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Author Topic: Job Advice - One week to decide..  (Read 825 times)
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corruptrelic
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« on: March 02, 2012, 03:18:41 AM »

Late last year I quit my long time job of being a correctional officer at a "prison" for sexually violent predators after being passed up for promotion more times than I remember.

After my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer I ended up moving back in with her (she's currently undergoing radiation) and have been working part-time for pretty much minimum wage pay.

A month ago I finally decided it was time to start looking for a somewhat better job, and applied at two places - a psychiatric hospital and a juvenile correctional facility.
The hospital is a private for-profit run facility and the position is for a mental health technician. It's in the same city as my mother.
The juvenile facility is state-run and pays slightly more.  It's also about 3-4 hours away from where my mother lives, but moving in with her was only temporary as I'm way too old at 31 to still be living with my parents.

Hospital works 12 hour shifts, never more than 3 days a week. (So you end up 4 hours shy of your typical 40 hours.) Rotating schedules means every other weekend off, but would also be harder to pick up a PT job as your days off change every week.
It's a more laid back position but also requires their techs learn vitals (taking blood pressure, etc..) - something I've never done before. In every facility I've worked at the nurses did that, we were just security.. and the hospital tests you twice a year where you have to score 80% or above. If I had more time before the starting date I would have looked into a CNA class or something that teaches you basic vitals. Too late for that now.

Juvenile facility is 8 hours, same days off every week. It's state-run so you get your state retirement and so forth. I've worked for them before - twice. This would be my third time returning to the department of juvenile justice. I'd have to go through their academy to get certified again, but compared to the florida corrections academy it's a cake walk. (Corrections academy was 4 months - DJJ academy is 3 weeks.)

I've interviewed at both facilities, done my drug screenings and background checks and have a starting date of 03/09 for DJJ or 03/12 for the hospital.

I thought I'd have made up my mind by now but it's turning out to be a lot harder than I thought. Given that I've only been working part-time the last couple months I haven't had time to get much money saved up, so moving to work for DJJ I'd be living on oodles and noodles the first month or so, versus if I stay living with my mother and go to the hospital, I can get some extra money saved up.
The problem is, if I turn down the state offer, I may never get the chance to work for them again.. and I feel like I have more of a future working for the state versus a private company.

At the end of the day I know it's my decision to make, but would be interested in hearing any input as I'm still 50/50 with time running out.
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Caine
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 03:50:28 AM »

Two words:  no crazies.

I would much rather deal with juvies than mental cases myself.  And you did say you might not have a better chance.  Sure, the month living like a broke college student will suck, but it won't matter in the long run.
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 04:54:47 AM »

What happened that you lost your state job twice?
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 12:42:59 PM »

Just being young and dumb, playing the field.

First time, quite a few years ago, left to work at a privately run county jail. CCA lost the contract, so returned to doing private security until rejoining DJJ again.
Then left second time for my last job - the sex offender camp.

Left both times with two weeks notice.

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Covenant
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 01:20:33 PM »

State job sounds a lot more secure and much better in the long run.  Assuming you don't have a particular passion for one field over the other, the state job seems to make the most sense.  If you have a love for one field over the other, then go with that as you'll be happier in the long run.
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 01:59:48 PM »

Safe & Secure - go with state job

Risky, and branching out to new work - Hospital

Are you tired of doing what you've been doing?
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 02:49:22 PM »

State job. Secure - benefits in the long term out weigh the extra $$ that the other has. There is no substitution for pensions.
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Covenant
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 04:09:49 PM »

Quote from: Roman on March 02, 2012, 02:49:22 PM

State job. Secure - benefits in the long term out weigh the extra $$ that the other has. There is no substitution for pensions.

The state job pays more.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 05:45:32 PM »

My advice is try to track down some former employees at those facilities (whether they had your same position or something different) and ask about their experience there, preferably not somebody who got fired and maybe has an axe to grind. I think that'll give you more information to make an educated decision.

I once turned down a newspaper editor/reporter position when I was out of work in 1992 because I talked to the person who formerly had that position (she left on her own to be a reporter at my old newspaper). She said it was horrible, was like an 80-hour a week job, etc. Turning it down cost me some meager unemployment benefits, but I think it was the right decision in retrospect (I found a job a couple months later).

And with the job I've had since 2006, a former co-worker from many years earlier had alerted me to the job and could answer any questions about the place.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 05:49:18 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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corruptrelic
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 08:43:12 PM »

Some more good advice, thanks.

The state DJJ does pay slightly better than the hospital, but not enough more where it really makes that much of a difference.

The pension plan is still semi good, but since Rick Scott became governor he's really fucked over state employees. The last time I worked for the state, our pension was 100% paid for and you were vested in 6 years.
Now you have to contribute 3% of your own pay into the pension and have to wait 8 years to be vested.
He's also closed down a number of state facilities and attempted to privatize more of them.

It's not that much of a game killer, but still, it was one of the big advantages of working for the state that your retirement was fully covered.

The hospital has your traditional 401k and matches 50% on the dollar up to the first 5%.
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WorkingMike
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2012, 10:56:24 PM »

are you living in Florida? I have friends that work at the state and county level down here and they are getting antsy about the shit Rick Scott has going on re: pensions and the like.

My colleague used to work juvenile justice in Ny and hated it. I'd opt for the hospital. You'll be learning valuable new skills and the shifts sound better, plus you're closer to your mom (which can be important).

Just my .02

 
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2012, 10:48:12 PM »

Yes I'm in Florida, and yes Rick Scott is giving the shaft to state employees. The biggest perk of working for the state, IMO, used to be your government pension that they fully funded. Now you have to contribute a certain percentage of your pay into it, and your vesting period is also increased to 8 years. (Up from 6.) Retirement age also increased under Rick Scott.

I've worked for DJJ before so I know what it's like.. can't say I "like" working with juveniles, but it's the job security (until Rick Scott gets a hold of us anyway) that I want - and working for the state you also have the option of transferring to other state facilities or other departments. Most juveniles don't respect their parents, so they aren't going to respect the officers assigned to watch them. We used to have daily uses of forces the last time I worked there. Back then when I was in my 20s it was fun, now being in my early 30s I'd rather talk it out than battle it out.

One thing that concerns me about the hospital is technically you are supposed to know vitals (how to take blood pressure, etc.) which I don't have a clue about. I've always worked the security department and we never did any of that, the nurses always handled it. Now being a mental health tech, you do what the nurses do.
I've tried looking for any local classes on basic vitals but haven't had any luck.. the closest thing is a CNA class which goes for 4 weeks or so and costs almost $1,000.. so even if I had the cash, I wouldn't have enough time between now and the starting date to finish it. 
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2012, 02:00:59 AM »

Well here I am supposed to be starting in less than 12 hours at the state facility and still not 100% certain.. never been torn like this between two jobs in my life. (Then again never had two jobs offered at the same time.)

I'm almost inclined to skip the state and take the hospital gig, but my worry is that if I pass up the state offer that will probably mean I won't ever get another chance to work with the department.

Then I started thinking.. last time I worked with juveniles I didn't care for it much anyway, only reason I was there was because it was a state job with decent benefits and a pension plan. (That was before Rick Scott came in and started his war against state employees.)

Any last suggestions?

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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 02:36:50 AM »

I'd talk to the hospital. If that job is a lock, and all you need is some training then I'd ask them to help you out in that regard. We'll be seeing you post another job thread in months-if-not-years. You know the juvie job doesn't get you anywhere, and this other one has more possibilities that open up for you.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 02:56:39 AM »

What happened to safe & secure?  icon_biggrin

No more job threads from me, thought this was my first one but I did turn 31 recently so the age is catching up. Never had two job offers at the same time from two places that are both equally as tempting.

While I don't care for working with juveniles (having been there before) it's still a state job, and within the state there are a number of departments you can do internal transfers to. (Such as DCF.)
On the other hand, state employees under Rick Scott have really gotten the shaft. I'd also need to work with the current juvenile facility for a year or so before I could ask for a transfer to another department.

The hospital is privately run, but still has the traditional 401k. I've worked with violent sex offenders for years but have a limited amount of experience with mental and psych patients.
My biggest obstacle are the vitals. Always had nurses doing that (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, etc.) but the problem is, they expect you to know some of those basics at the start.

Still a tough decision.. I might end up just having to flip a coin it's so close.
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2012, 04:05:16 PM »

If knowing how to take vitals is a job requirement then who did you get an offer not knowing how?

I would take the hospital gig myself.  Closer to sick mom and better chancefor forward advancement in an industry that is booming.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2012, 05:48:24 PM »

CPR / First Aid was also a job requirement I wasn't aware of until new hire paperwork started (about 3 weeks after initial interviews) luckily I had that from the prison system, but vitals were always left to nurses.

I have a neighbor going through med school who showed me some very basic vitals last night and I feel a little more comfortable, but could still use some practice.

In any case, went with the hospital job. There goes my chance of working with the state / djj again!

See you all in 3-6 months with another job thread!  ninja
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 05:55:50 PM »

Actually, I don't think you will.

I think you made the right decision. (I never supported the safe-secure ... I just summed both up).

This is personal growth for you. Every time I've been faced with it, I've come out on top.
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2012, 02:46:08 PM »

Coming in late for the thread, but if taking vitals was the only thing holding you back, I wouldn't worry about it... Taking vitals such as pulse, BP, respirations is EASY... BP is the most "difficult" (and sometimes pulse depending on the patient), but these 3 things can be learned in less than a day... and they may have automated machines as well...
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