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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Career stuff   Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:07 pm

Hello everybody. I know I don't post much but I wanted to start a conversation and see where it went. I'll give you some background and try to keep it short.

I have a Bachelor's degree (in Human Resources) and have been in the mental health field for about 11 years now, almost all of it in a supervisory role. Four years ago Feb, 2012) I felt like God was prompting me to move to a different career (still do) but that door just hasn't opened.  I saw a recruiter/job coach back in August and she helped me revamp my resume' and basically told me she could get me a job in HR if I gave her enough time. As of today, I have had zero interviews and she's called about 1 job.

Even further back, my father instilled in me a deep seated belief that blue collar work is "below" me and that respectable people don't do blue collar work. Fast forward to just after college, and I quickly make friends with people who do blue collar work. I realize they are good people, intelligent people and even respectable people. And now, 11 years into my "career" I have blue collar friends who make noticeably more than I do, have better benefits and - most importantly - love their job.

So, there's the background. On to the discussion. I'm in a coaching program at my church where we read a book about purpose and try to discover what our purpose is through discussion and some personality assessments. I meet with my coach to go over the first assessment last week and the following discussion about my job/job hunt/ hatred for my job happens:
Me: "Sometimes I feel like I would rather just drive a forklift or work in a warehouse or some kind of manual labor than deal with what I do now."
Coach: "Why don't you then?"
Me: "Huh?"
Coach: "Why don't you look at some of the more skilled blue collar positions and see if there's anything that jumps out?"
Me: "Well, I could I guess but..."
Coach: "But you hear your Dad's voice in the back of your brain saying all that stuff he used to say?"

Anyway, has anyone ever done this? Jumped from a white collar to blue collar position? Or even made a significant shift? I hate what I do, and honestly, I have my doubts and reservations about a corporate HR job. Thoughts? Comments? Bueller?
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:48 pm

I have never jumped from white to blue collar jobs.  I've nearly always worked a blue collar job.  I did two years at a boot factory and nearly 19 making truck tires.  Now, I am a youth pastor and teacher's aid in a special needs classroom.  None of my jobs have been glamourous.  But, life is what you make of it at any level.  I must say, though, that I am happier where I am now than I have ever been before.

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Xid

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:54 pm

I've gone from blue collar to white collar.  It was an adjustment but completely doable.  I've had to go back to blue collar for a little bit of time and made the switch no problem.  One of the greatest lines I've heard was in Bruce Almighty.  God says:

Some of the happiest people in the world come home smelling to high heaven at the end of the day.
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kerrick

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:01 pm

Well, I suppose you should probably first analyze carefully just what about your job you detest so much.  Is it the people, the tasks, the management, the general field, customers, location...?  Because if it's not the actual work that you hate so much... you may find yourself to be in the same situation with a "blue collar" job.  (Example: you hate your job because you have a terrible boss so you find a new job with an equally terrible boss.)  Or conversely, you could find a new job in the same field but have a wonderful time there.

Purpose is an interesting topic when in the context of work.  God created man to work, that is clear.  But that's not our purpose.  We are to honor and love God and be used by Him to expand His kingdom.  Unfortunately, our culture constantly bombards us with "find what you love and do it for work," "get paid for doing what you're passionate about," etc.  I think this is extremely wrong in that it creates these expectations to attain purpose and therefore fulfillment in our work.  That can and should only come from God and God alone.  Now, we can enjoy our work, be excited about it, and even find satisfaction in a job well done.  But that shouldn't define us or bring us our fulfillment.

I'll get off my soapbox, but these are some things I learned the hard way in the past few years.
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MikeInFla

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:02 am

I've done it too. I have a degree in Communications and have worked upper management/white collar work in the radio industry. I did it for almost 18 years (not management but broadcasting). When I became management my hours got longer, more was expected of me, more work was dumped on me, hourly people were fired and their work given to me, etc. I was to the point in 2004 that I HATED it. I searched for other work and found nothing that would pay the same or better.... Then my wife asked someone at church about the Paper Mill. He said they were hiring and that I would start off making almost double of what I made at the radio station. So I applied and got the job. I went from working behind a desk to working in a factory that has been here since 1931. It is a hot and dirty job. No AC on the production floor, loud, dirty, hazardous environment... And you know what? I', glad I did it, not just because the pay is better but for the sanity. I never take work home... EVER. I leave it behind whereas my previous career I always worried about stuff. 

So I went from white to blue and like it better. I'm glad I have my degree, but I don't use it (my wife does not use hers either... She has been a stay at home mom for 20 years and back in the fall she went to work full time for the first time in our marriage when our youngest started Kindergarten. She works at the school as a para-professional in the Library. Teachers work for peanuts, she works for even less but she likes what she does even if she doesn't use her degree).
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:27 am

Quote :
Teachers work for peanuts, she works for even less but she likes what she does even if she doesn't use her degree).

That depends on the state.  I am guessing that Floridian teachers make more than our local ones do.

If teachers only had to make lesson plans and teach, the pay would be decent.  If they could leave when the students did instead of staying at school 12-13 hours per day, the pay would be nice.  If they didn't have so much paperwork and state proctored testing and 6 reviews annually and have to maintain their own web page, etc., then the pay would be amazing.

I'd love to see teachers get more money.  The down side is that no one wants more taxes.  Raising taxes is the only way to give teachers more money.  The more realistic side would be to take away some of the crap that gets dumped on them so that they could be better teachers with less hours.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:00 am

Thanks for the input all.

Kerrick, you bring up some interesting points, a few of which my coach brought up as well. I don't feel as though my work is my purpose - in fact, David my coach pointed out that one reason I may be so unhappy is that I've tried to let my work define who I am too much. He also pointed out that my job may be there merely to fund my purpose.

I'm not old (35) but as I've gotten older, the more I like to work with my hands and see physical, tangible results. In my position, I sit at a desk, go to meetings, hire/train/discipline/fire staff and it's just not fulfilling work - as I've gotten older I want less and less to be a supervisor. I despise being a leader and being responsible for other people's work - in fact, I just got written up because one of my subordinates didn't finish a project on deadline...

Unfortunately, I have no idea what I want to do at all, so a jump is scary. Like Kerrick said, what if I end up in a job I hate just as much?

That being said, one of my favorite jobs I've ever had was a blue collar job. I put two bolts on a piece that went into a sno-cone machine. It sounds mindless but I could see the results of what I did. And I cross trained for other positions so I had a pay bump...

Anyway, if you have any other words of wisdom, holler at me. And if you think about it, say a prayer that I'll have some clarity on this...
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MikeInFla

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:22 am

By the way, when I left my white collar job I drove a fork lift in a warehouse. Loved it, other than it was extremely hot and I had a lot of 16 hour days... But at least I was paid a ton of overtime, something I would never get in management. 

As for teachers in Fla, not sure where we rank nationwide. I believe in this county they start at around $32,000. I know substitutes are paid around $70 a day and as low as $55 a day depending on education.... I was a substitute teacher in Knox County, TN in 1994 and made $75 a day.
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Through The Dark Radio

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:24 pm

One of my former bosses used to say the following: You grab your surfboard at the start of the day, you ride the way and then you put your board up and go home.

In other words, keep work at work.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:49 pm

In a perfect world, I agree TTDR. Unfortunately I'm on-call about one week a month so at that times it's difficult...
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:42 pm

MikeInFla wrote:
By the way, when I left my white collar job I drove a fork lift in a warehouse. Loved it, other than it was extremely hot and I had a lot of 16 hour days... But at least I was paid a ton of overtime, something I would never get in management. 

As for teachers in Fla, not sure where we rank nationwide. I believe in this county they start at around $32,000. I know substitutes are paid around $70 a day and as low as $55 a day depending on education.... I was a substitute teacher in Knox County, TN in 1994 and made $75 a day.


The subs in Wilson County got their first raise since 2006 and only get $80 per day if they have a 4 year degree.  This is 2016.  Our teachers start around $36,000.

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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:26 am

There used to be a lot of times when I thought about ditching grad school and going to a trade school to be an auto mechanic.
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topshot rhit



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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:50 am

I think the key is to love what you do. Mr. Money Mustache is a lot like me. Software guy who loves to build. Except he managed his money better and is "retired" in his early 30s (now 40 or so). Here are some options for you to consider
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/

Warning: he likes to swear, but I love his blog and attitude about most things.

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you should be concerned about your own."
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Xid

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:46 am

I don't believe God cares what we do for a profession.  Obviously there are moral ramifications to being a drug dealer or hit man but I haven't read in the Bible where it says:  "You shall then finish high school and proceedeth to college where you shall study the art of Spleen Extraction.  And you shall be a Spleen Extractor all of your days."

God has created us with gifts, talents, and desires.  We get distracted from those under the guise of earning a decent living.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:03 am

messiaen77 wrote:
There used to be a lot of times when I thought about ditching grad school and going to a trade school to be an auto mechanic.


That's where I am now, except it's more like ditching the "professional" career and being a... I don't know... plumber, electrician, elevator installer...
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:04 am

topshot rhit wrote:
I think the key is to love what you do. Mr. Money Mustache is a lot like me. Software guy who loves to build. Except he managed his money better and is "retired" in his early 30s (now 40 or so). Here are some options for you to consider
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/

Warning: he likes to swear, but I love his blog and attitude about most things.


Good point. I don't love what I do - the opposite, in fact.

I'll check out the blog and while it may bother some, I use "bad" words so it won't bother me.
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:06 am

Xid wrote:
I don't believe God cares what we do for a profession.  Obviously there are moral ramifications to being a drug dealer or hit man but I haven't read in the Bible where it says:  "You shall then finish high school and proceedeth to college where you shall study the art of Spleen Extraction.  And you shall be a Spleen Extractor all of your days."

God has created us with gifts, talents, and desires.  We get distracted from those under the guise of earning a decent living.


This made me laugh... Spleen Extractor! Sounds like a grindcore band.

Anyway, I agree with you. I think God wants us to use our skills he gave us and to relate to our coworkers in a way that reflects him but unfortunately I didn't realize this until about a year ago. Luckily I'm only 35 so I can make a change in the next year and it won't be too difficult.
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Through The Dark Radio

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:18 am

Okay, you maggots!!! You're about to finally see what you came for!!!  Give it up for Spleen Extractor!!!
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Driven

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:43 am

My upbringing also sort of gave me a blue collar stigma. In honesty, though, I really like hands-on work much more than I like paperwork, even though I get good grades. I think Kerrick has a good point about analyzing what you hate, though. But you might enjoy blue collar work. I know I do.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:15 pm

I come from a blue-collar family (although my mother had always done office work). I didn't graduate from college until I was almost 30, so I had several blue-collar jobs before I became a desk jockey. I have to confess that I found more satisfaction in the blue collar work (especially when I worked construction). However, the pay in the white collar work is substantially better, and the type of work is better on my back.

All that to say I have found different kinds of satisfaction with both types of work, and also stuff that I really dislike about both. I spent 9 months working as a dishwasher and busboy....that was likely the least satisfying job I ever had.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:21 pm

staybrite,

The pay is one of my biggest concerns. But I've seen skilled labor jobs that pay more than I make now after 10 years in my field. The key is the skilled labor - not just labor positions.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:15 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
staybrite,

The pay is one of my biggest concerns. But I've seen skilled labor jobs that pay more than I make now after 10 years in my field. The key is the skilled labor - not just labor positions.

That is true. The one problem I have seen with skilled "high pay" labor jobs is that they aren't always transferable to another field or even another company. We have machinists in the Seattle area that get paid more than the engineers who design the aircraft that the machinists build. When the company that makes those products decides it can build them cheaper in Mexico (or even Arkansas) the skilled laborers that were making $35 to $45 dollars an hour have no similar jobs to turn to that will make them even half of that.

Just something to think about.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:55 pm

Good point staybrite.

If I do make this decision, I'll likely do something a little more open to movement - plumbing or electrician, something where I can work many different places with one skill.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:04 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
Good point staybrite.

If I do make this decision, I'll likely do something a little more open to movement - plumbing or electrician, something where I can work many different places with one skill.

Plumbers have to make some seriously good money. I pay through the nose anytime I have to pay a plumber to fix something at my house. I've been trying to encourage my youngest son to become a plumber just so I can get him to help me out with plumbing problems around the house and not have to break the bank.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: Career stuff   Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:11 pm

Staybrite wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
Good point staybrite.

If I do make this decision, I'll likely do something a little more open to movement - plumbing or electrician, something where I can work many different places with one skill.

Plumbers have to make some seriously good money.  I pay through the nose anytime I have to pay a plumber to fix something at my house.  I've been trying to encourage my youngest son to become a plumber just so I can get him to help me out with plumbing problems around the house and not have to break the bank.


I have a buddy that is an apprentice electrician right now with his brother, who is a journeyman. They've worked with a plumber who charges $40 an hour residential and much, much more for corporate work.
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