I’ve always enjoyed working and earning my own money. I started at a very young age, babysitting, cleaning, doing whatever I could to make a few bucks. My first “real” job was working in the child care room at the fitness center my mom managed when I was 12. I worked weekends and was paid under the table I LOVED it. At 14, I got a legitimate job working at Subway over the summer. I was hooked. I worked as many hours as they offered me, and I was always picking up extra shifts.
Since having kids, I haven’t worked much. I’ve had the odd job here and there, usually waiting tables, but with my husband and I both going to school and working, we could never work it out to where I made enough to really offset the cost of daycare. I did run a home daycare for a little while, which was fun but exhausting. The money was good, but keep in mind that I was also going to school, and homeschooling my kids. It was hard to find a balance.
So, fast forward to today. I know I want a career. I have always known that I wanted a career outside of the home. I am happy and feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to dedicate so much time to my children. However, this child (Leon, 4 months as I write this) is my last child. I plan to (mostly) stay home with him and see him through the toddler years, but I would like to take those steps to get started in my career.
Here’s the thing: I have no idea what I am going to do with my life. When I think about what I can realistically do, the only things I can come up with are “trade” type jobs: teacher, hairdresser, nurse, counselor, doctor, etc.. While all noble and rewarding careers, I don’t feel that any of them are right for me, but I can’t seem to come up with anything outside of the box.
I need help brainstorming. I’ll tell you what I think I would want in a career, and you can give me some ideas, and tell me how a gal like me (with a husband and three kids on a limited income) can pursue said career. The winner gets a picture of me years from now in my new job, and a framed certificate of my achievement!
My perfect job:
*is family friendly. If my kid has a game, recital, or field trip, I can go, preferably without having to ask permission. I can let a boss know, but I don’t want to always feel like I have to get approval.
*is creative. I am an ideas person. I need lots of change, and a place where I can use my creative energy.
*utilizes my writing skills. I love to write. I don’t know if “writer” is the career for me necessarily, but it might be. If so, what kind of writer? I tend to think magazine or catalog or if I’m really dreaming, television writer or something. If not, then I want writing to play at least a minor role in what I do.
*allows some flexibility in scheduling and location. I need lots of “pants optional” days in my life. Part of it is just being a disheveled stay at home mom, but part of it is also just me. I would enjoy dressing up for work, just not every single day. I also want to be able to travel, so being able to occasionally telecommute would be nice. (I don’t necessarily want to have to travel for work, but I might not mind it. It depends on the scenario.)
*offers lots of vacation time. So long as I’m dreaming, I may as well throw this in there. I want my life to be luxurious (doesn’t have to be rich to be luxurious). I want to take lots of “holiday” like the Europeans do, even if that holiday involves me sitting around in my pajamas, baking and watching movies with my kids.
I work well under pressure, I like a fast paced environment full of change, and I am confident and fearless. I’ll take risks and try anything. I work well as a team with others, so long as most of my work is independent. While I do like people, I don’t “love people” in the way that I would enjoy working with the general public. As a waiter, I was great at schmoozing, and had a knack for making people feel welcome and comfortable. I’m a great conversationalist, too, but too much small talk wears me out. If I did work with people, I would want it to be on more of a meaningful, personal level.
I am also great with children, but I am not a teacher. My husband is, it comes so natural to him, but I don’t seem to have it. I work really well one on one with children especially, but I seriously lack patience, and I am terribly sarcastic. Not great qualities in someone who has to work with and be sensitive to a diverse classroom. Plus, I am horrible, terrible, awful at time management. I never know what time it is, and I seem to have no sense of how long 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, 5 hours feels like. Ask anyone who has ever had to do anything with me. I know I can be as infuriating as I am fun and carefree. Also, I have a tendency to rebel under too much authority, but in my defense, it’s only if the rules don’t make sense!
If you’ve made it through reading all of this, you are awesome, and I would love for you to give me some ideas. Do I need to finish my degree? I’m about 30 hours away from a degree in communication studies with an emphasis on film studies. I could change my major to journalism or something if need be. Keep in mind that school is friggin’ expensive, so if it isn’t necessary to go back, I would prefer not to.
If you don’t have any ideas for me, but you have a career you love, whether you planned for it or not, I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks for indulging me. =)