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 Looking for some advice/ideas.

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Briarbabe

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Age : 38
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:59 pm

If there's one thing I can count on, it's getting a wide array of replies from the BoB and that's just what I'm hoping for here. I need your advice. I am 34 years old, I've been out of the work force since 2008 when I had my first son. I have a high school diploma and that's it. I have experience as a teller, insurance agent, and admin. assist. Right now I am running an inhome daycare as, realistically, it's the only job I can afford to have because I can't afford to pay someone else for daycare. My youngest starts school in two years. I need to be able to care for this family properly and right now I just can't do it. We live in a society that basically demands dual incomes to raise a family, and so I am looking into going back to school. Long gone are the days of the dreamy eyed graduate following some dream or looking to 'make a difference'. The only difference I am looking to make at the end of the day is in my bank account. Unfortunately, due to my daycare, attending classes at a campus during the day is out of the question, and most of the adult programs that are geared towards folks my age who attend in the evening, are for degrees that just don't pay well in the real world job market.

Here's what I need:

A degree that can be done (almost) totally online.

In a field that has a good job forecast

That pays pretty damn well (again, single mom, single income)

The obvious choice is the healthcare field, but the biggest road block I am finding is most of those degrees require attending on campus (during the day). I need ideas, suggestions, stories of friends/family who did it. Anything really, that you think will be helpful. I think it goes without saying, thank you, very much, for your help.
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:14 am

Computers, IT, or networking. Because technological progress never stops, you would need to constantly be learning, but there are more jobs in those fields now than ever with even more forecast in the future.
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:38 am

what the cat said!
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:54 am

My advice would be LPN if you can make the classes work. Find a place that will support your working on an RN. There is always a need.

If you know someone in IT who will hire you on to get some paid experience, that might not be bad. You have to decide if it is "for you." I got MS and Novell certified back n the 90's (NT 4 and Novell 3.11) while I was teaching and for a year I was the network admin for a school of 2400. I decided I was good at it but I was more of a people person. The network admin stuff was a lot of problem solving and detail oriented puzzles. Sometimes it required heroic hours. I began to do more training and writing instructional stuff for others. I decided I would be happier teaching and supporting a couple of servers for IT.

Somewhere in there I went to the bishop and started taking seminary classes...
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:45 am

First off, you are a SINGLE mother who is trying to get training to get EMPLOYMENT. There are social programs available to YOU and your children that are NOT available to a single male with NO dependents. TAKE ADVANTAGE of them as they will help you accomplish your goals. You are NOT being any sort of "drag" on our society if you do this, contrary to what some folks maintain, as you are trying to ACCOMPLISH something !
Second, the advice for 'puter/IT training and or Health Care work are BOTH GOOD ideas and areas which WILL be in increasing demand in the future and do pay well compared to many other proffessions these days ( Teachers are an example of the upside down value system we live under Evil or Very Mad ) . Just remember to go for one that will be of interest to you as you will learn it easier and perform better if it is something that you can "get behind" so to speak.
I don't envy your situation, but with effort and perseverance you and your children should do fine. Razz


Last edited by monbla256 on Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:56 am

The healthcare industry is a minefield when it comes to school. Too many specialized courses that get swamped. It's also cutthroat competitive. RNs really don't get the respect they deserve. They put up with a lot of crap from everywhere.

You can get into IT with certificates. There are also a lot of "non-technical" jobs like project management etc. Most certificate classes are web based or a 1-2 day thing. You have to put in the study time though. Testing costs anywhere from $100-300 per instance. You want to get it the first time.

The good thing is a single mom has options. I would get in to see someone at your local vocational or community college to discuss them. You should be able to get full funding.
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whitepony1986



Age : 31
Registration date : 2013-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:04 am

i have to ay negative on the IT field idea, i have a degree in computer networking and repair. I have yet to find a job in my field. To put it simply the IT bubble burst, not they want you to have 3-5 years ex as a entry level position. My advice is the healthcare field
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:13 am

You can make a bunch of money in sales...if you're good at it. And, it's something you can do without a degree (unless you're looking at medical sales). If you're good, you'll move up. If you make good moves at good times, you can increase your salary as you go. I'm speaking from experience here. I went to college for 5 years for music...MUSIC, and finally realized that school had ruined my love for music, so I quit with only two classes left (long story) and got into sales.

You don't have to be sneaky, slimy, intrusive, or pushy to be good at sales. In fact, I find that a good salesperson is one who is good at communicating, is likeable, is knowledgeable about their product, and is capable of finding solutions for people and helping those people see that solution.

It's a tough business for sure, but like I said, if you're good you can make a lot of money doing it. I've solely supported my family of four comfortably for about 15 years now with nothing but sales.

It's a grind, it's emotional and keeping sales managers happy can be almost impossible, but that's just part of life I guess. But sales (in most cases) is one of those careers where you can personally affect the amount of money you make by doing more, working harder and smarter, being better.

Good luck!

Brian.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:27 pm

monbla256 wrote:
There are social programs available to YOU and your children that are NOT available to a single male with NO dependents.  
Don't I know it...I keep getting worse and worse in the eyes of society...white, male, legally "single," no kids, that by itself means I'm a richly-funded playboy, but add on top of that I'm a dastardly (small) business owner and resemble the 1% so much I am now in a 40% tax bracket...

...mmmm, can of green beans for dinner. Laughing

I'm also in no position to give career advice. Good at surviving, not so good at thriving. Smile

Cool



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pepesdad1

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Age : 74
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:14 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
monbla256 wrote:
There are social programs available to YOU and your children that are NOT available to a single male with NO dependents.  
Don't I know it...I keep getting worse and worse in the eyes of society...white, male, legally "single," no kids, that by itself means I'm a richly-funded playboy, but add on top of that I'm a dastardly (small) business owner and resemble the 1% so much I am now in a 40% tax bracket...

...mmmm, can of green beans for dinner.     Laughing 

I'm also in no position to give career advice.   Good at surviving, not so good at thriving.   Smile 

Cool



"Good at surviving, not so good at thriving"   This is the last word and the unfortunate truth.
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:47 pm

I agree with some of the other suggestions regarding the IT field as a good candidate for meeting your personal needs, especially in terms of the online training aspect. Although I also like Brian's suggestion regarding sales. If you're a "people person" the sky is the limit with sales. However that's an excellent trait to have if you're in IT. I can think of several folks that I know in IT who have been passed over for management positions because they can't play nice with others.. Wink I don't think you could become an RN strictly through online courses, perhaps I am wrong.

You will hear a lot of cautionary tales about any industry so it helps to enjoy what you are doing. Nursing is a noble career with its fair share of horror tales usually involving having to work for some conceited doctor or warped administrator. Nurses are on the front lines so they tend to have their own culture and sense of justice and rightfully so. Daycare is an incredibly noble profession too btw, (just sayin). Very Happy  Talk about underpaid and overworked.

In the past 10 years since the big dot.com bust, the landscape of the IT field has changed dramatically. Gone are the six digit incomes for your average Joe's but that's not to say that there isn't work out there. A decent amount of the horror stories you'll hear come from professionals who were used to making killer money with tons of perks who later found out that their salaries as well as their jobs were built on a house of cards. Unfortunately there were a lot of good people (me included) who were chewed up an spit out by small companies that folded & large ones that were simply downsizing to stay afloat and shipping support positions overseas. There are and always will be a lot of good experienced IT people looking for work, but there are always a number of decent paying level entry positions as well. It does help to live in an area with a thriving tech market.

You can do a lot of necessary training needed online, but most vendor exams for certification require applicants to show up in person for testing out. Some certifications along with their training courses are quite expensive, not quite college degree expensive but they can still get up there in cost.

Good Luck. study 
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whitepony1986



Age : 31
Registration date : 2013-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:26 pm

i can think of three exams total that will set you back at least 1000$ at least thats what those three exams cost me in school.
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:36 pm

To add to what DrumsAndBeer said,...and a bit to what I already said, not just IT, or Sales....but IT SALES! These companies are going to continue to produce all manner of technological goodies...and they're going to need someone to sell it all.

My first real sales job was actually for Compaq, which soon got bought out by HP. Working for HP opened up all kinds of doors for me. I went from Compaq, to HP, to Xerox...and then to BMC and CA, some of the largest software companies in the world. That's where selling got serious for serious. But, way back at HP, you could get in as an inside sales rep supporting an outside rep, and it was a pretty sweet gig.

...All THAT said, if I could get out of sales and still make good money, I probably would. It's one of the most intense "what have you done for me lately" jobs I can think of. You can be a rockstar one year a black sheep the next. If you do think about getting into sales, be careful not to let it totally take you over.
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Mr. Doody

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Location : MA, USA
Registration date : 2012-04-14

PostSubject: basic web tech programming.   Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:45 pm

there's a HUGE demand for modern, lightweight programmers. when i say lightweight, i mean HTML, HTML5, CSS, PHP, python, etc.

TONS of contract options out there for folks like this - start off cheap and work your way up. never leave your house - work at home, remotely.

if you have a design bone (even just one) in your body - all the better.

i can't speak to computer repair and service and technician stuff (all my servers are 'rented' and in the cloud and NOT my maintenance/support problem). but people need people to program them....

doody.
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:27 pm

I'm not sure what is involved as far as schooling, but I have heard that MRI technicians have a cush gig compared to others in the medical field. Their average salary is $78,000, and their hours are pretty much 9 to 5.
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Fatman

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Age : 55
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2013-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:32 pm

Dutch wrote:
I'm not sure what is involved as far as schooling, but I have heard that MRI technicians have a cush gig compared to others in the medical field. Their average salary is $78,000, and their hours are pretty much 9 to 5.
As a hospital based MRI Technologist, it can be easy and amazingly difficult as well. I work 3rd shift, and the patients from the emergency room can be just the cream of the crop! It does pay very well, the path to becoming one is not always easy though. I was fortunate and cross trained from Cat Scan tech when an opening was available. Outpatient imaging centers are pretty cushy, as all the difficult patients here are scanned where I work.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:13 pm

If you decide to go IT you have to be committed to learning, which takes time, all the new software and technology supporting it and the hardware, every year. As a society we are moving along with ever-increasing speed toward a hyper-digital future. To do so requires a lot of skilled man (and women;)) power.

I don't like the certificate route as someone with a BS in Computer Science is going to be hired before you everyday. Also, keeping up with the constantly deploying technology is best done with a broad IT back round. It used to be that a liberal arts education was valued because it made a person "well-rounded," and it does exactly that. But in today's market what is required is skills first and last. The corporate bean counters focus more and more on what you, with X experience, can do for them, today. "Hit the ground running" and all that crap. They want to buy all of your experience as cheaply as possible and pay very little for it even though without that experience you probably couldn't make it in the job.

If you like the IT route then you might also consider systems analysis. It pays more, but those that I have met are very intelligent people, and they can wrap their minds around a set of specifications (supposedly what the customer wants the program to do, which is a laugh as customers can rarely tell you what they want unless you can, with repeated effort, make them say) very quickly. It's a tough job as you have to have the people skills to work with customers and the enough technical skills to communicate with programmers.

If you decide to go the IT route be very careful what kind of training you get. I was trained in Assembler and COBOL mainframe programming in 1987 when mainframe systems were well on the way out; I should have been trained in C and Unix but didn't know better. Consequently after Y2K (remember that?), when mainframe programming opportunities dried up, so did my career! But the moribund programming school which I attended happily accepted my $5K in tuition. Probably someone wanted to keep their income for a few more years rather than be truthful with prospective students.

Since you have a child I would do as much research as possible about working from home.

Other than IT the opportunities are in medicine and law, engineering and business. Since you need the income now and aren't 18 entering a pre-med program, that nixes the first two. I don't know much about health care.

A final word about education. I'd find a niche and get a PhD, or the equivalent. More and more specialized, advanced knowledge is what is required. If you can get a job with a Masters, and I wouldn't even think about negotiating today's job market with a Bachelors, get it now but keep on trucking toward whatever credential makes you the biggest baddest player. Training enables job performance. Get as much as you can and get it now while you're relatively young. Frankly, going to grad school and working at the same time is a nightmare. If a full-load is 5 classes take 2 or 3 and do it part-time. But do it now as the older you get the less capacity you have for sticking with it when it gets grueling, which can be often. Get the education now because one is ill-advised to postpone what makes you valuable today.

Employment is very important to you right now, and as you know will remain so. I hope what I've written is helpful. I feel that it is valid, but what do I know, really?

I think it's great that you're asking questions. Do as much research as you can stand doing as one's career, like marriage, determines so very much:

income
the type of work you'll spend 40-50 hours doing
where you live
a large part of your culture. Do you see the uniform corporate souls
wear? I can spot them a mile away. You're going to have to fit in. Do you want to?

With a little (ha ha) more effort you can be your own boss. I'd heartily recommend it. If you work for someone else they call all the shots about far too much in your life, including income. You are merely a cog in their wheel to get them where they want to go. Hopefully they can manage you with grace, humor and good-intentions but it is rare to meet anyone who can escape the ravages of the everyday functioning of the ego, its self-obsession/selfishness and self-will.
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Briarbabe

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Age : 38
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:19 am

Thank you all so much for the great replies. It's definitely given me a few more options to look into. This whole endeavor is completely overwhelming. I want to take my time and make sure that I make good choices.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:33 am

Briarbabe wrote:
Thank you all so much for the great replies. It's definitely given me a few more options to look into. This whole endeavor is completely overwhelming. I want to take my time and make sure that I make good choices.
The best time to start bettering yourself and your situation is now. It doesn't get any easier the longer things get put off. You can turn around twice and 10 years have gone by. BUT, it's never too late. I know people in their 50's who are going back to school for a career change.

You only get one life. Kids grow up way too fast. Make every second count.

And ignore naysayers. These people make up 90% of the people you meet and possibly already in your life. It's your life, not theirs.
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idbowman

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:42 pm

One issue with the medical field that I don't think has been mentioned is the schedule AFTER the schooling is completed...not to say there aren't nursing positions out there with "normal" hours, but most LPNs, techs, or RNs that I know spend quite a bit of time on second, third, or rotating shifts - even after you're trained, licensed, and employed, that schedule might not mix well with the single-parent issue. Maybe its not a problem, maybe it is...but something to keep in mind.

Also, you have to consider where you live. Some have said "IT is always hiring," others "There are no IT jobs." Same applies to nursing, sales, and everything in between. Where I am (NE Ohio), the tech industry is wide open as is accounting (another field which you can get trained in online, if numbers suit your fancy). Plenty of nursing jobs around here, too, but there's also a lot of competition (many, many nursing students in Ohio, coming out of a number of reputable schools). Good luck finding a good job in sales, distribution, or a million other things around here, though.

I'd expect the situation to be different in other communities. What's true in NE Ohio isn't necessarily true in the communities where other BoBers live, including out in your area (Eastern PA, I think?).

You might want to jump on the online job posting sites and pick up a few Sunday newspapers and look through the classifieds. Unless you're planning/willing to relocate, you might want to start by asking:
--What's hiring in my area?
--Is that field growing (or at least not shrinking)?
--Even though I'm not "following a dream" per se, is this a field I can see myself in long-term?


But then this is coming from a guy who makes his living in a field that is entirely unfulfilling and unrelated to the degrees I've earned, so don't put too much stock in what I have to say. Razz 

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Briarbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:14 pm

idbowman wrote:
One issue with the medical field that I don't think has been mentioned is the schedule AFTER the schooling is completed...not to say there aren't nursing positions out there with "normal" hours, but most LPNs, techs, or RNs that I know spend quite a bit of time on second, third, or rotating shifts - even after you're trained, licensed, and employed, that schedule might not mix well with the single-parent issue.  Maybe its not a problem, maybe it is...but something to keep in mind.

Also, you have to consider where you live.  Some have said "IT is always hiring," others "There are no IT jobs."  Same applies to nursing, sales, and everything in between.  Where I am (NE Ohio), the tech industry is wide open as is accounting (another field which you can get trained in online, if numbers suit your fancy).  Plenty of nursing jobs around here, too, but there's also a lot of competition (many, many nursing students in Ohio, coming out of a number of reputable schools).  Good luck finding a good job in sales, distribution, or a million other things around here, though.  

I'd expect the situation to be different in other communities.  What's true in NE Ohio isn't necessarily true in the communities where other BoBers live, including out in your area (Eastern PA, I think?).

You might want to jump on the online job posting sites and pick up a few Sunday newspapers and look through the classifieds.  Unless you're planning/willing to relocate, you might want to start by asking:
--What's hiring in my area?
--Is that field growing (or at least not shrinking)?
--Even though I'm not "following a dream" per se, is this a field I can see myself in long-term?


But then this is coming from a guy who makes his living in a field that is entirely unfulfilling and unrelated to the degrees I've earned, so don't put too much stock in what I have to say.  Razz 

No, I agree with you. These are all points that I have thought of as well. It's a really tough situation. A catch 22 to be sure.
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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:56 pm

My 2 cents...(1) find a career based on your work experience and (2) list your interests and see if any require a certification.
For example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_life_specialist
This might help
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/self-education-during-a-career-hiatus/
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Sean68

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PostSubject: Yarn stuff.   Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:59 am

Your goal to find a lucrative and rewarding career will take much of your time and energy. The effort will be rewarded, for sure. You will do well, you are all that and more!

Please do not forget the real dream, though. Keep thinking about it, research what others have done to be successful. Develop a business plan. That step alone will give you the knowledge of what it would really take to open a boutique for stitchers and knitters. This is what will make you happy later in life. it is a worthy and wonderful dream, do not lose it.

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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Yeah, like me trying to be a stripper. Really hard work for not a lot of payoff...boy, did the career counselors lie to me. No Now I see it as getting paid to keep my clothes on. Better for everyone, anyway.

tongue

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pepesdad1

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PostSubject: Looking for some advice/ideas.    Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:56 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Yeah, like me trying to be a stripper.   Really hard work for not a lot of payoff...boy, did the career counselors lie to me.    No   Now I see it as getting paid to keep my clothes on.    Better for everyone, anyway.

tongue

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Tough work, but someone has to do it.  Kyle has been nominated and selected.
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