April 02, 2010

Future Job Hunting

So DS has job offers.  Probably more than is good for us, because now we'll have to make decisions and negotiate and all those things provide opportunities for future "what ifs" and regrets.  Here's hoping we make the right choice... Who would have thought that being successful would cause more stress?  We are very excited about the future though.  In fact, next weekend, meaning the 8th, we'll arrive in Chapel Hill to see how we like the place.  I'm assuming DS will be talking shop with the school as well, and apparently we'll be meeting with a real estate agent?  oy.

All of this has me contemplating my own job prospects.  I've spent a large part of today on Craigslist for the cities with offers, as well as filling out surveys intended to help me find my calling.  So far, I've discovered that I've most likely wasted my six years of higher education on degrees that are useless...

So I'm asking you, the collective mind, what I should do with myself, because I honestly feel like a failure.  I have a bachelor's degree in art history, where I attempted to focus my studies on architectural history.  I also minored in mathematics.  I went to graduate school for historic preservation, though I never wrote my thesis, so I don't technically have a degree.  The majority of my actual experience is in lowly sales positions, but I did spend a wonderful two years at a healthcare IT company doing user testing on medication software.  I have mad test plan writing skills, but no coding knowledge.  I can tell you that I prefer working with my hands, and thinking things through, and coming up with creative solutions to problems.  I like to see some sort of finished product or goal, so that I feel like something was accomplished with my time.  I like my work to benefit society in some way, even if indirectly.

Whatever job I've held, my reviews are always good, and if it's possible in the job, I'm promoted quickly.  I can be trained to do just about anything, in my opinion.  The problem is that I want to do something I enjoy, and I haven't the slightest idea what that is.  I'm terribly afraid that my two year stint at the software company will be my only fulfilling job, and that the rest of my time will be spent in whatever minimum wage gig is currently hiring.  The idea of going back to school to get another degree only to find out that the jobs are either undesirable or seemingly impossible to find is terrifying.

I still have my craft business, but here I am working less than 10 hours a week at my current job, and I have no real desire to go into the craft room.  It's not that I don't like it.  Probably more that I've had the business for 4 years and still average 1 sale or less per month.  It's hard to keep doing something when it seems like no one appreciates it.  I think I would like to do commissioned work, where someone has a general idea in their head of what they want.

At the risk of sounding like a pity party, I'm starting to feel stupid.  I used to think I was smart.  I think the combination of being surrounded by PhD scientists and my decreasing ability to find engaging, fulfilling work is wearing me down.  And the longer it lasts, the harder it's becoming to find the inner strength to find a way out of this.  Worse, I'm finding myself incredibly jealous, almost resentful, of DS's success.  Aren't I better than this?  I used to know I was, but in the last year and a half, doubt has eaten a hole in that confidence.

I'm floundering.. drowning.. and I need help.  Preferably in something other than empty reassurances, as nice as those are... God, I hope I feel better tomorrow.


kimberlina said...

wow honey. that SUCKS. i hate being in that place. :(

i've been thinking since i read your post previously and can't think of a good answer. you just mentioned on meaghan's fb that you wanted acreage. you love animals - what about raising sheep or llamas? or goats? it's all the rage! plus, they're cute.

it also might help to get to a bookstore or library and sit in the job section. bookstore might be better just because often they have all the books in one place, unlike at a library where maybe the book you want is at another branch.

i did that when i worked at borders - looked through job ideas, especially the occupational outlook book. it's how i chose my current profession. it tells you about all sorts of jobs, what they require, their average pay, how that job looks for future growth, etc.

just a start.

but first - get yourself some good coffee and enjoy it! sometimes you need to spoil yourself a little to get out of a bad funk.

Code name: 1% said...

If it makes you feel any better, I'm a PhD scientist and I haven't got a full-time job either, nor any promising prospects at the moment.:)