I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Commence minor breakdown.

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 2
214 posts
Helper bee

I would definitely not recommend going back to school without having had first-hand experience in the field so that you know you want to do it. I see so many people do this all the time – they think they know what a profession is going to be like, and they sink years of their life and thousands of dollars into graduate school, then they start working and discover they don’t like it.

My advice would be to sit down with your husband, look at your finances and figure out what makes sense for you. Can you afford to try out this job at the track and see if you like it? You’re not committing to a lifetime career there. But if it’s truly something you love, it may be easier to not burn out. If you need a more stable income like your teaching career, is there anything related to education that is not teaching that you might enjoy more? I know you said you tried other things already but I wasn’t sure how far afield you went. I know former teachers who went into policy work, college student affairs, education technology support, etc. My advice would be to take some time to really fully explore your options – read online, connect with professional organizations for jobs you might be interested in, ask for informational interviews with people who are doing jobs you might like. If necessary, do this in your spare time while working whatever job you need to pay the bills.

You might have to almost start over your job search like you’re a college senior, because it sounds like you never really did that – you just decided you wanted to be a teacher but it doesn’t sound like you ever really explored your interests or your other options. And honestly, a lot of people make that mistake. Many (most?) people change their career path somewhere along the way so it’s not even a little weird.

Post # 3
412 posts
Helper bee

Chiming in to say, I love horse racing and horses and am a HUGE supporter of doing that option because just based on your post it seems to be what would make you happiest. Your fiance will see how happy you are (and of course the bad days) and be there to support you no matter what. 

What about pursuing your race track job (maybe galloping early morning exercisers) and then considering substitute teaching at school? I’m not sure where you are located but where I am (midwest USA) substitutes make a decent amount of money AND you only need so many hours of college credit, nothing special. Its still teaching… but easier I feel like? That could be your part-time job solution and give you a more stable income and something to fall back on if the track job doesn’t work out. 

Also – in my area they have “permanent subtitutes” which are still sub teachers, but they aren’t like an actual teacher within the school. Most likely these are ones they just keep on call to come in when another teacher is sick or if a teacher is gone for a long period of time, etc. 

Post # 6
653 posts
Busy bee

I agree with the previous posters.  If galloping is what you love, you should do it!  Tutoring would be an entiirely different environment than teaching, and you might find it very fulfilling to work with smaller groups.  Depending on which area you’re in, you could try to get hired on as a part time tutor at somewhere like Sylvan Learning center.  You could gallop horses in the morning and tutor after school hours. 

If you decide that tutoring isn’t for you, you can always get a job in a field that you think might interest you, but one that doesn’t require you to do a ton of schooling to get started.  So, if it’s nursing, perhaps you could look into training as a CNA, or see if there’s an accelerated program to get you through your BSN since you already have a bachelors degree.  

Let me put it to you this way– you may as well take the opportunity at the track and see how it goes.  At the very least, you know you have teaching to fall back on.  

Post # 7
1581 posts
Bumble bee

You might look at WGU.  I’ve got several friends who have gotten their BSNs (both with a prior RN and without) through their program.  It’s fairly intensive, but overally, the price is right if you devote the time.

Post # 8
1501 posts
Bumble bee

Would changing your job in education be better? A friend of mine switched to a private school and is so much happier than when she was in public school. Or how about an administrative role? 

As someone who is going to school to be a health care practitioner, I highly recommend observing in the field before you dive right in. I’d never walk into those really challenging science courses without doing my due diligence first. Also, health care isn’t for everyone and so many people go into it for the wrong reason. Just make sure you are going to be passionate about it and have a special place in your heart for helping people. Otherwise you’ll be in the same spot- working a high stress job, that you won’t enjoy because of other people, and now people’s lives are in your hands. Good luck to you! Also, there are so many other roles in healthcare than just nursing. Maybe explore some of those too 😊

Post # 9
96 posts
Worker bee

Definitely at least try the track job! It sounds like you’d really regret not at least giving it a shot, and if you can afford it then I don’t see a reason not to. I agree with a PP that nursing may not be for you and it’s a big risk to go back to school/be in debt without really knowing much about the field and if it’s right for you. 

From my experience in my area the equine industry is very interconnected and there are a lot of opportunities if you know people in the business. And once you are familiar with one facet of the industry, it’s easier to move to other positions (stable/track management, etc). Burnout is much less likely if you’re doing what you love, though you’ll definitely still be exhausted at times. Working with animals means you don’t really get time off but it’s also so rewarding! 

Also, I work for an equine rescue organization and we put a huge emphasis on public education and a few staff members are former teachers – maybe something like this exists where you are? 

Post # 10
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
futurerosiehanson :  How about becoming a guidance councellor or some sort of youth worker? Yousaid ypu love working with kids but dont like the other stuff that comes with teaching… mabe becoming a guidance councellor may be a natural transition?

Post # 11
1348 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2019

If you have an opportunity to do something that you know that you love and that pays you enough to live off of then GIRL. Do it.

You say you love teaching and kids. Isn’t there a way to combine those things with your equine experience in the future? I have a friend from high school who teaches children how to ride horses and she absolutely loves it.

I get that people aren’t a huge fan of unconventional careers and following your passion, but you’ve got a real opportunity here. Take it. If it doesn’t work out that’s fine, but you just can’t let it pass you by.

I’m not talking out of my ass here. I quit my job working for someone else last year to be self-employed and it was the best decision I ever made.

Post # 12
708 posts
Busy bee

I really believe that being happy is more important than perceived success in a career field. I say this because I was in a high stress field and had a mental break down- ended up in therapy and taking a year off. I’m now going back to school. That said, being able to eat and have a roof over your head is also very important. Do you have the savings right now to be comfortable for a while and is your SO comfortably able to provide while you try to figure out your career? 

Post # 13
15 posts

I went back to school at 29.  I was 100% sure about switching career paths and it’s been a real pain the ass,  so if you’re not 100%, you should think long and hard about finances, more loans, etc.

I vote racehorses! My first thought was equine vet tech, but I don’t know that they make too much money. It’s an idea though. Giving riding lessons as another been mentioned. 

What do you teach? Have you ever thought about moving into adult continuing education classes, online classes, etc? I definitely think it’s worth a shot! 

Post # 14
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Have you considered being taken on as an apprentice at the track so that you could evolve your love of exercise riding into an eventual job as a trainer? If you felt the need to go back to school you could also take some courses on equine racing management. Maybe teaching horses would be the sweet spot between your love of education and your love of horses?

Post # 15
1124 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with PPs that you should NOT go back to school. I think you should go for the track job. I’ve found that when I love what I’m doing, burnout is a lot less real. I was less burned out when I was frantically working 70 hours a week at a job I loved than when I was working 35 hours a week at a job that bored me. 

The worst case scenario is that it turns out you hate the track job and you’re miserable there…which is the same position you’re in now. What is there to lose? 

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