(Closed) Quarter Life Crisis Career Change?

posted 9 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I was a medical researcher through my 20’s.  It was an interesting job, but benchwork was so far away from the patient care interactions that I loved.

So at 28, I bit the bullet and went back to school to fulfill my prerequisites for medicine.  At 29, I was enrolled in medical school and at 32 (I turned 33 after graduation), I had an MD degree.

Was it scary to leave a cushy career for something unknown and difficult?  Oh yeah!  Do I regret it?  Not for a second!

PAs make great money and lots of different career opportunities.  You were originally premed anyway, right?

Post # 4
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

If you have the energy, girl, go for it.  Just the thought of not even STARTING another program until 2012 would make me want to cry ;o)  But you are younger than I and you won’t even be my age by that time.

I think you need to truly evaulate the pros and cons of each situation and be sure that you would be happy in this field for all the right reasons and it’s not just a fleeting thing.  I’m not saying that you have “fleeting” ideas about careers, but for like six months last year, I thought it would be a BRILLIANT idea to go to law school.  THANK GOD I did not do this.  It was stuck in my head for all the wrong reasons and I would have dug myself further into debt.

And definitely make sure you’re cool with taking the pay cut.  Honestly, I couldn’t.  Fiance and I have been struggling to make ends meet for the last five years and all I want right now is to make MORE money. 

Anyway, I hope you don’t think I’m being a Debbie Downer.  I think your plans sound like a great idea if you can swing it.  I know that when I’m looking for advice, I always want people to make me see the flip side of things ;o)

Post # 6
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

First of all, I’m so happy to hear about your endo being gone! That must be such a relief. Second, I think that you should probably sit on this decision for a little while. If, after a little bit of time has passed, you still really want to make the change then go for it. I find that, no matter how good other aspects of my life are, I still am generally unhappy because I am unhappy in my job. I often feel like I need to make some sort of huge change and take a risk or else I will never be happy. I think career satisfaction is really important to a person’s general happiness with their life. I used to think – oh, whatever, it’s just a 9-5, it pays the bills, blah blah blah – but now I’m sort of realizing that it is more than that. I think you should do what will make you happy, but definitely don’t make any hasty decisions.

Post # 8
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@EJS: Sounds like it’s something you want and you’ve put serious thought into it.  Like I said, if you can swing it, go for it :o)

Post # 9
Member
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

EJS – You should DO IT! take it from me. I was involved in life sciences research, specficially, Microbiology and Immunology, before heading back to school for nursing. I started school at 25 and will graduate when I am 27. If you are bored now – 20 years down the road in the cube farm will have you pulling out your hair. Engineering might be cushy, but what’s the good of all that money when you are not stimulated by your job? And like you said, you keep going back to researching PA programs. I did the same thing for a year or two before making the committment to go back to nursing school. Health sciences is such a challenging and interesting field – I can safely say I have NEVER been bored while on shift, except for the occasional night shift when nothing much was going on.

It’s hella scary to make that change, but if it’s something you really want, you won’t regret it. I did it – some days you will doubt your choice, but overall it has been a fantastic journey. GOOD LUCK!

Post # 10
Member
1580 posts
Bumble bee

ejs- Have you looked into any medical device companies? There are definitely opportunities out there for material science people. If you continue on your path and get your MSE/MBA, you could definitely transition into a marketing job (probably even before you finish your MBA). Both marketing people and engineers often get to spend time in the OR (if your company does implantables) and get a lot of interaction with doctors/surgeons. It’s a way to work in the medical field without going to PA or med school. It’s definitely rewarding.

My best advice would be to examine all of the options that follow your current path before making such a huge decision to switch – maybe seeing if a different department at your company has a position open for you to try something new. I know you’ve said in previous posts how difficult it may be to get back into engineering once you stop. I’m sure you’ll be successful whatever you choose! Keep us updated 🙂

Post # 11
Member
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

You already know how I feel and my thoughts.  I think you’re dynamic, amazingly intelligent and could do anything you decide to do!

I myself, love my job in medicine (nuclear medicine technologist) but feel the urge of wanting to learn something new after 17 years in the field now and am considering my MBA and a leave from clinical medicine for a while. 

However, the economy is rough right now and one other thing I didn’t tell you is this.  In my field (not sure about PA though) there are not enough to go around.  The market was flooded a few years back, but then due to some wise choices from our licensure/governance body, it was changed and now finally in a few years our numbers graduating and the need will balance out.  But for now and for a few more years, there’s not enough in my field to go around and we have bright and hard working graduates who can’t get jobs.  Hopefully this is not the case for the PA’s out there, but it sure is for my field of nuclear medicine. 

I will pm you later, but think you should reconsider looking at a long distance learning program for the specialty field I told you about since it’s an emerging field and they really need people there–genetic counseling.  It’s amazing!

Post # 12
Member
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think that’s a great idea!  Its not going to be easy as pie, but its manageable and I think totally worth it in the end. 

I’m actually considering making a big huge change in my life after the wedding too.  In fact, the wedding doesn’t stress me out nearly as much as the fact that my life will be rearranged in the upcoming year.  Somehow I plan to 1. Move from NYC to Connecticut, 2. Find a job, 3. get pregnant then shortly after having a baby, 4.  Go back to school for teaching.  Yikes, everyone thinks I’m legally insane but I want this.  And that’s what it comes down to.  You want it so you’ll do it and you’ll love it! 

Post # 13
Member
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

You are definitely NOT off your rocker. You have to choose to do what you love, when you do what you love the money will come naturally.

I made a career change at 34. I went from corporate/pharmaceutical/environmental health attorney to Holistic Health Counselor and yoga instructor. Initially it was a huge paycut and adjustment. I definitely could not have done it without the loving support of my SO.  (Not financial, I did it all on my own).

I took a pretty large (75k?!!!!) paycut initially to follow my own bliss. I just adjusted my lifestyle. Now, becuase I run my own business and make my own hours I am happier..and my business has more than doubled in the past year….now I am only about 25K from my lawyer pay. 🙂 It took a lot of hard work mostly I just closed my eyes and jumped. You have to follow your dreams, believe in yourself and everything will fall into place.

 

You’re not crazy! Good Luck!!! <3

Post # 15
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@EJS re: the kids thing…definitely make sure you’re both on board with that.  When Fiance and I first got together, he swore he would have his first kid by 30.  Not. going. to. happen.  But we re-talked it over, and it looks like I’ll be 29ish and he’ll be around 31-32.  He’s cool with it now because he can’t see us having kids anytime soon.  Plus I think he’d rather I be a little younger since I’ll be the one having the kid!  haha :o)

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