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Sticky, Tricky Situation and Advice is Needed!

I am a single mom of two kids, ages 3 and 6. I currently work part-time and go to school-part time. Everything is about to change. I have two directions I could take, neither of which is an easy decision to make. I was hoping to get some advice on which would be the best option in the long run. Help me decide?

Scenario 1: I have been with my company for the past 7 years. I have been working part-time for the past two years so that I could attend school, but my company is no longer able to accommodate my part-time schedule after this summer. I have not yet received a degree, and since I'm a single mother with no close/reliable family members, I could not continue with school if working full time, due to childcare costs and the strained time with my kids. Working part-time, I have been considered 'poverty level', and have received assistance for daycare. This was true even two years ago working full-time; however, since I have received a few hourly increases, going back to work full-time would mean that I wouldn't qualify for daycare assistance anymore. I would have to pay out of pocket, but one income would not cover the cost of even a full-time babysitter for two kids. I know there are scholarships through the YMCA and YWCA programs, but busing for school is an issue with the two locations in my area; they wouldn't be able to provide transportation for my older daughter to get to and from school. The upside to going back full-time with my company is stability. It's a national financial institution, and I work in a corporate department. Even with the stability, however, my company has a current cease and desist order, and things are really a mess! It is quite possible that things will continue to turn for the worse, and without a college degree in my field, my experience is nearly useless with other companies. (I do ant-money laundering research. It's a very small niche that I lucked into, and with all the standards through the US Patriot Act, employees are now REQUIRED to have a certain level of credentials. No degree = No good) Also, a good amount of money can be earned in my current field, but with no degree, I will always make a significant amount less, even though I do a really good job. That's politics.

Scenario 2: I hate my job, even though I'm really good at it. I can't think of anything I'd rather do more than to work with people. My dream job would have to be a social worker. Ideally, a medical/hospital/school social worker. Of course, I would need to attain a master's degree to top what I'm currently earning, and I only have about 12 credits to my name at this time. Because my company can't offer part-time employment after this summer, I would have to quit in order to continue with school. This is good news in a way, since I could defer the two student loans I've taken out. For income, I have been considering being a part-time nanny. I would also receive section 8 (am receiving a voucher this week, but couldn't use it if working at my job full-time), so rent would not necessarily be an issue. I also learned about a program through my local university that actually PROMISES to pay for college tuition for four years, as long as you attend full time and maintain good grades. With the help of welfare on a temporary basis, I could potentially get out of poverty for good. I could obtain a job I love, and maybe buy a house one day! The problem with this scenario is twofold. I have a misdemeanor on my record from 2007. I plead guilty because I thought I had to, even though I later learned that I hadn't even committed the crime they charged me for! But, because I plead guilty, I have no option to contest at this point. I spoke with a couple lawyers and the courts, and they all agree to this claim. What this means for me, is that if I leave my current job, I might experience a good amount of difficulty in securing a new job.

So, my cards are on the table here. I have no idea what to do, and I really need objective responses to help me see anything I might be missing. I will be keeping an eye on my answers, so please feel free to ask for any clarification.

Thanks a lot!


Answer Question

Asked by AmmyTheOnly at 1:23 PM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • This doesn't sound like a decision between 2 scenerio's - this seems like one choice you NEED to make for your future and the future for your kids. good luck mommy.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 1:28 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Yes, but what? I'm missing it here...

    Comment by AmmyTheOnly (original poster) at 1:30 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • That is really a hard decision. It sounds like what you really want to do is continue with school. Which, by the way, I think is wonderful. Also, consider the fact that if you hate your job so much you likely bring home stress and frustrations from your job (which even job lovers do) and that isn't good for you or your kids to deal with. You may have to take a leap of faith and consider getting a part time job while you go to school. It has better long term possibilities and will make you and your kids happier in the end. Whatever you do remember to keep your spirits high and that you will have to work hard but your dreams are possible.

    Answer by alligurl186 at 1:31 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Find out if the misdemeanor is on your record permanently or can be cleared after so many years. Seems like you would prefer option 2. Talk to someone in charge of a Social Service dept and be honest about your criminal record and ask their honest opinion. Do this personally on the phone, not email. It shows them you are serious about life! I gave up a job I enjoyed that was secure and have gone 5 years with only two interviews. The medial field is the best one to get into and be secure. Social work can be cut, so try to do something more stable. You mentioned you need a master to make what you make now. If you are only doing part time and considered poverty level, you obviously make less then a master would get you in medical field. I have friends with two year degrees working as nurses pulling in $50K part time. Consider all options and be honest about your past with possible mentors!

    Answer by TwinkleLites at 1:37 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • #3)- get a part time or full time job elsewhere.

    Answer by Candi1024 at 1:38 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • How about staying with your current job for a little longer and put off college. During the time you usually go to college, use that time to find a new job that can accommodate your schedule. When you find one, then leave your current job and then continue College. The same routine you do now. If you cannot find another job the go with #2. GL.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:49 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • i think scenario 2 is your best option. as far as the misdeamor that's what it is a misdemeanor. people tend to look for felonies on their record. the only bad thing is we hope the economy improves some even with a degree. people are having a hard time finding a job with degrees and taking minimium paying jobs because that's what is out there. if you can get money, rent paid and day paid to go to school i would do it. and you still have time to check out if you can get that legal thing off your record before you are ready to find a job. good luck to you.

    Answer by lucky35 at 2:28 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Jobs are hard to come by and there is no promise that you would get a dream job after you get your degree. We do not always get what we want. Did you ever hear of the saying a bird in the hand is better than nothing. I would work the job I have full time and go to school part time.


    Answer by Glo402813 at 11:51 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • supporting your family comes first. You need to do what will keep food on the table and a roof over your head. It sounds to me like you need to work full time, go to school part time

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:48 AM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • Thank you to everyone who's been responding. I am still undecided. There is obviously one route I'd like to choose, although I'm not sure what the best is IN THE LONG RUN. To those who suggested staying on full-time, would you still make that recommendation if you knew that I could no longer afford daycare costs, even for a cheap babysitter? I agree that having a stable job is ideal - which is why I've stayed for so long. On the other hand, the goal IS to be self-sufficient. I can tell by the responses that this would not be an easy decision for anyone to make...

    Comment by AmmyTheOnly (original poster) at 10:54 PM on Apr. 21, 2011

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