Really Really REALLY Regretting Getting MBA...

Updated on April 02, 2010
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
46 answers

Hi Moms, this is both to vent and to ask advice. I got my MBA last year but unexpectedly got pregnant in my last year. I had the baby a month after graduation and since then, have been working at a job that doesnt utilize my degree (thanks to the economy). The thing is, once the economy does pick up, my son will be entering pre-school and then kindergarden and so forth and I belatedly realize that no job (especially no MBA level job) will have me home by the time school gets out. This is so obvious to me now but for some stupid reason, I didn't factor in how much I would want to be a stay at home mom once I have kids (or at least a mom who only works part-time while the kids are at school). But of course now I'm under a truckload of student debt. What should I do?? I don't think there really is an answer except to suck it up and work but... sigh. I really want to be home for my kids after-school. I'm just hoping one of you will have a great suggestion for what I could do to pay my massive student loans down while still being home for my kids by the time they get back from school. Plus, I just want it to be heard by everyone how much I regret getting my advanced degree. Argh! Im trying to have a positive attitude but it has seriously been the worst, most expensive, most irreversible decision I have made to this day. Sigh. Thanks in advance,

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

There's people with degrees working at Jack in the box. A lot of company's would rather hire someone they can train appossed to someone with a degree because they don't have to pay them as much. I was always a stay at home mom, but when my husband retired from the Military it got tough financially, but we had had already decided before we had kids that i would be a stay at home mom, so I started my Home Daycare, I was able to be available for my family, but help financially as well. July 1 will be 13 years I've had my Business. J. L

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A.C.

answers from Seattle on

My cousin is a teacher and she just went back to work and is job-sharing. She works part-time and the other person works part-time and together they work a full- time job. you could probably find something like that in you career field. Or what about finding a job where you can be at home part of the week or day.

Good Luck.

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K.Z.

answers from Cleveland on

Substitute teaching will have you home more or less when your kids are, especially if you sub at their school. In Ohio you just have to have a bachelor's degree, in anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to sub.

(I sub but do not have a teaching certificate, and am contemplating going back to school to get it, so I read your letter with especial interest. )

If you sub at other schools and you won't get home exactly when your kids do, a child care option is a must--e.g., go to the Smith's house until Mom is home, or have Grandma meet the bus at your house, or....you get the idea. Ditto for the a.m. if you must leave earlier than your kids. (I bless my neighbors for waking up as I banged their door at 6:50 a.m. so Philip could catch the bus at 8:15 with their son!)

The good things are that you can say "no" if your kid is sick, or you want to chaperone the field trip. And you are not stuck with a horrible class day after day if you don't want to be. If you hate routine, you'll love subbing because every day is a new adventure!

The downside is that it is not steady work, you never know how many days a week you will work. But if you have a part time job a couple evenings, or part of a weekend (think "Daddy-kid bonding time" here), you could throw all your subbing wages at your debt in addition to the "regular" part-time stuff. Whoever said double up payments has the right idea (but you probably knew that already! even if you just pay a little extra, it helps, assuming there is no pre-payment penalty)

Could you start your own business and work out of your home? Would you be comfortable doing in-home child care? there is always a need for that.

What about contacting the temp agencies and seeing if there is anything they have that could be done from home on a computer, e.g. data entry? I have heard that there are customer-service people who work from home answering phones, but I don't know how to go about finding more info.

Could you consult? Do party sales (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, etc)?

Make a craft and sell it? Cook or sew for other people? grow and sell fresh veggies?

Sell on ebay? Run an errand-running service for parents who work full-time? Do a garage-sale-shopping service for same? (you get a list of what the person wants, and the max they are willing to pay; if you find it for them they pay you a commission)

There is a company near here called Comfort Keepers, they provide in-home services (cook, clean, shop, errands, companionship) to elderly and disabled. I know of someone who works for a company like this who can only see one client per day because the family only has one car and she has to work around that; so maybe such a company would be willing to let you work "Mom's hours".

Free-lance writer or newspaper columnist? on business topics?

Teach a business course to home-schoolers?

Church secretary? I know a number of churches that only have a person in the office half a day.

For tips on curbing expenses check out the Tightwad Gazette books at your library.

Network, network, network.......let everyone know you what you're looking for, who knows, maybe there is a company who needs your skills/knowledge but can't afford someone full time???

Finally , don't beat yourself up. You make the best decisions you can, with the info you have at the time. I believe that nothing you learn is wasted. It will all work out, probably with a lot of little things adding up rather than with one "magic bullet".

You may not fully utilize your degree until your kids are much older. I say follow your heart and be there when they get home from school---you have your whole life to work, they are only little for a short time. Send me a message if you want to talk some more.

Sorry to run so long, hope some of it helped. Good luck and let us know what happens

K. Z.

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

I'm sorry, but you are whining for nothing. There are so many different types of work scenarios out there and you are operating under the assumption that you have to be in a cubicle from 9 - 5 in order to have a "mba level job." This is just not true.

There are many fortune 500 companies that offer work from home and flex work type of programs (I work for one of them). Like another poster said - network! Use that MBA alumni association and get out there and get what you want. If you have your degree, you have more bargaining power. All you have to do is ask. Requiring a work schedule that fits your home life is not unheard of in hiring negotiations and should be something you put on your list alongside your salary and bonus requirements. Also, you have to be willing to work as hard at your job as you did at your degree - so if you get to pick up your kids from school, then be willing to get online after they go to bed and finish up your emails and presentations.

You need to think about the big picture, not what you want right now. Yes, your kids will appreciate you picking them up in the afternoon, but they will also appreciate a strong female role model in the home who has outside interests and makes an impact on the family finances and growth potential. They are little now, but later on they will need to go to college, have weddings, babies, etc and I guarantee you will always want to help them financially. Once you are back in the workforce, you will be building a future for yourself mentally, financially and socially that you will need once the kids grow up and move out of the house.

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A.P.

answers from Eugene on

I am finishing my Ph.D in Sociology in about a month and found out I was pregnant a week after I accepted my DREAM job that is not only exactly in my area of specialization, but two hours from my family (this is like winning the lottery for my field). So, I hear you!!!! My son is about 3, so the timing felt right--but I am now going to give birth in the middle of my first term teaching with absolutely no maternity benefits!

I am pretty angry, but as a sociologists I'm not angry with myself and I don't think you should be either. I am angry that we live in only one of three countries IN THE ENTIRE WORLD without maternity leave benefits (by the way FMLA is a joke and doesn't apply to a huge number of working women, including me). So I think you should realize that we live in a country that doesn't value the work women do in the home (ie doesn't support mothers), and assumes that every "worker" is a man (ie has someone at home to care for the children, get dinner on the table, and do laundry). The truth (and I've read a ton of research on this because it's what I do as a researcher) is that companies that "offer" flextime or other "family friendly" policies usually design them in a way that discourages people from using them.

I know in some ways this is depressing, but what I am trying to articulate is that the economy is set up in a way that screws women, especially women with children. Getting your MBA was a rational, smart decision--look at the data women with them make considerable more than those without--and until you have children you don't know how difficult it is to combine those things. But, that doesn't make it an easy decision. So, a solution, I don't know if there is one--pressure our legislature to offer real childcare and maternity care benefits for women? :) I have to say that teaching has been a great way for me to sort of balance being a mom and a worker; perhaps you could find a part-time position teaching at a college (although the pay is awful).

I don't know if this will be helpful, but it's how I see the world right now when I realize that I'm going to give birth and get to go straight back to work. I love moving to a state that will do everything to make sure I don't abort my baby, but apparently doesn't give a hoot about it once it's born!

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J.M.

answers from Boston on

I just want to say hang in there. This economy is making everyone hate everything about their jobs. And while you really want to be home when your kids get home from school now, in no time they'll be in middle school and high school and they'll have activities and jobs and etc etc and won't even be home after school at all. And then you'll be in the position of being able to make the most of your degree. Comfort yourself by knowing that in 15 years when many of your friends are freaking out trying to figure out how to pay for college for their kids, you have put yourself in a position to support your family through all stages of life. (This isn't knocking stay at home moms, but hopefully it helps you feel better. There are a lot of ways to be a great mom.)

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A.L.

answers from Iowa City on

Ah, S.S., I can so relate. And I try to do just that at my blog for professional women with nonmom skills and a mother's heart. It's at www.nonmom.com and it's born from my experience as a woman with a law degree who really wanted to be at home with her kids. I was SO happy to find a home-based business opportunity that uses my professional skills, is not negatively affected by the economic woes, and offers career level income yet with very flexible hours . Yes, I get to offer this same opportunity to others, and that's pretty cool too. Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like more info.
And congratulations on the arrival of your son!
Blessings,
A.

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K.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Not sure what your MBA is focusing on but how about teaching at a college/university OR look into teaching online. My friend teaches two eniglish courses online and loves it because she will be having a child in May but still will be able to teach from home since it is all done over the internet :) Something to look into if you have not already.

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S.S.

answers from Santa Barbara on

S-
Can I first say, "no education is a waste of time." I think you should be very proud of your accomplishments, whether in the class room or the womb. I have been unemployed for a very long time, actively seeking a job and have found not having an MBA is the issue. It's just really tough right now. I know of a woman who just paid her minimums on her school loans until she could work again, then when she started working even if it was part time she used her full pay check to pay off the loan. Basically, still living on her spouse's check. When her children graduated high school she then went out and got a job indicative of her degrees and uses that money to pay her children's college expenses; still living on one pay check, but now her children won't be harboring loans.
Good luck and be proud of some amazing accomplishments!
S.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

You can have your cake and eat it too!! I work for a company that is looking for stay-at-home moms that have a couple of hours a day (or week, or month) to work. You can choose your schedule and work at your own pace. I am currently working part-time to supplement my income, but I do have plans to work from home exclusively. Send me a private message if you are interested. I can even help you schedule an on-line interview.

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D.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

Getting your MBA wasn't a mistake; I believe learning and education are "forever". You are frustrated and feeling trapped by the debts you owe, the need to pay them off, and your desire to be a stay-at-home mom. From reading the responses from the other moms, you have lots of alternatives (even in this crappy economy). Another frustration that stood out to me is your feeling that if you don't have a job that applies your MBA then getting the degree was worthless (see above comment). I have my MPA; I spent ten years working in HR for several private sector companies, nothing in the public sector. I then was lucky enough to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but figured I'd go back to work when they went to school. Well--- I did go back --when my youngest was in college!!!! Then I worked for a year and got laid off due to above referenced crappy economy. At times I did wonder if my degree was "worthless", but realized that I applied many of the things I learned to raising my kids, to my volunteer work, to PTA offices and committees, etc. etc. I will leave you with some advice I got right after getting my master's degree, "Follow your Heart". I had a choice between taking a fabulous job with a major government agency in DC, or getting married and being with my husband in another part of the country. I followed my heart and everything else worked out pretty well. And you will discover that the most expensive, most irreversible decision you ever made was to have kids -- it's also the most joyful, special and rewarding decision you will ever make:) :) Apply the decision making skills you have learned to the wonderful advice from the other moms who responded and you will come up with the right solution for you and your family.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

Yep, welcome to parenthood. All those thing you thought you'd want before you have kids can look pretty different once you hold your precious baby in your arms. Have you seriously looked into teaching? There are some programs that will forgive portions of your student debt if you teach in low income schools. You'll never be rich being a school teacher but it does allow for you to be home with your kids much more than many other jobs.

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You need to do what makes you happy, not just take a certain job because you feel you have to utilize your MBA. If you absolutely find you have to because of the debt, that's another story.

Education is never wasted. We can't see the future, you did what you thought best at the time. Don't beat yourself up. Let it go. Life will work out.

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H.H.

answers from Hartford on

I am in the same situation. I stay home after getting my degree and yes money is so tight and we have ahuge loan, but it is all worth it bc I love being home. when they grow up I might use my degree but I dont know and dont care bc it really I am doing what I love at the moment. I know it does suck to owe so much, I totally agree, but for some reason I dont let it get to me. I hope you figure it out and find a way to be happy at home and w/ your degree too.

K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I feel your pain. And also hope you won't give up and that you keep open to the idea that the degree may still turn out to be a good investment in the long run. Though it is not easy to find or create alternative work schedules, it is possible, and your MBA will be helpful no matter what. You may have to work full-time for awhile before you request/can afford to consider an alternative schedule, but you may not. You might also consider doing work as a consultant for some periods of time. Here's a great resource I highlighted on my blog recently for challenging your own assumptions about work and crafting your own work+life fit plan. It's a series of blog posts by Cali Yost who has written a guide on this issue. http://tinyurl.com/ycgvdak

I find it so frustrating that so few organizations have yet to recognize the need to offer more flexible alternatives not just for mothers, but for fathers, people caring for older parents, people who are nearing retirement, etc. But some do, and when each of us asks for what we want, it helps change the world a little bit each time.

K. M.
Author, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today www.remodelingmotherhood.com

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C.A.

answers from Montgomery on

Most loans now have a program that allows graduates to work for a non-profit for VERY minimal pay and the student loans can be discharged. Non-profits are great places to work when you only want to put in a few hours a day. Check into places like the ALS foundation or Relay for Life. They have positions like event coordinators that may work for you. Boy Scouts of America is another place to look. Working at your child's school is another option. The pay sucks, but it would be enough to pay your loans and give you the same hours as your kids. Teacher assistants or bus drivers are pretty good positions, and right now schools are suffering from severe budget cuts so they split percentages between employees to get as many people as they can. You may meet with the principal and be able to work 60% in an elementary classroom which would really free up your time to be available for your kids. If the main goal is just to pay the loans you could just see if you could postpone your payments for a little while. You should look into all of the programs and offers that your loan company has available. They are actually federal programs. I know what it's like. I had a mountain of debt from my student loans and we homeschool. I don't use my degree and never intend to. I worked as a teacher assistant briefly when my husband was laid off, but he is back to work and we are back to homeschooling.
You mentioned the decline in the economy for a reason you haven't been able to get a job in your field, but right now is actually the best time for you to bargain. You are what companies want. If you don't need benefits and are willing to work part time hours, you can market yourself as an asset for companies that are feeling the pinch. You would have to sell the idea but present yourself as a multi-tasker that is willing to do what the company needs in less time so they spend less money. If you also decline a benefits package they may be more willing to work with your schedule requests. Also, as one other mom said, you could look into working from home. I think there are a lot of options out there if you really try to work the economic situation to your advantage.
I wish you the best of luck. I know what a struggle it is to be in a position to let finances or debt determine how your family functions.

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L.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, S.S.

I, too, live in Los Angeles, earned an MBA (Finance) and have kids (ages 3 and 2). I was a military officer (software/hardware analyst), math teacher for several years, and a financial analyst. I am currently a graduate student starting a PhD psychology program this fall. When I quit my financial analyst job, which didn't require an MBA, many people told me that I was wasting my MBA. Although I realized that I might never use my MBA in the traditional sense, I never felt that way. The degree has helped me personally and professionally. I can make much wiser decisions regarding personal finance and think about issues differently now. I use many of the skills I learned in my MBA program in work and school. I feel more comfortable making business plans and think about work more creatively. (I hope to apply some of the things I learned in finance to my dissertation and articles in my psychology program.) However, contrary to the fairly widely held (?) belief that an MBA increases earning power, I suspect that getting an MBA was not financially advantageous in my case.

Recently, I was offered a part-time job doing research at a local university. The job was very interesting, very flexible in terms of time and place, and provided a decent wage. (I turned it down to get ready for my doctoral program.) I don't know your specialty, but this and some other jobs I have in mind might be a good fit for you. If you are interested, please provide me an e-mail address or phone number.

Regarding teaching, several of my friends with master's degrees have tried to get jobs at colleges. This is an extremely difficult time to get a teaching job (even with a PhD) in California. One of my friends, who has a PhD in Physics from Cal Tech, competed with 300 other PhDs for his current teaching position! Currently many universities have forced their employed professors to take furloughs with pay cuts (approx. 10%) while increasing their student load and have stopped hiring. On-line universities may be more promising, but I'm not sure as the professors I know who teach on-line are either tenured professors at brick-and-mortar universities or business owners of "boutique" firms in the financial sector.

Some of my other friends have been laid off from their teaching (K-12) jobs, in spite of being very competent and friendly. I don't know whether sub units are taking in any more teachers. My friends and relatives who still teach K-12 as permanent or substitute teachers and aides have told me that substitutes who a couple of years ago had more job offers than they could possibly fill have gone for weeks without offers. I won't discourage from trying, but I don't want to see people hang their hopes on this career path.

Best wishes,
Lynne

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Many of the responses seem helpful. Most importantly- try not to live life with regret. Getting your MBA is a huge accomplishment and you have set yourself up for success. It is okay to pursue that success a little later in life when your child/children are older. Would it be possible to defer your student loans so you are able to stay home with your child now? The first five years just fly by in your child's life so whatever you decide the time is going to pass anyway. Hopefully you can find a career that fulfills your income requirements that allows for a family life as well. Good Luck!

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C.H.

answers from San Diego on

Save money by being frugal! It's so worth it. You only have one life to live and you don't want to spend it working and not seeing your beautiful kid. Pay off your loan as quickly as you can without leaving your child in daycare. Use coupons for groceries, sell things you don't actually need, and get creative with entertainment without spending cash.

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S.J.

answers from New York on

Hey lady-
totally feel your pain. I spent 100K on ivy league exec MBA. My son was 3 weeks old when I graduated. That was 2 yrs ago. Hope this advice helps:

There are start ups dying for MBAs. You can sell yourself at a low price in exchange for working from home. Not ideal, but a compromise. However working from home means you can go to the bus stop, but not take the afternoon off- you may need add'l help.

In my program, there were lots of single people filled w. piss and vinegar to go out and conquer the world. The professors definitely egged that on. It was tough, but I had to make a conscious decision due to the kids to give myself a 5 year breather without feeling like a loser. 5 years from now I'm still going to know what I know now.

Ever hear the phrase "nothing has changed, my attitude has changed, everything has changed"? You'd be surprised how much choice you actually have. Although I made no changes to my job/circumstances, my MBA completely changed my understanding of personal finance, saving for college, retirement. I'm in the process of completely restructuring my personal finance plan. It helps for me to think that's just the beginning.

If you need to stay home for a while, do what you need to do to stay home- aside from getting yourself in an unconscionable hole. Meaning if you're killing yourself to pay the mortgage on a mcmansion to keep up w. the jones- dump it and downsize. Live your dream- you can do it!!

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A.B.

answers from San Diego on

Find what you love, and start your very own (very small) business today and build up, one little tiny bit at a time -even if a budding weekend business! You'll get there if you have the discipline and passion. Good luck!

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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

Education should never be considered a waste. Not too mention..... how do you know you might not need that education down the road? you are looking at all this narrowly in that because you WANT to be a stay at home mom that in fact that will happen for a few years... well if you want to play the what IF game.. what IF turns out, you do have to go out and get a job due to unforseen circumstances (say spouse/loved one) becomes ill and you have to become the breadwinner, well.. good news!! you will at least have a degree to put on your resume'... additionally, what IF your mind changes and turns out, you do want to work outside your home... good news again!! at least you have a degree... you can get into all the what IFs.... but you need to focus on the now.... now you have this debt... so work out a bill plan and deal with it. Dave Ramsey has some great suggestions.. why not check out one of his books..
Also, look at it this way... at least you got this out of the way.. some moms put their education on hold until their kids are grown.. not a bad thing but hey, now yours is over with.. well.... the scholastic education.. TRUE education will come in the rearing of your child and the first lesson you may end up learning is...... things change on the fly...... with NO notice...... and either you learn to deal with it and roll with the punches or end up being miserable..... accept and own that you made the choice to get an advance degree.. thank god or the universe or your family for supporting you in doing as such and move on to the next phase of your life..... this really can be worked out...

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey S. S.
Is there a possibility you can do contractual work in your area of expertise at home? It will allow you to earn an income (you'll get to choose how much) while still allowing you to enjoy being at home with your children. Not sure if this is an option, but I thought I'd just throw that out there in case this thought had not been presented yet.

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N.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I can relate to some degree - I completed a graduate school degree when pregnant for the first time, and it was quite a challenge to get everything done. I also have massive student loan debt, but I pay it off slowly, as best I can, and don't worry about it. It's always gonna be there, so why worry? :) I can understand how frustrated you might be, but I hope you can see the benefits of having an MBA. That is truly awesome! My first job after having my baby was teaching GED to high school drop-outs and students from other countries, and believe me, they worked so hard and had it much worse (even without student loans!). Education still matters in this day and age of difficult economic problems. In terms of work, I actually worked part-time when my son was first born, and then gradually increased my hours... the first three years are the most important, in my opinion as a teacher and a mommy, and so if you can find ways to be there for your child at this time, it's great. Beyond that, and your kids actually really enjoy time with friends.

If you can think of a creative way to use your MBA (maybe home business or combine forces with some other moms, and start your own company that suits working moms who want to be at home as much as possible for their kids), brainstorm and generate income, well, I think that is great. And if you have to go out into an office and work, then so be it. Just make the time you do share with your children the best you can make it, and your kids will love you for it.

Best,

Nessa

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L.L.

answers from Hartford on

On a bright note, Student loan interest is a great tax write off. We can never judge exactly how a decision made today will effect us tomorrow. You don't know what the future brings and getting an MBA is a great accomplishment, although an expensive one. Hard to make any suggestions not knowing your area of study. The teaching option may work. Please don't be hard on yourself for making what seemed like the right decision at the time. We are not fortune tellers and who knows what a blessing all your education may be in the future.

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C.R.

answers from Seattle on

So sorry! I am in a similar boat... I finished my master's in education when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. Now, I'm a full-time teacher (same job I had three years before getting my master's, just more pay) and want to be at home. I love my job and I think it will be nice once my daughter is in school, but right now, I'm so upset about the way my life has turned out. I just wanted to make a comment about the substitute teaching thing - maybe in Ohio you can have a degree in anything to substitute teach, but not in Washington. I see that you're in Cali and I think we have similar requirements. In WA, you MUST have a teaching degree to sub. I just thought I'd let you know that in case that's something that interests you and you'd like to get on it with getting the credentials or at least looking into it! Good luck to you - I'm commiserating over here!

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M.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know it looks pointless now but you have NO IDEA the many twists, turns and opportunities that are going to come your way in life, and wouldn't it suck to miss out on one of them because you were not qualified!? I think having an advanced degree gives you a leg up on the competition and there are jobs out there (part-time, three-quarter position) that may be allow you to work and be available for your kid (s), if that is what you choose to do. If nothing else, you have set an excellent example for you child by getting an advanced degree. Yes, it's expensive, and yes, paying those loans hurts now, but you never know how it will all circle around.

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M.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi hear you!

I completely underestimated how much I would want to be home with my kids. I thought I would work and they'd be in daycare and all would be good. Not so much...If I knew then, what I know now I so would have picked a different career.

So...instead, since I have to work because of finances, I'm working in the evenings and weekends to start a new career in real estate. Once that is big enough, I'll quit my current job. It sucks, I'm up late, but I feel like if I can suck it up now and be home with them, it's worth it.

It still won't be perfect, but it gives me flexibility and more time with my kids.

Is there some job you could think of that allows for that?

Good luck...I so know what you mean!!!

-M

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

Wow, you're really scaring me. I just finished my associates and am continuing on for my bachelors in accounting and maybe a CPA. I am not necessarily career driven. That's why I'm just now (after 3 kids) going back to school. My goal is to earn more so that I can work less. Like you, my family is my priority. I want to be able to work part-time or be able to work at least one day from home. I don't want to think about the student loans. Debt is an unfortunate part of life. There's no way around it. We're always going to owe for one thing or another.

With your skill-set I think you should be able to find a new job and negotiate a schedule that works for you. You have your experience and your degree to offer, now what do they have to offer you? Think of yourself as an asset and your degree is a negotiating tool. I am very lucky. After my older son started school, my boss allowed me to change my schedule so that I work 6:30am-3pm. I have a sitter come to my house so that I don't have to wake the kids and pack them up. She puts my older son on the school bus and I'm home right before the bus arrives.

Eventually, my boss stepped down from her full-time supervisory position to work part-time in our internal audit department. These are just a few ideas that hopefully will help you. Good luck :)

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.S.,
I understand your frustration. Many people have been affected by the economy. A possibility is for you to start your own business. Last year, I was able to start my own business, with little overhead, no employees, work out of my home, have time to be with my family, while building a residual income.

I have my own anti-aging franchise.
For more info, you can go to www.nsoverview.com
If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####.
I'd be more than happy to help you as I have helped so many already.

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D.M.

answers from San Diego on

You will eventually not regret it, even it it takes 10 or 20 years, it WILL eventually come in handy! Just take some sort of part-time job for now to be with your kids, then when they are in school full time, maybe a better job. Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Education is never a cause for regret. You gave yourself and your family a wonderful gift and should be proud.

Economy might be your biggest problem and so take comfort that there are plenty of highly skilled people working below their capacity.

I know lots of working moms with MBAs and/or in executive-level positions that have flex schedules. Some opt to work longer hours in order to get Fridays off. Some work from home. Some are modified part-time...They work from 9:00-3:30 and have pro-rated PTO and benefits. So it can be done and hopefully by the time your wee one is in school, you will have the experience and the right employer who wants to negotiate.

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G.B.

answers from Tulsa on

How about trying to find a job within the school system? You could take a couple of classes that are for student teaching and possibly work as a teacher of what your profession was in, for example if you worked in the Accounting field or in Banking...you could integrate your field into the classroom. Or you could even apply at Jr. Colleges, they only require a Master's to work and obtain tenure. You could teach as an Associate (?, not with full standing) Professor in a University setting too. I would look in that direction before ruling out working 8-3, M-F, with school holidays off. Unless you thought about opening a child care center or other business you could set your own hours by hiring staff.

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A.S.

answers from Denver on

As a couple other moms wisely suggested, teach night school. With an MBA you can get on with Pheonix U or any of the other private colleges to teach basic business or a class in your emphasis.

One of my friends has a couple advanced degrees and chose to teach and be a quasi SAHM. It works really, really well for her. It's not what she envisioned when she got her degrees either, but it works :) GL!!

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A.C.

answers from Atlanta on

My husband has an MBA and works for a large corporation that has a work-from-home program, and they aren't the only ones in his area that do. Although he doesn't use it, several of his co-workers (not all of them moms) work from home, taking calls and meetings on their own schedule. Are you sure that you have looked into every option of utilizing your MBA? It sounds a bit like you have decided you can either use your MBA or stay-at-home, and those aren't your only options. Go back to your school, and find out if they have a program to help recent graduates find work (most good schools do). Let them know that you might be willing to take a smaller paycheck in order to have flexible work-from-home hours, if you have to. There are other options, so good luck.

P.S. I became pregnant immediately after completing my Masters, and we decided I would stay home with the baby, and so I only worked one job in my field and left after a couple of months. I am sad, because I got my M.A. in a field I loved with the hope of working in that field, but I made the decision that was right for my family. In addition, I have all the knowledge that I gained while pursuing my M.A. I have often regretted the timing of my M.A., but never getting it. I hope eventually, you will feel the same.

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P.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

It may be the worst, most expensive....decision TODAY but when your son is 13 years old and doesn't 'need' you anymore you will have a leg up. When you do decide you want to go back to work you'll have that working for you. There are a lot people men and women who have the same feelings right now. My SIL has a degree from SMU that cost about a zillion dollars and she's working for a cell phone company. The economy is crazy so give it time and you'll feel better about your decision. In the end you'll be glad.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

There are some companies who will help pay off your loans. I would call the school you graduated from and talk to a career counselor. Perhaps you would need to do an internship for six months or a year but then you could move into working from home or with more flexible hours. Especially in LA, aren't there some big companies that would love to have your knowledge? Maybe you just need to prove your worth to them first so they realize your value and let you work around your family. Try female-run organizations, they could be more understanding of the situation as well!

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Look, life happens. It rarely happens the way we plan it. I don't understand how anyone could regret furthering their education. You may not use it THIS year, but that doesn't mean it won't be good to have down the road. All I can suggest is that you look for flexible work you can do from home, look into the idea of after-school care if you think you might want to go back FT, and bang out that student loan as fast as you can--double up on the payments if you can and find other ways to cut back elsewhere. You accrued this debt and now you've gotta wear the big girl pants and pay it! LOL
Look into Dave Ramsay's book for practical step-by-step suggestions for cutting costs and saving money then pile it on this debt. You may have to get a lower level job to be home when the kids get home. If there's O. thing I know (worked FT, SAHM and now PT because life happened to me, too!) you can learn and manage to live on whatever you make! Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

I agree with the teaching idea - you may also want to consider looking at consulting firms with possible "mommy track" positions.

I'm still paying for my grad school loan . . . 10 years later (almost done). Not only did I NOT realize that I would want to stay home very badly, but later I also really wanted to homeschool (!).

So, I feel your pain. Stay creative with your income ideas. Possibly consider asking for a forbearance on your loan until you get your situation figured out.

Good luck.

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S.O.

answers from San Diego on

I feel your frustration. The economy just sucks right now (and probably will for several years to come). But I think you did the right thing by getting your MBA. But I am definitely partial here since I also have my MBA and am a Stay At Home Mom. Yes, it sucks to have student loans to pay back. BUT you do have 10 years to pay it back with pretty low interest (at least compared to most other loans you could have gotten). Hubby and I are still paying off our MBA loans (we did our MBA's together prior to kids) and are about 3/4 of the way paid off). Technically I have not had a "job" that fully utilizes my MBA. But I did help my hubby start and run our IT consulting business for 1 year after we adopted our son and we plan on starting up another business (a not for profit online business where I would again be managing the day to day stuff). So I learned a lot from that experience. And I like to think that I am the CFO of our family "business". I am in charge of scheduling, bill paying, snot wiping, meal cooking, maintaining the daily budget (couponing and finding the best deals to make our money stretch)...and doing whatever is needed to keep our household running smoothly. So even though it may seem that you are not reaping the fruits of our your MBA in the job market....many of the lessons learned in your MBA program are being applied to your daily life.

For bringing in extra money...have you explored Work At Home businesses? Telecomuting jobs? Small offices? I worked for a small company that let me work from home when needed and gave me pretty flexible hours. The pay wasn't that great, but it was better than most jobs, and my boss was awesome! I basically managed a small office that provided In Home Health Care for Seniors. I interviewed the caregivers, met with prospective clients, ran payroll, did accounts receivables/payables, errands, etc. Loved my job! If I lived closer, I would be working for that company right now. As long as the phone was covered from 9-12noon, I could be flexible with my hours. Some days I went in at 7am and left at noon. Other days I went in at 9am and left at 5pm. And when needed, I could forward the office calls to my cell so I could work from home.

And no matter what you think now, your MBA will come in handy later in life. That expensive piece of paper (as I like to call it) will open doors for you. It may not get you the job, but it will at least open the door for you whereas people without a degree won't even be considered.

And think of the message that your getting your MBA sends to your kids. 1) Mommy finishes what she starts. 2) Mommy values higher education.

I hope this helps ease your frustration some.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Wow, I hate to hear how you are looking (negatively) at your MBA. It is not a waste...you just have to find the right avenue for it.

Get into a school system, work for a corporation who has job sharing or telecommuting.

An MBA is NOT a waste and to discourage young adults and others from obtaining one is very negative. My husband worked long and hard for his MBA from Duke and it has paid off extremely well. I am ex corporate Frito Lay and MBA was the first thing we looked at on a resume....most especially from a highly reputable school such as Duke, Darden, Cox, etc.

Step back, look at the BIG picture and re-evaluate (what you learned at MBA school) as far as using it well.

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S.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I can so relate. I got my MBA degree and then the economy in Michigan started tanking so of course, I couldn't use the degree as i wanted to. So I too sat in a job that in no way used my degree at all. And then i became a stay at home mom, and we have this huge debt to pay off.

The only thing that has helped me, is knowing that being home with my kids is the best reward for anything. I only hope that when I chose to go back to work, having that MBA will help me over someone else going for the same job, that may not have it, but have been working. I am hoping that shows future employers that i am hard working and willing to get what i need done, no matter what.

M.H.

answers from Raleigh on

Are you qualified to teach at a college level or through an online college? Maybe you don't want to teach, but if you schedule the classes right, you could make the money to pay the loans back AND be home for your kids. I feel the same way (although I just went to a pricey college for my undergrad, so it has put me in debt forever with just that). I never expected to be a stay at home mom or even want to be a stay at home mom, in fact, I figured it would be the farthest thing from what I would want! Now, I cannot imagine not being there for my son! Crazy how life turns out...I figure that everything happens for a reason though, and somehow or another, you will end up paying off your loans and your degree will be worthwhile or used. Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

You already got the degree, so now you are obligated to pay off the debt, whether you utilize the degree or not. Try to look at the bright side. The degree does not have an expiration date on it. At some point your children will graduate and move on to things that don't require your constant attention. When this happens you will not need to start looking for a way to finish your education. It will already be done and paid for you and you will be ready to be a contributing member to somebody's workforce. In the meantime, why stress over something that cannot be changed?

C.S.

answers from Charlotte on

First of all, be proud of yourself for getting an MBA, you can never be over-educated, so CONGRATS! Maybe you can use your MBA skills to start a business you can operate from your home! Good luck and enjoy being a mommy, I'm sure everything will work out

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D.T.

answers from Atlanta on

Just wanted to sympathize. I graduated with my master's in Education right about the time the economy fell apart. I can't get a job in the school system so am currently making about $20,000 less than I could, no health insurance, and have student loans to pay off. It sucks, I know. Maybe the economy will pick up soon. I feel like you do, getting an advanced degree was a mistake, so was buying a house and being loyal to my employer; all the things we were taught adults do. Really your only options are work, bankruptcy, or go back to school (you don't have to pay student loans if you are in school full time). Be careful about substitute teaching, tons of people are doing that since they can't get other jobs. Unless you are well known in the system you probably won't work much, and some systems don't pay anything (I was offered $50 a day as a certified teacher). Good luck. Hang in there until the economy picks up and maybe you can get the life you want.

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