Sign in to follow this  
Guest MovingOn

What jobs should I look at, considering circumstances?

Recommended Posts

Guest MovingOn

What are some entry-level jobs one could take fresh out of college that would have an aspect of helping people experience personal growth (i.e. "spiritual" work)? Given the history and interests I outline below, what suggestions can you make?

My background: I'm almost 36. I have a BA in psychology, but no psychology-related work experience. My work experience is all over the board, with some serious gaps. I started working on my degree in 1993 and finished in 2005, with a 3+ year gap for working and my mission. The reason my life and experience have been such a mess is because I have bipolar disorder (and anxiety, too). I've known about the depression half of it since being diagnosed on my mission, but those meds and therapy weren't effective at treating my problem. I finally got the right diagnosis in early 2009, and I've been working with doctors and therapists to get the right meds, and things have been slowly improving.

So I've been working part-time at a dead-end job for over a year, being partly supported by my mother, but now that things are starting to come together, I want to try something more ambitious. True to my Idealist nature, I want to get involved in some kind of work that helps people experience personal, spiritual, or relationship growth. Some long-term ideas I have are career counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist. All these require a master's degree AFAIK, and so are not immediate options for me. There are probably other similar long-term options I could consider, and there will be plenty of time for that.

My concern right now is, well, right now. I need and want work that brings my strengths and talents into play, and contributes toward my future career. I've had so many "jobs" that I took and did and hated and quit (or got fired from) because I didn't have the aptitude or temperament for them, or because I couldn't deal with the stress, and I don't want to go through that again. Honestly, I still have doubts about myself, but I'm ready to take a chance again. I really need some good, positive experiences in the work force. There's got to be something out there for me, even in this dismal job market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all social work jobs require a master's degree. There are all sorts of counselor-type jobs out there. Someone who has climbed the ladder of brain issues to where you're functional, could help others near the bottom of the same ladder, and there are ways to get paid to do it.

But be warned - you say you're in a dead-end job now, social work related jobs are usually near the top of any top-10 "most hated jobs" lists out there. You say you have an idealist nature, wanting to help people? Well, this is the place. But you have to be ready for a ton of bureaucracy and a low success rate.

LM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MovingOn

I should clarify about my use of the word "Idealist". See here.

Thanks for the thoughts. Frankly social work is not at the top of the running for long-term, but in short-term I think I could deal with it if I helped me get into a position to becoming self-sufficient, further my education, and move into a career this is fulfilling. Where would I look for these kinds of social work jobs of which you speak? Do you have any other ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure where you live, but I've been in Vocational Rehabilitation for almost 20 years. It's a very rewarding career. It is in social services, but is not social work. Most state agencies can underfill a position at the bachelors level. In a nutshell, you help people with disabilities (all types, physical, mental, emotional) get the help they need to go to work. Something to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh Piper!! I was thinking about you a few days ago. So glad to see you back..Gosh it's been well over a year or two. Hope you come back more often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things that people forget about sometimes when they want to do things like social work or like types of work is that along with seeing people change, there is a LOT of crap you have to deal with. Yes, you get to see change happen but are you at a place to be able to deal with the really awful things that happen in some of those situations, whether it be the people who you are serving or the agency you are working with. I know first hand, I'm a marriage and family therapist. It SUCKS sometimes. Its GROSS sometimes. Its completely overwhelming sometimes. You really do have to be able to deal with stuff. Make sure you are as stable as you can be as you are looking into this field of work.

If you feel stable, there can be some good jobs in educational type positions with a bachelor's degree. Psychology is generic enough that its hard to find a job that is looking for that type of degree. But if you market yourself well, you can find something that is a decent fit for you. I might suggest looking at jobs you might want to have that are related to the things you want to do. Like relationship education, foster care, adoption, and so on. Some of those require social work degrees, some don't depending on the state/local regulations. I like Piper's idea of Voc Rehab, its a good way to do some work with people. You might also consider that you could work with a non-profit agency in an administrative position, like grant writing or advocacy work. Its not necessarily working with people up close and personal but it helps people get the help they need. Hope this is helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider volunteering or maybe an internship somewhere that interests you. That would give you some experience without dealing with the getting hired thing. Then you can see if you really want to get into a field like that.

I've know many who started as volunteers, found their "callling" there and got a full time job. I'm sure there are many places that would be thrilled to have someone with a background in Psychology helping out. Not to mention your own personal experience can help to quickly build trust with others going through similar situations.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this