Who knew such a simple question can be so mind-boggling? The older I get, the more careers I learn about and the more interesting the job market becomes. However, since I chose to go to school to be a speech pathologist, I feel an obligation to stay in this field. This brings me to the conflict I'm facing now- I've resigned from my current job as an itinerant speech therapist and I'm back in the market for a job. There are some specialties in speech pathology that peak my interest, but I think I might want to try my hand at something totally different. Is this wrong to veer from the career path I set for myself in graduate school? What a stressful decision!
Here are the things I know about myself for now: I do not like working in schools, I do not like the lack of office community I feel and I do not want to drive an hour each way to work everyday with no cell phone service. I do want a rewarding, fast-paced job. I do want to make a decent amount of money and I do want to work in a professional setting.
Every week I think I come up with something else I want to be when I grow up...or at least what I want to be for the next 18 months.
Here are some of the things, in no particular order, I've thought of recently and the positives and negatives that go with each:
Lactation Consultant (that's a breast feeding coach for those who are wondering)
Plus: rewarding, uses some speech pathology skills, variety of settings, decent pay after certification.
Minus: two years of expensive certification required, difficulty finding a mentor and a place that will hire me with my current skills.
NICU Feeding Therapist (primarily working with premature and special needs babies to help them learn to eat among other things)
Plus: very much stays in the speech pathology field, great pay, very rewarding, hospital setting, something I'm very interested in.
Minus: very difficult to find a job, high stress
JCrew Personal Shopper (commission-based job, general store work included)
Plus: I love J.Crew, I'm good at dressing people, work with adults, wear great clothes to work, easily transferrable job if we move to a place with J.Crew.
Minus: would have to practice lots of restraint so that I actually brought home a pay check, weekend hours, lower pay, working over Christmas holiday, has nothing to do with my degree.
Nordstrom Manager (you know, what managers do)
Plus: Nordstrom has a very high employee satisfaction rating, work with adults, wear great clothes to work, utilize my consulting (bossing) and organizational skills
Minus: same as J.Crew except better pay, has nothing to do with my degree.
Wedding and Events Coordinator
Plus: I love entertaining and planning, utilizes my consulting, coordinating and organizational skills, social position, possibly flexible hours.
Minus: would probably have to work as an assistant for awhile, unknown pay scale, work on weekends, has nothing to do with my degree
The time has come to make a choice. I will be a part-time employee beginning February 6. The clock is ticking!
I'm welcoming all suggestions, advice, job leads I can get! What WILL I be when I grow up?!