is retail the only prospect for me
February 8, 2014 7:59 AM Subscribe
I'm 21, live at home, and don't know what kind of career I can hope to get. I'm worried that I'm going to be stuck working crappy jobs for the rest of my life and never move out.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've been attending a community college this past year. I'm doing well and hoping for As this semester. I'm taking general education classes, but my future major looks like it's leading toward the visual arts direction. (I say that passively, but no..I really love art/design and have known that I wanted to pursue this direction since I was young.) I think I want to eventually double major once I transfer to a four year college. I was thinking of some bio focus to aid with scientific illustration. You don't really have to major in art to get a career in it, but I feel that it keeps me pretty sane to take those classes, and apparently most general useless BAs are pretty much equal..? I'm not sure about that, but that's what people say on this site and other places. Plus, I want to transfer to certain programs that require certain art prerequisites. I'm not adept enough at math to make it or its cousins a career focus, and I'm not the best at writing or researching to focus intently on some kind of liberal arts/writing intensive major.
As a current retail worker, I feel miserable. I can see how easy it is to get stuck working at a job like that, though, considering the number of older employees who complain about still being part time, don't have cars, and generally seem miserable as well. Some have children, which forces them to take anything they can get. Working there is a major factor that motivates me to do better while simultaneously filling me with dread and stress. I make maybe $450 to $5__ something a month but really wish I could quit and focus all my energy on my future goals and school. It interferes because I'm already bad at time management as it is, but I'm sticking it out and planning to do the whole student loan thing my last two years.
I live right near a big city in which my CC is located. It has a lot of resources for those who want to take advantage of them. I want to work on a graphic design portfolio to apply for this internship program it runs with companies that pays twice the wage of retail. My interests are more focused in drawing and illustration, but I feel that those can transfer over into graphic design since both employ composition, color theory, etc.
That's all that I can think of in the short term. I'm worried about eventually finding a job that doesn't force me to deal with disgustingly rude customers, for little pay, with a slight touch of back pain and unbearable tedium added to it. I don't know anyone in my immediate family who has had some kind of professional job. Everyone else either works/worked crappy jobs or subsists on some kind of benefits.
What skills should I be learning now to make myself more employable in areas other than retail? I use photoshop for digital painting but need to practice more with the other programs. I know basic things in word and excel. Will it really help to learn those in more depth? I attend figure drawing sessions to improve my skills. I don't need to work in the art field. I just want something that doesn't involve the general public and allows me to be to myself most of the time. One of those boring desk jobs is my ideal job. I've done volunteer teaching before, but I hated it. I'm a very reserved person, so it wasn't fit for me. I don't want to live at home for the rest of my life surrounded by dysfunctional and mentally ill family members. The cost of living here is too high to move now, so I have to rely solely on my future job to really become independent.
I also have US and EU citizenship, but I can't even fathom the process of finding a job over there eventually. I just know that I don't want to wake up at fifty and look back at a life of prolonged underachievement, with some tv show being my only hope for the day. I want a life of being able to cover basic necessities, traveling occasionally, and indulging in a luxury cupcake every now and then.