Author Topic: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?  (Read 5072 times)

nds2015

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Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« on: March 14, 2016, 02:08:13 PM »
Hello, I am writing on behalf of my husband. He graduated in 2013 with bachelors in Chinese (extremely fluent) and has been working mostly in the logistics field the last three years. He just quit his job and is looking for a new career. He was making about $40K in his former job and working in a high stress toxic environment. Also, there wasnít any room for growth besides the standard yearly raise.

We moved in with my parents to save money (they have an exterior apartment) but we are now out of the city forcing me to drive an hour to work and back. I know this isnít ideal but the rent is free and it is definitely temporary. He is planning on training with Treehouse full time for the next few months and looking for jobs after.

My question is if this is a good plan? He thinks he is interested in the tech field because it pays well and there are many jobs available and room for growth. He is very smart and personable so I think he will excel job in any career he chooses, but I do want to make sure he makes the best move. We want to retire early or have the possibility of this but in his previous position we would have been waiting a long time to get to where we want to be.

Ideally he would like to find a career or job where he can make more money quick, so we can reach our goals. Does anyone have any recommendations? Are there any better suggestions outside the tech field for career choices? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, the Chinese hasnít helped him find a job at all and probably wasnít the best major to choose. He is happy he learned it because of the life experiences he gained and he received free college from the Chinese government so has little college debt. Heís hoping he can use it in the future sometime but not set on it being a part of his career right now.

Thanks!

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 02:18:10 PM »
Does he have an extroverted personality and good understanding of business?

Enterprise sales can be very lucrative, with the minimal amount of training/experience. It does take a certain personality though.

Catmandew

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 02:23:43 PM »
Really depends what he likes and where you guys live.

Generally, I would recommend nursing. You can become an RN with an associate's degree and there are many RN to BSN programs.

RN starting salary is generally in the $60,000 range (higher for high COL such as CA and NYC, etc.) Keep in mind, this is just the base pay. There is usually opportunities to work weekends/nights/OT and receive a significant bonus in pay through shift differentials. For a career that you can begin in roughly two years, it is a great one and in high demand (again depending on area, some have a glut.) Also, if you go the associate degree route, which I recommend, you'll likely utilize a community college for the degree which saves a lot of money. Furthermore, hospitals tend to incentivize nurses to go back for the bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance. (The amount varies, my last hospital offered $1000/yr. while my current one has paid for half of my bachelor's and is now paying for my Master's.)

However, working on an inpatient floor/hospital as a Registered Nurse is not easy. It can be very stressful, but generally, you'll do 1-2 years on a generic medical surgical floor and then lateral out to a better floor or go somewhere much less stressful. :) For example, I worked two years on a transplant floor working nights/evenings/days/holidays/weekends...you name it. Then I worked in a outpatient clinic, now I work as a supervisor in said clinic. 9-5 M-F. My quality of life is great and the pay and fringe benefits are solid too.

The nursing field is very diverse. You can go into education, management, different specialties or go on to become a Nurse Practitioner (~90k-110k+) or CRNA (~150k+) The possibilities are endless. I have only been an RN for five years, but this, so far, has been an excellent career with countless opportunities.

Also, I am a straight male. Don't let the gender bias idea discourage your husband.

nds2015

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 02:34:55 PM »
Really depends what he likes and where you guys live.

Generally, I would recommend nursing. You can become an RN with an associate's degree and there are many RN to BSN programs.

Also, I am a straight male. Don't let the gender bias idea discourage your husband.

Thanks for the advice, and really great information. We live in Oregon by the way. I've mentioned nursing to him before and he was concerned about the really gross parts of nursing (catheters, sponge bath situations). Is there any way to avoid that? Or is it really just part of the job?

He does really want to do a job where he feels like he's helping people though so nursing could be a great option to help others and make good money.

nds2015

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 02:39:36 PM »
Does he have an extroverted personality and good understanding of business?

Enterprise sales can be very lucrative, with the minimal amount of training/experience. It does take a certain personality though.

That is helpful! Thanks! He is an extrovert for the most part but also very amiable which makes sales more difficult for him. It could be a good option for him to get rewarded based off of his effort.

ysette9

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 09:24:50 PM »
I'd love to see him leverage the Chinese skills since those are so valuable internationally now. Unfortunately there are lots of people who also speak Chinese, so you need Chinese and some other marketable skill. For example, my husband sitting next to me is currently on a conference call with Asia and is speaking Chinese about the design of the product he is working on (engineer). It isn't exactly easy to just go back to school and become an engineer, though it is very lucrative.

Does he have an updated LinkedIn profile up? Can he join some industry groups, MeetUp groups, or anything else to get in touch with Chinese speakers and network? I know Oregon isn't exactly teeming with Chinese speakers, but there must be something if you are near a big city. Hopefully he can mine ideas out of other people in similar situations.

bonjourliz

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 09:35:12 PM »
My husband, who coincidentally also speaks Chinese fluently, has been in the logistics industry for 15+ years.  He was underpaid for a long time but has hit his stride as a sales rep for a cargo line now.  There are lots of sides to that industry, and they are not all super high stress (though it can be!). Many of our friends are in the industry too, and they have had some great adventures getting transferred from branches around the world (primarily working for 3PLs).  It's not a make money fast industry but there are different paths he could build on.

Sent from my HTC first using Tapatalk


Catmandew

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2016, 06:57:53 AM »
Really depends what he likes and where you guys live.

Generally, I would recommend nursing. You can become an RN with an associate's degree and there are many RN to BSN programs.

Also, I am a straight male. Don't let the gender bias idea discourage your husband.

Thanks for the advice, and really great information. We live in Oregon by the way. I've mentioned nursing to him before and he was concerned about the really gross parts of nursing (catheters, sponge bath situations). Is there any way to avoid that? Or is it really just part of the job?

He does really want to do a job where he feels like he's helping people though so nursing could be a great option to help others and make good money.

Unless he has a true aversion to these things, he will be fine. You quickly become desensitized to many of the things he once found completely repugnant. Like any new skill, you'll learn it and get use to it, such as catheter placement. As far as sponge bathes go, this is pretty rare in the hospital setting. However, in your first semester of school you'll likely have to perform one. Furthermore, you'll encounter this more in nursing homes.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid these things until you are able to leave the hospital for a position in a different area. These areas might include the outpatient setting, administration, management, education, or health coaching. (And even here, you may not encounter gross things, but the patients you encounter may generally still be smelly, gross, etc depending on the community you serve.)

If you have further questions about the profession, I'd be more than happy to explain more. Best of luck.


Elliot

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 12:29:57 PM »
Really depends what he likes and where you guys live.

Generally, I would recommend nursing. You can become an RN with an associate's degree and there are many RN to BSN programs.

RN starting salary is generally in the $60,000 range (higher for high COL such as CA and NYC, etc.) Keep in mind, this is just the base pay. There is usually opportunities to work weekends/nights/OT and receive a significant bonus in pay through shift differentials. For a career that you can begin in roughly two years, it is a great one and in high demand (again depending on area, some have a glut.) Also, if you go the associate degree route, which I recommend, you'll likely utilize a community college for the degree which saves a lot of money. Furthermore, hospitals tend to incentivize nurses to go back for the bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance. (The amount varies, my last hospital offered $1000/yr. while my current one has paid for half of my bachelor's and is now paying for my Master's.)

However, working on an inpatient floor/hospital as a Registered Nurse is not easy. It can be very stressful, but generally, you'll do 1-2 years on a generic medical surgical floor and then lateral out to a better floor or go somewhere much less stressful. :) For example, I worked two years on a transplant floor working nights/evenings/days/holidays/weekends...you name it. Then I worked in a outpatient clinic, now I work as a supervisor in said clinic. 9-5 M-F. My quality of life is great and the pay and fringe benefits are solid too.

The nursing field is very diverse. You can go into education, management, different specialties or go on to become a Nurse Practitioner (~90k-110k+) or CRNA (~150k+) The possibilities are endless. I have only been an RN for five years, but this, so far, has been an excellent career with countless opportunities.

Also, I am a straight male. Don't let the gender bias idea discourage your husband.

I see the 60K number a lot and I want to caution you that that's not true in a LOT of areas. With a BSN (at my hospital system) you can expect to start around 45K, and it's a bit less for an ADN RN.

I do, however think that those with work ethic and the right temperament can make a very enjoyable career in nursing. The field is much more flexible than people think it is, but be cautioned that if you don't want to be with patients forever, you will likely have to pay a couple years of "dues" as a lowly direct care staff nurse before you can move to a job in indirect care services.

Catmandew

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2016, 07:41:21 PM »
Really depends what he likes and where you guys live.

Generally, I would recommend nursing. You can become an RN with an associate's degree and there are many RN to BSN programs.

RN starting salary is generally in the $60,000 range (higher for high COL such as CA and NYC, etc.) Keep in mind, this is just the base pay. There is usually opportunities to work weekends/nights/OT and receive a significant bonus in pay through shift differentials. For a career that you can begin in roughly two years, it is a great one and in high demand (again depending on area, some have a glut.) Also, if you go the associate degree route, which I recommend, you'll likely utilize a community college for the degree which saves a lot of money. Furthermore, hospitals tend to incentivize nurses to go back for the bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance. (The amount varies, my last hospital offered $1000/yr. while my current one has paid for half of my bachelor's and is now paying for my Master's.)

However, working on an inpatient floor/hospital as a Registered Nurse is not easy. It can be very stressful, but generally, you'll do 1-2 years on a generic medical surgical floor and then lateral out to a better floor or go somewhere much less stressful. :) For example, I worked two years on a transplant floor working nights/evenings/days/holidays/weekends...you name it. Then I worked in a outpatient clinic, now I work as a supervisor in said clinic. 9-5 M-F. My quality of life is great and the pay and fringe benefits are solid too.

The nursing field is very diverse. You can go into education, management, different specialties or go on to become a Nurse Practitioner (~90k-110k+) or CRNA (~150k+) The possibilities are endless. I have only been an RN for five years, but this, so far, has been an excellent career with countless opportunities.

Also, I am a straight male. Don't let the gender bias idea discourage your husband.

I see the 60K number a lot and I want to caution you that that's not true in a LOT of areas. With a BSN (at my hospital system) you can expect to start around 45K, and it's a bit less for an ADN RN.

I do, however think that those with work ethic and the right temperament can make a very enjoyable career in nursing. The field is much more flexible than people think it is, but be cautioned that if you don't want to be with patients forever, you will likely have to pay a couple years of "dues" as a lowly direct care staff nurse before you can move to a job in indirect care services.

Absolutely - one must always take a year or two of 'lumps' before moving towards indirect patient care.

I know that the South and Mid-West are particularly bad when it comes to nurse wages. However, OP says they are located in Oregon/Pacific North West. Here is a source that supports the salary range I touched on.

http://www.topregisterednurse.com/salary/oregon/

lhamo

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 09:36:59 PM »
I'd love to see him leverage the Chinese skills since those are so valuable internationally now. Unfortunately there are lots of people who also speak Chinese, so you need Chinese and some other marketable skill. For example, my husband sitting next to me is currently on a conference call with Asia and is speaking Chinese about the design of the product he is working on (engineer). It isn't exactly easy to just go back to school and become an engineer, though it is very lucrative.

Does he have an updated LinkedIn profile up? Can he join some industry groups, MeetUp groups, or anything else to get in touch with Chinese speakers and network? I know Oregon isn't exactly teeming with Chinese speakers, but there must be something if you are near a big city. Hopefully he can mine ideas out of other people in similar situations.

+1 -- the language is so hard to master, it would be a shame to give it up.  But you do need to be able to bring something else to the mix in order to compete with native speakers.  For me it was cross cultural competence/non-profit management skills, but I lucked into it by being in the right place at the right time (very hard to get entry level jobs in the non-profit sector in China now as an expat).

He might be able to find a niche in intelligence or cybersecurity.   Some jobs require that people do not have close relatives in China in order to get security clearances, so many native speakers/immigrants wouldn't be eligible.  Here are some sample listings from indeed.com:

http://www.indeed.com/q-Intelligence-Analyst-Mandarin-Chinese-jobs.html

If he's at all interested in teaching, he could consider going back to China to get an MA in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language -- Hanban offers scholarships for this.  Many US school districts are growing their Mandarin programs.  For example, Bellevue Public Schools (one of the best/highest paying districts in the Seattle area) is hiring for next fall.

And just for good measure, here's Indeed.com's list of jobs that come up in Portland with keyword "Chinese":

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Chinese&l=portland




Sailor Sam

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2016, 01:20:58 AM »
The CIA is always looking for recruits fluent in a second language. The GS payscale isn't bad, and the TSP is a screaming deal. He could even get a hiring bonus, if his language skills are good enough. Does your husband look good in a black suit?

The military also likes people who can speak other languages.

Elliot

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2016, 08:26:52 AM »

Absolutely - one must always take a year or two of 'lumps' before moving towards indirect patient care.

I know that the South and Mid-West are particularly bad when it comes to nurse wages. However, OP says they are located in Oregon/Pacific North West. Here is a source that supports the salary range I touched on.

http://www.topregisterednurse.com/salary/oregon/

I did see that up thread, I just wanted to register for posterity/anyone reading the thread for info in the future. You mentioned that some places started higher, but the lower salaries weren't mentioned.

catccc

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2016, 08:42:44 AM »
Project Management?  I feel like the PMPs I know make a decent salary.  But it could be their fields.  It's a certification, so quick and cheap to get.

I'm a CPA (another certification, quick and cheap to get) and my salary is decent.  I started at 36K in 2003, and that was a lowball offer that I stupidly took.  I'd guess a starting salary for a staff accountant is about 50K, maybe?  You can easily get to $70K+ in a few years once you have enough experience to be a senior accountant.  Jump to manager and you are likely in 6 figures.  I'm a "career senior" and don't plan on climbing further, as the salary is enough to get my family to FI in a reasonable timeframe.  I'm currently at 90K.  I'm sure this varies by location, I'm in a Philly suburb.  Not super HCOL, but not like midwest boonies or anything...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2016, 09:21:19 AM »
He should get a job that pays money, or get a certification/degree to do something else. Quitting and idling is not a good look.

Catmandew

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2016, 12:05:34 PM »

Absolutely - one must always take a year or two of 'lumps' before moving towards indirect patient care.

I know that the South and Mid-West are particularly bad when it comes to nurse wages. However, OP says they are located in Oregon/Pacific North West. Here is a source that supports the salary range I touched on.

http://www.topregisterednurse.com/salary/oregon/

I did see that up thread, I just wanted to register for posterity/anyone reading the thread for info in the future. You mentioned that some places started higher, but the lower salaries weren't mentioned.

That is a fair point - thanks!

nds2015

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2016, 03:55:33 PM »
Thank you everyone for the info! Very helpful!

He should get a job that pays money, or get a certification/degree to do something else. Quitting and idling is not a good look.


He isn't idling. He is working on learning to code on Treehouse
https://teamtreehouse.com/

We are not sure if this is the best option but looking into it while he learns the skills through their training program. Does anyone know if combining coding skills with Chinese could be beneficial? Or does anyone have any other suggestions for what skills to add to Chinese? I do agree that maybe adding a skill to his fluency in Chinese will help him to get further. I never thought of accounting or the cyber security career. Those might be good to look into!


And just for good measure, here's Indeed.com's list of jobs that come up in Portland with keyword "Chinese":

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Chinese&l=portland


We searched jobs on indeed with the keyword "Chinese" and a lot of jobs have been in engineering (which could take 3-4 years for a degree) or teaching which he has stayed away from. I do see jobs for Data Analysts sometimes so maybe that could be something he goes into. Does anyone have information on the path to that career?

Also, I am not looking to move away from Oregon right now because we have a lot of family here.

Thank you again for all your input!



Rein1987

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2016, 05:23:30 PM »

We are not sure if this is the best option but looking into it while he learns the skills through their training program. Does anyone know if combining coding skills with Chinese could be beneficial? Or does anyone have any other suggestions for what skills to add to Chinese? I do agree that maybe adding a skill to his fluency in Chinese will help him to get further. I never thought of accounting or the cyber security career. Those might be good to look into!


My husband is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese. He has a CS degree with specialty on machine learning. He is now an engineering manager, leading a team to build international search engine and to do natural language processing research. He has video conference with Chinese team virtually everyday, and he flies to Japan frequently for business reason.

He is in his mid 30s. His current base salary is much more than 150k, and he potentially has very large bonus every year (multiples of the base salary) depending on his product performance.

I mean, combining language skills and other skills are very useful. CS alone or Chinese/Japanese alone cannot make my husband go this far. Most his team member can write better code than him, but they cannot speak three languages and communicate with the international teams freely. On the other hand, if he has no CS background, it's impossible for him to get into these tech companies at all. Coding + language is not the only good combination, but definitely very beneficial, at least to my husband.

nds2015

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2016, 10:16:26 AM »

My husband is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese. He has a CS degree with specialty on machine learning. He is now an engineering manager, leading a team to build international search engine and to do natural language processing research. He has video conference with Chinese team virtually everyday, and he flies to Japan frequently for business reason.

He is in his mid 30s. His current base salary is much more than 150k, and he potentially has very large bonus every year (multiples of the base salary) depending on his product performance.

I mean, combining language skills and other skills are very useful. CS alone or Chinese/Japanese alone cannot make my husband go this far. Most his team member can write better code than him, but they cannot speak three languages and communicate with the international teams freely. On the other hand, if he has no CS background, it's impossible for him to get into these tech companies at all. Coding + language is not the only good combination, but definitely very beneficial, at least to my husband.

This is really helpful! Thank you for the info! Great perspective.

Does your husband have any recommendations on what CS skills and programs would be best to focus on?

I really appreciate everyone's help on this post! We are realizing that a new skill is needed so he can use his Chinese in the future.

Rein1987

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Re: Mid 20's looking for best career. Advice?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2016, 10:59:23 AM »

My husband is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese. He has a CS degree with specialty on machine learning. He is now an engineering manager, leading a team to build international search engine and to do natural language processing research. He has video conference with Chinese team virtually everyday, and he flies to Japan frequently for business reason.

He is in his mid 30s. His current base salary is much more than 150k, and he potentially has very large bonus every year (multiples of the base salary) depending on his product performance.

I mean, combining language skills and other skills are very useful. CS alone or Chinese/Japanese alone cannot make my husband go this far. Most his team member can write better code than him, but they cannot speak three languages and communicate with the international teams freely. On the other hand, if he has no CS background, it's impossible for him to get into these tech companies at all. Coding + language is not the only good combination, but definitely very beneficial, at least to my husband.

This is really helpful! Thank you for the info! Great perspective.

Does your husband have any recommendations on what CS skills and programs would be best to focus on?

I really appreciate everyone's help on this post! We are realizing that a new skill is needed so he can use his Chinese in the future.

I think the CS field develops rapidly, so it's hard to see which is the best. A lot of skills can be very useful. And once you mastered one, it's not difficult to learn another one. Your husband can start with simple ones or those he is most interested in.