Looking for alternate career paths: one 30-yo-ish web designer who just ain't into it and seeks pastures in shades of More Meaningful. I'm pretty friggin' unhappy doing what I'm doing. I've done the 'What Colour Is Your Parachute' exercises (results within) but am being held up by uncertainty and not really knowing much about many careers outside my immediate sphere of influence. And, ok, probably by being an INFP, too. ;) Help? Sorry -- this is long.
posted by springbound to work & money (13 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
My first Real Job has been in web design, the result of studying a Bachelor of Multimedia which I got through ok but without much interest; and that has thus far seen me do all the pretty stuff at the company for which I've worked ever since (where, for full disclosure's sake, I rather dislike the commercial nature of the beast and the people who are into it). My only interest when I got into the field was markup, standards compliance stuff, usability and whatnot -- not all this pretty stuff I'm doing now. Somehow I got a bit diverted and don't know how how to find my way back, or that might be my first port of call.
But I rather suspect it wouldn't be my last. I could certainly try and work out how to move back onto that path - and if anyone has any suggestions on how I might do so easily I'd be really appreciative about hearing them - but I also am wondering if I'd be any more happy doing that. Overall, design's really not worth much to me (at least for its own sake), and it's such a field full of impassioned artists that generally I think I'd best just leave them to their effusions and go find something I feel similarly about. Certainly I figure I should think about it before I invest a whole lot of time into any change of direction.
After I did my B.Mm, for interests' sake alone I studied a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies. Did an honours year and wrote a thesis on queer young adult novels. Now that was some cool shit: all sorts of things I'd never learnt before and that made me into a better, more aware, more authentic (capable of thinking for myself) person, plus gave me the opportunity to give something back. Personally, politically, philosophically relevant and rewarding... All up, a great way to spend some time.
Alas, also a good way to gather some student debt. Accordingly (and because, y'know, I'm terminally single and still hope one day despite this state of, uh, independence, to raise funds enough to purchase a dwelling of some kind for myself), I've adverse to returning to study, accruing more debt (eek!), and staving off gainful employment (worse! no way of paying BACK debt!), unless I'm sure I'm putting everything aside for The Most Positively Absolutely Right And Perfect Field For Me (stamped and signed with the approval of an all-knowing deity would be good).
Insert current problem. What do I doooo??
Ideas and Ideals
In my ideal world I get to read all day and learn brain-twisting new shit and discuss ideas with people and get paid for it. Meantime, back in reality.....
I've considered librarianship, and indeed am looking at a deadline of Friday for an application to a Masters course therein (have printed out the application form, but am dragging my feet in uncertainty), but everyone on here seems to shriek "No! There's too many of us already!" at every wannabe librarian. I've read your horror stories. I've read your complaints of little monetary compensation (security's important to me). On the positive side, yay for information and learning and all that sort of fulfilling stuff; I could get behind that, assuming I enjoyed the day-to-day stuff adequately.
I've also considered academia, but my honours thesis supervisor, whilst saying she's glad I'm considering it, tells me the conditions are pretty pitiful at present and she wouldn't get into it today if she was just thinking about starting out. Again, too, the pay seems a bit blah.
Myers-Briggs-wise, I'm an INFP. (I know! Imagine! I can't make a decision! Whoever would have thought?!) I'm pretty reserved around people I don't know, and a bit self-conscious when making noise or drawing attention to myself, so am not much into getting up in front of crowds, though that may be something I'd be willing to work on if it was the only thing holding me back from something awesome. (I tend to like challenging myself anyway and doing a Toastmasters course is on my To Do list.)
Going by the list below, which represents the "Everything On One Piece Of Paper" page of 'What Colour Is Your Parachute', does anything occur to you that might be perfect for me? Apparently I'm looking for something:
Utilising my favourite transferable skills: developing/improving, researching, writing, analysing, interpreting others' ideas, organising/systematising/classifying
In a field defined by my favourite interests: communication, books, learning, philosophy, nature/travel, queer rights/anti-discrimination, ethics
Serving my favourite values and goals: growing in wisdom and compassion; having an impact; helping fight discrimination/unkindness; helping people
In organizations having my favourite people environments: interested in making the world better somehow; have progressive ethics; sensitive to nontraditional issues; at least moderately socially "ept"; heterogeneous in gender and race and hopefully even sexuality; humorous; with I/A/S type people (I = investigative/analytical/curious, A = artistic/imaginative/innovative, S = social/into informing, training, developing, curing or enlightening)
With my favourite working conditions: good feeling of teamwork/morale/support; variety in my tasks; ability to control the noise environment around me (quiet when needed); friendly, effective management; adequate resources to perform my job as well as conceivable
At this salary and level of responsibility: $55k+ (Aussie $); creative control over my work; overtime hours appreciated rather than expected; able to select people I have to supervise, but preferably no hierarchical management duties.
Okay, some of this isn't going to happen, but I'm including it all anyway because who knows what connections might get drawn. Also open to general advice on career selection, on choices generally, or whatever you think is relevant. Hit me!
Thanks MeFites; you rock!