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Thinking of a career change- any suggestions what direction to go?


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I am currently 24, almost 25, stuck in a job that i loathe. I work in radio sales and it is completely soul sucking. It gets so bad to the point where i have break downs in my car, sobbing, on the border of having a panic attack. It is the most stressful, discouraging feeling to be stuck in a job you hate. I graduated with a degree in communications because my dream was to end up as an editor one day for a magazine. Of course, this dream is a dime a dozen.

 

I need to get out of this job but i don't know what road to take. I've been thinking about going back to school for something medical, since it's always something i've also been interested in. I've researched nursing, respiratory therapy, and even considered occupational therapy (which is the major i originally started out with- god i could kick myself so hard).

 

A lot of you on these boards have more life experience than i so i am open to ANY suggestions/advice you may have. Tell me about your job if you love it, your friend's job, SO's job, etc. I just really need to start seriously thinking about what to do before i lose time.

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If you leave on good terms, will you get a good reference or will it not make a difference?

I ask because your answer depends on how I'm going to suggest you approach this,

 

Haha, i mean yes if i leave on good terms i suppose i could get a decent reference but at the same time...who knows...

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If you don't want to keep applying for an editor's job, then you need to get a new plan. See if your college offers career counselling or pick up a copy of What Color is Your Parachute from your local library (or buy it). Talk to people who are in the career you think you would like to try.

 

If you started out in occupational therapy, it may not be too late to get back into it, if that's what you really want. If you can't quit your job, there's always night school or distance learning or weekends. You just have to figure out a way to make it happen and then do it.

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If you are interested in the medical field then yes, I think it's a good plan to go back to school and get a degree. Research what fields in medicine offer the best chances for employment and maybe start there. I have a friend whose an R.N. and she went into the home healthcare field and has never lacked for finding work. She can pretty much get on anywhere she wants. Downside is she does eventually get burned out on the clients since well, sick people are just hard to deal with sometimes. In those instances when she finds herself no longer enjoying the work she goes off and finds another job and I don't think she's ever been more than a week without work. She also is able to travel around and that makes a difference since she tends to prefer the areas where there isn't as much job competition anyways although she worked steadily in Los Angeles for years when I lived there, it's where we met. Word of warning, you need to be a people person generally to be really outstanding in that field, so take that into account.

 

I currently work as a freelance writer and also do website optimization for clients. And as a side I do legal and corporate transcribing to make a little extra money. It took me time to land the clients and really started off with me doing something for a friend, then she referred someone else and after the fourth person came to me and said, "You should do this full time, I'd hire you for sure" I took a big chance and went full-on freelance. I love my work now, it allows me freedom of schedule that I just never had with any other job plus added bonus is no office politics and snotty coworkers to deal with. I am my own snotty coworker or bad boss, so if something goes wrong I'm it. Downside is there are no benefits, I occasionally have to deal with clients who will try and get slimy and not pay or delay paying plus sometimes the work slows down to nothing. Many times it's a feast or famine situation with me being so crazy busy I don't sleep more than a couple hours a night for a week or more to suddenly nothing at all and I'm freaking out.

 

That said I will never go back to being a corporate drone or working in an office. I did that for years in a variety of jobs including yes a publishing company as an editor and proofreader. I hated all of it, because I always just ended up feeling like someone out of a Dilbert cartoon. The only exception was when I worked in a women's shelter in L.A. I loved that job, but eventually funding got cut and it closed. I never found anything again that was quite like that although I did look. I think the people who ran the shelter were why I enjoyed it so much and there was just a dynamic there I didn't find again even though sometimes it could be very heartbreaking or even scary. It was the one job where I felt I was making a positive difference in the world.

 

P.S. I hate all sales jobs with the passion of a thousand burning suns, tried that and I am not a salesperson type at all. If you're sobbing and hating it then look at whether it's that you hate the job itself or the coworkers are that awful and you'd be fine doing the same thing elsewhere.

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What do you think you'd love? Medicine?

 

Do that.

 

If it turns out once you get into the schooling/training required that you don't love it... feel free to hop around until you do. You're young - take advantage of that and figure out what you can do that will make you love your job. It makes a huge, huge difference. It is definitely worthwhile to put the time, money and effort into finding the thing that you love to do.

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Oh, i think if you went into some kind of a medical career, you will never have to worry about finding a job again.

 

There are so many different careers you can get into.. nursing, respiratory specialists, ultrasound technicians, X-ray/radiology techincians, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, dieticians, pharmacy clerks, etc. Some require longer education than others, but some you can train for quite quickly, and all of them will keep you imminently employable just about anywhere and in demand.

 

I think occupational therapists are more vague and not nearly as in demand. And sadly anything in the print media/magazine publishing industry is in serious decline as careers these days. Just not recommended for anybody because print media is really seen as a dying industry in many ways...

 

Start your research today! there are many degrees you can get 100% online these days or close to it, mostly online then with an internship or practicum added at the end. You can get student loans to support yourself too if need be to get out of your soul sucking job ASAP.

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What do you enjoy doing when you're not thinking

what kind of books grab your attention

what would you say are your natural talents

what sparks a fire in your bely

what puzzles you about the world

what did you want to be when you were a child

which lessons did you enjoy most at school and why

 

 

Have a look at the things you are good at without trying too hard. And which subjects you seem to gravitate towards and you are naturally good at.

 

 

A big one is to look at your values and try and choose a job that incorporates your most important values

 

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Presuming you're not wealthy and need to work to support yourself, you should narrow your choices to what is forecasted for growth and high demand wherever you live. That info is readily available. Then, from that list see what matches best with your background, education, and interests - in that order.

 

Choosing a career based on interests and ignoring job forecasts is an epic way to set yourself up for financial hardship which will affect all aspects of your life.

 

Many parents failed to teach their kids this and that's why we have loads of unemployed folks with media, comm, and psych degrees.

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Maybe for some people money is not the most important factor but job satisfaction and offering to mankind is. Most caring/helping or creative professions don't give back great salaries. But none of those folks want to be in an office doiing routine work. I now work for a couple of charities part time and have never seen such nice, caring and happy crowd in my previous jobs. In order to do humanitarian work abroad you have to cover all expenses, flight and accommodation. In the meantime you are also probably still paying rent at the flat you have left behind when you go abroad. It is very scewed that wanting to do good for the world means you have to struggle but lots of people still do it. Because they are driven by something else than just financial comfort. Now if you want security and kids your options are different. That is why I suggested she looks at her values.

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Choosing a career based on interests and ignoring job forecasts is an epic way to set yourself up for financial hardship which will affect all aspects of your life.
If I had gone into the career path my parent wanted me to (teaching), I would have had financial hardship. She saw it as a guaranteed job for life and a pension at the end of it. Pretty much everyone I know who went to teacher's college couldn't get a teaching position and is now doing something else. I went into the career path I wanted in a creative field and have always been employed. I may not have wound up in what I went into it for, but I found something within the field.

 

There is that old saying you know about doing what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

 

OP, if you really want to do something with growth potential and future employment opportunities look into working with the elderly. We are literally staring down the barrel of an aging population gun right now with all the Baby Boomers aging. I don't know if there's a branch of occupational therapy that deals with the elderly (helping recover/relearn after stroke?) but if there is, look at that. Or autism, there is a lack of workers (from what I understand) who understand how to help children with autism, and the rates of that are rising.

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Hey all- that you each for putting in some info! Read through everything!

 

I keep hoping and praying something will come through on the creative front but the city i currently live in, there isn't much potential for that at all.

 

Anyway, i've been googling all day looking for insight on different jobs. There were very mixed feelings about respiratory therapy- some said it was the worst, some loved it. Occupational I studied for a few semesters and also witnessed after my mother had a stroke last year. Unfortunately i still felt the way i felt when i studied it. Their job just seems so dull. I remember the woman would sit with my mother and have her count play money and that was part of her job- (which is something so easy that you're making so much pay for) - but i just don't think i would enjoy that, i think i would get so bored. Plus OT programs are so competitive and hard to get into for some reason. So that leaves nursing as the winner so far, just because there is so much room for expansion, but it'll be so much work and i've also heard some cases of people not being able to find jobs easily.

 

I've also thought about paralegal programs- anyone have any info on that type? Although i'm not sure if i'll enjoy that either.

 

I definitely want to make a decent salary since i do plan to have kids one day! So i will need something that guarantees a livable income for more than just myself.

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Presuming you're not wealthy and need to work to support yourself, you should narrow your choices to what is forecasted for growth and high demand wherever you live. That info is readily available. Then, from that list see what matches best with your background, education, and interests - in that order.

 

Choosing a career based on interests and ignoring job forecasts is an epic way to set yourself up for financial hardship which will affect all aspects of your life.

 

Many parents failed to teach their kids this and that's why we have loads of unemployed folks with media, comm, and psych degrees.

 

Agreed.

You have to be aware of what youcan do as well as what's available.

I don't think going back to school is a good idea after a certain age & unfortunately, 25 isn't young anymore.

I see education as a luxury & shouldn'tbe done to further job development under certain (most circumstances).

I say work with what you got NOW... Find something you're qualified for NOW.

A few certificates or training programs are acceptable, but a fullmedical degree?

That's a luxury I don't think should be started @ your age.

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Nursing is a great field with lot's of upward mobility. You can spend your career as a registered nurse and work your way into administrative role (more $$) or go on to graduate school and become a Nurse Practioner. NPs function more as physicians as there job is to take a history and physical, order appropriate testing and arrive at a diagnosis then treat said diagnosis with the appropriate prescription or procedure. They can make six figures in the states.

 

Respiratory therapy is an okay field. They have a unique and very needed skillset but there isn't a lot of option or upward mobility.

 

There is also paramedics, which start around 40-50k and are typically employed by fire departments if you want more action. There's plenty of room to promote there as well as there are various officer positions. In the mean time I'd say attend an EMT basic or CNA (certified nursing assistant) course as they can be completed in one semester and you can work in these roles immediately while finishing your health education. That way you can get out of the job you hate, get relevant experience and affirm if you would like to commit to healthcare. Goodluck

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I don't think going back to school is a good idea after a certain age & unfortunately, 25 isn't young anymore.

I see education as a luxury & shouldn'tbe done to further job development under certain (most circumstances).

That's a luxury I don't think should be started @ your age.

 

She is only 25

Most people don't even know who they are or what they want to study at 18.

 

 

I say work with what you got NOW... Find something you're qualified for NOW.

 

you'd be surprised how permanent 'for NOW' becomes. And then it WILL be too late to do something new.

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She is only 25

Most people don't even know who they are or what they wabynt to study at 18.

 

I only suggest she not take another degree because when I look around everyone her (& my) age who's stayed in school that long is so, so, Oh so far behind

They can't afford basic things like a junker car & end up depressed because @ 29 they've got nothing to live with. Also, I noticed a lot of people my age going back to school because they felt lost not because it's what they want to do. 25 really isn't young lol not in this economy

 

 

 

 

you'd be surprised how permanent 'for NOW' becomes. And then it WILL be too late to do something new

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