Help me develop my career "plan b"
December 8, 2005 9:45 AM Subscribe
I’ve been chronically underemployed since I graduated from college. At the moment I am at home with my infant son, which will be my primary employment probably for the next 2-3 years. I want to start preparing now to improve my career potential down the line. Right now I’m pursuing creative ambitions, but they aren’t necessarily practical and it seems sensible to keep an eye on the pragmatic.
posted by nanojath to work & money (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My situation in brief: I got a BA in Chemistry with Honors in 1994. I was never very interested in pursuing a science career though (long story). My work experience is all over the map (from most recent back, considering only longer term jobs): administrative assistant for the dean of an online university, clerical and database administration for public radio, tons of clerical temp work, germination laboratory technician for an orchid nursery, science literature research for a nonprofit think tank. I drifted more and more to the clerical, frankly because the money was better. But I found the work stultifying, and the ceiling for making progress low. I feel like I have the potential to do better than the mid-$30k salaries I had, and I feel like more challenging work would satisfy me more.
But without feeling particularly drawn to a specific career, I’m overwhelmed by options. I’m looking for advice from career changers, particularly those who didn’t know what they wanted to pursue at first. Favorite books or online resources? Do you think consulting with one of these professional career coaches is worthwhile? Do you think my attitude (I’ve given up on finding a “vocation,” I don’t have to love it, I just want tolerable work that I can do well, pays well, and has some growth potential) is a reasonable or poor place to start? I’d like to avoid excessively expensive additional education, but depending on the benefits this is negotiable. How do I start cutting down the pool of options and turning an open-ended period of a few years intentionally out of the job market into a realistic plan for personal development?`
I’m working through prior questions with career and related tags, but most deal with advice on getting into a specific career, and most questioners are currently employed, but feel free to point to particularly relevant previous discussions I may have missed.