When is it too late to switch careers? According to Mark Kinney, it’s never too late, since changing careers was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
At 26, Mark had already earned a bachelor’s degree in natural science, secondary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. He was several years into his teaching career but wasn’t happy. Sure, Mark enjoyed aspects of teaching—working with kids can be fun and rewarding—but he found that the reality of the job left no room for his own family. Even after the students left the building, there was always hours upon hours of work to be done. He didn’t mind working hard, but he needed some work-life balance. Unfortunately, he still had student loans to pay off and wasn’t keen on the idea of incurring more debt to learn a new trade. He felt stuck.
Then in June of 2020 (yes, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic), Mark saw a job posting on Facebook from an old high school friend. That friend was an Appliance Technician at Nebraska Home Appliance and loved his career for the same reason Mark liked teaching: the satisfaction of helping people. As Mark soon learned though, a career in appliance repair also offered stability, opportunity for advancement, and the work-life balance he was craving.
But the idea of switching careers was still daunting. Mark knew he had the skill set and aptitude to understand mechanics (after all, he had been successfully tackling home renovation projects for years), but he was unsure how long it would take to train in another specialized field. As Mark will tell you, it turned out to be an easier-than-expected transition. Mark accepted the position with Nebraska Home Appliance and between paid, on-the-job training and online courses that he could take at his own pace, he was able to learn the trade quickly. “You don’t have to be an expert in mechanics. If you have a desire to learn, you will. A little self-doubt at first is normal, but now those days are few and far between.”
And Mark knows that the office staff, a team of parts experts, and his fellow technicians all have his back. “At NHA, we have a team structure that’s very supportive. If I have a question or need advice, I just call my Team Lead. The structure provides mentorship and a path for career growth. I love working in customer’s homes—using my expertise to help people in their time of need. I’m a people person and I like that direct interaction with our customers; but I also know there’s growth opportunity within the company.”
What else does Mark like about NHA? “NHA offers a great balance between an established, professionally-run company and a friendly place to work. The people are down to Earth. They are professional and reliable, but we also joke around. We are competitive because we all enjoy doing our job well, but we also support one another.”
Today, Mark is confident that he made the right career choice. “At NHA I’m able to earn more than I did teaching and have the job security and benefits my family needs.” And about that work-life balance that he craved? “NHA offers more flexibility, so I can get time off when I need to be with family. My wife and I just had a baby, I’m able to enjoy this time more than I would have had I not left teaching. I still have a real career, but I’m more relaxed now.”
If a job as an appliance repair tech at Nebraska Home Appliance sounds great to you too, find a job opening in your area and apply today.