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I have no idea what I want to do for a career :(

All my life I *thought I wanted to do animation. Then I took three years of computer programming in high school. Yeah, never again. I've been working dead end jobs and was blessed to get a new job working for a label printing company working in a factory (pays about $13/hour and some change) but still with bills and mandatory expenses I just don't have any free money. I am looking at careers that either don't need degrees or at least a 2 year degree/certification but I just can't find anything.

Anyone here have a career they like that would be good to get into? I just need a direction to go in. I'm eager to get my life moving as I regret looking back at my life and being a major slacker.

i know you don't know me really and no one can decide for me what to do, but I'm just searching for ideas at this point. Any help?


There are many paths to success. All of them require determination & hard work.

Decide what you want. Stick with it when the going gets tough. Persevere.

Your other choice is to sit back, watch the world pass you by, and wonder what might've been.

It always comes down to the choices you make. Always.


Article Team
Definitely agree with T.A.S.

A.V., you want to hear a funny thing? In highschool, I dreamed of drawing comics books, then I went to computer science in college--dropped out---then I went to an animation school---dropped that--then I went to a technical school and did drafting.

Worked a few years as a draftsman, then decided it wasn't something I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life and went back to college and completed my computer science degree.

All the while I dabbled at my writing. Didn't take it serious until I graduated college. Worked as a programmer for a bit, all the while still writing. Won't get into details, but life pulled me from the programming world, for now. So while I'm waiting to get back, I'm focused on writing.

After doing all that, I wish I knew what I knew now when I was younger. And that's pretty much what T.A.S. said. Maybe I wouldn't have dropped out of college on the first go.

As for careers, don't look for the easy and short path as the first filter. Look for the path that fits you. Figure out the things that interest you, I mean really interest you, and find the possible careers that match up well with your personality type. Then go for one and I mean really go for it. Maybe it's 1 year of training or maybe it's 4.

But if you think about it, doing 4 years in school for a career you love is better than doing 1 year four times on four different careers you're meh on.

With that said, maybe try looking into some trades schools to see if anything fits, like electrician, plumber, mechanic, etc. Cause last time I got bills for those services, darn if some of them guys don't make some nice change. :p


toujours gai, archie
I wish people would stop thinking about careers. It's just a job. If it turns out to be a job you worked at for thirty years, then yes that was a career. OTOH, if you wound up doing something completely different every five years, that doesn't me you somehow failed. We put way too much emphasis on "career choices", a phrase that has "success" deeply embedded within its subtext.

But you weren't looking for philosophy, you were looking for jobs, and you mentioned not having any free money. So, first step would be to look for jobs that pay more. That will eliminate a *lot* of options right there. From that list, throw out all the ones you either know you would hate or you know you could not do. With what's left, start investigating paths of entry.

One other comment, though. Capitalist systems have an amazing ability to absorb income. You have to make vast bucket loads of money before you start having "spare" money. I have an in-law who makes a million or so, and they still manage to spend most of it, and are still making choices between buying X or buying Y. Your "needs" will scale up with your income. At the same time, I can very clearly recall the year when my wife and I began to make "enough" money. It was when we could buy a candy bar at the store on a whim. It was no longer a financial decision. So you may be able to find some marker by which you could say yes, that much will be enough, even while you realize there will always be a reason to want more.


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
I agree with Skip.Knox. A "career" is not the only way to pursue work. It's just fine if every job looks different. You don't need to have this single workpath calling in life, and there are many people who struggle just as much with the careers they've labelled themselves into.

If you want to move up - over time - try to figure out what you're good at. Showing up on time or a few minutes early? It counts. Working hard with dawdling? It counts. Manual labor? Yardwork? Office work? Heck, take one of those fire course tests (in NYC, where I am, every building has to have so many people working in it who have passed the basic fire emergency test). It all counts.

I mean, I don't know what you're good at or what kind of work you should be doing. But there are ways to figure out what you're good at and how you can stand out without focusing on something as specific as a career.

So who are you? What are you good at?

The best part is, you get to define yourself and tell your own story.


I'm not familiar with the labor force dynamics in Georgia, but up here in Wisconsin the new Aldi stores are a great place to work.

Starting pay is around 12 and if you stick with it you can rapidly advance up to 24 per hour.

For people that can swim, I think hopping around resorts in the Caribbean and working as a scuba instructor would be a fun job.


toujours gai, archie
One other thing worth saying. All your life you thought you wanted to do animation.

You still can. It may not be for money, but you can still do it. Having a hobby, especially one that is creative and challenging, is more valuable than you may think. And at least your hobby isn't something like nuclear physics! In addition, if, every once in a blue-and-pink moon, the hobby can bring in a few bucks, why then that's just gravy. Most of the best things in life are done without regard for cash.

Age quod agitis


A friend of mine looking at a big career move was talking to me the other day about how he was tempted to go teach English as a Foreign Language in China. Reckoned he could save £1500 a month while out there, plus, you know, get to see China. Believe you don't have to speak Chinese to do it (certainly I know people who've done teaching English as a Foreign Language without knowing a word their students speak). If you're worried about having enough money to go back to school, such a path might work for you.

If you're looking for a short course to get you some decent professional qualifications, then maybe look at coding camps - they're pricey but from everything I've read, they work.

Really though, figure out what you want to do and how you want to live your life. It's all well and good saying these careers could lead to X but it means nothing if you don't now whether you want to to X or Y.


Myth Weaver
I came to the conclusion a long time ago that a 'good job' is something that pays the bills while leaving you the time to pursue what interests you.

I have known a number of people that attained material success - large house, family, all that. But what good is the large house if you work so much all you ever see is the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom?


My time as a young man in the military was very good for me, I commend that experience to anyone. Much of my success on "civy street" I attribute to those days.

Best of luck in finding something that works well for you.


Good idea! Before I settled on concept art as my career path of choice, I considered going to trade school for welding. It pays good money, and especially if you live in the Rust Belt region you'll never be out of work. You could also use that skill to get into metal sculpture, hey. :)


Hi, I don't know if anyone here has mentioned a career in...


writing! :D

You're on this site because you love to write, right? Have you considered the realm of possibilities?

I'm sorry you're struggling to figure this out, but you will. Just take it one day at a time and eventually, it'll just come to you. Maybe it'll be after some trial and error, or after a little break to relax and have some fun. I don't know how old you are, but if you're under 30 and single without responsibilities, then doing some traveling might help to refresh you (at any age, really) however it's easier to manage without kids and such.

You'll get it figured out and when you do, let us know. :)