|05-19-2011, 11:35 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Meaningful career choice
I don't like to whine or obsess all the time, but I'm at that point at the moment. I am trying to make a stable, long term career choice. But I am very influenced by my low self esteem to choose things that grant prestige and which other people admire. I am trying to base my decision largely on what field I feel I can make the best quality contribution to. In some ways that means being able to travel internationally or to do some minor research (i.e. have the opportunity to create something).
My skills lie in hands-on work with people that is structured. I can tutor/teach pretty well and I'm also decent at working within a patient context (since it has structure).
I am considering health psychology, teaching and doctoring as a career. I am not sure if there's anything else that I haven't added.
Teaching is rewarding in some ways, but I really don't like the shallowness of the high school setting. I also feel a need to make a larger contribution and be involved in a bit more critical thinking.
Health psychology seems like a career that provides more structure in the day to day job tasks, but which has an unstructured career route.
Doctoring is a huge schlep. It provides prestige and some abstract excitement, but I still struggle to define whether I have a passion for it. Sometimes I can see myself working in it, but that's sometimes in the abstract. (I also don't mean to bring this up so frivolously as I know it's a huge commitment)
1. Are there any points on these careers that I am not including based on what I've mentioned? Or a different way to way these?
2. Are there any careers similar to the structure that these provide and involve working with people which I've not listed?
|05-20-2011, 06:27 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Your Answer Lies Here
You have two issues you must deal with before you choose a career.
1. How can you increase your self-esteem by learning to trust your own judgement?
2. How can you learn to start pleasing yourself as opposed looking for approval from others?
From personal experience, I can tell you that without solving these two problems first, you'll never build the perfect career. Instead, you'll jump from one thing to another in order to "find yourself" without giving yourself the nurturing and self-respect you deserve.
Solve #1 and you'll start making solid decisions while developing a stronger sense of self.
Solve #2 and you won't give a *#&$ what people think of you. You'll start to do what YOU want. Then life will become much easier and your career will fall into place perfectly.
The perfect career isn't out there, it's inside you. Once you get a better understanding of who you are and what you want to offer the world, life will flow easily.
You will never find meaning in your career, you can only give meaning to it.
You also have to consider "how" you want to make a contribution? I'm not talking about the type of job you want to land, but how will you improve people's lives? Forget skills. Tell me what is unique about the way you help people? Are you more compassionate than others? Do you listen more? Are you more interested in working with patients the medical industry doesn't take seriously ? Patients such as those suffering from Lyme's Disease and Fibromyalgia? Some doctors believe these diseases are psychological as opposed to physiological.
Do you get what I'm saying? It's not the medium (What you do) but the message (Why you do it) that matters. Everything else is just details.
For example, I'm totally in love with the field of oncology and have worked with cancer patients. I love Oncology despite the fact many of the patients die. But I've learned that death is not to be feared but welcomed.
So, my medium is medicine and counseling, I love to do both. I also teach on and offline.
My message however is to inspire and uplift others to engage in planetary healing through physical and emotional means, with intense compassion and unconditional love.
I can express my message through teaching, writing, counseling, public speaking, treating patients, whatever. How I do things doesn't matter, it's why I do them.
I also considered Health Psychology, but I love the clinical side to medicine too much. I'm preparing, after my six month break, to continue my med-school pre-req's and apply for a MD/MA in Cancer Biology or MPH in Global Health. Like you, I love the idea of working overseas, especially in rural 3rd world clinics. I also love the smells and sounds made in hospitals and can't give up the environment. I even enjoy hospital cafeteria food
I remodeled a blog specifically for people wanting to discover and expand their greatness in the medical and healing arts field. The site's purpose is to help you uncover your calling and make conscious career decisions that lead to long-lasting social contribution.
I'll send you a link to the website when it's finished and ready for visitors. I'll also send you a friend request so I don't forget.
So, what's your message my friend?
|05-21-2011, 06:06 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Your name gives a clue. Alexb5784 is right: What is your message? "Onomatopoeia" (the original, more European spelling) means "name creation." You create your message/name. I struggle with self esteem/insecurity issues myself and can tell you how right alexb5784 is. If you believe in your message, then perfection in a particular field is less of an issue. Your message will benefit mankind, even with an imperfect messenger.
|05-25-2011, 10:33 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
True to an extent. But I feel like it would be frustrating to do something I struggle at when if I chose something else that I might not enjoy as much, I'd get better results.
As I mentioned, I am currently working at a job which stretches my weaknesses and am trying to finally decide on a career. But I feel stuck. I have a tendency to be drawn to fields that others approve of. It's hard for me to make my own decisions. I also tend to be flighty and get lost in the abstraction phases of just thinking my way to a decision.
Right now, I am more interested in jobs that allow for long term, dynamic human interaction. I prefer being able to piece together someone's story as opposed to simply dealing with their blood tests. This has led me to be interested in psychology or teaching, at times possibly considering medicine.
But I also struggle with unstructured interactions. Thus, while I am decent at teaching, but I struggle when I have to juggle multiple roles or draw conclusions that have no clearcut interpretations.
As it's hard to find volunteer work, how do I assess whether psychology is a fit?
If it's not a fit, I am concerned that I can't find a niche in teaching since I do not enjoy the high school context. What other mentally challenging, structured and stable teaching options exist?
|05-27-2011, 12:55 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Trust Your Intuition
You've made three excellent points that I want to point out.
On #2: This your main issue, it trumps everything else. Until you can start making decisions based on what you want, you'll have a hard time finding your niche. It's time for you to trust your intuition (your heart) and take inspired action regardless of what other people think.
I listened to my heart, left my IT career in 2009, moved to New Orleans from Boston (I'm back on the East Coast now), and spent a year working with dying cancer patients in order to develop my counseling and clinical skills. It wasn't until after I took the leap of faith that I truly understood my life calling. And that's when I knew Oncology Medicine was me. My original intention was to work with OR patients, but fate swept in and placed me right where I needed to be.
On #3: Health psychology could be for you. However, know that some Health Psychology programs are strictly about research while others are more geared towards clinical psychology. I attended an event two months ago where a couple of Psychiatry residents @ Harvard-MGH Hospital spoke to my group. One audience member asked whether she should do a MD or a PhD in Health Psychology. She was advised research to Behavioral Medicine programs.
I know at UCLA their health psychology program is pure research (UCLA | Health Psychology Program). While as East Carolina University, they have a more clinically based program (Clinical Behavioral Medicine Curriculum)
It sounds like you want to lean more toward clinical psychology. Have you visited APA Divsion 38: Health Psychology yet? Spoken to people in your psychology department? They could give you some clues as what to do.
I got a little sidetracked this week (a good sidetrack) and am still updating my blog, which includes editing a free e-book on making the right career choice. I'll send you a link when it's finally finished
|05-27-2011, 08:16 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2011
You're not alone. A lot of people are in the same boat. I used to be in it, too. I was in a career that pays well; that was the main thing. I feared leaving because of the money factor. I also listened to other people instead of listening to my heart. I only managed to jump when I learned to trust and follow my heart.
The way I see it, the main issue with you is self-esteem. You have to change the way you regard yourself first, and everything will flow from it. Once you learn to trust yourself, you can make that decision. Listen to your heart, trust what it's telling you.
You must also overcome your tendency to need the approval of others. You cannot make the right choice if you constantly seek it. Think about it, whatever happens, you will bear the consequences of your decisions, not other people. Whether others approve or not, you will be the one affected. So, what's the use of their approval?
The answer is within you. Find it.
Alexb gave some very good points.
your mind is your greatest wealth
|05-27-2011, 10:51 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2011
I'm not sure what kind of skill set you currently possess nor how old you are but some of the professions that you mentioned would take some time to gain the skills required to get the position.
You have mentioned teaching as a plausible profession and that you would like to travel. There are ways you can teach and travel in foreign countries - and you don't need to get a teaching certificate or go to teachers college to do it.
I taught English in Taiwan for 7 years and was able to travel all over Asia in that time. There is a lot of choice when it comes to who you teach - from 2 year olds to teens to teaching business English to professionals.
It can be very rewarding seeing your students progress through the years as they gain a better understanding of the language due to your diligence and hard work as a teacher.
Understand that it is definitely not for everyone - there can be a huge culture shock that you may not expect. My gf came here and thought she wanted to become a teacher. After a few bad interviews and even worse classes, she was ready to give it up. She is now enjoying teaching private classes for students and enjoys it.
Whether you find out you like it or not, it would be an experience and it would save you a ton of time in school working towards a profession you're not sure you'll like.
FYI, the pay for the average English teacher here in Taiwan is around $2000USD / month but the cost of living is way lower than North America so you'd actually be able to bank about half that each month.
Hope this helps.
|05-27-2011, 07:43 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanks both of you for great advice. I am trying to commit to concretely trying to volunteer or explore other things in order to bolster my self esteem. I figure if I feel drained by the work or have a visceral feel of the experience, that will outweigh any untrue motives. I guess I will have to commit to doing these very concrete things as posting and getting great advice just takes me to the point of action.
|05-27-2011, 08:39 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
The most important distinction I made in terms of career choice came when I distinguished a purpose for my life (not a purpose FOR life, but, a purpose for MY life...subtle, but very important difference there).
Ultimately, then, this opened me up to more choices in terms of careers that would work for me, and allowed me to see that whatever my work is, I'm ultimately finding ways to live my purpose through all avenues of my life (not *just* career, but career is a part of it).
Here's the key to it all:
1. You discover your life purpose, not necessarily create it. What I mean by that is that you are already living your life to some sort of purpose...and, yes, it's a purpose that you create, but it's a purpose that you've already created and now your job is to become aware of it.
2. You'll know you've found it when it absolutely floors you and you see it everywhere in your life. It won't just sound good, it'll move you emotionally and inspire you, light you up, bring you goosebumps...whatever.
3. A good way to discover it is to look at all the things you've done in your life and see the common factor within it. What purpose has everything you've ALREADY done served? Is there a common theme there that may not be readily apparent?
For example, my personal life purpose is simply to explore and to teach. That's something that inspires me in all sorts of ways, and it's currently working like a compass to guide my next steps. But on the surface, that wasn't apparent. I mean, when I look at two things in my life that caused me great pain: my divorce and my old job, I really couldn't see a common theme between theme. But both experiences have allowed me to explore myself (internally) and to share that exploration with others. The way in which I lived my purpose, even through the things that have brought me pain, has been to explore and to teach/share/express myself. And it's been everywhere in my life. Even as a child I remember exploring the woods behind my house, chopping down weeds and building paths in the woods, etc. I used to have an old stick that was my "rod" for chopping down weeds, keeping me balanced as I climbed the hills, and fending off any wild vermin.
In the same way, once you distinguish an overarching purpose for your life, it will guide your decisions like a compass.
|05-30-2011, 10:13 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanks, all good advice that I'm trying to sit down and apply. But I get a bit scattered and after following certain paths for so long it's hard to be honest with myself. How do I stepwise make the transition to this other career? Brainstorming and reading are one thing, but I'm trying to find an unscattered way of 1. getting more self esteem 2. gaining other experiences.
Sorry for the circling.
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