No random drug tests - Got $$ for school, what should I do??

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John Smith in Newberg, Oregon

9 months ago

Hi, I could use some advice. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my life. Right now I work for labor ready, I ride my motorcycle out to different worksites, I like the flexibility and freedom. Pay just isn't so good.

I'll start with some details; I've got $23,000-$100,000+ to spend on education. No debt. I'm in my early 20's. I've got uh.. I think 5 misdemeanors on my record, including theft, driving 35mph over, trespassing.. I'm not a thief, I just made a bad decision trying to reclaim my property - but I'm sure this will affect my employability.

I want to make a decision on education that will leave me happy and successful. In order to be happy, I must be free - I want to be able to smoke weed in my free time - no random drug testing [non negotiable]. So that puts being a tug boat captain or operating machinery out of the question.

I want to make decent money, but I'm not going after the big bucks. Mostly, I want a quick education [less than 4 years to start] that will _reliably_ get me employment. I want it to be flexible, so I can choose contracts when I want, then take however much time off I want. I want to be valuable enough to my employer that it doesn't matter what I do in my free time [blazing ganja], or maybe just in the right position so it doesn't matter. I would enjoy traveling all over the country, or even all over the world. No kids, no wife, will travel. I don't want to keep a regular 9-5 schedule either. I don't need much money to live comfortably.

I have been considering the following: Welder, diesel mechanic, radio and/or wind tower technician, equipment repair, machinist. I can fix computers, very savvy but don't know how to code. I don't want a job that involves sitting in an office. Maybe I could travel around to fix computers for big companies? Eventually I will be a business owner. For now, I need something that will reliably make me $30+ grand a year to start and not leave me miserable.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

John Smith in Newberg, Oregon said: Hi, I could use some advice. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my life. Right now I work for labor ready, I ride my motorcycle out to different worksites, I like the flexibility and freedom. Pay just isn't so good.

I'll start with some details; I've got $23,000-$100,000+ to spend on education. No debt. I'm in my early 20's. I've got uh.. I think 5 misdemeanors on my record, including theft, driving 35mph over, trespassing.. I'm not a thief, I just made a bad decision trying to reclaim my property - but I'm sure this will affect my employability.

I want to make a decision on education that will leave me happy and successful. In order to be happy, I must be free - I want to be able to smoke weed in my free time - no random drug testing [non negotiable]. So that puts being a tug boat captain or operating machinery out of the question.

I have been considering the following: Welder, diesel mechanic, radio and/or wind tower technician, equipment repair, machinist. I can fix computers, very savvy but don't know how to code. I don't want a job that involves sitting in an office. Maybe I could travel around to fix computers for big companies? Eventually I will be a business owner. For now, I need something that will reliably make me $30+ grand a year to start and not leave me miserable.

Easy. Carnival worker in Romania. Yup, that ticks off all your boxes.

Seriously, to do want you want, you either start your own business here or you leave the country. Don't say no. 10 million Americans now file taxes from foreign addresses.

www.escapeartist.com/

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eagertofly in Belfast, United Kingdom

9 months ago

If you want to travel in different countries then weed is out. As far as welding well many employers require drug tests, anyway I am not sure if this post is taking the piss as is said in the north or for real. I would suggest trying for a job on the oil fields of Alaska or North Dakota but they also test for weed and you would work 12 hours on and 12 hours off 3-6 weeks at a time. Anyway good luck to you, I suppose if you learned to play a guitar you could travel and sing and make money that way. Good luck to you and your free wheeling life style.

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eagertofly in Belfast, United Kingdom

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Easy. Carnival worker in Romania. Yup, that ticks off all your boxes.

Seriously, to do want you want, you either start your own business here or you leave the country. Don't say no. 10 million Americans now file taxes from foreign addresses.

www.escapeartist.com/

Raises hand as one of those ten million lolol :)

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John Smith in Newberg, Oregon

9 months ago

Hey, thanks for the escapeartist link, I've been seriously considering leaving the USA. Don't want to be a carnival worker though haha. This post is for real, eagertofly.

Ok, so I'll start my own business and eventually leave the country. For now, I want to make some decent money, soon. Without being drug tested randomly or spending forever in school. I'm sure it can be done. I've been thinking about it for 10 years now.

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iamkeene

9 months ago

Couple of things:

Get a book on beginner code, and a computer (laptop if you travel) and practice. See if you like it. If you do, keep practicing. Once you get to a level where you think you're good at writing programs, look at other peoples code, and find ways to improve it, modify it, or fix it.

School is great - but if you want to learn things, just learn things. Learning takes dedication from YOU, so make a plan and stay with it. School is for the piece of paper that says you paid money to get that piece of paper. There are a lot of free online classes where you can get help from people with the knowledge you want. Khan Academy is just one of those places, do an internet search for more.

Nothing is easy. The life and job you describe is HARD- you have to put a lot of time and effort to get that level of freedom in your career and life.
I'd look at investing, or stock market trading, see if it might be something you can do. Learn as much as you can BEFORE you spend any money.

I hope it works out for you.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

John Smith in Newberg, Oregon said: Hey, thanks for the escapeartist link, I've been seriously considering leaving the USA. Don't want to be a carnival worker though haha. This post is for real, eagertofly.

Ok, so I'll start my own business and eventually leave the country. For now, I want to make some decent money, soon. Without being drug tested randomly or spending forever in school. I'm sure it can be done. I've been thinking about it for 10 years now.

Pass on all the media touted "Retirement Havens". By the time, they get ahold of it, it is already too late.

Some places like Costa Rica, Belize and parts of Mexico, Spanish is already a second language and property values are through the roof.

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Reanna in Saint Louis, Missouri

9 months ago

I commend you on trying to find a career that fits your lifestyle. The unfortunate thing about all the jobs you listed is that they will drug test. My boyfriend climbed cell towers while he was going to school. It was more on the job training, and he had done it for a few years. If his company suspected someone was using drugs they would "randomly" test that person.

Unfortunately there is not much out there for the open pot enthusiast. Honestly I'd say computers would be your best route. Most companies don't test the person behind the desk.

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jenab in Austin, Texas

9 months ago

John Smith in Newberg, Oregon said: I like the flexibility and freedom. Pay just isn't so good.

I think 5 misdemeanors on my record, including theft

I want to be able to smoke weed in my free time - no random drug testing [non negotiable].

Are you familiar with the wanting cheap, fast, and easy, but you can only pick two conundrum? That applies most of the time to flexible/itinerant, high paying, drug free/criminal record friendly. I'm sure there are some opportunities out there, but they are likely going to be physically exhausting.

Don't count on field tech support work; background checks are a requirement, and drug screens are usually required. Anything where you're accessing client data or protected systems isn't likely going to be an option for you (which includes a lot of coding gigs, and even some on-site repair work that doesn't involve computers).

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

jenab in Austin, Texas said: Are you familiar with the wanting cheap, fast, and easy, but you can only pick two conundrum?

In marketing we say, you can have:

1 The best product.
2.The best price.
3.The best customer service.

Pick two our of the three.

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jenab in Austin, Texas

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Pass on all the media touted "Retirement Havens". By the time, they get ahold of it, it is already too late.

Some places like Costa Rica, Belize and parts of Mexico, Spanish is already a second language and property values are through the roof.

Pass on any place that gets a "Best" listing; everyone else has seen them and will flock there (whether it's a retirement haven, best/cheapest/safest place to be, or even a restaurant).

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

jenab in Austin, Texas said: Pass on any place that gets a "Best" listing; everyone else has seen them and will flock there (whether it's a retirement haven, best/cheapest/safest place to be, or even a restaurant).

Yup! By the time it hits the papers, its old news.

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Riot in Massachusetts

9 months ago

I don't know that banking on avoiding drug tests is a great idea. Even if an employer doesn't currently test, there is nothing stopping them from doing so in the future.

There are three options for you that I can think of off the top of my head:

1) Take the money and just dump it in an index-tracking mutual fund. This is not without risk, but I think that it's the least risky of my three ideas. In 40 years, your $100k would be a little over $2million, assuming a moderate rate of return. Then you can just continue living off your current income and try to save more along the way. ($2million won't go as far in 40 years as it will today, but it's still a nice chunk of cash.)

2) Try to find a 2-year degree or certificate related to your current trade. (I assume you work a trade, as you mention traveling to "worksites.") You already know the business, so you'll know if you are likely to get drug tested or not, and they apparently don't care about your past.

3) Start a business. Most small businesses fail, but if yours doesn't, you can guarantee that you'll never test yourself. As an idea, consignment shops aren't terribly hard to run. I would probably stay away from franchises unless you came into enough money to open a bunch of them.

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Riot in Massachusetts

9 months ago

eagertofly in Belfast, United Kingdom said: If you want to travel in different countries then weed is out. As far as welding well many employers require drug tests, anyway I am not sure if this post is taking the piss as is said in the north or for real. I would suggest trying for a job on the oil fields of Alaska or North Dakota but they also test for weed and you would work 12 hours on and 12 hours off 3-6 weeks at a time. Anyway good luck to you, I suppose if you learned to play a guitar you could travel and sing and make money that way. Good luck to you and your free wheeling life style.

Do you know if the North Dakota oil fields are still strapped for workers? I remember reading that when they started to boom a couple of years ago, a TON of people rushed out there. People were living in their cars or motels because there wasn't enough housing built. To me, that sounds like it could very well be saturated today.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

9 months ago

Get a 2 year degree in Electronics and get a job repairing medical equipment for a major manufacturer doing field service. Easy job that can't be outsourced and you stay clean.

I know GE Healthcare has paid internships available you can apply for.

My nephew repairs CT and MRI equipment and was mulit vendor trained on Philips, Siemens and Toshiba imaging equipment. He got his electronics training in the Air Force...
But a 2 year associates degree from a community college will do.

Good Luck.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

9 months ago

Oops, I overlooked you still want to continue smoking weed :(

Stop smoking....

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eagertofly in Belfast, United Kingdom

9 months ago

Riot in Massachusetts said: Do you know if the North Dakota oil fields are still strapped for workers? I remember reading that when they started to boom a couple of years ago, a TON of people rushed out there. People were living in their cars or motels because there wasn't enough housing built. To me, that sounds like it could very well be saturated today.

The oil fields in Alaska are still hiring and so is the one's in the Dakotas. I am from Alaska and know this. Alaska has not ran out of oil neither has the dakotas. The thing is not everyone is cut out for the work required in the oil fields.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

Riot in Massachusetts said:

3) Start a business. Most small businesses fail, but if yours doesn't, you can guarantee that you'll never test yourself. As an idea, consignment shops aren't terribly hard to run. I would probably stay away from franchises unless you came into enough money to open a bunch of them.

This is the best idea. I did a temp stint once where one of the owners wore an ankle bracelet. It was for a drug charge.

Did I mention that he was one of the owners?

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

9 months ago

John Smith in Newberg, Oregon said: Maybe I could travel around to fix computers for big companies?

To make it with a big company, you'll have to fit the corporate mold. Especially if you'd like to travel around. These big companies are trusting you away from their oversight. They don't want someone who fits a "surprise-producing" history/profile.

You are asking for a tall order, imo. However, you may be able to pull it off.

If you want to read a book where someone claims to successfully have achieved what you seek, check out "the 4-hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. Good luck.

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jbogga none in Detroit, Michigan

8 months ago

You look into some type of business as you will need to eventually be self employed. The misdameanors and drug use will certainly make things difficult in the long term. If you have that much money to spend on education please choose wisely. Good luck.

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