When you're no longer satisfied with your job, there's an alternative. Perhaps it's time to prepare yourself for another career path.
For the past week, readers have seen inspirational stories about region residents doing exactly that.
- Theodore Gilbert, of Gary, felt like a zombie as work and studies put demands on his time, but with prayer and the support of his wife and his church, he received his master's degree in May.
- Diane Schweitzer, School City of Hammond's director of buildings and grounds, has earned five degrees between 1975 and 2007 as her career path took her in different directions.
- Christopher Vincent dropped out of college following a family tragedy and worked in the casino industry. Now he's pursuing his dream of being a certified public accountant.
- Allen Hines overcame addiction, homelessness and trauma to earn a master's in psychology. He plans to earn a doctorate next.
- Megan Marrs left her job as a college admissions counselor to start her own brand developing business and later joined The Times as marketing manager.
- Marissa Ramirez was laid off as school aide in 2010 and now works as a medical assistant phlebotomist, drawing blood from patients. She plans to open a women's clinic in Nicaragua.
- John Munjas returned to college after a 30-year break, taking online courses that fit into his busy schedule.
These are but a handful of many stories that could be told of region residents who have changed careers for personal fulfillment. Going back to school is often a part of this process.
In 1988, The Times and Purdue University Calumet launched the Working Smarter program. This series of workshops, now at seven region universities, begins its 25th year on Monday. Look for registration information in The Times today.
Working Smarter's goal is to help participants learn how to become more marketable in today's workforce. It's as valuable today as it was 25 years ago.
To those who feel they're in dead-end jobs or who can't find work for which they are already trained, it's never too late to pursue a new goal or your lifelong dream.