Bummed over my career choices...
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Like many of us, I have been struggling with finances as well as my weight for so long. I'm sick of it. I'd like to change careers but I have a family who depends on me...so I cannot. here's a little background:
After the military, I went back to school and eventually (what I thought was a rewarding career) in the technology field. Working as a consultant at Pfizer for years, my group was eventually phased out by another vendor (underhandedly in my opinion - but that was years ago)in 2003.
Immediately after, since I wasn't able to find suitable employment making the same money, I went back to school for a one year .NET programming course. My hope was this would build on my skills and make myself more marketable and hopefully a competitive salary. That course fell apart in it's last month or two and the school rushed it as they were being acquired by another company. My plan fell apart since the only employment I was offered were in entry level programming paying 1/4 of what I was accustomed with no benefits...I simply couldn't live on it.
Anyway, my father was a member of the sheet metal union and was always telling me how great the union was...to make a long(er) story short..I wound up in the Telecommunications portion of the IBEW (Electrical Union) approx 1.5 years later.
I thought, with my background, I might be able to skip apprenticeship altogether or at least a couple years as it was technology related. (Keep in mind my confidence is already down as it is) Needless to say, I was not able to do this. The union was nothing like the corporate environment I was used to...in a negative sense... but I thought I'd stick with it as the benefits were good and they painted a bright future if I stuck with it, even if I would start it at 38.
Fast forward to today and I'm 45 and have been in the Union for 7 years - laid off more than I've been working. There's absolutely no advancement opportunity in the Union as each job is the same as starting a new job. Many jobs only last 2-3weeks and your laid off for months at a time or longer. If I'm lucky, I'll get called for a job that's at least 6 months to a year (rare these days). I've been a steady month or 2 behind in my mortgage and I always seem to find a way to pull through last minute. Always behind in bills and have had collectors calling me for years. There's so much more added to this but I don't want to drag this out.
I'm sick of it. I would love to get the heck out of the Union and find stable employment elsewhere. I don't even know where to start anymore. At 45 and over 300 lbs, is it even possible?