Recently I went in to talk with my professor, Dr. Kim Zarkin about what I can do to push towards my career now, while I am still pursuing my degree. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I have decided to pursue a Communication degree, with an emphasis in Professional Writing.
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting: some advice on where to find some awesome internships, class ideas, a job I could do before I had my degree.
What I found most helpful was not close to any of those. She told me that I should take some time to write out what I want or don’t want in a job. Not what kind of job I want, but the perks I want to come with a job. That way, I can know exactly what types of jobs I would best fit into.
She also told me that knowing what I don’t want to do is just as important as knowing what I do want to do.
So here’s to trying to narrow my focus.
-I would absolutely love working from home, but at the same time, I can’t be cooped up in the same place forever. I think my perfect job would be an even mixture of going into the office and staying at home.
-Definitely something that builds on and uses my writing skills.
-I want the freedom of setting and or changing around my schedule.
-I want something that challenges me. Something that requires me to be creative, and doesn’t follow the cut and paste, day in, day out, same old thing. I love change, and knowing that my job will ask me to bring something new to the table everyday will help me get out of bed every morning.
-I want to work with people. I want to know that what I’m going to do is going to affect the lives of many, something that will help them become a better person. But at the same time, I want to be able to have my space when I need it.
-I guess this could also fit into the other categories, but I want something that will allow me to travel with my husband. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that I want to be required to travel on a regular basis, but a trip here and there would be nice.
You know maybe something that would allow me to see things like this
on a regular basis.
-I either want benefits, or to be compensated enough that I can pay for my own benefits. Going without medical and dental is a bad idea. I don’t know how possible that is with the other criteria, but if Jacob can get benefits with his work, then that might be more flexible.
Jobs (or things about them) I absolutely hate:
-Staying in the office all the time. Yuck! I can’t be stuck in one place too long. I’ll get stir crazy.
-Staring at a computer screen all day. I can do it for a few hours at a time, but anymore than that, and I begin to get migraines and eye strain. I can do most of my work on a computer, but I have to be able to take frequent breaks.
-Anything involving sales, or general customer service. If it’s part of my job, I’ll do it. But I don’t want that to BE my job.
I love the job that I have now, but I know I can’t exactly make a career out of it. I tutor English as a Second Language Students and help them with questions they have. I LOVE working one on one with people. There’s something about it that makes me feel that I’ve actually done good in the world.
Taking all of these into account, there are some jobs that I think I would like. Now I don’t know for sure, as I haven’t actually worked in most of these. But a lot of these I have had experience with, so I sort of know what I’m talking about.
The most obvious one is anything to do with writing. To be more specific, I had the chance to freelance edit a manuscript of a book. I absolutely loved that, and would love to do something like that for a living.
I currently also work very part time as Poetry Editor of my school’s literary magazine. Though what I do is very different from what people on most magazines would do, I still think I would love to work on a magazine, writing pieces, checking layout, things like that.
I think working as an editor at a publishing house would also be fantastic. I would have the opportunity to give people feedback on their work, and help make it even better. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I love critiquing and editing people’s work almost as much as I love writing my own stuff. Now the perfect job would give me an even balance of writing and editing.
Another thing I would love doing and am working on making a reality is teaching creative writing. I don’t know if I could do something like this in a High School, as there is a certain level of maturity necessary for a creative writing class to really be worth something. But this would give me the perfect opportunity to practice some of my own work, and at the same time work hands on with some great writers to help them improve their skills even more.
Next semester I am going to follow the dream of making this last possibility a reality. I hope you’ll join me in pursuing it.
I’d like to hear from you readers. First, after having read my descriptions, is there anything that comes to mind, that I haven’t mentioned, that seems like it would be the perfect fit for me? Do you have any advice on how to pursue something like this.
Second, and more important, What is it that would make your perfect job? Or, what is it that you know you absolutely don’t want in a job? Feel free to comment or send me a personal message.