changing careers with limited experience

changing careers with limited experience

I hope this is on-topic for the community due to the fact that I am asking for advice as to how to change my career and thus, increase my salary. I have a BA in Art. As you all know, that doesn't get a person very far without experience and skills to go along with it (depending on the job of course). Right now I work as a sales manager of a large bookstore, which includes managing a large staff (with plenty of performance management) and tons of merchandising, among many other things. Most of my job experience is in retail and customer service. I've done HR stuff in a management capacity, as well as supervised a cafe. I live in the Pacific Northwest and make 35k which to many people here is a whole lot, I know. Maybe you will look down on me thinking I am not "poor", but the reason I enjoy this community is because I'm always looking for great advice as to how to reduce my debt, increase my savings, and better myself for the future where I'd love to have a family and own a house and all of that jazz. I've learned a lot so far & I thank you. So, what is my question? Well, for starters, I really dislike my job. I want to be doing something more creative & satisfying, and ultimately with higher earning potential. I'd like to get out of the retail world and I'm terrified that it's all I can really do based on my job history, even though I know I could excel in a lot of jobs given the training and opportunity. In a perfect world I'd love to go to grad school and maybe someday I'll be able to make it happen, but right now it's not on the plate. But it seems like to get into a different field would most likely mean entry level jobs with a huge pay cut, as I lack the professional experience to do much else. Do any of you have experience with this? Changing careers with limited experience? How did you do it, and was it worth it to take a pay cut (if you did)? What advice do you have for me? I think I'm scared of getting stuck in my comfort zone and not really making any moves to do something new, and take a risk. But...if I do that, in the end I wonder what I will regret. Thanks everyone, your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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