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Major Career Changes??


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#1 ebrasmus21

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 12:19 PM

Anyone out there gone through major career changes?  If so, care to share your experiences?

I'm 30 and I work in the insurance industry.  I make a decent paycheck and generally speaking I like my job and get along fine with my colleagues.  Even though I say I generally like my job it seems like I spend a lot of time thinking about other jobs and other careers.  Finding it hard to imagine myself doing what I'm doing for the next 30 years.....

I enjoy working with people and I enjoy helping people so for a while I've thought about Nursing.  It's been in the back of my mind but I've never pursued it whatsoever.  Even now I'm not sure that I'd pursue anything else.  

Anyways, does this resonate with anyone besides me?  If so please share.

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#2 bigred90gt

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 01:29 PM

I've been considering it. I've been in the subsea oil and gas industry for almost 20 years, and aside from 2.5 years in project management, I've been in quality in a very niche segment of the business. We currently live in Houston, and basically, if I were to stay in this market, my options in the US are Houston, Mobile, AL and Panama City, FL. None of which do I really want to live in, but Houston area is home.

When my step-daughter graduates college in the next 3.5years, my wife and I have been talking about moving. We havent settled on an area yet, but basically we are open to anything. The ONLY problem is the fact that I dont have a degree, and my experience is very much limited to one specific segment of one specific market. Working in quality, that doesnt mean that I cant work in other markets, but it would basically mean starting over at ground zero, and I cant take that kind of pay cut.

My wife is an RN with a bachelors in nursing and 20+ years experience. She can work anywhere. I've thought about getting into nursing for just that reason, but the clinicals involved would preclude me from working a full time job, and with a kid in college, that's just not in the cards right now.

I'm considering a move back to Project Management in the next year if the position opens up, which would allow me to gain experience in that area beyond what I currently have, and would open up more doors to get out of the oil business and potentially open up the locations we can move to.

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#3 ebrasmus21

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 02:11 PM

View Postbigred90gt, on 17 October 2018 - 01:29 PM, said:

I've been considering it. I've been in the subsea oil and gas industry for almost 20 years, and aside from 2.5 years in project management, I've been in quality in a very niche segment of the business. We currently live in Houston, and basically, if I were to stay in this market, my options in the US are Houston, Mobile, AL and Panama City, FL. None of which do I really want to live in, but Houston area is home.

When my step-daughter graduates college in the next 3.5years, my wife and I have been talking about moving. We havent settled on an area yet, but basically we are open to anything. The ONLY problem is the fact that I dont have a degree, and my experience is very much limited to one specific segment of one specific market. Working in quality, that doesnt mean that I cant work in other markets, but it would basically mean starting over at ground zero, and I cant take that kind of pay cut.

My wife is an RN with a bachelors in nursing and 20+ years experience. She can work anywhere. I've thought about getting into nursing for just that reason, but the clinicals involved would preclude me from working a full time job, and with a kid in college, that's just not in the cards right now.

I'm considering a move back to Project Management in the next year if the position opens up, which would allow me to gain experience in that area beyond what I currently have, and would open up more doors to get out of the oil business and potentially open up the locations we can move to.

Sounds like Project Management could be a good fit for you, as you say.  

The idea of basically becoming a full time student again in order to pursue nursing seems like a tough way to go.
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#4 ndlutz

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 07:31 PM

I'm an attorney and I practiced with a firm for about 4 years before deciding to go out on my own. Although I still practice the same type of law, the two years that I have been practicing on my own are much different than the years I spent working for the firm. In a sense, it is a totally different career/job.

Although I can't speak for you in terms of what type of pay cut you can or can't take, I can say that leaving the firm and starting my own practice has been terrific. I bet on myself and at least at the current time I am winning. I am sure I had some of the same thoughts you guys thinking about career changes are having. I wasn't sure I was going to make it.

A few months ago I bought a dry cleaning business too. Now that's something I didn't know the first thing about! I'm slowly learning how that business works as well.

My advice would be that it's normal to feel uncertainty about moving forward but if you can, you should bet on yourself.

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#5 highergr0und

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:07 AM

The key is that you have an absolute, unwavering passion for something.  If you don't, after a few years and a lot of debt you'll be eyeing something else.

I had a relative one day just quit his job as an insurance salesman and go to seminary.  He had a wife and a kid, wasn't the best financial decision at the time but he felt that calling and it all worked out great for them. I also had a guy quit working for me about 18 months ago to go to nursing school.  He was handling some IT support duties for me and had some sort of medical scare or something that made him re-evaluate his priorities and focus on something that he was passionate about over a paycheck.  No clue how that one worked out as I haven't kept in touch.  

In the end, I would talk to as many nurses as you can, young and idealistic ones, mid-career, and the old, battle hardened vets.  Figure out if it's really something you want.  I have some nurse friends and they put up with a TON of crap (often literally) but the ones that love it are able to just keep a great focus on the positive aspects of the job.


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#6 ebrasmus21

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate it!
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#7 rich s

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 01:24 PM

I sort of fall into this category. My Dad started a machine shop back in '86 and this is all I have known. A few years ago I had an idea for a product and went ahead with it. It absolutely took off and got so big I had to either go off on my own or bring it into the family business. We knew splitting up would probably lead to hurt feelings so I decided to merge the two. All I do now is handle my product and don't have much to do with the main company.

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#8 jholz

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 01:53 PM

I've actually done it twice - went from Bookkeeping to College Professor to now working in the Nonprofit sector. One of those changes required going back to school for several years, the other was quick and easy because I possessed transferable skills and an advanced degree.

Really, the whole question centers around how much disruption you can handle in your life, and how much stress that disruption might cause.\

When I went back to school, I wasn't married and didn't have kids. The transition was exciting and fun.

When I changed the most recent time, I had a wife, a three year old, an infant, and a mortgage. Even though it only took about three and half months to make the transition, I probably aged 10 years in that time. I directly attribute the bags under my eyes to that period of my life.
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#9 ndlutz

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 07:45 AM

View Postebrasmus21, on 22 October 2018 - 04:59 PM, said:

Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate it!

Good luck! I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do.

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#10 HoosierHacker89

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 10:31 AM

I have started the ground work for making a career change over the next 18-24 months. I am a registered nurse now, and I have been for the past 5 years. I want to become pharmaceutical sales representative over the next 5 years. I am finishing up paying off my debt and saving up for a house. I will be able to actively start seeking jobs at this time.

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#11 ebrasmus21

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 05:45 PM

View PostHoosierHacker89, on 28 October 2018 - 10:31 AM, said:

I have started the ground work for making a career change over the next 18-24 months. I am a registered nurse now, and I have been for the past 5 years. I want to become pharmaceutical sales representative over the next 5 years. I am finishing up paying off my debt and saving up for a house. I will be able to actively start seeking jobs at this time.

Mind sharing the reasons for the change?
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#12 jholz

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 09:37 AM

View Postebrasmus21, on 28 October 2018 - 05:45 PM, said:

View PostHoosierHacker89, on 28 October 2018 - 10:31 AM, said:

I have started the ground work for making a career change over the next 18-24 months. I am a registered nurse now, and I have been for the past 5 years. I want to become pharmaceutical sales representative over the next 5 years. I am finishing up paying off my debt and saving up for a house. I will be able to actively start seeking jobs at this time.

Mind sharing the reasons for the change?

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#13 GolfChannel

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 07:35 PM

Went from Corporate Bankruptcy law to teaching International Law at the High School and Law School level for a local magnet program.
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#14 Wriggles

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 07:04 AM

Went from a blue collar third class machinist to a CPA , back in the early 1980's.  Did OK as a sole prop, but the corporate world wasn't looking for a 32 year old junior accountant.  My career ran into more turkeys, than soaring with eagles.

Frugality and simple tastes allowed me to retire and golf early.

I can't complain.

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#15 ebrasmus21

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 09:28 PM

View PostWriggles, on 09 November 2018 - 07:04 AM, said:

Went from a blue collar third class machinist to a CPA , back in the early 1980's.  Did OK as a sole prop, but the corporate world wasn't looking for a 32 year old junior accountant.  My career ran into more turkeys, than soaring with eagles.

Frugality and simple tastes allowed me to retire and golf early.

I can't complain.

Good for you Wriggles, sounds like you made it work quite well.

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#16 The Pearl

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 11:29 AM

View PostHoosierHacker89, on 28 October 2018 - 10:31 AM, said:

I have started the ground work for making a career change over the next 18-24 months. I am a registered nurse now, and I have been for the past 5 years. I want to become pharmaceutical sales representative over the next 5 years. I am finishing up paying off my debt and saving up for a house. I will be able to actively start seeking jobs at this time.

I would think long an hard about being a Pharma sales rep.   I have two long time friends that have done this for close to 30 yrs each and both just got laid off.  It is a volatile and stressful job, that has changed drastically over the last 10 years.  Medical devices is much better.

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#17 dixiethunder

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 09:49 AM

I will echo what others have said on here, if you can find something you are passionate about, it can be a great decision. I practiced law for 8 years and 2 years ago left to become a Realtor and it was one of the best decisions I've made (so far). It isn't always easier and its a lot more work on the weekends but I am significantly happier than I was sitting in an office and still get to use some of my legal learning. Might take me a few more years to pay off my grad loans but its worth it.

Good luck!
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