Back to school, stay unhappy, or start at the bottom?

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Bfrombham in Birmingham, Alabama

50 months ago

Hi
I graduated in 2010 with my bs in early childhood and elementary education. During college I spent a lot of time working part time retail jobs like many do. Fortunately for me, I am good at business and have been a store manager of a retail business for a while and make a decent salary comparable to what I would make as an educator. However, I am not happy in retail. I want to have a career where I feel as if I make a difference in the lives of others on a more meaningful level. Public school jobs are scarce and early learning centers want certified teachers but pay them nothing with little to no benefits to boot.
I've been offered jobs in early learning centers but the pay is so low I wouldn't be able to afford to survive to take a cut. I've been toying with the idea of returning to school for an associates in let's say nursing.

Are there others with similar experiences and what choice did you come to? Stay in a job you don't like, start on ground level and eat ramen, or bite the bullet and return to school?

- I know there was another similar thread but it was pretty dated so I wanted to create a new one-

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Riot in Ware, Massachusetts

50 months ago

While this isn't one of the options you listed, have you looked into public school or early education salaries in other parts of the country and how they stack up with standard of living? I'm not in the field, so I don't know for sure, but maybe a new location will offer you better opportunities in your chosen field.

As for your other options, I think the standard advice applies:

1) Nursing isn't a "guaranteed" job anymore.
2) If you do go back to school, make sure you don't take on a ton of debt.
3) Many people do indeed have to start at the bottom, but make sure you have at least a chance of advancement before you make the leap.

Good Luck!

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Bluetea in Texas

50 months ago

Bfrombham in Birmingham, Alabama said: Hi
I graduated in 2010 with my bs in early childhood and elementary education. During college I spent a lot of time working part time retail jobs like many do. Fortunately for me, I am good at business and have been a store manager of a retail business for a while and make a decent salary comparable to what I would make as an educator. However, I am not happy in retail. I want to have a career where I feel as if I make a difference in the lives of others on a more meaningful level. Public school jobs are scarce and early learning centers want certified teachers but pay them nothing with little to no benefits to boot.
I've been offered jobs in early learning centers but the pay is so low I wouldn't be able to afford to survive to take a cut. I've been toying with the idea of returning to school for an associates in let's say nursing.

Are there others with similar experiences and what choice did you come to? Stay in a job you don't like, start on ground level and eat ramen, or bite the bullet and return to school?

- I know there was another similar thread but it was pretty dated so I wanted to create a new one-

First, read "Do What You Are" by Paul Tiegler to get another perspective. This is based on Myer-Briggs testing which says that personality is a better predictor of job satisfaction than interest. Any library would have this.

Second, investigate future demand. Many "hot careers" will be tomorrow's has beens. This includes nursing. You want to be ahead of the 8 ball, not behind it.

Newsweek magazine just went all digital recently but you want to major in print journalism? You're already a dinosaur.

Third, whatever field you choose, take someone in the profession to lunch and find out the real story. Take several people in the profession to lunch.

- former teacher.

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Joe Gagill in Wurtsboro, New York

50 months ago

Become a flight attendant. When you read their posts you will come to realize that they are the happiest bunch around.

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Calfornian in Hayward, California

50 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: - former teacher.

Joe Gagill in Wurtsboro, New York said: Become a flight attendant. When you read their posts you will come to realize that they are the happiest bunch around.

A friend of mine who used to teach got fed up with the bureaucracy in education, quit, and became a flight attendant. She seems much happier but then she has a husband who makes good coin.

I'd also wonder if flight attendants are happy because of the job or because the companies hire happy people? Then again, the intangibles seem like they'd be pretty good.

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Joe Gagill in Wurtsboro, New York

50 months ago

I get the sense that it's a fairly easy job, is a fun job, and one gets to travel. That's why they are happy. And they get away from home sort of.

But the dark side is that airline pay stinks nowadays. I've heard some airlines have stopped the pensions of retirees maybe health benes too.

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Bluetea in Texas

50 months ago

Calfornian in Hayward, California said: A friend of mine who used to teach got fed up with the bureaucracy in education, quit, and became a flight attendant. She seems much happier but then she has a husband who makes good coin.

I'd also wonder if flight attendants are happy because of the job or because the companies hire happy people? Then again, the intangibles seem like they'd be pretty good.

Most teachers have spouses who have real jobs.

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

50 months ago

American Airlines pays $23,000 starting for flight attendants, which is what a cashier can make at a grocery store working 35 hours.

That sucks for the amount of time they are away from home and the have to pay higher health insurance premiums.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

50 months ago

Flight attendant is not an easy job.

First and foremost, they are airline crewmembers. Their primary responsibility is safety. Serving drinks and food is secondary. Also consider that they deal with all manner of people. Most pax are fine, but the unruly ones make their job difficult - especially considering that they have to be diplomatic with them.

Consider further that flight attendants, together with pilots, generally work long duty days. Some of these duty days can be as long as twelve to eighteen hours with irregular sleep schedules. For the most part, they're paid only for flight hours. Weather, equipment problems and other issues can affect their duty days. They may collect per diem and other differentials for time away from their domicile.

Don't confuse "domicile" with "home." A domicile can be another city entirely from home, meaning flight attendants, and pilots, "commute" to their domiciles. Commuting entails "jumpseating" (flying for free) to domiciles on their company's aircraft and/or other company's. That can be a big hassle. Pilots and flight attendants get into big trouble if they're late to work, which means they may leave home a day or two early to ensure they're not late. Same thing for going home. So, yes, they get away from home - sort of.

Finally, starting pay is not that great for flight attendants and particularly ones flying for regional airlines. Starting regional pay can be $15 per FLIGHT HOUR with 70 FLIGHT HOURS guaranteed. Also factor in uniform and union dues deductions, and "crash pad" rent at the domicile. Bottom line pay for regional flight attendants especially is virtually no bottom line.

Considering their immense responsibilities to the public and their working conditions, flight attendants are grossly underpaid for what is really not an easy job

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GottaLoveIt in Acworth, Georgia

50 months ago

I wish I could get a retail job. Even though I have my tuition completely covered I can't seem to afford the books and without work I have cancel school. So it sucks

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Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas

50 months ago

What about Publix?

I worked a few years there.

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sidney vallon in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

Why don't you aim toward becoming a daycare/preschool director? It's something I've thought about myself. It would help others and not be tied to the public school system.

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sarah in Hebron, Connecticut

49 months ago

Beth in Plano in Plano, Texas said: American Airlines pays $23,000 starting for flight attendants, which is what a cashier can make at a grocery store working 35 hours.

That sucks for the amount of time they are away from home and the have to pay higher health insurance premiums.

A cashier defintly does not make 23,000! More like 12,000.

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