Help me think of a new career.
August 23, 2009 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I feel like a career change. I need help brainstorming the possibilities. Which careers do you think may meet my skills and requirements?

I'm currently working in a cubicle doing IT work in the Insurance industry, but I'd like to find a new position that better meets my interests.

I greatly enjoy working with computers. I would like a position that allows for more human interaction on a daily basis with a large variety of people. The position would need to have a direct, positive, noticeable impact on people. Lastly, is it possible to find a career that also allows for working outdoors part of the time? :-)

Here is my background

-Graduated with a 4 year degree in Management Information Systems
-Currently 25 years old
-Over 10 years experience working with computers, mostly doing Systems Administration and Help Desk Support type work

...and here is what I am looking for.

-I would like to be more social and interact with more people on a daily basis
-I would like to feel like I'm helping to bring about positive substantial changes to peoples lives.
-I would like to spend more time outside in the mountains and/or forests.
-I would like to make a significant difference in childrens/disadvantaged peoples lives
-I would like to live in the Phoenix area
-I would prefer a salary of at least $40,000, but I'm open to the idea of making less if I really enjoy the work.

Some possible career ideas that have crossed my mind include:

-teaching grade school kids about computers
-becoming an IT Volunteer in the Peace Corps
-becoming a Technical Trainer for a corporation
-Working for the federal, state, or local government as a trainer or advocate.
-Working at a job re-training center, assisting people who are training for a new career.
-working for a non-profit

I'll take any career ideas you've got, no matter how crazy they sound! ;-)
posted by speedoavenger to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Go do IT stuff for native American communities. Train, administer networks, set up wireless, develop websites.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:44 PM on August 23, 2009


Thanks for the suggestion. That's a great idea.
posted by speedoavenger at 3:06 PM on August 23, 2009


I don't really have any first hand experience to offer, but it seems to me that you could prolly volunteer for most of the career ideas you listed. I'm sure any of those organizations would love to have someone volunteer with your skill set.

Good Luck!
posted by MiggySawdust at 4:11 PM on August 23, 2009


Mixing mountains and IT is a pretty rare thing. They're hard to route power and deliveries to, and nobody lives there. And many of the people who do live there are trying to escape the technological embrace.

The main social utility of mountains is observation and broadcast. You'll often see antennas built on high spots, to cover as much area as possible. But even then, you're limited to blue-collar linemen and technician jobs. Engineers get cubes, where their white-collar asses can be managed for 45+ hours a week.

The other aspect is observation. Check the National Forestry Service, and maybe Computer Engineering and CS grad programs with people doing research embedded environmental monitoring.

But I see that your ideas so far don't really integrate the outdoors, and are generally volunteer driven. To expand upon the IT volunteer idea: maybe FEMA has an IT division for its emergency response crew?
posted by pwnguin at 4:46 PM on August 23, 2009


As the need for electronic medical records becomes more likely, some hospitals, long term care facilities, etc., are having to seriously re-evaluate and revamp their systems. Systems analysts, as I understand the role, can be fantastic in helping facilitate the conversations between IT, regulators and end-users. This may be too similar to what you have been doing but it could also be a neat twist and a way to play up your experience within the insurance industry. This could be done in Phoenix, has interaction with people, and could be viewed as improving the lives of disadvantaged, but will not be outdoors.
posted by beaning at 4:50 PM on August 23, 2009


Seconding research embedded environmental monitoring, maybe with a local university.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:48 PM on August 23, 2009


University of Arizona Cooperative Extension VISTA Project

"The project matches VISTA volunteers with experienced University of Arizona Extension agents to strengthen local community assets and reduce poverty through a variety of project opportunities such as youth development, early childhood development, combating invasive plant species, protection of natural resources, home-based gardening, and strengthening community-based organizations."

Nowhere near 40k, though
posted by kathrineg at 5:54 PM on August 23, 2009


Great ideas everyone. Thank you!
posted by speedoavenger at 7:08 PM on August 23, 2009


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