Monthly Archives: May 2012

That piece of paper costs how much?!?

These days job markets are tight across every industry. Employers want qualified candidates who will work for pennies. As someone who has recently changed industries, the phrase “salary commiserate with experience” brings tears to my eyes. I have tons of experience! Just not the kind they’re looking for. I can’t get the experience without getting work and I can’t get the work without having experience. It’s a vicious cycle…

I’ve been debating pursing a Masters in Interactive Media to help round out my resume. Unfortunately, this particular piece of paper comes with a $40,000 price tag. Ouch!! While I was lucky to have only incurred $20,000 in student loans pursuing my Bachelors, I’m not certain I’m willing to triple my student loan debt without a guaranteed return on investment.

What do you think – is getting your masters a waste of money? Do you have a masters degree?

vicious cycle image from:


Filed under Climbing the Ladder

Follow your dreams or follow the money??

How do you know “what you want to be when you grow up?” Making that definitive decision is scary. What if you get it wrong? I have a recurring nightmare of waking up one day, middle-aged and miserable with the life I’ve chosen. I currently straddle the fence between following my dreams and following the money.

I was laid off in August of 2010 with only a year left of undergraduate school. It actually wasn’t the end of the world. I was miserable and thanks to my mother’s never-ending harping on financial responsibility, I had an okay cushion. At the time, I worked for a large insurance company. I was responsible for scheduling and hosting their retirement education webinars, not a bad gig (I got to work from home frequently). But I wasn’t happy.

So I took a long (and not very pleasant) look at myself, along with every aptitude/skills/personality test I could find and finally figured out I’d really like to work in the wide world of marketing (so specific – I know!). I spent the next year graduating with honors (What! What!) and securing an unpaid summer internship at an advertising and public relations firm.

During the summer of 2011 I learned quite a few things about myself; I know what I want to be when I “grow up”, I love social media (seriously, I find its constant evolution and innovative applications endlessly fascinating), and starting over in a completely new industry with no experience at almost thirty is NOT easy.

I work two jobs to make ends meet and have no health insurance. I’m not quite starving for my “art” but I’m not exactly what you’d call rolling in it. I have a long road ahead of me to get back to the pay grade I was at in my former career life but in the mean time I’m enjoying my journey and I actually love what I do.

How about you, are you happy in your current gig? Do you yearn to do something, anything else? How are you making your dreams come true?

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Filed under career, following your dreams, growing up