I hate my job.
Ah, words to live by. If I had a nickel for every time someone’s told me that, I wouldn’t even need a job myself to be honest.
At one point or another, you probably loved your career for a variety of reasons. Maybe the money was excellent. Maybe the money wasn’t excellent, but you were doing something you loved so it really didn’t matter.
But, as you continued through the 9-5 Monday to Friday cycle, saving up and investing your money for retirement, you maybe have just realized after however many years it’s been that you just don’t have that same drive and determination anymore. If you’re a self motivated adult, looking to make the best of yourself, I will tell you why this situation is pure poison:
- You lose the motivation to advance in your career, stalling you out at where you are
- You lose overall happiness in your life
- You simply aren’t putting effort into your job, which could be jeopardizing it
Your job is a massive part of your life. Really, if you work a 9-5, you’ll spend 1/3 of your life there. And while there are very few people in this world that truly enjoy their job, there are those who are happy with where they are at, and those who aren’t.
An easy solution? Head back to school
Now, this may seem near impossible for some. But with technology these days, going back to school sometimes means you literally don’t even have to leave your home. We’re advancing quite rapidly technology wise. So much so that most courses offer full online classes. So while it is definitely going to be a ton of work, it’s possible.
Before all of this, going back to school seemed like an anomaly. If you had a mortgage, car payment and a couple kids, it was damn near impossible. But if you can find a way to make the financials work, some schools are willing to let you take as long as you want to complete the courses.
Athabasca University is one school that offers online courses if you want to check it out.
What if I don’t have the money?
This is an issue for many. First off, tuition (even online) is crazy expensive, and before you commit to taking something you have to be very certain this is the degree/career you’d like to pursue. The last thing you need to be doing is spending a ton of money to change your career path, and then 6 months down the line figuring out you really don’t see any potential with it. Take some time, whether it be a few weeks or a few months to figure out what you’re really passionate about. And most importantly, figure out if there is any jobs and suitable salaries in the career you plan to pursue.
In terms of financing, there is a program that most Canadians are completely in the dark about, yet it is a very powerful program offered by the government. This is the LifeLong Learning Plan. If you’ve been in your career for an extended period of time, chances are you’ve had an individual or company RRSP. The best part about the Lifelong Learning Plan is that you can use this money to go back to school.
This is a huge bonus for those who simply don’t have the money saved up to either pay for tuition or missed time at work to finish up your programs and ultimately get your degree. The program allows you to pull money out of your RRSP for schooling tax free (including capital gains), and then the government gives you 10 years to pay the money back. If you don’t make the deadline, you are subject to penalties and taxes however.
Overall, life is too short to be stuck in a place you don’t enjoy
I realize we all need to feed our families and enjoy ourselves. But we also need to be mentally and physically happy. If your career is dragging you down, it may be wise to considering changing it. Talk to your family, spouse or even your friends about how they could possibly support you in a situation like this. I’d bet good money most of them are willing to help you out or at least offer some suggestions. But remember these key concepts before applying for a program:
- Make sure you really want to do it. Nothing is worse than deciding on a career change, paying for tuition, and then realizing it just isn’t what you want. There’s no refund when it comes to post-secondary.
- Make sure your new career will pay your bills. Although we would truly like to do something we enjoy, we also need to make enough money to pay our current liabilities. If your job pays you $100 000 a year right now, and money is tight, going back to school for a career that will max out at $60 000 a year isn’t something that is feasible. Unless of course, you start doing things like downgrading your house or rental, selling your vehicle if you still have payments etc. But that is a whole other ballgame, one that must be considerably thought out.
- Figure out if you’re able to take your schooling online, or if you must attend an actual post-secondary institute to do it. From there, you can narrow down what your options are in terms of programs and classes. If you cannot afford to take time off work and you’d like to go back to school for XXX, if they only offer the course through physical attendance, you may have to either find a different career path, or maybe even a different university.
I hope this piece both helped you motivate yourself and educate yourself on the possibilities of going back to post secondary. It seems intimidating, and really it is. It takes a lot of time, effort and ultimately money to be able to do so. But this is your life we’re talking about here, and you only get one of them. Make the best of it, and you’ll have no regrets in the end.