Should I change careers or stick it out?

I am currently a firefighter for a relatively small city. We are in the local government system, so I have excellent healthcare and retirement benefits. I’ve been a paid firefighter for 6 years, in the state system for 4. I love the job itself and helping people, but this current department has some significant issues. I could switch to another department, but I honestly am not sure that is what I want and I don’t think the grass will be greener. The job itself is very physically and mentally demanding, we average ten calls in a 24 hour shift and are almost guaranteed to get up at night. I have recently been promoted and can now afford to not work a second job, which is helpful. We work a shift schedule where we work three 24 hour shifts and then get 4 days off. Another fun twist is that we will be getting a new chief in January of next year and that is guaranteed to come with big changes. We will also be opening two new stations in the next two years which will guarantee almost everyone who is currently employed will be promoted. I just don’t feel challenged or like I’m working towards anything specific in this job and I’m not sure that is going to change.

I also have a bachelors degree in business admin (operations management) and I have been heavily considering shifting careers away from emergency services. My goal would be a higher income and less overall stress (Very vague, I know. I’m just getting to the point where I think I’d rather have deadlines than dead people). I am really struggling to pin down exactly what direction to go. I do not like a traditional 8-5 at all (of course I would be willing to do it for the right company/circumstances). I’ve thrown around everything from project management to going to med school. I have a good bit of flexibility in my personal life right now also that is allowing me to be very open for relocating or traveling for work, but I would not mind a remote or hybrid position either. I honestly think something that has the opportunity to be out in the field but also have an office space to come back to would be optimal. I love to do cool things (and I’m willing to do about anything), I’m great at dealing with people in stressful situations and love helping people, I love managing logistics/scheduling things, extremely organized, good at explaining topics and teaching (though preferably not children), and I love crunching numbers and making money work.

So is it worth staying? Put my head down and just try to enjoy my days off? Should I wait until my 5 years in the state system to be vested and then bounce? Move across the country? Just apply to anything that sounds like a fit and see what sticks? Happy for any and all advice. If you have a job title that you think fits, I’m all ears. Thank you for reading if you got this far.

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