Looking for a Good Job
October 27, 2013 3:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 30 year old living in the Cleveland area looking to get out of a dead end job, and would appreciate some good resources or advice on how to find something new. Details inside.

I have for the past 2 years been working as a clerk at a grocery store. This is a big deal
for me because for a good part of my 20's I was hampered by depression and so could not hold down a job. I spent much of the time on disability (I received SSI). However, I feel that now I need a job that could possibly lead to a career since I see people much younger than me quitting around me. Even if I were to stay in the job, I am only part-time and cannot make ends meet on my own. I need a job that I can pay the bills with, because it's hard to say sometimes, but I am 30 and living with my mother. That's gotta change!

In the best possible world, I would want a job that lets me exercise creativity somehow. Playing music would also be a plus (I play piano), but I know that might be difficult. Other than that, I enjoy routine tasks and being outdoors is a positive. My long term goal is be a Counselor, because I feel that I can help people through some of the rough spots I've been through in my life. I was also considering landscaping, as I am rather strong and like being outside. I was also thinking about college as I am a 3rd year student, but my depression forced me to drop out. I also have no clue what kind of degree to get; I am bad at making major life decisions on my own. Basically anything would be a step up from where I am, so I am open to any and all advice/suggestions.

So the question is: Where do I start looking for this kind of job/career advice? Any advice of your own you could give me? At this rate I feel like I'll just keep surfing the internet looking for nothing in particular (since I don't know what I want to do) and too much time will pass by.
posted by Thanquol180 to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You are the person that career counseling was created for. As a first step, I would pop into the local university's counseling office and set up an appointment. You're probably eligible for a bunch of financial aid too! That you're part time at your current job is a plus as it gives you time to go back to school. Good Luck!!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:14 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

If by "clerk" you mean you work the cash register, I think you'd be great at transitioning into some kind of office data entry job while you finish school. I cashiered for years and am amazing at 10-key data entry as a result.
posted by jabes at 3:22 PM on October 27, 2013

O*Net is kind of a neat website for exploring some of this. If you click on the "I want to be a..." graphic, it'll link you to an inventory where you can answer questions about your interests and skills, and it'll recommend job fields. The O*Net job descriptions give you information on what sort of schooling is required, and such.
posted by jaguar at 3:55 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Why not start working towards your goal of being a counselor now? If you're working part-time, could you volunteer at a help line or in a similar role? A friend of mine started out volunteering at a battered women's shelter in college, then worked at that shelter after school, got a bunch more experience, then her MSW, and is now a clinician.

This would give you a better sense of what this kind of work is like and help you decide if it's what you want to do.

BTW, I know several people who started careers as counselors later in life, many after somewhat aimless or troubled (addiction, mental illness) years. It's been an asset to them, rather than a liability.

Oh, and there's also art therapy.
posted by lunasol at 4:33 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Some careers like being a professional piano player don't really map up well to opportunities for full-time paid work, as you know. Others like skilled trades or web programming have lots of opportunity. I would say a good starting point is try to figure out what kinds of jobs are out there, and then see what grabs you out of those. One way to do that is browse job boards without anything particular in mind. Another way is career counselling.

The important thing is not to try to make a future career be too much. It may be unrealistic to find a job that scratches all of your various itches. But if you develop a set of skills that feel good for you and are in demand, you can build a life around that which includes hobbies and other pursuits.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:25 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Hmmm... How about a piano tuner or someone who repairs musical instruments?
posted by parakeetdog at 1:48 PM on October 28, 2013

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