Q&A: Does This Sound Like a Plan?

avon

Q:  So I am 24 and I work full time in a care home for minimum wage. I find it so boring yet super stressful. I often find myself getting home and wanting to do nothing but sleep. I need a change in my life. I am thinking of looking for a part time job so I can have more time to myself. I kind of wish I had decided to do a degree in history rather than english literature. Was thinking maybe I could do a history course in the evening? Or some sort of open course? Maybe I need to accept that my interest in history will be nothing more than that? I am also considering doing volunteer work, maybe in a musuem or something! I also want to learn bass guitar 🙂 Is this too much? I thought maybe working part time for a bit could help me structure my life a bit and help me have more energy and commitment for working on my depression and anxiety.
-Rainbow

A:  Rainbow, you are not alone. Many people find themselves in your position – 24 years old, working minimum wage, in a different field other than what you went to school for, and not loving it. This type of situation feeds your anxiety, depression, and stress levels. The good news is that this is not the end of the road for you. You can choose to do something different, something you enjoy. You have a degree and you have varied interests, so there are several directions you can go. My first recommendation is that you take a career assessment to help guide your path – one that will help you align your skills and interests to come up with the best choice for you. Perhaps you may be able to take one at your Alma Mater’s career planning office. If not, there are several good ones online. The U.S. Department of Labor has a few here. http://www.doleta.gov/jobseekers/assess_yourself.cfm. Once you complete the assessment, a listing of jobs suitable for someone with your responses is given. You should find it a whole lot easier to weed through a list of more relevant choices.

You mentioned museums and history. Have you considered searching for a position at a museum? There are a number of entry-level positions to be had at museums, include Membership Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator, Tour Guide, Education Coordinator, Program Assistant, Visitor Services Assistant, and more. Other positions that afford you an opportunity to develop your interest in history include: History Teacher, Researcher, Archivist. The major industries for people with interest in history include Education, Libraries, and Museums. (http://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/career-resources/careers-for-history-majors). Your willingness to volunteer leads me to suggest you take a look an the nonprofit sector as well.

Because of your current situation, it may be very difficult to find the time or energy to conduct a proper job search, but there is a way. If you are working a full-time job, for example, you should be earning time off each week/month. You could take time off to start a concentrated search. You could also set up online job search agents on sites like indeed.com, monster.com, and the state-run career center in your area so that jobs that match your criteria are emailed to you on a daily basis. You may also consider visiting your college Alma Mater’s career development office for assistance or even hiring a professional head hunter or career coach to assist you.

Stay focused on your goal – to find work you enjoy, that pays you well. I would recommend landing another full-time position with benefits will afford you tuition assistance (should you decide to further your education after all), an employee assistance program (in the event that you need added support with anxiety or depression). With your new energy, perhaps you can take some time to sign up for a class to learn the bass guitar.

Best wishes.

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