Episode-323- Listener Questions 11-23-03 — 3 Comments

  1. Your rIght Jack about the grad school thing.A friend of mine Jim got a degree after high school.Hated his job at 40 years old went back to school and got a second degree now he owns his own home and has a nice car and is doing well.The thing he told me is the same as you said you will always have your first choice of work to fall back on. And no matter how much we may not like it there will always be someone hungry or sick so they will always be a job in that line of work.

  2. Good show and thanks for answering my question about land.

    Some input for the person who asked about getting an advanced engineering degree. Jack’s advice about being passionate about what you do is especially relevant in a technical discipline when you move up the technical ladder. The more advanced your degree, the more specialized you tend to become. The result is that you get into a certain niche area and wind up staying in that area – if you discover 10 years into it that you really don’t like it, you’ll have trouble moving to another area (within the engineering community anyway). I have friends who are semicondcutor engineers – they’d have a really tough time transitioning to the aerospace industry, and vice versa, b/c the particular knowledge base and skillset acquired become increasingly siloed the longer you stay in a given industry/area. I think that, in general, the more education you get the better off you are just make sure it’s in something that truly interests you. If you have digested all this and are still ready to go get an advanced degree in some engineering discipline I’d recommend either chemcial engineering or materials science, especially if you’re a hands-on person (which you should be as an engineer – the best ones always are!). Learn as much about materials characterization and processes as you can. At the end of the day we still need to make stuff in this country and there will always be the problems associated with such endeavors – you’ll be the one going out to solve those problems and with a broad knowledge base of processing and characterization can take your pick from many industries – green energy, pharmceutical, aerospace, general manufacturing, etc.

  3. Great show, Jack. I could tell that you were really jazzed today about the questions. I wanted to let you know that my kids (ages 9 and 5) are also TSP listeners, and they even sing along with your theme song when they hear us start up the show.

    RE: Buying foreclosed property.. Our first place was a foreclosed property — a beautiful brick home that the owner forfeited on the loan. After the foreclosure, he came back and destroyed the place.. he tore out the flooring, smashed holes in the walls, twisted the bathroom fixtures off at the slab (which was a major issue as you can imagine), then to top it all off, he hooked his pickup to the back deck and pulled it off, along with all of the bricks on the back wall. We got the house for a song, and with a little money and a lot of sweat-equity, it turned into a really lovely place. But there were unresolved tax issues that we didn’t discover until 3 years into ownership, plus we always worried that this crazy guy might come back. So buyers should keep that in mind before you buy these problem properties.. a great deal can turn into more issues than you really want to deal with.

    And I absolutely loved your talk on ‘finding your passion’. I am still on the hunt for mine, and you are right, it’s a lot of work just identifying it! My husband and I are now looking at our shared hobbies and passions to discover how we can work together towards the common goal of self-sufficiency and independence.. and maybe find a way to make a living at it. We have no idea what may come of it, but we’re enjoying the journey.

    Keep up the great work,