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Career change at 30. Leaving cushy job. Am I crazy?

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Career change at 30. Leaving cushy job. Am I crazy?

Old 03-15-2019, 12:21 PM
  #61  
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I have not read ALL of the posts, but I think you should do it. No your not stupid. I did a Major Career change at 36 (still in the same field) and I am so happy I made the change. You are not getting out of your wheelhouse and several of the skills from surveying will translate. Now if you said you wanted to become a Tesla Salesman, we would have to have a come to Jesus chat. lol
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:13 PM
  #62  
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Skip to 11:00. Peter Dinklage earned my respect for this speech. Original poster - he knows exactly what you are going through.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tartuffe View Post
I come from the opposite spectrum. I got my CDL and contractors license for heavy highways and public utilities by the time I was 22. By 25 I was needing to turn $10k per day just to make payroll and ends meet. It turned out I was not emotionally mature enough to handle that type of responsibility and pressure. From 6 AM until 6 PM M-S I was a happy kid. All other times I was absolutely, positively miserable. Every rainy day was a curse from God. Every sunny day not working was a missed opportunity to get ahead of a $700 flat tire or $3k injector job of perhaps a new $30k bulldozer undercarriage.

I happened to be in a bar out of town one night when a competitor made an offer to purchase the business. Life restarted for me that day.

Point is, go for being your own boss but the earthwork business is probably one of the most capital intensive, weather, and economy sensitive businesses you can get involved in.
This X 2.
I think you should start your own business, you have what seems to be the determination. I think you would be better off doing a surveying business. Invest some time in getting licensed and then spend money in GPS surveying equipment and you will be all set. I know you said you didn't want to be in the surveying trade but you should rethink that. You already have experience, your Dad could help, maybe work for you if you retire. If you choose to go the route of an owner/operator you are really opening up a can of worms, believe me its not sitting in a skid steer all day having fun, its not, its work. Everything that can break will, you will be fixing stuff all the time. If you are not a diesel mechanic who can fix anything, weld, etc. you will never make it. Go into surveying and all you will have to do is get your GPS updated. It's a cleaner, easier trade that is always in demand, you still will own your own company and be your own boss, you just take out a lot of the BS that makes owning a business tough.

I am a carpenter home builder for 30 years. While I would not change a thing about owning my own business I would have stayed in school and got my engineering degree and opened up an engineering business. Would have been a whole lot less work for probably more money and less headaches.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:58 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by SeaBoss21 View Post
I was a chef/manager til 30 when I finally had enough of people and changed careers. Became an operating engineer, went to school and retired after 35 years with a great pension. Change now, if you’re not happy, before it’s too late.

Good for you sir, awesome to hear.

Could you enlighten me (via PM don't want to harm the thread), as to exactly what an "Operating Engineer" does? I always like to learn about professions I know nothing about that can be a benefit to someone else one day!

Thanks......
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:25 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by joshd472 View Post
I tried like hell to get in on the I&E and piping side of things until I got my last job 5 years ago. I'm already so entrenched in Civil I would be completely starting over. I've even had few job offers for I&E and piping the last few years but for less money than I make now. What would you say the avg salary of a good pipe designer is?

3d guys, mid level 45- 60 per hour. Higher end guys make 75 per hour++. I know a handful over 100 per hour on field assignments. With per diem, travel differential and OT I know a few pipers that pulled 350k per year.

But, A bunch of piping work is getting shipped over seas or to “high value” centers.

E&I, especially I, not so much out sourcing. I guys make about 10% less than pipers.

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Old 03-16-2019, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Clamdigger II View Post
This X 2.
I think you should start your own business, you have what seems to be the determination. I think you would be better off doing a surveying business. Invest some time in getting licensed and then spend money in GPS surveying equipment and you will be all set. I know you said you didn't want to be in the surveying trade but you should rethink that. You already have experience, your Dad could help, maybe work for you if you retire. If you choose to go the route of an owner/operator you are really opening up a can of worms, believe me its not sitting in a skid steer all day having fun, its not, its work. Everything that can break will, you will be fixing stuff all the time. If you are not a diesel mechanic who can fix anything, weld, etc. you will never make it. Go into surveying and all you will have to do is get your GPS updated. It's a cleaner, easier trade that is always in demand, you still will own your own company and be your own boss, you just take out a lot of the BS that makes owning a business tough.

I am a carpenter home builder for 30 years. While I would not change a thing about owning my own business I would have stayed in school and got my engineering degree and opened up an engineering business. Would have been a whole lot less work for probably more money and less headaches.
This is actually exactly what the plan the wife and I came up with. Get licenses, survey, build client base and connections, and hope that leads to opportunity to get in the skid steer business as well as surveying in about 5 years. It would actually take the right opportunity to buy the earth moving equipment, like a big hurricane.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:36 PM
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I'm an engineer who rode a desk for 10 years and hated it. 6 years ago I got into a steel mill and loved the hands on work and troubleshooting required to keep the place running, but I couldn't stand my boss. It didn't hurt that I also made 30k more as an electrician than I did as a EE. Now I install equipment in steel mills, aluminum mills, paper mills, etc. No way could I ever work a 9-5 desk job again. If you truly hate going to work, then make a change. I wouldn't leap into a whole new career unless I was pretty sure it would work or I at least had the funds to carry me through some rough times. Would your current employer take you back if it didn't work out?
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Vitamin_Sea View Post
I.................. No way could I ever work a 9-5 desk job again. If you truly hate going to work, then make a change. I wouldn't leap into a whole new career unless I was pretty sure it would work or I at least had the funds to carry me through some rough times. ............
Ditto....
Get all your licensing done while you're still working for somebody else. Be sure you have enough funds plus work to get you through the first 6 months. Get a accountant, your taxes are now a PIA 4x a year thing minimum, and they went up.
Lastly, I'm betting you're going to learn a few things you thought you knew, like 'A dollar saved is a dollar earned'... i.e.; Your machine has 4,000 hours and you're worried about it? What the hell only runs 4000 hours relatively trouble free. Whatever it is, I don't want one.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:08 AM
  #69  
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My take on the situation. You need a lot of cash to get going, like 3 times what you initial think. Finding labor will be your biggest and hardest problem to overcome, focus on that your biggest obstacle to overcome. There is so much work out there, that is the easy part. As a sub you will have the same handful of customers forever, all you have to do is be honest, do a great job and getting work will be anon issue. There is a shortage of subs today, heck on bid day we are lucky to get 3-4 prices from each trade.

When you are pricing work be careful. I'm sure you have a great working knowledge of how long tasks take, what will get away from you...quickly, is the cost of redoing things, the down time associated with moving equipment, picking up material, etc.

If you have the pipeline to labor, and the cash, I'd say good luck. Oh and don't do your own accounting, get a good accountant. Track profit way more often than you think is necessary.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
...Just because you can do a job does you no good until you have customers willing to pay you to do it.
Separates the wheat from the chaff...
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