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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Social Work?

Today I talked to a couple people about Social Work; most specifically, how I have a degree in Social Work that I do not use.  I was asked if I was going to go back for my masters.  While I have planned on going back for an MSW, my initial reaction at the moment is "No."

That doesn't mean I won't go back to school ever.  But I don't think I'm going to get my masters in Social Work.  I'm just not sure that my heart is really in it anymore.  It seems like most jobs that require an MSW also require at least 5 years of experience.  I have 2 years experience working a Behavioral Aide to a kid with Autism, but that's about it.  I've been the supervisor of a Teen Clinic, working with sexual health... which SORT of is in the Social Work field... sort of.

But when we get down to it, Social Workers make VERY LITTLE money.  The SW jobs I looked at in California, the ones that I could do without getting a MSW, made HALF as much as I make now.  Half.  Which is ridiculous.

I just don't think I can go back to school, even if it's a YEAR program (I could do advanced standing in some schools because I have a BSW).  It would be more student loan debt (between Bryan and I, we have over $40,000 already) and it would be a year off work (the advanced standing program is pretty rigorous, from what I hear, and requires a lot of practicum and internships).  And most jobs that require an MSW only make $5,000-$10,000 more a year, from what I've seen, at least.  That may sound like a lot, but when I'm already making a fairly decent wage as a medical receptionist.... well let's just say that making $2 more a hour than I make now doesn't seem worth a year of college and not working. 

I have considered going back to get my RN or Masters in Public Health once our kids are in school.  I like working in the medical field.  It's interesting.  Being a nurse would be much more hands on, which I like in some ways, and don't like in others.  A Masters in Public Health would open me up to administrative positions, which would be really cool.  Bryan has told me over and over again that I'd make a good Office Manager or would do well working in a hospital in an administrative capacity.  So that's an idea.

Really though, I still have NO idea what I really want out of my career, or if I really want a career at all.  Would I be happy just working jobs I don't so much care about, but that pay the bills?  I plan on working when we have kids, at least 2 days a week.  Am I okay doing something that doesn't fulfill me, and finding my fulfillment elsewhere?  That's what I do now, and although my job is boring at times, it's not terrible by any means. 

Bryan and I always talk about how we're going to get rich.  In reality, we don't really care about being RICH, we just want to have enough cash to not worry a ton about cash.  We're doing much better now than we ever had, which is awesome.  But we also talk about what the next big thing is - what should we invest in?  What would be a good business strategy?  What if we went the entrepreneurial route?  Bryan has talked more recently about investment rental properties, which is something my grandfather was involved in.  I have no idea what we'll end up doing.  Bry has no idea what he really wants to do.  Does he want to work in a different bank (I don't think he's interested in Wells long term)?  Does he still have any interest at working at a hospital?  He's considered so many things.  And still, we have no ideas.

I get jealous sometimes of those people who always knew what they wanted to do.  My childhood best friend, Alaina, always knew she wanted to be a teacher.  And from what I hear, she's GREAT at her job.  She's passionate about math, and about teaching.  I am not really built like that.  I tend to be passionate about the things I'm currently involved in; when I worked with my little friend with Autism, I was PASSIONATE about Autism research and prevention.  When I worked at the Teen Clinic, I was PASSIONATE about sexual health and education.  I still really care about those things, but I'm not so totally captivated with them like I used to be. 

So all this is to say, I don't really know what's going on in my life, or in my future.  But at the moment, I don't think I'm going to go back for my Masters in Social Work. 

Is there a job in reading Harry Potter fanfiction?  Or searching for free Kindle books?  Because I'm, like, SUPER good at that.