Saturday, May 23, 2009

Help Wanted

As my 30th birthday draws closer and closer, I am coming to the realization that I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.  
When I went to college, I didn't focus on my studies as much as I should have.  I chose the college primarily because it was a women's college.  At 17 years old, all I was thinking about was getting out of my tiny hometown and meeting girls, and finding the love of my life.  I did well enough in all my classes, but I wasn't really focused on what I would do with my degree.  And I did meet Elizabeth at college, so my real goal of going to school was met.  Shortly after graduation, a job opened up in the library of a nearby college.  It seemed perfect, as it would allow me to stay in the area and wait for Elizabeth to graduate.  As an undergraduate, my work-study job was in the library so it seemed like a logical choice.
I worked at that job for a few years, and then Elizabeth got accepted to a PhD program.  We had to move a few states away, and I needed to get a job quickly.  The university that Elizabeth had just been accepted to had some open library jobs, so I applied and was offered a position a few weeks later.  Since the university offers tuition remission, I was able to go to school part time and get a masters degree in library science.  Unfortunately, I realized about a semester into the program that I really have no passion for library work (academic libraries at the very least).  
I've been feeling a sense of urgency lately to find a career that I'm passionate about.  I think a large part of it has to do with the upcoming milestone birthday, and some of it is just good old fashioned burnout.  But I think the most important driving factor is that we're trying to start a family.  Whenever I do go back to work after having a child, I want it to be to a job that I care about.  I think it's inevitable that the place you spend the better part of your waking hours will have a huge impact on your state of mind.  My current job leaves me feeling drained, bored and uninspired.  That's not the kind of person I want to be for my children.  So now, in this terrible economy, I am trying to explore the job market and other possible career options.  I'm a little nervous about being unqualified for anything new since all of my experience is in libraries.  If there's anyone out there who has a job they love, I'd love to hear about it.  I need some ideas and inspiration!  


Lisa said...

What are your interests? What are you passionate about in general? What qualities do people like about you? I dreaded turning 30 (Jan 09). We went on a cruise so I could deal with it (fantastic excuse to vacation). Anyway, I found that I wanted to accomplish some things for my 30th year of life and I'm doing a pretty good job so far. I hope you are successful in finding a new career.

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same timeline- finished my BA in history and I didn't know what to do next. I loved reading, learning and all things old, and I, too, applied for a masters' in library science and was accepted. But I wasn't loving the idea of two more years of school. Then I met my partner who was in the process of becoming a police officer. She graduated and I moved across country with her. A year and a half later I also became a police officer too. It's the best decision I've ever made.

Anyway, just thought i'd share your lament about never taking my studies seriously enough. But in the end, it didn't really matter.

thebao said...

I feel you--I'm turning 30 next week and it certainly does make you think and reassess. It's partially why I'm on the Baby Express Train.

Have you considered a career in museums, by any chance? A lot of your current skills and experience would apply, and objects and visitors and exhibitions can be exciting, if you're passionate about it. E-mail me if you wanna talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just found your blog through comments on others so stopped by to say hi. Had to comment on this one though, I know exactly what you mean. I have just fallen into my job/career path when I was younger and wish I had the same passion for it that my wife does hers. Good luck figuring it out!

Anonymous said...

I didn't really decide what I wanted to be until I was In my late 20's. I had never had passion about my jobs or school or a career until I realized I wanted to be a designer. Now I work as an interior designer and I love it. I have always been an artist but deciding on design helped me find passion for what I do. Good luck! I hope you find just the right thing for you.