Job Selection Issues

Well, I’m the Director of Housekeeping for a nursing home right now. I’m in training right now and I’m making $26,000 per year, and after training, it’ll go up to 28, or if I get into them, I can maybe get it to 30.

It’s a boring job. There isn’t anything interesting or engaging about it. It’s just a job and it’s with a company that’s looking for a dependable person. That’s me. In any case, it seems to be stable and there seems to be room for growth. I say this because the rather large corporation that owns these these nursing homes is growing in Michigan and, well, they’ll need people when they grow. When they grow, I go up (provided I keep my nose clean, which shouldn’t be any problem at all). A minus is that I’d have to act as a safety net and cover people in other locations (up to a 40 minute drive away at times. Yes, it’s not a GIANT deal, but it’s slightly annoying.)

Propect number two is an internship. I get word in about two weeks whether or not I get accepted. It’s about a 35 to 40 minute drive as well. It’s tech support for tax software. They’d train me, teach me tax law, all that fun stuff. I don’t know the pay just yet, but it looks like it’s a very laid back environment (with free access to an on-site gym and a web of people to interact with and do things with). After the internship, about 40% of people are accepted. This figure includes people that suck at the job not being asked back, people going to school, and people that don’t end up staying full time. Worst case scenario, it’d be an interesting time in which I’d learn new things. Yes, it’s tech support, but I derive pleasure in solving problems and fixing things. Additionally, I’m a very low stress guy and it’s very unlikely that I’d flip out at work.

My parents are pushing me to stay in the current job. They see this job as MUCH more secure. This is also true, because the tech support job is an internship (to start). My dad is convinced that this tech support job is exposed to outsourcing, even though this company has stayed in the area since its creation (in 1979) and is growing, for they’ve acquired smaller companies and bigger clients.

So, in any case, what are your opinions, oh wise Dopers? Are there things about the healthcare/nursing home business that I should know? What about tech support? What about taxes? Anything I forget to mention that I should know about?

The nursing home job is in a growth industry, but can you move up and out of housekeeping? If you can move on to more of the business management side, you might as well stick with it. If the promotions are simply within housekeeping, run for the job to the internship.

Help support can drive many crazy, what are the opportunities for growth out of Help Desk in the field/company?


Well, as far as I can tell, it’s only lodged in the housekeeping sector. As soon as I get chummier with the Administrator, I want to ask if I can parlay my position now into something else more interesting and lucrative. Moving up, as far as I can tell right now, leads to trying to get more accounts. I assume it’s lucrative, but I’m not sure if that’s something I’d want to do long term.

Opportunities for growth in the internship? I’m not sure. I was kinda wondering that myself. Worst case scenario, with them I’d learn some tax law, learn some more shit about computers (which is never a minus) and meet some people. This latter point is one that the healthcare job doesn’t seem to have. Both bigwigs I talked to, a guy I spoke with, and apparently MANY of the people working with the company were former interns through the same program I’d be going into. This company is growing and thriving and making much much money.
I remember, many many many moons ago, I told Lou Whittaker that when I grew up, I’d take his job at second base for the Tigers. Now might be the time. I hear you guys need a third baseman. You also pay well, too. Yeah, right. I don’t wanna scrap around for a wildcard slot.


Are you responsible for supporting anyone other than yourself? I agree with your dad about the exposure to outsourcing/offshoring in tech support. However, this is a much bigger deal if you have family to support. When I was young and single I overestimated the value of taking a stable job, and spent a year in a very stable job with very limited advancement potential. That wasn’t the greatest choice, but it wasn’t the end of the world, either.

Also, these are very dissimilar jobs, and they are by no means the only jobs in the world, or even the only jobs in Michigan. My real recommendation is to think through clearly what you want in a job, and consider all options. Always have a resume ready, and continue to keep your eyes open for opportunity at all times.

That was the first question that occured to me: what are your financial obligations? Do you have a mortgage and kids who need braces? What about medical insurance?

If those things aren’t issues, do you have anything to lose if you take the job and it doesn’t work out? Would your old job take you back? Even if not in the same position, is there another one you could at your old workplace do just to support yourself until something better came along? How long do you think it would take to find another job if your old employer wouldn’t take you back?

If the odds are on your side, I say go for it. For years, I worked a series of McJobs, dead-end, boring, frustrating employment. My financial circumstances were such that I could afford to take a chance, and it was the best decision I ever made. I volunteered for a year at my local museum, after which they hired me on as staff. The pay is so low as to qualify as a mostly symbolic gesture, but the way I figure it, being happy to go to work in the morning is easily worth $20K on top of my regular pay.

Life’s too short to be unhappy. If financial obligations won’t allow you to take a risk, that’s a bit different, because likely your happiness with your family makes up for it. But if you’re not tied down by anything, take the chance. you might end up finding your “niche” in life. And, true, you might end up with no job at all and have to struggle for a while, but look on the bright side: America’s social welfare programs will never allow you to starve to death.

All I’m saying is that you might end up bitterly looking back on this chance and saying “what if . . . .?” if you’re still where you’re at now in ten years.

That’s also a sticking point. After school, I moved back in with the parents. They’re both retired/unemployed. I pick up any stray bills that Social Security doesn’t pick up. I’m also single. Despite these facts, I’m currently unable to bank anything. I’m going to not spend a damned dime (unless there’s something that I’d lilke to really get) and bank/invest everything.

The job market in Michigan is absolutely dreadful. Factor that in there however you wish.

Is there any way you could work both jobs for the length of the internship?

I’m curious why these are the only two options? Did you finish a degree? I myself dropped out of school at 20 and didn’t go back and finsh a degree for nearly 20 years. Do you feel stuck in a caretaking role for yout parents?

Does your current emplyer have any educational benefits like tuition reimbursement?

In your position, I wouldn’t leave your job for an internship at some other company without a very high confidence in getting a job at the end. 40% isn’t good enough. Maybe it would be acceptable if the training resulted in you getting some kind of certification that would be of value to at least some other employers.

But I do respect your feeling the need for something better. You might consider something bolder, like getting into a degree or certification program. Maybe you can keeo your job, maybe not. Maybe you’ll need to look at student loans to finance it.

I don’t know why you’d think the tech support job is better. You’ll only learn enough tax law to support the software, probably by following a decision tree or something. You’ll learn next to nothing about computers you don’t already know. And I’d say your potential for advancement will be very limited. Tech support jobs typically have a high rate of turnover. Furthermore, you may find yourself working with a bunch of graduates from tech schools or even people with engineering degrees starting out at the bottom, and they’ll have a big leg up on you in moving up.

Since you’re not looking to become an engineer, it seems to me your best chance for advancement would be to take the management track at your nursing home. Even if you don’t stay with that company, having management experience on your resume will help you get other management jobs, wheras a stint of a year or two in tech support isn’t going to help you at all, other than getting other tech support jobs.

I also don’t think you’ll find it all that interesting. Most tech support people sit in a chair all day with a headset on, repeating the same instructions to annoyed people over and over again. "Did you try X? Did you try Y? " If you can’t solve the problem, you’ll fill out a support case ticket and pass it on to the development team, then get to act as a go-between between the developers and the customer. It’s not really that much fun.

Both jobs? Nope. That’s not feasible. Both would take up the time of a fill time job and demand that I be there in both places at equivalently the same time.

Why are these the only two options? Well, after posting my resume about 50 times after graduating college, the nursing home gig was the only one to materialize into a job. The only other one is this internship.

Do I feel like a caretaker? Yeah. I figure I’m effectively stuck with no life. I’m fine with that in the short term, though. (Fun fact: I went to school right out of high school from '99 to '02ish. Around '01, I realized it was a race to graduate before I ran out of funds. I thought it’d be close, and it was. I didn’t/couldn’t graduate in time. I was out of school for about a year and a half, running a restaurant and performing (roughly) the same role I am now in the house as “monetary safety net”. My grandmother died and she left us a little bit of money, which was used to be able to finish up school.) I joke some times about it. I tell them that it’s “expensive to have parents”, like parents say the same thing about kids.

I haven’t seen a THING about tuition reimbursement for either job. I realize that this doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but it certainly hasn’t been thrown out on the table. Hell, my benefits haven’t even kicked in yet. I’m sure after they do, I’ll know this definitively.

I don’t know if I THINK the tech support job is better per se. I know it sure sounds a lot more interesting and that it’d enable me to learn SOMETHING new and it’d be something to diversify my resume. I like solving problems, like I said. For some odd reason, this job just appeals to me. I also do realize that it’s all troubleshooting as well.

If at the nuring home you’ll be managing a staff; arranging coverage over holidays, vacations, dealing with complaints, etc., you will be learning a LOT of valuable skills that are rather hard to come by.

This is true. But I’ve been doing those exact things since I was 19.

I’m 25 now.

So tell me if I’m summarizing this correctly? You are literally stuck in your parents home – moving is not an option while your parents live. The local economy sucks. There are only two emplyers in the area who have any real jobs better than burger flipping. Your choices are helpdesk or housekeeping.

How old and healthy are your parents?

Dad is about 65. The female birth giver is about 55.

It’s not just “housekeeping”. I’m in charge of all the housekeepers and laundry personnel.

Would your parents be able to survive without your income? What if you moved somewhere with a much better job market and sent them $$ every now and again once you landed a new job? Do you think you have the skills and the ability to find a job that would suit you and make you happy if you lived outside of MI?

See, I was just thinking about that, actually. I was contemplating exactly where it was I could go and what it was that I could do.

I just don’t know what OR where. Other than that and not having the resources to actually do the move, I’d be all over it.

My sister works for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Middlesex County in NJ. They are always looking for help in Housing management and I believe they are interconnected to other CP groups.
Apparently burnout is high but training and promotion can be swift. I am fairly sure that the pay is significantly better than $26k per year.
Do you want me to get more information/do you want to forward your resume to her to give to HR?


I’ve been following this thread, LOUNE, without having any ideas until now… Can they hold the internship position for a few months while you find out more about the possibilities in your current job? Seems like it would be good for you to know a little more about your current employer before moving on to something else…


Another thought which you might not want to consider is that the internship program appears to be a long-standing thing. You don’t have to take it right now, it will come open again at some point. If you stay at the Housekeeping supervisor position for a year or so and determine that it’s not going to work for you, you can still re-apply for the internship position.

Well, I’d be just damned silly if I didn’t at least check it out, no?
well, maybe not ALL Yankee fans are bad peoples… :smiley: