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wow.... - What Should I Do With My Life?

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Previous Entry wow.... Apr. 23rd, 2004 @ 07:36 pm Next Entry
Now this is a place where I think people won't think I'm crazy!
Graduated from high school last year. I took this year "off" to work and take night school. I'm interested in many many things but I can never make up my mind on which I like best of what I could possibly study and turn into a career that I won't get sick of five minutes later.

(Oh, and I'm new, etc etc)
Mood: anxiousanxious
Music: Rufus Wainright - Hallelujah
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From:blackraspberry
Date:April 23rd, 2004 09:46 pm (UTC)
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I think it's cool you took time off... I jumped right into school, now I'll be going longer because I changed my major. I definitely suggest if there's anything that peaks your interest, get in there and see what it's like.
From:mcb_42
Date:April 23rd, 2004 09:49 pm (UTC)
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that's the thing. there's a numberr of things that i'm interested in, but i can't seem to figure out what i like best.
From:madutu
Date:April 28th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC)

Do the research

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It's good you know several things you like. If you want to really be sure of what you will decide on, it is incredibly important that you do tons of research. It takes a lot of time, sometimes people can't afford to take the time to gather all the info so you can make a REALLY GOOD decision. But, it is really worth it. I did, and I am so glad that I did. I learned a ton about myself also and about a bunch of different jobs. I researched at least 40 different major jobs in depth and a bunch more got thrown out at the beginning as part of the weeding out process. It is very time consuming, I must admit, but it is also your whole life ahead of you that you want to be happy in.

Go to one of the One Stop Career Centers (free, all over the USA, full of resources, computers, workshops, videos on careers, people to talk to and more). I took a battery of tests on my skills, my interests, my aptitudes. There are a few of these tests online, but the free ones aren't too good and the others cost money. They have excellent ones at this place for free. Then after you get your list of careers that fit your testing results, you research the careers in depth. It's worth it, really! It sounds tedious, and IT IS! But, it is so worth it. These centers have a lot of info and there is tons of info online, too. Read the job announcements for the careers you area interested in. Then you also do informational interviewing at a bunch of these careers. And job shadowing, talk to everyone. This community and ones like it are great places to learn about jobs. Volunteer -it's one of the best ways to get a paying job; YOU get to have so much power because you are not a paid employee. You control your life & learn all about that kind of job and that kind of company.


All of this sucks if you gotta make money. But do it anyway at a slower pace. These centers have at least one night they are open. I talked to a counselor there, just kept signing up to see her for every empty slot she had! I kinda hogged it a bit, but then I noticed that most of her clients were no-show's anyway - so no big deal - and she liked me and helped me alot.

You'd be amazed what you find out about what you THINK you already knew about yourself and jobs and how much more there actually is to find out.


My success with all this research was:

First the background: 49 years old with 20+ years experience doing mid-to-high level administrative assistant work that I'm totally sick of; then the last 3 years of some serious tragedys (numerous) that have sent me off the deep end and back a bunch of times, barely made it; major fucked up childhood and zero opportunity for college in my 20s, raised a child all by myself and was always poor, no time or money for school.


Ok - the success part (my opinion of course!): Always have wanted to help people, have a lot of compassion, good at communicating; I found out from the testing that helping others somehow fits my profile as well in every way; not about to go to school NOW for 5+ years to get a Masters in Counseling or something similar; and I have to work and make money, too; so how do I find some happiness in life/job without tons of education and do it BEFORE I'm too old?


The answer was the career development field - i.e. workforce development/jobs at career centers in colleges and high schools and One Stop Centers and many other places. I can get a low level job right away, go to school part time online (5 classes only and they are all offered online!) work towards an AA (not too bad, huh?!) & then get a credential as a CDF (career development facilitator) after a couple years of on-the-job-related experience. It's a do-it-while-also-working-career change into something fun that is also a decent job. I'm stoked. That's what worked for me, so far anyway. I'm working on this plan now.


Of course, your plan will look different. I just encourage you to really do a lot of research into yourself and the careers that show up for your profile. The majority of people in this world have jobs they hate or feel unfulfilled in. If you take the time and a lot of thought about who you are it could be possibly-wonderful!
From:mcb_42
Date:April 28th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC)

Re: Do the research

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Thank you so much for your advice!

I think for my first year of university I am going to take a variety of subjects to keep my options open.

From what you've said it will probably be a good idea to talk to a career counsellor. I don't live in the US, however (north of the border, actually). But I know my school offers career counselling services, so I will definitely use them!

For the moment, I'm trying not to worry about it too much, as it's something that I don't need to face for a while. But I will definitely heed your advice!
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