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  • Need to change careers at 31 years old.

    Since I was 14 I've been in the restaurant business. Even if I had another job I still worked part time in restaurants. I've worked for Morrimoto when he was the executive chef at POD, Mark Vettri, Chris Bellino and other big name chef's. It's really the only thing im actually qualified to do. Right now I'm managing a restaurant in a village of shops in south jersey which is a resort destination and extremely busy. I only make $17 an hour and work an average of 70+ hours a week.

    I'm begining to absolutely hate what I do. Ok not beginning I completely hate what I do. I have no desire to deal with drunks and get home from work at 5 AM and never have the chance to see my fiancee. On top of the the business itself just blows. It's a TON of work with no reward.

    That being said, I need to get into school to get qualified to do somethign besides this. I love training, and helping people out at the gym or anyone i meet with getting together a diet and exercise plan. I am thinking a physical therapy assistant would be something I would actually enjoy. And hopefully give me the time that I would need to become a Physical Therapist. I'm just not sure where to start because of my hours at work, I cant see having time to go to school to get started in a degree program.

    I have an appointment with a DO on tuesday and amd goign to see if I can pick his brain a bit but thought I'd ask here as well.
    "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
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  • #2
    Does your fiancee earn enough to support the two of you if you took a lower-paying part-time job? That would be on option. You might have to make some sacrifices, but based on your situation and how you feel it seems like it would be worth it.

    My fiancee and I are kind of in a similar boat. Though we're only 25, we're both unhappy with our current jobs and are rethinking our career choices. I received a BS in Hospitality Management (minor in Economics) and have been working in this for the last 3-4 years since I got out of school. I'm good at what I do and feel I am doing well for somebody my age but I just don't have a passion for it anymore. I've always had a passion for health and fitness and now am regretting not pursuing a degree in something along those lines.

    Anyway, right now, my fiancee and I are both studying for a personal trainer certification after which we hope to get some part-time work as personal trainers and eventually start our own business. Both of our business backgrounds/education should help with this and we've already begun putting together a business plan. We understand that we may not make as much money as we currently do (at least at first), but that is something we've accepted so that we can pursue our dream.

    So back to you. Do a little research; see if there are any Physical Therapist Assistant degree programs offered as online classes so that you can fit it in with your schedule. Look into a part-time job, consider your financial situation, and see if you can make it work. Come up with a plan and go get it.
    Last edited by moco; 12-09-2011, 03:09 PM.


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    • #3
      If I was starting over today I would get a degree in Business Administration or IT. You are almost guaranteed to get a job at some corporation and make more money than alot of others do. Some may not agree on here but I have seen my wife make double what I do with a BS in Economics while I have a MS in Molecular Biology with the same amount of experience. Some of her peers make upwards of $80-$90k (with bonuses) at 30 years old. It makes me sick. On top of that if u get an MBA u can make even more.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Buff0910 View Post
        If I was starting over today I would get a degree in Business Administration or IT. You are almost guaranteed to get a job at some corporation and make more money than alot of others do. Some may not agree on here but I have seen my wife make double what I do with a BS in Economics while I have a MS in Molecular Biology with the same amount of experience. Some of her peers make upwards of $80-$90k (with bonuses) at 30 years old. It makes me sick. On top of that if u get an MBA u can make even more.

        IMO, this only works if you can live with being part of the hamster wheel called corporate *insert your country name here*. I have both a BS AND an MSc in Economics and came out of academia and corporate because i had no passion for it. I am currently working in IT but that too keeps leading back to the same conclusion, it is just NOT for me. But if money is your sole motivation, then by all means take this route (and I am not saying it is negative either). And oh how I have seen so many of my classmates make crazy money and only a handful really enjoy what they are doing. The others who take that leap of faith and START their own businesses (work for themselves) are much happier (and healthier) despite making significantly less. But really..I digress...

        To the OP, TomyK there is no harm in going after what you are passionate about. If you want it bad enough, it will make you happy, not be a chore and derive far greater benefits than working for Mr Man (or whoever you work for) in the long term. Have a plan and be deliberate about going after it and be patient. I wish you the best of luck.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Buff0910 View Post
          If I was starting over today I would get a degree in Business Administration or IT. You are almost guaranteed to get a job at some corporation and make more money than alot of others do. Some may not agree on here but I have seen my wife make double what I do with a BS in Economics while I have a MS in Molecular Biology with the same amount of experience. Some of her peers make upwards of $80-$90k (with bonuses) at 30 years old. It makes me sick. On top of that if u get an MBA u can make even more.
          Yes BA and IT are great fields to go into, but money doesn't always equal happiness. Now, it's a totally diffrerent story if you love what you do. No amount of money will keep me in my current line of work for the long haul. Job security and a constant paycheck might suede me to stay longer, but it's more delaying my jump into what I really love to do. I'd like to wake up one morning and not say to myself "I can't wait to get shit on at work today"
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          • #6
            I agree with both of you on money doesn't equal happiness, but I would have also loved for someone to tell me the truth about my career choice while in school and that is that there is no money in it. I love my job but it sure would be nice to get more return on the time and effort that I invested. That is my only point. If you want to do something you love, do it. If you want to make money, you may have to do something else. I see so many people who have basically wasting their time getting a degree in something that there is no money or jobs in. Sometimes it helps to hear the truth before so you can make a more informed decision.
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            • #7
              id chase money. Put your passion into your relations and pursuits....i love my job but its primary purpose is to financially support my family. Id agree to do something i dont "love" as much for the opportunity to give my family better choices (the best health care, education, etc).

              for me doing something i love would be selfish by not putting my families interests first,
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              • #8
                Trucelt, I like where your head is at. Following your dreams is great and all if your young enough to survive a few disaster choices, but a family man puts family first. Always.

                Also, personal training on the gym floor level can become quite tedious.

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                • #9
                  I feel you. I am in a similiar boat. I only get 40 hours a week but I do data entry-the short form of it. I am 42 and am back in college. I don't want to do any kind of business degree because what I do is a type of accounting and it is really aggrivating. I am taking an IT programming concepts class in the Spring to see if it is something I can do. Otherwise I have major in interdisciplinary studies psychology and communications. I have no idea what I can do with that but I will maybe minor in IT unless I think I can do it very well. My company is a great company for IT but it is a salary job and when it comes to salary a person gets OWNED. My company employs 140,000 and growing. It is a supermarket company and they use business degrees and computer degrees for college stuff.

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                  • #10
                    Trucelt, I agree with you 100% If you are able to make a great living at what you are passionate about, great, but what about the rest of your life? If your life at work is fantastic, but you have to work absurd hours to make ends meet, then what's the point. I'm fortunate enough to have found something that covers both bases, but it wasn;t without going through a couple career choices first. If I had to choose, I;d take the money and run. Do what you need to do to make a living and go home and enjoy doing the things you want with the people you love.
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                    • #11
                      I'm going to see what it would take to get into a Program At Stockton College right around the corner from where I live. They have a 7 year BS/PHD program for Physical Therapy. At least Talking to the department head may give me an idea of what direction I need to go in. I think the combination of helping people and doing something I love will be the right move for me. And that being said, The salary here in south jersey, according to Monster.com, Is 40-50K for a PT assistant, and a PHD averaging 92K.


                      I'd just love to talk ot someone in the field first.
                      "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
                      "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

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                      • #12
                        Speaking as a someone who has been a PT for around 11 years... doing the PTA program then working towards PT is a great idea, and even though it is a ton of work and school it is a job that is easy to love.
                        I was originally going to go to school to be an engineer, but I decided I wanted to do something related to exercise and training... ended up working to get into physical therapy school - and have been more than happy with that decision ever since.
                        Salaries in Jersey are insane if that is true... but cost of living around here is no where near what it is in Jersey.

                        If you have questions about anything related to PT feel free to hit me up with PMs - I've talked about it a lot with a couple of other people on here in the past and I'm happy to help anyone else that wants to get into the profession.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PTAaron View Post
                          Speaking as a someone who has been a PT for around 11 years... doing the PTA program then working towards PT is a great idea, and even though it is a ton of work and school it is a job that is easy to love.
                          I was originally going to go to school to be an engineer, but I decided I wanted to do something related to exercise and training... ended up working to get into physical therapy school - and have been more than happy with that decision ever since.
                          Salaries in Jersey are insane if that is true... but cost of living around here is no where near what it is in Jersey.

                          If you have questions about anything related to PT feel free to hit me up with PMs - I've talked about it a lot with a couple of other people on here in the past and I'm happy to help anyone else that wants to get into the profession.
                          Thanks! I will absolutely take you up on that offer. I want to make sure it's something I really want to do before I jump into it. I got the salary information off of the Gov. Labor and statistics website. Physical Therapy Assistant salary Median average was around 46k, which considering what I make now is a nice 10-13K a year raise. But I appreciate you taking the time and will definately PM you tomorrow.
                          "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
                          "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

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                          • #14
                            Looking forward to it man.
                            I don't doubt that they make that much in Jersey - with as expensive as everything is there, salaries would need to be higher.

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                            • #15
                              Just a thought, but have you thought about trying to find a new job in your field of restaurants? Something with either more pay, or similar pay but much less hours? It sounds like you're pretty good in the restaurant field. Why not show other employers that confidence but make them understand up front you will also need life balance. Sell yourself on this. Explain to them that they can pay somebody less to work many hours and do a really shitty job, or they can pay you more, allow you to have good work-life balance which will make you a dedicated and happy employee, and at the same time you'll do 10X the job that the lower paid, less experienced many hours worked employee will.

                              You have a skill and experience...sell those skills man!!

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