the same time, but not very often, and it’s not like I’m forced to. What I love above all else is my freedom to choose when and where I go.
So, what sorta job should I look for, given these factors?
In terms of wage, anything around 40,000, 30,000 at minimum, after taxes per year. In terms of specifics, however…I think something that’s work at home would be best for me. As I said, even if I have to work hard, late nights, being able to spend my days doing what I like, and not having to go to the exact same building over and over and over again, is ideal for me. So a telecommuting job might be best, especially one that’s commission or completion-of-project based rather than anything else.
Now, there’s probably more to think about–and we’ll see about that as time passes. But at the moment, for now, at least that’s a less vague goal than the one I had when I started in college (a second time–and compared to my first, too). So at least it’s something I can give to career counselors when asking for advice! We’ll see…