Want a better job


Want a better job


your avatar   "Pumpkin", 45-year-old woman

I am a mother of two teenagers. I work second shift and it is not an option for me to go to first shift with my current employer. I would like to work first shift because this would allow me to be at home with my teenagers at night and exercise guidance with their lives. I am not currently happy with my present job; as a matter of fact I hate this place!

I use to run my own business helping young girls to make the right choices in life. This was very similar to a girls club and I loved it, however, funding caused this business to terminate. I have so many employable skills and experiences that I don't know what to do with myself now. I want to go to school, I want to start my own business again, I want to be home to support and guide my two teenagers. I have prayed about this, talked with good friends, and searched for answers, but nothing transpires.

I know that I can do better than I am doing. But what is the answer? I love helping people and children. My dream was to become school teacher or some type of educator, but I didn't go to college. I ended up with an Associate degree in small business management. I want out from the company I hate working for, but I don't know what career move to make. I have to keep working to support my family, but I am tired!

What career move should I consider?


    Susan Maroto,

Dear Pumpkin,

It is confusing when you know that you want to make a change and you're not sure just what move to make. The good news is that 1) you know that you want a change, and you sound ready to make it 2) you have a lot of options, even though you're not sure which of them to exercise 3) you have a lot of excitement and ambition 4) you know more than you think you do about your priorities (i.e., wanting to be on first shift so as to be at home with your children, wanting to work in education and run your own business, and wanting to return to school) and 5) you have experience -you have run your own business and have raised two children, and all that you've learned will be of help to you no matter what it is that you do next.

It sounds like you know where you want to be several years down the road, but you're not sure what to do now to make sure that you get there.

First, make a commitment to yourself that you will work towards your dreams. You may not be able to achieve them all at once because of factors such as wanting to be at home with your kids, but you can and will achieve them if you decide to and set your mind to it.

Second, start making a list of steps that you COULD make (not necessarily WILL make, we're just trying to get ideas started here). For example, you could change jobs to be on first shift, and even if the job is no closer to your dreams than the one that you have now, at least you will be on the same schedule as your teenagers. Or is there a job that you would be qualified for now with your associates degree and experience running the girls' club that would be closer to your dream of being an educator? There may be entry level counselors' positions in community youth centers or a job in a school that you would be qualified for and enjoy doing. You could begin taking classes to complete your degree. Is it important to you to attend a local college, or would taking correspondence classes over the internet be just as satisfying to you as long as it results in a college degree? There are colleges and universities that offer students the chance to complete their studies completely over the internet, and it can be an ideal situation for someone like you with many other responsibilities. Would it be possible to start your own business again as you did before? What would you need to do to as the initial steps? At this stage, you just want to generate some good ideas about various steps that will move you out of your current situation and closer to your goals.

Third, now that you have a list of possible ideas of steps to take, go back to praying and talking with friends. See if an answer begins to emerge. The hope is that as you review the list of options you've generated, some will begin to seem more appealing or more realistic than others. One thing to keep in mind is that it may not matter exactly which step you take first, as long as you take some step, any step, towards change. Whatever step you choose will surely lead to other changes which will ultimately allow you to be happier in your career. There is not just one road to achieving your goals. It's just like on a roadmap, there can be many roads that will take you from where you are to where you want to go, and what's important is to pick one and start on your journey. You can always switch over to a different highway if the road you first pick doesn't work out.

There are some great books that you can consult as you do your soul searching, such as What Color is Your Parachute, Zen and the Art of Making a Living, and How To Do What You Love For A Living. You can get some good ideas from books like these and they will bolster your sense that it is worthwhile to make a change and be happier in your work life.


Susan Maroto, LCSW

This question has been answered by Susan Maroto. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working out of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She uses an eclectic approach to holistic healing, mind-body relationships, life transitions, depression, and anxiety.For more information visit: http://www.therapywithsusan.com/


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