T Nation

My Situation

It is time for me to post my first significant life question to the faceless people on the internet that I may never meet but whom I respect (generally).

I currently work as a financial adviser and although I dont really enjoy the job, I dont hate it and I make pretty good money with the potential to make even more money in the future. I have recently applied and been accepted into university to do a degree in Human Movement Science which I can study part time while continuing to work. I am also beginning the process of becoming an accredited strength and conditioning coach in Australia. I may be able to start studying full time and finish the degree a bit sooner once my wife stops studying and starts working but I will be 33ish at the earliest when I finish studying. The degree is going to cost me about AUD$50,000.

I know that no-one except for me can decide whether to go ahead and outlay the money and time involved but I wonder what things you guys would consider if you were in my situation, or what you did consider if you had been in my situation.

Here are the things that go through my head when I think about it.

Current Job equals Lots of money, not much happiness.
Potential Job equals Less money, lots of happiness.
The degree is expensive.
The cost will be worth it to have a career that I love.
My current job is safe.
Life is too short to be safe or worry about money too much.
33-35 is too old to be changing careers.
You are never too old to do anything.

I am not looking for answers, but just other things that I need to think about. I would love to hear from anyone that has been in a similar situation.



ive done a human movment degree, full time out in bathurst, i loved it, all up i think it cost only $13000 excluding books ect. which is obviouly alot less than what your looking at,
any details of the course your doing? part time 6? or 8? years.

my degree didnt exactly open new doors to me, i still had to go and get the usual qualifications as per fitness australia even though i knew the theory quite soundly. however the education is worth it in my books.
since then i have begun to focus more and more on sport specifc strenth and conditioning and am looking into a post grad dregree. i cant really offer much help, just letting you know my experiences

Thanks mythwalker.

The degree is a Bachelor of Human Movement Science from Central Queensland Uni. Not the ideal degree, but the best one that I can do in that field by distance education.

6 years part time and the course fees are about $45,000 excluding books etc. I will also need to travel to QLD on about 5 occasions for ‘on-field’ lessons.

I am jsut wondering whether it is worth it, or do I just go and do the usual fitness instructor cources along with the ASC accreditation to get me doing what I want to do.

G’day, as a financial advisor I presume one of your tasks would be to help people plan for their financial future. With that level of knowledge behind you, a decrease in income shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you as your education would enable you to create a secure future through careful planning and sound strategies.

Being happy in your job will permeate through your whole life whereas a higher income, yet unhappy life, will mean you just spend more to console yourselves and the unhappiness will permeate through your life.

I started my wealth building at 33, I “retired” this year at 42. I have despised my job at times during these years but now, I have a lifestyle that I’ve dreamed of and the difference in my relationships, my state of mind and my whole life is staggering.

I reckon you should go for the job that gives you happiness and I’ll bet you’ll find that the happiness in your job will ultimately lead you to a higher income anyway, simply because you’ll be so good at what you do.

You’re smart enough to succeed either way, just don’t underestimate the importance of doing a job you enjoy, it’ll pay dividends to your family life and your financial skills will provide you with a solid platform from which to build your futures.

Hope this makes sense mate.

Thanks Duke, I appreciate your comments.

The financial side of it is not a real concern because as you have said that is what I do, but it will always be at the back of my mind. I think that this is because it is in my face so much. My clients are generally in one of two positions. They either have lots of assets and income but have never had a life, or they have no assets or income but have done all the things that they wanted to do in their life. I am aiming for the middle ground so to speak.

I think that a lot of the indecision is the little ‘what-ifs’ that keep popping up.

Like what if I finish the degree, but dont work in the industry, will I have wasted $50,000 and 6 years of study time.

I dont expect answers, I just need help with my thought process.

Well, I dont have much advice for you.

But I just got back from scuba lessons, and one guy pulled up in a bentley continental GT. He was a financial advisor.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Well, I dont have much advice for you.

But I just got back from scuba lessons, and one guy pulled up in a bentley continental GT. He was a financial advisor.[/quote]

It was a good lesson wasn’t it, I really enjoyed it. I just dont like getting my Bentley wet.

Do you have a degree already Helga?

[quote]swerven wrote:
Do you have a degree already Helga?[/quote]

Nope, only and Advanced Diploma. Why?

[quote]helga wrote:
swerven wrote:
Do you have a degree already Helga?

Nope, only and Advanced Diploma. Why?[/quote]

I was going to suggest postgraduate study instead - it would probably suit someone in your situation. You may be able to get into a postgrad course somewhere - if not at my Uni. I know in some disciplines you can do it on experience and prior study (not necessarily at degree level). I will check it out and get back to you.

Where abouts are you? Sydney?

BTW - $50,000 is a lot of money. It would be a lot cheaper to just pick up a few subjects at a time at a Uni near you - full fee paying.

PM me if you want to know more.

I can’t speak from experience on this, but I can offer what I think is a reasonable perspective. 33-35 is nowhere near too old to get started in a new career. At that point, you’ve got potentially 30 years of work ahead of you. I can’t really advocate either way, but in my opinion, age/time is a non-factor in this.

I made a huge change in careers and it worked out for me. Having said that - everyone is different.
As far as the money goes if you don’t really enjoy your career the chances are that you won’t be motivated enough to progress to the stage where you earn the big $. It’s a difficult thing to push yourself when your heart’s not really in it. Believe me I know. That’s why I made a change.
Only you can make this decision, but from what you’ve said it seems like it’s what you want to do.
(If the worst happens and it all falls apart you can always go back to the career you have now. At least then you’ll know how it turned out and won’t live the rest of your life wondering)


I am in the midst of contemplating a career change as well but for a different reason.

I have found that to suceed at what my career currently is you need to be a salesperson times 10 instead of what I went to school for. As a consequence I have a very low income level and always moving trying to find that “perfect job.” This is after 4 years of college and 4 years of grad school with 176000 (USD) in debt. And 5 years on the job.

So I would not say a well paying stable yet “boring” job is not desirable. At this point I would say be careful what you wish for. On the other hand if you hate your job or have a moral conflict with what you do than it is a no brainer leave.

Chris wrote an article about searching for that elusive “prefect” job/life, he said something to the affect of you could bust down that wall and find what you wanted or it could be a vast emptyness of unhappyness you never know. I would say the best bet would be to go to school part-time while continuing to work would be best if that is possible. Or get a certification and train some people here and there and see how you like it. It is not as glamourous as it is made out to be. Mostly long hours listening to rich people complain about there lives.

Just my 2 cents hope it helps.

My spelling is shitty and there is no spell check so do not confuse me with an idiot. Just an impatient typer.

Thanks for all the replies and the PM’s that I got, they are all appreciated.

It seems that it is all falling into place.

I accepted the offer at the uniersity, in which I was able to get a government supported place to drop the cost down from $50,000 to about $15,000. Further, if I do a couple of classes each summer I can get the degree done in 4 years and not 6.

It all seems to be working out for the best.

But again, thanks to those who offered some advice.