Do you ever have those days where you just can’t wait to escape from the monotony of the work day? Days where time seems to move backwards and weekends that never seem to arrive? Sundays that start off as great lazy days but have the looming dread of the fact that Monday is mere hours away.
I’ve had countless jobs like this and to be honest, I can’t remember a time where I haven’t been excited for Monday morning to come. Weekends were always too short and Friday seemed like an eternally distant finish line.
That is until now. It’s Sunday night and I can’t wait to get to bed so that I can get started on my week. Four months ago I was in the process of looking for a new job when I saw an ad in a local paper. It was an ad for a trade school and to be honest, the farthest thing from my mind at the time. I had spent the summer looking for new work but during my free time I undertook some odd repair jobs and minor projects around the house.
So when I saw the trade school ad, I realized that what I was doing in my free time was far more gratifying than any job I ever held. Sure there were moments where I enjoyed some things I did but I could honestly say that I would wake up on Mondays excited and eager to go to work. Doing this is not easy and there are a few things that will help steer yourself onto a happier path.
- Finances: This is always the most difficult part of the process. How are you going to make any money or support a life changing risk like going back to school. It’s not hard to do if you’re single and living with your parents. Unfortunately life is never that easy and families and bills are huge factors in making a decision like this. Additionally, starting from the bottom may mean taking a pay cut and that can sometimes be a huge check in the NO column. The best thing you can do to determine if this is a doable path for you is a sound budget. Sit down and honestly figure out what you spend, what your luxuries are and where you can make cuts. Brown bagged lunch’s and home brewed coffee’s can go a long way in pinching the pennies needed to make school affordable. I’m sure we all know a friend who is good with numbers, have them look over your budget to make sure you haven’t missed anything. The most important part of this exercise is to make sure you’ll have enough to get by with a little extra as just-in-case money.
- Time: If you’re going to spend the money on learning something new, make sure you have the time to focus on your studies. Be it carpentry or accounting, going back to school means homework and studying. Fitting that into family life will take some getting used to. If you have kids then make their study time your study time. If you have to work and go to school at the same time be sure to schedule your time wisely and fight the temptation to take an extra shift if you’ve got a test coming up. Focus and dedication will help ensure you’re not wasting everybody’s time just to end up where you started.
- Support: This is by far the most important aspect of any life altering decision. If you don’t have the support of your family and friends, studies can be difficult. It’s not as simple as having your spouse say that they support you – they have to be ready for the shift in responsibility and chores. Financially, they will be taking on a majority of the expenses and having less fun money then they’re used to. Additionally, you’ll be spending more time studying and less time doing the things that keep the house running. Cooking dinners, doing laundry, kid time and any other previously shared tasks that made the household run smoothly. If you have someone that is going to help you with this make sure that they’re on board as much as you are. Resentment compounded with stress can kill a happy relationship
As much as going back to school is a huge undertaking, this could lead to a much happier life and even a better paying job. It’s never too late to try and make a better life for yourself, just be prepared for the inevitable sacrifice for you and those around you. You may not see your friends and family as often and they’ve need to be on board with that as much as you are. Be mindful of your parter and ensure that you remind them how much you appreciate what they are doing for you to further yourself. Lastly – do it for you, not because others will think better of you. Prestige and success is not worth spit if you’re not happy and excited about what your new path has in store for you. Too many people get caught up in a job because they think it’ll look good on a resume or make them oodles of money. Happiness and fulfillment can be bought with time, effort and dedication to yourself – make that your focus!
As for me, tomorrow I’ll probably be working on a new lighting quote or running some conduit for a new power supply. Either way, I’ll be having fun doing it. Can you say that about your Monday?