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Changing the direction of my life....

Organized by: michele schutt

michele's Photo
michele's Photo


Hello! My name is Michele Schutt and I would like to share my story with you and a little about my life. I am 43 years old and I have taken care of myself since I was 16 years old. I paid my own college tuition but in my junior year I had to leave school due to the financial strain of monthly bills and tuition, plus books, plus car payment, insurance, gas, food, and etc. I always believed I would return to school and finish my education just as soon as....I got a better paying job, I paid off several bills, and so on. I think most people who leave school when they are young truly do believe that one day it will be possible to return to school but in my case I was unable to due to my bills had to come first. Being single and not married also made it more difficult to be able to cover the monthly bills and school costs. I recently lost my job as an admin assistant unexpectedly and was full of dread when I thought about having to look for another admin job, which I have never enjoyed. I have stayed in the field because I have 15 years of experience and it is all I know. While looking for another job I started thinking about.... what would I really like to do as a career? What job would I enjoy getting up in the morning to do? I have always really loved interior decorating and even organizing for others but I have no degree or professional experience in that field. My first thought was...can I return to school? After visiting 2 college in my area that have interior design degrees available I quickly realized it would cost about $40,000 for my degree and I would have to be in school full time. There is no possible way I could be in school full time and cover my mortgage and all my other bills. A friend of mine suggested looking into staging instead. If this is the first time you have heard the term "stager" let me explain further. A home stager asses the needs of the homeowner. Many times, furnishings need rearranged and the house decluttered. Stagers use the homeowners own décor and advise the owners what to pack up and put in storage. To show well, a home must be easy to navigate and free of personal mementos and pictures. Potential buyers will be able to imagine themselves in the house. A stager takes over and moves furniture around, removes the clutter that homeowners have trouble parting with and create a pleasant environment to show prospective buyers. They also help a seller decorate their home in an appealing way for a new buyer. This would be a career that would allow me to fulfil my dream of interior decorating and I may even be able to apply for an interior decorating jobs as well after a few years of experience in staging. I have done my research and I have found the courses I need to take to become certified as a stager but with no income at the moment I can not cover the 3 week course that cost $1,400. I am currently looking for a job everyday but have not been offered for any interviews. My first plan was to find another admin assistant job but I really am very burned out and I have always made very poor money in that field. (between $10-$12 per hour) I am very ready to go for my dream and have a enjoyable career. I have always been too proud to ask strangers for money and I have no family that is able to help me (both of my parents are deceased too) but in my heart I feel that this is my time to change my path in life. I have decided that I will pay if forward if I am lucky enough to receive the help I need and I will find a way in the near future by donation $1,400 to a local no kill animal shelter. Once I become a stager and I am up on my feet (my bills are very behind due to losing my job) I plan on setting a set amount aside each month until I have saved up the $1,400 to donate to a no kill shelter. I thank you very much for taking the time today to read my story and I hope I didn't ramble on for too long! Michele Schutt


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