Saturday, March 1, 2014

All the jobs

Two of my friends were brainstorming a single phrase that could identify various friends without any other context. The one they suggested for me was, "I want all the jobs!" Humorous, and pretty true. That or, I want none of the jobs, with the manner in which I seem to discard them.

So far this year (2 months) I have applied to at least the following jobs: ESL teacher at a community college, Spanish instructor at two different private high schools, consular adjudicator in a Latin American country for the State Department, raft guide, living history interpreter, railroad station agent, interpretive coach, and auditioned for an acting agency. Pretty typical for my spread of interests, as well as quantity of options I try to give myself, but this might be getting to be a bit much, even for me.

I started taking classes last year at a community college, hoping to feel out electricity (with thoughts of entering the solar field) and nursing. This year I got a job in an ER which is great experience, but very low pay and usually a bad schedule. I'm also taking four science courses, pre-reqs for nursing, since I decided that route made more sense. But now...of course I'm having second thoughts (or forty-second). I very much dislike being back in school at age twenty-eight for an associates or maybe bachelor's degree, when I already have a master's. I very much dislike using my savings because I'm not getting paid enough to pay my bills and loans each month. I very much dislike staying home to study every weekend while my friends go on adventures. I realize these problems are *very* "first world," so feel free to stop reading if you're disgusted. It is frustrating, though, to feel as if I'm starting from scratch, and my past education and experience mean nothing.

Six years out of college I should be qualified for jobs other than, "entry level," but because I haven't stayed in one field for long enough, I don't have the minimum experience required to meet expectations for many employers. I personally think my broad range of experiences makes me *more* qualified to do almost any given job, as I have such a diversified background, but try explaining that to an automated computer screening system.

I'm ready for a more "career" job. The problem is that I very intensely crave job satisfaction, and thus far have been unable to find it for more than about six months, and its daunting to think about spending another two years in school, going into more debt, to do something I'm unsure about. That's what my first liberal arts degree was for, right? I don't have time to spend looking for an applying to jobs all over the country. I don't have time or money to go back to school four more times. At some point I have to decide on something certain and commit to it, or settle for something and obligate myself to understand that satisfaction can be found in other areas of life and the job I do doesn't have to be the *best* job that exists for me, and perfectly match my interests and skills. (A remarkably similar parallel could be drawn to my romantic history, or lack thereof.)

Possibilities include: architect, landscape architect, nurse, teacher, pilot, journalist/writer, ASL interpreter, Spanish interpreter, Forest Service or Park Service career path, actor, carpenter, firefighter, speech/language whenever I decide, I'll let you know. Don't hold your breath, it might take another 28 years.

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