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Career Choices... I can't decide! #327230
07/07/07 06:24 AM
07/07/07 06:24 AM
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lala21 Offline OP
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I don't know if this is the right place for this, but for the last year or two I have been trying to narrow down some career choices that interest me. Unfortunately I'm having a real hard time making a decision.

Here's a little background info about me.
My grades weren't too great in school (mostly because I didn't try) But my favourite/most interesting and best subjects included:

English, Journalism (I took this 1 or 2 years in junior high), and Cooking (I took cooking in grade 8, 9 and 10 and also a Chef's Training Program in grades 11 and 12 but did not go on to College for this)and Art.

Subjects that were somewhat interesting, but I now wish I had taken more classes on because they are NOW MORE interesting include:

Psycology, History, Geography, Biology, Chemistry (a little bit)

My worst subject over all is math. I am not very good at it. Although I think I am better than I used to be. And I was not too into P.E.

Other interests I have are:

Animals, Event Planning (weddings etc), Food, I'm fascinated by Africa, Art, Writing, Music, Research, Travel(even though I have yet to do much of it), History (1800's and early 1900's interest me), Psycology, People, Kids, Organizing/list making, Using computers, photography, being creative etc

Some career choices I have thought about include:
Travel Agent
Medical Office Assistant
Dental Office Receptionist
Secretary in a school
Working for a catering company
Chef
Restaurant owner
Daycare Provider
Vet's assistant
Owning a home based Gift Basket Business
Wedding coordinator
Counsellor
Photographer
Pharmacist

My problem is that what ever choice I make I have to do some upgrading of my English and possibly math because I graduated with poor grades frown Bad me I know! I regret not trying harder because I COULD have done better, but that's besides the point. Also, I don't want to go back to school for very long. A year, MAYBE 2 years. Also, hubby and I plan on starting a family in 4-5 years so I need something that will be able to get back into after having kids. And something that will pay a decent wage but does not have to be substantial, just more than what I make now.
I can't afford to be going to school for numerous things and I plan on going back to school in Sept. 2008. So this year I am spending the time doing some upgrading and deciding what I should do. But I'm stuck in my decision making. Everytime I come up with an idea that I get excited about, I end up feeling like I can't do it, or Im too scared to try it, or I think of something I might like better, and then I get confused. The other problem is that I don't have very much work experience. I've only really had 2 jobs in my life. One was for 6 months at a collection agency which I did not like much (mostly because of the people) and working in housekeeping in a hotel. So I don't have sales experience, cash experience, or office experience. I keep leaning towards the medical office/travel agent thing.

I know this is alot of information, but does any one have any advice?? eek... thanks for reading at least!
Laura

Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: lala21] #327241
07/07/07 07:13 AM
07/07/07 07:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
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hollyelise Offline
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Yes. smile

Take a deep breath, and quit looking for the perfect answer. smile

I do this to myself, too, Laura. But the truth is, we can't know everything about our future. It is also true that people today often change careers in their life, so don't feel like you'll be "locked in" if you decide to do something else later.

I would be reluctant to recommend journalism as your main career... simply because i've had two close people in my life who are journalists. They work long hours... often the hours other people are home with their families, they are out at some boring meeting getting the essentials for their next report. And though there are some who get paid well, most get paid surprisingly poor salaries, even without considering all the overtime they do for free and the weird hours.

Medical office assistant and dental office, vet's assistant, secretary in a school... these jobs tend to be secure jobs with regular hours, but there is virtually no chance for advancement and the pay isn't the worst but it's certainly not good. You would make a great one, but you are so smart, Lala... you could also be much more, and i don't think you'd regret choosing a career with more challenge and advancement.

Chef... a great career, but known for being stressful (particularly the better the restaurant), and if you wish to have a family, remember the hours you'd be most needed to work would be dinner time. Women do it... balance family and being a chef... but you might wish to keep that in mind, that it will keep you away during prime family time. As a caterer you'd have more control over your hours, but there would still occassionally be conflicts of time.

Restaurant owner... great idea, but after you've established yourself. Most businesses fail, and particularly the restaurant business is hard! It's a gamble.

Counsellor - a great job and you'd be great at it.

Pharmacist, travel agent - i'm not as familiar with these careers.

Many of the jobs you mentioned would be great on the side if you wished to have your own business to see how you liked it and how much money it would make for you... jobs like catering, the gift baskets, and writing! I think you would make a great writer, Laura, but you might want to consider doing this on the side as a freelancer. Same with the photography. I think you would find it rewarding, but it is less stressful starting it on the side of a job that has a regular paycheck and health insurance.








Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: hollyelise] #327326
07/07/07 08:32 PM
07/07/07 08:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,726
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babyquacker Offline
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Laura, I agree with Holly that you just need to take a deep breath and quit looking for the perfect answer! wink Next, all the stuff she said about the various suggestions you had mentioned are pretty much 'on the money'. I have friends who are pharmacists (one of the areas Holly wasn't familiar with) and they enjoy it. They both are mothers, work part time, and pretty much pick their hours (or just change pharmacies if they get too many hours or the wrong shifts. They are a pretty hot commodity). smile

One thing I would start by saying is that getting a college degree is a GEAT idea so that you have something to fall back on once you start your family and the children start school. You will have a better idea of what you REALLY want to do, once you become a mother and you are ready to go back to work. wink Once you have your family and are ready to start working, it is usually much easier to quickly pick up a few additional courses you might need after you have your degree. You can always get those courses online while the children are still babies. smile

Something that you can do part-time, when YOU choose your own hours, is probably the best thing for a young woman planning to start a family. (Obviously something that pays pretty well to make up the difference for being part-time). Some of your ideas could make excellent transitions into an "Independent Consultant", like LOCATING a catering service for an out of state event planner, rather than working FOR the catering service). laugh Travel agent is another job I think that you could do at home, as an independent consultant, but you would need to take college courses to learn how to advertise and market yourself! smile

I agree that some careers are better as 2nd jobs or hobbies. The most important thing, IN MY OPINION, is to really contemplate what it is that you LOVE to do and enjoy so much that you would not consider it work! wink The best career in the world in one that you don't think of as a "job", because you have so much fun, satisfaction, creativity, independence, and receive so much respect and enjoyment. It's like YOU get paid for doing something that you "LOVE" to do anyway. It becomes a win-win situation. laugh

So my biggest advice, Laura, is to think about things that you really love to do, make a list of each thing that would be good and bad about it as a new parent, and decide which you think would be the most FUN! Remember, wink all of us have made career changes and you can, too! So don't be afraid to choose a career and go after it, because once you have children and they grow up, you might change your mind again. smile Life is wondorously and hopefully long, and education is GREAT, so follow your passion, enjoy and GOOD LUCK! laugh

Trish

Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: babyquacker] #327758
07/09/07 07:00 PM
07/09/07 07:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 250
NC, USA
OldSageHand Offline
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Great advice! It's so important to enjoy your work, if at all possible. Then, getting to do that job from home is a real bonus.

They're all interesting good careers, and each will lead down a slightly different path. That's where you have to use some imagination and watch others who have chosen certain careers to see if that's what you want. With the writing and chef training, wouldn't it be fun to start your own cook book?


Sharlene Thomas
Career Training Editor, Bella Online
CreativeHandz
StariaMelodies
Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: OldSageHand] #327765
07/09/07 07:33 PM
07/09/07 07:33 PM
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Posts: 622
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lala21 Offline OP
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Thanks ladies smile Ive been spending the last couple of days talking with hubby and others and doing a lot of thinking and it always comes back to the office work.

My old teacher actually suggested writing a book book. He always enjoyed reading my essays etc. And he always told me that I was talented in writing and cooking. But I came to the realization a few years ago that anything that is artisitc - cooking, writing, photography, gift baskets etc (even though I had once thought of doing it as a career) they are things that I should do on the side.

That's why I lean more towards the office work/travel agent thing. So many people have told me that "I can do better than that..." but if that's what I want to do then why would I want to do better? Sure, it's not the BEST paying job, but money doesn't mean anything to me. I'd rather be happy than make loads of money. Sure, there are careers with more advancement opportunities and that are more challenging, but I dont think that's what Im looking for. If I wasn't planning on having a family then I would probably spend the time and money working on my education and getting into a career such as a chef, a restaurant owner, a psycologist etc BUT the fact remains that I want as much time as possible spent with my family and taking care of them. I am more concerned having enough TIME and ENERGY for my FAMILY. I don't want a job where my work comes home with me.

And working as a receptionist in a doctors office/dental office etc, as Holly said, they are regular working hours, stable, they can be worked part-time or full-time. And if later on I wanted to work my self up to something higher, I can always take another few college courses and become a dental assistant or something like that.

I know that when choosing a career many people pick something that includes their interests/passions etc, but I tend to think of how my life is going to be in the future, and I need a job that works with that. I dont have the time and money to become a psycologist or counsellor or chef. These career choices take years and years! If I went down that road, we would be broke for a long time, and would not be starting a family until Im well into my 30's. That's not okay with us. I believe my purpose in life is to raise a family, not to have a huge career. So when it comes down to it, I only need a job that pays a little more than what I make now, something that I can enjoy, something stable, regular hours etc. That's all I need. And then I can do other things on the side such as gift basket making, cooking, writing a cook book!, maybe do volunteer work with kids or animals etc and these are interests and hobbies I can include my family in rahter than making a career out of it and having my family on the side... that's just how I see it for myself anyways.

Thanks for your responses everyone.

Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: lala21] #327799
07/10/07 12:16 AM
07/10/07 12:16 AM
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K i K i Offline
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K i K i  Offline
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We have a lot of similar interests. I understand completely what you mean when you think that all of your creative endeavors should be "done on the side."

I'm pursuing a lot of little creative writing, design, and crafty projects right now. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuits also and I hope that you realize what job would make you happiest and financially secure and are able to pursue it!

Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: K i K i] #327805
07/10/07 12:38 AM
07/10/07 12:38 AM
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lala21 Offline OP
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Thanks KiKi smile

Are your creative writing, design and crafty projects on the side? Or are they involved with your job?

Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: lala21] #327935
07/10/07 01:46 PM
07/10/07 01:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 180
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K i K i Offline
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Everything I do is on the side. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis almost 3 years ago and I haven't been able to work a full time job since then. My husband really wants me to be happy and healthy. Since he has a stable job I'm not focused on going back to work full-time and I'm just trying to earn a little bit of money from the things I enjoy.

Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: K i K i] #332010
07/30/07 04:18 PM
07/30/07 04:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 250
NC, USA
OldSageHand Offline
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Many times, those creative things you do on the side become a great second career in later years. Do what makes you feel the best and enjoy every day of your life -- that's what's important. Let others make their choices, for themselves, not for you!

Good luck!


Sharlene Thomas
Career Training Editor, Bella Online
CreativeHandz
StariaMelodies
Re: Career Choices... I can't decide! [Re: OldSageHand] #332536
08/03/07 06:23 AM
08/03/07 06:23 AM
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Posts: 622
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lala21 Offline OP
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Ive come to the conclusion that Ive been thinking TOO much about what I want/should do. I went back and re-read all my posts and all of your responses and Im going to do what I originally was going to. I like the medical office idea because it gives me the regular and steady hours I am looking for. And that is one aspect that is most important. Also, it is only an 8 month course and isn't too expensive for us. And once I finish school and start working again I decided that I will do that 4 days a week, and then 1 day a week I will work in a pet store or volunteer to work with animals or do my gift baskets or one of my other interests. This way I am still making enough money for the family with regular working hours, but I am still fulfilling my personal interests. I think that will work best for what my husband and I have planned for our future.

Last edited by lala21; 08/03/07 06:26 AM.
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