The ultimate question: do what you love for less $$? Or hate what you do for more $$?
If you could go back to a time when you were just starting out, would you continue on the same career path you are on now? Or would you change?
If you were to change, would it be for a job that you love, but make less $$? Or would you opt to make more $$, with the repercussion of potentially hating said job?
To put a horsey spin on it, would you rather go back to school (and therefore cut into riding time substantially) to start a career that you know you will love, but ultimately not make enough $$ to support the horses? Or would you chose a career path that does not require more school (so no hampering riding time ) with a much higher salary, but not really in an area that interests you?
How much more $$$. If it was way more, I'd say go work at the thing that pays a lot and SAVE as much as possible. That way later on you can take a much lower paying job in a field you love and have the funds to pay for extras. Theoretically.
I work two low-paying jobs that I love. Sometimes I look at friends who are way better off financially and work many fewer hours than I do and think I was stupid, but in reality I wouldn't change a thing.
I think that life is too short to spend it doing something you don't like.
"I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh
Job A -- would be average income, but in about 3-4 years. I am accepted into a nursing program, which starts in the fall. Its going to take a lot of work, and a lot of night classes, but ultimately when I am finished, it will be something I really love to do. It would allow me to ride my horses, but I am really going to be pinching pennies for the next 5-10 years. I am still paying off my 1st degree, let alone starting my 2nd.
Job B -- way above average income, talking 6 figures. Environmental consulting. Its an up and coming company, lots of growth. But it would require a descent amount of traveling, which I think would get really old, fast. And its more of an office job, which I am in right now, and HATE. Honestly I hate it because the hours suck and I cant get out to the barn. I wouldnt hate an office job as much if it was closer to home, and allowed me to get out and ride. The $$ would allow me to ride, train, compete, AND save.
Ideally, I want to take the consulting job, while still getting my nursing degree. But I am not sure how long I can handle that, especially if the traveling is as substantial as I think.
It's a hard question to answer. I think that ultimately, if I had it to do over again, I'd go for something that made me easily employable. What I love to do isn't easily employable. I'd want something that's in demand and isn't going to suddenly not be needed. I wouldn't care about making six figures, I'd just want to make enough to live on without major debt and to either have a retirement plan or be able to set some aside. After being unemployed for so long, I wish i had the skills for something other than I do.
As far as happy, the happiest I've ever been at any job is working in a barn, with horses-anything from mucking stalls to guiding trail rides, to working with "problem horses." I love doing all of that and more...but it doesn't pay enough to live on, let alone have benefits, so, despite it making me the happiest I've ever been, I wouldn't do it full time any more.
The two jobs I've had in my life that I loved the most also paid the least and simply weren't viable choices - for me. The job I have now pays very well and while I don't love it, it allows me to be self-sufficient, keep two equines on my own property, take weekly riding lessons, and take great vacations now and then. I judge the trade-off to be worth it.
In your situation, I think I would probably take the good job now, stick with it for a couple of years, pay off as much of your student debt as you can, and save money. Then, if you still want to go to nursing school, you can do it then.
The University here offers a BS to BSN accelerated program for people who already have a BS in something else but decide they want to go into nursing. IIRC, it's 3 semesters of full-time, accelerated coursework and training, but at the end you've got a BSN. Maybe something like that would work for you. Certainly cheaper than the 3-4 years for regular nursing school.
I've read a couple great books recently (48 Days To the Work You Love by Dan Miller and Quitter by Jon Acuff) that have solidified one thing into my head: Money is ultimately never enough compensation. You can get by for awhile, but in the end, you'll just be miserable.
Personally, I'd go with the first choice (looking into that accelerated BSN program -- I know the university I attend has one and it's excellent) -- it may mean pinching pennies, but it's easier to pinch pennies when you know you'll be happy with the outcome!
To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.
I make good money (mid $40s) an only have a HS degree in a retirement area in FL (I'm 31). I REALLY need to go to drafting school so I can up that a large amount but if I sign on to my company (I am a contractor for 6yrs) I could get them to pay for it. So should I pay for it on my own or should I wait to become an company employee .. there is no job in sight though but it should happen by the end of the year.
I love my job now but now that Drafting has been added (without school so I have had to learn it quick with almost no help) it will be a bit more stressful but the money should be worth it.
*^*^*^ Himmlische Traumpferde
"Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
It depends. Would I work for poverty-level wages doing "what I really love" vs working at a well-paying job I dislike? No way. Would I take a pay cut so I can do what I really like? Well...yes, I'm actually doing that right now. I could potentially earn twice as much as I do now working civie-side, but I like my job and am happy in it.
I think satisfaction in your job is impartant, but I also I think there's a tendency to place too much importance on it sometimes. It's ok to work at a job you don't love if it pays the bills and allows you to do things you love after work, and to build a secure future. Yes, if you absolutely despise it to the point where it's a constant source of stress that's not good - but being barely able to make ends meet or worry that any illness could mean bankruptcy because you don't have health insurance at the job you love is also a source of stress.
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
As long as you don't hate the job, it's just a job that has things about it that you love and things about it you don't like, then you should consider that with more income you will be able to do more things that you enjoy, like riding. This isn't a cheap sport. It's also not a sport you can dabble in, so it requires time. But since most jobs that pay well demand more of your time, it's always a trade off. You can have more time and less money as your other side dish.
I happen to like my corporate desk job, but I've had trade offs the last 20+ years, with ups and downs.
The down side:
- I worked many hours and mostly only rode on the weekends for a good few years
- I commuted insane distances for many years
- I played the climb the ladder game, because that is how you make more money.
- I managed people
- I traveled more than I prefer
- I knew that I was unofficially expected to keep up with work while on PTO (pretend time off)
The up side:
- I can afford my horses without sacrificing other interests, I can even pursue other interests
- I am paid well and I don't have to supervise people
- I am respected for the job I do and don't have to play the climb the corporate ladder game
- Not all offices are far away. In fact my current one is about 25 feet from my bedroom. As you get experience and value, your ability to WAH increases.
- I got to see other parts of the country on somebody else's nickel. Hey, I'm not claiming LA is my dream destination, but it's nice to get out of your own corner of the world, even if it involves a red eye and a corporate hotel/office/meeting routine.
- I have plenty of vacation. More than I can use. I don't even mind keeping up with work email because I've learned most of it is easily ignorable and the rest I just use to time manage my return to work day
None of the good things came right away, but there's nothing unusual about that, that's life in any job. If you get into a nursing program and for a good long time you will probably be at the bottom of the heap for requesting shift hours and vacation days, especially during holidays. So the question isn't about $$$ but about what you want to do. And you might be surprised at what you like/don't like. When I was in my 20's, never in a million years did I think I would like an office job. It's possible I might have been overly dramatic, and declared (a la Scarlett O'Hara) that" Ah might die in an office!"
Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.
I think it depends on what you mean... HOW much less money? Would you be able to live reasonably on the lower income, or would you have to live so frugally you didn't enjoy life? It also depends on what you mean by hate. If you are absolutely miserable every day, there is no amount of money that can make up for that (in my opinion). Your extreme unhappiness bleeds over into the rest of your life, you end up being miserable on Sundays because you have to go to work the next day... it's no way to live.
However, I feel it is less WHAT you do for a living as WHERE you work. I have had the same general job focus my entire career (although I have moved up the career ladder). There have been times I was miserable because the company (culture/environment/etc.) was a very poor fit for me, and there have been times I was excited about going to work. In fact, the job I loved the most, I worked the most too. It was a start-up company, and the days were very long and the weeks were very long (we usually worked weekends too), but the company we created was awesome--great culture, great environment, great people! I would not trade that for anything. Oh, and I even worked without pay for a while--start up and all that--but I loved it!
I left a job I really enjoyed for one I enjoy slightly less but pays way better, has benefits, less overtime, etc. I think I made a good compromise: liking, not loving, work, but it will pay for what I want in the long run like horses, property and kids, plus gives me the time to do it.
I have always said I work to live, not live to work. I could make a lot more money aiming for management at my current company, but then is be giving up so much more time to the job--no thanks!
What I'm trying to say is I think there is a "happy medium" for lots of people. Ultimately you shouldn't be miserable with your work, but you need to decide what's most important in your life.
I recently started my first job following grad-school. I received two job offers the same week. Job A was very, very similar to the work I had done during grad school and was in the same geographic area. Job B would utilize the skills I developed during grad school but in a slightly different application focus and was in a much, much more expensive location. Both jobs were offering nearly comparable benefits and the same salary. I decided to follow my gut feeling and took Job B. So far I am very happy with that decision. I work reasonable hours and will actually have the time to enjoy my horse when I get him up here. Budgets will be tighter, but for me the quality of life was a big deal.
I would probably go back and try for vet school (despite having no real aptitude for the math required.) I might not hate it, and it would be better money than I make now. I don't know, I've never had a job I loved OR one that paid really well, so I can't make any comparison.
If I ever could go back, I would do a lot different! As for a career, I would do what pays more hands down! Mainly because I never want to be in financial straights/ the medical bill position that I was in in 2007/8!
Strange how much you've got to know Before you know how little you know. Anonymous
I was a lawyer in a big NYC firm for 3 years, and in that time I paid off all my student debt. I absolutely hated it, but I had big loans that needed to get paid. I stopped practicing law after 4 - 5 years, and that was 20 years ago.
So I am going to say, suck it up, take the six figure job and pay off all your student debt as quickly as you can. That gives you freedom. See how fast you can do it -- one year? two years? five years? That's when you are free, and now almost certainly more employable. Once you are debt free (and ideally have saved some money) then you can decide if you want to go to nursing school, or you may find there is something else you want to do.
You do not have to love what you do every single week or even year. Delay gratification for a few years -- it means much more freedom long term.