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I Am a Walking Cliché. What to do now?

SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
edited December 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Well, I got the big ole layoff today - right before Christmas. My first time ever being laid off and it's 100% due to the economy right now. I feel like a walking cliché.

The bright side is I get $11K severence pay and I've been looking to transition out of this place for a while. The way I see it I can have a good holiday and start to concentrate on either finding a new job or going back to school to get my education degree in the new year. This is where I'm a bit torn.

I've wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember but the prospect of going back to school is terrifying to me. I'm already in a good bit of debt and I'm not thrilled at the idea of going further into it. My other option is to take my skills and try to apply them to a job that is more secure (ie: the government). My girlfriend and I live in an apartment that isn't cheap ($1200/m) so if I was to go back to school we'd have to move out of there I think - I think this would disappoint her quite a bit as we worked hard to be able to afford a place like this.

So I turn to you great Help/Advice forum. What should I do?

SatanIsMyMotor on
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Posts

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Well, 11K should get you through a few months.

    I'd pay off any small time debt that I have, use some for a few months rent, and then find a part time job while I find something more promising.

    If you want to teach, then go for it.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Use the majority of your severance to pay off what outstanding debt you have. Keep some for rent and food for 5 or so months.

  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Do what you love. I'd say go back to school for teaching if that's what you feel. It might entail a lifestyle change for a little while, but it will be worth it if you can get a job that you love out of it.

    smugduckling,pc,days.png
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Some States don't even require a degree for some classes, but more or less a certification. Might wanna go that route while you get your degree.

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  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    File for unemployment. There is no shame in filing for unemployment benefits.

    Don't let the down economy make you pessimistic about looking for work again. Indeed, you should make looking for work a full time job in itself. This means the following:

    1. Wake up every morning at a regular time.
    2. Dress for work as you normally would.
    3. If you have a laptop, get out of the house and find a new "office" (meaning somewhere with free wifi -- Starbucks is a popular choice).
    4. Put in a normal work day (7.5 hours) filling out applications and shopping around your resume.
    5. Hold yourself accountable--set goals for how many applications you want to send in a day, and track how many you actually send in every single day while you're unemployed.

  • CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I've wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember but the prospect of going back to school is terrifying to me. I'm already in a good bit of debt and I'm not thrilled at the idea of going further into it. My other option is to take my skills and try to apply them to a job that is more secure (ie: the government). My girlfriend and I live in an apartment that isn't cheap ($1200/m) so if I was to go back to school we'd have to move out of there I think - I think this would disappoint her quite a bit as we worked hard to be able to afford a place like this.

    I look at it like this: your balancing your ambitions of becoming a teacher against staying in a nice apartment for a few more months to make your GF happy in the short term, assuming you can find a decent job that will pay enough for the two of you to stay in the apartment.

    I would start applying to schools, lining up student loans and looking for a cheaper apartment As Soon As Possible my friend.

    Spoiler:
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    i don't think its a good time to think about changing careers.

    i would get another job and then when i was further out of debt/better off, think about it

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Assuming you're not in a lease or contract for your current apartment, I'd look into bailing ASAP. Give it maybe a month, just in case you find something right away ... but after that, don't keep bleeding yourself dry. Yes, it might suck to downsize, but it's better to have a roof hanging over your head rather than bills. Even if you can shave a couple hundred bucks off, that's your monthly food bill.

    tl;dr - adjust your standard of living. Don't keep buying fancy stuff, curb the fast food or eating out, etc.

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  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I don't know what you know about the whole thing... It sounds to me right now that you're creating blocks rather than working with data.

    Do you know how much debt you'd have to go into to do schooling? Have you got a budget so you know what your current monthly needs are? Is teaching going to be in demand when you finish your degree, and if not, are there other careers that degree could help you get into that'd see you being paid a similar salary?

    Without knowing all of that, you can't know where you stand. If you plan right it may even be possible to keep your apartment and go to school. It wouldn't necessarily be easy, but nothing worth doing ever really is.

    Spoiler:
  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I think I'd need to know why you are in debt in order to give appropriate advice.

    You say you have worked hard to be able to afford this expensive place, and yet you're in debt? That doesn't add up, if it were me I'd be living in a cheap place in order to pay off the debt.

  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    SammyF wrote: »
    File for unemployment. There is no shame in filing for unemployment benefits.

    Don't let the down economy make you pessimistic about looking for work again. Indeed, you should make looking for work a full time job in itself. This means the following:

    1. Wake up every morning at a regular time.
    2. Dress for work as you normally would.
    3. If you have a laptop, get out of the house and find a new "office" (meaning somewhere with free wifi -- Starbucks is a popular choice).
    4. Put in a normal work day (7.5 hours) filling out applications and shopping around your resume.
    5. Hold yourself accountable--set goals for how many applications you want to send in a day, and track how many you actually send in every single day while you're unemployed.

    This is what you should be doing.

    When I moved from Los Angeles to Kansas City last May without a job already lined up, I spent 3 months getting up at a normal work time, getting dressed, and sitting at my laptop looking for jobs. I landed one in August and it's only because I did this. Every. Single. Day.

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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    in NYC, you can become a teaching fellow with any bachelor's degree.. they train you for a few weeks, and then you start working at inner-city schools at full pay (and a great union, too)... and the department then pays for your masters in education

    look around, i'd think most major urban areas would have a setup like this

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    onceling wrote: »
    I think I'd need to know why you are in debt in order to give appropriate advice.

    You say you have worked hard to be able to afford this expensive place, and yet you're in debt? That doesn't add up, if it were me I'd be living in a cheap place in order to pay off the debt.

    Student loans are just about the only debt I have. The reason we're living in the place we are is because we were both in great shape in terms of employment and in a position to pay everything off in the new year.

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  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    If you are going to get a new job, hit the ground running. You aren't doing yourself any favors waiting out the holidays. Some company somewhere will probably hire you in a heartbeat, you just need to make sure they can find you. Post your resume on monster and other sites, get in touch with contacts at other companies. Get as many balls rolling as possible. Making excuses for why you aren't actively looking for a job is a slippery slope, you don't want to get used to all that free time.

  • ShawnaseeShawnasee Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Not to get into your business but how much debt do you have?

    Will the $11k clear your debt and still keep you in food and home for a couple months?

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  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited December 2008
    onceling wrote: »
    I think I'd need to know why you are in debt in order to give appropriate advice.

    You say you have worked hard to be able to afford this expensive place, and yet you're in debt? That doesn't add up, if it were me I'd be living in a cheap place in order to pay off the debt.

    Student loans are just about the only debt I have. The reason we're living in the place we are is because we were both in great shape in terms of employment and in a position to pay everything off in the new year.

    Ok I would advise looking for a new job, and maybe apply for September school intake next year. I guess it does depend how 'serious' the job offers you are looking at are. I'm not saying be a jerk and get up to speed on a job then leave for school but sometimes you have to be selfish. I would say go with the new job route, and apply for school in September or whatever. Then if the new job changes your mind, no harm done.

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Shawnasee wrote: »
    Not to get into your business but how much debt do you have?

    Will the $11k clear your debt and still keep you in food and home for a couple months?

    Unfortunately, after provincial and federal taxes (I live in NB, Canada), the $11K looks more like $7K. All in all (severance, vacation pay, etc,) I'll probably walk with just over $10K.

    I'm not sure how much my student loan is at but I believe it's around $12K plus a very small Visa debt.

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  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Smurph wrote: »
    If you are going to get a new job, hit the ground running. You aren't doing yourself any favors waiting out the holidays. Some company somewhere will probably hire you in a heartbeat, you just need to make sure they can find you. Post your resume on monster and other sites, get in touch with contacts at other companies. Get as many balls rolling as possible. Making excuses for why you aren't actively looking for a job is a slippery slope, you don't want to get used to all that free time.

    I agree with this. Even if you can get an in teaching, you don't want to do it mid-year, you lose alot of pay due to the way teaching yearly salary math works out. I would start looking for work immediately that way the financial pressure is off you a little and you can look into courses for the fall if you do decide to switch career paths.

    Heck, maybe you can use whatever job you get to pay for some classes. But definately start looking now, if for nothing else to keep some insurance coverage.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Shawnasee wrote: »
    Not to get into your business but how much debt do you have?

    Will the $11k clear your debt and still keep you in food and home for a couple months?

    Unfortunately, after provincial and federal taxes (I live in NB, Canada), the $11K looks more like $7K. All in all (severance, vacation pay, etc,) I'll probably walk with just over $10K.

    I'm not sure how much my student loan is at but I believe it's around $12K plus a very small Visa debt.

    Pay the visa, put about as much as you can on your school loan. Pay a monthly payment and then put a huge swath as a principle payment (some banks automatically assume you want to put the extra towards your interest which is sort of stupid).

    Keep at least a few months rent and move out asap.

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Avoid blowing your entire (or even a large portion) of your severance on repaying your student loans...

    in this economy, it's going to take a few months to get a new job (or get settled in school + get new loans).... during that time you want to be able to pay your bills, and that $10K or so should keep you safe for at least 6 months (assuming $1200 rent + $400 school loan payment)

    if you pay it off half your loan instantly, you're still going to have a $1200 rent payment + a $150-200 school loan payment... AND NO INCOME until you get a new job (or get new school loans, or you move, etc.)

    yes, these are very general estimates... but they make sense

  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    i don't think its a good time to think about changing careers.

    i would get another job and then when i was further out of debt/better off, think about it

    This is exactly the time to be changing careers. By the time he gets out of school, the economy will probably have recovered somewhat. Right now is the worst time to look for a job because everyone's so worried about the economy tanking.

    smugduckling,pc,days.png
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    i don't think its a good time to think about changing careers.

    i would get another job and then when i was further out of debt/better off, think about it

    This is exactly the time to be changing careers. By the time he gets out of school, the economy will probably have recovered somewhat. Right now is the worst time to look for a job because everyone's so worried about the economy tanking.

    It's ironically also precisely the worst time to apply to grad school for the exact same reason; when everyone's too scared to venture out into the work force, the number of grad school applications increase, so you're competiting against a much larger applicant pool for admission.

    ECONOMICS IS ALL ABOUT OPTIONS AND CHOICES. No one should be limiting themselves by saying "X is absolutely not a good answer under any circumstances" or "Y is absolutely the right answer right now." Explore all possible options, don't box out a single choice if you can help it.

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanks for all of the advice. So far I think this is my plan:

    1. Look for a new job - preferably in the public sector (I've been unhappy at work for a while so I've already applied to a number of places).
    2. Immediately apply for employment insurance
    3. As I search for a job I will also look into educational options. My province (or maybe it's federal) has a great "re-training" program where they will pay for 75% of your tuition while you still collect EI. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to Universities - only colleges, etc.
    4. We're going to keep the apartment for the next few months but we may look for a room mate. If we get a room mate then we'll stay. If we can't we'll reassess in June (when it's easy to sublet) and go from there.
    5. I live like a hobo for as long as possible.

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  • SoggychickenSoggychicken Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Will they let you defer interest on your loan if you are currently unemployed?

    I know that in Ontario they may freeze your interest if you make below a certain amount.

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'm not sure. That's something I was intending on looking into though. Cheers.

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  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    First, I think there was already a pretty good thread the other day about getting laid off. I'd definitely check that out.

    For my piece this time... I'm going with metaphor. Getting laid off can hit you exactly like being dumped. Now might be a great time to "meet" new jobs to see if any interest you, but we wary about jumping head long into a serious commitment just because you feel you have to. Further, do not basically try to apply for the job you just lost. Just as chasing an ex is a bad idea, so is chasing an old job. Through it all, realize that life isn't over just because you lost a job.

  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    taeric wrote: »
    First, I think there was already a pretty good thread the other day about getting laid off. I'd definitely check that out.

    For my piece this time... I'm going with metaphor. Getting laid off can hit you exactly like being dumped. Now might be a great time to "meet" new jobs to see if any interest you, but we wary about jumping head long into a serious commitment just because you feel you have to. Further, do not basically try to apply for the job you just lost. Just as chasing an ex is a bad idea, so is chasing an old job. Through it all, realize that life isn't over just because you lost a job.


    Uh what? Jobs are not like ex's. Applying for the job you just lost is a logical move, it's not "chasing" a job. That's not to say you shouldn't apply for new jobs or think about going back to school. An application is not a commitment.

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  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    solsovly wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    First, I think there was already a pretty good thread the other day about getting laid off. I'd definitely check that out.

    For my piece this time... I'm going with metaphor. Getting laid off can hit you exactly like being dumped. Now might be a great time to "meet" new jobs to see if any interest you, but we wary about jumping head long into a serious commitment just because you feel you have to. Further, do not basically try to apply for the job you just lost. Just as chasing an ex is a bad idea, so is chasing an old job. Through it all, realize that life isn't over just because you lost a job.


    Uh what? Jobs are not like ex's. Applying for the job you just lost is a logical move, it's not "chasing" a job. That's not to say you shouldn't apply for new jobs or think about going back to school. An application is not a commitment.

    While it is true that jobs are not ex's, rejection is rejection. All you really need to do is reread the OP but make a few word substitutions and you are a good ways towards most of the dating threads around here. Even the title is ambiguous in this one. (Did you expect a thread about job loss with this title?)

    A lot of this is also more about perspective. Do not forget the things you learned on the last job. Certainly don't reject them due to the layoff. However, make sure you get the resume worded in such a way that it works for you. A resume with the same bullet points can read vastly differently and put you up for completely different job opportunities.

    My point about don't chase the last job is mainly about remembering the target audience. If you decide to further any of your studies while you have the time right now, do so in anticipation of where you want to be, not where you anticipate the company you just left will be. Did you just leave a Java shop but think you'd rather go for a .NET job? Start focusing on .NET immediately.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    solsovly wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    First, I think there was already a pretty good thread the other day about getting laid off. I'd definitely check that out.

    For my piece this time... I'm going with metaphor. Getting laid off can hit you exactly like being dumped. Now might be a great time to "meet" new jobs to see if any interest you, but we wary about jumping head long into a serious commitment just because you feel you have to. Further, do not basically try to apply for the job you just lost. Just as chasing an ex is a bad idea, so is chasing an old job. Through it all, realize that life isn't over just because you lost a job.


    Uh what? Jobs are not like ex's. Applying for the job you just lost is a logical move, it's not "chasing" a job. That's not to say you shouldn't apply for new jobs or think about going back to school. An application is not a commitment.

    You committ awfully early in a relationship if you happen to think that asking a girl out is a commitment to anything beyond being at a certain place at a certain time in your best business suit for your job interview...oh hell, I forgot which one's the metaphor. Metaphors are dumb. Just apply for everything and sort through your options. It's not like you don't have the time now to play the field and see exactly what's out there.

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    OP, If I were you, I would do some serious research into what the long term job market is going to be like for the kind of teacher you would want to be. Math or Science is going to have much better prospects than an English or History focused teacher, if you're looking at anything above elementary school.

    Before you commit the money and time to go to school for an occupation, make sure that the prospects are good and that the reality of the job matches your dream. Teaching can be very rewarding, but its also not particularly well paid especially for the long hours of unpaid work teachers have to do. I'd encourage you to talk seriously with people in the profession currently before you make any decisions.

    TL;DR: Take the steps to make a well informed decision, either way.

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Corvus wrote: »
    OP, If I were you, I would do some serious research into what the long term job market is going to be like for the kind of teacher you would want to be. Math or Science is going to have much better prospects than an English or History focused teacher, if you're looking at anything above elementary school.

    Before you commit the money and time to go to school for an occupation, make sure that the prospects are good and that the reality of the job matches your dream. Teaching can be very rewarding, but its also not particularly well paid especially for the long hours of unpaid work teachers have to do. I'd encourage you to talk seriously with people in the profession currently before you make any decisions.

    TL;DR: Take the steps to make a well informed decision, either way.

    Already have. I have a lot of friends who are teachers who are urging me to do this. I'm still not 100% decided but I hope to come to a decision here soon.

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  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Corvus wrote: »
    OP, If I were you, I would do some serious research into what the long term job market is going to be like for the kind of teacher you would want to be. Math or Science is going to have much better prospects than an English or History focused teacher, if you're looking at anything above elementary school.

    Before you commit the money and time to go to school for an occupation, make sure that the prospects are good and that the reality of the job matches your dream. Teaching can be very rewarding, but its also not particularly well paid especially for the long hours of unpaid work teachers have to do. I'd encourage you to talk seriously with people in the profession currently before you make any decisions.

    TL;DR: Take the steps to make a well informed decision, either way.

    Already have. I have a lot of friends who are teachers who are urging me to do this. I'm still not 100% decided but I hope to come to a decision here soon.

    Let us know how it goes. We're rooting for you.

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