We Want Guac | Financial Independence for Gen Z | EP 268

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Amy a.k.a Darcy from We Want Guac

What You'll Get Out Of Today's Show

  • Optimize your finances during your 20s, no matter what your income is, and build significant wealth. But what are your options when working an entry-level job when you have a large amount of student loan debt?
  • Amy's first job out of college was an entry-level position earning $30,000. By the age of 25 had a $100,000 net worth and has tripled her salary in the last few years by learning how to market herself.
  • The average cost of a four-year college degree in 2019 is $122,000. Amy was fortunate to receive enough scholarships, work earnings, and help from her parents to pay for college graduated with degrees in Communications and International Relations without any student loan debt.
  • She graduated without any job offers and her only source of income came from waitressing which wasn't enough to live in Boston on. After a couple of months, she contacted a temp agency and got a job earning $15 an hour.
  • Nearing the end of college, she saw that recent graduates weren't getting the jobs they had hoped to get. She calls that time her “Year of Fear” because she didn't have much in savings and terrified of what was going to happen. For the rest of the year, she continued to work full time at her temp job and waitressing on the weekends.
  • With the benefit of hindsight, she realizes she has an average amount of skills as anyone else coming out of college, which is inadequate for the realities of today.
  • The ultimate goal of going to college is to graduate and get a well-paying job. But the focus is on grades and prerequisites, not how to find mentors, write a resume that resonates with people, or navigate the application process to get the jobs you actually want. The way the job application process works now is broken
  • While there may not have been any skill Amy believes would have initially made landing a job easier, it would have helped to find people who agreed to meet and interview her in the first place.
  • After submitting resume after resume to company websites and since times out of ten hearing nothing, Amy emphasizes flipping the script and having the companies and recruiters come to you.
  • Amy was able to go from $30,000 to $93,000 a year by learning how to market herself on LinkedIn so that people found her.
  • What makes you stand out and how can you improve your chances?
  • The first step is to decide what it is that you want. If you are marketing to everybody, then you are marketing to nobody.
  • Next, start looking at the job positions and titles that you want, study the job applications for those positions, the job requirements, descriptions, and language used.
  • Using that verbiage in your resume or LinkedIn profile allows hiring managers to see that you are perfect for the role and HR departments who use algorithms to narrow down the prospects, which relies on keywords that your resume or profile will likely also have.
  • It can be difficult to figure out what you want at the age of 20. Amy chose a degree in Communications because it could apply to almost anything she wanted. Though she says to figure out what it is you want, figuring out what you want for just the next couple of years is fine. You can always pivot, but you just need a direction for your resume.
  • Employers don't generally look for someone well-rounded, instead, they are looking to fill a specific need. Show you can fill that need and you're more likely to be hired.
  • The salary increase she received for her second job out of college was pushed by the recruiter Amy was working with who found her on LinkedIn.
  • Amy continued to use the same tactics with her next move but added in extras that may not have been relevant, like her HTML skills. That one change opened the door with recruiters looking for marketers who also understood coding. Landing that job bumped her salary up to $86,000.
  • Answering the question, “What do you do?”, always results in a simple answer, like Marketing, not what you actually do or what skills you possess.
  • When helping out a friend earlier this year with his resume, Amy noticed that the skills section of his resume didn't speak directly to his particular skill set for the jobs he wanted.
  • You don't have to be world-class at anything, but with the right variety of skills, you can stand out because there are fewer people who have that intersection of skills.
  • Earlier this year, Amy started her blog, We Want Guac, after looking at different finance blogs while trying to figure out what to do with her new and higher salary. Building the blog has continued to add to her talent stack.
  • Amy says that in 2016 she was the ultimate cheapskate, attending events to take advantage of the free food, and ordering small items when eating out with friends. The salary increases enabled a shift in mindset from deprivation to one of abundance.
  • Part of her mindset shift came out of creating a budget. Her budget didn't mean restricting herself from spending. Instead, the numbers showed her the limits could be more than she expected and it would be okay if she did spend more. It gave her permission to spend more on herself, leave more in tips, and give to charity.
  • Like the saying by Jocko Willink, discipline equals freedom. Amy's budget was the discipline that gave her the freedom to see her limits could be bigger and move beyond a scarcity mindset.
  • The goal of We Want Guac is to help people better understand how to manage their money.
  • When doing the math, Amy calculated that a 25-year-old with $65,000 invested in an index fund can retire with $1,000,000 at the age of 65 without ever investing another penny. With a net worth of $100,000, she figured she could retire at 50, and if she continued to save, she could retire in her 40s or even her 30s.
  • Amys says having $100,000 saved in your 20s makes an incredible difference. It is five figures of investment growth during bull markets and it is security in downturns.

Resources Mentioned In Today's Conversation

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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