Former Administrative Assistant Desparate to Change Fields

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Comments (6)

Ann McGuire in New York, New York

73 months ago

I am definitely in a scary spot and would appreciate any constructive advice. I have been on my own since the age of 16. The only jobs available in my rural environment were minimum wage or very low wage jobs offering no benefits - food service, cleaning and retail. I worked in these positions for 12 years before meeting my present boyfriend and moving to a large city (He makes a good salary in management). There I was able to assume massive student loan debt to complete a BA degree and - I thought - finally begin a real working life.

No such luck. I had learned many computer skills, but my low wage past haunted me and all I could ever manage to obtain were data entry and administrative assistant temp jobs. They were thankless and brutal and resulted in my winding up with more or less permanent injuries to my arms and shoulders from heavy hours of typing. No matter what I did, I was unable to obtain a full time position with a real company and workman's comp claims were denied. I won't bore you with the details, but basically, I found out that a multiple disc neck injury I obtained in a car crash resulted in nerve problems. In the end, I was told that it was my fault I was injured - just deal with it.

Ok fine - but where do I go from there? I can't be an admin because I can't endure the hours of computer work. I now live in NYC (another job change for boyfriend)and the situation is even worse. Nobody will call me in for so much as an interview, not even a temp agency. There is no public employment service - only for those on welfare. I'm 40. Is it nuts to go for a business degree or project management training? I mean, I'm an intelligent person, have decent computer and writing skills and I feel I'm capable of a lot if someone will just give me a chance. I know that education doesn't mean that you're owed a living, but I now have a BA and a graduate certificate in project management. Shouldn't that commitment count for something?

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Deborah James in San Francisco, California

73 months ago

Ann McGuire in New York, New York said: I am definitely in a scary spot and would appreciate any constructive advice. I know that education doesn't mean that you're owed a living, but I now have a BA and a graduate certificate in project management. Shouldn't that commitment count for something?

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Have you thought of getting a teaching credential and going into that field? Most of the secretaries and admins that I know who wanted out, went that route.

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

72 months ago

When I was stuck in an admin job I hated a year ago my husband asked me what I would want to do with my time if I didn't have to worry about money. My answer was drawing. From there we thought about careers that would cater to my interest and now I'm re-enrolled in school to study graphic design.

So, with that, what would you want to do if you didn't have to worry about money? :)

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officequeen in Orland, Florida

72 months ago

Thank you for your response, but I do have to worry about money, my husband needs surgery on his arm and will not be getting his compensation money till after the surgery, we are in a real situation. I was thinking of going back to school, but at the moment I cannot. Right now I will take anything, I am thinking of going back to New York, I think I'll have a better chance of finding a job. Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

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Lore in Orlando, Florida

72 months ago

Well, it was actually more of an exercise to help you figure out what career you would want to move into. Not an actual suggestion to stop working and do what you want to do all day. Use your imagination.

Like right now I'm working with a large communication's company and I am going back to school so that when my job (which is a term job) is over in another year and a half I'll have something to fall back onto. When my job is over I'll be able to move into the graphic design field, which is where I really want to be. :) Now just try to figure out where YOU want to be and try to work towards getting there. In the meantime, try temp agencies or even places like Starbucks. I know the latter is a big step back but they do offer health insurance (which you could add your spouse onto) and a fairly flexible schedule should you choose to go through school to get training in a new field.

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Laid off in CT

60 months ago

I just read your post and perhaps you can contact one of the large IT agents that handle contract jobs for IT, most of which always need Project Managers. Try Alden Associates in White Plains, NY, Tek Systems, in Connecticut (the place in NY area also).

Don't give up. With a Project Management Certificate and a BA you should even be able to get a job as a Business Analyst.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

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