Wanting to start over in career

  1. Is there ever a time when you decide to make a life-altering change whether it be career, relationship, job, etc? I have come to that crossroad. After 6 years of working a meaningless, selfish job, I want to start over and do something that will help others and be fullfilling.
    A brief background:
    I graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1999 with a BS in Mass Comm/PR and a minor in french. My initial idea was to obtain a job in sports marketing and advertising somewhere in the Twin Cities, leading to professional sports. Well, it never panned out and I was unable to find a position for someone fresh out of college. I ended up taking a job as a technical recruiter/sales (as many unsure college grads do...go into sales), did that for a year, then began what led to be a 6-year career in mortgage processing/underwriting. Me, someone who avoided all math classes in college...sitting and working with financial calculations all day every day? I was even surprised at myself. I made a pretty decent living in mortgage since it was the mid 2000's and the refi boom was full swing. Yet, somehow, I felt it was an empty, selfish industry, with many people in it only to make a big buck and not caring who they hurt in the process. And now, when you look at the slumping housing industry today, you can see the outcome of that. Towards the downswing of my mortgage career, my dad began experiencing health issues again that he'd been battling all his life. With several trips to the Er, going through a heart attack, being diagnosed diabetic...he was on 13 different medications and was feeling awful. In turn, I felt helpless. I wanted to learn more and be able to help, to understand, to do something.
    All my life I'd been interested in the medical field, in symptoms, causes/cures...maybe it was the hypochondriac in me. I don't know why I never considered a career in it...probably too scared of failing and didn't want to take the risk. But now, I am older, wiser and on the verge of turning 31 (tomorrow!). I have 7 years of work and life experience under my belt and want to take the next challenge. I have signed up for 2 classes at the University of Minnesota next semester and also spoke to an advisor at the health services dept. there. I figure, it will take me 3 years to finish the prereqs (those classes I avoided in my first round of college), then I can take the PCAT and apply to Pharmacy school. My other thought is try even further and take a stab at medical school. Am I living a pipe dream or is this feasible? Am I too old to start fresh?
     
  2. I don't think you are at all. I've heard about people starting med school in their 50s, so you're still young and should go for what you want to do - you probably have at least 30 years left of your professional career, so it's important that you do something you actually want IMO :yes:
     
  3. Go for it. I'm getting my prereq's for pharm school now and I've been in the business 10 years. I have one pharmacist who started school in her 30's w/ 3 kids and graduated at 42. I'm 25 and almost didnt go back thinking I was too old, but I figured what the heck. Med school is only 2 more years if your considering it. I though about it, but all my exp is in pharmacy and I really dont want to step out of my comfort zone. It's what I know and what I love, so it's what I'm sticking with! I do recommend trying out first though. I would try part time in a retail pharmacy and then try per diem (as needed) in a hospital. I have done both and prefer hospital. It pays less, but you have less bs than in retail. If you like people and have alot of patience try retail. Good Luck!
     
  4. Thank you for the words of encouragement! Its great to hear other people's success stories when I am feeling discouraged. :p
     
  5. I'm going to also be ditching my career for another one later this year.

    It's hard to do but sometimes you have to just cut the cord and go for it, good luck!!
     
  6. Your never too old and you already started by taking the classes. Good for you and good luck!!!
     
  7. Happy birthday (tomorrow), and sorry 2 hear about your dad and his health conditions! hope he gets better!
    I'm in my early 30's and am considering a change in career as well and your thread caught my attn. (My ramblings below are just my opinions.. )
    I agree with everyone that you are never to old to pursue anything. If you want to pursue a career in medicine, I wish you the best! It is a LONG LONG journey, though. You have to calculate bout 8 years from when you complete your pre-req's, that you may be able to work after all the med training, if at best. 4 yrs of med school, (along with the HEFTY, HEFTY tuition~ at least $150K+), and internship, and residency (minimum 3yrs depending on the field). Fellowship after residency depending on your field, that can range from 1 to 3 yrs. And resident and fellow salary is really @ base, even if you have m.d. initials next to your name!! And if you get pregnant some time in between, that's more time off.
    It's about 10 good years of your life to train in med. I'm sure you can do it but you'll be in early 40'sthen, with a huge school debt and 10 years of lost pay. I really hope I don't sound discouraging, but I guess I'm in your age range, and I know that would be tough for me.
    For ex, if you go to med school, and decide to do pediatrics, for instance. 10 years of painful training, and your staring is $90K (in NY). So 10 years of lost pay, accrued debt, and hard work, and $90 K to start does not sound like a good compensation for me, imo. Pharm is less years in training, with good earning potential, and also helping people in health needs. Nursing is way shorter on training years, but nurses are in HOT demand, as there are major shortage in nurses in US.
    I hope I did not sound too discouraging. If your heart is really in med, best wishes to you. I'm just thinking if I were in your shoes, I'd factor in all those things for myself. I guess my heart is not in med so maybe it's not the best advice?
     
  8. I think you are at a wonderful time in your life to shift gears and find something that feeds your soul as well as your pocket. I left a very well paying but increasingly unfulfilling career a few years ago, and I don't regret it a bit. Yes, I've made some concessions in pay (and know I can make more if I'm willing to put in more hours but my three little ones take priority right now), but I put aside some money when I was doing well so that pressure is off.

    It can be so easy to stay on the same track, make money but do so in a way that just deadens your senses, and I believe life should be much more than that. I think you should keep exploring and find out what areas in medicine appeal to you and what you're willing to do to get there. You may also stumble across some areas you never considered before. I do agree about nursing--these men and women are so important in our health system and are in great demand.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Just an fyi/update. I know that for pharm school it's 6 years total and you do your interning in your 6th year, so there is no "extra" time after that. Starting pay in FL is $110K in retail and around $90K-$95K in a hospital. The average school loan is 150-200, so that is steep.
     
  10. Good thing is my undergrad loan is pretty well paid off give or take a couple thousand, so I don't have to add that in. Some students who go straight from undergrad to professional or grad school have to roll it all in. I know it will be tough financially and mentally, but well, rather try then regret never pursuing it later! :smile:
     
  11. I think it's great that you're taking steps towards a fulfilling career. I was a certified pharmacy technician at Walgreens for 2 years while in college, and the pharmacists get treated really well there. If I wanted to, I could have gotten scholarship money to go to school for pharmacy and continue working as a technician and then a pharmacy intern. You should check with some of the pharmacies in your area to see if that is an option for you. It's a great way to learn while still making money.
     
  12. Happy Birthday!! and yes, go for it!!

    You are never too old to change careers. A family friend of mine was sick of her desk job and went to landscape design school to get her certification....changed careers in her early 50s! She wondered why she waited so long!
     
  13. I think you are never too old to start a new career. I know someone who had gotten his undergrad and then tried law school. Didn't like that path. So at some point he decided to head for med school and changed his mind. He was sort of doing this and that when he met a girl who was a doctor and long story short, he married her and now he's a doctor. I think he had to be around 30 or so when he started working towards med school.