Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Dirty, Dirty Oyster

Mind out of the gutter, Dear Reader! Being unemployed has had advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that I'm having a hard time "picking" what to do when I return to the US. The world is really my oyster. My old job is no longer an option since I'm relocating. My options are to pick something similar to what I was doing or try something completely new, like sales, to see how well I do. And if I crash and burn, Wendy's will take me until I find something else I want to do.

After the collapse of my marriage, I decided to take matters into my own hands and see a career counselor. He told me that being a teacher was a good option, but not of the little kids. "You need something that gives you something back," he said, because that's what recharges me. Apparently helping the little buggers isn't good enough for Yours Truly. He also said being a counselor of some sort would be good. When he mentioned this, a light bulb clicked on. DUH! People have been coming to me since I was a teen to try and figure this or that out, and I really enjoy it. So I applied to a school to get a master's in counseling psychology, and then Wiley asked me to go to Bosnia. Bad timing perhaps, but I also knew I wanted this relationship to flourish (and I realllly wanted to live overseas just to see what I could handle), so I put grad school on hold...I didn't really want to part with $20k just like that anyway.

However, I've been reading more about personal coaches. Life coaches, if you will. I've known about coaches since I used to read Real Simple magazine, and there were articles written by a coach. But I never really thought about it seriously - I still picture Ava Moore from Nip/Tuck, who was a creepy life coach - until I read an article from US News about careers that were overrated, and clinical psychologist was one of them. Couple this with the fact that I'm turning 31 in a couple of months, and if I go to school for two years starting in fall 2009, then have a year of interning, I'll be starting my new career at 35. I'm not sure I like that. My therapist had a master's in social work, but when I think about it, she coached me - she gave me tips on how to cope with problems and showed me how to respond instead of react. Maybe there's more to this profession than I originally thought.


vw Dave said...

Hi Melinda,

Just a note to wish you well. Career issues are challenging (as are interpersonal issues as you're finding out) but you'll find something. Just concentrate on what you love and the pieces will fall into place. Take Jill Homer, for example. Isn't her blog amazing? I believe that her love of biking, nature and photography will lead her to her perfect job one day. Don't you? Again, it proves that we must follow what we love to do and do it well. The rest will come.

Say, I was in Sarajevo way back in 1985! I bet it's changed a lot since then. Can you post some photos? I'd love to see some. -thanks, dave-

Melinda said...

I do agree, but what if you love lots of different things, but perhaps you really only like them but don't realize the difference?

Jill's blog is AMAZING. I was on it for hours today.

As for jobs, not speaking the language is a terrible hindrance. I looked at US companies over here, but didn't find anything, and not as many people speak English as I thought they would. Not that they need to - after all, I'm the foreigner - but with the unemployment rate hovering around 40% for the natives, a foreinger has a harder time of it than you'd think.