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Pursuing your dream job

In 2020, Cam gave up her corporate job in tech sales to pursue her dream of modeling and acting. She’s not alone. In fact, 57% of Gen Z said they believed they could make a living as an online content creator and influencer, according to a survey by Morning Consult.

Meanwhile, 81% of millennials believed they could eventually land their dream job one day, according to a survey by Hired.

Hammer admitted this type of pursuit is admirable. In fact, he claimed to know this first-hand: his dream job was to become a successful content creator on YouTube. However, he said he wouldn’t have attempted this career if his finances had been unstable or if he’d been swimming in debt like Cam.

“I want you to live the dream,” he told her. “I want everyone to live the dream. But there’s also being a responsible adult.”

Cam has several credit cards in collections. Meanwhile, she’s fallen behind on her mortgage payments of $1,000 a month.

Cam is also behind on monthly payments for her $8,900 auto loan for a vehicle that was purchased just before she’d left her corporate job.

Hammer said her decision to quit a tech job was an example of bad timing. The pandemic created a boom in tech hiring.

Tech giants such as Amazon, Meta and Snap nearly doubled their workforce between 2019 and 2022. Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple and Salesforce also ramped up hiring considerably during this period. “They couldn’t get jobs out quick enough!” Hammer said.

Maintaining her job could have allowed Cam to avoid debt and perhaps create a cushion of cash that would have allowed her to pursue her dream job a few years down the road. Hammer said it’s not too late to salvage the situation, though.

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Holding down a 9-to-5 job

Hammer thinks Cam can quickly turn her situation around by getting a steady 9-to-5 job to meet her debt obligations. He suggested she make a tight budget to save money and stay on top of her monthly bills.

Going back into the world of tech sales would be ideal. Sales representatives at technology companies in Austin make an average salary of $74,540 according to Zip Recruiter. Some can even access bonuses and commissions to boost annual income.

However, even a minimum wage job would pay more than Cam’s current modeling assignments and side hustles. Earning just $15 an hour at a fast food restaurant for 40 hours a week would deliver $31,200 in annual income, according to Hammer’s calculations.

Cam, however, is reluctant to do this. “My time is worth more,” she told Hammer, to which he responded, “No it’s not. If it was, it would be paying for this [debt]... Beggars can’t be choosers.”


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About the Author

Vishesh Raisinghani

Vishesh Raisinghani

Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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