I like my job. I like the people I work with and I like that they are finally starting to create some sense of movement which will allow me to progress a little further in my career. But I am not one of those people who is passionate about my work. As a result, I’ve often contemplated different career paths that I didn’t take. (For reference, I have a BA and MA in English Literature and a BEd with English and French as my teachable subjects and while I did enjoy school, I no longer have a yearning to go back). After a tough day at work, these are the alternate jobs I consider:
- Fitness instructor: I assume fitness instructors never have to think about being in shape because their job is to work out. I’ve been told I’m quite wrong about this. This career always pops up when I’m on mat leave because I take mom&baby fitness classes and the instructors are all moms who wanted careers AND to have more flexible schedules to spend more time with their children. But without a sense of clear progression in a work path OTHER than becoming a business owner (no interest in that at all), it isn’t a good long term choice.
- Photographer : another common mom profession, I’m not sure whether I would enjoy taking pictures of other kids as much as I like taking pictures of my own. Plus it’s an evening/weekend thing. That’s usually my time. I do want to take some hobby photography classes, so at least this one is attainable as a side hobby.
- Nutritionist: I love reading about the “right” way to eat, the history of lobbyists affecting research and governmental health organization recommendations. I love looking at what people are eating and seeing how to take their preferences and make them much healthier. But a degree in nutrition sciences always reminds me that chemistry and biology are very key to this career and that is one area I am very weak.
- Children’s Magazine writer/editor : I was reading Chirp the other day, and was thinking all the different ways I would have taken their theme of the month when it dawned on me that my interest in writing and my background in education would actually make me a decent fit for that kind of job. However, it would require a relocation as well as upgrading some skills (which I had looked at doing once, but my dad made some comment about it and I took it the wrong way and shut that door quickly).
- Mechanic : I’ve always been frustrated with the fact that cars break down and popping the hood never reveals why. My inlaws actually owned a garage and jokingly asked if I wanted to buy it before they sold it and for a minute I considered it. But then I remembered I’d be the owner and not the mechanic so opening the hood would still be an exercise in frustration.
- Financial Advisor/Life planner: I love to make budgets. I love to tell people why their priorities in life are wrong and what they should do to fix them. My spirit animal is Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I am the offspring of two bankers but I have no interest in doing risk management, cash Reconciliation or anything like that so I’m probably not going to find many clients that just want to be yelled at.
- Manual labourer : sometimes, I just want a job that lets me work with my hands, and be able to see quantifiable progress. I want something routine and repetitive where I can shut my brain off. Of course, as someone who won’t clean her own sink drain, has no talent in construction and generally hates the weather for about 3/4 of the year, this could be a tough find.
I generally feel like I’m floundering in this being an adult/ having a career thing. What I like most about where I am is that I work Monday to Friday. I can shut down my computer at 4:30, and walk away. I don’t need to do much overtime. I don’t need to worry about it at home (though I sometimes do). I encounter people in difficult situations but it’s my job to refer them to someone else to deal with it. Even with all of that, I feel the work I do is important. I guess if any of those things change, I can take a look whether a career from this list will fit my life any better.
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