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Confused on what's next...


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My only job I've had since graduating college in 2004 is coming to an end shortly after nearly 8 years. Our division is shutting down so I am not being fired, just laid off. I get 2 months of severance so I have some time to consider what I want to do next. I have a B.S. in IT and that has been my career to this point. I'm just not sure that is what I want to do in my next career. I've been thinking about opening a franchise (cruise planners & subway mostly), purchasing TLC properties and selling them after fixing them up, mass applying for IT positions and starting over from scratch, or even going to apprenticeship to become an electrician. If I go the IT route I will probably make the most money to start. If I go with the franchise it will take long hours and dedication to build up clientele in the first few years to eventually eclipse what I would have been making from an IT position. Buying & selling properties is something that has always interested my wife and I and in this market is worth considering. Get a place for 40k (plenty around my area), put in 15k of improvements, and sell it for 15k of profit after 3-4 months. Do that a few times a year and you have a decent income. Becoming an electrician is something I consider because it would be a good skill to add and they make pretty good money. It's something that would help with fixing up properties too. The problem is that it is a 5 year program and mostly for young kids coming out of high school.

If I was single or just had me and the wife to worry about, I would wait a few months, take some unemployment, and truly dive into what I wanted to do for the next 20+ years. Seeing as I have a 2.5 year old to worry about as well, I don't have time to sit around and think all day about what's next. Good news is that we have plenty of savings so taking a 60% pay cut if unemployment is needed for a few months won't even put a dent in our lifestyle.

To start a franchise I would need a SBA loan for the Subway. The cruise planners franchise I have enough in savings to start that without financing. Doing something you love is a great inspiration, but sometimes money is a big motivator. Another problem is I'm not sure what I really love. I know I don't love IT.

Any advice from the wise & rich people of the FFA?

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Does Subway let you open a franchise if you don't have significant debt-free cash on hand? I've always been under the impression that some chains (McDonalds comes to mind) won't let you open a franchise unless you have something like $500,000 in cash, debt-free. I don't know if those numbers are accurate and I also don't know if that applies to Subway at all. I'm guessing you know more than I do, as you seem to have researched it a bit further....just something to think about.

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I know I don't love IT.

With a degree in IT and 8 years experience it seems a waste to leave it. Is there anything IT related you would like doing? I'm a big proponent of owning your own business but could you start up an IT-related business instead of going the franchise route? If you don't want to do the hands-on stuff you can hire someone to do that.
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Subway is very inexpensive to open. That is one reason there are so many.

and they also don't have territories, like most franchises do, which is another reason there are so many.
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I understand it would seem to be a waste to give up my IT career. I started in a help desk role years ago, was promoted into a system analyst role, and recently I was working in a BA/PM role. The role I enjoyed most was the BA/PM role, but I would need more experience and formal training in order to get a similar role at another company. Most companies I've seen want 5 years experience and PMP training for a PM. A BA role is more likely, but again I only have a couple years experience and almost every company wants at least 5 years (they care less about the training for BA's). I could also go back to Tier 2 or 3 help desk role or a system analyst role, but I'd prefer not to. I would consider doing that as a temporary position / contract while trying to get accredited either as BA or PM.

I'm not sure about starting an IT business unless it was a franchise as I don't really like the idea of not having a proven track record of success. I like the idea of franchising because I know if I work hard, I will have a great chance of being successful.

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With a 2yo kid, I'd have to go with the IT job. Your life does not belong to you anymore.

I don't necessarily agree.Yes, he needs to provide for his family, but that doesn't mean he has to take the job that pays the most right now even if it means he's miserable at work. Modeling for your kids a life of passion and pursuing your dreams is valuable. And if you're happy at work, you're going to be happier at home and probably be a better dad than if you had more money but aren't much fun to be around.Provide for your family's needs (not necessarily all of their wants) and follow your passion. You only get one shot at life. Make it count.
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With a 2yo kid, I'd have to go with the IT job. Your life does not belong to you anymore.

I don't necessarily agree.Yes, he needs to provide for his family, but that doesn't mean he has to take the job that pays the most right now even if it means he's miserable at work. Modeling for your kids a life of passion and pursuing your dreams is valuable. And if you're happy at work, you're going to be happier at home and probably be a better dad than if you had more money but aren't much fun to be around.Provide for your family's needs (not necessarily all of their wants) and follow your passion. You only get one shot at life. Make it count.
The point is risk and stability. He won't be happy at work if his business is failing and his family is struggling to make ends meet. Starting your own business has a high chance of failure.
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With a 2yo kid, I'd have to go with the IT job. Your life does not belong to you anymore.

I don't necessarily agree.Yes, he needs to provide for his family, but that doesn't mean he has to take the job that pays the most right now even if it means he's miserable at work. Modeling for your kids a life of passion and pursuing your dreams is valuable. And if you're happy at work, you're going to be happier at home and probably be a better dad than if you had more money but aren't much fun to be around.Provide for your family's needs (not necessarily all of their wants) and follow your passion. You only get one shot at life. Make it count.
The point is risk and stability. He won't be happy at work if his business is failing and his family is struggling to make ends meet. Starting your own business has a high chance of failure.
Life without risks sounds pretty boring to me. He can always go back and get an IT job to pay the bills. Seems like this is a golden opportunity (severance pay, unemployment, some available time) to pursue a dream.
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With a 2yo kid, I'd have to go with the IT job. Your life does not belong to you anymore.

I don't necessarily agree.Yes, he needs to provide for his family, but that doesn't mean he has to take the job that pays the most right now even if it means he's miserable at work. Modeling for your kids a life of passion and pursuing your dreams is valuable. And if you're happy at work, you're going to be happier at home and probably be a better dad than if you had more money but aren't much fun to be around.Provide for your family's needs (not necessarily all of their wants) and follow your passion. You only get one shot at life. Make it count.
The point is risk and stability. He won't be happy at work if his business is failing and his family is struggling to make ends meet. Starting your own business has a high chance of failure.
Life without risks sounds pretty boring to me. He can always go back and get an IT job to pay the bills. Seems like this is a golden opportunity (severance pay, unemployment, some available time) to pursue a dream.
I go back and forth with the same exact thoughts internally each day. One day I want to apply for a bunch of jobs (stability/less risk) and the next day I want to research the franchise I'm going to start (passion/dream/risk).
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Does/can your wife work? That's a factor in this decision too, I would think.

Yes she has had the same job for over 10 years and is pretty stable. Makes good money for what she does, but the pay won't support the lifestyle we are living right now. To keep living the same lifestyle I don't need to be anywhere near 80k. If I was only making 40k for a couple years (which I why I considered Subway) we would be just fine because we are good with our money. We would just cut out a few things if needed. Opening one subway from my research is like giving yourself a job, but you start to make real money when you open 3-4 stores. You better love making sandwiches and working with young kids though.
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Does/can your wife work? That's a factor in this decision too, I would think.

Yes she has had the same job for over 10 years and is pretty stable. Makes good money for what she does, but the pay won't support the lifestyle we are living right now. To keep living the same lifestyle I don't need to be anywhere near 80k. If I was only making 40k for a couple years (which I why I considered Subway) we would be just fine because we are good with our money. We would just cut out a few things if needed. Opening one subway from my research is like giving yourself a job, but you start to make real money when you open 3-4 stores. You better love making sandwiches and working with young kids though.
Well, do you?
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Does/can your wife work? That's a factor in this decision too, I would think.

Yes she has had the same job for over 10 years and is pretty stable. Makes good money for what she does, but the pay won't support the lifestyle we are living right now. To keep living the same lifestyle I don't need to be anywhere near 80k. If I was only making 40k for a couple years (which I why I considered Subway) we would be just fine because we are good with our money. We would just cut out a few things if needed. Opening one subway from my research is like giving yourself a job, but you start to make real money when you open 3-4 stores. You better love making sandwiches and working with young kids though.
Well, do you?
I don't know honestly. I haven't worked at a fast food place. I haven't worked with teenagers since I was one myself. I keep telling myself if it would give my family financial freedom I would love it or I would learn to love it. I'd rather work really hard for the next 10 years and be able to provide for my family, travel, etc. than have a nice career and hope that my 401k is sufficient in 25 years.
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Get the IT job and do the house thing as a second job. If the house thing takes off, you can quit the IT and do it full time.

Oh, and if you go the franchise route, are you going to be able to do the things with your kid that are expected of fathers nowadays? Be at every sporting event or whatever? If you have to work at the Subway making sammies because someone didn't show up, you can't get to the U9 soccer championship or the Spring Concert where your daughter is singing.

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If you can meet the capital requirements, go with Dunkin' Donuts.

:lmao:

I wanted to open up a Dunkin' in LA. How is there no DD in Los Angeles? They advertise at the Staples Center, yet you can't buy them within a hundred miles. I had a goldmine plan, too. DD wanted a commitment for a minimum of 5 stores to open the LA market, and wanted a minimum $5 million net worth to qualify. There died that dream.

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Get the IT job and do the house thing as a second job. If the house thing takes off, you can quit the IT and do it full time.

Definitely some wisdom in this route. Checking something out on the side while having another income is never a bad plan.Oh, and I've worked in the restaurant world. It's been about 20 years, but I doubt much has changed. Hoping that teenagers consistently show up for work sucked. The day shift was OK, because most of those folks were "lifers", but the PM shift was a constant headache of call-offs and no-shows. I wouldn't go back to that world for anything.
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If you can meet the capital requirements, go with Dunkin' Donuts.

:lmao:

I wanted to open up a Dunkin' in LA. How is there no DD in Los Angeles? They advertise at the Staples Center, yet you can't buy them within a hundred miles. I had a goldmine plan, too. DD wanted a commitment for a minimum of 5 stores to open the LA market, and wanted a minimum $5 million net worth to qualify. There died that dream.

you should have partnered up with chet. You could put up the sweat equity and he could put up the chetbux. Better investment than those f'n cars he loves so much.
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If you can meet the capital requirements, go with Dunkin' Donuts.

:lmao:

I wanted to open up a Dunkin' in LA. How is there no DD in Los Angeles? They advertise at the Staples Center, yet you can't buy them within a hundred miles. I had a goldmine plan, too. DD wanted a commitment for a minimum of 5 stores to open the LA market, and wanted a minimum $5 million net worth to qualify. There died that dream.

I looked into it here as well and came to the same demise. :thumbdown:
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Does Subway let you open a franchise if you don't have significant debt-free cash on hand? I've always been under the impression that some chains (McDonalds comes to mind) won't let you open a franchise unless you have something like $500,000 in cash, debt-free. I don't know if those numbers are accurate and I also don't know if that applies to Subway at all. I'm guessing you know more than I do, as you seem to have researched it a bit further....just something to think about.

Subway was ~500k liquid, many others (mcd's, dunkin, starbucks) were 1-5 mill net worth. As of 2 years ago.
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Franchising can waste years of your life working for free. Had a buddy start a Quiznos and he has been in debt ever sense. I would be very cautious going this route.

Yeah, but think about all of the free sammiches. :excited:
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