When and how to pivot? Some discover new path shifting professions

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Maureen Hanson, a previous longtime clinical assistant, showcases goods of her new facet organization — building jam.
Maureen Hanson/Courtesy image

Editor’s take note: This is the second of the series The Longevity Challenge, a collaboration between The Aspen Times and the Glenwood Springs Article Impartial.

Switching professions in today’s demanding money local climate can be a superb undertaking — primarily in the infamously inflated Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

There are superior costs to shell out, groceries to buy, mouths to feed. This could appear to be like a never-ending cycle, which can be a nightmare if another person is all set to explore one more career.

Longtime Valley Watch Medical center health care assistant Maureen “Mo” Hanson was doing the job in the oncology section when she started off to really feel the will need for transform. COVID-19-induced layoffs in May 2020 put the previous one mom out of operate. She admitted, nevertheless, this downtime turned into the finest summer time of her everyday living, when she got “the best tan.”

When she was later on rehired 7 months afterwards, like so lots of professions and providers in the course of and subsequent the pandemic, she was necessary to hustle more durable than ever.

“All my pals have been however at the medical center operating their butts off right after that mass layoff, and they were being possessing to do additional with a lot less,” she said. “When I acquired hired again, which is what I was undertaking.”

Hanson cherished her occupation, and former individuals continue to cease her in spots like Town Market for absolutely free medical assistance.

“It’s not a job I’m doing any more, but the passion is there, the enjoy is there, and the relationship is there,” she claimed.

Daily exposure to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Tuberculosis (TB), COVID-19, the flu and the typical cold whilst constantly and completely cleansing every single piece of gear in each and every medical center place still left Hanson thinking if she could do the position anymore.

“That’s not what I signed up for,” she said. “I appreciate my patients, I adore what I did, and I required to give them top quality treatment. And I feel like for the reason that of the demands set on me as a healthcare assistant, or my peers that I was operating with, we could not give that quality of treatment and do the other issues that have been being demanded of us for $16 an hour.”

In will come the crossroads. Hanson reported she would arrive house from perform unable to switch off the physical and psychological exhaustion, and in switch she would sometimes turn into quick with her loved ones.

Confronted with the difficult dilemma of altering professions when on the brink of age 50, Hanson took a leap of religion. She was so established she started off implementing for eating places and services employment. She eventually landed a desk task doing the job for a Roaring Fork regulation firm.

“What I was undertaking right before, I appreciate. I’m just undertaking what I’m carrying out now simply because it’s a task paying the expenditures,” she reported. “It’s certainly not what I was manufactured to do. I pass up the individuals, for guaranteed.”

It is VALLEY-Large

Area peer aid mentor Vanessa Lane claims considering that every thing is so pricey in the valley, many locals will have to operate two or a few jobs to make finishes meet up with. This is why she feels a good deal of folks in the location end up moving.

“I believe that’s just about most people in this article in the valley, relying on the style of perform they do,” she claimed. “I’ve lived in the valley, and I’ve constantly experienced two or a few employment.”

But Lane has trapped with this busy regimen of multiple employment, and she has now received adequate encounter and is commencing to commence her individual nonprofit.

“I’m hoping to get my nonprofit up and going to the place it winds up becoming sustainable,” she claimed. “But my complete life was that way as a one mother.”


For Hanson, her times are loaded with answering phone calls and helping with probate estate planning. But she values doing work a lot more of an “8-to-5” task, which has opened up new windows for her. 

One, she stated, she will get to shell out far more time with her family. Two, she made use of the additional time to commence her possess company. Identified as Mo Jam, Hanson sells homemade jelly at area farmer’s markets.

But wanting again at her times at Valley Look at — the hospital has because elevated salaries for several of its workforce — Hanson thinks about her previous colleagues.

Maureen “Mo” Hanson was working in the oncology division when she started out to sense the will need for alter. Heading into business for herself grew to become additional of her jam.
Ray K. Erku/Glenwood Springs Publish Unbiased

She said potentially they never want to rock the boat and they simply just want to remain the class. These are persons who have youngsters and households who are relying on their full-time wages and insurance plan, she mentioned. They come to feel obligated and there’s perhaps no way out.

But Hanson maintains that they, much too — specifically solitary moms — should really get the leap of faith towards adjust.

“You can do anything you set your thoughts to — anything,” she explained. “It is highly-priced to dwell in this article, for certain, but there are so several resources. You just have to tap into them.

“You have to know what you’re looking for and what you want, and you just have to follow it, go after it and be assertive and get it done.”

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