Let's start with a short introduction: I'm a 18 years old, Dutch guy, and after I beated my 3-year long depression, my life has changed quite a bit. I've quit school, and I came up with a creative solution to get to university. However, this forces me to have a job.
The job I have now gives me depressed feelings, and I don't want those anymore. And the work hours, starting at 6 A.M., interferes with my study, so it's not a great job. Sadly, it's the best I can get.
That's the reason I like this blog so much, it gives me some stuff to dream on. And it made me think: could I start something for myself and make enough money? I think I can, but I don't know what will bring in enough money. I have no idea in what area.
I have almost none knowledge of programming (some HTML and a very tiny bit PHP), don't have any real Photoshop skills, study Management Science, I am not particularly creative, and I don't really have more clues. So I don't have anything to go on, but maybe you guys have some ideas? I think the community here is really friendly and supportive, and because of that, I have enough courage to ask for some help.
I hope my English is good enough, it's not my main language, so, please forgive me any mistakes, and I like to know where they are, so I learn from them.
Hey, a couple thoughts here. Keep in mind that I really know nothing about depression and could be talking way out of my depth.
The job you have now doesn't give you depressed feelings. It TRIGGERS you to give yourself depressed feelings. Maybe you have a chemical inclination towards those feelings that others don't, but it's your interpretation of external forces that causes depression, not the actual forces themselves. What would happen if you looked at your job as a positive thing? Can you see it as a challenge that will make you stronger if you succeed at it? If I was in that job, I would try to use it as an opportunity to push myself to produce high quality work even when I don't want to.
At the same time, I like the idea of looking for a better way to make money. It's one thing to make the best of your circumstances, and another to accept them without trying to improve them. I'd try to continue learning PHP while doing your other job and studying in school. Even if it meant doing less fun things and your grades dropping 5 points across the board, I think it would be worth it. Right now is a golden time to be a programmer, both as an employee and independently.
By the way, your English is great.
I know I've probably posted something similar to this on a similar person's question but do you really need to go to University? I went to university (I guess they call it college in the US where I'm from) and after my experiences there if I had to do it all over again I'm not sure if I would have elected to go to university. What are you hoping to get out of going to university? If it's education, save for a number of really niche fields, a lot of it can be learned on your own if you really put in the effort (and if you really love the subject). Programming and tech subjects especially! From my experience going to college you just sit down, watch a boring dry lecture for 2 hours, then do homework and take tests. It's basically just an obstacle course - real educators are few and far between. In short - university is basically just an expensive frat party where you don't learn anything and are just programmed to become obedient and supplicating to your professors.
Sure there are many jobs that want to see you come from a "good university" - someone of your caliber would NOT want those jobs anyway. I don't have experience with this myself (jobs in megacompanies that want prestigious college grads) but I have a very strong feeling that careers that want graduates of prestigious universities (or any university in general) only want these types because they are tame and obedient to the company line - never questioning - never rocking the boat - never asking for more. These companies want wage slaves not entrepreneurs and independent thinkers who could eventually compete against them. In fact, I even had a college education myself but could not find a job for close to a year as a programmer due to having no 'real world' job experience. College is no guarantee of anything these days and personally people who tell you to go to college might be giving their advice from an outdated world perspective decades ago where college was cheap and actually meant something. It's just a money mill now for the owners as tuitions keep going up up up.
If you need to learn skills try to find the cheapest possible route - community colleges, skill exchange, self study, etc.. and prove yourself from there to employers. I'm advocating a return to a world before the educational system where people tackled on the world head on with childlike joy and curiosity. If you don't have the chemical brand of depression don't focus on the lack/what you need to do but focus on the possibilities!
First, I want to thank you all for posting and sharing your ideas. It
gives me loads of new things to think about.
I don't think I have a chemical reaction that triggers the feelings, at least, none that I know of. But the last times I had these feelings, I was stuck in a situation that was quite hopeless, at least for a couple of years. So I assumed that was the case again. But I wasn't realizing that it's just a warning signal, not a message to change something external, that's what I make of it. But why couldn't it be a message for a change in mindset?
Apart from realizing that, I did change something external, because I realized that the study I was doing wasn't really something for me. So I changed to Computer Science, an area a bit more familiar and very practical, so I can use that knowledge to work an idea out, which could make me some money. And this study doesn't feel as study or learning, it's just very much fun.
Why I want to do university, is to push myself to learn. I know myself a bit, and I'm fairly lazy. I know that without a good push or a strict deadline, I will start, but not finish. And this way, I learn some more, without any boring lectures, just reading and making some assignments.
But I have been playing with some ideas the last days. I've read some more blogposts from Tynan, and when I was reading, I was realizing that I don't want to go to 'normal' university anymore, because it will make me stuck in one place, just as my job is doing right now.
I'm trying to let go of my expectations of my job, and try to be less perfectionistic and more just content with this all. I'm now happy I have a job at least, and I can study. And I just have to be less demanding for myself, so I can relax and actually live life. But it's hard. But I'll get there, that's a thing I know for sure.
And maybe in some months, days or hours, I will realize I indeed do not need the study. But right now, it makes me feel secure and safe, so I don't think I'm ready to give that up. Maybe I will never be, and finish the study. We will see.
Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart. You all have been so kind!
I hope my English is just as well as my first post, it was a bit difficult this time.
Your english is fine - there are probably a few small things here and there like in your original post , and after I beated-->beat my 3-year long depression... Honestly though I did NOT notice anything wrong with your English until you mentioned you weren't a native english speaker at the end. You communicate just fine overall.
I ironically graduated from CS too like a lot of other people here. Are you more into the theory portion of computer science (mathematic properties, theorems, how things relate to each other etc...) or the applied portions (programming, software engineering, etc...)? I was definitely more into the applied portion and to get my start I worked at a bunch of low paying places or for free to get established before I had enough experience to get another job (somewhat outside the technical realm). I'm not sure if the job market has improved any but most of the easy entry level applied programming/software stuff is still going overseas or is just not being offered much so I'm thinking a better approach may be just a bunch of recent graduates to band together and start making a product just to get attention. I'll admit though I could be wrong maybe hiring for college grad programmers is hot again but back when I looked in 2005-2006 it was a dead field. Even if it flops at least you have something to show during interviews and if you can market you and your friends as a startup it would only make yourself look all the more better.
If you're into the theory aspects of computer science I'm not sure how they get started but those skills I imagine are in high demand. I've always had a certain level of respect for CS'ers who were good with theory as they usually could understand and connect very complicated concepts that would befuddle most of us. CS Theory forms the underlying basis for all of our modern conveniences - encryption, data representation and organization (I think of those square black and white bits you scan with your cellphone to link to web pages), optimization of speed/computing resources, algorhitm - new ways to do things, etc... Maybe discover some new algorhitm and try to sell it off to startups. Code optimization consultant? I don' t know but a handy theory-crafter is a very nice tool to have in any company as they fuel all of the world changing innovations.
A fellow Dutch guy here. Tynan has some good points. You might have found them already, but there are some posts on this blog that also provide links to sites where you can do freelance work. This can be programming, but also writing short articles, translations internet research etc. ( http://tynan.com/how-to-make-money-while-traveling and http://tynan.com/howtomakemoney). One of the freelance jobs sites he mentions also has a dutch subdomain: http://nl.elance.com/
I would definately be looking for a job that you like, as this makes everything easier. Outside of programming, you could read "The 4 hour workweek" by Tim Ferris. I would not recommend following it to the letter, as I believe the market for online webshops is pretty much saturated, especially in the Netherlands. I looked into this together with a friend, and finding a niche that has not yet been taken is almost impossible. I would however recommend to read the book as a source of ideas and inspiration, some things he writes will most surely trigger some ideas.
Furthermore I would advise you to think really hard about the things you like to do in your life, and then try to think of a way to earn money with it. Personally I started giving guitar lessons to earn some extra money on the side. A friend of mine is trading second hand guitars and amplifiers on marktplaats (the dutch variety of Craigslist for the non-dutch guys here).
Additionally, what could help is to find someone to do things together with. I found out myself that working together with somebody on these kinds of projects generates a lot more ideas, and in some cases more motivation to get things done.
I hope this helps!
Let's be honest: My blog is pretty cool. It's not nearly as popular at Boingboing, Tuckermax, or that weird housewife who writes about her kids, but I have a pretty steady readership who all post comments and get something out of the site. Since I started around a year ago, I've averaged 1200 unique readers a day (half of that is thanks to huge spikes from digg and such). My blog hasn't made me rich, but I've probably made a few thousand dollars, which is a nice side effect. More importantly it's made me a much better writer, and has helped me chronicle the past year of my life.
What I'm saying is this : I can't help you build the next Engadget or WWTDD, but I can help you get started to building a moderately popular blog.
First you need decent hosting and Wordpress. Don't mess with blogger - no one reads blogger blogs because they all look the same and don't have cool plugins that you need. I know you can customize it and all, but stop arguing and do it my way.
Edit: I gave up on financial goals in late 2011 after some huge financial and artistic wins... money shouldn't be taken too seriously. For the record, they were all basically on track, some were being massively exceeded, others were a bit behind schedule, but were all happening.
I set my next 10 years of financial goals on June 28th. That was exactly a month ago.
1 year - Critical Thinking [my first book] out. Blog income trickling. Some info products. Some freelancing. Something else, some X-Factor thing bringing in cash. Net monthly income positive. Health insurance. $50,000 in the bank. Expenses = income per month minimum.
3 years - 3 to 5 books out, many products out, blog income robust, some working on big exciting deals. $10,000 per month total, $5000 passive at least. First property owned. $300,000 in the bank.
5 years - 7-10 books out, many many products out, many passive income internet properties, working on big exciting things, $50,000 per month total, $40,000 passive at least. $1,000,000 in the bank.