Where am I going?
October 5, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

I don't know what I want to do with my life. Err!

I feel so stupid writing this but, whatever... one of you might have a brilliant idea.

I'm in my mid-twenties. I went to college and got my bachelor's in Recreation Management -- while I was in pursuit of my degree I wanted to either work for a baseball team, or plan activities at a resort or something -- but at the end of my program I interned in both of these fields and ultimately didn't like any of it... I was on my feet all day doing basically all sorts of things I hated from my seasonal jobs all rolled into one. I basically felt like I was always someone's bitch. Pardon my french.

I had ANOTHER internship where I was the assistant manager at a touristy campground. I loved this job. I was in charge of a small staff and we ran a small retail store and took reservations and got everybody checked in and what not. There was a lot of dealing with customers over the phone and I was almost always happy at work. It was also a family-owned business so my two immediate supervisors were brother and sister. I think this small-feel dynamic added to my enjoyment.

I moved across the country and because of how the economy was... I took a nanny job thinking that I'd stick with it until I saved some money and got on feet and found a 'real job'.

I've changed families but I've now been a nanny since September of 2007.

I love being a nanny but there's two problems.

1. The kids are growing up and I've got like another year I can be a nanny before they're all always in school.

And 2. I've now had 2 full years where I've been paid under the table (I know! BADBADBAD. But also, I've lost 3 years of my twenties where I should be getting my foot in the door somewhere so I can start having time and experience under my belt.

Thinking about this ... I know I have to start thinking about what to do next. And I honestly don't know.

I have no 'dream job'. I don't know what I should be considering. Any ideas?

- Have my Bachelor's.
- Like working with kids.
- Really good with multi-tasking office-y stuff. Really fast typist. Very organized. Great communication skills.
- Willing to work a midnight shift.
- I like driving. I have a perfect driving record.
- I have no kids now but plan to within a year or two. I still plan to work though because my future husband doesn't make enough to support us both.
- Really prefer a job with a clear set of responsibilities...

I'm kind of conservative and old fashioned but... somehow I'm sort of an ass kicker too.

Like, for the past year ... I've told my fiance 'I think I just want to be someone's secretary' and explain to him that I just want to work in an office and help take care of some jolly older guy's paperwork and phone calls and help arrange his appointments (Maybe I've been watching too much Mad Men?) --- but then I've repeatedly expressed interest in taking the police officer exam just to see what happens.

Clearly I am all over the place. Help me, mefites!
posted by mittenbex to Work & Money (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Open a daycare center. You'll do everything at first -- administration + taking care of kids. Then, as you become successful, you'll hire someone to handle more of the kid stuff, so you have time for your own kids.
posted by novalis_dt at 4:29 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have an old schoolmate who's a "real" nanny, whatever that means (some sort of certification I guess) and she's made a good living for twenty years.

You mention a future husband so foreign travel's not an option, I guess? A mid-twenties friend just spent 2 years being an au pair in Germany and loved it.

Day care operator is not a bad idea, or maybe youth/recreation person at an upscale school or fitness center?
posted by cyndigo at 4:40 PM on October 5, 2010

Administrative Assistant and/or Front Desk in a fast-paced medium-sized company sounds like it might be a good fit for you. Medium-sized because if it is too large then many of your duties have been automated or given to someone else, too small and there could not be much to do either.
posted by meepmeow at 4:44 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

You've definitely been watching too much Mad Men. There are many great bosses when you're in a one-on-one assistant role. There are also a significant number of totally off-the-wall bosses. And if you don't like feeling like 'someone's bitch' as you put it....well, in the cases where you don't have a fantastic, extremely professional supervisor, that's what your role can easily devolve into.

on preview: also what meepmeow said.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2010

How about National Park Service or state parks or your city's parks and recreation department? They hire people with your skills.

Or have you thought of going back to school for a masters in teaching?
posted by mareli at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2010

What about working for a YMCA or something like that? You could be the after-school activities coordinator? You like being in charge, it seems, so maybe you could aim to direct the after-school activity program.
posted by salvia at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2010

I think you'd really enjoy being an after-school activities supervisor. This is the job description of the center coordinator at the tutoring program where I volunteer (she is moving on to teach a special education program, but I know for a fact that she loved her previous job). We work with at-risk children of refugees, and the group is small enough for the coordinator to know them and their families personally and to have a pretty good grasp of what's going on in their lives, both at school and at home.

There are also a couple of part-time assistants, and I assume that's pretty typical of similar programs if you ever feel like checking it out.
posted by halogen at 5:25 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maybe nursing. Or working in the administrative side of a doctor's office or hospital (pediatrics?).
posted by imalaowai at 6:44 PM on October 5, 2010

I know people with degrees like yours who manage the rec depts in long term care & nursing homes.
posted by canoehead at 8:01 AM on October 6, 2010

How about working administration at a summer camp?
posted by RedEmma at 9:25 AM on October 6, 2010

Administrative assistant, office assistant, clerk, clerical worker. You sound like the perfect candidate for a temp agency. Unless you own it, I'd stay away from daycare - notoriously low paying. Like mimimum wage low.
posted by WeekendJen at 1:41 PM on October 6, 2010

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