New Career Question Round 2
December 4, 2023 11:18 AM   Subscribe

After some searching I found work in the same non-profit area I was working in before but with a much different role and at a much different corporate culture. I still hate it and feel like a need a more significant change. Can you help me brainstorm wildly different types of work that I have not thought of?


After a longer job search than I wanted I switched to direct service at a different non-profit serving the same population. I thought that direct service would be more fulfilling but I still really dislike it and want to do something different.

In my job search I tried in vain to get entry level jobs at record stores and music stores, which is something I've always dreamed of doing. No one called back. I had some more corporate interviews and settled on this non-profit that on paper is ideal but I still hate it for some reason.

I know there is some under-treated mental health component here and I am beginning to address that via changes in diet, alcohol intake (down to 1-2 drinks a weekend), sleeping more, spending more time being creative, etc. I've been in the new role since the beginning of October.

At this point I don't think I even know how to find work that is outside of the human services field.

So I guess I'm asking for more help brainstorming and any other advice from people who got through a significant period of disillusionment/malaise in a field where you are supposed to invest emotionally.

Cis/het, 40 years old, white. I understand the immense privilege I am bringing to the table. I am just wondering if there is a way to live at a baseline of slightly happier.
posted by kittensofthenight to Work & Money (3 answers total)
A job can just be a job that pays the bills and allows you to do things you enjoy in your free time. Working in a music shop isn't a job that pays the bills (your previous question says you'd need 85k a year, retail gigs typically pay much less than that and often with no benefits), even if you could get that sort of job. I guess it depends on how much you hate your job, but what if you stick with it a while and tried to do something satisfying outside of work? Like volunteering at a local independent radio station or something else music related?
posted by emd3737 at 12:55 PM on December 4, 2023

Response by poster: I'd like to disregard the money aspect for this question. I like the idea of volunteering, but to be frank I have a pretty full life outside of work- two bands that rehearse and perform more than weekly, lovely animals, hobbies that are stimulating and hobbies that are chill as hell, a wonderful partner that I am trying to focus on spending more quality time with now that our holidays match up. Truly I just don't know what options there are and how to go about finding them. I saw the previous advice about accounting and payroll and... googled "payroll Seattle." I guess I am feeling trapped by the limited experiences I've had in professional settings that don't involve adults experiencing homelessness or non-profit budgets.

For example, I used to do food service and moving from fast food to managing a residential kitchen for 5 residents was a rewarding, healthy change. I'
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:28 PM on December 4, 2023

I worked in human services in nonprofits for several years before making the transition to working at private companies (in tech) in HR. It was a game-changer for me in terms of how I felt about work to go everyday to a place that was appropriately funded and where employees weren't being sucked completely dry with a "you're doing this for the mission" kind of abusive psychology, which I found prevalent in non-profits. Don't get me wrong, private (or public) corporations will still find a way to take advantage of employees to increase their profits, but I personally found the switch to be a breath of fresh air. I had a chair that was comfortable! A computer that worked! Free coffee! Some coworkers who were incredibly smart! Benefits and perks that blew my little mind! This is all to say, I'd consider working at a for-profit company that's doing well instead of a non-profit. I don't know what areas your strongest skills are in, but there are lots of transferable skills when you are good at dealing with people, projects, and problems, as you must be in a non-profit. You will have to apply to a bunch of places and make the case that you're going to be asset in a career transition, but your experience handling difficult situations in a non-profit should come in very handy in lots of types of work in tech/business. The types of roles I would generally look for are at companies that make software and/or apps and have titles like: implementation coordinator, customer/client success/support, sales development, operations assistant, recruiting coordinator, and office manager.

One way to go about trying to figure out where to apply for jobs is think about the things in your life that work well for you -- the websites you visit, the furniture you have, the industry professionals that you enjoy interacting with, the places you go that make you happy, the clothes you wear, etc -- then see what jobs the companies that make those things have listed. Every time you interact with a product, look up the company and see if they have something you could do. You'll discover a lot of weird types of jobs and maybe find something entirely new that is a better fit than what you've got now.
posted by luzdeluna at 3:05 PM on December 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

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