Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on Monday, May 13, 2019
Thanks for the question. That's a tough challenge that is very good question. Unfortunately, I think the best answer depends a lot on what field you are looking to pursue. But, I have a similar background and perhaps my story might help.
A while ago, I worked in retail and eventually moved into management and a regional training role. I started to get more exposure into HR, but there wasn't much opportunity to move in that direction in my current company. Also, the retail hours were really tough on the family life, and I wanted something more stable.
With that in mind, I ended up signing up for a Master's Degree program at a local university and qualifying for financial aid/student loans. When school started, I quit my retail job, and found another place to work part-time while I attended school. I used the financial aid to not only finance my schooling, but also help supplement the income I lost from no longer working my full-time job. Eventually, I landed an internship which gave me real-life experience, and paid me more than what I was making working part-time.
When I graduated, I was able to find a job in my career field with upward mobility. Although I had student loans, my new career path compensated me enough to make up for the difference between compared to what I was making in retail. In addition, the hours were standard, and I didn't have to pay babysitters and others to watch our child while I was away working off hours. Needless to say, within two years, I was doubling my retail income with a better career path, doing what I like, with much better hours.
While my actions won't work the same for everyone, it goes to show that additional school could also help tremendously. There were a few long days of going to school and working part-time in the evenings, but it worked out in the end.
I hope this helps! Good luck in your search.