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MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

Here's What Made a Teacher Quit Her Job to Find Peace While Working at Costco

Perkins expressed that although she had a "love" for teaching, it was "other parts of the job" that overwhelmed her and led to "burnout." 
PUBLISHED MAY 17, 2024
 Cover Image Source: A general view of a Costco store | TikTok | Photo by Kena Betancur
Cover Image Source: A general view of a Costco store | TikTok | Photo by Kena Betancur

Unconventional career choices may not seem difficult at first but they can work wonders if a person finds a job that makes them feel fulfilled. This has worked out well for a local teacher who quit her teaching job to work at Costco and is now going viral for her decision. Maggie Perkins who left her 8-year-long teaching career behind, shared her journey on TikTok which was witnessed by four million viewers.


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Perkins had been a public and private school teacher in Georgia and Florida, working with sixth-grade through high school students. But she now claims that her life improved significantly and she gets better sleep since she started work at Costco.

In one of her videos, Perkins says that as a teacher, she often felt exhausted and sometimes physically sick. “As a teacher. It was like I was just surviving every moment,” Perkins says in the video. On the other hand, she says working at Costco felt much better despite putting in longer hours. "I mean, I just worked seven days straight [at Costco], including Christmas Eve, and I feel fine,” Perkins says in the same video.


@itsmaggieperkins As a teacher, I started my day with an armful of warm copies (if the machine was working). Now I start my day with warm, fresh bread. A year ago I knew I was on my way out of the classroom but I had no idea where. Trust yourself, trust your future. I don’t know where you’re going to be a year from now, but I do know teachers have a knack for making something out of nothing. #teachersoftiktok #formerteacher #teacherquittok #teachertok #teacherexodus #costcotiktok #bakerytiktok ♬ Obituary - Alexandre Desplat

Speaking to FOX Business host Stuart Varney, Perkins expressed that although she had a "love" for teaching, it was "other parts of the job" that overwhelmed her and led to "burnout."

"But my passion couldn't pay my bills, and my passion couldn't help me sleep at night when I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Perkins told FOX. She also cited "job creep" as a reason. She described how she was constantly assigned additional duties as a teacher, which played a major part in her decision to walk away.

In one of her recent posts on TikTok, Perkins talked about how she felt about her new gig. She said she is no longer anxious and doesn't lie awake at night. While she was teaching, Perkins was also pursuing a PhD at the University of Georgia, but now Perkins says she is focused on her current career.

"I do not miss it at all," she wrote in the caption of her post. "The pace of my work life now is so much better, I am not sick or exhausted like I used to be when I was a teacher,” she added.


@itsmaggieperkins I used to be a teacher and now I work at Costco. This is my first year not having a winter break. I do not miss it at all. My pace of my work life now is so much better, I am not sick or exhausted like I used to be when I was a teacher. When I was a teacher I used my winter break basically to recover and go into the next semester of just surviving. #f#formerteachert#teacherquittokc#costcotiktokr#retailworkere#exteachertiktokc#careertransitiont#teachersonbreak ♬ original sound - Maggie Perkins 🍉

According to the Wall Street Journal, Perkins isn’t alone since more than 300,000 teachers left their jobs between February 2020 and March 2022. Her story makes it clear that the teaching profession comes with many challenges, and isn't suitable for achieving a healthy work-life balance, which is why educators are leaving their jobs. To add to this, there aren’t many new teachers entering the workforce and even Harvard dropped its undergrad teaching program citing declining enrolment.



Perkins says that she enjoys everything about working at the retailer and has been a member of Costco since her childhood. "We grew up going to Costco, and so I've always known that Costco employees are treated well and have a high quality of life. So when there was a new Costco being built in my town, I immediately applied,” she said in an interview.

A worker pushes carts outside a Costco Wholesale store | Getty Images | Photo by Tim Boyle
A worker pushes carts outside a Costco Wholesale store | Getty Images | Photo by Tim Boyle

As per the company’s website, Costco offers competitive hourly wages, increases based on accumulated hours, and additional compensation twice a year based on the worker’s years of service. Even on Glassdoor, where people leave reviews of workplaces, 75% of employees said they would recommend working at Costco to a friend while 68% have a positive outlook for the business.

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