A directionless 20-something, how original.
August 16, 2013 12:56 PM Subscribe
I need help figuring out the next step to take in my life.
posted by bluloo to work & money (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with minors in Women’s Studies and Sociology. At the time, I had intended to pursue social work as a career path. I liked the idea of helping people, and the idea of a job as a corporate drone just didn’t seem feasible. Both of my parents owned their own businesses working from home my whole life, so it is hard for me to imagine buttoning up in a suit and sitting in meetings all day. However, I spent some time interning at a domestic violence shelter and social services, and found that social work was too depressing for me. I decided I was more interested in helping people at a higher level, namely through research. I decided I would go to grad school for psychology research. However, I wanted to take a year or so off between undergrad and grad school, to make sure this was the right decision, and prevent burnout.
Upon returning home after graduation, I got a job in a retail position. Fast forward to three years later, I’m still there. I’ve been promoted to a more supervisory administrative position, which I have held for two years. But I’m ready to move on. I have been living with my parents since graduation, as I live in one of the most expensive areas in the country. While I make a very good wage for retail work, it is not enough to move out. I also now have a boyfriend, who also works at the retail store. He is similarly feeling stuck, since he has been unable to complete his BA due to health issues. We are both wanting to move on, leave the area and stop feeling like we are waiting to start our lives.
With respect to jobs, I have become interested in health care policy over the last year or so. I have been applying for research assistant positions in health policy related organizations, but these are understandably competitive, and I have no experience. I think I might be interested in a health policy graduate program, but I want to have some work experience first before committing time and money to this endeavor. I also am not really sure where that path would lead. I don’t see myself as a lobbyist, and while I’m very interested in the subject, I hear horror stories about academia right now (how difficult it is to come by positions, etc.). So I worry about committing to that path as well. I am feeling confused and directionless.
Boyfriend and I are discussing just picking somewhere and moving, to get out of the bubble of Northern Virginia. At the worst case, we could both transfer to another location of our retail company, as they have locations across the country. But I feel like that would serve to keep me stuck in a position that doesn’t have any opportunities for advancement. So any advice you might have about directions to go, jobs to look at, etc. would be so greatly appreciated.