Needing An Exit Level Income On An Entry Level Job

Here’s what I wake up each day trying to figure out: how to make more money.

Okay. When you’re finished laughing, read on.

See, I did the dumbest, but also the best thing. I left my job when my second child was one, and stayed home for 16 years, until my ex decided to become my ex. At that point, it was back to the work force. But I didn’t need just any old job. I needed an exit level income at an entry level job.

I am sitting here now contemplating the enormity of that. I am also eating Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies,

Here’s what happened in the 17 years I was out of the work force: the internet.

I wish I was kidding when I say I left my job the week the fax machine was installed. The staff stood around that new, odd looking phone-machine and stared. So, you just dial a number, and insert the paper, and it sends all that information OVER THE PHONE LINE, to another person? Huh. Amazing.

We were excited as the trainer from the fax company explained how to use the new technology.  The fax was given a place of honor right outside my office door, on an old desk, that was mostly covered with stacks of outdated magazines. That way it was accessible to everyone. I was actually very nervous to try it, and sort of glad that my last day was the next day. That meant I didn’t have to learn how to use something that was so obviously complicated.

Let’s call it a foreshadowing of things to come, because when I walked back in that work door, I was faced with smart phones, tablets, IPADs, and virtual everything.

Here’s the facts:

1. Worst market in years to get a job in.

2. I’m 55.

3. Technology that somehow my grandchildren can comprehend, but I am lost.

4. Competing for jobs with 20 somethings who aren’t paying college tuition for their youngest kids.

5. Wondering how long I can work before the health just goes. (So far, so good, on that one, but these Thin Mints are probably not helping.)

6. Wishing filling out job applications wasn’t an on-line thing because honestly, I can barely see the questions on the screen.

7. Wishing I had gone to trade school, and skipped the whole Furman college thing. I paid Carlos, the plumber, 100 dollars for about 15 minutes of work. I was happy to do so. His service was appreciated.

Here’s what I’m learning. Earning money is not easy. Like my dad said, (and many others), “Money does not grow on trees.” No, it does not. And, evidently it never has. It must have been as hard for my parents to earn money as it is for me, now.

But, I wonder if I am smart enough to beat the system? Is there really another way than to just begin?

I have the entry level job. So, here’s hoping it leads to the next job, and then the next, and the next. Until what? Until I have an exit level income, so I can exit the workforce, again.

I should probably point out that I’ll be about 80, by then. And likely, exiting more than just the workforce.