Career Changes

The title of this post makes me laugh. What career? I *could* make a career of being awesome, I guess.

Anyway, I’ve been giving some serious thought to going back to school, or getting a certificate, or something. I am overeducated for the jobs I am qualified for, but underqualified for the jobs I’m supposed to be able to get with my education. In other words, my master’s degree is not useful when wanting to get immediate employment, and my lack of actual library experience impedes me from using my degree for its intended purpose. (It makes a lovely leather-bound dust trap, though.)

I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a paralegal for a while, but the program is pretty expensive, even at a local community college. I have lots of research experience, and I like being helpful, so that could be sort of fun. I almost went to law school after undergrad… I think I made a lot of unwise educational choices, honestly. My degree, up to this point, has done absolutely nothing for me.

I read about my friends who love their teaching jobs, who love being nurses, who love being lawyers, who love being librarians, and I think to myself, “What will I say about my career? What am I?” I know I’m good at some stuff, like cooking and crafting and spreadsheets, but I wonder what my identity is. I can’t identify as a librarian without feeling this stabbing sense of guilt, like I’m co-opting a term I have no right to use. I’m not actually a librarian, even though I have a piece of paper saying I could be. (I also have a piece of paper saying I could be an anthropologist, so that’s not very encouraging.)

I’m not anything yet.

I’m surrounded by wonderful people who are doing great things in their professional lives. It makes me happy for them, as much as I can be, since I definitely have a problem with feeling and expressing joy for others. It also makes me jealous, sad, and frustrated. These people are established. They have colleagues. They are something other than their name and a list of hobbies: “Hi, I’m Amanda, and I like reading, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and performing burlesque.” I wish I had a clear career-oriented identity instead of a mish-mash of attributes.

I’ll continue to look into getting *more* education, because it’ll help push off my student loans for a little while longer, and it might open some doors for a career-filled future. Until then, I will have to settle for being a list and some pieces of dusty paper.



  1. I know how you feel, in a way. I have a full-time job right now, but it isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life. I too am feeling, very heavily, that lack of identity that comes from work. My BA was pretty much a ticket to grad school, which I haven’t done yet either. Now, I’m considering a career change to accounting. 10 years ago, I would have slapped myself in the face for even thinking about it, but in the grand spirit of “if I knew them what I know now,” I think it’ll be a really good move.

  2. I feel this way about being a mom – I see all these women who “live” for thier kids….and they seem so satisfied with themselves! To me it seems to be an obligation – you had them you have to raise them! I feel proud of them but not of me? I wonder if I missed something? and I struggle with the identity of being Jesse & Emma’s mom…but wait I am Mickie….I am so much more than a mom!

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