What are some decent-paying jobs for someone who has B.A. degrees in English and in Psychology, and a lot of unofficial and very specialized technical knowledge but no "official" (i.e. paid) experience with such?
posted by Lakmir to work & money (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Three and a half years ago, I graduated from a well-respected school with a bachelor's degree in English and another in Psychology. Of those, I've spent roughly two and a quarter working for a nonprofit in residential direct care - putting my psych degree to work for me, so to speak. There are a lot of problems with this: I'm facing major burnout, I work extremely long shifts, I'm slowly growing to hate the people I'm working with (the residents, not my coworkers), the pay is garbage and there's little or no opportunity for promotion. I'm not liking the field at all, and badly desire a career change.
In the meantime, I've also been doing a lot of hobby work on video games. Script writing and editing, localization programming (assembly languages), that sort of thing. I've gained a lot of really deep knowledge about old dead computers, some rudimentary management skills, and some really wonderful English narrative editing skills. There's also a smattering of MySQL knowledge that goes with the territory, a little bit of procedural C++, some technical writing (documentation and readmes), image editing, that sort of thing. I've been including this on my resume but it's not really "work" experience because I'm not getting any money for it, at least not in the eyes of most HR divisions.
Now I know the job market is impossible, but I have two degrees, a magna cum laude GPA, and am doing brain-breaking, psyche-draining work with an increasingly difficult population. I feel like I should be making more than $24K/year, you know? I need a change of job, but I don't know what sort of jobs I should be applying for.
So, my core question is: What sort of jobs I should be applying for? Administrative assistant? Researcher/analyst? Should I go for IT or web design, and if so, how much of a portfolio will I need to put together? I'm feeling increasingly lost and badly need to be pointed in the right direction!
As a corollary, how should I treat my technical stuff? It's vast and expansive, not to mention that it's the product of more than a decade's worth of blood, sweat, and tears, so I don't want to just make light of it with a few minor adjustments to a "Skills" list in a resume. But on the other hand, I applied at a temp agency not to long ago; they took one look at the stuff I've done as a hobby, pegged me for middle or upper management, and told me that I was overqualified for anything they had.
Here's some extra information in anticipation of responses from reading other questions. My chief loves in life are literature (both reading and writing), games of all kinds, music (both performing and listening), and problem solving. Further, I hate my job, but not only because I'm not making any money at it; the guys have all these little quirks that make everyone else mad, which they often knowingly abuse. So it's not necessarily about the money, but it wouldn't hurt to actually be able to start putting a little away...
Further, physical location is not an issue. I don't have much (if anything) put away but I can probably scrape together some change, and I have friends willing to lend me a bit of scratch to help finance a move.
I know this is a very open-ended question, but I'm frustrated and desperate. Please help!