Overemployed Gen-Z Worker Wants to Achieve FIRE in 30s; Downsides

Overemployed Gen-Z Worker Wants to Achieve FIRE in 30s; Downsides

Getty Images; Chelsea Jia Feng/BI

  • Gen Z graduate Jane started working two jobs in college to pay for her rent and save for a mortgage.
  • She told Business Insider being over-employed has a detrimental impact on her health and well-being.
  • Jane said working hard is worth it if she can achieve FIRE by her early 30s.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jane, a 25-year-old over-employed worker in Canada. She asked to use only her first name for privacy reasons. Business Insider has verified her identity and employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I work two jobs a day. The first is my 9-to-5, and after that, I work in customer service until 10 p.m. I work twice as hard now so I can stop working earlier. My goal is to retire early, hopefully in my 30s.

I started working two jobs while I was finishing my sociology and business major in college in 2021.

There were so many remote opportunities during and following COVID-19. If I were having to commute between two jobs, I don’t think I’d be doing this.

I was influenced by the FIRE community

I came across the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early) on Reddit. I started documenting my FIRE journey on TikTok. I want to show there’s a different path to retiring at 65.

My logic is to front-load my investing to my 20s and hope it pays off in the future. I want to be financially independent so that I can become “work-optional.” I think that, in this economic climate, completely retiring and never making money again may no longer be possible.

But it might mean that I can take career breaks or have periods of life when I can cut back on work.

In college, I worked up to 40 hours alongside a 9-to-5

When I first started working two jobs in college, one was a 9-to-5 in marketing, and the other was in customer service, which I still have. Back then, I’d spend between 30 and 40 hours a week doing that on top of the 9-5. I book appointments for people. If they have an issue with their furnace or their toilet, I’d book a technician or a plumber. It’s less stressful than marketing, where sometimes I worry about the projects overnight.

I also had a lot of homework. My marketing job was flexible, so I could do my college work during my lunch breaks or quiet periods. In reality, a remote office job is rarely 40 hours a week.

I had physical symptoms of stress

I was incredibly stressed during that period. I was determined to keep up seeing my friends and go to the gym too, so I sacrificed my sleep. I slept between four and six hours a night.

I had a permanent headache. It was really difficult.

I was renting, and I felt like I needed to prove that I could keep making my rental payments. I also wanted to buy a property, and having the income meant I could secure a mortgage in 2021. Having the FIRE mentality helped me push through.

I got all my schoolwork done, but it did take away from my college experience in some ways. If I’d had more time, I would’ve cared more about my major. But, investing in a property at that time was beneficial. Looking back, it was worth the trade-off.

I kept up my 2 jobs after college

It felt natural to continue working two jobs after graduating from college in 2022.

If I couldn’t start out with a high-paying job like people going into STEM jobs, the least I could do is work harder.

I landed a new job as a marketing specialist, which was also 9-to-5. I kept up my customer service job, working 65 hours over two weeks. I did that from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on the weekends.

I’d take two days off a week from my second job. Working on weekends sucked. I really wanted one day a week to lie in. But I don’t find it hard to switch between the two jobs. I don’t find customer service as mentally draining as marketing. It’s not stressful, it’s just time-consuming.

I live frugally

I have a weird relationship with money, which I’m trying to work on. I earned 47,000 Canadian dollars so far this year from both jobs, which is around $34,000, plus commission, which varies. I save about 70% of that a month. I invest most of my savings. It’s not for everyone, but it was important to me that I became financially literate in my 20s and was able to start investing early.

I live at home with my family too, and rent out the property I bought in college.

When I’m not spending money, I feel stingy. But when I do spend it, I feel guilty. Instead of buying lunch or a drink with dinner, I feel like I should save money for bigger things.

I struggle to keep up with hobbies

I used to go rock climbing and paint, but I don’t have time for hobbies. I try to see my friends when I have evenings or weekends off. But after working all day, I often just want to stay at home and decompress. I could go to the gym or take a walk at lunch, but I often want to nap instead or play on my phone. I just want to do something passive.

When the sun goes down at 6 p.m. in winter, I’ve had days where I look out of the window and realize I’ve had no sun or exercise all day.

To give myself more time to go outside and exercise, I reduced my customer service job hours to 55 hours over two weeks and stopped working Sundays in May. I’m still burned out, though.

My family is proud of my ambition, but I think they’d prefer I didn’t work so hard. Living at home, they can see how it affects me.

There are also so many smart people in my community. I feel pressure to keep up. My older brother is quite accomplished, so a little of the pressure I feel comes from comparing myself to him.

My drive to continue outweighs my burnout. I know it’s not good for my physical and mental health or my sleep, but I’m so focused on my goal that I’m willing to sacrifice that for a few more years.

If you work two full-time jobs and would like to share your story, email Ella Hopkins at [email protected].

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Source Link: https://www.businessinsider.com/worker-overemployed-remote-jobs-retire-30s-fire-stressed-2024-6?amp

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