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Ideas for a 2week inspirational break excluding sitting on a mountaintop

I'd like to take two weeks off of work and come back with a new sense of direction in life. I have been in the same job for almost four years and find little fulfillment there, yet also haven't found the motivation or made the time to move on. Maybe some semi-structured time off work to think, mark next steps, and break patterns will help? How and where should I spend my time? [more inside]
posted by AlmondEyes on Oct 3, 2013 - 9 answers

Can I make it as a freelance mechanical engineering consultant?

I have a BS in mechanical engineering and a couple years experience performing FEA simulations for a company in the US military/aerospace industry. I recently found out that there are consulting firms out there charging a lot of money for the same type of services I perform. If possible, I'd like to get my PE license and begin offering my services on a freelance basis. If I can do that successfully, I'd like to form my own consulting firm. My main concern is that I won't be able to find clients. How can I find my way into this market? I've heard that a lot of CAD work is being outsourced and I'm not sure if the demand for these services is really there. I've searched for mechanical engineering listings on freelance sites but I've mostly found low paying odd jobs. My ideal customers would be legitimate companies that need reliable FEA services but are small enough to not have their own mechanical engineer. How can I find these customers? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
posted by PeterKlayton on Oct 3, 2013 - 4 answers

To Grad School or to Not to Grad School?

I can't afford to go to graduate school. I also can't afford not to go to graduate school. tl;dr galore inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 3, 2013 - 20 answers

Professional jobs that require night or shift work?

My parents have always worked night shifts as a nurse at a geriatric support centre, and as a mail sorter for the post office. They make enough money. They've made their schedules work for them, and also raised 4 kids while doing so. Because of their shift work, they do get a lot of time off-- maybe working double shifts sometimes, or three 12-hour shifts in a row, but then they get 3 days off. They also tend to know their schedules a month ahead of time. I do not work well in a 9-5 M-F schedule, so I'd like to know what are other similar jobs to this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 3, 2013 - 29 answers

How do I stop being so negative and pessimistic at work?

Management told us that we need to be positive and upbeat at work. I can be fairly pessimistic and jaded. How do I reconcile these two things? Lots of snowflakiness inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 2, 2013 - 27 answers

How to deal with a loss of a career due to chronic injury

Hello, I am worried about my mental health because I am about to give up a career that I love because of a health issue. I work in a very competitive industry and I have, after many years of hard work been given my dream job. My work is exciting, varied and creative. It is also extremely physical. I am at the edge of achieving all my goals. But my condition means I am struggling to do the job. I am only in my late 20's My questions are: How can I deal mentally if I have to quit? I feel to a large extent defined by my work. I feel everything I worked for over the last 10 years is about to be ruined. I'm worried that I wont have anything else in my life that I can truly excel at. For those of you that have had a similar loss how did you cope? (Loss of a career, sport, hobby, etc) Thanks
posted by JIMSMITH2000 on Sep 29, 2013 - 9 answers

Non-profit career help in Britain?

Last October, I started a charity that since April I have won some good grants, grown over the last three months from 10 to 54 clients. Well enough, I am happy to continue working on it as a volunteer and board member. But, it doesn't need full-time employees. I have got some consulting work beginning in November. I would like to find a full-time job. Explaining "I did this, it is going well, now I need some money" is difficult. I am trying to find a non-profit or NGO career consultant in England or the EU to help sort this all out. Can you help?
posted by parmanparman on Sep 29, 2013 - 3 answers

Early-stage career regret and what to do about it

Recently, fresh out of school, I had two job offers. One was a dream job in Silicon Valley and the other was a job with a team I had worked with before. For what I now see as stupid reasons, I took the second job. But two months in, I wake up every morning kicking myself for turning down my dream job. I'm unsure what to do... [more inside]
posted by anonanimal on Sep 28, 2013 - 12 answers

How to get into technical training career (biotech field)

I want to quickly transition from a researcher/scientist with pharma development experience to a person doing technical training work. I have a passion to teach others, enable others. I feel very fulfilled when I see/hear people learn new things, overcome inhibition, be more creative. Dear fellow Metfilters, can you help me do this career change? [more inside]
posted by akomom on Sep 27, 2013 - 3 answers

How do I move past regret for a potentially overzealous princpled act?

I just gave up an awesome internship offer for my principles. Yay! Except I am feeling an overwhelming sense of regret. How do I move past this, stop feeling sorry for myself and remember why I did it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 26, 2013 - 16 answers

I Need a New Job

I need a new job, and I have no idea what job I might be good at and enjoy. Please give me ideas for some jobs that I haven't thought of. I'm in my late 20s and working as a research analyst for a large firm, and I can't take the feeling that I'm not doing anything worthwhile (or even enjoyable) with my life. I'm not sure what to do. Do you know of any unconventional careers that might be a good fit? Please give me an idea of where to get started. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 25, 2013 - 13 answers

Communes are looking increasingly appealing

I am a college grad with a fairly useless degree, I've been in an industry that I just sort of fell into for two years now, I am pretty certain I would like to NOT be in this industry in the future, and I have no idea what to do now. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Sep 25, 2013 - 20 answers

Career Crisis- How to get hired after only 2 months at current job?

Hello, Metafilter! Long time lurker (10 years), first time poster. To sum it up- after a failed stint as an AmeriCorps VISTA (6 months) following graduation from the University of South Carolina with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Economics- I have spent a year unemployed, a year as a bank teller, another year unemployed, and over a year as a server and a tax season as a tax pro at H&R block. I went back to school during the time as a server to get enough credits to sit for the CPA (one computer apps class away from obtaining accounting certificate at a local community college). Moved back to SC and spent from 07/12-06/13 as an Assistant Service Manager at a car dealership (hated it because A, I have asthma and missed a ton of work due to complications from working outside, B, I knew nothing about cars, and C, I am not a fan of Customer Service/commission pay). [more inside]
posted by nicolemariecherie on Sep 22, 2013 - 4 answers

Can Two Jobs Lead To None?

I got an amazing job offer. I don't really want it. Is it wise to leverage it against my current employer? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 19, 2013 - 32 answers

Use headhunter as well as the boss-approved method to get an interview?

I was contacted about a job with a company by a HR recruiter (not from that company) on LinkedIn. I was aware of this job from the company’s website and also I have a friend who is working at that company in a peer position. That friend said he spoke to his boss, and his boss said I should apply for the job via the company's website, so I did. Would there be any benefit following up with the HR recruiter from LinkedIn anyway? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 18, 2013 - 7 answers

So this is research?

How can I stay focused when starting a new job and not get too despairing/frustrated? Research assistant edition. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 12, 2013 - 3 answers

I need to figure out how to figure out what I want to do in life.

Executive summary: I'm approaching 40 and feel pretty burned out on my current line of work. But I'm not sure what new lines I should look into. I'd like to hear about resources or techniques that people found useful for figuring this stuff out in similar positions. [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Sep 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me get my shit together work-wise

This is a work question, but probably is more psychological than practical. I’m 32 years old, currently unemployed. That’s no big deal given the economy. What is a big deal is that despite my “best” efforts, I’ve been in and out of work or dissatisfied for my whole working life. [more inside]
posted by UncleCaveMan on Sep 12, 2013 - 20 answers

I'm thinking of becoming a court stenographer

What good vocational careers are available with 2-3 years training? I'm trying to think of a good career switch (I have my Bachelor's in International Studies and have been in politics for 5 years) and want to do something that pays well, is steady and won't be phased out by technology. [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Sep 11, 2013 - 11 answers

How do I network when I don't know what I want

I am moving to a new city for personal reasons and I need to find a job. This weekend I will be in the new city and will go to the pub where my school's local alumni club for that city is meeting. I'd like to make a good impression on the people that I meet, and, in doing so, to productively advance my job search. The problem? I don't know what I want to do. How do I make a good first impression without having a direction? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 9, 2013 - 8 answers

Day in the life of a Technical Writer.

Is your job title 'Technical Writer'? What on earth do you do all day? Would pursuing a job as a Technical Writer even be remotely fruitful given my past experience? [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Sep 8, 2013 - 16 answers

How can I get through med school if I dislike group work?

I've just started medical school and the emphasis on group work is overwhelming me. I know that medicine is generally a team-oriented profession. I have certainly worked well in teams before, and found it enjoyable. I am affable and pulling my own weight is never an issue. Still, the fact that I have to work in a group for four hours a day, five days a week, is draining me like no other. I am angsty and tired. Please, fellow introverts and independent workers, especially those who are familiar with medical education -- how might you approach working in a heavily team-oriented environment? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Sep 8, 2013 - 13 answers

Work meeting

Help me navigate an awkward meeting at work. [more inside]
posted by young sister beacon on Sep 6, 2013 - 14 answers

Do I want to be a therapist?

I'm thinking about becoming a therapist. Is this a good idea, and how do I get there if it is? [more inside]
posted by chaiminda on Sep 6, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I believe in myself again and make a choice I can truly own?

After years of parental pressure and self-conflict, I no longer know: do I want to be a doctor or not? I am paralyzed with self-doubt and indecision and have repeatedly shot myself in the foot. How can I stop spinning my wheels, climb out of the deep rut I dug myself, make a choice and act on it with conviction? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 6, 2013 - 24 answers

How to work in mental health industry?

I'm interested in working in the mental health industry. How can I start dipping my toe in the water? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Sep 4, 2013 - 3 answers

At a job 2.5 years: should I stay or should I go?

What questions did you think on when considering moving on from a job that you don’t hate but could use a fresh start? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 4, 2013 - 6 answers

Legal Career Advice

I am looking for some career advice regarding search techniques and information about non-traditional legal jobs that I may be overlooking. I am interested in international law, environmental law, administrative law, and trade and investment law. I have work experience in international law and have also lived and studied abroad. Prior to law school I worked in finance for four years (my undergraduate degree is in international finance), I am located in the Northeast, and I am awaiting results from the bar exam which I took this past July. [more inside]
posted by allthingsconsidered on Sep 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Probably I would make a fantastic goat herder

I'm seeking input on ways to make a living. Difficulty: I am dreamy, quiet, intuitive, and non-process-oriented. [more inside]
posted by whistle pig on Sep 1, 2013 - 13 answers

I feel like I'm imprisoned at my current job. How do I get out fast?

I've been working at the same company for 8 years. I initially started working there as a temp and wanted to quit within the first week, but didn't for some reason, and then I was hired permanently a couple of months after temping. Anyway, while I do have more duties since I was hired, my basic job has not changed at all. I work in an insurance company mainly doing data entry, project work and anything else they throw at me. [more inside]
posted by hazel79 on Aug 26, 2013 - 7 answers

How to get time off new job for mental health reasons

I recently started a new job that has a very strict attendance policy and I have no vacation or sick time accrued. My doctor has recommended to me that I attend a 2 week inpatient program for the mental issues I've been dealing with. I'm still thinking about it, but if I did decide to do it, who at my company do I need to speak to and what should I say so that I don't end up losing my job for taking that time off. This is my first job so your answers can assume I know absolutely nothing about how these things work.
posted by theshire on Aug 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Help! Entering HR career from JD/MBA

I'm in the middle of a JD/MBA. How can I plan my time to enter HR as a career? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 23, 2013 - 6 answers

What's the non-lawyer legal job market like?

A friend of mine has suggested that I apply for a job as a receptionist in a law office, with the suggestion that they tend to promote internally and that it could be an avenue into work as a legal assistant/paralegal. Could this be a huge mistake? [more inside]
posted by pullayup on Aug 22, 2013 - 19 answers

Yet another "should we breakup" question

Yet another "should we breakup" question [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 21, 2013 - 40 answers

Am I overreacting or is this totally illegal/wrong?

The new job I applied for called a work reference I did not authorize and I got a bad review. Should I leave this entire job off my resume? Bonus general career anxiety/issues inside! [more inside]
posted by themaskedwonder on Aug 21, 2013 - 28 answers

Help me figure out the next steps please

How do I recover from my mistakes and rough start in work life? [more inside]
posted by ichomp on Aug 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Still having problems -- "greatness", self-comparison, etc.

I initially felt better after last week’s question, but everything came back... I think the answers last week (which were very helpful, by the way) helped me resolve specific career questions, but not the underlying emotional issues. I’ll try to explain it better this time. [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Aug 17, 2013 - 22 answers

Help a struggling freelance metallurgist/jeweler

My mom's current gentleman companion, "Fred", works out of his home as a metallurgist/jeweler. He has been making Southwestern style jewelry for decades, and from what I can tell he is very talented. He also makes gorgeous knives and tomahawks. He is older, not particularly tech-savvy, and he is having trouble making ends meet. Help me to help Fred become more successful. [more inside]
posted by forkisbetter on Aug 15, 2013 - 16 answers

Help me figure out a career/educational path

I'm current at my first job out of school and have been here almost two years now. It hasn't been what I expected, and sadly, not in a positive way. It's a very niche field with limited cross-applications and, frankly, I have no interest in delving deeper into it. It's definitely time for a job, if not career, change. My dissatisfaction with my current circumstances, however, still leaves me with a myriad of other options that I'm having trouble narrowing down and I'd appreciate it if people could weigh in a bit and maybe resolve this analysis paralysis I'm having. [more inside]
posted by ndr on Aug 14, 2013 - 8 answers

How do you "keep calm and carry on" after a massive screw up?

I messed up big time at work. Like...really big time. How do I deal with the ball of stress and panic and guilt burning in my stomach? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 14, 2013 - 35 answers

Dream opportunity for a machine design engineer?

Help a business-illiterate engineer formulate an approach for evaluating an exciting business/career opportunity. [more inside]
posted by myriad gantry on Aug 14, 2013 - 5 answers

I want a new job. I'm not well qualified. What can I do?

I've been working a data-entry job for almost two years now. I got it as a temp position shortly after finishing college. It became full-time a year later. I graduated from a good school, but late, and with mediocre grades in journalism, my major. I stuck to the temp job because I bombed out of freelance work. This failure aggravated my self-loathing and convinced me to abandon journalism, for which I have shown little talent. I abandoned it for a dead-end job. I would like a job with better chances for promotion and with better pay. How, if at all, do I find such a job, considering my mental health, which sabotages each stage of the hunt, and my poor qualifications, which don't help? [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 13, 2013 - 13 answers

How do I grow marijuana legally for a living?

I live in Arizona, where medical cannabis has been state law for two years now. The industry is still a wee sapling, and it's a dream of mine to legally grow and sell to dispensaries and to patients directly. This is the best time to make my dream happen, before the market blossoms, yeah? Puns aside, I'm having significant trouble finding accurate and helpful information on the internet--how do I do legal cannabis growing? What's the application I need to turn in to which department to receive which license? What are the do's and don't's and points of etiquette in handling a federally illegal substance? Tell me what I need to know! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 13, 2013 - 11 answers

I want to work for an international NGO, but how?

I'm graduating from college this spring and I'm very interested in working with an international NGO. I know there are organizations monitoring elections, promoting democracy, installing networks and computers in villages, interviewing rebels and citizens… but how can I work for one? Ideally I'd like to travel a lot, or at least be based somewhere abroad (not the US). [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on Aug 13, 2013 - 14 answers

Help me pick a path in the software industry

I'm changing careers into the software industry and I am having difficulty choosing a path – lots of different roles look REALLY appealing. If you are working or hiring in the industry, can you advise me on a good route? [more inside]
posted by carbide on Aug 12, 2013 - 8 answers

How can I make my work experience relevant for a job in academia?

I am in need of some help... I've just completed an M.A. in Anthropology, I'm trying to pull together a CV for a job teaching as an adjunct professor or community college professor. I don't have professional teaching experience, even though I've got loads of experience teaching to my peers in graduate seminars. (I'm also not sure how to convey that, other than in a cover letter.) I've got some of my written work (Academia.edu), and one of my presentations on YouTube. I'm in the process of revising some other papers to put on Academia.edu... Hoping, I suppose, that displaying my work will make me a better candidate. Now, here's the question: How can I make my existing (non-teaching!) work experience relevant to applying for academic jobs? [more inside]
posted by ScarletLark on Aug 12, 2013 - 10 answers

What degree/trade is worth the student loans?

I've got a little money I'm thinking about turning into some classes/training for a serious career change. With education at such a high price, I would need to pick a career/trade that can pay off the loans I would need to complete. I'm looking at trades, skilled craftwork, 2-year degrees, and 4-year degrees. Got any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants on Aug 9, 2013 - 26 answers

Career transition advice in context of move to .be, .nl, .de, or .fi?

Hello folks. I am looking for a sense of some appropriate approaches to preparing for a move and likely related career transition. Referrals to career counselors with experience in this area in one of our likely host countries are appreciated as well. Context below. [more inside]
posted by mijn_valieske on Aug 7, 2013 - 4 answers

How do I start taking my job seriously again?

The job that I used to love has become dreadfully slow and boring because many of our projects have been cancelled or postponed due to the economy. I'm losing interest fast and starting to perform badly and not feel guilty about it. How can I change my attitude? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 7, 2013 - 9 answers

How do I find the right career counselor for me?

How do I find a career counselor to take me to the next level while changing industries? [more inside]
posted by Thrillhouse on Aug 6, 2013 - 1 answer

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