Career sugestions for someone who wants to do more and be more
May 4, 2014 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I want a job that going to push me to be better and give me new and exciting challenges. The problem: I am REALLY not keen on the defence force. What are some other ideas out there?

I recently read a book written by an officer in the Marine Corps that said he joined because that was the only job these days where one could slay dragons. It really resonated with me. I want to be challenged intellectually, physically and emotionally. At the moment I am in the process of applying for the police and have been interested in policing for some time (studied criminology at Uni). However, the application process has dragged and the longer it takes the more I feel compelled to move some of my eggs out of the metaphorical basket. I am definitely more academic than physical (though I am working at my fitness for the police) and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions into other careers I should look at. My parents would kill me if I joined the military, but any other ideas that are preferably do-able in Australia I'm willing to consider.
posted by Saebrial to Work & Money (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you share your professional background, maybe we could give you a better idea.
posted by rippersid at 11:11 AM on May 4, 2014

Total shot in the dark, but something to consider is teaching, specifically as an outdoor educator. Outward Bound is worldwide and in Australia.

Teaching is incredibly demanding physically, intellectually and emotionally.
posted by kinetic at 11:16 AM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Stagework, especially physical theater or circus if you want the fitness option. I don't know if you can get a full-time job in it per se (because arts) but Australia's at the forefront of the neo-circus scene, and it's not impossible to start relatively late - I got involved with a women's circus in Brisbane 5 years ago.

I did a workshop recently where someone talked about a quote that went "Actors are athletes of emotions", and that's VERY apt. Performance art really can be quite intense in all sorts of ways.

(also you can be in a performance where you slay dragons!)

Otherwise: paramedic/EMT type? Firefighting? Anything that involves large amounts of travel?
posted by divabat at 11:27 AM on May 4, 2014

What is the Australian equivalent of the Coast Guard here in the US? It's like the military, but your mission would (I presume) be almost mostly search and rescue, drug interdiction, etc.
posted by COD at 12:05 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Like kinetic, I was going to suggest something in teaching. Even mainstream is a challenge for many people, but the friends I know who really stretched were working with under-served populations: inner city students, special education (physical/mental handicap), etc. Only get into teaching if you can be passionate about it in its reality.
posted by whatzit at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2014

Came in to say outdoor ed, especially in contexts with a focus on character development, healing or rehabilitation. Other incredibly challenging work along these lines could be found in group homes, residential/educational facilities, etc. for young people struggling with emotional/physical trauma, mental health issues, substance abuse, criminal records, etc. Or working with adults in similar situations. If you have the aptitude and physical/emotional stamina for this type of work, you will definitely be slaying (or trying to slay, or supporting others while they try to slay) dragons. In the U.S., programs of this nature often fall under various umbrellas called "social services" "human services" "family and child" or "direct services" (meaning you are working directly with vulnerable individuals).

Also, EMT (emergency medical technician) and firefighting sound like good suggestions for you. Nursing?
posted by dahliachewswell at 2:29 PM on May 4, 2014

I don't know, what else are you interested in? Most careers have their "jumping out of helicopters" branches. Pick the general career first and go for the more glamorous options within that. The advantage is that when you are in your late 30s and no longer fancy slaying dragons (it happens to the best of us) you'll have other options available that you enjoy just as much without having to retrain.

With your degree, do any of these appeal (UK site, sorry)? Maybe working with the Australian border agency? Some of those jobs look pretty exciting, especially the marine patrol jobs.

If you have totally no idea, maybe do some overseas volunteering which has the advantage of both slaying dragons and being good CV fodder while you work out what you want to do.
posted by tinkletown at 3:14 PM on May 4, 2014

I know some people in the mining industry that have had some interesting experiences; international travel, physical work, remote locations (which can be a pain or an opportunity), sometimes a six week on/two weeks off schedule or similar. The money can be really good, too. Some of those jobs would require more education or apprenticeships, though. Obviously Aus has a big mining industry, so does Canada and South Africa.

My mother's godson has a career in diving. I'm not 100% sure what he does but he gets contracted by companies and municipalities who need divers for one reason or another. He loves his job and is both very smart and very macho.
posted by jamesonandwater at 4:33 PM on May 4, 2014

I've just finished a dual degree in Psychology and Criminology. Work experience so far has all been casual/part-time retail. I am fascinated by policing, misconduct, etc. but all jobs in that field that I can think of are public service and there's been a lot of budget cuts recently. Applied for an admin job with the police and got an email back saying I was one of 132 applicants. I'll have will have a look at outdoor education. That could be really interesting, though I don't have a lot of experience working with kids
posted by Saebrial at 8:18 PM on May 4, 2014

Would something in rehabilitation (whether in or outside of the prison system) be an option? Psychology degree would come in helpful, and physical exercise can be useful in rehabilitation. I don't know much about the industry, but it came to mind.
posted by typecloud at 7:31 AM on May 5, 2014

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