Career Change 180

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    Hi there! So while I am very excited to be embarking on what I hope to be a promising, new chapter of my life, I don't have these lofty expectations that my leap into nursing will be one that is not full of stress and difficulty. I'm in my late 20's and understand the climate of our economy, but it seems to be that the jobs are out there, and even if at first I don't land my "dream job" (i have an interest in maternity/ labor and delivery, but plan to shadow/ volunteer first) I'm willing to work hard to gain the experience in a hospital setting or elsewhere to make myself more marketable.

    Firstly, I guess I should say that unlike many of the admirable aspiring nurses I've seen on these forums, I feel a bit ashamed to say that I never wanted to be a nurse. At least, not in the classical sense. I'm not one of those that had these dreams of pursuing a career nursing for "as long as they could remember". I wasn't quite positive of what I wanted to do and at the last minute went from declaring a psychology major to Liberal arts/ English, simply because I liked to write. At the suggestions of my praising English teachers, you know the ones that encourage you to do what you "like" when the practicality of the degree is actually slim. From there, I turned that "like" into these 'lofty dreams of writing critique of screenplays or manuscripts" all day. Needless to say those fantasy jobs are far and few between/ don't exist and I feel a bit naive to have wasted money on a college degree for something I didn't really need to go to school for at all, and I actually just enjoy being a "creative" in my own free time, writing at my leisure.

    So naturally, now in my late twenties, I'm wishing I'd pursued something more substantive, that allowed me to pursue my other passion, which is helping people in a health/ social services related field. I originally considered counseling or social work as an offshoot of my undergraduate studies in psychology, but to go back to school at this stage in my life for a masters degree in either of those fields particularly when the base pay is less than the low-thirties I currently make working in the non-profit fundraising world now, seems a bit convoluted (especially given the burn out rate of case workers that I've met personally; I volunteer with a domestic violence center... and I don't mind continuing just as a volunteer) and I don't really have the financial option to pay for a substantial state university tuition at this point of my life.

    And that brings me to my current situation. I am currently a cubicle worker, an executive and fundraising assistant for a non-profit museum. Because of the low budget in any non-profit setting I perform two jobs, both the executive assistant to the CEO and assistant to the entire fundraising department which translates to 2 jobs for the price of 1. And i do grunt work, which I think has humbled me beyond anything, which is probably the best reward I've gotten from this job. I originally made the leap from a stint in tv production (a field I liked but just didn't have the passion for) into the non-profit world because I wanted a more meaningful career and this museum I work at provides low cost programs for the less fortunate. Unfortunately though, my role is that of "go-to girl", nothing hands-on. I do everything from fetching coffee for meetings, to taking minutes at board meeting and occasionally helping sort out event details under the supervision of an event manager. And while I do enjoy some of it, don't get me wrong, the countless hours spent in a quiet office, with my cubicle doing data entry and thank you letters in between, absolutely bores me to tears. Even though I know it's not back-breaking work, the hours wane on ridiculously slow, and I've realized that I'm just not happy here. And worse, I see no upward growth in this field for me. It seems the higher you go in donor relations the further removed you are from the population you're helping, and I don't want to spend my life pandering to rich donors, (even though they are the supporters of the organization). I've had to digest the fact that this is not really the side of things I want to be on (even if I am one helluva an administrative assistant). Additionally, I just plain enjoy working with people, in a hands on fashion, in a busy hectic environment at times (which is why I enjoy the event management portion of my job so much) and I don't get to do that often aside from the special fundraising events my department.

    So basically I'm just a person who's made her rounds in a few fields that she knows she DOESNT want to do, and is now looking for something that will offer a better career path, with better pay, helping people in a specialty that offers a more affordable education option for me, and one in which I can forseeably complete in 2 years. And on top of that, I am one of the few people I know who loves going to hospitals. I love medical instruments, and asking doctors about how everything works, and the problem solving nature of it all. (And yes, I know that's not the same thing as being on the payroll side of things, I'm not naive). And then there's the maternity ward, I love the maternity ward. Who doesn't?? But I was practically drooling when a friend of mine bragged about getting into a NICU training program for nurses. I was jealous. Actually jealous of someone else's new career. It may not seem like much but these little pieces have made up my decision to take this leap.

    Now, I know this may seem a bit too pragmatic of an approach, and you all certainly didn't need my life story... but I guess that in the 2 weeks since I've finally admitted to my family that I intend to go back to school for nursing, I've done nothing but defend this decision that no one seems to understand. And I wanted to finally put it on "paper" perhaps to lay it all out there for myself too. And even if most of you still find error in my logic, maybe someone going through the same transition in life will get it.

    We'll see...

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  2. 2 Comments...

  3. 0
    Good luck and welcome to AN! I am sure you will be back here many times during your journey.
  4. 0
    Good luck!


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