Not sure what to do with my career

posted 6 months ago in Logistics
Post # 2
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Scotts ~ Walnut Creek

This is a tough situation and my advice may not be the most helpful but I can kind of relate so I’ll share. Doing a job you don’t enjoy for about a 1/3 of your life will likely make you miserable. Some people can manage that for the income, some choose otherwise. I make a decent salary about 65k, I’m very competent at my job but I don’t enjoy it nor am I at all passionate about it so decided to go back to school. Once I finish my income will be significantly lower but the personal fulfillment will bring me joy.

Your father will probably be angry, disappointed and may not understand your choice. But it is your choice. So you need to decide whats more important to you. Going through with dental or changing to a career you might have some hope of liking. Money is also an issue to consider. If you change your plan can you pay for school with student loans and no support from your father?

The main issue I see is that you’ve invested so much time and someone elses money into dental school. Did it take you this long to realize this wasn’t a good choice or were you too scared to say anything before now?

Post # 3
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2020

Are there any other allied health programs you would be interested in that are offered at nearby community colleges? Radiologic technology (xray and other imaging), ultrasound, a nursing program? You will likely have all or most of the prerequisites due to your dental assisting degree and it would be similar in cost and time to the hygiene degree but hopefully more interesting and with better teachers. 

I’m not sure why you think you would be off half the year as a teacher? Unless you were a substitute taking short term contracts or if schooling differs that much in your area/country? Teaching is typically 9 months out of the year with most of the summer dedicated to getting coursework prepared for the following year and working part time as many teachers unfortunately do not make a very livable wage. I would tread very carefully going into that career.

Make an appointment with your career counselor at your college. Go over what you think some good options may be and research realistic job outlooks (growth and wages and benefits) and job conditions (typically shifts and duties) on anything that seems interesting to you. 

Good luck!

Post # 4
7 posts

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Post # 5
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

majesty :  Yikes, bad advice.

OP, no matter what you do, if your heart isn’t in it, you’ll hate it. My opinion is that you’ve come this far, so you might as well see this degree through. Then do some deep reflecting and pick a subject or trade you really love and go back for that.

Post # 6
362 posts
Helper bee

You are so close, I hope you finish your current degree. It honestly sounds like you do not know what you want to do. Going into teaching when you’re not sure if thats your passion either, sounds like a bad idea. Personally, I would finish, work in dental for a few years on that salary and explore other options in the meantime. Most colleges have a career center that may help. 

Post # 8
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I agree with PPs that you should finish your current degree since you only have one semester left. Then work as a dental assistant for a couple of years while you save up money and figure out what you really want to do. During that time, do some teaching-related volunteer work to get a sense of how you might like a teaching career—only pursue it if you love it, not for the summer vacation, because it’s a huge amount of work. And live at home with your parents if at all possible to save money on rent. Society as a whole may frown on that, but it’s honestly the smart thing to do, especially if you’re at the point of not being able to pursue the career you want because you can’t afford the student loans.

Post # 9
1667 posts
Bumble bee

Finish up your degree and work in the field for a while before getting any more schooling. You don’t seem to really understand what a teaching career is like. It’s hard work. You can love kids, but hate teaching. There’s a whole lot more to classroom management than liking kids. There’s also a lot of bureacuracy and a lot of politics. 

Do research before committing to a career. Constant switching looks bad on a resume. 


Post # 10
1 posts

It sounds like a lot of your decision of going into dental hygiene was out of lack of direction on a career path and to please your dad. You don’t sound thrilled about teaching either, just that it sounds like a better alternative. Speaking from experience, follow your passion. I was a nursing major while working on my associates degree. I took the fall of 2017 off from school after receiving my associates in the spring to find what career I truly wanted to pursue: psychology. It sounds like taking some time away from school to find your passion could be beneficial. If you are going to spend countless hours and quite a bit of money on a career choice: make it one you love.

Post # 11
81 posts
Worker bee

Please please please don’t listen to all the bs about your career having to be your “passion” or “calling”. This might be the case for a minority of very lucky people (and actually I kind of consider myself one of them), but even for them some days a job is a job and sucks. You need to be pragmatic here. Typically, if you are motivated and capable, opportunities will present themselves without you having to bury yourself in debt. Most people don’t do what they went to school for anyway. You should finish your degree, work for a couple years, and really see the pros and cons of being in the dental field before looking to do something else. And then leverage your education and work experience to move into the direction that interests you adjacent to what you are already doing. Don’t just keep pressing reset- chances are higher that your “dream job” will end up just as tedious as what you would have been doing, but now you’ll be years behind your peers and up to your ears in loans. I actually think the “follow your passion” career guidance mentality in the US is super unhealthy and want to make sure you read a counterpoint. 

Post # 12
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Hi! As a teacher I would just like to give you some insights on education as a career. In my state we do not get half the year off. We get the end of June to the third week of August and many teachers go back beginning of August. And with teaching, you never stop working. I am contracted 7 hours, but get there about an hour before and stay at least a half hour each day. Not to mention that you do so much work at home. 


With that hat being said, teaching is just what I know I was meant to do with my life. The perks are that my children can come to school with me and I just love my job, but the misconceptions about “summers off” is truly false. Not to mention, many teachers continue their learning with classes and professional development on the weekends and summers. 


Good luck bee! I would finish your degree and see how you like it. 

Post # 13
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

brookeee16 :  

Trust me when I say this

Do not think of teaching as a “f”uck it let’s give it a go the holidays are good” fallback option.

My mum is a teacher, her brother and sister are both teachers. Three of my cousins are teachers. My grandmother was a librarian in a high school. 

I thought “I don’t hate the idea of teaching, my family is full of them, let’s do it”

I was so wrong. Wasted years at uni. Still paying back student debt. It absolutely was not for me and I regret the wasted years to this day. 

You gotta have teaching in you to do it. And if passion is a prerequisite, you gotta know teaching is 100% it. 

Just my two cents from someone who has been there. I now work as an IT project manager go bloody figure.

Side note. Don’t feel like you have to 100% hold out for a career you’re passionate about btw. It’s a bit of a pipe dream these days and it’s a part of life that pays the bills. It’s just teaching so often is a passion-driven career, and it’s a kind of passion that’s hard to manufacture. 

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