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 Help me find a career path that suits me

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Posts : 45
Join date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Help me find a career path that suits me   Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:32 pm

I'm don't know what I want to do with my life.  I have a liberal arts degree but that's useless on its own as it basically just clears out gen eds so you can transfer to a 4 year university as a junior.  My previous jobs have included retail, food service, and tourism; though I don't want to be doing those for the rest of my life.  I’ve tried taking several online job tests and most have returned jobs in either teaching (something I was previously interested in, but the pay scale ruined it for me) or business (which my family thinks I’d be good at, but that much responsibility is kind of terrifying for me).  

The first job I can ever remember wanting to have as a kid was a pet store owner.  I like animals, but didn't want to be a vet as then I had to see sick and injured animals and watch some die.  There are aspects of owning a business that still seem attractive to me such as being able to set my own hours and telling problem customers to get lost, but as I've gotten older I've noticed more downsides too.  Being 100% responsible and legally liable for anything that could go wrong is terrifying, not to mention I really don't want to have to clean all those cages myself if I can't afford or keep employees.  And even on holidays somebody has to be there to feed them.  It’s a lot of work with a very high risk of failure.

The next job I can remember being interested in at the middle school / high school level was a teacher; either for elementary education or English / language arts.  I always did well in school so I don’t feel like this would be difficult, though getting up early every morning would be hell as I am definitely not a morning person.  However this dream got shattered when they got their benefits taken away by the governor, and their pay alone just isn’t good enough to justify an 80k price tag for 4 years of schooling (public university is about 20k a year in my state, and that’s just tuition).  I grew up poor, and I don’t want to be worrying about money for the rest of my life.

The final job that I considered post-college was a librarian.  It’s quiet, I love reading, and they have evening & afternoon hours available.  The problem is it takes 6 YEARS of schooling to get your license, and the pay is pretty comparable to that of teachers: AKA completely dismal. (And I refuse to take out loans to pay for college as I’ve heard way too many horror stories of them spiraling out of control to the point you’ll still be struggling to pay them off in your retirement.)  If money was not a factor (either in cost of education or future earnings) this would probably be my career by now.  

As for school classes I did good in pretty much every subject, with electives like art, gym, shop, and music being exceptions. History was ok but boring save for the ancient mythology units (which I loved), though I don’t think there’s many profitable careers to be made out of it regardless. I don’t do well with heavy lifting, outdoor temperatures, or getting my hands dirty; so archeology and the like are out.  

I loved math classes like algebra, geometry, and trig; though when we got to pre calc and calc I got completely lost and couldn’t understand anything.  I’ve never taken statistics as I skipped it to go the calc route (big mistake) so I don’t know if I’m good at that or not.  Accounting was ok but terrifying, one mistake could lead to financial ruin and a lawsuit.  Didn’t much care for marketing and sales either.

Science side I did okay in highschool (biology, chemistry, life science) up until physics, where I had the same problem as calc where everything just suddenly stopped making sense and I could never seem to catch up.  However when I took the same types of courses in community college (anatomy & physiology) I struggled greatly as they went through all the material 4x as fast as I was used to, and I have a tendency to only remember what’s relevant for the next test then forget it immediately after.  I did love balancing chemical equations though, it was just a more fun version of algebra’s solve for X.

English was super easy but super boring.  All the books we had to read were lame, and I could finish each book in a week so the class was basically a study hall for the last 3 months.  Also I HATE book reports and research papers with a passion; having to cite and format everything a certain way is stupid.  I also HATED the poetry units; I don’t deal well with abstract thinking and prefer concrete yes or no answers.  I loved doing fill-ins for extra credit though: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fill-In_(puzzle)

The only foreign language I took was Spanish, and while I liked learning new words I didn’t like learning tense conjugation and grammar, which made anything past Spanish 2 insufferable.  I get the teacher’s perspective that it’s more important to learn conjugation and grammar as we can just look up individual words in a Spanish-English dictionary or on the internet, but the new words were the fun part and so when that got stopped I just ended up hating the class.

The only real take away I’ve been able to get from this is that I’d like teaching if it weren’t for the payscale, and I like doing “solve for X” type of equations.  I’m not sure how to make a successful career out of either of those things though.  I want to make enough that I can take vacations every year and afford to send my future kids if any to college and retire without ever having to worry about money.  But I don’t want to be stuck working long hours doing a job I hate just to be able to have that.  Considering I’m likely going to have to work for the next 4-5 decades of my life, I’d prefer to be doing a job I ENJOY.  I just haven’t found anything where enjoyable and financially sound go together for me.  If you have any ideas or ways that helped you decide on your careers, I’d love to hear them.

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PostSubject: Re: Help me find a career path that suits me   Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:31 pm

First of all I just wanted to say I've been lurking on this forum for a bit and I was a bit surprised to see that it's still active! Yay! I'm a big Tales series fan and I must confess I didn't even know there were official Tales forums for awhile, that's something I totally would of been interested in but I suppose this is cool also because it's like a spiritual successor... ahem... so I don't know if that means it's going to be around for a long time or short time or what's happening but any time is pretty cool as far as I'm concerned.

Well that out of the way.....

Ahem anyway like you I took a bunch of those job test thingies in college and stuff like that... as well as personality stuff, thinking about classes, it's always been a challenge ahem and actually it sorta is to a degree

BUT! One thing I did find is that one person's advice I thought was really good which was "Do what your doing" that is to say, sometimes it's easy to forget amidst all the possibilities the choices you actually make day to day. Like if you are spending time thinking about a book you are reading and you read like every day then Librarian could fit into there pretty great.

Compared to say, if you get up and think in terms of counting and count steps and numbers and are kinda accounting/y? Like you said some days you read a bunch, but it sounds like you don't necessarily get up and do math or things for fun (AND SOME PEOPLE DO! believe it or not haha)

In other words, it's like a thing to be objective, so and so invited me to this, did I go? Which things am I actually physically and emotionally engaging in the most, and going off of that...

What I've found, is that by using that advice that there's a lot of stuff to find if you start with like a "hometown" approach, like where were you born? (I'm not saying tell me) What were your parents professional things? What's the expectation in the world in which you already interfaced for most of your life

By default most people have done a lot of stuff in their family + close environments by the time they go to college, to the point where it's likely they could easily find a job and maybe even one they like just in their local environment.

As for money, children, all those practical considerations, well I'm afraid to say I don't know hardly any people that have that figured out really, money is like always a sort of struggle even at times with people with money, and all those nagging concerns.

Ok and re-reading your post it sounds like Librarian would be the best thing based on my understanding, actually, it's just money is the biggest problem.

Hm, well I know someone in my extended family that became a librarian recently, it's true he definitely was in school awhile... I don't know the details about cost..

But then again, what about something else involving books? Like er maybe just writing one? Or reading other people's for I'm not all familiar with the book industry, but like reading them like editorially or something?

I mean Librarian is just check books in and out mostly isn't it? I mean bringing books from here to there, like the book industry is super big so maybe something involving books and not necessarily a Librarian?

Hm don't know if that helps, these things are challenging I guess, but all I can say is while I certainly haven't solved like all my own personal career things I suppose once I started just going "Ok, how did I spend that last Saturday, or Wednesday night?" And really analyzing in terms of time/hours spent what I was doing then you go backwards and go ok that must be something I really care about.
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PostSubject: Re: Help me find a career path that suits me   Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:36 pm

Ok like I thought of something, does your hometown/area of some kind have a local paper, because if so, maybe you could have like a book review column? I mean all it would be is reading like you already enjoy, and then just submitting opinions about it.

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PostSubject: Re: Help me find a career path that suits me   Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:32 pm

Somehow over time how much a job benefits society and how much society pays people to do that job have gone completely out of whack with each other. Teaching is extremely important, but is so heavily underpaid and undervalued.

Especially because of what teaching has become nowdays.

Thanks to technology, teaching is now a nearly 24/7 job. Teachers are expected to be available to converse with parents about their student's progress, submit paperwork, and do continuing education at all hours of the day with no ends or vacations, other than a slight letting up of the expectations over summer break.

And they really aren't paid what we should be paying them. Plus many school districts lack funding, and so pass off the costs for essential basic items like pencils and classroom materials onto the teachers to pay for out of pocket just to have them available at all.

Being a teacher is something you do because you really want to do it, and you are willing to work hard for little money for the satisfaction of seeing the students learn and succeed in life.

Librarian seems like a dying career to me. Most of the libraries around here are in a state of disrepair and forever wanting of funds to keep themselves afloat. Many people don't bother using libraries anymore because they can get the same information from the internet for less effort.

Have you considered Journalism? A career of that nature would make use of your background, and if you are any good at statistics can surely find work writing articles about various statistics and collected data describing things happening in the world around you.

Beyond that, I'm not too sure what else to look for. I left college without a degree in order to pay the bills by manual labor and sheer talent for all things technical. Its been fun, but after 10 years in the field I've reached the top of the ladder and need to change employers to move up a little further in pay and start to distance myself from the hands on work that has become a chore.


For 10 years we've been on our own
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