Interested in everything, experienced in nothing. What to choose?
December 30, 2011 1:33 PM Subscribe
Interested in many things, experienced in none. I want to change my career, but how do I figure out which way to go?
posted by Metroid Baby to Work & Money (10 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I've been working in the same field for five years, and I'd really like to get out of it soon. However, I have no idea what to do. Or, rather, I have several ideas: I want to work in a veterinary office! Or be a copy editor! Or a yoga instructor! Or a makeup artist! Maybe I should go back to school and become an architect! Or a dermatologist! And in my spare time I'll write and open an Etsy business! Would I like dentistry? Could I do something with plants? And so on.
Some of my ideas are more far-fetched than others, but they all have one thing in common: they're not remotely related to what I do right now. I'm used to getting work based on my previous experience, so I have no idea how to present myself when going for something different, especially when most employers are looking for candidates with some experience.
I also don't have one clear thing that I want to do above all else. I've never had one burning passion. There are some things I'm more interested in, particularly writing and illustration, but what if, say, I liked being a pharmacist?
I don't have a ton of specialized transferable skills (and besides, I don't want to do what I'm doing now), but I have some general skills such as customer service, a good eye for detail, etc. I have a little bit of writing experience and I've done a tiny bit of graphic design in my current job - not enough to present myself as a writer or designer, but those are certainly things I'm interested in.
Taking classes would help me, I know, but I'd like to have a better idea of what I want to do before I invest time and money in any sort of training or education. If there was one thing I knew I absolutely wanted to pursue, it'd be easier for me to work on gaining the experience I need.
How do I figure out which direction to go? Can I apply for everything, or do I need to start narrowing things down? Can I present myself as a strong candidate anywhere with only tangentially related experience?