Why can't I be Sherlock, Indiana and Marie Curie all at once?
February 6, 2012 3:26 PM Subscribe
Dear Mefites: help me decide what to do with my life. I know I want adventure, travel, intellectual stimulation and to be of service to others... but what does that mean for my career?
posted by WidgetAlley to Work & Money (18 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a recent graduate who's now contemplating what to do with my life. I've browsed previous questions on this, and many of them hit close to home, but none are quite on the mark. Can you help me brainstorm careers that meet this list of requirements?
I need a career that...
- Contains an element of adventure.
- Provides me with a lot of mental stimulation. I am a very intellectual person who really enjoys learning new things and rigorous brainwork. I like the idea of doing scientific research for this reason, but am not sure it meets the other criteria. I am happiest when given tricky problems to solve or puzzles to crack.
- Has at least a somewhat practical component. I love literature and the arts, but I would like a job with a more immediate impact on people: something that "makes a difference", to use a cliche, and is of service to others. I'm not interested in becoming a doctor per se, but the utility to others aspect of the medical field appeals to me.
- Requires or at least allows for extensive travel. Traveling is one of my passions; I would really love for this to be a strong part of my career. Travel gets at those concepts of mind-expansion and challenge and being-out-of-my-depth moments that I live for.
- Lets me achieve flow state. I like moments of high-stake excellence and absolute concentration. Elsewhere I've seen EMT and firefighter recommended as being excellent sources for flow state, but I'm not sure that these jobs would give me the intellectual learning curve I'm looking for.
- It's not a requirement, but I am open to things with an element of physical labor or intensity as well.
- Lastly, I deal very well with frustration, stress, and pressure, but I do not do well in environments that are too relaxed-- if not driven, I won't get anything done! I'm a challenge-oriented person.
Basically, I'm looking for a job that will help me walk away from work every day feeling like the biggest badass on the planet: a freakish combo of Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones and Marie Curie. I like to work, and I like to work hard, and achievement is one of the primary defining features of my life: certainly moreso than the desire to settle down, raise a family, etc. I would be happy to dedicate the vast majority of my life to my career.
A little more background: I graduated in May with a stellar GPA and a BS in Sociology from a fairly respected state university, and am now doing a stint in Americorps. My interests are fairly broad, but I tend to like intersectionality in my pursuits: things that incorporate both science and social skills, for instance. I have considered pursuing graduate degrees in either Forensic or Physical Anthropology, but I have no idea if these fields lead to the kind of work environment I'm interested in or not! So, Mefites, do you love your job? Does it provide you with some of these things? Do you think I'd like it too?