@ThatJenn That was my problem. I left college both geographically and intellectually, as the research opportunities in my department had nothing to do with any career path that I wanted to take. They were actually quite far behind on interactive media at my university at the time, and I was learning more at internships in the NYC area. But interactive media is no place to look for professional guidance, apparently, unless you want to get told a million times that "all you have to do is get funding and start your own startup. It's easy!"
@sony_b I've been a member of a lot of user groups and meetups. Especially here in NYC, everything is always about showcasing already-launched products and attracting investors. I've found that there are only a few select people who actually want to talk systems and coding. I don't think those few people are to blame because they are busy or immersed in their projects, but the fact that there are so few people to begin with who are visible in the community as coders is a sign that things aren't good. There are some unique community-based coding opportunities here, though. But they're vastly oversubscribed and are rejecting people left/right. It's not really a mentorship thing, it's more of an incubator thing. I'm always looking out, though. I've considered PMP certification but I don't qualify for the PMP exam. I do have project management experience but it's just not enough. Would it be better to go for CAPM first? That said, I've gone to the library and read PMBOK cover-to-cover, and I use that knowledge in projects, so I'm confident that I'm cut out for PMP. @Megano! - yes, that sounds like a smart move. I had a few professors with good relations but unfortunately I had always planned to move away from college after completing my bachelor's, and moving into the NYC area meant that I was cut off from my university community and stranded up here unless I enrolled in grad school (which I declined to seek due to cost reasons). I took three different internships up here and none of them turned into any ongoing relationships because that wasn't really why those managers hired "interns". (As in, it was never their intent to be mentors, they just wanted free assistants to do gruntwork) I took a lot of temp-to-perm jobs after that, but, no mentor-minded people there, either. And, as I've said above, I do go to many meetups but I find that very few people make themselves available for mentoring relationships. I still hold out hope that I'll serendipitously run into someone who is a willing mentor, I'm a little more worried that I'm at the point where I ought to be the mentor, that I'm too long-in-the-tooth to earn the attention of anyone looking to get people started with their careers. (I called my university alumni association in regards to this, and they were unable to figure out what to do with me when I said I was a graduate looking for a local mentor up here, not a mentor looking for an undergrad to instruct. Useless people.)
I'm a computer programmer and have found nothing even remotely approaching direct mentorship, save for some dudes at networking events talking about Rails or Python to hype up their tool-of-choice, and some general suggestions that one ought to learn everything themselves on the web if they want to get anything done. What's even worse about this is that there's a very binary, oft-quoted view in the industry that "good coders are 20x better than bad coders" and that bad coders can't be (efficiently) instructed to improve their work. So, if anything, this is an industry that abhors one-on-one direct instruction as a worker education tool. This is why there are thousands of "ninja programmer" spots available while thousands of average or hopeful programmers are constantly rejected for consideration. It's pretty counter-intuitive. If anyone in that industry could be persuaded to change their minds about this and invest some personal time into reviewing the work of young hopefuls, that would be great. I think it's too late for me, because I'm 12 years out of college and I just want an exit from the technical side of things. I feel like I'm better at managing projects, and I don't have the time to jump among trendy development tools every day of the week.
@Mike Dang Ha, well, that much is true - you intend to encourage people to be happy. I think, as a matter of style and not intention, you have a way of being very direct and open about the way that you live and perceive money, and you are definitely someone who works over spending/saving decisions far more than the average person. You are comfortable with values and decisions (and a constant onslaught of compromises) that would cause some people to become overly anxious and give up trying to manage money. I'm totally on-board with about half of your advice, and the other half makes me think, "Yeah, that would work, but I'm gonna skip that anyway and now I need a drink after reading that." I think, in this case, you went right for the general philosophical advice about saving, but when it comes down to it, I think they're on-board with that. They just want to know, "What's enough? What's our comfort zone?" Hard to say precisely, and huge setbacks (medical expenses, unemployment) have ways of turning huge nest eggs into burnt cinders. But they actually seem to already be on the right track. Their trigger for uncertainty - the dumb landlord - was a false indicator. Their savings are depleted, but it's not because of what they were eating for lunch or because they didn't settle for a grimy apartment. They were totally within the right price range for an apartment, in terms of being able to afford the rent and also being able to save a reasonable amount (the oft-quoted 20-25% figures) every month on top of it. Even with one of them laid-off and on UI, they're making $100k (monthly income extrapolated) and can deal with $2,300 in rent for a while if their debts are not excessive. Most people are terrified of having to make compromises like "leftover soup" and "grimy apartments". (Some are ok with that, but to each his/her own) I know you're not trying to trigger that in your advice or make people feel inadequate for not being able to handle a daily onslaught of meticulous expense planning. It's always a good idea to go back over financial advice articles and look at how it is all framed. Some things that often sound totally sensible and prudent as individual thoughts can come off wildly unappealing and unhelpful when presented in writing, in aggregate, to a person who is in over their heads. Frankly, we're all in a little over our heads in these labor & housing markets. That $2,300 apartment is probably $900 anywhere outside NYC or SF, and similarly $160k/yr would be a king's ransom. Wouldn't need a website to answer any of these questions in the first place. Anyway, hope this comes across as constructive and I have to stop writing cause I've gone on too long. I do love the site. Cheers, man.
@Laura Yan@twitter Agree wholeheartedly. This sort of rejection is unusual in reasonable rental negotiations. As an anecdotal aside, I've snuck past the most demanding landlords without having a pot to piss in. The entire point of a rental deposit is to give some buffer room for a landlord to either claim damages or recover partial unpaid rent. This kind of scrutiny - for QUEENS of all places, not even prime Manhattan - is mental illness. There are a lot of wackos who own real estate in NYC, even huge buildings or super fancy-schmancy stuff. Mike, why do you have to spendshame everyone as a default reaction? If you're going to do that, at least give the answer seeker some decent numbers/figures to work off of. Based on back-of-napkin calculations, it would be healthy for the answer seeker to be socking away $2000-$2500 a month, and at that rental level you'd want at least 3 months worth of expenses/savings around, so that comes out to keeping about $12,000 as a base savings level, if you can. Use anything more than that to pay off debt - or put the rest in some sort of less-liquid safe asset class (CDs, equity investments, etc.) that earns a return on it, and keep it around for a future house purchase / down payment, between $60k and $100k, - and, beyond that, consider riskier investments like becoming a minority owner in a local business or something like that. Or at least don't eat cold leftover soup for lunch.
I am fine with Dimon running his business like a capitalist, but I'm not fine with companies like theirs imposing harmful effects on society in order to get to that place. Chase oversees its fair share of directly unethical business (credit card lawsuits and mortgage foreclosures with fraudulent paperwork, to name an example), but otherwise the government needs to address the public interest by setting up the regulatory environment in which these companies operate. The government has failed to do that recently, particularly after guys like Jamie Dimon claimed their banks would fail (and take down the economy with it) if society-protecting rules were set up... while simultaneously these banks invested heavily in lobbyists, who seem to have had great success in weakening banking regulatory structure in the last 15 years. So, basically, screw this guy.
It's rather pathetic for a company to have insufficient air conditioning in an office, enough such that job candidates are visibly sweating on a hot day. I'm sure you weren't the only one.
No worries Mike! Your teeth will be fine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonated_water#Health_effects
What about doing both checking and savings with Ally?