I am in a real pickle. I am 34 years old and have never had a job I’ve enjoyed.
I graduated from college with a BA in psychology in 1999 but I chose not to
pursue a graduate degree in psychology at the time because I felt I was too
burned out to take on graduate school at that time and I wanted to try my hand
in broadcasting production a childhood dream of mine.
Well I am afraid I have worked myself into a corner. For the past few years I
have worked in publishing off and on to avoid being a secretary to
support myself not broadcasting. I have not done anything in psychology not
even an internship. My GRE scores have lapsed and I have not maintained any
relationship with my professors. I want to finally leave all of this behind me and
go back to psychology but I have been out of school for so long I don’t know if
I can even get a job in the field with a BA and no experience.
What should I do? Or what should I do first?
The Career Doctor responds:
Well you’re making the first — and most important — step now so that’s great.
You need to decide exactly where your life should go from here forward. We know
it is not publishing but have you totally closed the door on broadcasting?
Take a weekend to really evaluate your career goals. What are some of your favorite
activities? What do you enjoy doing? Which career best uses your strengths and
interests? What do you see yourself doing over the next 5 to 10 years?
If your answer is broadcasting then you need to take a much deeper jump into
the field. Start with informational interviews to see whether you need more training
or certifications. You need to get your foot in the door — and temp agency that handles job-seekers is the way to do it.
If your answer is psychology then it’s time to see which of your old professors are
still at your alma mater and contact them. We faculty love hearing from our old students
even if they have been out of touch for a few years. Solicit their advice on strategies for
getting into a graduate program. Study and re-take the GREs if you need to. Conduct
some informational interviews with professionals in the area of psychology you see
yourself working — more to learn about the careers than for networking (although it
never hurts to network).
Bottom line: Whether you believe it or not you are in total control of your future.
You just need to decide the direction — and go at it with full force and dedication.
For help with graduate school decisions check out the
Graduate School Resources
section of Quintessential Careers.