What other jobs can am I qualified for that I could support myself on, but still give me time to pursue art? Or is my frustrating job as good as it gets without more qualifications / experience?
posted by fireflies to Work & Money (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Originally I was going to ask a question about whether my current job is as bad as I think it is. I've since decided that my job is tolerable, but if I can get a better one, I'll try to do that. So now my question is: what better jobs are out there that I could actually be hired for, and still have time and energy to pursue my art?
I graduated from college about a year and a half ago with an art degree. Art is what I want to do but I still have a very long way to go before I could at all support myself with it. I've had my current job for about 9 months; one of my worries is that it will look bad on my resume that I haven't worked there a full year. When things go well at work, it's great for me - I get insurance; my commute is short and easy; and since I'm the sort of person who works really well with a consistent routine, I've been drawing more since I got this job than when I was unemployed.
But when my job isn't going well, it really messes with me. Busy weeks wipe me out so I don't have energy to draw or socialize. It takes over my brain, which I don't like because I have no interest in this field. My job is usually done by someone with a degree in the field my company is in, but they hired me so they didn't have to pay me as much. Plus I wasn't trained properly, and no one has time to devote to training me, so I often only learn new tasks when there's a deadline to do them and everyone is frustrated that I haven't done it yet. Everyone in the department assigns me tasks, but they don't communicate and we don't have meetings, so no one knows when I'm busy, or overwhelmed, or when my workload is light, or when I meet a tight deadline, or anything. My immediate supervisor is a nice guy, but he hates his job and basically only has to deal with me when I mess up, so I only hear from him when he's frustrated that he was interrupted to deal with me. A big deal for me is, I moved here to the Bay Area after college because I enjoy the culture, and am a very progressive, hippie-ish woman, but the culture at my office is instead corporate, male-dominated, filled with conservative people who commute in from the suburbs and tease me about my politics (and more often my perceived politics, it's not like I'm constantly bringing up politics at work!). My dislike of the work I have to do and the environment I do it in is making me more lazy. All this is messing with my self-image, because in work that I like, like my art and my academic studies, I consider myself a very thorough, detail-oriented person.
I've tried to come up with ideas for what I could do that would be better, but I'm stuck. My friends with jobs have complaints similar to mine, so I have trouble getting perspective on whether I would have this issue with any office job and would screw myself over by starting over elsewhere.
Other things I like and am interested in: writing; research; animal welfare; food politics; social justice. I have some background in programming and web design, but not a degree in the former or great portfolio in the latter, so it's more something to distinguish me from other entry-level office workers than a real career path. I don't have a car, so can't work too far away or somewhere not accessible by public transit. I need insurance. As implied by my complaints above, being well-trained and having consistent tasks is huge for me.
I know this is long. I realize that what my question comes down to in a big way is that the best jobs are specialized and require high qualifications, that essentially, I want a good job without having to put in a lot of investment. Really, while I would love a good job, just a decent one would be fine - something like my current job without the stress and poor communication would be just fine. But how do I find that?
What am I qualified to do? What jobs / fields have I overlooked? How can I fell whether a prospective job would have a culture that fits with me? Have I eliminated something I shouldn't? Am I being unrealistic or whiny? I'd especially like to hear from people who found rewarding jobs not long after college, in a crappy economy, with an arts degree, because right now that sounds like a fantasy.