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Is my son doing good for him self? 22-25K a year

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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:23 PM
Original message
Is my son doing good for him self? 22-25K a year
I am not sure how hard (or if) I should be encouraging my son to change careers.

He is 22 years old, and lives in a rural area in Texas by him self. (cost of living is not very high compared to most places)

He makes around 22-25K a year as an entry level supervisor at a large company that produces food. He has a high school diploma and some college but no degree. He has no interest in going back to college.

He took my advice and has the 401k his company offers. (dollar for dollar match on everything he puts in up to 5%) His company also gives him a pension, 6 paid holidays a year, 120 hours vacation, and 3 personal holidays a year. No sick time though. He works 40 hours a week, with a little bit of overtime now and then. The health insurance isn't too bad, it's a PPO and he pays $30 a pay check for it bi-weekly. It has a low deductable, and has unlimited coverage after that.

The thing is with out a degree he has very little chance of promotion beyond where he is in that company. He has worked there 3 years and has moved up to where he is now by promotions. He really likes his job, and is planning on staying there for years more.

My concern is that he is behind where other people his age are as far as his career goes. He gets a 5% pay increase every year, but other than that he is pretty much going to be at the same spot from now on. I mean I don't know where most people his age are typically in their career? I kind of get the impression he is behind though.

Should I be encouraging him to look for something else? I mean he is content with what he is doing, but I just don't want him to be stagnant in the same place for years....
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. In this job market
if he's making enough to make ends meet, he should stay there. It sounds like he likes it and he has decent benefits. I'm guessing there really aren't a lot of career options in rural Texas anyway.

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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. That's true there are not
but he is by no means tied to that location. He is a very hard worker, and he has no family and very few friends there. It would not be hard for him to move.
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suninvited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Has he asked for your advice?
Or are you thinking of just telling him what you think?

He could be perfectly happy with things right now.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. He is happy with things
but he is young and I don't think he realizes that he can do more especially with his work ethic.
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suninvited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. If he is happy, I dont see why you need to tell him anything
he is building experience and qualifications for his next career move. Whenever he decides he needs one.
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YDogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. with insurance, he's better off than many.
if he enjoys what he does, that's worth something. on the other hand, I have a good buddy who was probably in that same boat 35 years ago and now at 55 or so has been trapped in the same kind of work for what seems like forever, and looking back, he's not too ecstatic. but for the time being, he has a job.
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. On average people who have degrees earn $1Mil more throughout their career
that statistic may be old, but that's how I look at it. I didn't want to go to college, but I didn't want to have to work either. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do even though it would be great for the future.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Unfortunately
I don't ever see him going back to college. He has completely no interest in it.
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'd eat Snickers bars for every meal if I could, but I need some vegetables.
But if someone really doesn't want to do something then that's the way it's going to be.
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. Ye gods those are nice benefits
I pay $120 a paycheck for health insurance, get 80 hours vacation a year (that accrues, so you don't get it all at once) and my company only matches 75% in my 401(k).

If he's in a supervisory position now, he's doing OK. You'd be surprised how far up people can move in industry if they have the right experience.
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
11. Stagnant .. hmmmm
Edited on Tue May-13-08 03:42 PM by auntAgonist
If he's happy he'll stay and should stay where he is. He has a paycheque, benefits and steady work. He has already gotten promotions and who's to say what lies ahead as far as work goes.

If and when he becomes unhappy where he is HE will make the changes he sees fit to make.

I don't think I'd be encouraging him to change jobs. He has some stability. Leave him be.

aA

edited because I can't seem to type without making errors today :hi:
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. Judging one's "doing well" based solely on income is ... well, pretty sad.
The only thing that really matters is whether he is happy and fulfilled.

If he is, then he's doing fine. If he isn't, then he isn't doing fine.

Could he do better financially? Absolutely - 22-25K is not much, even for someone without a college degree. However, in his geographic region, that might actually be a pretty good wage.

And when you say he's "stuck" at his level - why do you say that? Is he mentally retarded in some way that he has no chance to advance to supervisor or other management position some day?



I am more worried about you judging his value and his worth by your own standards and by the numbers on his paycheck, instead of letting (or trusting) him to make that decision on his own.


Should he be looking for other work? I'm of the opinion that, sure - why not - always be looking for other work. We have certain skillsets, and there's no reason that we shouldn't be out there selling those skillsets for as much as we can manage to sell them for. Unless one is truly and wondrously happy where one is, of course - being happy is the main point of being alive. I should that think where he is now, as an entry level supervisor, he's already on the management track - and should have good potential for advancement.
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TwixVoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. My only concern
is that with rising inflation it will only get harder for him. He is not good socially and has few friends. Once I am gone he may not have anyone to help him if the economy continues to go to hell in the future.

And yes, he is "stuck" at that level from what he told me. For him to move up higher in the company he has told me he will almost absolutely need a degree to even be considered which he does not have.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Outlets.
Not everybody can do their dream job. If a job pays well and allows time off, but is otherwise a semi-struggle, the time left to one's self can be devoted to hobbies or other pursuits of self-development.

In theory, that is. Some snort crack and they think it's self-fulfilling until the coroner states they died of an overdose. :(

And you're right. Supervisor experience will make him valuable in the future. It's not the best of jobs, but it can pay very well -- assuming he's good at it and knows it's not just about staffing budget and/or treating workers like dispensable diapers.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
14. I would reccommend that he takes some college courses at night to get
his feet wet. He may really enjoy them and could then go back to school. Anywhere he goes that lack of a BA is going to stop him. That is what I would do.
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Pharlo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I agree with this.
Also, have him find out if tuition reimbursement is part of the company's 'benefit' package. Have him check into evening degree programs as well. Taking a class here or there is good for him, but can make attaining the degree difficult in the long run. As a supervisor, he could probably get into an accelerated degree program.

Also, if his company does not have a formal tuition reimbursement program, and if he is seriously considering a degreed program, he can always go to HR and present the company with the program, his desire to pursue his education, benefits to the company, an agreement to stay with the company X years beyond his degree, etc. This approach will not work with every degree, but if he does decide to pursue business or another area relevant to the company, they may offer some tuition assistance. I've worked with companies who would do that for degreed programs in business, quality assurance, and engineering.

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. All good ideas.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
15. Perhaps you could offer him your support?
Seriously, offer your son your unflagging support. Without judgment, without criticism. Personally, I think it sounds like your son is doing GREAT - he's 23, self-supporting, has a full-time job that rewards him with promotions and raises. Your idea that he should be something different are simply your ideas - the reality is that your son is, by most standards, a success. Applaud him and his success, and if you find yourself worrying about his future, find a way to turn that into positive support instead of telling him you think he needs to change what he's doing. What he's doing is good, so give him your parental blessing, please.

I'm pushing 40 now and I'm doing pretty good, all things considered. But my mother, who has the best intentions, still offers her "support" by offering "advice" that I haven't asked for - and ultimately she winds up telling me she thinks I should do something different from what I am doing now.

I was once a college dropout. The best thing my mother ever did for me was to say that if the day came that I wanted to go back to college, she would be there to help me out - and I was 23. That was almost fifteen years ago - since then I've gone back to school (and she did help me with money at times), earned a graduate degree (on a full fellowship), obtained a job in my chosen career field, married, bought a home, had a child, sold our first home, profited and bought another. It boggles my mind that my mother thinks it's appropriate to advise me I need to change what I'm doing.

If you want to help your son - perhaps you can tell him that if he EVER decides he wants to go back to school (whether it's now or ten years from now), you'll support that decision, whether it's in spirit or with money. Also tell him that you're proud of him for acheiving what he has in his career without a college degree, because it signifies that he's capable of success. Perhaps you might suggest to him that if he can do this much with so little - imagine what wonders await him if he finishes his degree. Don't pressure him to abandon what he's already succeeded at - it makes you appear misguided, manipulative, and self-centered. Don't do what my momma does, please. Love your boy, unequivocally, and control your mind.
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
17. Yes he is
And you need to butt out and let him live his life. How would you have liked it if your parent had told you that you were a loser when you were 22?

Kid's got his whole life ahead of him, he's happy in what he's doing, what's the problem? Don't live through your kids - let 'em make their own decisions, their own mistakes and their own solutions.

My .02.
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
19. He's in a growth industry
College or no college, if he pays his dues and learns the ropes and has a good work ethic he can get by fairly well. Two of my younger brothers (46 and 44) have no degrees, yet they both earn around $100K, one as a Contractor and the other as a commercial ship sonar/radar technician. Given the benefits you describe and the fact he's in rural TX, he's doing fine. As he matures, and builds a good reputation, other opportunities will arise.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
21. He's still young yet
Edited on Tue May-13-08 07:39 PM by hippywife
and as long as he is happy with what he's doing and making ends meet, he's doing just fine right now. My husband and I live in a rural area and don't make much more than him combined, but we're very happy and doing what we want to do. We work to live, not live to work. :hi:

ETA: His insurance and benefits sound great and provided at a low cost. That's really a part of his pay, too.
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5LeavesLeft Donating Member (107 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
22. Sounds like he's smart enough
to do what makes him happy. Also, click and clack the tapit brothers on Car Talk on NPR both have PHDs from MIT, and left it all behind to open a garage. He's 22, I didn't graduate college until 37, I'm doing okay (though currently down-sized). He's got plenty of time to change his mind or just enjoy the rest of his life.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
23. He's making his age.
IOW, his income matches how old he is. There are a number of folks that would say that this is a good sign at his age. Sure, it'd be great if he made 4x his age, but if you figure a raise of $1k/year over the next 15, he's doing pretty well.

Plus, being with a large company has it's perks. They tend to elevate from within.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
24. "I am not sure how hard (or if) I should be encouraging my son to change careers."
I guess seeing the word "hard" makes me think I would have chosen a word besides "encouragement." Please excuse the expression, but you should definitely not nag your adult son about his job. He probably already feels the heat from your assumed expectations as well as from his wallet. It is not as though there are jobs growing on trees right now.
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harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
25. you're worried??!!
Sounds to me like he's doing great for his age. You should applaud him. Degrees aren't what they're cracked up to be. If he doesn't want to go back to school, he shouldn't. I have lots of friends with all sorts of degrees who make a lot more money than me. Just over a year ago, at age 28, I was living with my parents and working a minimum wage job. That's what my Bachelor's and Masters degrees got me. Now I'm getting a doctorate. I know that getting a doctorate won't equate me making anymore money, but it's what I enjoy doing, so I'm sticking with it. If I was making as much as your son is, and with benefits even, I'd consider myself lucky.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-13-08 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
26. He sounds very stable.
Edited on Tue May-13-08 09:05 PM by philosophie_en_rose
If he would like to get a degree, he could go part time at night. However, he could be fine on that income, as long as he's saving and not going into debt. There are law school graduates with over a hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt and no income. Your son has them beat.
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