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How do you not use financial baromaters to compare yourself to friends?

blnycblnyc Posts: 192Member

IDOL

edited February 2013 in the real world (20+ ONLY)
It's kinda a hard fact to swallow when you hear many of your friends make more money than you do. We all went to the same college, but of course we studied different things. Obviously, I knew from day 1 that some people were going to make more than me, but thinking about it versus actually having it happen are two different feelings.

I majored in the liberal arts and was lucky to get a great job at a great company. Many of other friends studied social science and got great jobs with other companies in the financial services. However, I have a ton of friends who did engineering and are now making 50% more than what any of us make. What makes me the most envious is that even the people with the crappiest GPA got solid engineering jobs at great companies. It's like...for all intents and purposes, I should have just studied engineering and got a 2.1 GPA and then go on to make 60k+ off the bat. It's just shocking because most of us who weren't in engineering had to work out butts off and practically be the cream of the crop to get the jobs we have now.

Of course I don't let money affect our friendships, but in the back of my mind, I always think about how much less I make than them and it makes me feel a bit...well, inferior and jealous. Argh...I know I need to stop comparing myself to the Joneses but I can't!
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Replies

  • brokenmachinebrokenmachine Posts: 280Member

    IDOL

    edited February 2013
    Should of listened to the asian parents lol.

    I have a design degree, with friends who are engineers, dentists, lawyers and doctors...There are times when I feel envious that they come out of school and starts off at a "higher point" easy, but I would never imagine myself doing something that wasn't design.

    And of all the passionate designers I have met, who work their butt off and some don't get paid that great, they all told me something along the lines "there's nothing in the world they would rather do".

    So it is about your values in life, stay true to them. You can always have more money, but to live life to the fullest you just need enough. My career is what drives me to do better, achieve higher, not money.  
  • EclecticEclectic lvl 1 red mage limboPosts: 2,213Member

    SUPERSTAR

    the grass is greener, something something (ad nauseum)
    “Idealism is what precedes experience. Cynicism is what follows.”
  • ayahuascaayahuasca AustraliaPosts: 1,410Member

    IDOL

    A degree does not make your career. It gives you a step up in the right direction. I have an engineering bachelors and a master of science and sure I was making >$60k a year in my last job but I was also doing 60hr weeks. Doesn't leave a lot of time for much else.

    No matter what field you studied, your prospects are governed by the basic laws of supply and demand. If there is demand for engineers then they'll command top dollar, but they also have to show that they're worth that salary and deliver consistently.
  • iridescentiridescent Posts: 2,486Friend of Soompi

    IDOL

    edited February 2013
    because I know money =/= happiness. There's a quote like "Some people are so poor, all they have is money." I know having money doesn't hurt, but having a career you don't love does. Whatever career you land in, you'll probably be at it a looooong time. I'm choosing between job A and job B in the same field, both which I know will be fulfilling for me. One pays higher across the board but I'm going to go with the one I feel more passionate about even if it pays less because I know I'll do better at something I love, and I don't want to waste my most productive years on something that doesn't truly matter to me.

    I'm only envious of friends with better-paying jobs if they genuinely adore what they are doing on top of the pay. I get a little regretful about not considering engineering only because my strengths do happen to be in math and science, but what I'm studying now excites me more so I eventually see no need to really compare.

    I think the real reason why I don't envy friends for money is that I know I require really little in terms of physical things (really, little enough for me to be able to afford now, just working as a server) to be very happy. If you wish for many expensive things then I imagine it's harder. Maybe it'd help to be as financially smart as possible so you accumulate more money and are therefore wealthy on even a lower salary :-)
    flyhighbichHERMITnobody knows
  • hamster428hamster428 Posts: 1,002Member

    SUPERSTAR

    Engineering is nothing. I make much less than the law and med folks I know.
    And yes, sometimes I wish I earn more, but I try to keep my perspective and not be greedy/entitled. I don't want to be one of those ppl who overcharge for their service just because they can. It sounds awfully idealistic and naive but I just want to be useful to my community and make a decent living out of it. If after all the bills are paid and I still have some left over to save, then that's good enough. It's much more than many can claim.
    image
    <3 Yoon Kye Sang, Im Joo Hwan, Chilbong
  • zantac_2zantac_2 sydPosts: 3,297Member

    IDOL

    ^money issues aside, i think engineering is a great field to get into. many of my friends who are engineer graduates have worked in more than 1 country.
  • masturyanmasturyan CAPosts: 625Member
    Make friends with degenerates.  You'll feel a lot better about yourself and your current situation.
  • damyoungjidamyoungji Toronto, CanadaPosts: 4,238Member

    IDOL

    When it comes to finding a job, it is not about the marks (for most cases anyway). It is about luck and timing, and for some others, connections as well. You also have to look at the job market for a specific career. There are more opportunities for some and less for others. Then there are other factors such as experience and first impressions as well.

    If you enjoy what you are doing, you should not let money influence you (too much). Just because another career means you will get paid more does not do justice if you will end up hating your job. IMO, if you are content with your job and you make enough to live comfortably, that is all that matters. Everyone wants to make more than what they are getting, but it is something they cannot change. Lot of people have a tight budget as well, but most stick to the jobs they have because it makes them happy, or they are just comfortable with it.

    I never compare how much I make to my friends. Some make more than me, but it does not matter because they are in a different field. Now, if they work in the same field but get paid more than me, I will feel like I deserve more, especially if they work in an environment that is less stressful than mines (mines the most stressful it can get, but I chose the path because I have the energy and I do not like boredom). Am I content with my pay? It is not the greatest in comparison to other jobs, but in comparison to others with the same title or similar titles in other careers, it is quite good. As for whether I am content with my job, I have a love-hate relationship with it. Nothing is ever perfect in life, but all you can do is look at the positives rather than the negatives.
  • EpicLifeStyleEpicLifeStyle San Antonio, TexasPosts: 132Member
    You picked liberal arts.

    You only do that if you're content with making less money than everyone else with a degree.

    Sorry, won't beat around the bush for you.

  • blnycblnyc Posts: 192Member

    IDOL

    You picked liberal arts.

    You only do that if you're content with making less money than everyone else with a degree.

    Sorry, won't beat around the bush for you.
    I originally did it so I could get the highest GPA to go to law school, if that's any consolation. So no, I didn't do it because I was content with making less money than everyone else. I'm no longer considering law school just fyi because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.
  • masturyanmasturyan CAPosts: 625Member
    blnyc said:
    You picked liberal arts.

    You only do that if you're content with making less money than everyone else with a degree.

    Sorry, won't beat around the bush for you.
    I originally did it so I could get the highest GPA to go to law school, if that's any consolation. So no, I didn't do it because I was content with making less money than everyone else. I'm no longer considering law school just fyi because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.
    Well, you dun goofed then. 

     Anyway, your view is skewed because you are only considering your friends.  There are plenty of newly graduated engineers that never got hired and are going back to school for their Masters, and plenty that are making less than what they expected.  There are also plenty of other jobs that are less stress/more money than engineering, so I wouldn't feel too bad.
  • EclecticEclectic lvl 1 red mage limboPosts: 2,213Member

    SUPERSTAR

    edited February 2013
    because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.
    There's something about this that speaks volumes to me.

    It seems that the majority of 20-something problems converge on money, which is directly influenced by career choice, which is influenced by major choice, which is influenced by....

    Anyways, it's hard to not feel the superficiality coming off the statements in this thread.  Apparently there's a right way and a wrong way in life, instead of just "life."  It's like when you meet new people or introduce yourself to strangers, the first questions will always be something along the lines of: "Where did you go to school? Where do you work? Where do you live?  How much do you make?" (the last one if they're cheeky enough)  Depending on your answers, you'll see your number of potential "friends" rise or fall.

    At the rate we're going, we might as well stop using our names and just go by our credit scores, ID number, etc.

    Isn't social darwinism great? =D>
    “Idealism is what precedes experience. Cynicism is what follows.”
  • EpicLifeStyleEpicLifeStyle San Antonio, TexasPosts: 132Member
    do what you love,

    the money will follow.



  • hamster428hamster428 Posts: 1,002Member

    SUPERSTAR

    It's like when you meet new people or introduce yourself to strangers, the first questions will always be something along the lines of: "Where did you go to school? Where do you work? Where do you live?  How much do you make?" (the last one if they're cheeky enough)  Depending on your answers, you'll see your number of potential "friends" rise or fall. <br />
    <br />
    At the rate we're going, we might as well stop using our names and just go by our credit scores, ID number, etc.<br />
    <br />
    Isn't social darwinism great? =D>
    I've seen some girls asked those questions as a mean to gauge a guy's financial eligibility and vice versa. But whenever it has happened to me, it was only harmless polite small talk. I work in the engineering field so I meet other engineers and we like to know what school we went to, thus which football team we support :D And sometimes it's not that we won't befriend those who are less well off. But you do have to have a general sense of other people's spending comfort. For example, if a dinner is held at some upscale restaurant, you wouldn't invite a friend who can't afford it unless you're prepared to get their check yourself. Or if you're planning dinner and really want to include this person, you'd do it at a more affordable place. It's a hassle, but social circles tend to have ppl of the same financial means because you can afford to do the same things together. Not because richer ppl look down their noses at the poorer ones... although maybe that also exists.
    image
    <3 Yoon Kye Sang, Im Joo Hwan, Chilbong
  • IrysinonIrysinon Soompi Superstar Posts: 1,460Member

    IDOL

    edited February 2013
    lol. I don't even have friends so I don't have anyone to compare myself to. Besides, what are we in? High school? Comparing feels so juvenile. You do you. You live at your own pace. As long as you're happy with your success and whatever success means to you, that's all that should matter. It's really not about how much you make. It's about how much you save. As cliche as that sounds, think long-term rather than short-term when it comes to managing your finances. I don't care if anyone I personally know is making tons of money right now, managing their mortgages, taking care of their kids, owning various luxury, maintaining car payments, etc. To me, that's just a burden. I have a licence for a profession. I'm thinking long-term, because this is something I can do until I'm dead (as much as I don't like my career). I can make money anywhere in my province no matter my age. So if anyone I know thinks he/she is all high and mighty now? I don't give a Richard Simmons. I can name tons of things to give myself instant credibility that they haven't been able to do at a younger age.

    Eclecticflyhighbich
  • EclecticEclectic lvl 1 red mage limboPosts: 2,213Member

    SUPERSTAR

     It's a hassle, but social circles tend to have ppl of the same financial means because you can afford to do the same things together. Not because richer ppl look down their noses at the poorer ones... although maybe that also exists.
    Birds of a feather..

    Anyways I just came across this quote in an article and find it particularly damning (in a prophetic way):
    "The spread of computers and the Internet will put jobs in two categories," Andreessen says. "People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do."

    In the end, you're either part of the "haves" or the "have nots."
    “Idealism is what precedes experience. Cynicism is what follows.”
  • AziraphaleAziraphale STOP CAT ABUSE!! Posts: 7,274Member

    IDOL

    blnyc said: because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.

    And you know this how...? 

    image
    eight, say you love me, masterpiece
    finito: fragments gesture transient flowers name goodbye  
    CATS ARE LOVE!! STOP CAT ABUSE!! || STOP ANIMAL ABUSE & TESTING!!
  • NinsharkNinshark I like crabs Posts: 1,624Member

    IDOL

    what are you going to do with all that money anyway? buy stuff? I suppose the only good thing is reduced debt, which always sucks, but I think that if I ended up getting a well-paying job as an engineer etc, well, I'd regret every weekend of my life, "I should've done marine biology ..." it'd be pitiful. I would be paying all my grief, anxiety, and regret just for that >$60k/year...

    anyway, to answer your question of how not to compare financially, you can always compare other things like I do sometimes just to make myself feel better: how smart you are, how lucky you are, how many friends you have, how many sports you play, and my favorite- how many skills you have. all stupid stuff, but good for petty feelings.
  • blnycblnyc Posts: 192Member

    IDOL

    edited February 2013
    blnyc said: because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.

    And you know this how...? 

    What are you asking? Why is my job brilliant? Because I love my job, I get paid pretty well for it, I have great hours, and it's a relatively prestigious company. So in my eyes, it is brilliant.

    Why is it not as brilliant as engineering jobs? I don't get paid as much.
  • blnycblnyc Posts: 192Member

    IDOL

    Ninshark said:
    what are you going to do with all that money anyway? buy stuff? I suppose the only good thing is reduced debt, which always sucks, but I think that if I ended up getting a well-paying job as an engineer etc, well, I'd regret every weekend of my life, "I should've done marine biology ..." it'd be pitiful. I would be paying all my grief, anxiety, and regret just for that >$60k/year...

    anyway, to answer your question of how not to compare financially, you can always compare other things like I do sometimes just to make myself feel better: how smart you are, how lucky you are, how many friends you have, how many sports you play, and my favorite- how many skills you have. all stupid stuff, but good for petty feelings.
    Buy stuff, yes. Although money doesn't buy happiness, it also doesn't lead to depression. It'd be nice to be able to buy a bigger house/apartment and to have my own room instead of sharing it with a roommate in my 20s. Money in itself won't make me happy, but it can give me more opportunities to be happy.

    Thanks for the tips. I do take for granted how lucky I am compared to a lot of other people.
    Ninshark
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