Am I crazy to quit my job?
June 10, 2011 3:23 PM Subscribe
Am I crazy to quit a government job in this economy to go to grad school full time?
posted by Amistad to Education (16 answers total)
Now, before you instantly reply YES(!!), let me explain just a little bit. I'm an engineer for the government in a regulatory role I guess you could say. Before taking this job 4 months ago, I had been applying for grad school but nothing was looking promising. So, as an escape from my former employer (yes, wrong move) I took this job which moved me 1300 miles away from friends, family, and now ex-girlfriend. The job looks perfect on paper for a young 20 something. Travel around for two years in training and then get a basically guaranteed permanent placement.
There's two problems, though. 1) I realized I don't want to move around so much and have to establish a new social circle every 6 months. And, more importantly 2) I can't see myself doing this job for very long. If I was around friends, family and my network, I could get by, but I don't want to move around the country by myself for two to three years, only to end up most likely far from home away from family doing this job that I can merely tolerate because it's low stress.
Now, the grad school situation. Along with admission to the program I am offered full tuition coverage and a $24,000 stipend. It is at a midwestern school, so I would be back closer to home and people more like me. The school is fairly well known for my program (not necessarily national top tier or anything) but more importantly I would like to live in the geographical area where employers recruiting there would most likely come from. I would just be getting a master's and would be targeting this study for a job that will more closely match my interests. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely positive this is what I want to do. I know a lot of what I don't want to do by my various jobs, but my gut instinct was that I enjoyed this work in undergrad.
Now, I've been out of undergrad for two years, and have basically no debt, but also no savings. I've been putting all of my extra money into paying off loans. I would have to probably adjust my lifestyle, but I don't spend a lot on luxuries. My biggest vice is by far eating out. I don't pay for cable or even have a smart phone. Just internet and necessary utilities. There are so many pros and cons, that I need to sit down and map them out. I made an impulsive decision taking this job and don't want to make another one to 'escape' a position many would be glad to be in. To be honest, I would also be looking forward to some of the social aspects of being back on campus. Even though I realize it won't be like undergrad, I'm used to working a full time job. I was also never one to say, "I hate school and am glad to be done." I missed school when I graduated undergrad...