Considering a Back up Career

January 13, 2011 at 7:41 am | Posted in Career Moves | 6 Comments
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photo credit: mylimitlesssuccess.com

There are lots of statistics out nowadays that tell you what industries will be hiring over the next five to ten years.  These, of course, are all predictions, and clearly the numbers don’t go beyond ten years because no one really knows what industries will even exist twenty years from now.

Well, I for one don’t want to be a victim of the new economy.  That’s why I am already thinking about what I would do as a career if I couldn’t do what I am doing now.  I am beginning to brainstorm what avenues I would take and what I need to be doing over the next few years to prepare for that back up career.

The thing with my work is that it can be applied to very many industries.  As a communications professional, I have worked solely with non-profits for nearly six years and the array of organizations have varied widely.  All organizations need communications, but in the non-profit world, it’s not always easy to make a case for funding communications positions, since some employers either don’t understand the importance of the industry, or, more likely, don’t see the connection between the work and the dollars brought in.

I know this particular skill set is valuable, and that I could even make the bridge to the corporate world with it — that’s definitely not something I would rule out.  But you never know what the future will bring.  You never know when the next recession will be, and what jobs will be affected.

So what else would I do if I couldn’t do what I am doing now?  Perhaps I’d get into the programs or fundraising aspects of non-profit work.  Maybe I’d become a lobbyist.  Maybe I’d beef up my graphic design skills and focus in on that.  Maybe I’ll dive real deep into web work and even learn some programming. Maybe I’ll do something completely different like become a professor. Guide to Career Education is a valuable source of information if you’re looking for institutions that offer a variety of degree courses for possible career options in the future.

Right now, I’m not sure which direction I will go down the road.  It is possible that I will reach the peak of my current career track and decide to do something completely different.  I’m not really sure.  I feel that over the next few years, I need to at least decide on what I’m going to do to gain more diverse skills.  Perhaps becoming the Renaissance woman will play in my favor.

What would you do if you had to switch careers?

MASH and “Predicting the Future”

January 4, 2011 at 7:55 am | Posted in Career Moves, Family Ties, Friends Then and Now, Life and Living, Relationship Woes | 13 Comments
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photo credit: http://karenhart.me

Middle school flashback.  Your body is changing and you look seriously awkward trying to fit into it.  You are figuring out which clique would accept you.  And the prepubescent boys are looking super cute.  Your world is as big as your classroom.  And let’s face it.  Sometimes class can be boring.  I was never very good at doodling.  My art even back then was writing.  So what do you do to pass the time?  Dream about the future!  This is where a fabulous game called MASH came into play.

Mansion, apartment, shack, house.  These were just some of the “choices” you’d have to make when you grow up.  Where will you live?  Other features of the game — pick 5 of each: boys you like, cars you like, colors (of bridal dress), cities, number of children you will have, and let’s no forget careers.  You create a swirl in the middle of the page, count the lines and use that number to complete the process of elimination, ex-ing out an item each time your number comes up.  At the end of the day, you end up marrying Bobby, living in a mansion, driving a red Ferrari, living in Paris, with 4 kids, and working as a lawyer.  Sounds about right, no?

Oh, how small the world was back then!  I remember literally thinking who would I marry from my middle school. MY MIDDLE SCHOOL?  How does this idea get into people’s heads?  Ok, to be fair, I actually know about a dozen people who did end up with someone they knew in middle school.  Call it small world mentality, or comfort zone, I don’t know.  I stopped dating people from my high school in like 9th grade. But something tells me when these people think back to middle school and have this same thought that I did, the person they are with now didn’t make the list.

If only our decisions could be as simple as we thought they’d be.  But what if Bobby doesn’t want to marry me?  What if we can’t afford a mansion? (HA!)  And what if, God forbid, I don’t get that Ferrari.  What ever will I do?

The saving grace of this game, in retrospect, is that it does include a category for career (in the version of the game that I played).  At least we had the idea of working for a living instilled in our minds.  But what about college?  I can tell you that I was a weirdo and I actually did think about college in middle school, thanks to my dad always saying it was the best time of his life, the movie Animal House, and my first boyfriend whose older sisters were already in college.  My Bat-Mitzvah theme was colleges and telephones (yea, figure that one out).  Perhaps if college was added to this game middle schoolers would have seen that there is a world between high school and this dream life MASH creates.  Perhaps kids would see that while there are endless possibilities, there are also realistic possibilities.  That the world is much larger than a classroom, but can also feel smaller than a locker at times.

But it was a different world back then.  The tech boom was just starting.  I remember when my friend Ilana first got AOL. We’d all gather around her computer, wait for the dial up, and stare in awe at the big box computer as it said “You’ve got mail,” in that familiar computer voice we all know.  By 8th grade we were all instant messaging, staying up to all hours having conversations with boys that were too hard to have in person.  We were just beginning to discover the greater world, but yet it all seemed like a fantasy.

So maybe that’s all that MASH is or was.  Maybe it was a just a form of fantasy.  Maybe we never thought it was ever going to be reality.  But maybe we did.  I don’t believe in destiny, but I do believe in fate, and I believe in dreams.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I still plan to dream of endless possibilities.

A Few Blog Highlights from 2010

December 28, 2010 at 7:50 am | Posted in Career Moves, Family Ties, Friends Then and Now, Life and Living, Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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What a year it’s been.  I’ve been thinking a lot about where I was this time last year, and about all the good things 2010 brought me.  For one thing, I started this blog, and I’ve truly enjoyed sharing my experiences with all of you.  I’ve gotten to know bloggers and fans from all over the world, and I’ve become increasingly dedicated to this creative outlet.

But even before I started blogging this past April, I was in a serious mode of change.  I started a new job on March 1, and my brother got married on March 14.  Looking forward into 2011, I will become an aunt for the first time.  Not everything in my life is perfect, but the positives have been big ones.  I wonder what else 2011 has in store for me.

So without further ado, I wanted to give you some highlights from 2010 as seen through this blog.

1. Breaking up is Hard to Do – My first popular post.  This post was about my ex-boyfriend, and even though we broke up  more than 3 years ago, this post drew a lot of attention.  Of course, at the time, my blog was new, so readers were likely people who knew me who thought I broke up with my current boyfriend.  People love drama!  If you didn’t get to read this and you are going through or considering a break up, this post may be cathartic for you.

2. Woman’s Best Friend and I Don’t Mean Chocolate this Time – I introduced you all to my heart and soul in this post.  My lovely labrador retriever. I never had a dog growing up, so getting a dog when I was 23 was a major growing experience.  My dog has taught me how to enjoy to simple things in life and has taught me the meaning of unconditional love.  You can expect more posts about him in 2011 as he surprises me everyday.

3. Becoming Domesticated – I talked about living on my own, one of the biggest challenges of growing up.  I’ve lived on my own  for almost 4 years now and I’m still getting it together.  But the biggest change in my living arrangements in 2010 was when my boyfriend moved in with me this summer. I hope to bring more good news about our living situation in 2011, and I’m sure there will be some learning experiences to share along the way.

4. Divorcing Friends – I talked a lot about friends this past year, and I’m sure this will continue to be a hot topic for me as situations continue to change and consequently, relationships with friends.

5. Time Flies When you Love What You Do – I talked a lot about my career, something I am proud of.  I love what I do and I’ve worked hard to continue to offer my skills to the world in support of the greater good.  I have serious career goals, and I hope to inspire people with my experiences as I work to reach them.  It may be a bumpy road with a few more set backs, but I am still determined to succeed.

6. From Player to Prude – I talked about my changing perspective on relationships.  My 20s have looked very different than my teens did in this area and it’s interesting to see how my attitude has changed towards it. But I don’t want to forget how I once felt about things like this as one day I might have a daughter who needs a mother to relate to her as she sifts through her relationships.

As a teenager, I always kept a notebook so that I would remember how I felt and what I went through when I was young, so that when I was a mother I’d be able to support my children and help them make the best decisions they can.  Writing this blog has helped me to continue this process at another crossroads in my life that I think is important to remember.

Another year closer to thirty, another year closer to trying to reach my goals, and adjusting when life throws me a curveball.  Another year of realizing who I am, who I’m going to be, and what the world, and life, is really about.

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