General chatter - Job at school or my own business?

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07-14-2008, 09:50 PM of you know that I have my own business...a hair salon that is disguised as a barber shop. During the winter months, my little town slows to an absolute crawl and I spend many of my days watching Tyra and maniacally crocheting baby hats in various sports team colors (mostly NHL ;) ) to keep my hands out of the snacks and leave the shop having done NO customers at all. Then summer comes, along with the snowbirds, and I'm here to tell you that his weekend on Friday, I had a $300 day and most days I'm there from 10-3 and walk out with at least $100. If it were like this all year, I wouldn't even post this question.


Posted on my kids' school website is a posting for a job as a Middle School Study Hall monitor, with light office work doing projects for teachers, such as overheads and typing, etc. Well, I went to college in 1995 and graduated with a Secretarial degree and worked at Kodak and other corporate offices for about five years and also love the office work. Not to mention, I LOVE kids, especially Middle Schoolers, and this would be a steady full-time income including benefits. INCLUDING all days off that my kids have off, such as SUMMER!!

So, I'm in a quagmire. Do I stick to my own business or do I try for the Study Hall monitor job? Pros and Cons to both:

My own business:


I have been getting to know my customers, many of them are repeats, many of them are cute little old ladies with rollers...and I love them all!
I make my own hours
I have no boss
I have always wanted my own salon and now I have that! And love it!!
My daughter says she wants me to keep the shop because she likes watching me cut hair and says I'm really good at it and I think she's proud of me! :D (you have no idea how much this means to me!!)


I have a bad chemical rash on my hands that is literally making one of my finger nails fall off and I have sores and open wounds on my hands almost all the time
I don't have time off when my kids have time off and they have to sit in my dinky back room and have a totally boring summer waiting for me to finish doing customers
I don't know what this winter will bring again, but I think I may end up making enough to buy pizza again every week after paying bills.
Summers stink because I don't get to hang out with my kids at the beach or go on little trips around town to water parks, etc...

Study Hall Monitor Job:


I love kids!
I'd be working in the same school as my daughter
I'd be working in the school my son will be going to some day
My daughter can drive with me to and from work/school
I'd have every single day off that my kids have off (except sick days)
The insurance ROCKS
Steady pay
I like office work
I'd get to spend more time with my kids!!


I'd have a boss again and (gasp!) co-workers
I'd have to give up my shop
I'd miss my customers
I'd miss doing hair
I'd have to dress up for work

These are my short lists of pros and cons. What are your opinions?

07-14-2008, 09:58 PM
I also have my own business. I felt like I was missing something and thought I wanted more stability. So, I applied for a few jobs. When I started to get phone calls for interviews -- I knew when they called I didn't want to give up what I had (home with the kids, no boss, etc.). Maybe you could apply for the position and see what happens??

07-14-2008, 10:46 PM
That is a dilemna ... do you gets benefits, paid sick days, and holiday pay? How about a pension plan? The cons on your business seem small to me. Could you add a student stylist to give you some days off? You say your business is disguised as a barbor shop ... is that intentional??? Does that mean you do both sexes in your salon?

Could you close the shop for the slow winter months and get a temp job for that time instead or find something else to do in your shop in that time? Could you offer more services during the winter like manicures, pedicures, hair massage, facials, and make-up to bring in extra income year-round?

On the school side ... you could apply and see if you get the position and try it for one year. If you don't like it, you could re-open your salon or get someone to pitch-hit for you for only a few days a week; closing it on those slow months you mentioned in your post. If the school thing doesn't work out, then you could just reopen your salon come summer.

I guess the thing you must ask yourself is what you want for your life and your family right now. What is more important to you? Many people would love to have their own business even if it was only part-time. They would look for ways to supplement in the winter.

Others would love the social aspect of the school job and the financial security it brings. Later on, you could reopen your salon if you find the job isn't what you thought it would be like (ie when your kids go to high school). Just some things to ponder ...

07-14-2008, 10:57 PM
I don't have my own business, but with the economy etc. I'd go with the school job... perhaps keep some clients for weekends at home ? Good Luck

07-14-2008, 11:14 PM
With the economy being the way it is, I would also have to second Sweetcaroline's suggestion plus I'm one of those people that really weigh the benefits like insurance, it's steady and I find those important to me.. Maybe just open your business and do weekends only and then summers like you said since your business picks up in the summer like SweetCaroline said and you will be off. Then decide what you prefer.

07-15-2008, 12:34 AM
TECH... are you sure you want to hang around with middle schooler's...that sticks?

07-15-2008, 02:19 PM
My input is to consider the school job or any other school jobs that may come up.

I think there are a lot of factors when it comes down to a decision about what to do in your career. One thing I worry about is what will happen in the future? Are you properly investing into a retirement plan? Schools often have some sort of retirement/pension plan that may be automatic or in which you can buy into. They also tend to have good insurance, which as owning your own business you have to buy into. I've known quite a few people who work for school districts and they tend to get decent pay and really good benefits.

Now that it is summer and you are busy, you may be feeling that the business is good and money is good but really, spread over 12 months and counting costs of owning a business such as a barbershop/salon, it doesn't sound like very much money at all.

School districts often have year round jobs as well so you may be able to look into those if this doesn't work out. Also, since it seems like there is seasonal work, maybe you could find a part time job in the summers cutting hair (or similar) at another hair salon.

I personally like working for other people because they have to worry about things like insurance, paying the electricity, providing supplies, etc.

07-15-2008, 08:47 PM
I'm one of those people that really weigh the benefits like insurance
Just to add a little to that thought. Over time I learned that benefits really should be figured right into the salary... I worked for a pharmaceutical that gave us a printout of our personal benefits every year and their worth... When I looked at it like they did... I was making a very good salary... Health insurance alone would be a big draw for me right now, I have none.........

07-16-2008, 10:04 AM
Okay...thanks to all of you for your thoughts. I've sent in my resume to the school. If I get it, I close the shop. If not, I stay open. Simple as that. Well, not so much simple because it would literally break my heart to close up shop. I LOVE my little shop, but truth be told, my hands are so sore from the dermatitis on them and the one finger is so bad the nail is separating from the skin! Not to mention the water retention in my feet by the end of the day!!

This little shop is everything I've dreamed of since I got my hairdressing license in 1983. BUT, if I'm going to work, I need steady income and benefits such as a pension plan and insurance. I'm 42 years old...I could realistically give them 20 - 25 years and retire well into my 60's! But I can't see myself doing hair for 20 - 25 years and where would I be then? I have to think of the future...far away future.

And, imagine, with my daughter being stressed out at school and feeling like she doesn't fit in? She could ride to/from school with me and I'd be there for her to visit if she wants and I think it would give her the calming effect she wants knowing I'm in the building with her. And when she graduates from High School, in comes my son into the Middle School and in my Study Hall! And snow days would take on a whole new dimension because they'd be MY snow days, as well!! Summers off...all those annoying weeks of they have all year for Winter Recess, Spring Break, etc, etc, etc, etc, would be MY weeks off, as well.

I'm starting to get excited, which is bad because now I won't get the job if I'm looking forward to it.

Gary: As for middle schoolers with hockey sticks? They're the COOLEST, Gary!!! :woohoo:

07-16-2008, 11:26 PM
Gary: As for middle schoolers with hockey sticks? They're the COOLEST, Gary!!! :woohoo:

Once again, the woman proves, she played hockey without a padded helmet.

07-16-2008, 11:29 PM
You know darn good and well that I hope, and have already prayed, that if this is the job for you that you get it! Good luck!

07-16-2008, 11:32 PM
As someone that took a job with the school district in 1991 and is now 4 years away from retirement, I am very glad that I made the move. The stability, ability to spend time with my kids, and pension and retirement benefits I am accruing are well worth the sacrifices I made leaving my "other" career behind.

:crossed" that you get the job!!! You are in my prayers!

07-16-2008, 11:41 PM
Hi techwife,

I would vote for the school job, mostly because of the problem with your hands. I saw the pics when I posted about this a while ago and I was horrified. I could not imagine how you go about daily life with this and how extremely painful it must be for you.
Yes, being your own boss is sure nice but everything considered, my advice is go for the school job. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

07-25-2008, 10:56 AM
Okay...I have the job interview August 1 for the study hall monitor job. Its in God's hands now!

07-25-2008, 11:34 AM
Would it be possible to do both?

When the school job is active, have severely limited hours for your regular ladies. Gotta leave yourself enough time to have a life. Plus you must have a lease on your storefront.

When the school is closed and your business is stronger, have regular business hours.

07-25-2008, 08:09 PM
I agree with WebRover ~ set a chair up in the hall!

Good luck!