What's the next step, or finding the right career path.
August 9, 2011 7:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out the next step in my "career path," and have hit an impass. Can the hivemind point me in the right direction?

So, six months ago, I started a new job working clerical for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. It's an okay job, I don't mind the work, though I do wish it paid more. I'm trying to figure out what to do next, though, and it's hard. I feel like I've driven myself into a cul-de-sac. The way I see it, I have three main options:

Option 1 is to become a caseworker. This does not appeal to me. The caseworkers around here are overworked, stressed, and often deal with potentially violent people. I'm not a very social animal. I'm the kind of guy better off in a back-office job. On the Myers-Brigg I'm either an INTP or INTJ depending how I feel that day. Being a caseworker would likely drive me batshit.

Option 2 is to work up the clerical track for a while. Problem with that is PA's budget woes make clerical positions scarce--and I am simply not taking a job outside of Philadelphia. Not happening, no way.

Option 3 is to try and find something else--easier said than done. I'm looking at getting an A+ and Network+ certification, as I know I'm tech-savvy and working IT would pay better and (hopefully) suck less. I'm still unsure about this, as I really don't know if and how I can get a foot in the door with my work history.

What am I missing? Is there something I'm overlooking? Do I go back to school for something marginally useful? Hivemind, hope me.
posted by SansPoint to Work & Money (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Option 3 is to try and find something else--easier said than done.

I started a new job earlier this year, after a long time in a job paying not-so-great, and in retrospect, what got me down was this attitude, this feeling like you can never get out. But you can. It might not be a cakewalk, but it is possible. You can do it. I vote for Option 3. Tweak your resume like mad, rewrite 20 different cover letters, keep applying and interviewing. Here's a little booklet I liked: Let's All Find Awesome Jobs. Good luck.
posted by mattbucher at 7:52 AM on August 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

A year ago I was about to walk out of my job, and a year ago today I had the first phone screening interview for my current job, which I love.

Instead of walking out, I hopped on the net and found two jobs I could see myself doing and applied for them. I got interviews for both, and now have one of them.

You need to try to channel the frustration into action. I turned everything I did into something that would support getting a new job -- what I ate, what I read, what I watched on TV, what I wore, everything. If I watched a sitcom or something, well it was helping me relax and take a break which would support getting another job. I wish I'd had that attitude 25 or 30 years ago, but better late than never.

Take a look at Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron. Lots and lots of jobs and strategies for your type.
posted by jgirl at 8:17 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: mattbucher: bought the book. Good thing it's $4 on the Kindle, and short. Seems like a good start.
posted by SansPoint at 8:18 AM on August 9, 2011

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