Post # 1
Right now I’m struggling with a career I find to be completely unfulfilling. It’s especially frustrating because I’ve gotten a lot of education and geared years of my life to get to where I am and I.JUST.HATE.IT. All the superficial stuff is fine (pay, working conditions, co-workers, boss, etc) but the job is intellecturally and spiritually unfufilling. Whether it’s not a fit with the job itself or not a fit with the organization it’s hard to say.
Which brings me to my question: for you bees who love your jobs – how did you find a career that was right for you? What makes your job fulfilling? Did anyone make the transition from a career/work place that drained your soul to one that made you want to spring out of bed in the morning?
Your stories, advice, links, inspiration, whatever are needed! Help me bees! Life is too short to do work that’s not important.
Post # 3
I LOVE MY JOB!! But it took me extra years in college though, I graduated after 6 yrs instead of 4. I’m a radiation therapist (treat cancer patients) and there’s nothing more fulfulling than saving someones life or improving their quality of life. There has never been a time where I hated what I did.
I was a physical therapy major before switching to radaition sciences. I did volunteering in physical therapy during my freshman and sophomore yr in college and thats when I found out it wasn’t for me. So my college roommate educated me more on this program so I applied, got in, and now employeed by my university hospital 6 1/2 yrs!
There’s nothing wrong with switching your career to something else even if you did yrs and yrs of school. Is your degree in something that can be used from something else? (unlike mine…its a good thing I love my job!)
Post # 4
I sat back and took a long and thorough look at what I enjoyed doing outside of work. I also reviewed what I did and didn’t like about past jobs I worked in. After evaluating these factors I tried to look and see what kind of career that would support at least half of what I wanted. After selecting a broad field/career option – I researched online what I would need to do in order to get into the industry and what education I would need. Then I went back to school and went through two years of blood, sweat and tears to get to where I am today (I took 7 to 9 courses a semester).
Post # 5
Jingle – So glad to hear you love your job! I always thought that I’d love to be in a medical field if only I had any stomach for blood and hospitals and anything remotely related to cutting into people. Luckily I do have a practical degree in a field that will be useful no matter what (Business). You’re so lucky to have found your fit right out of school!
MrsBtobe – Wow, 7-9 courses per semester! Holy crap! Good for you for figuring out what you want to do and going after it so aggressively! i hope that if I can actually figure out what the heck I want to do I will have the strength to go after it with such force.
Post # 6
Some of the best career advice I have heard is this: Find a job where you can be yourself. Or, be yourself in your job.
For example, I am creatively inclined, I like to find problems and fix them, I am interested in people, and I hate to be micromanaged. Even though my current job is kind of dry (editing), I approach it in a creative way (like by coming up with new ways to edit). I also self-start little related projects. This brings me a lot of satisfaction.
What enabled me to make a dry job a creative job was my own initiative and managers who respected the good work I did. Lots of times I come up with projects on my own, do them on the side, and then show them to my managers when they are done. It’s easier to convince someone of your good ideas if you have an end result to show them instead of just an idea. So before you abandon your career, can you change the way you approach it?
Also, I try not to put all my happiness eggs in the job basket. I think that growing up with the “you can be anything you want” mentality made me think that if I didn’t have a job I adored I was a failure. Then my (older, wiser) husband made me realize that for most people a job is just a job. You don’t have to adore your job, but you should be able to like it well enough. That might mean that you don’t have to start over from scratch to be happy. And filling your life with things you love outside of work also really helps.
Post # 7
I really needed this post! I am in a bit of a crisis every other day about my ‘job’ – I have been thinking about jobs. vs. careers and I am anxious to hear what other bees have to say! =D
Post # 8
And as I write this a job posting for an AMAZING looking company just came up! Good sign? I hope so!
chelseamorning – great great point about work not needing to be your everything. I must admit that it’s hard to be happy with anything less than fantastic. I really admire what you said about beign a self starter and having initiative as well, I used to bring a lot more of that to my job and it is satisfying.
Krissycake – hang in there! I’m with you girl!
Post # 9
cbgg – You definitely “get back” what you “put in” so go at it girl! And trust me when I say blood sweat and tears when I went back to school. But it wasn’t all hard and bad – I made some life long friends AND future business contacts through going back.
So once you figure out what you want to do – go out there and NETWORK..meet NEW people..and put yourself out there. It’ll all work out in the end!
Post # 10
I hate what I’m doing right now too. And I’m in school for it still and working in a lab!
I just fill my life with other things to make me happy – I join committees, I take up second jobs teaching (which is what I would like to do for a full time job in the future), I have lots of hobbies (dancing and violin).
So yeah, I don’t have advice for how to get that job you love because I definitely don’t have it. But I do an ok job of making myself happy and busy outside of my job.
Post # 11
I’m sometimes feeling it and sometimes I don’t. At the end of the day, the “superficial” things are good about my job, too…I don’t jump out of bed everyday, but it’s really realy awesome to be able to afford the things I want OUTSIDE of work, like a nice house and dinners with my friends or not be stressed about how I spent too much on a blouse. Over all, I find that the things “outside” work make me happier than my actual job, which is only 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I don’;t usually hate what i do. it has good and bad things to it. I am actually getting transitioned into a more hands-on machining side of things (sexy, no? lol) so i’ll get away from the boring desk stuff and into the presentation giving and hopefully someday kjnowing enough to be able to tell a bunch of men why their parts suck and ours rock =].
Sometimes it’s all about finding your niche where you are right now.
Post # 12
I was so set ona specific career when I was in college, but after working in that field right out of school, it was clear it was not for me after all. I spent a few years feeling pretty lost – but in that time I read a lot of job books inlcuding the one that really helped me “What Color is your parachute?”
That booked helped me take the next step – using the skills I had to help get a job in a big company that I thought would be fun to work for and talking to people there that did different things – kind of having “informational interviews: with people at the head of departments that looked interesting to me. Everyone was extremely open to sharing their experiences with me, and one of these actually led to a job offer that got me started in the career I have now.
That was over a decade ago. I still work in the same field, only now, I own my own company! People tell me all the time how I am great at what I do and it feels wonderful – esp considering I got a bit of a late start in it. I still like my job very much but I am open to perhaps moving on to the next thing in a few years. I think its important to realize that you can have several different careers in one lifetime, and that where you are now is not forever.
Post # 13
wildstyle – that’s the life story I’m hoping for at this point. I started reading What Color is your Parachute but couldn’t get over the annoying writing style. I’ll give it another crack.
Post # 14
@cbgg – thanks for the encouragement! it’s very funny because i really do have what i thought was to be my ‘dream job’ – but now it’s a total “now what?” situation.
Post # 15
@cbgg – yeah its a tough read but I didn’t actually read the whole book. just read the parts I thought I could learn from. but the informational interviews thing, i learned that from that book and that is what ultimately helped me settle on my career field. and i made some really great friends in the process!
one other thing i have learned – while i love my job, i think what i really love is running my own business. don’t get me wrong – its very hard a lot of the time – right now i am very overworked and i have the flu but i still had to work today – but i got to work from my home. in two weeks, i will spend a “romantic” weekend with my partner at a trade show!
now i know that any business i have, i would really love. i think that careers are not static, you can also see a job/business evolve into something else, as is happening to me at the moment. take heart. feel free to pm me if you wanna talk to someone about this in greater depth. i have been in your position and it wasn’t an easy place to be.
Post # 16
I found mine by total accident. I thought I knew what I was going to be from the time I was in third grade to my junior year in high school. We had to job shadow as an assignment for school and a family friend/doctor recommended I shadow the speech-language pathologist in my district. I. LOVE. IT. It was a lot of work to get through graduate school, but it’s so worth it now. I’m not saying everyday is a breeze; it’s tough sometimes. I feel like I’m in a place where I can do a lot of good, and not just helping kiddos with their speech and language. Some of them come from such chaos, and I feel like I am really helping if I can help take some of that away while they are at school.
The school is the setting I felt to be the best fit for me now, but there are so many opportunities. Nursing homes, hospitals, private practices…I can take my pick and move around if I feel like I’m getting bored or missing out on something.
Another big bonus (especially in this economy) is that I was being offered jobs before I even graduated. In a time when people are struggling to keep/find jobs, I had multiple offers before I had even finished my degree. I am only working one job right now, but if I chose, I could be picking up additional hours and additional pay easily.
Schools don’t pay the most, but for where I am in my life, I feel like I’m in a good place. I get to do something rewarding everyday and am so glad I stuck with it through those tough times in grad school. Thank God for that family friend that cared enough to suggest a career she thought I would be enjoy!