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How did you start making 100k+?

How did you start making 100k+?

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  1. I signed a piece of paper. Was 19.

    Drafted in the MLB draft in the mid-2000s.

    Signing bonus was well into the six figures.

    Got hurt a few years later, and that was the end of that. Used the scholarship clause in my contract to go back to school debt free.

    Used some of that bonus money to start a business. Now, design and manufacture stuff for the nuclear industry.

  2. I worked my regular job, and then I started doing a lot of side work. Evenings and weekends. This was in 2019. I went from making 45k a year to 120k that year. I worked around 15 hours a day every day for about a year.

    I will never do that again.

  3. I finally got in with a good company at the age of 33 in 2012 with an entry-level position ($14/hr). I did well and got promoted to supervisor$16/he). Then I got promoted to director of a small branch (41k, $48.5k, $51k). Then I moved over to be the ops manager for one of our largest branches ($68k). Then, after Covid, I came back at a sales manager at that same large branch ($56k, plus commissions up to about $30k, so average about $75k-$80k). Then I got offered a job as the director of training and development for a new company started by people I worked with up till this point ( $100k).

    This whole process was from October of 2012 to December of 2021.

  4. I discovered Twitch streaming in 2012. I dropped out of college to stream full time (was going to school with my GI Bill in SF after six years in the Air Force). I stopped streaming full time (would make 60-70k a year for two years streaming) when Twitch hired me as an entry level employee (Community Manager) for $74k a year in 2014. I worked my way up, left Twitch after four years (made some money from the Amazon acquisition that I don’t touch because it’s all stock) and got into leadership roles in live streaming / creator/streamer based start ups (I handle talent operations like securing big deals for famous streamers and creating the live programs for the brands spending the money). I got my base salary up to $130k after 6 years experience and I’m about to get my first big bump in a few years which will sit me at about $170k a year (doesn’t include options and bonuses) at close to 10 years experience. I truly enjoy what I do and I put real effort in – and it has paid off! I also got lucky and the timing was right when I left the Air Force. I count my lucky stars every day and know I Forrest Gump’ed my way into this shit… I grew up pretty poor and never thought I’d see a six figure salary.

  5. I found out about a very niche job in operations in the airline industry from a mentor who is a pilot.

    The job requires certification from the FAA (a class that costs around $5-6k and gets you from zero to certified in a few weeks / months)

    Then, I got a low paying job in the regionals for about 2-3 years working my way up through the ranks to trainer. ($15 per hour to about $20 per hour)

    After two years, major airlines start to consider you for experience. I got hired with a major and am now comfortably unionized on a 12 year pay scale ending at $169,000 per year base salary (there are options for OT as well as promotions and over rides)

    Edit: look up Aircraft Dispatcher (not to be confused with Air Traffic Controller)

  6. Got lucky

    Seriously I did

    Graduated grad school in the middle of a recession and somehow snagged a job in NYC. I mean I busted my ass to find that job, but holy smokes I was lucky to find it and then get it

  7. Every time my company piles another project on, I ask them “What’s the pay bonus?” Well, if you ask enough times (and show the performance to earn it), they’ll start giving it to you.

    Last time they needed to stack another project on my desk, the “Hey, can you do this?” email came with a pay bonus already attached.

  8. Doing a lot of overtime. I work 8 hour days, 5 days a week. Then I do at least 3 more 8 hour shifts during the week or, sometimes (though rarely) 5 more 8 hour shifts in one week, which would put me at 80 hours for the week. 40 hours straight time, 40 of overtime. Do it again the next week and the next and the next. That’s 320 hours total, with 152 of them being overtime, plus a few extra hours sprinkled in due to miscellaneous junk. Anyhow, all that time and all those hours add up and that, my dear friends, is how you can guarantee yourself sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, a shitty diet and a shortened life expectancy. But the money is straight.

  9. Spent my 20’s doing labour intensive work – construction, commercial fishing, logging, etc after finishing an arts degree. While enjoying what I learned said fuck that and went back to law school. Practice in a rural area now with no competition. After 3 years was in 6 figures

  10. I left Canada.

    I never realized how under paid I was for what my skill set is.

    Randomly threw my resume at a foreign company. Had an interview, they came to me with an offer that was so stupidly big I couldn’t turn it down

  11. A little over 8 years ago I got hired as maintenance at a metallurgical coke plant. Union job, great benefits and lots of available overtime.
    I made $100k my first full year and since then I have only had 2 years where I wasn’t in the ballpark of $100k.

  12. Multiple advanced degrees, Healthcare administration worked my way up from the $40’s to where I am now at $110k grinding since 2012. But always nervous with the industry because I can see it has gotten top heavy.

  13. ​

    Here are a few other things that helped me:

    Switch jobs every 5 years or so. You only get a raise when you get a new job or job offer (you can renegotiate you salary, if you have an offer letter.)

    Be essential. Make sure you boss understand what you do and that without those things being done, he’s got a big problem. Be the only person who understand how to do these essential things.

    Find ways of doing things more efficiently. You can get a ton more done by finding ways to not do a task such as automation, going around a task to make it irrelevant, etc.. If you can work efficiently and hard, people will be floored by how much you get done. Don’t tell people you’ve automated or gotten around your work.

    Be easy to work with. This is way more important than people seem to realize. If you’re an asshole, everyone will want to be rid of you. I’ve seen plenty of talented people fuck up their careers by being assholes. You’re not there to be yourself. You’re there to play a role. Every job is an acting job.

    Volunteer for tasks. You boss will love you.

    Be reliable. Hugely important. When you say you will get something done, find a way to make sure, come hell or high water, that it is done.

    Deliberately Build relationships. Connections really help. You want lots of people to like you and trust you.

    Be patient. It takes years to get promotions.

    Go into a field you’re naturally good at. Talent doesn’t help as much as hard work and likability but it does matter.

    I managed to do this without averaging more than 40 hours per week, on average. If you add the studying, I guess it was like 50 hours/week.

  14. Started from the bottom now we’re here.

    Unless you have that one genius business idea or highly specialized trained in a field like medicine or engineering, you gotta grind your way to the top of a chosen field.

    I will say that 100K is a very good salary, but it is not near as much as it used to be due to inflation.

  15. Got recruited to a tech company.
    25k base + 10k commission.

    Worked my way to a few promotions to 45k + 15k.

    Another promotion: 75k + 15k

    Another promotion about 180k total

    Another promotion and a nerve-wracking switch to sales, on pace for about 800k this year with (hopefully) my investments getting me over the $1m mark.

    Hoping to make the $1m mark more normal moving forward but it’s still a trip to me.

    All happened between 23-32

  16. Joined the military, saved a lot of tax free deployment money, got Blown up a few times and awarded some disability pay, got out and bought two rentals with saved money (2009, so the housing market was garbage and everything was cheap), bought an old house (2012, market was still trash) for dirt cheap and fixed it up, working as a carpenter, bought cheap land to build house on, logged cheap land and sold logs, sold the old house in peak of market (2020) to pay cash to build new house, did a lot of side jobs for cash to help pay for shit. Add all that up and that’s how I make my living. I’m 35, I make around $120-140k a year depending on what jobs I work. Last year we worked almost 9mo doing prevailing wage jobs so I made a lot more. Making a comfortable living isn’t always a 40hr a week job, degree, overtime, etc. I always thought that there’s a million ways to make a living and more variety is better for me. End of ramble.

  17. I quit my terrible job to become a web developer after taking a course. It was the greatest mistake I ever made.

    I couldn’t find any work. I started panicking and stressing as bills piled up. I had no previous experience or work to show. I decided to charge bare minimum to make sites for mom and pop shops as portfolio pieces. But couldn’t find any customers because they also wanted to see my past work, which I didn’t have.

    At the time I was dating a woman who had an elementary school aged kid. His school had a very outdated site. I decided to just rebuild it on my own to show it as a side by side comparison to potential customers. When I finished I was impressed with the results and decided to show it to the school principal in case they wanted it. She loved it but told me she can’t make the decision, it would be up to the pta but even they had limited funds. Pta said the same. So I worked out a deal to give it to them for free in exchange for them advertising the new site along with my name in the flyers they sent home with kids.

    This brought tons of clients from parents who needed sites for everything from personal services to political stuff… Very random and diverse work came my way. After a year of this (brining in about 60k from these jobs, but working about 12 hour days, 7 days a week) I had enough work, references and experience to restart applying for actual salaried positions and landed my first corporate job.

  18. Where I live you work in trades you can make 70k a year hourly. Being a contractor you can make way more depending on how much you wanna work. I happen to start a trade and got lucky and got a job at a utility company which is hard to get into making over 100k a year minimum plus whatever overtime during the year. It’s a 7:30-4 job

  19. I got into network security when people were still trying to figure computers out. My salary increased progressively as people kept getting hacked. Now I’m old and burned out, but make lots of money. Joy.

  20. I’ll preface this with I don’t but the opportunity is there if I want it. I value my time with my family more.

    My base pay is 50k / year, 21 / hr. My company works all over the country. We get paid to travel and we have corporate cards to travel on. I work a 24 on 24 off 24 on 5 days off schedule. We get a $500 bonus for picking up a call in or anything else with a “short term notice.” Plus it’s overtime. I make roughly $1200 for picking a single extra shift up.

    Day 1, work. Day 2, off. Day 3, work. Day 4, travel to another state (Paid OT from time I leave the house to the time I check in at the hotel). Day 5 work (All OT + bonuses). Day 6, travel to another state (this is usually uncommon though, usually ends up as a day off) (OT again). Day 7, work ( more OT and bonuses). Day 8, travel home (paid until I get to my door). Day 9, start over.

    We have people that regularly travel 12 hours on their off days. If I want to work a shift in AZ, I just have to book my travel and notify my manager.

    So given the above numbers it looks like this. (24×21) (off) (16×21 + 8×32 (OT over 40 hours)) (12×32) (24×32 + 500) (off) (24×32 + 500) (12×32). 120 hours worked. 40 FT 80 OT + $1000. Ends up being like 5400 over 8 days.

    If you worked like this the whole time, you’re looking at 20ish a month.

    We have people that hit 6 figures in roughly 6 months.

  21. Fast track:

    1. YouTube: “how to build iOS/Android Apps”
    2. Build a small app and put it on either store
    3. Apply to JR level jobs at small consulting firms
    4. Work SMART

    A lot of engineers I know making 100k+ learned from YouTube.

  22. Climbed the corporate ladder gradually increasing my income with cost of living increases, promotions and job changes.

    I was always told about how much more others were making but have since seen salary charts and can honestly say that they were full of shit.

    A word of warning to those in the 30 and under age group who are making good coin. If you are not a lawyer, doctor or accountant your 100+ salary is at risk of going 50%. Go easy on your demands.

  23. I think changing jobs frequently and getting an MBA was what really made it possible for me. I was up to making $99k ~4-5 years after finishing the program and had been at two jobs in that time frame. I left the job making $99k to move to Hawaii where I didn’t have a job lined up. The job I ended up taking in Hawaii paid $77k. That’s one of the the messed up things about Hawaii, the COL is about double and the salaries are lower. We moved back from Hawaii after about 18 months so I could start a new job I had landed making ~$104k. I worked that job for about 18 months until I was recruited away to a “better” job where I was making close to $120k when it ended. I am now making about 2/3 to 3/4 of that depending on bonuses and how you do the math, like do you consider that I am saving ~$6k from not commuting. That doesn’t take into account that I have over a full month (34) of full days (24 hour) of time back under my control because I am WFM instead of commuting. I did the math. I would have to go look at the spreadsheet to remember exactly, but I make about the same per hour now WFM at a salary of $80k that I did going to an office at $120k, when all the time spent is considered. It wasn’t easy to decide to take a lower salary and a less important sounding title in exchange for working fully remote. I don’t regret the decision at all. My observation about getting paid more was that it was compensation for dealing with worse and worse personalities. It just wasn’t worth it to me because I am an empathetic person and negative/nasty people and environments weigh heavily on me. Some of the the companies I worked for had really toxic cultures, so it could be a totally different story in different circumstances. Do I miss having the extra money? Yes, but I did the math beforehand and knew that I would still have more than enough to live happily on, so it’s just a matter of whether I want to trade more of my time for more money. YOLO.

  24. Believe it or not, started at 55k working for a General contractor in NYC. Eventually worked my way up to 140k in 3 years. Feels weird typing that out but working twice as hard as ur peers works.

  25. I took a trade working in O&G. Got my ticket and worked up to foreman than general foreman now I am a superintendent. I make $79 an hour and work 60+ hours a week (I don’t get OT all hours are straight time) with little to no time off the last 2 years. I am burnt out now but have a couple weeks off for Christmas and a vacation in February so things are looking better in that regard.
    As a journeyman I was making just under $100k a year, one year just over. Once I became a Forman I jumped to about 150k now about 210k+ as a super. I have little free time and no way I could have kids but I don’t want kids anyways.

  26. Started with a cable company at $17hr. No degree. Company trained. Manual labor. Promoted aggressively by hitting my metrics. Now making network blueprints. Took 7yrs. 40hrs a week.

    Guidance counselor never said: “you can go to college and be an engineer, start a business or just go put in an app at the cable company.” Lol.

    I’d suggest this to anyone who has a kid who isn’t good at school. You literally just have to put in an application and be ambitious when opportunity presents itself. No training, degree or prior experience needed.

  27. Luck, belief, and discipline. Raised in a low income household, I became obsessed in my 20s with becoming wealthy.

    My first jobs after college paid me 50K or so. I focused on doing them well and in building fundamental skills. However they didn’t unlock a path to wealth. I saw opportunities and roles opening for others and decided I needed more credibility in terms of education in order to put myself on the right path.

    So I killed myself to get a great score on grad school tests and to create a compelling application. One of my strengths was that while i irrationally believed I could do anything I wanted, I felt deeply that I was less talented than others and so needed to put in twice the work.

    After grad school I got a job paying about 150k + bonus. I looked for mentors and others to help me grow. I’ve kept the same mindset and discipline and now make about $500K/year.

    This all comes at a cost. While I don’t at all regret my choices, I see the costs. I’m great at short term relationships but I’ve had to sacrifice longer term/deeper relationships (you’re not fun to spend time with if you’re working all the time and also super intense/focused)

  28. I started getting up 3 hours earlier to hit the gym. I was done with errands and the gym by 9am. I was then able to be 1st present at the banks, city occupational offices etc by 930am. I started a property management business with credit cards. I was approved for a business loan 90 days after that and bought a duplex. I did all the work by myself in the duplex. Floors,painting, drywall repair etc. I saved enough after 8 months for the down-payment on additional property. I completed all the paperwork for approval of government supported tenants. I rented out the second property I purchased in 2 days. I spent every spare penny on improvements to the property I owned. The current tenants ALL wanted to stay but I wanted to upgrade the floors. I hired a flooring company and put in very nice tile. After the floors were completed I raised the rent by 450 for each unit and they rented the 1st weekend open house. I did the same to the other units and my cash flow was now significantly higher than my expenses. I bought a truck and started buying old houses. I was able to retire from pretty much everything but collecting rent within 36 months.

  29. No degree here. I started as a temp help desk in a pharma company. Hired FT at $51k. Worked my way up to $90k through promotions in the help desk and then becoming the admin/developer of the ticketing system. This was over 6 years. Hit the ceiling there and decided to take a job with a gov contractor and made $115k base. This was in 2012.

    Edit: My advice – I said “yes” to a lot of things even when the answer was no. If I didn’t know something, I learned it. I researched and found the answer and figured out how to do things. A lot of the opportunities I had came from me just hearing people out and exploring opportunities; even if they sound like they’re not a good fit.

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