Help me find a career path that suits me

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Help me find a career path that suits me

Post by Chiagirl » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:27 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:

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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