Monday, December 2, 2013

Hallo?! A kah-reer!

(The title of today's post should be said in the voice of Agador Spartacus from The Birdcage. If you haven't seen it, please do. Hank Azaria (SeƱor Spartacus) steals every scene he's in. It's glorious. Onward!)

Welcome to day two of the Think Kit blogging challenge. Today's prompt was to conduct a poll, which I hastily threw together around 4 p.m. this afternoon after forgetting to post the information on Facebook for about six solid hours. Because I'm feeling all navel-gazey and spend too much time wondering what other people think about me, I asked my Facebook friends the following:

Of the following career choices, which path could you see me pursuing?
  • Clergy/religious work
  • Teacher
  • Healer/medical (doctor, dentist, chiropractor, reflexologist, etc.)
  • Psychologist/psychiatrist/counselor/social worker
  • Childcare/early childhood development
I based my answers on careers often deemed suitable for my personality type, which is a Meyers-Briggs INFJ. I studiously left out creative careers like musician, photographer, and artist because I didn't want to end up with a poll where everyone answered 'artist.' While it is both wonderful and heart-squishy to be recognized as an arteeste, I wanted to, well, fuck with the test a little.

(I'm going to write a story about this car, its license plate, and its owner someday and it will be delicious.)

Back to the poll.

I received 15 responses -- 13 women and two men. Six people chose the psychologist option, and the remaining nine people were evenly divided between teacher, healer, and clergy person. The two men who responded both chose clergy, which means something (maybe) that I can't yet wrap my mind around. It's the only career I've never considered pursuing. 

I initially went to college after I graduated from high school in 1991. The next 18 months were laid to waste as I learned to drink, play euchre, chain smoke, and not exactly attend the classes I'd registered for. Not many, anyway. After my now-alma mater politely asked me to GTFO, I spun my wheels in retail jobs and halfhearted attempts at continuing my education. I wasn't successful until I came back to school in 1999, at which point I lit up Cavanaugh Hall with my need to excel and do all the things. It was a difficult but wonderful time in my life, complete with honors and awards, life-changing experiences as a tutor in the university's writing center, and lots of red wine.

Between 1999 and today, practically, I have pursued, to varying degrees, the other careers on the INFJ list. I tried to get hired to teach English Comp but wasn't eligible without an M.A. I considered med school well into my mid-30s (as well as massage therapist, occupational therapist, nurse practitioner, and medical assistant). When I was seeing a therapist, I thought a lot about becoming some kind of counselor. I actually worked in the childcare field for a while when I was the office assistant for a teen parenting program. Not entirely related, but sorta.

What this poll reveals to me is that I have: 

(a) a lot of interests 

(b) no idea who I am or what I want to be

(c) multiple personalities who've yet to name themselves.

When I think about my future -- that is, my next job -- I struggle to picture exactly what it will be. None of the above careers really seize my interest for longer than a few days or, at best, a couple weeks. Of course, it's not an exhaustive list. I might just grow up to be an Alaskan pig farmer who telecommutes to Jupiter, or I could join Ferris and become a fry cook on Venus. The thought that I can do just about anything is simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. The desperate part of my brain that has settled for 'good enough for now' in the past keeps screaming at me to continue pursuing writing and making art, which are valiant professions that currently pay me nothing.

Maybe I should give that priest thing a try.

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