Help weave my interests and experiences into job possibilities!
January 7, 2016 1:52 PM   Subscribe

I've had several careers (or jobs) that seem very different from each other, and I have an educational background which is equally varied. I'm looking to possibly embark on a new path, but need help figuring out where I'm going exactly.

As an early 30s lifelong career shifter I'm seeking a little guidance on where to go from here. My whole adult life has consisted of moving from one thing to another, whether that's a job/career or educational endeavor. I usually stay in something for a short time and then get bored, unsatisfied, or just antsy and move on to the next thing. This time around I want to be more conscious about my changes.

Here's the list of stuff I've done, somewhat chronological but some of which is overlapping:

- tutor/academic coach for college students
- dog walker/pet sitter, and volunteer for humane society
- BA in film studies (critical analysis, not production) and English
- wanted to pursue a PhD in film, decided it wasn't practical
- Master of Library Science degree (after which I decided I didn't really want to work in libraries)
- private investigator (3 years with a firm, then ran my own company for about 3)
- real estate assistant (was going to get licensed as a broker, then decided not to)
- supervised college students in a campus office (2 years)
- advisor for college students with disabilities (4 years)

... and right now I am in the middle of a MSW program that may or may not be a good fit for me. I started thinking I would do animal-assisted therapy but now the bigger picture of having to work for 2-3 years after graduation just to get licensed in order to do private practice feels daunting (plus probably paying someone to supervise you for all that time!). Add to that student loans and low income-earning potential and I've almost talked myself out of the program entirely.

I'm an INFP if that helps, which I've read is very typical for therapists.

I often find myself missing aspects of my previous lives, such as owning my own business (freedom!), certain aspects of the P.I. business (researching stuff and working missing persons cases!), supervising college students (being a mentor is nice!), and film studies (talk to me about The Leftovers, please).

In the past few months I've considered dropping out of school and: restarting my PI business with a different focus, taking screenwriting classes or even enrolling in a MFA screenwriting program, learning to brew beer, starting a kombucha business, and learning more about starting a dog rescue organization. Clearly I'm all over the damn place.

Is there some magical profession out there that weaves some of these things together? Should I just keep trying different things forever and ever? Anyone else experience burnout after a short period at just about everything?

(I should also add that I'm married to a wonderfully supportive person who has been the sole income-earner while I've been in school, and we're not in any sort of financial bind where I need to start contributing to our household finances immediately. Eventually. But not immediately. :) )
posted by bacall423 to Work & Money (1 answer total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What about shifting only slightly and instead of being an animal-assisted therapist, you could become a specialized animal trainer for people with disabilities - either for service animals or not - and including finding the right animal for each person or helping the person be a better animal keeper given their particular disability.

I've been where you are and I found Barbara Sher's book "Scanners" really encouraging that I could create my own job.
posted by A hidden well at 5:27 PM on January 7, 2016

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