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Old 05-28-2012, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice on making a Job/Career Change?

Needing some advice, or maybe some words of wisdom from your older guys who have "been there, done that." I'll give a little bit of back story, and hopefully you guys can give me some advice.

I'm 24, married, and recently a home owner. I work full time as a "Retail Banker" at one of the largest banks in the US. I make "ok" money. Right around 40k when it's all said and done. The problem is, I hate it.

It's the most stressful thing I've ever done. The sales quotas are astronomically and I'm expected to blatantly lie to and deceive customers daily in the name of "helping them achieve financial success". I've been with the company for a year, and had hopes of being able to apply into a job out of the retail part of the company, but I've had zero success. Before this, I sold used cars, and it wasn't nearly as stressful or sleazy.

How can I make a change? I've applied and had an interview or two, but nothing has came of them. I have a bachelor's degree so I'm not lacking education.

How can I find a real career? Do all of you go to a job you hate everyday? Or are there jobs out there were the first thing you say when you get up to go to work is not "F***"? Is it bad that I'd fill more fulfilled if I went and waited tables?
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would never continue to work a day job that I hated, neither should you. Enjoying/appreciating your dayjob is one of the simplest good things you can get in life, you should constantly strive to find the right job for you. Obviously you should not up and quit before finding another job, unless you are a gifted risk taker and you can afford to job hunt without a paycheck. Polish up your resume, see if any of your friends is really good at resume design and get some tips... a good resume is worth much more than it's weight in gold. Lastly, don't be hesitant to apply way out of your league/field of interest, the worst thing that can happen is extra job offers... on the other hand you could end up with interesting referrals or other lucky surprises like that
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like my job but am looking at a long term career change. I would like to have something else lined up for when I retire. As such I am making sure I have the education and background to make the jump when I want. Its not totally applicable to you because you are not looking long term.

Take a course in business ethics. Studies indicate that there is a correlation between successful long term business and ethical practices. Studies also indicate a correlation between short term greed and long term failure. You can decise if there is causation there or not.

Take a handful of classes in things that interest you - your employer may even pay for them. Eventually you will find a class that you go "wow" in and find you really like it. For the record for me it was a physics class though I will finish my degree in psychology and consider a philosophy and masters of divinity before I come back around to considering if I want to pursue physics.

Education and degrees will likely never hurt you. You may stumble into something you really like. Either way it may help you move upward even where you are at.

Do not do anything drastic. Take advantage of what your employer offers. I work with (but not for, I'm an agent) a large rental company. I am no longer allowed to quote company policy to middle management, nor am I allowed to quote ethical theory or case law. However we now have an understanding that certain members of upper management do not talk to me and I do not bother them. It actually has worked better than you would think and I am left running my portion in a manner I see ethically responsible. That being said I am in a position that if the relationship had been terminated I would have survived.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I HATED my job in Florida with a passion. Sunstar is a sh*thole company with upper brass that only cares about themselves and their $. Employees are basically ID #s and the bosses hardly if ever remember your name.

I could go on and on but my point is 3 years I put up with that crap company. I ended up buying a house, so I was stuck, or so I thought. I wanted to be happy, wanted to enjoy going to work, not having to wake up at 3am everyday. But I was stuck with a house, $8 a hour crap job, wedding plans, etc.

Ended up moving & going in a completely different field. I enjoy working with my hands and getting dirty. I went from EMS to mechanic. I hunted down for a job until I found the right one.

I wake up everyday going to work with a smile on my face as I love my job now. I was very nervous with the big switch, but it needed to be done.

We all in one way shape or form hate our jobs, but we learn to deal with it and go on day to day, I was told that a few times in my life and refused to accept it.

You need to find what makes YOU happy.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would recommend being your own boss. Get into a small franchise you can enjoy working at. There are usually Franchise Fairs at major cities around N.A. at any given time and they are relatively easy/cost effective to get into.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I used to be in banking and felt the same way! Granted, I was only in Customer Service and on the teller line; however, they expected the same **** for cross selling from us. We were even told to sell products (CDs, interest checking, etc) to our friends during our off hours. The bosses didn't know what to say when I told them I didn't have any friends in state, and if I did I don't work when I am off the clock!

Banking can be a real soul sucking miserable job. I made **** for money, they had crappy health insurance, and they were awful about letting you take a day off even for legitimately doctor ordered sick leave!

I wasn't as tied down as you before I changed my life. So I don't recommend necessarily doing what I did. I was an unmarried renter. So I ended up taking a chance and moving from NH to Alaska. I rented a place (still here) and got a job doing expediting and working in a warehouse. It had its ups and downs, but was a million times better than banking or retail in general. Now I work doing maintenance at the same place, and overall love what I do.

The stress level isn't there. I don't have to work during my off hours. I am not expected to pester my friends about using my work place for their own needs. Sure the pay isn't as great as it would be if I worked elsewhere; however, I am making a hell of a lot more than I was in banking. Health care sucks, but it's going up everywhere. Most of all, I finally work with a group of people who give a **** about each other. If you have medical stuff using sick leave is OK. You can take vacation days without a huge fuss. People actually ask if you are all right if you don't look like you are, and they CARE. It isn't as cut throat.

If you are that miserable and stressed, start looking. Did you go to school for something in particular you could try? Could you try for something not as stressful within the bank (like accounting, or data storage, or something behind the scenes rather than retail)? Sorry if that last one is a stupid question- they basically denied me various positions behind the scenes because I was so good with the customers.

My best advice is to interview for any and everything you think you might be interested in wherever you see it. Ask friends if they know of positions coming open at their companies, and if they will put in a good word for you. ANYTHING. I can tell you first hand staying in a job like that is not worth it. I felt physically better after quitting. A job that makes you hope you get hit by a car as you walk into work every day is not the right job for you.

Don't be afraid to try something completely different either! I can fix more things than most people now, I can install rolled vinyl and weld the seams, work electrical in various applications, and even abate asbestos (my job paid for the class and card). I still hold the title Queen of Caulk as well. (I have 7 or so tubs to take care of in 4 days.)

Good luck with it! I really hope you find something rewarding that you are excited to wake up for every day.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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First and foremost like most usually say
you need to do what makes you happy

I worked at a retreat owned by an oil company in which their employees would vacation and hunt/fish, however the manager there was a complete
@ hole,
I mean he treated everyone under him like complete $hi7, sexist, racist, everything that'd be covered in a human resources book

However since the location was so remote no one from upper management in the company really checked up on things and like most people that abuse their position in a job the other employees under him were scared to do anything out of fear

But with me the guy met his match
I gave him all sorts of hell : )

But man, even though it was fine and all and I just wasn't happy there,
so I left

I've been working at Pizza Hut close to home and I love it, I'm a cook there and I enjoy my job because ive always had my heart in culinary arts

I went to school,
but have yet to finish, I had to stop because I was commuting to/from work to school which were 3 hrs apart from each other and it just got to expensive to pay out on less than minimum wage

But yes it's true that if your doing what you love you feel as if your not working at all, even when my day at work seems like it all went to $***, running out of supplies, having 4-6 parties of 20+ people show up, workers just up and quiting and walking out the door

I clock out and think, man I can't believe I made it through it all, it was a true challenge and i came out on top and I'm going to get a nice paycheck

and I definitely pull my own weight around the job and if need be, stick with crew till the end when all is done, even if it means clocking out at 2am
I haven't been there long and we have gone through about 10 employees, these are just grown @$$ people who don't want to work/want responsibilty

I'm only 23 but I can tell you, you need to do what you want to be happy
if your not satisfied it just going to affect every other aspect of your life
and yeah, don't forget to challenge yourself, it's with that drive behind you that you'll become better at whatever you put your mind to
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks like I'm going to be the one guy going in a completely different direction with my answer. Oh goes.

What is your degree in? Just having one doesn't mean a whole lot if it's not something that makes you employable. I know WAY too many people who bought into the lie of "having a degree, any degree at all, is the answer". They spent 4 years getting something useless like Music Appreciation only to come out the other side and find out the hard way to some degrees are just plain wastes of time.

As for the question of hating your job, I've been through that. I'm an accountant, and I've been doing it since I graduated in '07. About two years ago, I was feeling burned out and like I wanted to change careers. I looked at nursing, law, being a cop...hell, I even tried to get back into the military. With the first two, I realized that going into student loan debt to get a degree when I already had a viable means to make a living was a stupid idea. With the third, no departments were hiring (state budget issues in every county), and even if I got a job, I'd be choosing to take more than a 50% paycut just to alleviate bordeom. With the military...well...they still won't waive the medical history that got me drummed out originally.

I finally woke up and recognized that a job is a means to an end. You are not supposed to love your job; that's why they call it work. A job is what you do to allow yourself the ability to do things you enjoy. Do I love accounting? Hell no. Am I willing to do it 40 hours a week so that I can afford to play paintball, SCUBA dive, ride motorcycles, go dancing, etc during the other 128 hours without having to worry about the cost? Damn straight.

Yes, there are jobs out there that people love to do (and ones that I would love to do, too). I'd love to get certified as an instructor, move to the Caribbean, and teach tourists to dive, for instance. The problem, like with economics, is supply and demand. There are A LOT of people who want a fun and enjoyable job. There are very few fun and enjoyable jobs to go around. Therefore, they don't pay crap...because there's a glut of people who want to do it.

Don't misunderstand me, though; I'm not saying keep a job that you actively hate. I don't hate my job...I just don't particularly love it. But don't be so set on finding something that you love every minute of that you forget that it exists for financial means. Fun doesn't feed your wife, pay your mortgage, keep the electricity on, etc.

Don't look for a job you'll love; look for one you can tolerate and that will pay well enough for you to have your fun off the clock.

The other thing that helped me out is that I realized that, of my previous three jobs since graduation, none of them were REALLY accounting. I had been a payroll clerk, an accounting assistant, and a financial analyst; all related to, but not quite exactly, what I had been trained to do. Now that I'm finally a real accountant, doing what I went to school to do, I enjoy it a lot more. All that said just to get to this; maybe the banking world isn't what you've got an issue with. Maybe it's that bank. Check with local credit unions, as they typically put a lot more emphasis on customer relations and taking care of the members. Navy Federal has a HUGE presence down here, and I have at least 5 (at last count) friends working for them. They all love it and say it's the best company they've ever worked for. If you did something like that, it would be easier to get in than a total career change (since your resume is in the same field).

Last edited by Murf425; 05-29-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're mechanically inclined I'd say some sort of trade. However I had to wait two years before finally finding an apprenticeship after graduation. Be aware of your local job market. Mine was flooded with laid off tradesmen and apprentices with some time in.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I know how you're feeling OP. I work in a call center at the moment it's simply a means to an end so I can complete my degree in computer programming or so I thought. I started in the industry in 2006 as a stopgap to help pay for college. Now 6 years later I'm still in the same industry as in my town those are the only jobs that give full time or even close to it anymore. With that said I know the stress and pressure you're feeling; at my job it doesn't matter how many sales you make or how much money you bring in even if you're well above your target it's always more more more. The pressure from management to perform is unreal and lots of people crack under the pressure.

Recently I found out my gf is pregnant which put me under a whole new level of stress. Since now I felt trapped in a crappy dead end job. All be it a job that pays $14 an hour in a ****ty economy is great but still there is VERY little room for advancement. Thankfully my company is small enough I have a great rapport with the guy that owns the whole shebang as he originally hired me and I'm the most senior employee aside from 1 person who started 2 weeks before me (I've been there longer than most of the managers trying to tell me how to do my job). This past week right after Victoria day here in Canada I went in to work and I was having extreme anxiety and panic issues and just generally not feeling "in the game" so I walked into my boss's office and explained the situation (he's going to be a first time father at 42 as well) He told me just take some time and collect your thoughts and then come back. So I've taken the past week off and been checking my options on student loans and such so even if I have to work to support my new family I can still follow my dream and get a great paying job in something I love doing already.

I think if it's an option if you've "had it up to here" so to speak maybe time to take some vacation time and relax and de stress. I know what you're saying though. Many a time in the past 2 years since I've been at this particular employer I have had to stifle the urge to say F it call in and quit. With that in mind I'v'e also realized that I work 35 hours a week at the moment. if I were to put in a 9 hour day at minimum wage job (say working at pizza joint like I did when I first started working) I could make the same money as I do on my $14 an hour right now. I find that realizing options and strategies whereby you could get by and have more enjoyement of your job help your current situation seem less stressful.

TL;DR Take a vacation,focus on your life and getting where you want and realize that if you're willing to put in a bit of overtime at a lower paying but more fulfilling job you can still make the same money and be happier.

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