Reply To: Ask the experts
Hello Rachel and Kristen,
Thanks so much for creating this quiz and course! I am definitely a true Thriver and really envy your dad’s situation. I am not very happy with my current life situation and it has even caused me to avoid interaction, especially with family around which I feel very inadequate compared to the others in my age range who all had solid (and even impressive/exciting) careers by their mid-20s. I’m almost 27 years old, educated (social sciences) and I’ve been working as a call center agent since last July.
One major value that was brought out by the Short Course is that I strongly prefer low-pressure interaction as part of my job (assuming said job requires frequent interaction, which it would be a big bonus if it didn’t). As a customer service agent I have solidified my dislike for having to be dealing with people one-on-one all the time and putting up with their negativity in a semi-high pressure style of interaction. I would very likely dislike a job/career where interaction is routinely high-pressure, high-stakes, negative and/or constant. I had briefly considered going into HR but I get the impression I would hate it for that reason.
Prior to this I was a temp Administrative Assistant for a government office in my city. I enjoyed the position very much and it was even comforting to me. However, I didn’t last very long as my supervisor decided I wasn’t picking up the material fast enough and was still asking questions 6 weeks into the temp position. It was my first job of the type and I’m positive that if I was given another month there I would have nearly everything figured out with few if any more questions. My supervisor gave me a good reference but said that next time I should take greater care to remember everything and not ask too many questions, which I would have no problem with in the future (by studying more). However it still caused me to substantially question my competence and capabilities and I wondered if I was a detail-oriented and organized person which every job calls for.
Hence, I’m currently deciding what to do long-term and am considering going back to college. I am partly considering going into Web Development or Design, but it’s a lot of hours of learning and I may end up not being that great at it (I’m terrible at anything involving numbers or math, which it’s unclear whether this type of job requires at least some degree of such). I am also thinking about going to school to become an educational assistant, as I have a very patient and caring demeanour, am great with kids and value/enjoy a school environment. However it would take a ton of energy and I might find it too stressful and draining. I was also considering going to school to become a Library Technician, which sounds like an ideal job to me but the job market seems pretty bleak.
Basically I just want to settle on a path that
a) I am, or could become very competent at (So mimimal-to-no math. Accounting is out.)
b) Has plenty of job opportunities (I think this strongly relates to freedom as well. When there are many opportunities, it’s much easier to find a new job in the same field if an unhappy or toxic situation arises.)
c) Is not dealing with people’s negativity constantly
d) Is in an environment I enjoy or at least don’t hate
e) Has reasonable hours/time off (no more than 40/week, preferably 30-36 range), as well as being stable and not on-call or always reachable (that is a HUGE dealbreaker for me).
I actually enjoy the more simple, repetitive types of tasks like my previous administrative position (or a much-lamented “data entry” job :P), but those types of jobs are getting fewer and further between, and are mostly temp.
There seem not to be very many stable career-jobs that do not involve either some type of mathematical skill, or a heavy amount of negative interaction (e.g. HR, law-related fields).
As such, I’m actually not really sure what my question is, and I do apologize for such a long post. I just feel the need to let out my thoughts which have been stirring around, to see if you have any input.
You’re awesome, and I’ve been reading your blog on and off for the past year-and-a-half. I should put it out there that so much of what you said in old blog posts made me feel so much better about myself, that my job doesn’t have to be my identity and that my passion doesn’t have to be a THING. It was probably the first time I ever heard anyone outright say that.