change of career path at the age of 39....advices on being a SA/Personal Shopper

  1. just read through this whole thread. juneping - good for you for going after what you want!! taking smaller steps like you are is probably the best way to transition!!! you go girl!
  2. ahs483
    thanks!! i am still looking to land a full time job to support this hobby job....
    with this round of job searching...i have to say i ran into the strangest employers ever....i thought i've seen enough...weird people never fail to surprise me.
  3. OP, I read from the beginning and understand your frustration. I am currently going through the same ordeal. I know paralegal is what I am interested in but I feel it's a waste to graduate with a BS in nutrition and not being able to land a job in that field. I learn since the first day of class to be a nutritionist I have to further my education to become an RD by landing an intership and try to go to grads school. Honestly all that isn't for me so I decided to find paralegal programs. I have an interview this Tuesday for a program that's top of my list and needless to say I am very excited about the new opportunity. At least "I love what I do and do what I love," KWIM?

    Congrats on being a step closer to where you want to be. I say start as part time and if you really enjoy it, pursue it.

    BTW, do you ever feel your career change is a downgrade? I have people telling me that, going from a degree to a certificate, but I know deep down inside it'll be something I'm interested in. GL and keep us updated!
  4. Going from Unhappy to Happy is always an upgrade. Best of Luck!
  5. not really. i am doing something i absolutely hate. and the people here are toxic as well. architecture is really that kind of job looking good on the outside. some people do enjoy it but they are pretty much doing design or managing some kind of fulfilling tasks. some people are just happy doing down and dirty kind of renovation (very cheap bathroom and corridor renovation in those class C and below office buildings) but i know i cannot find any fulfillment handling those kind of projects. i know people around me would probably tell me the same thing and for that reason i never tell anyone except my bf who told me to pursue my dream and don't let the adversity get me down. at the end of the day, it's your life and you are the one who is living it. why let people tell you how you should live your life. so what if it's downgrade to them...can you imagine how happy you will be doing your job instead of dragging to go to work? as long as it is not a downgrade to you. what you see the situation is the most important thing when you make your career decision. if someone really love architecture, they might handle the situation differently. but b/c of the situation i am in, i just realized i cannot keep doing something i hate. if my boss treated me with respect, i would still be working here and not be fulfilled on a daily basis. but since they are doing me this favor by treating me badly, i actually got to think what i want out of life. even for the job search...i am looking at something more specific.. i just cannot do what i am doing no more.
    i am asian...and asians are very into that kind of social position we are in. so for my parents to know i want to be a SA?! they would be so mad and disappointed. i also didn't tell them. i probably will when i achieve something. just not during this transition.
    i was still having a little doubt may be when i started the thread...but as time goes by.....i really know in my heart, this is the right move. listen to your heart not everybody else's up/down grade comments....b/c it just does not matter to you.
  6. I worked as an SA back in college, and I loved it, but I would never do it again. I loved it because of my coworkers and being able to meet lots of great people, but it was never fulfilling to me. I definitely felt a "difference" between myself and "professional" SAs who planned on doing this for the rest of their lives.

    The only thing about moving up in retail, is it depends a lot on how much you sell. You could be the best employee ever and customers love you, but if you don't sell enough, you won't move up. I hated the anxiety of trying to make sales goals all the time, and I wasn't a pushy salesperson (which customers liked, but it did add a lot of stress because I wouldn't make as many sales-although I also didn't have as many returns).

    Retail is really tiring too. Standing for 8hrs, and on slow days I'd be sitting in the back room going through box after box of new merchandise or cleaning the store. If you work at a place with a great employee discount, it's really nice, but the pay is pitiful. Higher end stores will give you commission, but that's a lot of pressure.

    I think the thing to ask yourself is: can you imagine doing that job for 10, 20, 30 years? Since you've already spent so much time pursuing one career you're unhappy with, I think it would be really hard to do that again. I love shopping and helping my friends find things as well, but I'd never go back to being an SA.
  7. thanks megan for sharing your experience.
    actually i thought a lot about that in terms of money. i do not want to struggle for the rest of my life. i am just kind of see how life leads me. i am looking for a full time job in arch (i tried retails but really had no it's something more specific. i don't think i can work in corporate interior or down and dirty production firm. i have something in mind that i hope things will pend out for me. so i'll pretty much have 2 jobs....and i do want to slowly move into fashion related. may be it won't be a SA position but i think i will look for that spot that i will feel comfortable and enjoy what i do.

  8. YAYYYYYY Congrats Juneping!!!!!!!!!
  9. OP, you should do whatever makes you happy. Just keep in mind that being an SA isn't all what it's hyped up to be. I've never worked in high end retail but working in retail was a terrible experience for me. You don't get very much respect, you get verbally abused on a daily basis and you're underpaid(very underpaid). I don't know where you live but here in canada, the hourly wage for high end retail is probably a little over minimum wage. I haven't read this whole thread but just make sure you know what you're getting into. IMO, you becoming an SA is a bit of a downgrade. You're obviously very smart, worked very hard your whole life and you should be making a fairly high wage. I think you can do something in fashion that pays more than an SA. They have 2 year certificate programs in fashion marketing, fashion business, etc that you may want to look into. Good luck with your career change, hope you find something that you love!:biggrin:
  10. well...the sad truth is those retail stores wouldn't hire me. i have certain stores have in mind and none of them wanted me. from high end to high street stores. i didn't go for just any clothing stores.
    i think the possibility to make a fairly high wage in arch is slim. there was a job interview i had a month ago...w/ 10 years experience...the owner thought 80K is too high. WTF!!
  11. That's another thing about retail, it's not easy to get a job and when you do get a job, the hours are never great. You most likely wouldn't be hired for full time. When i worked retail, i got 3 hours a week! and they cancelled my shifts so sometimes i got NO hours. It's not a very stable field. And i'm suprised about not being able to make a high wage in arch, i was always under the impression that architects make ALOT(especially with your experience) but i live in Canada so maybe it's different here.

    I think you should stay in your field(for now), atleast until the recession eases up. Even if you're making 50k a year in arch, that's still a hell of a lot more than you'd make in retail. Having a steady job and pay in this economy is really rare so you should stick to what you know and then maybe try something else when the job market opens up a little bit:smile:
  12. ^^i am doing all i can for the time being. i don't have the luxury to quit and find another job. so i am dealing w/ this bad situation. it is draining me....but one thing i do know is i won't be doing a real arch job down the road. something related but def not what i am doing now.
  13. #58 May 2, 2012
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
    dear all,

    it's been a long time, this thread first started in Feb of 2011 and now it's May 2012. i don't want to start a new thread and instead i want to give you guys an's such a journey and now i am beginning a new chapter.:biggrin:

    i cannot find anything in retail...i tried, it didn't work out. but i told myself i tried. no regrets. there were some disappointments but i grew to be stronger. :smile:
    i didn't give i started my blog. it's been giving me some meaning to get up everyday, get dressed and have something to look forward to. it was the only positive thing in my life.
    in terms of my job/career wise, i didn't give up. i have been looking for jobs on a daily basis, never gave up. sent out resumes when i saw something would fit me. it's been on going like that before i started this thread. it's been such a long time, i was angry, frustrated...went to many interviews and never heard back..etc. i picked myself up and kept going. i have my bf to support me mentally and i thank God that He send him my way, i would not have made it without him. b/c besides unhappy at work, my parents had something very crazy going on at's hard to watch them doing something that's so insane.

    two weeks ago, i got an offer from an office that has a HR dept which was something I thought was important. when the interviewer first met me, we had quite a conversation, i felt he was very genuine towards me. it seemed it's something so positive that i would get the offer. but it didn't happen. i actually called him and asked for advice if anything i could improve. a friend was telling me it's a waste of time. but i did's really nothing to loss instead of that 1, 2 minutes. and she also told me the interviewers are all like that, very positive and all. it may be true to her but it doesn't happen to me a lot. i didn't give it too much thought....and he actually called me back for another position. and i was offered the job. i already got some welcome emails and i'll start my new job next week.

    i got very emotional just by writing this.
    i want to share with you all and if someone out there has been struggling...hopefully this will give them some hope that "this too shall pass". i don't know what will happen but it seems the work environment is very organized. and the project seems interesting. at the mean time, i will keep doing the blog and hope something great will come out of it. it's been such a learning experience for the past few years...i am just relieved that chapter of my life ends.

    thank you all for your support...i am sorry for such a long post....

  14. That's wonderful news, congratulations!
  15. i'm happy for you juneping, I wish you all the best as you start this new journey!