anairdna recommended the book The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goldman a few weeks ago; I’m waiting till I can get to the library to renew my card to snag a copy, but in the meantime, I found this excerpt online:
If you’ve got half a brain, you’ll find those “What Type of Job Is Right for Me?” quizzes on the web about as useful as your weekly horoscope. How you really feel about sharing a four-by-six-foot space with a hygienically challenged, socially stunted coworker usually has zilch to do with the meager multiple-choice options these tests offer. Yes, you may get affirmation that you like to help people, work with power tools, or swing from a trapeze, but you’ll still need to research and test-drive any new career you’re thinking of pursuing.
“‘What are your values?’ seems to me a much more important question,” says peer counsellor Kirsten Johnson.
And to that end, she offers up a little questionaire of things to think about, if you aren’t sure what your values really are or where they might lead you.
1. What’s on your nightstand? What books and magazines you’re reading can be pretty telling about what turns your crank.
Currently? Phillip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife (I finished The Golden Compass over Christmas), The Complete Lais of Marie de France (a holiday present to myself), and volume 1 of The Firefly Visual Companion.
2. Out of all your friends’ jobs, which one are you most jealous of? Why?
Hmm. Probably Denyse; I hear she’s managing a group of graphic artists/designers now. Not that I have much talent in graphic design, or any interest at all in managing people – but Denyse likes and is good at both those things, and she does after all have a degree in graphic design. So I’m not jealous so much at the type of job, but of how well it suits her.
3. What’s the one thing you’ve been talking about doing forever that your friends are sick of hearing about?
Dunno; what are you guys sick of hearing me talk about? 🙂 (Geez, that’s a loaded question, play nice.)
I searched through my tag list and read some old entries, to see if anything came up more than once. Booksbooksbooksbooks, faeriesfaeriescostuming!faeries, literaryblahblahblah, Ihatewhatmyjobhasbecomeandshouldigobacktoschool?
Yes, well. One of those is the reason I’m searching the current job market like mad and doing this bit of self-exploration (because knowledge helps in formulating plans and plans are good, because action without a plan would just be me hopping from job to job and hoping for the best and where’s the productivity there?) and I’m freshly applied to grad school as of two weeks ago; proactive? Maybe?
All that other stuff is just, well, me.
5. If you could start any business or organization, or sell any service or ware, what would it be?
I wonder what goes into setting up a used book store, and could it be a successful e-business with places like amazon.com and ebay already around? Could it be a local thing?
6. If you could work anywhere in the world, in any country or organization, where would it be? Doing what?
Is the British Museum hiring? Maybe the Reading Room, or Iron Age Britain?
7. If “debt,” “years,” and “practical” weren’t words in your vocabulary, what would you be doing now — besides sipping margaritas on your own tropical island?
I’d be at home, being a housewife/grad student. And maybe I’d apply to be a graduate teaching assisstant.
Taking in all of the above, I clearly need/want a job that:
. involves books and the written word
. …that’s pretty much it, actually. Words and literature. I can research. I can write. I can read. I can create all manner of shiny technical manuals and documents. I can teach. (That sentence is scary. Teaching is big, huge, and…well, scary, and I don’t really want to admit that I like it and am passably good at it.)