The Tortoise and the Ant and the ...?
August 18, 2009 10:15 PM Subscribe
If you wanted a stable, boring (but really only boring in scare quotes), modest life, what career paths would you take? Emphasis on path; I want to come out of this post with a course of action.
posted by Nonce to work & money (58 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
If you get a masters of library sciences, can you reasonably expect to get a job starting out in the high 20s/low 30s in a place where that's sufficient to be comfortable, with pay increases and advancement on the horizon? Or are there too many people competing for the same jobs for that to be the standard path? Is the digital age cutting funding for libraries, or increasing opportunity? Are archivists able to get work?
I'd love detailed responses from the perspective of work and life that is possible for a liberal arts (English lit degree) college grad who does not want to take on the world, but rather live in it, enjoy it, have space to be aware of his (feel free to substitute her) own thoughts, and avoid any races that center on rodents rather than on the sheer joy of running.
I'd really like special attention paid to practicality and stability. Also, interaction with the public is not a negative at all. In fact, I'd love to avoid interacting with a computer all day, as good at that as I may be. Light exercise and some sun could only improve the equation.
I'd like to assess myself, and my options, and then head in a direction that, barring any black swans, will bear steady fruit I am comfortable with while allowing me to grow in whatever direction it winds up I grow, rather than trading my mental and physical health for high pay.
Is there a way to cheat at life? To wind up doing something that refreshes your soul for eight hours a day, and leaves you more you at the end rather than less? Or at least pays the bills while you fill the rest of your time with art, literature, travel, and companionship (frugally, of course)?
I could see myself building trails, leading tours, researching, tagging, and photographing for the park service, and never feeling like I'd sold a second of my time doing anything I wouldn't have done for free. If I get a master's degree in conservation or forest management, would it be difficult to find a position in the park service a few years from now?
I cannot stress how much I don't want to gamble. Nothing is certain in this life, but there is a certain difference in job prospects between getting that MFA in creative writing so you can teach college and getting that state teaching certificate so you can teach high school. Not that taking a detour to get an MFA precludes anything else at all--but I'm sure you get the picture.
Or at least I hope you do, because I sure don't and I could use a hand.