MBA Mows Grass To Make Ends Meet

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When Frank
Harris completed his MBA degree in May of 2005, he never expected
to end up mowing grass for a living. But after losing his $103,000-a-year
upper management job at Lowe’s, just as the job market was crashing
in December 2008, he didn’t see many other options.

"I thought
the MBA would differentiate me from anyone else," said Harris,
who lives with his wife and two children in Lafayette, Louisiana.
"I thought if times got tough, I’d be able to find a job or
have an advantage to get out the retail industry. Every weekend,
every holiday, it was a rougher life than I wanted to have. I wanted
to be able to spend more time with my young family. But here we
are, December would be two years down the road, and the only thing
I’ve been able to do is continue to grow my little one-man grass
cutting business."

Harris says
he currently has 36 customers and counting, which, combined with
his wife’s teacher salary, is enough to pay the bills and take care
of their kids. But he works long, odd hours, and his job stability
is often dependent on the weather and the season.

"I work
part-time in the mornings for a packaging company and make a little
money there, particularly through the fall when there isn’t as much
grass to cut. Thank God for the time change, because now I can work
until dark at least. Then I get home, take a shower, plop down in
front of the computer and fill out as many job applications as I
can."

Harris’ wife
Angela, who stayed home to raise the kids when he was making enough
money to support them both, has gone back to work as a special education
teacher to supplement his income and provide the family with health
benefits. She also teaches in an after-school program and works
as an occasional server and bartender for a friend’s catering company.
The Harrises now have six jobs between them, compared to the one
Frank had before.

Read
the rest of the article

April
2, 2010

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