Job Ending, Unsure on Next Move

Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
I've been working at a plant in rural Georgia for about eight years, and in the last week I got a warning that my job would be ending on December 20th. I'm very uncertain on what my next move should be from here.

The most pressing thing is whether or not to take advantage of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. I have a BA in Sociology already, but I'm not really cut-out to be a social worker and I haven't had much luck finding employment with it so far. I also stayed at the plant because it paid unusually well ($18/hour) and I had student loans to pay, but they should be paid off in a few months and won't be a concern anymore.

Part of me wants to just try looking for jobs that only specify a bachlor's degree, of which I've found a few on sources like Indeed, but part of me thinks I should use the TAA to go back to school and get a more marketable degree so I'll have an easier time getting a job, hopefully one that makes about the same as I'm making now at least. However, I'm not certain what to go for and what I'd be well-suited for. For example, I might could spin my Sociology degree I already have towards an HR job, but my parents both think I wouldn't be able to handle the social pressures of the job (dealing with upset employees and such), and I think I agree. I went by my old school and was suggested by people there to go for a Master's of Business Administration, but I'm not certain I'd be cut-out for that either and can't see myself in a leadership position.

So I guess my question boils down to:

- Should I use the TAA to go back to school? If so, what would I be suited for?
- What sorts of positions might just want you to have a degree? I know a large number of people work in jobs unrelated to their degree.
- Are their other options I could pursue?

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    That sucks :bro:

    I've been let go a few times, sometimes with notice sometimes without. It always sucks. So let's set time tables for possitive actions to take.

    Immediate Term (Start on this today):

    Update your resume (if the TAA or your unemployment office have a resume workshop take advantage, people in the PA job forums are known to critique and help with resumes). The biggest point is to have a fresh updated resume.

    Define the areas you are willing to work. If you own a house, how far do you want to commute. If you don't own a house, are you willing to move to other areas in Georgia, Atlanta and Savannah have pretty hot job markets right now, Augusta not so much. How do you feel about Florida or Tennessee?

    Start calling everyone you know. If you've got buddy's in different fields, start talking to them.

    List your current skill sets. Do you do fabrication, can you do custom fabrication, field fabrication. Do you weld, do you do millwork, sign work, steel work. Knowing what you can do will help you target your job applications.

    With your resume, upload them to zip recruiter, career builder and indeed.

    Short Term (2-3 weeks):
    Take any templates or other personal items you have there and take them home. I wouldn't suggest stealing from the company because they are looking for that, but it's a lot easier to take home your personal stuff now then in 2 months.

    Start doing mock interviews (or real interviews if you have anything lined up)

    Start cutting back on spending, I know it's the Holidays but people will generally understand.

    Job Ideas that might be appealing:
    Site installation or fabrication (Millwork, fencing, scaffolding, carpeting). Construction adjacent

    Logistics coordinator, making sure shit goes out and comes in correctly.

    Warehouse manager for a smaller firm (similar to a logistics coordinator but with more physically moving shit). Georgia has a ton of carpet companies that need that level of support.

    HR is fine, it's less people and more paper these days. There are the complaints, but honestly the dirty HR secret is in most companies HR has almost no authority. They get a complaint and they tell management, management decides what to do, and the HR person does it. What HR mostly does for smaller firms is onboarding, benefits changing, ensuring people put in their timesheets, hiring and fixing problems with payroll. Some companies have them do disciplinary actions, but most of the time that is the manager plus HR as a witness and to document.

    Job Ideas that suck but are better than being homeless:
    Construction. It pays pretty good, if you worked in a factory you likely have some specialty skills that might work.

    Warehouse worker for a large Amazon type firm (it's rough, but being homeless is worst).

    Driver non-cdl. It's not bad, and it pays alright, but the job will probably be going away in the next 10 years.

    Entry level admin work (data entry, book keeping) is fine, but it's generally a pay hit at entry level. In Georgia with no experience it's likely to be 12-14 bucks an hour to start, but with 2 or 3 years of experience you can start moving up and get into an office manager role, AP/AR and be in the 50k a year range.

    Other things:

    TAAs are great if you have a specific field you want to go into. Sociology does not really lend itself to social work. It's deceptive like that.

    Now that being said we have 6 weeks to find a job.
    It's kinda horse shit they are letting everyone go on the 20th. Because the week of the 20th isn't great for finding a job, and the 2 weeks after are dead on the job market. They should pay you out through the first, but they are trying to get everyone off their books for the new accounting cycle, and avoid paying you for the xmas/new years holiday. And they are doing it on a Friday to make their payroll easier. Fucken dicks.

    I have a BA in Sociology and an MBA. Honestly they are just for getting past automated gatekeepers. MBAs are becoming more popular and every place is advertising their online MBA program a lot and loudly, which is diluting the field to be honest. If I were to do it again I would probably go for Physician's Assistant or occupational therapist. However an MBA will get past gate keepers for work as an analyst.

    If you have a cdl, over the road trucking pays phenomenally well, however it is a field that won't really exist in 10 years.

    zepherin on
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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Honestly I can say that a lot of positions in healthcare support only want a degree to qualify for awards and stuff. Were you to get a job in materials or something you could easily get promoted to purchasing or contracts just because you have a degree, what it's in isn't important.

    Still I think you should find something you want to do. You won't get many opportunities to retrain for free in your life (I'm 39 and have had exactly 0). Take advantage of it.

    dispatch.o on
    LostNinja
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    What kind of plant did you work in? Are you willing to relocate? What do you want to do work wise?

    Biotech manufacturing is blue collar plant work and most places like that people have a degree but don't care about the subject much.

    Also ones in Seattle start at a lot higher than $18 but costs of living scale upwards, too

    Ticaldfjam
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    My job that is ending is at a plant that makes shock absorbers. I am willing to relocate to a degree. I've long wanted to live in Athens, Georgia, but I also have family in Charleston, SC. As for what I'd like to do, I imagine myself doing some kind of work that keeps me in an office. I'd like the fact that I have a bachelor's degree to actually matter, too.

    Here are some examples of jobs I'm looking at and requirements they want that I don't have:

    - Date Intake Representative. 2 years healthcare experience.
    - Category Buyer - Indirect. 2 years supply chain role. SAP experience. Certification in Purchasing and/or Inventory Management.
    - Revenue Cycle Specialist. Associates in business, accounting, finance, or health science. 1 or 2 years in medical billing and collections.

    I guess I need to figure out some kind of career path.

    Hexmage-PA on
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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    My job that is ending is at a plant that makes shock absorbers. I am willing to relocate to a degree. I've long wanted to live in Athens, Georgia, but I also have family in Charleston, SC. As for what I'd like to do, I imagine myself doing some kind of work that keeps me in an office. I'd like the fact that I have a bachelor's degree to actually matter, too.

    Here are some examples of jobs I'm looking at and requirements they want that I don't have:

    - Date Intake Representative. 2 years healthcare experience.
    - Category Buyer - Indirect. 2 years supply chain role. SAP experience. Certification in Purchasing and/or Inventory Management.
    - Revenue Cycle Specialist. Associates in business, accounting, finance, or health science. 1 or 2 years in medical billing and collections.

    I guess I need to figure out some kind of career path.
    My brother went into medical coding and he just needed a certification (certified medical coder) to get an entry level position. If they’ll pay for it. Its a decent way to go, and it takes about 6 months, and if you can get someone else to pay for it. It’s a good way to go especially if you are looking to get into healthcare. Healthcare in Charleston is a growth field.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I've been looking around a bit more, and honestly the surest thing I've seen so far is a warehouse associate job that starts at $18/hour. I've never got along with co-workers at my plant, and I'm not exactly thrilled about going into a similar environment.

    I've also been thinking about school some more. I have family and a friend who are accountants so maybe I could do that, but math has never been my strong suit.

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    zepherin
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I've been looking around a bit more, and honestly the surest thing I've seen so far is a warehouse associate job that starts at $18/hour. I've never got along with co-workers at my plant, and I'm not exactly thrilled about going into a similar environment.

    I've also been thinking about school some more. I have family and a friend who are accountants so maybe I could do that, but math has never been my strong suit.

    You can take the warehouse job and keep looking for other jobs, if it comes to that; it's not like you have to dedicate yourself heart and soul into being a warehouse associate. Looking for a job while making 18 bucks an hour beats the shit out of looking for a job while not making 18 bucks an hour. (And you never know, you might get on better with a new bunch of co-workers.)

    PS: Maths is like running. You soon go a lot faster if you do it for a few hours every day. You could have a chat with those family and friends and maybe ask them about some introductory qualifications you might be able to study for while working.

    zepherinCelestialBadgerdispatch.oSiskaSkeith
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Teach yourself math:

    https://www.khanacademy.org/

    Cambiata
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Budgeting and accounting is a lot of spreadsheets.

    So much spreadsheets. If you like spreadsheets then accounting is going to be your jam.

    The automation software they have, sucks so bad. Everyone I know who uses sage also has an ancillary spreadsheet.

    CauldJanson
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Yeah going to add on to what others have said, for many of these careers certifications are more desirable than another degree. Khan Academy as linked above is also a great source of teaching yourself math.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    One option would be a temp agency. My wife recently got a job through a temp agency that paid in the range you're looking for. She got the impression that the quality of employees that places tend to get from temp agencies is very low, so if you show up with a degree, some work experience, and your head on straight, you are highly valued. The job she got was admin assistant, but they hired her as a permanent employee after 90 days and then after 6 months she got poached for more money by another company with ties to the first one.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Another option, though nothing guaranteed, is to look into the post office in the areas where you want to live and see if they'll have clerical jobs available. There are always post offices around in the US and you could do worse than a decently paying union job.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Yeah going to add on to what others have said, for many of these careers certifications are more desirable than another degree.

    I have to admit I don't know much about certifications. I think I could use the TAA for one, though.

    Hexmage-PA on
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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    I'll be honest, my two main desires regarding employment are

    1) work in a more urban environment and be able to afford to live there
    2) have a job that makes me feel like I'm not paying student loans for no reason.

    Living in rural Georgia has been very lonely for me as my friends moved away and there's no one here I've found that I'd like to date, and it's been frustrating to me that I've been financially handicapped by student debt for a so-far useless degree.

    I found out I can take advantage of the TAA in other states (whereas before I thought I could only use it in Georgia), so I could perhaps move-in with my mother and step-father in Charleston (they are my only relatives who live in an urban environment) for a while and work towards a certification or degree there.

    I've long wanted to live in Athens, but there don't seem to be that many job opportunities there. Plus at 31 I'm afraid I'm too old for a college town now anyway.

    My worst-case scenario is to just end up working in some other plant around the part of rural Georgia where I am now.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I'll be honest, my two main desires regarding employment are

    1) work in a more urban environment and be able to afford to live there
    2) have a job that makes me feel like I'm not paying student loans for no reason.

    Living in rural Georgia has been very lonely for me as my friends moved away and there's no one here I've found that I'd like to date, and it's been frustrating to me that I've been financially handicapped by student debt for a so-far useless degree.

    I found out I can take advantage of the TAA in other states (whereas before I thought I could only use it in Georgia), so I could perhaps move-in with my mother and step-father in Charleston (they are my only relatives who live in an urban environment) for a while and work towards a certification or degree there.

    I've long wanted to live in Athens, but there don't seem to be that many job opportunities there. Plus at 31 I'm afraid I'm too old for a college town now anyway.

    My worst-case scenario is to just end up working in some other plant around the part of rural Georgia where I am now.
    Then talk to your mom and step dad, and work on transitioning over. See if you can get an HR cert, or medical coding cert paid for by the government. Charleston is a cool place.
    I really think you could do HR or medical coding just fine. 90% of the job of an HR assistant is on-boarding and fixing fuck ups, while medical coding is taking what the doctor did and figure out the proper codes for it so that billing is seamless.. And you can get your previous salary as an HR assistant or medical coder in the Charleston area.

    Moridin889
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    That’s fair, but keep in mind that your worst case scenario should be not being able to get a job at all - it may make sense to change careers and use the TAA, but it probably wouldn’t make sense to turn down the warehouse associate job and stay in the same area with no job not using the TAA.

    sig.gif
    zepherin
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    31 is not too old for a college town. Grad students exist and also have a social life, and fun people who went there for university often settle down there and make it a fun place to live even for older people.

    davidsdurionsEnc
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    I'm in Charleston. Sent you a PM.

    I'll also agree that your shouldn't avoid a college town just because you think you're too old. I had an offer in my college town at one point, but I didn't take it because I felt exactly like you, that I would be too old and awkward. But I always kinda regretted it, I probably would have loved being in a cool college town for a few years instead of the suburban sprawl I ended up in.

    CelestialBadger
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I'm 35, I live in a college town. The average age of my drinking companions are about 47.

    Thing about college towns, they have a lot of smart, interesting, older staff, faculty, and researchers who make for great company.

    V1mzepherin
  • Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    Don't be afraid to pivot. I have a bachelor's in Film Theory, but I currently work as a product design engineer. I discovered I liked this field after taking a couple community college classes on mechanical engineering (this was like five years after I graduated college).

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    zepherinschuss
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Don't be afraid to pivot. I have a bachelor's in Film Theory, but I currently work as a product design engineer. I discovered I liked this field after taking a couple community college classes on mechanical engineering (this was like five years after I graduated college).

    I know people that went from a math major to a programming job (okay not that big a stretch), a biology degree to lighting design, and someone who was halfway through going from slinging groceries to an engineering degree when child care responsibilities scuttled that plan. I've gone from a variety of retail jobs to embedded development. Changing your career--and your location--is possible. It helps if you have support infrastructure while you're making your change, be it family, friends, or what have you. If you have no support infrastructure, it's still quite possible, but the road will be harder.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Don't be afraid to pivot. I have a bachelor's in Film Theory, but I currently work as a product design engineer. I discovered I liked this field after taking a couple community college classes on mechanical engineering (this was like five years after I graduated college).

    I actually just got back from an analytics conference and I'd say at least a quarter of those folks came from liberal arts disciplines. At my company, I know many technical leaders with history degrees.

  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Orca wrote: »
    and someone who was halfway through going from slinging groceries to an engineering degree when child care responsibilities scuttled that plan.



    That really sucks. I'm coming from working in the Environmental Sciences, 17 years in the Army doing Chem, Bio, Nuke stuff, to going to school for Electronic Engineering. A lot of schools in my area offer free to almost free child care while said student is in class.

    I'm lucky and have a lot of family close by that when I'm in class and my wife has a nursing shift and for some reason my kids aren't in school, they step in and watch them for a few hours.

    I can't state enough how much more I enjoy electronic engineering then I ever did my job in the military.

    Good luck to you and I hope you find what makes you happy.

    Bloodycow on
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