Are you fed up with your boss and ready to tell him or her to “take this job and shove it?” Join the club. Recent studies indicate that at least 60 percent of workers are unhappy with their current jobs. And according to the Well-Being Index created by Gallup and Healthways, Inc., people who are unhappy at work take more sick days than people who are satisfied with their jobs. If you’re sick of the rat race, take a look at five careers that can help you escape corporate America.
Nurses are in high demand because more people are living longer than ever before. In fact, DiscoverNursing.com estimates that by the year 2020 there will be a shortage of 800,000 nurses. Some hospitals, desperate to recruit qualified workers, are offering experienced nurses signing bonuses of up to $14,000.
If you already work in the health care field, you may have the experience necessary to transition to a nursing career. However, to become a registered nurse (RN), you need to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Accelerated degree programs may be available for people who already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in another field. Advanced practice specialties usually require a master’s degree.
RNs often have very flexible but demanding work schedules. The hours can be long, but you may have several days off at a time. Many nurses are required to work evening and weekend hours or to be on call.
Working with children can be a rewarding career. Many schools across the U.S are desperately seeking well-qualified teachers, particularly in science and math. Teaching children in K-12 can be challenging and even frustrating depending on the district you work in, but the rewards of playing a role in helping to shape young lives can be significant.
Public school teachers usually need to have a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher education program to become licensed. Some school districts allow people changing from another career to earn their teacher certification while working in the schools. Some private schools don’t require a license, but often look for applicants with comparable skills or certification.
The job outlook is good for teachers and employment is expected to grow 12 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. States that are expected to have the highest job growth include Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia.
3.���� Physical Therapist
There is a growing need for physical therapists who can help patients improve their mobility, relieve pain, and restore function. Patients can have problems that range from back pain to arthritis to heart disease. A physical therapist can help evaluate their problems and set up treatments that include appropriate exercise.
Most physical therapists work a 40-hour week, sometimes with evening and weekend work to accommodate patients. They generally work in clinics, hospitals, or private offices and can spend a lot of time standing, stooping, lifting, or kneeling while working with patients.
To become a physical therapist you need a master’s degree and state licensing. Courses include biology, chemistry, biomechanics, anatomy, and therapeutic procedures. Some degree programs require you to volunteer in a physical therapy department at a hospital or clinic before they admit you.
4.���� Medical Transcriptionist
If you like the idea of working from home, becoming a medical transcriptionist can allow you to do so. In this career, you transcribe recordings produced by doctors and other health care professionals. Information is compiled into medical documents such as discharge summaries, diagnostic imaging studies, medical history reports, and autopsy reports. You need to have a good grasp of the subject matter and terminology, as well as the ability to edit for clarity. If you work in a doctor’s office or clinic, you may also have other responsibilities.
Being a medical transcriptionist is a sedentary job. Because of the nature of the work, there can be a high level of stress trying to complete assignments accurately. People in these jobs can also have wrist, neck, or back problems from sitting for long periods of time. The upside is that if you telecommute you can probably set your own hours and work part time, nights or weekends.
Generally, you need an associate’s degree or a 1-year certificate program. Courses teach you about legal issues related to health care documentation, anatomy, and medical terminology. However, if you already work in a health care job you may be able to get on-the-job training. There is no formal accreditation for medical transcription programs.
Of course when many people think about leaving corporate America, they dream about owning their own business. Running a business can give you the autonomy and flexibility you desire. Keep in mind, however, that business owners wear many hats and usually end up working harder and longer hours than when they were employed by someone else. It’s important to evaluate your skills and personality to decide if entrepreneurship is the right fit for you.
If you already have a business background, you have some of what it takes to run your own business. People who don’t have much business experience should take courses to learn about subjects such as management, bookkeeping, and marketing. Entrepreneurship classes can also help you decide what type of business you want to operate, as well as how to find funding. There is no specific degree or certification required to start a business, but some people choose to enroll in an MBA program that focuses on entrepreneurship.
Becoming an entrepreneur may require you to make many sacrifices in terms of your personal time and family life, especially in the early startup stages. However, being your own boss can give you the flexibility to change your schedule as needed, including working part time, nights or weekends.
Before you tell your boss what he or she can do with your job, make sure you’ve explored all your options for a new career. Choose a career that you can enjoy for many years to come, and make sure you understand what kind of training and education you need to accomplish your goals.
Publish date: September 2, 2008