Teacher Quits Job to Work at Costco…and Couldn’t Be Happier

Teaching is often seen as a noble profession, but it can also be incredibly demanding and stressful. Many teachers find themselves burnt out and searching for a change. Maggie Perkins, a former middle and high school teacher, made the bold decision to leave her teaching career behind and pursue a job at Costco. Little did she know that this decision would not only bring her a much-needed change of pace but also a significant increase in salary.

The Challenges of Teaching

Teaching is a profession that requires immense dedication, passion, and hard work. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. For Maggie Perkins, her eight-year teaching career was filled with long work hours, unpaid overtime, and mounting administrative pressures. Like many teachers, she felt exhausted and lacking in purpose. The pandemic only added to the already strenuous demands of the job, pushing her to consider a different career path.

Searching for a Change

Maggie knew she needed a change, something that would provide her with a better work-life balance and renewed sense of purpose. She began exploring different career options, ultimately receiving offers from both Costco and Amazon. While both opportunities seemed promising, Maggie believed that Costco would offer a better fit and more opportunities for growth. Having been a frequent shopper at Costco herself, she was drawn to the company’s reputation for treating employees well.

From Teacher to Costco Employee

In 2022, Maggie made the leap from the classroom to the aisles of Costco. She started as a full-time member of the membership team at a warehouse in Athens, Georgia. The transition was not without its challenges, as she found herself on her feet all day, working 40-hour weeks. However, the change in pace and environment brought a refreshing sense of fulfillment. She enjoyed being able to contribute to special moments in customers’ lives, whether it was baking a cake for a birthday or celebrating a milestone.

Discovering a New Calling

Maggie’s journey at Costco took an unexpected turn when she temporarily filled in at the bakery due to laryngitis. This experience opened her eyes to the possibility of combining her teaching skills with her new career. She realized that she could still be an educator, albeit in a different context. Inspired by the marketing training team’s visit to her warehouse, she applied for a position at Costco’s corporate office in Issaquah, Washington.

Becoming a Content Developer and Marketing Trainer

Maggie’s dedication and passion for education did not go unnoticed. She was offered a position as a content developer and marketing trainer at Costco corporate. In her new role, she creates internal materials to educate employees about company policies and customer service procedures. She also travels to warehouses to train new employees. This unique blend of her teaching background and new corporate environment has been a perfect fit for Maggie.

The Financial Benefits

One of the most surprising outcomes of Maggie’s career change was the significant increase in her salary. As a teacher, she was making $47,000 in her final year. However, at Costco, she now earns 50% more than what she made as a teacher. In fact, she is now earning what a teacher at her last school district would typically make after 15 years of experience. This financial stability has given Maggie a newfound sense of security and has allowed her to focus on other aspects of her life.

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Leaving teaching for a career at Costco has not only brought financial benefits but has also allowed Maggie to achieve a better work-life balance. As a teacher, her identity and value were tied solely to her profession. However, she has now learned to separate work from her personal life. When she is at work, she puts her energy into her job, but when she comes home, she can fully engage with her family and pursue her passions outside of work.

Overcoming Challenges and Setting Boundaries

Maggie’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. She recognizes that many caregiving professions, including teaching, are undervalued and underpaid. To overcome these challenges, she emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and understanding one’s responsibilities. By being clear about expectations and advocating for necessary resources, professionals in these fields can avoid burnout and find fulfillment in their work.


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