When I was a kid, my Dad worked a lot. He worked a regular full time job for 35 years. Frequently, he had side jobs too. He is retired now, but was an electrician by trade. I remember he used to string the electrical wiring in new construction houses. Occasionally he would take me along, even thought I doubt I was much help.
We had a neighbor who was building and selling some kind of machine in his basement. My dad went and wired all the control units for them.
Another thing I remember was he attended college while he was working. He earned an Associates degree at night. I remember him taking a long time to get through that, but he did.
He also worked most every Saturday at his regular job so he could get overtime. Except for a short time when he was recovering from a pretty serious motorcycle accident, my dad was always at work. He never had a period of unemployment, and certainly not one that is over 3 months long like I am in right now.
Unless something unforeseen happens, on January 16, I will have been unemployed for 4 months. That is a long time.
Now I have told you before T is pushing me to go back to school, earn my masters degree and become a Physician Assistant. It is a good, stable, high paying job in health care is just the thing I need to ensure a secure future for me and my family for the rest of my life.
The only catch is, and I have written about this before, is that I am 43 and a father of 4 minor children. I have a house and bills that need to get paid. School will take at least 3.5 years and I am not completely sure how I will support myself, let alone the kids, for all that time.
Now I have continued to send out resumes (I have to to keep receiving unemployment benefits). I have had several interviews but no job offers. At this point I am thinking I really don't have any choice. No one is beating my door down to hire me. Every day I go without a job will make it that much harder to get a job. So the clear and logical course of action is to go to school. Trust in T and the Almighty, study hard and get is done for a virtual guaranteed payoff at the end.
So, in the the long run, it really is the responsible thing to do. Go to school, secure my future.
I am ready to start. I even told T this afternoon I am really looking forward to the start of classes.
Classes start on Monday and I am going to campus to buy my books on tomorrow morning.
I got a call from a large supermarket chain this afternoon. They want to have a phone interview tomorrow for a job I applied for several weeks ago. The job is a step below the job I had when I got laid off, but it's still a good job, paying pretty well, but less than what I was making before. I am well qualified for this job, maybe even overqualified because of my 15 years of experience.
I feel like I have to interview for the job. I feel like if I don't I will not be doing the responsible thing. The problem is that if I am offered a job, I have to take it. If I decline it, I will lose my unemployment benefits, without which, I cannot afford to go to school. If I take the job, I would not be able to go to school at the same time.
I could make a good living at this job and because of the size of the company, I am sure I could regain the level I had before. That sounds like a good thing... until I get laid off again. T points out the question, what happens if I get laid off again? I could be 50. Too late to go back to school. Maybe too old to get another job. Then I'd really be up Shit Creek.
Keeping in mind a job offer is by no means certain, what is the responsible thing to do?
Option A: Take a job with a good company that will provide for my short term needs and may or may not be there for the long term.
Option B: Go to school. It would be a significant financial hardship for me and my family for almost 4 years. It would mean burning through my retirement saving and taking on a mountain of student loan debt. When school is finished, however, I have a guaranteed job. A high demand, high paying, job. Paying more than the job I was laid off from. I would have enough money to repay the loans, replenish my retirement account and ensure a secure future. Also as I got older, I could still make good money working part time or per diem.
T says I need to make a choice and stick to it.
What is the responsible choice?
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