Advice for Picking Career

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maydayp
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Advice for Picking Career

Postby maydayp » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:17 am UTC

Okay, so I've crossed out my dream job as a realistic job (there isn't enough jobs with a library and info diploma for me to be comfortable, and the pay sucks).
I know I'm going to have to get student loans and have a job (and probably move across the province...good bye money). Also please remember that I'm not american, so the financial aid and school cost with be different.
The thing is, I have a lot of anxiety around even being able to complete and compete in what ever field I think about entering. Especially as I can find faults with me in any career I think of. And given the student loans and both emotional and financial strain I think this will have, the less schooling I need is the best.
I'd love to do something with computers (but I'm not good at teaching myself thing, and well I'm almost 24, most people I know of got a start before they were 18), or health care (umm, not like nurse or doctor or lab tech, but I think I could handle administrative stuff or radiology). I thought something with money (working at a bank or accounting). And heck for all of them I worry that I won't remember enough to get through it and get a job. (and really earnings are a part of it, I need to make +30k a year, since I don't ever plan on marrying, and would like to eventually live by myself)

So the advice I'm looking for is how to figure out if it's right for me/I'm right for it (it being a collage/university program, or career choice.)

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JBJ
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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby JBJ » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:14 pm UTC

The problem I see, is that it appears you don't know what you want to do. That's actually not as big of a problem as it sounds, as long as you know that you don't know.

If you don't know what you want to do, you do not want to make a committed approach to an arbitrarily chosen goal. You can't just say "I'm going to be a radiologist!", go to school for a couple of years to get your certification and/or license, only to finally get a job and discover that you don't like it or can't do it well. Well... you can do that, but you're chances for failure along the way are increased and if you do make it to your original goal and are miserable, then you didn't really succeed did you?

So, my advice is: the only way to really figure out if a career is a good fit is to actually try it out. I know that's not super useful advice when there is a real investment in time and money needed to get to the point of trying it out, so you can probably eliminate the health care industry options. Nearly all the fields in health care that meet your requirement of $30K+ also require a minimum of two years of additional schooling or specialized training programs. It doesn't completely eliminate those options, as you can certainly find a job in the administrative/clerical side of health care and get some industry exposure. That can give you much better insight as to what some of those other specialized jobs entail and you can make a better informed decision later on.

You can take a similar approach in the other fields of computers and finance. In those areas, it's possible to get a foot in the door without a specific degree or experience. It's also much easier to transition from one position to another. If you get a job as an entry level accounts payable clerk, you might find you have an aptitude for analysis and reporting. You could demonstrate that, get some opportunities to cross-train and transition to that role. Or if you take a first level helpdesk job in the computer field, you might find you have a knack for database work or systems administration. Same approach; demonstrate your natural ability, get some opportunities to use those abilities in a professional setting and you can stake out your own career path. You may not get to your salary goal right away, but you also didn't spend money up front for education you might not use. There's also the chance of your employer picking up the tab for your education at some point.

In any case, if you don't know what you want to do, take something that you can do and keep your options open. Look around the workplace and get a real world perspective of what other jobs are like. Try to get some experience with those positions. Offer to help on a project. Keep trying things out until you find something that clicks. If you aren't sure where you're headed, don't try to get there at full speed.
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LaserGuy
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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:45 pm UTC

As a further recommendation, try to find some people who work in the fields you're interested in. Buy them a coffee or a beer and pick their brain for an hour or two. What was their education like? What's their workday like? Do they feel that their field is appropriate for someone with your skills and interests?

Tyndmyr
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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:08 pm UTC

maydayp wrote:Okay, so I've crossed out my dream job as a realistic job (there isn't enough jobs with a library and info diploma for me to be comfortable, and the pay sucks).
I know I'm going to have to get student loans and have a job (and probably move across the province...good bye money). Also please remember that I'm not american, so the financial aid and school cost with be different.
The thing is, I have a lot of anxiety around even being able to complete and compete in what ever field I think about entering. Especially as I can find faults with me in any career I think of. And given the student loans and both emotional and financial strain I think this will have, the less schooling I need is the best.
I'd love to do something with computers (but I'm not good at teaching myself thing, and well I'm almost 24, most people I know of got a start before they were 18), or health care (umm, not like nurse or doctor or lab tech, but I think I could handle administrative stuff or radiology). I thought something with money (working at a bank or accounting). And heck for all of them I worry that I won't remember enough to get through it and get a job. (and really earnings are a part of it, I need to make +30k a year, since I don't ever plan on marrying, and would like to eventually live by myself)

So the advice I'm looking for is how to figure out if it's right for me/I'm right for it (it being a collage/university program, or career choice.)


I once heard the advice, "If you don't know what you want to do, pick something that pays well". This is generally sound, as money gives you more options for career changes down the road. Everyone has some uncertainty when they're young...that's a natural part of being young. You haven't tried it all, and really couldn't. It's hard to get a good taste of literally every career field. So, bias your sample towards what pays well. Keep in mind that at least some anxiety/stress over completion/competition is entirely normal. I suspect that just about everyone in college feels that way at some point, regardless of chosen field.

Tech is usually decent. If you enjoy working with computers, that's absolutely a start. You don't HAVE to start young for that. It's also a broad field, so you have lots of room to refine your interests later once you determine which parts of it you like and dislike. Every career will definitely have faults...if they were perfect, they'd not be something people would have to be paid to do.

As for figuring out if you're right for it...CS tends to have classes designed to weed out people fairly fast. Don't know if this is true overseas, but in my experience, people who hated it tended to find out very quickly. Additionally, there are usually a number of general education requirements. If you have flexibility here(as we do in the US, usually), try to pick classes spread across a number of fields asap, to maximize your ability to sample and weed out(or at least prioritize) different options.

Reko
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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby Reko » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:29 pm UTC

Is not going right away an option? You could take your time working odd jobs or trying an internship (unpaid if you can stay with your folks might even be a decent option). This way you get 2 benefits:
1) finding things you like so9 you can pursue them, or things you don't like (cross those off the list). This will also give you a chance to meet people and pick their brains, as another user above mentioned.
2) an eye opening experience to life in the "real world" to ground you in your studies, if you choose to pursue them. After I had my wake up call after college I cam back and was at a bar and overheard some ignorant school kids talking about they would rather accept a job that pays 75k that they like vs 90k for a job they don't like. Where I went to school, both of those salaries are pipe dreams. I feel the people that had that working experience or at least didn't have pie in the sky expectations did much better and had much better success in school and, by default, life after school.


The last piece of advice I can give is to never never never underestimate the power of networking and making connections. Don't do it just to do it, but be genuine about it and you can have doors opened for you that you never thought possible.

Good luck!


[edit]
forgot to mention, I know its easy to say "don't worry" about remembering things for a job. Most of what you will need is taught on the job. My first job was an accounting position at a bank. The person who I reported to and trained me? He was a Geology major. Schooling is there to give you a broad understanding of the world (my opinion) and give you extra knowledge within a focused subject. Any job or career you get after that will almost be guaranteed to have their own set of requirements that you will need to learn on top of that (don't worry, everyone will be in the same position as you at this point). If it is your first job in that field, your onboarding (learning curve) will be a little bit longer (Steeper) than someone who maybe transferred from a competitor who has direct field experience. What is your current work experience like now? certainly you started somewhere and were intimidated but eventually you gained proficiency and were able to do your tasks in your sleep yes?

maydayp
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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby maydayp » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:10 am UTC

Reko wrote:Is not going right away an option? You could take your time working odd jobs or trying an internship (unpaid if you can stay with your folks might even be a decent option). This way you get 2 benefits:
1) finding things you like so9 you can pursue them, or things you don't like (cross those off the list). This will also give you a chance to meet people and pick their brains, as another user above mentioned.
2) an eye opening experience to life in the "real world" to ground you in your studies, if you choose to pursue them. After I had my wake up call after college I cam back and was at a bar and overheard some ignorant school kids talking about they would rather accept a job that pays 75k that they like vs 90k for a job they don't like. Where I went to school, both of those salaries are pipe dreams. I feel the people that had that working experience or at least didn't have pie in the sky expectations did much better and had much better success in school and, by default, life after school.


The last piece of advice I can give is to never never never underestimate the power of networking and making connections. Don't do it just to do it, but be genuine about it and you can have doors opened for you that you never thought possible.

Good luck!


[edit]
forgot to mention, I know its easy to say "don't worry" about remembering things for a job. Most of what you will need is taught on the job. My first job was an accounting position at a bank. The person who I reported to and trained me? He was a Geology major. Schooling is there to give you a broad understanding of the world (my opinion) and give you extra knowledge within a focused subject. Any job or career you get after that will almost be guaranteed to have their own set of requirements that you will need to learn on top of that (don't worry, everyone will be in the same position as you at this point). If it is your first job in that field, your onboarding (learning curve) will be a little bit longer (Steeper) than someone who maybe transferred from a competitor who has direct field experience. What is your current work experience like now? certainly you started somewhere and were intimidated but eventually you gained proficiency and were able to do your tasks in your sleep yes?

Truthfully, I posted this over a year ago. So obviously I have time to figure things out. And I know you are trying to help, but your economic view point doesn't seem to line up to mine. There is no way I'd be able to afford to try unpaid internships (which are often illegal), as most of my family lives at or below the poverty line. In addition to that, it's a very toxic family that I need to get away from asap. And at 25 I don't feel that I have too much time left to figure out where I want to go. Right now, I'm working on getting my license (restrictive driving laws and expensive driving lessons help toxic families) so that I can move/get a new job/go to school.

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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:47 am UTC

One health-care related job which requires relatively little schooling is massage therapy. You can freelance, and charge what the market will bear or you can work in an office-usually a chiropractor or orthopedic practice. You can also go work in a vacation spa or on a cruise ship.
I have one friend who only works with people in constant pain, and others who do sports injury relief and others who work in hotel spas with people who just want to relax and feel good. The training is less than two years, and possibly less than one, depending on your program.
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anosh123
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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby anosh123 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:43 am UTC

The last piece of advice I can give is to never never never underestimate the power of networking and making connections. Don't do it just to do it, but be genuine about it and you can have doors opened for you that you never thought possible.

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Re: Advice for Picking Career

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:08 am UTC

Request is from more than a year ago, has long since been resolved, and while this could be interesting as a general advice thread, it does not appear to be going that way.

Locking at request of the Original Poster.
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