Out of the cubicle, into the light?
June 20, 2014 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I am absolutely convinced that having a job that requires me to spend a good chunk of my day in front of a computer is contributing to my depression. What jobs can I do, given my background, that will get me a bit of social interaction and challenge? (Not too much social interaction, just a little).

Here is my background. Right now, most of my department is scattered across the United States. We have meetings by conference call. My boss has worked remotely for the better part of 20 years and I work from home at least one day a week.

My day involves mostly doing a lot of legislative/legal research and figuring out how to make sure the company is doing the right thing. I'm not bored, exactly, just ... unfulfilled and getting a lot of depersonalization/derealization from having to do so much work in front of the computer. I still have $25K left to pay on my law school loans so getting another degree is probably not going to happen. I'm 44. I'm not interested in practicing law. Any ideas?
posted by nubianinthedesert to Work & Money (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My first through was Federal Government (isn't it always?) They hire JDs and they are the people you're doing compliance work for...see where I'm going with this?

You'll be in a different melieu, more interactive with actual people, meetings, discussions, etc.

State government is a second thought, then county, then municiple.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:16 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

HIPAA auditing? I don't really know what you want.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:34 PM on June 20, 2014

Most sorts of auditing will create social interaction. Depending on the employer, that might mean a lot of site visits and travel. That said, I found that instability with work travel aggravated my mental health issues.

It also feels like your current job could incorporate site visits and discussions with companies about the hurdles of compliance. And don't discount incorporating a change of scenery to your job. My last job was in a high rise downtown. The light was meh, and going outside the sun was mostly blocked by the buildings. Now I work close to the water, next to a decent sized park. I do a lot better when I just force myself to go out during lunch, and then sometimes again for an afternoon break.
posted by politikitty at 1:01 PM on June 20, 2014

Perhaps look at what your job looks like at other companies. I work in compliance for an insurance company that's probably much, much smaller than yours (we're all in one city) and many of my days have quite a bit of time away from my desk, social interaction, working with another person or in a small team, etc. Also, in a smaller company your job may be less likely to be as specialized, giving you a wider variety of things to work on.
posted by frobozz at 1:22 PM on June 20, 2014

Maybe you could do compliance work on the provider side, working in a hospital or large physician group. Those roles in provider organizations are more consultative - you meet with people, discuss problems, give advice. You'll work in front of a computer, but also have a fair amount of structured interaction with others.

Working for a consulting group that does health care compliance consulting (like Premier) is another, similar option.
posted by jeoc at 2:18 PM on June 20, 2014

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