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Old 04-29-2010, 06:23 PM   #1
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So, I am to be one of THOSE people

Hello,
So, I'm and indecisive under-informed teenager who bloody well sucks at search-fu.I am to be one of those people that brings questions to those smarter than myself people on the interwebs.

Does anyone know of any good tests/quizzes/surveys that indicate your likely interests in jobs and/or college majors? I'm now taking the leap from going into the military where the majority of decisions would be made for me, to going to college where I have all the options in the world. The only problem is, I've got NO BLOODY IDEA OF WHAT I WANT TO DO! nor do I know all the options.

Thanks,
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:49 PM   #2
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Hi Spoon Man & welcome to the Club. You are not the only one.

For career tests, just type in 'free career test' - heaps will come up. But I warn you, they won't give you an easy answer or even worse come up with suggestions that will put you off work forever.

I have been working for so many years in jobs I never really wanted to do but keep doing because I don't know what I want. I have and always will be jealous of those that found their dream job and/or knew right from the start what they wanted.

I suggest you make a list of your interests - what are your hobbies, what do you like to do. Not much, but a start.

Just because the army tells you what to do doesn't mean it's the right place for you. Not that I want to talk you out of it, but remember that.

Good luck, I hope you find something. And even if it's not right the first time round, keep trying. No one says you have to stay in a job forever.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:10 AM   #3
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Hi Spoon Man

You could try Fast Tomato. Although it's a UK based site it might generate some useful ideas - I used to work in careers guidance in the UK and often used it with people. It won't "tell you what to do", but it should get you thinking.

You can get a 24 hour log-in, but you will need to make up the name of a UK school - suggest you put in "Min" and pick something from the list of suggestions - you'll see what I mean when you get there.

Good luck
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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Thanks to the both of you. TGS, that test is completely different from ones in the US, the questions aren't, just the format in which they are placed. Every bloody test has told me that I should be a psychologist, business manager, or a bloody teacher. Well, I would love to teach but I would prefer to get some experience in a field before I teach, and I'd like to enjoy that subject/experience. I haven't found much in the way of business that really interests me, I'm a people person through and through, I enjoy working with different people, I could be a psychologist except for the fact that I go bloody batty sitting in an office and asking people "how does that make you feel?" And, I can only guarantee that I can pay for a bachelors degree, anything higher than that and I'm going to need a decent job to get through.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:50 AM   #5
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Well, I would love to teach but I would prefer to get some experience in a field before I teach, and I'd like to enjoy that subject/experience.
I don't know how it is in the US, but in the UK experience of the "real world" after getting a bachelor degree and before training to be a teacher is really valued.

One of the problems with all the careers guidance tests is that they are either based on talent matching or interest matching, or a combination of both. That in turn assumes that the "best" way of making career decisions is finding the job that matches your skill and/or interests. That, again in turn, presupposes a particular decision making style. The problem is that if your personal decision making style is different from the one presupposed by the test, then the suggestions that the tests come up with are going to seem pretty pointless - which might be why you are getting frustrated.

Maybe before you think about career decisions you would find it useful to reflect on how you normally go about making decision in your life - whether it's which pair of sneakers to buy, which ebook reader to buy, where to go on holiday. We all make decisions all the time, everyday. We develop strategies for these decisions that work for us, but when it comes to "big" decisions we often think there is a "proper" way to go about it. The problem is that of this "proper" way is not consistent with our own decision making style then the outcomes of the process are going to seem just not right.

What I also am not sure of is what sort of one-to-one careers guidance you can get access to - but it sounds as if it would be useful if you could get some individual input.

This is turning into a bt of a lecture - sorry! But just one final thing . career decision making is a process, not an event. All the frustration you feel at the moment is a natural part of that process, but you'll get there in the end.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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Well TGS, I suppose that makes a good bit of sense. I usually find something that I like, that will work where I need it to work, and that won't make me want to smash it into people's faces, and then make it work from there.

The individual guidance that I've had have only served to piss me off. They see my scores and say "You should be in a think-tank!" me: "I don't want to sit in a damned cubicle and work with random theories all day, I'd go mad!" them "Nonsense, someone of your test scores and intellect should be in a place to fully utilize them! It'd be perfect for you!" me: "Your missing the bloody part where I go crazy and move to an island and become a cannibal hermit." Them: "My advice is to get a job at a think-tank style job or as a lawyer maybe." Me: "Well, gee, thanks. I'll go to law school and find a way to sue you for negligence."

While this is a bit dramatized, it really tends to be the sequence of the conversation. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the hell out of working with theory, especially when it involves people and why we do what we do, but if I can't bloody well apply it then it doesn't matter what I think of, and I don't trust others to run with my ideas until I've seen how far I can go with them myself. I enjoy working with people to an extent, a few constants and then the rest of them should be come and go, and the office routine can go up a bloody tree. I make tea and read the news in the mornings and I pray before I fall asleep, those are my routines and I'd like to keep it that way.

Children are fun, I can work with children plenty, I taught pre-school and after school for 3 years and loved it. I couldn't do it forever though, and I really don't want to teach children that young, I'd rather have intellectual conversations with my students (meaning students at least at a high school level) if I do end up teaching (it'd be a nice thing to do in retirement or when I want to live in a steady area, get married, have kids and dog, etc...) I really could enjoy a job doing executive level security, that would offer pretty much everything I'm after, except I'm not yet 21 and in the states can't carry a firearm.

So, maybe I want a Unicorn, but you know what, I'll get a crossbow and go hunting if its that simple of a task. I could do that, unfortunately wal-mart happens to be fresh out of Unicorn whistles.

Last edited by Spoon Man; 04-30-2010 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:34 AM   #7
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You are in the middle of a plethora of med scools there in ATL. Incl uding my own beloved UAB here in bham. Have you got the grades to get in? If you go all the way to subspecialist, you will have another decade of school, and begin making good money during Residency. 4yrs of med school, during which you will rotate thru all of the specialities, meet a lot of great people with similar interests, and come out the other side in a very good career. You know, as long as you dont have a specific plan, why not go for something both noble and lucrative?
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:44 AM   #8
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My issues with med-school are
1: cost
2: Future

With the current plan for insurance in the US, its leaking like doctors aren't going to make beans or bread in the next 10yrs or so. However, that is looking like an increasingly good option. Its up there on my list for sure. Even if I can't get into a med school right out I could easily go pre-med or so and transfer.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #9
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While we need doctors I think to study medicine one needs to feel the urge to do so. Just for sake of money doesn't necessary make good doctors or a happy life.

Reading your posts so far I gather that you like working with people, aren't intellectually challenged but get easily bored with a pure office job and repeating tasks (sorry to say, but those are heaps in most jobs).

Have you considered moving into project work? Engineering or quality assurance or security all spring to mind. I think it would tick a lot of your boxes:
- different projects mean different challenges , although you still get a lot of office work you also get to meet different people in different environments.
- you get to work with people
- you get to use the intellect you have, and trust me, if you don't find a job where you do that, you'll always will be bored out of your mind.

I am sure there are heaps of fields for project work. So start looking at those, narrow it down. Then look at where / how to gain experience and what to study. It's not a fast road but as you said you are not 21 yet. So plenty of time.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:59 PM   #10
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Well, I would love to get into medicine, its just cost prohibitive. There is now way I can see to make it out of school without loans, and I'm going to everything I can to avoid those.

Project work is something that I've not considered, and you are right that it seems to check a majority of my boxes. Maybe your title of Wizard is well earned, I'll start doing research into that this in the morning.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:42 PM   #11
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Well, I would love to get into medicine, its just cost prohibitive. There is now way I can see to make it out of school without loans, and I'm going to everything I can to avoid those.

Project work is something that I've not considered, and you are right that it seems to check a majority of my boxes. Maybe your title of Wizard is well earned, I'll start doing research into that this in the morning.
If you really would love getting into medicine you will find a way. Most degrees will cost you loads of money and loans are nearly unavoidable (unless you are from wealthy background, which most of us probably are not). I know the thought of being in debt is scary for young people but trust me - along the way it gets easier. And don't forget that you are able to pay it back afterwards. Not sure about the US - do you have student loans?

Don't let the thought of a debt scare you off something that you would love doing. You'll regret it later on. You can dismiss medicine after you exhausted all avenues and still go down the path of project work as a second choice :-).

But which ever way you go: good luck with the research. Who knows, you may even stumble across something you didn't consider, didn't even know existed and it will grab you.
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